“Living with a shattered sense of self is devastating. You feel like you are no longer valid, your value as a person has been negated, you have no purpose. And when you have no value and no purpose you begin to question why you should live. And the most devastating question I had to face was this: “if I was a failure at what I considered the most important job of my life how do live with myself in the aftermath. Since so much of my self-worth was tied to my desire to be the best possible parent I could be, one of the major repercussions was that my self-esteem was devastated.”
I failed as a mother.
Not as a human being, as a mother. There is a distinctive separation of the two.
Moms make mistakes, I get it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. The kind of failure I’m speaking of is the most monumental: betraying a child’s trust.
A failing marriage has the capacity to become a failure as a parent. Parenting is hard. Marriage isn’t exactly a slice of pie either. We look at other marriages, other parents, judge each other as if they’ve discovered something we haven’t. We’re all connected at the party. No one has the quintessential antidote for successful marriage or parenting. If it were the case, Dr. Phil might actually have to work as a real family therapist.
The Behemoth Consequence
Think about behavior, decisions you make. Think about the consequences of those decisions. Think about how your child, at any age, would view you as a parent if you were to make a poor decision that would garner mistrust. Young adults don’t grow out of observing and watching their parents actions and behaviors. To break a child’s trust is the utmost betrayal a parent can make. It is for this reason why I judge others less harshly these days. Self-acknowledgement is a bitch. It’s pressing, humbling, lonely, unpleasant. Yet it is also necessary for the beginning of a person’s healing journey.
As much as I’ve written on the painful issue of estrangement, there is a consistent yearning to subject myself; one voice, willing to tell her truth, to be judged, criticized, perhaps verbally punched up a bit for speaking out on something excrutiatingly difficult to talk about. I welcome all of it, as there is little to be fearful of anymore. The release of vulnerability becomes an easier glide once you have the chutzpah to push through the shame. The more openly estrangement is discussed, the less shame one adheres to.
Your self-worth shall not be defined by mistakes made as a parent. My hope is you take time to think, process; realize you’re still going to breathe when failing. I’ve arrived at a place where I recognize my failure does not equate with the kind of mother I was or am, for I am still a mom. So are you.
We’ll find each other soon. ❤