March – Taking Stock and a Question

It finally happened last week. Temperatures above zero degrees Fahrenheit for the first time in many weeks. At eighteen degrees we had kids stripping off their winter coats to run around in the sunshine in sweatshirts. You can’t really blame them when it is sixty degrees warmer than the day before.

So, warmth has returned, snow is melting, I’ve left my warm house to mend some fences, and I’m feeling a bit less bleak.

As I sit down to blog, I’m still unsatisfied with my page. I don’t love it. More changes will surely be coming.

Today is St Patricks Day, my brother’s birthday. My older brother I grew up with. He lives in Arizona. I’ve had a few birthdays roll by, both of half-siblings and siblings I grew up with. I’ve found myself stressing over what to do about half-siblings when everyone I grew up with has just made phone calls if we remembered.

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Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash

Do you think my adoptive parents weren’t really into that because the kids weren’t really theirs? Growing up we had cakes, sometimes grandma and grandpa came over, there were a few presents, maybe a movie or dinner out. As we grew up and moved away, there was the odd card, some years. Usually, it was a phone call so we could talk to dad about the weather. I’ve learned that other families are quite a bit more extravagant. It’s just something I’ve wondered about this year. For my half-siblings, I’ve sent cards or letters online or in the mail and just kept it to that for now. I’ll be meeting them all this summer in May and July. It makes me nervous.

Rejection is a big thing for me. I’m trying to allow for it by figuring out why I care so much. Just writing that sentence gets an emotional reaction. A tightness that settles right around my heart. I want so badly for them to love me. Why? They’re perfect strangers.

I’ve said aloud, a few times, that I’m glad all my parents have passed on and I don’t have to deal with their issues anymore. Women especially look at me weird when they hear me say it. I know it’s wrong to be relieved that I’m not taking care of ill/elderly parents. I am so relieved. I have great respect for my many friends who do it daily with much love and respect and so little complaining it’s hard to believe.

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Photo by Thomas Tucker on Unsplash

I’m still looking for that wellspring inside myself. The how of Loving Myself. I’ve been doing some editing this week, and I realize that my girls, in my books, that’s what they’re doing. They have the luxury of leaving and going to a place that speaks peace to them. The location is immediately disrupted by men, but somehow they all survive. It’s like I’m still wandering around blindfolded…”Is it here? Ouch, nope that’s not it! How about over-eeeeeeeek (thump) Damn it! I think I sprained my ankle! That’s not it! Eww, I don’t even like how it smells over there, forget that. This is stupid.” And I stomp out of my own head slamming the door hard enough to make my eyes rattle.

How do you find that center of contentment within yourself that helps you face the world day after day?

18 Comments

  1. We had that same flip, although more like 35 degrees. I was tempted to put on sandals but it’s so wet out due to the flooding, lol.

    re: effusiveness on birthdays — I don’t know. It sounds to me like I had the same kind of birthday you did — a family party at most, and a few gifts. My father literally does not know when my birthday is; he never has. Neither does my brother. My exBFs get in touch more often than they do. However, my mother did always remember. Maybe hard to generalize?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No — I have similar reactions to a lot of things lately. Something will happen and my instinctive reaction is a certain way, and then I ask myself, am I being reasonable? And I realize there’s no one to tell me, no one I can even ask the question of, and maybe that’s not because I lack resources so much as that there isn’t really an answer?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe just no answer that satisfies both parties.
          Then I wonder, am I being too lazy, too pushy, too busy, too unconcerned… Is it people pushing for what the old me would have done? Are they looking for someone like my mother? Maybe it’s an internal fight against a woman that doesn’t exist anymore.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That makes a lot of sense to me, and I’d add “… and her expectations.” I’m feeling a LOT of resentment right now and I think if I could express that I would be better off, but first I have to get to the place where I am allowed to feel resentment.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad things are warming up in your neck of the woods!! I have both adopted and natural siblings. We exchange phone calls on birthdays usually. My father will have a card for each of us with a small monetary gift. We usually have a small gift and a card for him on his birthday. I can’t imagine your siblings not loving you. It is normal to desire that. And I expect you have it even if it isn’t said aloud. With the way your parents were, expressing love was not taught in your house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I forget birthdays a lot and if it weren’t for my older brother to remind me, I’d forget all of them. I do wish I were more attentive and write them down somewhere so I can remember. I even have a box of greeting cards ready to go yet I always get sidetracked just the same. So these days, once my brother reminds me or I see it on FB, I greet them via text or a post on their FB profile.

    As to your question about how, I write. I write my broken heart out, have and always will. My characters get the HEA I wish for myself every single time. They’re braver than I am, more adventurous and they help me process the crap I can’t process in real life. One day one of them will be brave enough to slay the demons but that would mean I’ll be writing paranormal stories and that’s not too bad. I might need to do just that but it always boils down to the same thing: I write. That’s how I survive. Your heroines are badass, just like you are 💕💕💕

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to think my family was totally eff’d up. Not that growing up fully immersed in catholic culture isn’t disconcerting in and of itself. My super fertile reproducing parents were too poor, too uneducated and too overwhelmed with new babies every 11 months, until the doctor told my father, ‘mom was not going to survive another childbirth.’ Whew, thank goodness for that doctor’s intervention.

    Consequently, we didn’t celebrate birthdays. Or really holidays for that matter. I don’t know if it was intentional or because mom was barely able to keep it all together. It may have helped if she had anyone to assist her, but there was no extend family in Seattle. Maybe why Halloween ended up my fav holiday. My brother and I would run from house to house collecting as much candy as we could in our pillowcases before we were forced back home. It was glorious. (Sigh, good times.)

    As adults, none of us kids celebrate birthdays. I don’t remember anyone’s either. The other day my hubs took me to the doc, (darn head cold/cough was not getting better) and I had to ask my hubs if he remembered my birthday when the nurse wanted to know if I might be pregnant. Not that he doesn’t keep trying. Haha

    I’ve friends who remember my anniversary. One annoying (well known artist in my small comic world) has even gone out of his way to publicly remind me of it while doing radio interviews or announcing it at comic events/parties. He really isn’t annoying, he is a dear friend. But I still don’t remember when I got married. I do remember telling my hubs that he better get on his knees to ask me cause after buying rings he was sure taking things for granted. (But that is another story.)
    🍰

    I think I get the whole wanting your bio-siblings to like/love you. I think on some level we all want to be loved/accepted for who we are. For someone like me tho, growing up in a family where we all looked the same, from a sperm donating father, (at least 4 kids from other women that we know of) who frequently told us it didn’t matter if one of us died, he could make another one tomorrow. I think I must have inherently not looked for love, acceptance or validation from anyone, none of us were special. Feelings were a luxury, not that it stopped us from having them. They were not indulged. Anyone ever hear this; “stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about”?

    Hmm, now that I think about it, we kids are fortunate that (a) we survived and (b) none of us ended up criminals. You have given me some things to think about girl. 🙂
    Sorry if this was TMI

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard that one, many times! Then comes the belt or the stick.
      It’s interesting to me that you were told you didn’t matter because he could make another one, look just like you. In our house we were told we were all that mattered, look how much they had to spend to get us, look how far they traveled, how hard they worked. There was a lot of talk, a lot of showing us off in the news or at church, there just wasn’t any feeling to back it up.
      I needed the feelings, others did fine or adapted to not having them. I’m always fascinated by the different ways we remember our childhoods. And, like you, when I think about it, it’s pretty amazing that most of us are law abiding, upstanding members of society.
      I’m glad your thinking, that’s my favorite kind of read.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I still hate the sound of a belt being pulled out of pant loops so it snaps. For years I worried that I would beat my own kids because of the way we were raised. None of us kids have ever hit kids, ever. The worse spanking one got was a slap on his diapered bottom from his dad for trying to run out in the street when we kept telling him to wait for us to cross. (A child harness solved that problem.) I remember my brother and I talking about it when we were young and worried that he might grow up to be a wife beater. He has never, nor would ever do that either. But I know people say kids need discipline. I always found other ways to do that without violence or hitting of any kind.

        Once when I was babysitting three kids my freshman year in college, the five year old boy hit one of his younger sisters. I told him if he wanted to hit someone, he could hit me, but that I would then have the right to hit him back. Since I was so much bigger than him, I could hit a whole lot harder too. (Shockingly, their parents gave me permission to spank them if they got out of line. Not that I would.) Then he would also have to go to his room and stay there for the next hour alone since he wasn’t able to behave in a civil manner among others. He cried, said he was sorry. The two years I babysat those kids, he never acted that way again.

        I don’t go easy on the kids in my family either. My sisters will never say anything they think sounds mean. Once I told my nephew to stop texting his girlfriend who was driving to meet us because she was answering every text he sent. His mom, my sister got so mad at me, she dragged me into the bathroom and really got after me in the loudest yelling whisper she could. So in some ways, we might have all gone too far the other way. It turned out fine and my beloved nephew knows I love him without question. My telling him anything harshly has never hurt his feelings. His mom on the other hand is another matter. heh

        I can never bring myself to hit a kid after the way we were raised. I don’t understand how it actually teaches them anything other than to be violent.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Each of my kids have received at least one well aimed swat on a diapered bottom. That said, I took myself to therapy when I just had my first child, I was terrified I would turn into my mom and start beating him, I was determined not to. I found out how much our moms influence us that year. I kept saying I didn’t want to talk about my mom and I kept talking and talking and talking about mom.
          I’m happy how the kids and I have turned out. I’ve done a better job communicating with my kids and keeping them close just being a normal human being with them. I’m proud of that.
          You should be too. We’re chainbreakers.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes we are! I was determined to be nothing like my parents when I was a kid. I succeeded and for that I am grateful. Although, if I am honest, I do have some of my mother’s habits, traits, not sure what it is called. One of my sisters and myself, can both give you a certain look. My hubs says it is my look of disdain, but I have not idea what that look is. Apparently it is a severe look of displeasure or something that my mother can dole out. So not entirely successful at being completely different than parents. HaHa Oh Well…😊

            Liked by 1 person

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