My mother competed with me on every level as I was growing up.
When I expressed interest in a certain item of clothing (like boots when I was 13 – as an example), she would tell me that she didn’t have the money to buy the boots for me, but the next thing I knew, she would have three pairs for herself in her cupboard (up to that point, she only ever wore court shoes).
Or, I would have friends come over to visit me, and she would sit and entertain them. While I sat in my room. Alone. My friends became her friends and I’ve landed up with none. Not a good way to go when your child is naturally extremely shy and battles to make friends anyway. It is so bad in fact that my mother met a woman (one of the other moms) at one of Baby Girl’s parties recently. They (my mom and this woman) chatted a little bit at the party. My mother then looked up this woman’s place of work and her phone number to phone her and wish her happy birthday. Sorry, but that’s just creepy.
Or, whenever I went away for a weekend, whether it be with school or with the church, she would be horrendously horrible to me for the next few weeks afterwards. She would ignore me or give me one word answers whenever I asked her something. Sadly, my mother – who I do love very much – fell quite clearly into the second group that Sheila Wray Gregoire describes in her post of yesterday: What if You Divorced for the Wrong Reasons?
To give you the ultimate in competition – she took one look at me when I got back from honeymoon with my husband and left my dad. She couldn’t – and has admitted as much to me – bear the look of happiness on my face, while her own marriage didn’t give her any fulfillment.
My parents divorced after thirty years of marriage. My mother left because I came back from my honeymoon with a smile on my face (quite literally this is how this happened). The irony though is that once my Dad went on retirement, he became the man that she always wanted. There is nothing in my Dad today, that my mother didn’t express a wish or a desire for when they were still married. She left to early – she gave up. Intimacy – Never Giving Up
Competing with one’s daughter is never going to get you what you need or want out of life.
I understand that my mother is broken, and damaged, from her own background but she did little to break the cycle when her own happiness was more important than the security of her children.
As I read Sheila Wray Gregoire‘s post, I became intensely sad while at the same time thinking yes, yes, yes. I was sad because it was good to finally have my background and my parent’s marriage put into ways I could understand. I’m not very articulate, but Sheila described my mother as if she had met her and knew her intimately when she was describing the women in the second group.
But, also, I felt relief that I am not alone, I am not abnormal, and when I read the comments at the bottom of Sheila’s post, I realised that there are a whole horde of us who come from broken homes and are fighting the battle in putting good, healthy, solid marriages back on the map through our own marriages.
And that is the point of my post today:
Intimacy can give us healing.
- Healing to know that although I feel broken and damaged, my husband still loves me.
- Healing to know that when I am feeling ugly and unworthy, my husband still wants me and desires me and loves me.
- Healing to give my own daughter Baby Girl that security and affirmation that I never had as a child and in giving her that, I am able to get some security and affirmation for myself. The trick here though is that I can’t do it for me – it has to be about her security and affirmation. But, somehow, in giving my daughter that – I get some for myself, too.
- Healing to know that even though my background is broken, God has graced me with a solid family life now. I can draw my security and stability from what I have now.
- Healing to know that no matter what has happened to me in the past, or currently, or what will happen to me in the future ~ there is one truth I can always stick to, hold onto, remember: God is the same today, yesterday and forever more, and He is always on my side.
If I manage my marriage according to God’s ways and His grace, not only can I give Baby Girl something I never had, but I will find healing and solace within my marriage, and hubby will have a wife who is whole, healed and vibrant through Jesus Christ.
Baby Girl deserves it.
My hubby deserves it.
I deserve it.
And just perhaps our marriage – in this little part of the world – can give the people around us a glimpse of God’s love for us.
MY WORD FOR THE YEAR – 2016 / Intimacy – Time / Intimacy – Climbing a Wall / Intimacy – that one move! / Intimacy – Talking / Intimacy – Saying Sorry! / Intimacy – that one word / Intimacy – touch / Intimacy – those awkward moments / Intimacy – a sacrament… / Intimacy – Resting / Intimacy – Seven Red Flags / Intimacy – being separate / Intimacy – Never Giving Up / Intimacy – Honour / Intimacy – God / Intimacy – A new day… / Intimacy – Being True / Intimacy – Changing You / Intimacy – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Intimacy – Letting go of Fear / Intimacy – Rest / Intimacy – Knowing / Intimacy – A Gift.