I had this other post ready to go today. And then this morning happened.
Our cat has anxiety and has been losing hair, scratching on everything and peeing too.
In fact this morning my husband pulled out a fresh load of laundry from the drier, turned to pick up stuff on the floor and by the time he got back to the basket our domestic feline had marked it!!!
“I’m done” was what I heard from my husband.
Yep, those were the first words I heard from anyone this morning. “I’m Done!”
And of course the next discussion we had to have started up. Do we keep him or give him up and hope a more peace-able home can be found for him?
It seemed like, in that moment, no one else wanted to make the hard decision.
My youngest heard our discussion and began to cry. The contagious tears reached out to everyone else and before I knew it we were all a frickin mess.
As my son began to pack his lunch, his elbow hits a glass and I turn at the familiar thunk. Just in time to witness the actual shattering on the kitchen floor.
“Gosh Darnit” I screamed (yes, edited for posterities sake)
The anger turned to tears. And finally I began to say what I should have said to myself in brutal honesty.
“I can’t do this. I can’t run a house with chronic pain. It’s filthy from life and I can’t clean it up!
I can’t keep cleaning up after everyone and hounding them 24/7 to get their rooms cleaned, or to take the five minutes to inspect teeth to see how thoroughly they’ve been brushed, or to ask them one more time to actually rinse the toothpaste spit from the sink that also serves as our guest bathroom.”
Yeah, I laid the guilt on thick with my 9 and 6 year olds. But I finally got to the truth…
“I feel like a failure….”
And then my son says “I didn’t know we made you feel that way”
But did they really? Or are they just kids still learning the art of self-discipline I have yet to master in my own life?
No, it’s me. It’s me still measuring my life against a box of perfection.
Deep down inside a message plays out.
If I was a good wife…
If I was a good mom…
If I was a good woman…
The honest and ironic list unfolds:
- Then my son’s breath wouldn’t stink
- I wouldn’t be 50 pounds overweight
- My husband wouldn’t have zits
- The cat wouldn’t pee on everything… (let’s be honest, the fact that my cat now struggles with anxiety is quite the irony of life, eh?)
- The kids would be on time, every time.
- Beds would be made
- You wouldn’t be able to write messages with your finger tip in the dust collected….everywhere.
- Etc. etc. etc.
Since when did I have to prove I was good?
It was my heavy burden as a child growing up in abuse. You see, if you are perfect enough and keep everyone happy THEN you are a good girl.
I had skillfully covered my wounds once again with the urgency of perfection. Pull yourself together. Figure it out. You should be able to handle it…
But the sorrowful tears of my daughter unmasked me.
I had failed. If I was only good enough…
My own insecurities led to the anger. The anger that everyone else needs to behave so I feel good enough about me.
So here I am…
I struggle to feel that I am enough…
Without feeling that I am too much.
And you know my greatest fear?
What I really fear is hearing someone say to me:
“I’m done” (This is not about my marriage – it is my FEAR, my fear with everyone)
It’s why broken relationships tear me apart.
So I sit today
I have decided to take the brutal of my life and find the beauty of Christ… right there.
By the way, my cat sat on my lap the entire time I wrote this. Leaning in, purring, asking for the same kind of love from me that I seek for myself. Love is enough.