Sunday, June 19, 2005

We're Not Saints

Thanks everyone for all your kind comments on my last post. You'll never know how much your moral support means to us!

I need to clarify a few things. The other night was a Kodak moment because the three of us aren't always on the same page when it comes to emotions. I'm a lone perimenopausal women, trapped in the land of testosterone. It wasn't always like this. For 14 years, our daughter, S, and I tormented my poor husband with our mood swings. When Z was born, I told S that she couldn't leave home until Z was 18. Unfortunately, S grew up, fell in love, and moved 1100 miles away.

My first Kodak moment with our two kids together, happened the first time S held her baby brother. S looked into Z's innocent baby eyes and said: "You're gonna grow up to be a sensitive man if it kills you!". This began our mission to raise Z to be a caring, thoughtful, not afraid of his emotions man. When Z was diagnosed with TS, it became even more important for him to share his fears and emotions. So far he is doing quite well, for a teenaged guy that is.

The first time I met my husband, I recognized his sweet, sensitive soul. L also came with a LOT of baggage! He spent the first 11 yrs of his life in foster homes. The next 5 yrs were spent with his schizophrenic mother, who cared more about partying and whoring around, than caring for her 3 young sons. L spent the next 12 yrs of his life trying to find the right person to love him. Unfortunately, every time L would bare his soul to a woman, it would come back and bite him in horrible ways. The last 28 yrs have been a one-sided battle to get L to bare his soul to ME! He refused to examine the painful parts of his life. L preferred pulling himself into his shell of insecurity. He loves me and the kids, but he always kept a part of himself aloof from us. He was terrified of being hurt again! We finally had a major breakthrough last winter, thanks to Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue. L now realizes how hurtful his shell has been to me. We're making great strides, but there's ALWAYS setbacks.

So you see, I don't want my readers to beat themselves up, thinking that we're some well-oiled emotional machine. We're not! We deal with the same male-female-teenaged troubles the rest of you have. BUT, every once in a while, we have that awesome KODAK MOMENT. That's what keeps us hanging in there!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all you wonderful Dads out there!!!


At 6/19/2005 6:07 PM, Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

What struck me about your last post was how emotionally available you seemed to be for your son. This is particularly poignant to me because both of my parents are completely emotionally unavailable, and in completely different ways. It was touching that you could all be present for each other in your times of emotional need, and I think that is just brilliant.

You gotta love Dr. Phil! Despite his sound-bite advice, he is actually a very wise man, I think. I wonder if Relationship Rescue would have worked for me and Aaron... cheaper than thousands of dollars worth of marriage counselling!

(I am being facetious: I think the marriage counselling we had together was really fantastic, though we still separated in the end. The goal was never to keep us together to begin with, or separate us, so I don't feel like the whole thing "failed".)

At 6/19/2005 7:59 PM, Anonymous ann said...

A powerful post. My husband knows that he appears in my blog as "the Husband," but otherwise, I do my blog and he really doesn't read it much. Why should he? He's usually present when I try out my recipes anyway. However, I've told him about your blog because I always find it poignant and inspiring in some way.

At 6/20/2005 7:00 AM, Anonymous les said...

tshsmom. you will soon learn that, I was an un-infomed, naive youth when first thrown into the deep end to struggle with the mysteries of the outside world.

At 6/20/2005 9:40 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

WC, I was really lucky to have parents that were always emotionally available to me. When I was a teenager and would get done crying on my mother's shoulder, she'd always tell me "Just remember this when you have kids". It's not always easy to get my kids to open up. They often want to wallow in self-pity instead of sharing it with someone that loves and understands them. I've been known to get downright militant with them about sharing their feelings. I guess this stems from seeing what holding everything in has done to my husband. Now that SME is grown, she often jokes about ALWAYS knowing how Mom feels about something. BTW, did you check out what she and her Dad had to say about each other for Father's Day? L gets tears in his eyes every time he rereads it.(He printed it out and hung it on the fridge)
I'm a firm believer in counseling, when necessary. Unfortunately, I knew that L would NEVER open up to a "complete stranger". Dr. Phil was my only option at the time. I LOVE Dr. Phil; he's so common sense and doesn't pull any punches. I'm always using his line, "How's that workin' for ya?", with my family.

Ann-Thanks for the compliment. I don't think my husband reads my blog very often. I have the feeling he'd be a little put-out at me for sharing so many personal things. Surprisingly, Z is fine with this. He amazes me.

Les- L and I can't wait to read your book!

At 6/20/2005 10:28 PM, Blogger TaiChimp said...

Water analogies: Les talks about being thrown into the deep-end. I just likened a young man's rough waters to white water rafting. He lost his Mom to lung cancer a few years back. He had a hard time while she was dying, both seeing her suffer, and then being left alone. His father and older sister would go to the hospital to her, leaving him at home to do homework he couldn't concentrate on.

You don't have to be Saints to be inspiring. Besides, there is a secret about Saints: they weren't saints. They were human beings who fought their many flaws. Most of them did cool things, but that is the combination of character and circumstance. Had there been no poor in India, Mother Teresa might have lived an anonymous but devoted life in a church hospital somewhere. The flip-side of course, is that there have been poor in India a long time. Mother Teresa was different from the other Wesern missionaries.

I think Sainthood was often a Medieval Nobel Prize Award for various accomplishments. You could perhaps draw an anology between the Martyrs and the Nobel Peace laureates, but that might be stretching it.

Okay, I'm babbling. I get an excuse, though -- it has not yet been 24 hours since I quit smoking. DO NOT congratulate me. I quit smoking about 15 times a year. Before I started smoking this time, though, I had quit for more than six-months. It's been years since I went that long.

At 6/20/2005 10:35 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Sage-I'm DEFINITELY a character; does that count?
Hang in there on the smoking. I haven't even tried to quit since the last time I started again(12 yrs ago).

At 6/21/2005 2:10 AM, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Thanks Tshsmom. I really appreciate you showing your human side. You have a lot of guts and I respect that.

No family is without their flaws and a strong family works through them together. You all will make it because you have the courage to do it.

At 6/21/2005 11:46 AM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

terrific post!


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