When I write here there are often strong reactions. When I share my situation, my mistakes and my feelings many people get angry. In fact, it can feel a bit like they have rallied the town together, armed with torches and pitchforks and in a wild frenzy they begin their witchhunt. And I am the witch. Their goal, their sole purpose, is to shut me down, with insults and judgment and imposed shame.
To them I am that woman. I represent all that is wrong and shameful but they, of course, are everything that is right and moral.
I know this isn’t true but to say it hasn’t impacted me would be a lie. People feel strongly about what I write because it cuts to the core of their beliefs. And maybe, for some, it takes them to a place they don’t want to go and forces them to think about their own lives a little too clearly.
It has taken me some time but I finally figured out that I am not wrong. I am not cruel and selfish and morally compromised. I am human and I am me. I am on a journey and this is all part of it. Would I have done some things differently? Absolutely. But at the same time I fear that if I had I wouldn’t be where I am now. And if I wasn’t where I am now I would likely be dead and I certainly don’t regret that.
I have learned more about myself in the last year than I have in my whole life. As I begin to accept myself and gain perspective this is what I know.
1. I don’t know myself at all. Until now I have lived my life for someone else. My parents, my friends, my husband, my children. I valued all of the wrong things driven by what I thought I needed to be. Other’s expectations of me (or my perception of this) have been my only guide.
2. I want to know love in my life every day. Until I met Jackson I had no idea that kind of love existed. That physical ache. That sense of completeness. That naked honesty and acceptance. Now that I do I can’t live without it.
3. I am not a good mother. This one hurts but it is true. This one will get the witchhunters boiling mad again but it is undeniable. Without self-love succeeding as a mother and raising strong, happy children is impossible. My hope is that as I figure this out I will find the mother in me and the desire to be her. Only time will tell.