Posts tagged ‘forgiving yourself’

May 2, 2012

The Blue Stocking Saga

Of all the blog posts thus far the statistics tell us that the most read one has been “My name is Catherine and I am fat’ followed by ‘The secrets we keep’. Clearly my failings are ‘helping’ others to live better lives or have a good laugh. If you liked both of those two previous blog posts then you’ll love this one as well.

I wish I could say that this happened a couple of years ago but alas it was just this morning. John had to leave for work early so I was all hands on deck for the feverish rush to get ready for school. We were only a little behind schedule when I suddenly remember its school photo day. In the middle of getting Poppy dressed, making her lunch, getting her breakfast and getting myself ready I have to find the ‘school photo’ form. As I lay my hands on the form I remember that my credit card expired on April 30th and its May 2nd and I need to phone and activate my new credit card. I go looking for my handbag to get my purse but I can’t find it anywhere but when I go upstairs to grab Poppy’s blue school stockings I spy it on the bedroom floor. Yay!! I phone the credit card company and of course get transferred to another department and all the time my stress level is rising. Finally the credit card is activated and I fill out the photo order form. Then I realise I have no fruit for her lunch. Who cares I think to myself. I pop a fruit puree thingy in her lunchbox instead. Poppy tells me I can’t do that because it’s not considered to be real fruit, ugggghhhhhh.

I then attempt to put on her school stockings but she hates them, I wonder if this is a genetic thing because I hated them too when I was a kid. She’s pulling them out of her butt and she keeps telling me they feel funny in her shoes so the shoes come off and on and off and on and off and on again as she tries to perfectly position her stocking so it doesn’t annoy her. Somehow through this process I am remain calm but she’s starting to lose it.

Anyway the whole stocking thing becomes a nightmare. The whinging and sighing continue and finally I can’t take it anymore and with more dramatic flair than Paris Hilton I snap, crackle and pop!  I totally ‘feralized’, that is morphed into some hideous out of control, irrational monster.  I rip the stockings off her body yelling ‘right that’s it!! No more stockings. I don’t care if you freeze this winter, I don’t care if you beg me to wear these stockings you will never, ever, ever wear them again!!’ I am now on the way to the kitchen to grab the biggest pair of scissors we’ve got and I cut the stockings up in front of her and then rip them to shreds with my hands. Not my proudest moment as a mother but just a tiny bit satisfying.

We both go quiet. She starts to cry because she can sense the worst is over and her tears are of release and relief. I watch her cry these big gloppy tears that begin to stain her little face, and in that moment I imagine viewing her first ever set of school photo’s in a couple of weeks . They will probably capture this sad little orphan Annie face with the red rimmed eyes and immortalize for the next 50 years a special piece of mothers guilt labelled the ‘blue stocking saga of 2012’ just for me. Perfect.

After a while I ask her if she is upset about the stockings and she admits with a big smile that she thought that the cutting and shredding part was great though she didn’t really like the yelling part and she admits she was a bit scared. I cup her face in my hands and apologise for yelling and scaring her. We hug and I kiss her tears away and off we go to school.

During the day I have to buy a present for a baby so I am in an out of kid shops for hours. I do quite a bit of ‘stranger confession’ in the check out line ups and everyone finds my story hilarious. I even try it on a mum at school pick up and she laughs too. Not in judgement but in understanding. I feel better.

One of the biggest tenants of the Christian faith is forgiveness and while we are constantly reminded to understand, grasp and model forgiveness towards others and to ask God for forgiveness ourselves, no one really tells you that sometimes you need to forgive yourself. Poppy had forgiven me and I’d asked God too but I struggled to stop flagellating myself.  All day I kept it up.

Forgiving yourself is critical for you and for those that do life around you simply because ‘hurting people hurt others.’ The longer you avoid forgiving yourself, the longer you allow yourself to dwell on the feelings of guilt, self-disappointment and failure. You become your own judge, jury and executioner and you impose on yourself a degree of suffering for what you did. This then causes you to feel even worse which will possibly result in another explosion or implosion depending on your personality and preference.

The reality is that you cannot change what has happened. You cannot restore lives to where they were before the event. The only choice you have is over what you do next. You can either choose is to be restored or to re-offend.

So just please just forgive yourself already, I finally have, it is only then your healing can begin.

Over and Out,

Catherine xo

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