Guest Post from MPerfect Mama


Why I don’t read more:

I think it has to do with the same reason I don’t watch baseball any more.  My mind is trained for constant, unending action.  A moving forward that never stops until an exhausted mama finally gives in to sleep at night.  I can’t stop and slow down and smell the pages of the old books I used to love so much.  Unless it is a thrilling novel that I can’t put down—that propels me forward with the speed I seem to need so desperately.  I think I must secretly tend to the melancholy, with the fear in which operate so feverishly to never be alone…with my thoughts.  Those books that challenge me to think.  They create space enough to sit quietly with myself. And then I see all of the things I need to change, or could improve upon.  And then I put the book down and set to fixing myself in my mind (which is rarely successful), and never finish the thing which so intrigued me initially.  That is a propelling forward of itself isn’t it?  The need to constantly improve?  What if I just sat for a while and allowed myself to be me.  Sitting in the midst of my imperfection, messy house, perpetual lateness, secret laziness, despising of all things domestic, wondering why I am a stay-at-home mom when I struggle to stay off the phone and with my kids.  How could I ever be a homeschool mom?  I hate to sit still.  The only way I can sit still is on my phone, endlessly scrolling from one idea to the next, or zoning out in front of the tv.  Even with friends I seem to need to mill from one to the next, never settling for one or two good friends to dig deep with.  And the friendships I often most desperately pursue are with those with whom I’m not on entirely stable footing.  If I’m not positive that they really like me, I can jump back on the hamster wheel of trying to impress them with who I am which is mostly based on how much I can do and how spiritual I am.  I can do a lot, and I am deeply spiritual.  But I am also kind of a mess, a wonderful mom when it comes down to it, one who hates to cook and puts everything before exercising even though it brings me a lot of energy and joy.  Why do I feel like I need to put the things that bring me the most joy on the back burner?  Why can’t I just live?  Be lazy if I need to be.  Take an hour to sit and read a book.  I need constant stimuli.  Am I really such an extrovert that I need to be connected to people every second I’m awake?  Do I really need such constant confirmation from others that I stay strapped to Facebook for affirmation?

Yes.  I am an exhausted extrovert who just needs to take a break and lie down for a while.  I need to be done doing, but I don’t know how to.

MPerfect Mama is a stay at home mama who is imperfect but perfectly loved by God. She “m” perfectly loves her kiddos, husband, God, and everyone else around her. The days when she actually choose to live her life in the present are precious and beautiful. You can read more of her work at MPerfectMama.weebly.com.

The Lame Blame Shame Game


I posted this Wednesday (below in italics along with image of butterflies) this week on my Facebook page. I am trying to be braver and more honest by allowing my true voice to emerge.  It has emerged — always been there — I just have not allowed myself to share the voice openly.  I like to write live so social media and blogging really works for me.  I do work on books at home, that are safe from the shadow and sight of eyes, but being a fire sign, Aries — I like the live–put-it-out-there-in-the-moment kind of writing). I felt like I had come out of the closet when I posted that on my Facebook page (do know that I was in no way brave enough to share it on my Facebook page where I have 600+ friends and frenemies), as a recovering co-dependent, worrier, obsessive, control-freak, fixer, rescuer, etc…you get the drift. I am not an addict or alcoholic, but I do follow the 12 steps.  Alanon has helped me find my voice and my people. I grew up in an alcoholic home.  Although my father was not actively drinking, there was a history that was not talked about (I do hope I am brave enough to tell that story).  He was also bi-polar so there was that too.  Already, I am feeling shame for outing my father, whom I have so much love, respect, and compassion for. I feel shame in even acknowledging there was a problem. I do believe there is nothing wrong with sharing my story. That is the most important thing I have learned in Alanon — keep the focus on me.  Which works just fine for me as I love to talk about myself. 🙂  Still, I am petrified of posting this. Thinking it will prevent me from getting jobs, making friends, being vulnerable. There it is — vulnerable. Gives me shivers. I worked my whole life to create a facade that there was nothing wrong with me. Not a damn thing is wrong. I am FINE.

But the more I read about success, the more I read about failure. The more I read about joy, the more I read about pain. It’s the human condition. We are flawed. So, I am going to emerge from my cocoon of shame and fly free of fear. Here’s to it.  My voice has become too strong for me to suppress it. And you know what they say… “I don’t want to die with the music in me.”  (Who said that? I googled it without any luck. Will require further research. Post in comments if you know.)

butterflies

I feel like I have changed so slowly…healed from thick wounds that almost made me bleed out. My program has helped me in my recovery. I am an Alanoner. There. I am released, like the butterfly from the cocoon.

It’s funny how I hold this secret with some shame. Not as strong as it once was. My father was an alcoholic, although he did not drink. He quit when I was born — what you call a dry drunk. Now because of my butterfly wings, I have compassion for his disease. I have compassion for his struggle. The Korean War destroyed his dreams — his poetry. He was a kind man when he was not possessed by shame and self-hatred.

It’s sad, you know, that too often that not — we do not get to tell our parents how much we understand them and love them. Time overlaps for some, the generations touching, but for so many like me, our parents are gone. We are left with corpses filled with poetry.

Then I wrote this on Instagram.  Like I said, the voice is getting too strong to ignore.  My father told my best friend, Heidi, on his deathbed — “Don’t let Megan ever stop writing. You have to make sure of that. She is a writer. She is a journalist. She is related to Agatha Christie and Percy Bryce Shelley. Promise me, you will.”  My friend, who is a beautiful Wyoming cowgirl, assured him she wouldn’t. It was years after his death when she told me that.  I got mad at her at first for not telling me he said that, as my father was King of the Third Person Compliment. He rarely told me he was proud of me directly. Emotions were so damn hard for him (although he was pretty good at anger). Bless his heart. Anyway, like I was saying, the voice is too strong to resist. I’ve hidden behind a facade of perfect for too long. I am far from perfect. Nobody is perfect.

So, I started writing this on Instagram and decided to continue the post here. The Instagram post is below in italics. You can also access it by clicking on link.

Instagram photo post: "Dishes in the Sink"

Instagram photo post: “Dishes in the Sink”

Last night I scrubbed a caked on pan that had made homemade pasta sauce, cooking on the stove all day. After a lively dinner party filled with good friends, loving in-laws, and wild four year old boys, I did the piles of dishes. The pans were piled high. The pasta sauce pan was last in the sink. Its gunk gathered in thick crusts I had to scrap off. My guests had left. My husband and son slept on the couch.
I scraped the thick pasta sauce crust from the bottom of the pan with a spoon and thought about my own gunk at the bottom of my heart…my habits, my health, my hearth. I felt good knowing I am doing the work needed to heal. I told a friend over after dinner candlelight that grief was easy to share for me. It was shame that was difficult. “I don’t do shame,” I said out-loud. But yes I do, I thought. I’m working on finding its crusty cause and I’m doing those dishes by hand. For the dishwasher (#metaphor) can only rinse so much.
 
I’ll have to continue this on my blog as I am afraid I won’t be able to post this as Instagram has a character limit. Go to live link at top of profile: Memomuse.wordpress.com for rest of post.
What’s funny is, after coming out of the shame closet, it really isn’t that big a deal. I feel liberated.  I shared this story at my Alanon meeting this week. I told the group (it was a 4th step meeting — Fearless Moral Inventory) that I posted my come-out-of-the-shame-closet post on Facebook on Wednesday night and felt so liberated when I woke Thursday morning.  Then I looked on the Facebook page and saw the stats — “0 people reached.”  That caused a great chuckle in the group.  Anyway, it’s good to be out of the shame closet and feel the warmth of the sun on my face.  As a good friend always says (love you Lizzie), “You’re only as sick as your secrets.”
I love this Ted talk by Brene Brown about shame.
 P.S. – The Lame Blame Shame Game is a chapter in my memoir.  So, no stealing that great title.  I have it copyrighted.  Ha ha. Feel free to reference it, but I want credit.

Presence | Mamalode


Presence | Mamalode.

Please click on the essay. I get paid by the unique visitors. So please share. It may be too sad for some to read (grief trigger warning), but it’s one of my best pieces of writing. It’s also the story about my mom dying. She literally died on the phone with me. I think most of you know that as she passed on Christmas Eve two years ago. I even was a Debbie Downer and posted it on Facebook when she died (sorry, my mom dying trumps Santa pix).

Check out Mamalode — “America’s best parenting magazine” — Lisa Stone, CEO of BlogHer, while you are on the site (after you read my essay of course). Talk about audience. It’s an authentic magazine about motherhood. Heck, they are sending a wooden minivan (yes, a real one) around Missoula, Montana and asking moms and dads to write down things they want to let go of and they are going to light it on fire. I wish I could attend that bonfire. All non-Missoula folks can email their shit in. I plan on it. I am letting go of guilt and shame this year (and trying to let go of unrealistic expectations, although those really work for me and help me be an over-achiever but it really doesn’t work for me so good).

Click and share and get some Kleenex if not for Betty leaving this world in a blaze of Christian glory. Just so you know, she was tight with Jesus. She saw him twice in her life. And Betty was never one to exaggerate. She was one to tell someone off; she just didn’t lie. She saw Jesus once when she was a little girl and once when she was “so depressed I couldn’t walk across the floor to pick up a toothpick,” in her own words. She had just had her 12th miscarriage with her first husband. So my sister and I are here miracles.

So, before this ends up a chapter and YOU are exhausted from just reading the update, click and share.