Did I ever tell you that my sons are my heroes? No? That’s surprising, it’s all over my Facebook and Instagram. They really are.
You see 17 almost 18 years ago I never would’ve expected life to go the way it has. It has been full of surprises and twists and turns. It’s been full of battles ending in tears wondering if it’s worth it. Wondering if I am making mistakes, but holding firm on what I thought was right. They saved me as much as I saved them.
I’ve been blessed enough to go from “Aunt Kelly” to “Mom” in the last almost 18 years of my oldest sons life. I never thought when he was born I’d be his mom, my youngest though I should’ve seen it when I dressed him in the NICU and carried him out of the hospital. These last 8 years of being their mom has really put in to motion some much needed healing for me. Loving them meant they love me. A reciprocal unconditional love.
These last 3 years though they have done even more growing and loving. I met my love almost 4 years ago and my healing and growth has just been so substantial, I still have way more to go, but my guys love so hard. I am not sure who taught my loves so much about unconditional love, but I’m so glad I’m on the receiving end.
My sons began saving my life 8 years ago when I had to learn how to love them properly. I had to be calm and bite my lip and hold my tongue. I had to be able to be vulnerable without being weak. I had to share my own stories that I never knew I’d have to tell that could be reassuring and comforting, but I did. I didn’t realize my own abuses until I started saying, “I’m sorry buddy but that is not right and you definitely didn’t deserve that”.
I guess by parenting them and hearing their stories and making home a healing place, I realized that if it wasn’t okay when it happened to them, then it wasn’t okay when it happened to me either. I was their mom for 3 years before I started getting involved with therapy of my own, and 4 years before I started a full progressive therapy program.
I knew that if I wanted them to heal, that if I wanted them to believe they can overcome and learn to live a free life that I had to show them it was possible. That I had to become free, but free of what exactly? I just knew inside I was hurting from the couple things that my whole life wouldn’t leave me alone, and I needed help with that, and healing from my abusive marriage.
Here I am 4 years ago and still not able to predict a PTSD trigger, but that’s why they are triggers. I needed know when or where they will come from. I will stay away from news and tv and radio and try to shelter myself from the unexpected triggers, but life is unpredictable and I cannot possibly know when or where a trigger will be hiding. For me this is because of the types of and the length of time exposed to a traumatic environment or experience. It took my 31 nearly 32 years of life to be free of my abuse and neglect. Sometimes I fear my love made a mistake by “rescuing” me, but then I remind myself that I didn’t need him to rescue me even though it was a hard situation. I just needed love to soar.
That love my sons started long before 8 years ago when I got to love them before they were mine, but once I became mom and they confided in me that I truly began to become free of my bad stuff.
Today I still wonder about every word I say to them, every interaction, every good and bad moment if I am messing them up. When I fail or fall short I feel as if they deserve so much better than me. I feel they don’t deserve a depressed and sad mom, but it’s because of them that I’m even able to feel anything.
I feel that my love deserves a partner isn’t depressed, that my sadness is bad for him and ruining his life, just as much as I feel it ruins mine. I feel like I’m hurting them. I feel like I’m the worse thing for them.
Even though I have these feelings I know reality. I know consciously the truths, because they tell me them, because they truly love me I truly believe them. I just struggle. I have no confidence in myself and I am affairs that I’m going to make them leave me, putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect and to never mess up, because my subconscious and conscious cannot seem to get on the same page.
My heroes I love you so much. I know it’s hard to believe some days, but I do. My sons you will never know how much you have saved my life. Your smiles, hugs, laughs, kisses, tears, every last bit of it has helped me become free. Your love has encouraged me to do things I would’ve never done before.
My love you are one of those things my little loves encouraged me to do. To finally contact you—them, to go on a date with anyone—them, and then you can along to help them love me the way no one else ever could. You don’t understand how amazing you really are, and I haven’t been well this last year and a half and I have forgotten to make you feel how amazing you are.
You have picked up the pieces that were already on the floor and put them together again. When they broke apart again, but this time in a pile way bigger than the first. This puzzle needed more work, more effort, more time, more energy, more of your strength. Even in your weakness your strength showing through. You are the glue that holds these pieces together once you put them back together. I will never be able to repay you for every little thing you’ve done.
The three of you save my life everyday. Even when it’s what feels like the end of the world to me, you three reassure me that we are a family made of love and that I am loved even when I feel like the worse thing for anyone. My loves you have my whole heart.
I’m sorry depression runs my life sometimes. I’m sorry my depression hurts you all too. I keep working everyday to be the best version of me. I’m sorry my trigger has lasted 2 years and I promise to keep working on being the real me again. Gentle, kind, compassionate, caring, loving me…I will be her again.
I will set myself free from, “what others may think”, and just be free. I promise I’m getting there. I love you 3 for giving me the courage to set myself free from the things that control me.