Normal.

Every morning for the last 19.5 months, I wake up smelling like baby pee. Every. Single. Morning. And at that exact moment I begin to pray “Dear God I just want to be normal.”

I do this for hours and hours every single day, its like a mantra. I sound like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, so maybe if I click my heels three times I’ll become a normal human being. A normal mom that doesn’t volley between soul crushing stints of depression and extreme highs and periods of having no emotion at all. Here’s my thing–there are people that are born and they feel like the opposite sex trapped in a body, and I feel that same way. About my age, AND my life. I don’t feel like this is me at all. I’m not supposed to be 22, I’m probably like 40 or something. I annoy myself when I act like a 22 year old would, I get annoyed when people say “you’re still young” because to me I’m not. I don’t feel young, and I don’t feel I’m at a point where I can make many more mistakes and still come back from them. So I don’t understand when people are like “I wish I was 22 again!” Good for you. I don’t.

I know ya’ll have noticed I’ve been absent from twitter a lot more lately, and if you haven’t we’re not friends anymore (I’m kidding). But here’s my issue; when I graduated I had all these expectations and goals and ideas and so far none of them have worked out. For the past few days, I have felt so much pressure and disappointment in myself that I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if ya’ll know, but the only thing I do right now is coach, and when there is no school and no games I do nothing but sit at home and apply for jobs and think. I know I’ve said this before, but my parents have always told me that I was raised to break a cycle that’s been in my family for years–to graduate college and be normal.

What. Is. Normal? WHAT IS NORMAL?! Is it the American Dream? Because from where I’m sitting right now, that seems way further off than it was before I graduated, even. I don’t fit in with my family in the belief that I can continue the rest of my life by myself. I mean I could, but I don’t want to. I want to eventually become submissive and less of an asshole, but my mother doesn’t think that’s right. But I also don’t fit in with other moms my age (in my town) that believe you do whatever and become whatever to not be a single mom anymore. My belief system as a mother and as a wife (eventually) are completely different than the way I was raised to believe. Living at home, it’s really difficult for me to be able to parent and date and live according to my own beliefs because of their overpowering influence. I feel suffocated, honestly. I think to me, normal is being as adult. I want to have to work and be able to run my home the way I want it to be done. I want to clean to my own standards and genuinely not have to ask my mom if someone can come over at 22 years old. Instead of being helpful and supportive, I hear negative comments almost constantly every day and my grandmother believes she can say whatever she wants to me and I’m not supposed to say anything back. I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe any parent should allow someone to do that to their child. Especially as a mother myself.

I think that’s another reason I just feel like I don’t fit in here. I am a grown woman–I may not be able to find work yet, but I am 22 years old and I have my own child that I always put before myself. My mother and grandmother didn’t finish my degree for me–I did that. They didn’t make the sacrifices I have for my son, and they don’t understand when I say that if I say something shouldn’t be done don’t do it. I feel powerless. If I don’t run anything by my son’s dad, I shouldn’t have to run it by my mother or grandmother either. I just feel so trapped. I don’t like being overpowered and I don’t believe that my mother or grandmother should be allowed to guilt me for the way I want to raise my own child. If I want an opinion on how to parent or how to date I should be able to ask and if not its because I want to figure it out on my own.

My mother and sister think the way our life is is okay–I don’t. I don’t believe age gives you automatic respect and I don’t believe that being family should give someone a free pass to make me feel worthless. So in reality, I was raised to be in abusive relationships, I was raised to allow people to call me whatever they want and make me feel badly without standing up for myself because that’s what is expected in my family. They expect to always have an opinion more important than anyone else or you’re brainwashed or unhappy and that is also an abusive behavior. Here, you do as you’re told and don’t make your own way and I do not like that. I’m not normal at home and I’m not normal in the real world either. Instead of saying “here’s what you did wrong and here’s how you fix it” it’s “you did this wrong, that’s why you’ll never survive without me.” and I don’t like that. I don’t like to be guilted into thinking I’m wrong for having my own beliefs and opinions and I don’t want my son to ever believe that is okay to do.

My eyes were really opened up yesterday when my entire family turned on me and called me names and made me feel like crap over something I know I didn’t do. It really made me see that I am different, and that I really don’t belong here. I don’t want my son to hear that he ruins every day or that when he does something wrong he automatically acts like its someone else, or whatever. I don’t ever want my son to believe there is any person on this earth that can put you down and make you cry and you’re supposed to put up with it. That’s not how life works. In my mind family should be the first to have your back no matter what. If I’m wrong–tell me I’m wrong and how to fix it because if you just say “you’re wrong and you’re a little bitch” I’m automatically going to come right back at you like I would anyone else. I do not tolerate disrespect from anyone.

In my world, my son will always be who I choose–right or wrong. I won’t ever tell my son to stand there and take disparaging comments from anyone that won’t hear from me. If my son comes to me (like I go to my mom) and says this person said this and it made me upset then I’m going to go to that person until he is old enough to do it himself (and probably even then). I believe in standing behind your child no matter what, and if I ever do have to go up against my mother for him I will. Wrong is wrong no matter what your age.

I think the only good thing about these experiences is instead of getting depressed and feeling like I shouldn’t have been born like I used to, I learn. I know that telling my son not to put up with bs and then giving him bs he’s expected to take without saying a word isn’t ever going to work. “Do as I say not as I do” really isn’t a good technique–those behaviors are taught at home, and they will carry out into the world. I find myself doing the same thing to people I date, naming off what I’ve done in an attempt to guilt them for telling me that something I did isn’t okay, or allowing them to speak negatively to me. I see every behavior that I have been taught by my overbearing family. They weren’t bad, but I don’t know how to do a lot of things that are essential to a successful life (like show love through loving behavior) and things like that. I’m a work in progress, but the first step to being different is getting out of here and away from things I don’t want influencing my life or my child.

I’m not normal. I’ll never be normal, because I’m me. I’m a strong woman, but at times I am weak too. I know that I can’t fully express my own belief as long as I am here, and that’s really my first goal. It is hard to grow when you’re constantly cut down and told you can’t. So in reality, I wasn’t raised to be normal–I was raised to be who I’m told to be–and I am not okay with that.

If you pray, keep me in them–I really am struggling.

Xoxo, SSM

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