I'm really not going to go on and on about this - :) I promise.
I've just made a few observations, and want to share.
First, you know how after something major happens, and you've cried and cried, and you're left feeling sooo spent, and sort of drifty and numb?
That wasn't how I felt yesterday at all.
Curiously, I felt far from it. I felt empowered. I felt free. I felt light and playful - not in an psuedo-ecstatic sort of way, either, but in a regular playing-with-the-children-and-having-a-great-day sort of way.
I felt happily normal.
Like it was just gone, and maybe like it had never been. (Which may sound weird.)
I think that's what the conviction of "I am done" did for me.
No after-affects, no residue, no revisiting.
Secondly, I believe I have been liberated in a surprising way.
I have just the tiniest (tiny-tiny-tiny, mind you) fear in me that it's not over. That I don't really have the power to say "I'm done with it" and actually Be done with it.
But as I was sitting here I was thinking, Okay, say Maddie came in right now shrieking (before seven in the morning when it's perfectly quiet except for the wind outside - I really need quiet in the morning) and screaming demands and generally in a grumpy mood, would I be extremely gentle about it? Or would it send me through the roof? (nerves, I mean.)
And my answer is - well, yeah, I'd probably flinch, and pick her up, and cover my ears if I needed to. And of course I'd help her get whatever it is that she needs.
But here's the difference - I'd accept my feelings about it. I would not feel ashamed that hearing a loud and shrill scream at 6:37am -violently shattering the peace and quiet- made me feel that electricity is shooting out of my fingernails. I'd not be angry that I'm feeling a bit angry about it.
Do you see?
It's crazy, probably.
Here's the thing: I've moved from "I hate this power that this thing (anger/frustration/resentment) has over me. I resent it, I'm angry about it, it pisses me off, and I am ashamed of it."
I have moved into "I embrace who I am, and what I am, and I accept these things I feel and I carry them gladly and voluntarily, and see that I can learn well from them."
It has lost its power over me.
I've understood for a long time now that we're all responsible for our emotions.
It's been complex, figuring this line between "I came to my mother for a reason" and in really bad moments "look what you did to me".
It's hard to witness other's instincts for gentleness and softness, and not feel that you got short-changed in the "let's give you a gentle childhood and teach you how to be a good parent" department.
It's not my wish to show so clearly my self pity - but I've often wished that my instincts and skills were very different from what they are.
But that's neither here nor there, really - because it is what it is, and things are exactly as they should be.
Hmmph. (begrudgingly) I guess. : ) (If you accept it in one instant, you must accept it in all, hmmm?)
Anyway - getting back to it -
I've known for some time that we're responsible for our lives, and our choices, and our reality.
And I've known that my reactions to particular situations are also mine. I own them.
And I've done a fairly good job of parenting in a more gentle and loving way than what I was taught.
While being a parent I've come to understand that the way I was taught is (by far) just not good enough, and I work hard (most times) to give my children a very different childhood.
But even in this I've carried that damned "I hate this about me, and I resent it and I'm ashamed of it."
And that is what's gone.
That is what is no longer invited in my being. That is what shall not continue to poison me.
All of that poison has been bled out.
I cannot say that I forgive. Forgive seems so "rise above and embrace it lovingly with understanding".
What I feel I've done is more like a powerful drop-kick off the planet.
Gone. Good riddance.
Suits me just fine.