When Holding On Becomes Too Hard.
I’ve been waiting for you to arrive for a long time. Hoping that you’ll come to the party and be who you’re supposed to be.
But you just never do, and I’ve been waiting far too long now.
All the times I have wanted you to be my voice and use yours louder when mine fell silent, you never did. I’d come screaming to you, begging you to protect me, but it was always too hard.
You say you love me, but I’ve always found that to be such a token phrase, void of meaning.
Because people who love each other don’t stand by and watch their loved ones get hurt, time and time again, without rising to action.
The countless nights I’d spend crying into my pillow, wrapping the blanket around me tightly to provide some sort of the comfort you could have given me, were far too often.
And I always thought the pain would lessen as I matured into an adult and birthed my own babies, but it hasn’t.
In fact, it’s just gotten more painful, because no matter how I search, I still cannot find any reason why you let what happened, happen.
Now that I have my own children to protect, nourish and nurture, I feel even more lost as to why you didn’t do your job correctly.
Did you want me to be broken? Were your needs really that much more important than mine?
Yes, I was hoping time would provide a buffer, and that one day it would hurt less.
I was hoping you’d see the woman I am now, the woman who grew wings of her own accord and taught herself how to fly even when she was left to fend for herself far too many times.
I had to find my own village, come up with my own strategies, and heal on my own.
I hope you know, nothing ever replaces the role a mother fills. I’ve met many women across my life who have held me, wiped my tears away, and listened as my voice filled the space with my ongoing internal demons and struggles.
They’ve all held me. But you never did.
I’ve been waiting far too long now, and months ago I decided I couldn’t wait any longer.
Because, actually, my worth is not dependent on you. You don’t get to determine how I feel, or how your lack of presence and strength in my life as a role model makes me feel.
I’m strong, courageous, intelligent and brave, and it is not because of how you raised me, rather because of how you didn’t. The gap that your presence and lack of being there left is far and expansive.
The wounds from my childhood may never fully heal.
It isn’t okay to feel this way. It shouldn’t be this way.
This continual cycle of expectation, apprehension, let-down, abandonment and grief that has patterned its way across my entire adolescence and into my womanhood really could have been one I would have benefited from doing without.
I’ve been carrying around my wounded heart that is missing a piece for too long now. It feels tired, and I am weary.
I’m not going to let you hold that power over me anymore. Through your unwillingness to accept and confront, you backpedaled and I had to teach myself what real love is. And real love isn’t heavy. Real love isn’t cumbersome.
It is unconditional, it is stretchy, it is vast. It confronts, it does not run away. It is enduring, and it is by no means an inconvenience.
Jessica Offer lives on the Sunshine Coast with her wonderful husband and four spirited daughters. Two of her daughters and her husband have autism (ASD), but they’re all awesome. Jessica loves getting free therapy at the beach, eating salted caramel truffles, art, cooking, the TV show Miranda, reading and Yoga. She tries to make as much time as she can to do the things she enjoys, amidst the chaos that is life. Jessica is a straight shooter, and says it how it is, because she believes life is hectic and chaotic enough without having to muck about with words, and she appreciates the same from others. It’s Jessica’s aim to educate about girls with autism, normalize breastfeeding, embrace attachment-parenting and home birth, and empower girls to live up to their potential and be their true selves. You could contact Jessica via her website, Instagram or Facebook.