Susan sent me her post today. She lives in Sydney and has two daughters. I cried when I read the post she sent me. Thank you, Susan.
When I was given the opportunity to guest post at Edenland (thanks Eden) I mulled over what sort of a blog to write. Should I do funny, sad or thought provoking? But then I thought about what Edenland means to me and for me, it's honesty.
I admire how honest Eden has been about her life, especially as I struggle with how transparent my life should be at my blog http://www.mummydaze.com/
So I thought I would take the opportunity make Edenland my safe space and talk about things I cannot mention freely at my blog so welcome to Edenland: land of my confessional.
I am a 30-something chick, who has a great life. However it’s taken a while to get here and to realise that I may actually count for something in this world. My father passed away 9 years ago and with his passing, the world as I knew it crumbled. As loving as my mother is, she was always into my brother, and my father was the only person in my family to utter the words: and how are you Susan?
When he passed, this stopped. No one asked how Susan was. No one knew what Susan was up to, where she worked, what she studied, what she liked, that she relied on alcohol a bit too much etc-you get the point.
It was like not having the support a family while having one to support. It sucked. The remaining family were so self-involved that nothing mattered except them and their feelings. It was a trying time and it definitely tested us.
Over the past 9 years my DH and I have supported them through: bankruptcy, violence, blackmail, divorce, alcoholism, substance abuse, money problems, police problems, runaway children, mental and physical illness, business failure and more.
Whilst all this happened they did not ask how I was, if my new marriage was thriving given the constant demands of such a dysfunctional family or if their demands were ever too much. I was just expected to give, help, no matter the financial or emotional cost to me. And I did. No matter what the cost.
But. One day it hit me. The last family member that asked me how I was or showed genuine interest in what I was doing with my life was my dad. That, while it was a long time ago, I actually did have someone that wanted me to thrive and be happy.
My father was the one who instilled confidence in me. He was the one who told me to be a strong independent female, to do something, be someone. To not just be at anyone’s beck and call, to never be a victim, to not feel lesser than, to not be fearful. And to know that my opinion counts.
It took 9 years of supporting others to realise I was not supporting myself. That I was not happy or fulfilled and that I never prioritised myself. Ever. Over anything. The cost of all this had been me. And for the sake of my kids and my future it was not a price I was willing to pay anymore.
2010 was my transitional year. It was then that I realised the price I paid for sacrificing myself and my needs for so long. I had become negative, unhappy, unhealthy and did not think I deserved anything I may have wanted or that I should strive to be anything. So I started to rectify this and still continue to take the steps I need to in order to have a better outlook on life and be the best me I can be while showing my kids how to do the same.
It takes time, there are still times I am wracked with negative thoughts, some too dark for me to confess even now, as I still sometimes struggle not having someone who is truly in my corner as my dad was, but the dark days are fading fast as I enjoy 2011 which I call “the year of me’, because you know what? I think I might count after all.