Blog Hoppin

Manic Monday: Full Disclosure

"Mommiiiiiiiiiieeeeeee!" (little arms wrap themselves around my legs giving them tight, loving squeezes)

Hey sweetie are you ready to go?

"YUP. " (grabs jacket & my hand) "Who's in the car with us today, Mom?"

No one sweetie, it's just us, c'mon. (I pull  him thru the door and out into the brisk cold where the late afternoon sun greets our faces with lazy kisses of sunlight)

"It's Monday, right Mom?"

Yes it is. Do you remember where we're going?

"To the therapist. You see the therapist on Mondays after school.  Every Monday, not Saturdays anymore, right? The therapist is like a doctor who helps you fix your mind and 'motions, right?"

Right. But first we have to go to Target to buy you a coloring book and a toy.

"A toy? Why? What kind of toy?"

Any kind of toy you want as long as it's not too expensive. We have to get you a toy because I forgot to charge the iPad and you need something to do whi-

"While you talk to the therapist?"

Yes.

I'm not perfect. I haven't been anywhere close to a Stepford Mom and that is why I believe in having full disclosure with my son about the fact that I see a therapist...a "doctor who helps (me) fix (my) mind and 'motions." He's seen my at my worst since Alex was born nearly 22+mos ago and if it's one thing that being in therapy has taught me, it's that full disclosure helps paint a clearer picture for people to see and try to understand. So with Brennan, I don't hide or keep from him the fact that I need help with certain parts of myself. He understands that there are parts of me that can be out of control and need help or "fixing" so I can be a "healthy Mommie," as he puts it. He's only going on 5 but he gets it or at least what he needs to at this stage and that eases the tension on the pressure valve of motherhood to appear like I have it all together. Cause let's face it-I don't, and after the past 2 years we've had I know he can see and understand that I don't, so why try to hide it from him? I can't. I refuse to. I refuse to perpetuate any kind of shame, negative stigma or unhealthy association to this. Even though mental illness runs in my family, it's something my family sucks the big wad at, talking about their problems, their malfunctioning parts, and seeking solid, effective treatment for them. And besides, it wouldn't be fair of me to tell all of you the down and dirty 411 of my life and illness and not tell him would it? Me thinks not.

Full disclosure. I give it to my son. In return he gives me the space I need to spend an hour untangling myself from the web of chaos that is my mind and digging myself out from underneath the plethora of emotions buried behind doors I have to learn how to unlock.....

I'm pretty sure the toy bribes make it an hour worth spent for the both of us.

this post is a link up!  Click the button to read more awesome posts and read the creator's blog....

Why I...Am Deconstructing Expectations

Expectations. Standards. Rules. Who makes the rules we live our lives by?

Who sets constructs the standards and expectations we strive to live up to?

Usually, its our parents who first do this, no? From childhood, their job is to teach us from right and wrong, set boundaries and frame a set of standards and expectations to live by.

If you grew up in a healthy environment with parents who supported and validated you, it's fair to assume that the expectations you have of yourself and others are pretty healthy...realistic...balanced.

If you grew up in a less than ideal environment, where you had to hustle for your sense of worth, work hard to please others and gain approval? I can say from first hand experience that the foundation upon which your expectations are built upon has a lot of cracks in it, making the life you structure around them shaky....unhealthy...and weak- it s never solid.

I've spent the last 4 months in therapy coming to understand and recognize that the expectations I have for myself and of others are not my own. I've spent a good portion of my 29 years being a people pleaser, constantly seeking the approval of others (notably anyone who had authority in my life...like parents) and always feeling the pressure to be good enough in their eyes. I would do anything to gain their approval, much to my own detriment...whatever they said was gospel, I lived my life according to who others thought I should be, from the way I dressed, to what I thought about what's "right" and "wrong."

Identity? I had none. I was who everyone else wanted me to be....

Until last year when I started breaking away in an attempt to disengage and untangle myself from it all...until I started realizing how unhappy I was, how unfulfilled I was....until I realized during a session that I really didn't know what I wanted out of life and who I wanted to be.

Since that session I've been making my way back to my box, finding out who I am and what I want along the way.

It hasn't been easy, but the payoff has been worth the growing pains...the isolation that comes with trying to transform your life and carve out something that's yours and yours alone.

My therapists told me I need to "redefine normal" and get a new vision for my life, one that's framed only by His expectations and mine...not others.

My response since then has simply been, "How then shall I live?"

Normal...it's different for every person. I didn't know that before 4 months ago. I do now, and I've spent my time since deconstructing what was built for me and in its place building and constructing something new... And healthy.

It's been a liberating experience. I can't wait to tell you more about the changes that lie ahead in the coming months...I'll start with the biggest and most gut wrenching one on Tuesday.

This post is part of a <a href="http://"blog hop over at My Own BeesWax with my friend Sarah Bee. Link up and read the posts listed!