Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mother's Day, every day, without a mom

So tonight my roommates and I were enjoying our study-break time together during this stressful week of final exams, and the topic of mothers came up when my roommate Cat mentioned her mother's constant facebook updates about her daughter.. Two other roommates had similar stories about their moms displaying their pride in their daughters via the world wide web, as well..
Lots of mother talk ensued, followed by family talk...

It felt just like the Mother's Days we used to have in Elementary school.. the ones where we would make some cutesy craft or picture for our moms and show them when they all came in to take a group picture with us..
There were several times like that.. Teachers would send home a permission sheet, and they would tell us to ask our moms to sign it; moms would come in to read to the class; moms volunteered to work in the school clinic.. My dad worked full time as well as being the single parent of three, and he couldn't do all of that school volunteer stuff. I probably wouldn't have wanted him to, anyway. I love my dad very much, but it was the principle of having a mom there that I missed. And that's what it felt like tonight.. I wished I had the memories like they do, good ones, to speak of.

I have always had a mother, but never a mom..
I have had a few brief moments, but never the real thing.. Snapshots of my brother, sister, and I visiting several different rehab centers; birthday cards on most that she missed, always telling me she was getting better and would be home soon; the few on and off months she lived with us, catching her drunk upstairs with my younger brother in the room trying to make her stop; I even had almost 2 years of sobriety with her.. 2 years that I will never forget.. But all of these moments were ruined with one sip.

To this day, I still am unsure if it is the disease or the choosing of alcohol and drugs over us that has caused her absence in my life..

I miss having a mom.. I know I have moms in my life, specifically Connor's, who take such great care of me and love me dearly, but it is not the same..

Sadly, I don't even know where my own mother is or what she is doing.. Is she still in jail? Is she out? Why am I getting phone calls from both inside and outside prison, then? I don't answer, so I have no way of knowing..
I can't answer. It hurts to talk to her. (But doesn't it hurt just as much to ignore?)

She put my grandmother in the hospital this time. Mama Sissy had to have surgery, and she'll probably stay in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. My mother strangled and hurt my aunt, her sister. And of course she said and did the same awful things that she does every. single. time. she is under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.
I can't just let that go.

My mother always comes at me with, "Haley, you know what it's like to have a problem.. to have an addiction, you have one too.. you can't judge me."
And that tears me up so bad.. she knows that it does.
It makes me feel like I'm just like her when I want so badly not to be.

I don't know what to do anymore.
I want to be there for her. I want her to know how loved she is, because I truly do love her with every fiber of my being, otherwise I would have given up on her long, long ago.
But the hurt is so heavy now.. heavier than ever before.
Talk of mothers hasn't cut so deeply since I was 7 years old and my mother had just recently left us..
And now, 14 years later, I have reached the point at which I am finally letting her go.

I love you Mom. I haven't given up; I just can't have my heart ripped to pieces to be half-stitched back together one more time..
<3 Haley

Friday, December 2, 2011

Less than perfect

Last night one of my roommates approached me after our 'house meeting' and asked if we could speak one on one.. We talk frequently, so I wasn't sure what it was about; I said sure.
She took me aside and began with, "Haley.. I just want to let you know that you mean so much to me and everyone else who lives here, and I have been wanting to tell you this for a long time.. I want you to know that you are so much more than a runner. You are more than a straight A student, an athlete, etc.. You are a child of God, and you will always be perfect in His eyes." 
Of course I am summarizing, but I do remember one quote word for word: "Haley, I will love you whether you go out and run 20 miles or if you decide to sit your butt on the couch all day."

I didn't realize how much that would mean to me.. I always feel like I am expected to be this amazing RUNNER/leader/student/daughter/girlfriend.. and I know that no one really expects me to be perfect.. but it's hard when I am surrounded by so many that only look at me as a runner and nothing more.

*Disclaimer: I seriously do love running again.. I want to run. I do love being known as a runner. Sometimes I feel like that is all some people see me as, though, and that is only one part of me.*

I have so many quirks and annoying habits, and my personality can be quite obnoxious when I'm super hyper/happy/crazy.. but I love who I am.. I SHOULD love who I am.

I am perfect, perfectly flawed.

I am so very tired of comparing myself to sick girls on my team.. or anyone whose only thoughts and goals in life are running.. comparing myself to people who put their entire life on facebook for the world to see and envy.. comparing myself to women in magazines or on tv I'm sure we all wish we could look like, dress like, act like, be loved like..

Not going to lie though, I am still struggling. I am bigger than I want to be. I am not running like I want to be *injured*. I am not strong enough in my faith like I want to be. I am not PERFECT like I want to be.

But I am working on everything, and I am a work in progress..
One of my favorite artists is P!nk..
Tonight I decided to listen to her song and the watch the music video, "F***in' perfect" Click to watch > Music video.

It just makes me sad knowing that the girl in the video sees herself in such a negative light, when the rest of the world and especially God knows that she has so much more going for her.

Last night my roommate and I ended up discussing my body image issues, and she mentioned her own issues, "What, you don't think I look in the mirror every day and hate what I see?" 
You see, my roommate is overweight.. I'm not trying to be mean here, but I need to say it in order to get the story across..
When she said that, my heart literally hurt.. I know she is big and all, but she is always so confident and happy, and she is truly such a beautiful person.. It hurts me to think that she would associate herself with any sort of hatred.

So if it hurts us to know that others are so harsh on themselves then why are WE?

We should treat ourselves with more respect, love, and tolerance. We deserve that.
I hope everyone reading this will be inspired to embrace your imperfections and begin to love them or change those habits, quirks, actions if they bother you so much.. But don't change who you are. Be true to yourself.

I hope this blog post reminds you all that EVERYONE is struggling. You are not alone. You do not have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. No need to strive for your own version of perfection because, honestly, you will never get there. No one can.
But you can be the best that you can be, the most beautiful you, by treating yourself and others with more love than you ever have before.

So much love,
<3 Haley