It's not HER fault...

It seems like every time we turn around, someone is blaming their mom for not loving them enough, not holding them enough, something! And honestly, while I went through a phase where I was inclined to hold my mother responsible for my faults, I've also spent enough time focusing on my own personal recovery to know one thing:

IT'S NOT HER FAULT!

Sure, my mom made mistakes. She's said and done some really horrible things. But she also did some really great things. I'm not going to spend a bunch of time listing out the bad things versus the great things. This isn't about the pro's and con's of my mom's parenting skills.

IT'S ABOUT ME!

Yes, I did learn some really twisted viewpoints and habits because of my upbringing. We all do. No one has a perfect parent, and if they do PLEASE introduce me because I'd love to have them teach ME how to be a perfect parent. I'm not trying to say that my childhood didn't affect me. Saying that would be lying, and lying is simply a form of insanity. I have no desire to dwell in insanity, so I'm not going to lie.

But at some point, as adults, we have the opportunity to step up and take personal responsibility. It's just too easy and convenient to blame all of our faults on our parents and their ineptitude or brokenness as they raised us. At some point, we have to put on our big girl panties and be a BIG GIRL (or boy...in briefs?)!

It would be easy right now for me to make the excuse that I was a crappy parent for several years because of how I was raised, my mother's issues, or even the weather. But easy isn't always healthy. At some point, every child who grew up in dysfunction--whether it be alcoholism, divorce, abuse, mental illness, or whatever--grows up enough to know that their childhood wasn't ideal.

And once you've realized that your childhood wasn't ideal, you have a PERSONAL CHOICE. You can do nothing and become your parent (although you've sworn to yourself and everyone else for years that you wouldn't!), or you can take a different path. If you stand at the crossroads and don't make a choice to take a different path, you've already made the choice to make the same mistakes again and again. You've inadvertently signed up to become your parent.

I want the whole world to know that I don't think my personal issues are my MOTHER's or my FATHER's fault...ANYMORE. I've put on my big girl panties and realized that thinking it's their fault doesn't change anything, especially me. Their choices have affected me, and likely will for the rest of my life. But I choose to learn new habits, new thought processes, new behaviors and lead my own life.

I was a crappy wife to my first husband. I didn't have any healthy behaviors modeled for me and I didn't know to look for a model. I was a crappy parent for many years because I did exactly what I had seen done in my household growing up. And eventually I heard myself saying the same words, using the same destructive tone, insinuating the same criticism, screeching the same anger at my children that I had feared and detested as a child. Until I could take responsibility for my actions, understand I had no other model to work from, and choose to find a better way, I had no choice but to

blame,
blame,
blame

and be bitter,
bitter,
bitter.

But my faith doesn't allow that. My faith says that I always have the opportunity to become something new (II Corinthians 5:17):

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!


Similarly, my faith doesn't allow me to beat myself up over and over for the past, no matter how bad it, or I, was (Romans 8:1):

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

I have the freedom to stop blaming my parents. I have the freedom to stop hanging my head in shame for my own mistakes, and I have the power through Christ to become something new and better! How wonderful that knowledge is!

And when I've stopped blaming my parents, I have given them freedom, even if they don't think they've wronged me.

No, who I am today is not my mother's fault. If anything, for all her faults, my mother did ONE thing right throughout my childhood--she made sure I knew Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. That was her achievement, and I'm so glad she did.

Father, thank you for giving me the choice to break old habits, to start new patterns, to establish new paths. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me even when I was really messed up. Thank you for never letting go of me, even when I was more than happy to place the blame on others. And thank you so much for seeing me through the toughest parts of my recovery process. I love you, well...because You first loved me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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