Solitude

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Frozen lake in South Dakota. Solitude can be a wonderful thing. Peace of mind and all. Picture by T. Smith

How is it that in a room full of people one can feel so utterly alone but then when actually by themselves in the solitude of their mind, nature, and a good book one feels not alone and very much at peace?

This tends to be the case with me, especially when around my family. I am the black sheep there is no doubt about that. I have a rough past that most of my family can’t even begin to grasp or understand and so I have a different mind set then them and sit there and observe. I observe a family that acts like everything is okay, like nothing has ever happened and feelings aren’t hurt. I watch a family where a lot of the relationships are built on lies or half truths. Every family may have skeletons in their closets but mine seems to have more than most. Some of that is my fault because my mother felt like we couldn’t tell people about the two things she does know about in my life. That or that once it has been dealt with we can’t talk about it anymore.

I think that is the hardest part for me, I know it was when I was trying to heal over my abortion. I needed someone to be there for me. I needed someone to tell me it would be okay and I did find that, but in the wrong places, and that ended in an abusive engagement. When someone tells you to keep a part of you a secret, even if they think its for your safety or to keep you safe its hard. I felt like I was a horrible person because of what I had done. She wouldn’t let me even talk to her about it so I was closed up inside myself, beating myself up. Wondering and asking all of the what if’s to myself.

Being able to let it all out and realizing that yes I hate when people bash abortion and its uncomfortable for me is my fault. But talking about it is healthy. Talking about it can help others. When I found my mentor in college, a college professor over a paper on cognitive dissonance it was the best thing to have ever happened to me. She told me her story and I knew I wasn’t alone. When you go through something traumatic you always know that you aren’t alone, yet at the same time you can still feel utterly alone. Knowing that you aren’t alone can help you heal, knowing someone is there for you where you can speak openly and get advice from someone who has dealt with it and coped helps.

When I write blogs like this or one of my very first ones over what happened to me I know there are people who read it and think the worst of me but if my situation taught me anything is that yes you can have beliefs over something and think a certain way about things and judge people but until you are put in a situation where you have to make some of those hard choices you honestly don’t know what you would ever do.

I wouldn’t change anything from my past. It has made me who I am, brought me to the path I am at in life of helping other. It has showed me what I want to do in life and what I deserve in life.

Sometimes I have learned the solitude a person experiences when being alone is for the best or when curled up with a good book, even just sitting looking out over a frozen lake. We need those times to compose and think and realize that who we are is okay.

Life will always be as okay as you let it be. If you let the bad control you then you could be miserable for a long time. Wounds heal and leave scars that are reminders but that is all they are. They don’t control who we are or who we can be unless we let them.

Growing Up

“Don’t you find it odd,” she continued, “that when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”
― Ethan Hawke, The Hottest State

I feel as if the above quote is exactly what I am going through right now in my life with college graduation in May and having to find an internship and something I would love to do. My mom is dampening my spirit and bringing me down. I get that  no mother ever wants their child to grow up and move away, but there is a time in which you have to let your child go and my mom is not allowing that. She hasn’t through my whole college experience and this year I have finally come into my own. I know who I am for the most part and who I want to be in the future. I know some what, what I want to do when I am older and graduate so here in a few months. I know that how I lived in the past is probably not helping because I got myself into some hard places and she had to bail me out of them, but I have done a lot of growing and now that I don’t feel as if I have to call her every day or go home every weekend, she is not handling it well.

I found an internship in South Dakota about a half hour away from my dad. She is throwing a fit because I’d be living with my dad and he hasn’t wanted to help out in the past but now that he wont have to pay bills besides allowing me to eat and for gas he is willing to have me more in his life. I think that this is some what true but I also think that when my parents divorced that because my dad had multiple affairs that she just really never wanted my sister and I to have a very good relationship with him. I don’t think that she has been supportive all these years in trying to let us spend more time with our dad and build that relationship. If we ever tried to build that relationship we always got made to feel like crap and like we were betraying her which is what she has been doing to me since last night.

I am going to visit my dad this weekend in South Dakota to see him, their new home, and to celebrate my twenty-second birthday with him. While I am out there I am going to Wells Spring, an outpatient program for youth to look at a possible internship, which if you have read previous posts you know I have pretty much already gotten. I am going to visit them, talking to a supervisor, get a tour, and some paper work. Maybe I will get there and be like, “this isn’t the place for me” But I think so far I would love it and as long as I am out there why not take the opportunity to visit it? So, out of respect for my mom last night I told her that I planned on visiting and I knew it wouldn’t go well no matter what but I did not expect it to go quite as bad as it did.

I knew that she would be upset and hurt because she wants me to be close to her, even though my brother lives in California (he has always been treated differently and not had things as hard as I have with our mom). Well she went ballistic. Tried to lay the guilt on thick and it worked, it made me really depressed and she hurt me pretty good last night. She wont listen to why I am looking at this place, hasn’t asked about the programs there, or even what it is. She thinks I am doing it for the wrong reasons. Well, let me put here that it is the only place I am looking at in South Dakota, other wise I am looking at two in Minnesota, and a ton here in Iowa. She even just admitted that she didn’t have to have me close to home but if my dad is there she thinks I am doing it for the wrong reason. She told me that she has been the only person ever there for me which isn’t a lie but shouldn’t be held over my head; also made it clear that she has taken out a ton of loans to help me get through college. She made it very clear that I pretty much owe her my happiness and life and where I want to be because she helped me through college.

I am sorry parents but you need to let your child grow up. Live their own life and be free and happy. Yes we will still make mistakes but even if I can get a job there after this internship, if I take it, and I only keep it for two years so I can get experience and then I start looking else where, then why wouldn’t I do that? I shouldn’t feel like I am the worst daughter ever because I want to live my own life and do my own thing. It is a suffocating feeling and she is at the moment ruining our relationship over me growing up. She wont hardly talk to me and when she does it is not nice. I think that at some point one needs to realize you have to let go. I even wrote a very nice thing on her Facebook wall today that said:

“Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move on. They move away. The moments that used to define them – a mother’s approval, a father’s nod – are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives.”
― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

I love you mom and I want you to know that no matter where I end up after graduation it is not me running from you but me just further figuring out who I am and being happy with myself and who I have become. If it weren’t for you and everyone else supportive in my life I would not be at this point in my life in which I feel like I can live my life and be myself and get a job I love and want to do for at least a long time if not forever. It is because of my up bringing through you that I have reached this point in my life and I do love you to the moon and back and this much !———————————————————-! Like in the book you used to read me when I was little. I wont live a million miles away but even if I am hours from you, you will always be in my heart and I will always be great full for what you have given me and shown me and all the support. In May I close another Chapter and start another and I hope that you remain just as supportive then as you have been through all of my ups and downs and mistakes and the hours of frustration I have given you over the years. I love you so much mom.

All that got me was a thanks and I still think you aren’t making this for the right choice. She doesn’t care as long as she is happy then why should her almost twenty-two year old be happy and living her life?

Spread Your Wings & Fly

I am a 21 year old college student, this is my senior year and I graduate in May. I am almost to the end of another chapter of my life and as scary as that is, I am completely excited to see where life will take me. I wish I could say the same about my mother. I get that it is a mothers job to worry and want to keep their families close but she needs to learn that I need to be able to go out, do my internship some where, and figure out where I want to be in life.

I have about 4 months before I have to really decide where I want to do my internship at and start applying places. That is November and when you say, “Oh I have to start applying for internships in November” it sounds like it is a ways away but its really not. I have been already looking at different states in which I could do my internship or would potentially like to live for a while, because I graduate in May but then have my internship in the summer and will be looking for a full time job. I would love to get an internship where I could potentially get a job offer from them when I am done.

My dad and I don’t have the best relationship and if you read my Daddy Issues post you really know how rocky our relationship is. Yet I find myself wanting to maybe live in South Dakota for a year or two at least until I can save up some money to get a place and start paying back my school loans. I started looking at internships out around the Rapid City area and found a place called Well Spring and they have a ton of different programs, but especially in my area of schooling. My major is child, adult, family services with a focus in youth aged children. This means that I can work with anything from new born to adults and their families but my main knowledge or most of it will be in youth aged children which is considered age 8 to 22. I started contacting this agency and asking about internships and as of this morning as long as I keep in touch I have pretty much already been offered an internship position. This works nicely because its about a half hour away from my dad and he has given me two options. Option one is that I get an apartment in Rapid, which would be nice. Option two is that I live with my dad in a guest bedroom or they have an amazing, air conditioned attic that I could decorate and furnish and make my own. This option sounds amazing because they live at Fort Meede which is an old military base and their backyard is pretty much woods and they just have a gorgeous view. I would love waking up and looking out my window to that every day.

This is where the title of this post comes into play.

I have a rough past and my mom knows about some of it, like my abortion. But she doesn’t know a lot of it and how being three hours away from her when at school has been really good for me because I have had time to find myself and what I like and dislike and what I want in my life. Moms will worry but she takes it just a tad to far. She is my best friend and I love her to death but its like I am not allowed to live for myself, I feel like she thinks I can’t take care of myself, and she is a tad bit suffocating.

When I am at school if she doesn’t hear from me once a day she thinks that something is wrong with me and I get a ton of phone calls and text messages, sometimes even Facebook messages. I love talking to my mom but my grandparents understand better than my mother, they are very old fashioned, that I need my space to find myself.

Today I brought up that I will do my internship either in Iowa, Minnesota, or South Dakota and the fact that I even brought up South Dakota caused and argument and she made me feel really bad, like some how I was betraying her. She has no idea that I already pretty much have an offer for an internship for some where it sounds like I would love and will probably go visit when I go out and visit my dad here in about a month or so. I hate that I can’t tell her because she is one of my best friends and I love her so much, but anything to do with my dad does not go over well.

When I brought up places today she kept pushing and pushing for me to apply for places here and thinking I will want to live here and near her for the rest of my life. But yet she was okay with me looking at places in Wisconsin. Which makes me feel like she doesn’t really care where I go as long as its not with my father. Moving there would give my dad and I the chance to bond but it would also give me the chance to make a life for myself and keep figuring out who I am and what I want in life and where I want to end up all together eventually.

I get that parents worry, but my frustration comes from parents who think they can control their child’s life until the day they die. I will always value my parents opinions and thoughts but I am my own person and I want to live my own life. I don’t want to move terribly far away but I want to be a way. Some day I would love to move to Seattle or Colorado or some where not near here. Family means the world to me.

Another example of parents needing to let their children live their own lives is one of my male friends is 21 almost 22 and his parents are still trying to completely control who he dates. I think that listening to your parents thoughts and feelings on some one is very important because some times they see things that maybe you don’t, but he as been trying to date a very nice girl, who yes they dated once and it just was the wrong time for both of them so it didn’t work and she didn’t break up with him in the best way because she just quit talking to him, but now she has been there for him for over a year through everything and she probably knows more about him then they do; but they gave him flack when he changed his status to in a relationship with her on Facebook. I think that, that is a scenario where they need to actually get to know her, they have never met her, not even talked to her and then go from there.

My big thing is parents should want to see their children happy and doing something they love.

If I do this internship I know I will probably love it. Rapid City is a fun town and would be a blast, South Dakota has a lot of places to hike and things to see and do which would also be amazing and I think that, that is what I need in my life right now. It is not like I am making a poor decision and doing things to harm myself. That is where my frustration comes from, she should be happy for me. I can understand being disappointed but don’t take it out on me and guilt me into staying here, where I may not be happy.

I need to spread my wings and learn to fly on my own. That is how we learn so much in life.