In an earlier entry, “The Awakening,” I mentioned a harvest of sowing wild oats. I gave birth alone at the age of 18 to a beautiful baby girl. I was alone because I wanted to be alone. As I mentioned in another entry, I was not about to trap a man, using a baby. In the nearly six months of adulthood, I’d experienced so far, I was struggling. A connected awareness was definitely missing in my functioning and it become very obvious to me, but I was unsure what to do. Things were being done, nothing was going untended, but I didn’t remember doing them. I had no one in which I dared to confide. Early signs of MS were beginning to show as well, but I was absolutely certain motherhood was going to change everything.
And did it, ever . . .
I never made a decision, until I made bad ones as an older teen and young adult. I simply tried to do as I was told and strove very hard to not displease my parents. I still remember in elementary school, a girl broke her arm and asked me to sign her cast. I wouldn’t do so without first obtaining permission from my parents. This is particularly ironic, in that I became a writer, and they are not terribly approving of anything I write. I grew up very afraid of displeasing my parents while great reverence for the medical industry was strictly enforced. I remember some very uneasy, queasy feelings early in childhood regarding health care, love and provision. I was not a normal child, not at all. I didn’t participate with other kids as a kid. So often, there was that uneasy, queasy feeling . . .
The idea was planted very early, that when I was “disciplined,” if my grandparents found out, they would be very disappointed in me . . . My grandparents were awesome, I certainly didn’t want them to be disappointed in me. I was also taught very young that it was rude and inappropriate to discuss what went on at home, publicly. So, as strange as I already was, I figured the rest of the world operated that way too. My mother now tells of the observation I made as a three year old when she experienced some particularly exasperating frustration and proclaimed, “Enough is enough!” In my three year old insight, I verbalized, according to her. “Ummm, enough is too much, a little less is enough . . .”
I chuckle now, but in one of the books I was writing, I was including the Scriptural reference for the Ten Commandments. To my chagrin, I had already typed Exodus 20:12 for the beginning and was checking for the final verse, when I noticed the verse I had entered as the beginning was actually the fifth commandment. “Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother . . .” Of course, as a Torah observant Sabbath keeper, I know the first four commandments, but the “rules” of my raising run deep.
Motherhood did in fact change me, all of me. Every broken piece of my awareness centered around this precious beautiful baby girl and every broken piece of me was determined to make her childhood so different from her mom’s. As I discovered the month she turned eighteen, different isn’t necessarily right. There are any number of ways to be different and still be wrong. There is only one way to raise a child right, and I didn’t do it. She was very disrespectful as a teenager and I was desperately hoping it was a phase . . . as it turns out, twenty years later, it was not a phase.
It wasn’t long after I had come to YHWH and I was praying for this daughter in particular, I was openly and audibly rebuked. Kneeling before our old burgundy love seat, I was asking Him, pleading with Him, to basically “fix her,” when I clearly heard The Voice. What I heard caused me to tremble, weep, and seek forgiveness, determined to repent, but unsure as to how. He simply stated, “Don’t ask Me to fix your god.”