I’m working on the Daily Prompt here from WordPress, just for something to do.
“When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?”
I think “(if ever)” more or less sums it up. I was a wild child- headstrong and precocious, reckless, self absorbed. And then suddenly, it all came screeching to a halt. I was 18 when I first met Husband, and for a short time, I really kicked the crazy up a notch; honestly still not sure why he ever stuck around then. I was too young for him, I had absolutely zero clue what being in a real relationship involved and just didn’t understand why I couldn’t carry on doing as I pleased. Anyway, 12 months later- we eloped. And no, I didn’t feel like a grownup then. I was still “doing as I pleased” just on a different track. I would find a way to stick it to everybody.
We eventually calmed our families and friends down and for the next 2 years settled in to our patterns of dysfunction. Bought our first home- still, no “grownup” feeling. At 22 I became a mom. I fought through the first year of my son’s life in the darkest ugliest depths of PPD, all the while, my own parents and Husband’s parents were imploding their own lives. We were all spinning around in the giant shitter of life and absolutely nothing to hang on to. Still, most definitely no “growup” feeling.
By the time my wee little man took his first steps, I had called it quits on my marriage. But mentally and emotionally, I was absolutely not fit to hack it on my own. I ended up living with my mom and her new hubby and my horrible nasty little bastard of a Step Brother. I remember calling my mom at work one day to tell her I was going to kill him to death if he opened his mouth again. There I was, 24 years old with a toddler on my hip, and the horrible nasty little bastard on the other side of the room making “Nyeaah nyeahh” faces at me. And I sure as hell didn’t feel like a grownup then.
At some point, I came to the realization that I couldn’t carry on like that indefinitely. I either needed to make a move on starting a new life, or find a way to put the old one back together. I decided “the devil you know” was probably the easiest way to go- and started the long road to reconciliation. We did the whole couples counselling and retreat thing, I jumped on the Kool-Aid wagon and went to Choices (yeah, it’s a different kind of absolutely crazy, but finding value isn’t hard if you’re willing to look)- and that first year we were back together was busy and hopeful and I remember I was happy. Deep down inside though, I knew we hadn’t really learned anything from our separation, and I felt like a total sellout. I thought a real Grownup would probably have stuck it out and made a life for herself.
7 years down the road, and we have blazed trail through some pretty serious shit. I’ve come to the realization that I’ll never be truly out of the woods in terms of Crazy and that relationships of any kind are really hard work even when things are going well, and that true Parenting at it’s best is really nothing more than trying ones very very best not to screw your kid(s) up the same way your own parents screwed you up. And that being Grown Up is the biggest illusion in life. So I could spend the rest of my days chasing a mirage or I could throw it all to the wind and just live.