Good evening, my minions. I have once again let a horrible amount of time pass in between these updates. In the spirit of this post, I hope you will forgive me. Because this post is about forgiveness. Though not from others, but from ourselves.
Quick disclaimer: The usual subculturific posts will resume on the morrow, tonight you get morose self-reflection.
It may have come up in the past that I have children. Two of them, precisely, two little demonic minions that are usually pretty good if I'm going to be completely honest. They are not Beasty's, although he has taken on the role of "Father" fairly well and has even done all right with the on-the-job training. There's been some grousing, but he does good. Which is something to be admired. The person who contributed to their development biologically is no longer in our lives, and no one considers this a loss of any sort.
So, that covered, as I write this I'm sitting across from my son, who is sipping hot chocolate, and I'm watching him carefully. I'm specifically watching his mouth - the right side of his upper lip protrudes a bit oddly. It is not obvious, you really have to be looking to see it, and I imagine I only see it because I know what to look for. You see, when my son was two, his lip was split open and I had to take him to the emergency room to get it stitched back together. He fell onto our coffee table after being carelessly and impatiently pushed back by He Who Must Not Be Named. It was an accident, but one that could have been avoided, and I have not yet been able to forgive myself.
This is just one poignant example of the slew of mistakes that I hold against myself when it comes to my children. Many of the mistakes are my own, even more are what I allowed my ex-husband to do, all the while telling myself stupid things like "Well, he does yell a lot, but he's not hitting them or anything," as if that made it okay. Berating an autistic child for not comprehending things as an adult would is just as cruel as slapping him would have been, it just didn't leave a mark. Volleying between outright ignoring and overly doting on the "normal" daughter wasn't any better. Yet I let these things happen, because I was so mired in my own misery and so unsure of myself that I would disagree (at times quite loudly) but I wouldn't intervene. These are the horrors that eat at my soul, these are the sins that bend my head and cause me to weep. These are the mistakes of my past that hold me back.
It serves nothing and no one to sit here and cry because I was too young and unready to handle motherhood responsibly when I first took on the mantle. My son's lip won't lose it's odd curve, he won't stop being autistic, my daughter's incessant need for attention won't go away, she won't magically become more thick-skinned, not a single damn problem will be solved no matter how many tears I shed or how much I beat myself up over it. It serves nothing. Yet it is still there, festering like an infected sore.
The key, the only logical way to more forward, is forgiveness. Forgiveness of self is hard. It is among one of the hardest things I have tried to do. And I still can't do it. I function by not thinking about it most days. I'm still working on it. No one else can do it, though. I could ask my children to forgive me, and they would. Lovingly and freely they would, and they would be more upset by my tears than by any past transgression from myself or a man they can't remember. They cannot grant me absolution, however, and asking their forgiveness would confuse and hurt them. Which would really just make the matter worse, wouldn't it?
My son is in bed now, the empty cocoa mug in the sink, and I was hugged and kissed before he ran off to his room. They are good children; loving and sweet, charming and playful. I have to acknowledge that whatever I may or may not have done, I have (so far) raised two pretty fantastic kids. And maybe accepting that will be my first step towards forgiveness.