A long time (33 years) ago a little girl was born to an immigrant father and an American mother. The mother was in an abusive relationship prior to marrying the father. She had already had 4 children with her ex, but wanted more. The father always wanted children. On their wedding day they were so happy and the pictures show how beautiful and how much in love they were. They also had a dirty little secret known as "premarital sex", but you couldn't see the evidence of that, yet. Six months later their daughter (ME) was born and then one year and four(!) days later another daughter (my lil sis) was born.
My dad wasn't sure if he could father children, so they weren't wasting any time. They already knew my mother could, but seeing how raising her first batch didn't go so well, she was up for trying again with a man that didn't beat her for breast feeding. True story, sadly. Obviously they were successful in having children, rather quickly even.
My dad raised one of my mom's children from her previous marriage because she was only 5 or 6 when they were married. The others were much older and chose to live with their father. So my older sister, myself and my lil sis were raised fairly equally. My lil sis and I were treated a bit differently, only because we were A LOT younger then older sis and didn't have a chip on our shoulders about my dad not being "my dad". I didn't really see any of it until I was much older. Now I look back and I see ALL of it. It breaks my heart that those kids treated my dad the way they did.
Anyway, so lil sis and I were a bit spoiled. Not in the way that we got everything and anything we wanted, but in the way that still makes my husband curse my parents. My mom made our beds for us every morning. I NEVER made my lunch when I was a kid. I didn't have chores. We didn't have to do yard work. My mom cleaned our rooms. We didn't have to eat our dinner if we didn't like it. I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the point and might be ready to come after me with a sharp knife. Please don't, I don't look good with a cut down my cheek, or a broken nose.
I did start doing my own laundry around 16 and had to clean my own room by then, as well. So it wasn't THAT bad. Around that time I had my first serious boyfriend. He was older then me and went to a different school. Of course he was SO much cooler then me because of this and my friends were oh so jealous! I was able to go to all sorts of school functions early because of my OLDER boyfriend. The downside to all of this, is that I was a dumb teenager. And when he told me I was fat, I believed him. Instead of throwing up because that was just TOO much work and GROSS, I decided to stop eating. Simple as that! I did eat occasionally, but not much. So my teen years were a blur of getting down to the correct size (0) and impressing my boyfriend. DUMB!!!
Once that guy was out of my life, and I was slowly realizing that I didn't need to not eat, I found a new guy. My husband. He cured me of a lot of things just by loving and accepting me for who I am. That's not to say we haven't had our ups and downs, because we HAVE! Oh yes, we have. It's been a crazy almost 16(!) years, I tell ya!
Things were going rather smoothly in our lives up to that point. He went into the Navy, he was away for two years, he came back and we started our life living together. It was a hard two years, but we got through it. We got pregnant with Nae, went through a lot of emotional turmoil with that pregnancy, but came out on the other side with a HUGE sigh of relief and a HEALTHY baby. Something we weren't sure we were going to end up with and were prepared for the alternative.
As we started our lives with this baby, I threw myself into the roll of mother/wife. I did nothing for myself. I was happy to do so, it wasn't like I was forced to be selfless, it's just what I did. When we tried for another for years and got nothing but heartache, I threw myself into the roll even MORE so. During this time, I was slowly finding out exactly who Beautiful Mess was. I was starting to branch out a bit. Then Zilla came and I found myself throwing myself back into The Roll and Beautiful Mess was gone. I was happy to have the second chance and was fine with throwing out the new/old Beautiful Mess and just be the mom/wife again.
As Zilla got older, I branched out again. I went out with the girls and really found Beautiful Mess. She was a self confident, fun, happy girl. She was still selfless and would happily do things for her family and friends, but still knew that time for Beautiful Mess was necessary.
That woman slowly disappeared the day we heard that my mom had a stroke and was in the hospital. There were many months of rehab, adjusting medication, and doctor's appointments to deal with for my mom. I was either at home with my family or at my mom's side. I was helping my mom with her rehab or I was home cooking dinner. It needed to be done, so I did it. No big deal.
The day I went to the hospital and watched my mom die, the woman I was before died with her. I was lost. I didn't know where or who I was. I felt like an orphan. I felt useless. Especially so after the funeral, there was nothing left for me to do. So I did nothing. I just did what would have gotten me through the day and onto the next. I did that for three years. I rarely went out without a member of my family. If I did, it was at the urging of Husband. I've never EVER heard of a husband BEGGING his wife to go out with her girlfriends, but mine did. He encouraged me to go have fun and de-stress. Told me many times "it's OK, everything will be fine. Just go, have fun!" I would sometimes end up going AND having a good time, but there was always a part of me feeling like I shouldn't be out. I should be home, with my family or with my lil sis and dad. Instead of confronting this feeling, I buried it...DEEP! I became what many people know as "The Beautiful Mess"
This woman rarely did things for herself. If she did, she was racked with guilt over it. If she didn't go, she would eventually get bitter and angry. She got so sick of people saying "I'm sorry" or "I know how you feel, my *insert dead person's name here*died too". She would nod and disregarding her feelings because she had faked it so well, everyone thought she was fine. She thought "if everyone thinks I'm fine, I might as well BE fine". It was not the smartest thing she's ever done.
This Beautiful Mess stayed a long time, about three years. This woman cried alone. Rarely did she reach out. Sometimes when she did reach out, she was rejected by those who were suppose to "get it". They did not get it. It might have been that she wasn't explaining it correctly, words weren't coming out right. It might have been very hard to see this woman, whom they all thought was strong, was not. It was all an act. She was strong on the outside and sometimes that act was to hard to bear and she would slip. Her friends didn't know how to react. So they pretended it wasn't happening. There were a lot of hurt feelings and some relationships that won't ever be the same.
Today, right now, there is a new Beautiful Mess. She is Beautiful, but not so much of a mess anymore. I am beautiful, but not so much of a mess anymore. There will be days that will be messy, but those days won't last for months or years. Those days will be short lived. I know that now.
Who I am today is because of who I was when I was anorexic. Who I was when we thought Nae was sick. When we discovered she was NOT sick. When my body betrayed me and ruined our plans of what our family was suppose to look like. The day we welcomed Zilla into our family. When my mom had her strokes. When my mom diagnosed with cancer. When my mom died and finally when I accepted her death as not the end of my life or hers.
I hope to be this Beautiful Mess for a long time. I hope that when life happens, as I'm sure it will, I'll look back on my mistakes and not repeat them.
Happy ICLW! Have a seat and let me grab you a cup of coffee, glass of wine or a can of soda and you can tell me about yourself. Lets chat! Or we can layout in the sun reading magazines, drooling over the good lookin people and their beautiful clothes and gossip. Enjoy your time in my little corner of the blogosphere. Thank you for stopping by. You're ALWAYS welcome.