A few more things have struck me about my past two Christmases, and since I`ve been asked to share my insights, that`s what I`m doing.
One of the things that traumatized me worst my last- Christmas-but-one was the guilt at not being able to be what my family needed me to be. It wasn`t that I collapsed in self-pity, or took the easy way out, or just gave up - the pain Wottaprick caused me was so deep that I just couldn`t go on. And at the time I felt terribly guilty that my two youngest boys were not only witnessing my pain, they also got to see how everything falls apart when Mother suffers.
It`s only now that I realize that this was a critical lesson to them right at the beginning of puberty, one that they really needed to have. They needed to experience at first hand how callousness and selfishness on the part of a man destroy, not only the woman who loves him, but the entire family structure.
My girls (adoptive daughter, now 26,) and adopted daughter-in-law (mother of son`s illegitimate child at 15) didn`t need this lesson because they basically knew it already. Each had already experienced the pain of separating from a man they still loved because he wasn`t good for them, so they didn`t need to witness mine. The message I gave them was was a different one. The message I gave them was, no matter how much you love someone, no matter how much you`ve given up to be with him, no matter how long you`ve lived in his house and how dependent you`ve become, no matter how old you are - if a man is bad for you then you get up and leave. And I reinforced this message by sleeping on various different sofas for the next five weeks and keeping us over water financially by playing my violin on the street.
What I basically showed them was that self respect is more important than love and certainly more important than survival. I hope I showed them also that survival is not really at issue - evolution is. If I didn`t teach them that, at least I learned it myself. Survival is just something you handle so that evolution is ensured.
I sincerely hope we have all learned our lessons first time off this time, because there is no way on earth I`m prepared to go through THAT again. Not for anyone! Not even for me!