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The Terminator

When I was little, I was a tomboy.  I climbed trees and threw rocks.  I made mud-pies and rode horses like a heathen.  I was known for speaking my mind and being a very imaginative, creative obnoxious kid.

After we moved to North Dakota in 1981, I changed.  I became shy, due to all the strangeness that came with moving to a new state, new town, new school.  I was an introvert, hiding behind my books and horses.  I was a nerd.  Non-athletic and bookish, I didn’t fit in.  I was still imaginative and creative and obnoxious, but nobody really knew it except my family.

In high school, I changed again.  After my best friend moved to town to live with her dad, I began to come out of my shell again.  I still wasn’t athletic (one of my nicknames was “Jello Wrists” for volleyball, and I still wear it proudly), I was still bookish, and I was still creative, imaginative and obnoxious – privately, for my best friend and a few select others.  Outwardly, I was a model student. 

After I graduated, I went off to college and really started to become my own person, away from being my parent’s “little girl” and my brother’s “little sister”.  I wasn’t compared to anyone, because nobody there really knew any of my family, so I was able to just be me.  Creative, imaginative, and obnoxious.

Then I became a mom, and I changed again.  I was the “Mama Bear”, always protecting my kids, fighting for them, and being firm with them to teach them manners.  My best friend (same one from high school) used to call me “The Terminator”, because I didn’t put up with any crap from the kids.  Whining wasn’t allowed.  Begging went unheard.  Tantrums were met with their bedroom door closing behind them till they could behave. 

I’ve had a reputation for many years of being tough.

When I met OtherHalf and we started dating, one of the things that he said drew him to me was the fact that I wasn’t a “pushover”. 

A few years ago, my very dear friend and sister, Midnite, and her son, William, became part of my “chosen family”.  He still calls me “The Aunt” to this day.  His friends actually fear crossing me. *shrug*  I’m protective, what can I say?  Also, he talks me up a bit, so… there’s that.

What I’m trying to get across, and badly, it seems, is that I’ve had this reputation for so long now, for being the “solid oak”, that it pisses me off when I have a crack in the veneer.

I was so angry at myself earlier that I almost deleted the previous post, and all the comforting and supportive comments that went with it.

I’m supposed to be the glue that sticks everything together and makes it stay.  I’m supposed to be the rock that will not move.  The nurse that springs to action when someone’s in pain or injured.  The strong one that can handle everything.  The mom that’s always there to pick up the pieces.  The Aunt that doesn’t back down or show fear.

And I didn’t.  I’m not.  And I hate it.

Logic states that everyone’s allowed to have off days, to fall down, to be sad.

The Terminator says no.

We’ll see.

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11 thoughts on “The Terminator

  1. Sweetie, you can actually be both a rock and someone that can fall down and be sad and have fears and faults. Sometimes it is those faults in the rocks that make them so breathtakingly beautiful. Even rocks have to have somewhere to sit, a solid ground for it to find its strength to support everything else. No one notices or cares if they let that ground take a little bit more of the weight from time to time. {{hugs}}

    • Thanks so much, my friend. Right now I think this rock is stuck in the tumbler with the coarse grit. Hopefully soon, I can be hung about the neck and sparkle pretty… sorry, took the metaphor a little too far. Time to change things up a bit, I’m thinking.

  2. One big huge arm stuck out to the left, another huge arm stuck out to the right….. Now, closing tightly around you and hugging the daylights out of you! In everyone’s eyes you may be a rock. Even rocks needs days off and rest, or if need be, to time to be sad. No one wants an emotionless rock! You are a kind, sensitive, caring, and loving rock! The best kind! Your loved ones love YOU for who you are. And if they don’t, just let me know and I will come up there and start swinging some heavy Timber! There is nothing worse than an enraged idiot on steriods! You are an amazing person Brea. Do not beat yourself up for being human. Please take care of YOURSELF right now. Or else!! 🙂

    • urrrgh*can’tbreathefromallthehugging* BigBrother Mark, in my head, I know the words you say are right, it’s just that little irrational gremlin that races out at this time of year that is causing most of the damage. This too shall pass. My very own holiday kidney stone, I guess.

  3. Please don’t delete your other post… I’ve had a pretty rough day with many triggers from my family. I found your post rather refreshing and supportive.

    I find the crack in your veneer a beautiful stress line.

    • Thanks Regan. I came close, but didn’t delete. When it came down to it, I couldn’t delete the post because so many people had already responded with such support and caring. Big Brother is always watching. I couldn’t handle the idea of erasing their support.

      So, I guess it’s all their fault it’s still there. 🙂

  4. Being tough doesn’t preclude being vulnerable too.
    A few years ago I went to an Imbolc ceremony(and there’s a hysterically funny post in there because is was so lame and pathetic) which went on and on and on, adding little bits of ritual. At one point we were all invited to come forward, light our candles and state our intentions for the coming year. People shimmied forward one by one, simpering, “Light-heartedness” or “Youthfulness” and various light–and-love kind of intentions. I strode forward, lit my candle in its slice of log, and declared, “Invincibility” and stomped off. There was a brief stunned silence before others began.
    The point i am trying to make is that even though I asked to be invincible, I didn’t ask to be invulnerable(perhaps I ought to have done) and the two are not incompatible.
    I haven’t attended this ceremony again so my intention remains the same.
    be strong, Brea, but allow yourself to be tender too.
    lots of love,
    Viv

    • I have a vision in my head of you *stomping* up to the center and blurting this out in a tone not unlike an air horn. Loud, and traffic-stopping! Thanks for the smile and the vision, my friend!

      • Haha.
        Actually, I have a fairly quiet voice, but one that carries. It kind of cuts through noise without being noisy.
        One of the strangest compliments recently was from one of my courier colleagues, who told me I have beautiful diction….

  5. It’s so odd to me to hear you described as The Terminator. I’ve never seen you as an Oak, but always as a Willow…bending and swaying with the wind, and gracefully coming back to center. (guess I could make room in that description for “Whomping Willow”, as needed!)

    It’s so hard sometimes to cut ourselves some slack, but that’s what you need to do. When being bombarded with extreme situations it’s ok to give yourself room to feel everything that comes with it. A person can stuff things away only so long before there isn’t room to store it anymore, and then it leaks out, whether it manifests as tears, temper, paralysis (my personal favorite), or all together at once.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself…you deserve a break. HUGS

    • Thanks, my friend. It’s true that I’ve “let go” of a lot of that Terminatorness in the last few years. With the kids getting older, and their manners pretty much set now, and them pretty much self-sufficient. I guess I just don’t pick some of the same battles that I used to to fight. A lot more zen, a lot less obnoxious.

      And about the slack… well, I’m trying…so there’s that.

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