Sunday, February 21, 2010

When I grow up..

I read somewhere that children who are sheltered often end up with jobs that don't pay well because they never really think they are able to do more complicated jobs.

Well, that is sort of what I read, I can't express it the way the author did.

Anyhow. So let's talk about my life.

I was always an overachiever. My Mom enrolled me in college before I finished high school. I ended up on academic probation and almost flunking out.

I took a few years off, then went back and started digging myself out of that whole. Once you trash your GPA it is really, really hard to get it back up.

I am going to be honest here and say that I really wanted to be a funeral director. A relative of mine owns one *although he is super unhelpful as far as me wanting to go in to that line of work* and I have spent a lot of time seeing the inner workings of one. But to be one you have to leave the lovely state of WV. I never thought I could do that.

You see my Mother and I have this unusual attachment to each other. When I was 4 she almost died of Cancer. She basically thought she was going to die and everyone else thought she was too. She was very sick for a long time. She used to make me promise to put my wedding bouquet on her grave- and I was 4 so I pretty much had this bizarre fascination with funerals from a young age. She gave me very specific instructions on what to do when she died. Yes, I was 4.

But she didn't die, obviously, nothing can take that woman down, she is a machine ;) But she never really allowed me to grow up. She wanted more children but the Cancer took away that opportunity. So she kind of babied me to the extreme.

She does not let me make decisions for myself. I am 31 years old and she tells me when I have to wash my hair. As if I am totally incapable of deciding for myself when to wash my own hair. She also picked out my car and my car insurance after I left my husband. I did not get to decide for myself, even though I am paying for it.

I mean, sure, I CAN make my own decisions- if I want to be miserable and listen to her complain all the time. It really is just easier to do what she says than to live with the aftermath of it all.

Needless to say- I really, really did not want to move back in here. And if I had any other options other than a shelter, I wouldn't have.

So back to my job. I don't make any money. I am not paid what my education and test scores are worth. I think I could probably easily get a job in a state that has teaching jobs in surplus. But I am too scared to go out on my own. I just don't think I could do it.

Because I was raised to think that I can't do anything for myself.

Now let's talk about my past employment history. I was a Nanny for a long time. Someone hired me and paid me to help them raise their child- I worked a lot of hours.

Then I worked as a shelter manager and I was responsible for the safety of hundred of women and children during the time I worked there. In a situation that could literally be life and death for them. I made decisions all the time.

I am a teacher right now. I am responsible for 17 lives every day. What I do and say can shape their lives.

So yeah, I am obviously not a moron. *I can't spell, but that is a whole other blog post ;)* I wouldn't be hired to do these jobs if people did not trust my ability to make decisions.

So why am I so afraid to apply this to myself? And why is my Mother so afraid of letting me decide when to wash my hair?



  1. Wow. That is rough to have to go through that at age 4. Even if you weren't able to completely understand what she was telling you, you FELT IT. Those feelings later translated into the attachment and your willingness to continue to be mothered longer than most. You probably have a heightened sense of fear of what would happen if you lost your mother and you weren't there. Normal given your circumstances. But I also see you as working through this or you wouldn't be willing to wonder about it. Maybe you could find a way to lovingly tell your mother that you need her to let you make your own way in the world, and that no matter what you will still love her and be her little girl. {{{hugs}}}

  2. hey there
    i just read your whole blog and i just need to tell you how amazed i am at your strength. you're incredible. please keep on keeping on, you're an inspiration to me.