It's a good thing that tears cleanse the soul. I've shed quite a few lately.
Yesterday, when I was dealing with the loss of the dreams I had for the girls to use the outdoor toys, I was hit smack dab between the eyes with a sense of loss I've been struggling with for a few months now, but I wasn't even sure what the problem was. And while this loss doesn't directly have anything to do with hoarding I'm afraid that, if I don't deal with it, if I don't acknowledge this loss, if I continue to stuff my feelings that it will backfire on me. I'm concerned I will stop moving forward and my progress will come to a screeching halt. I don't want that to happen.
Let me start off by being really clear about something. I, myself, am responsible for my feelings. They are just that. Feelings. They are neither right nor wrong. They just are. But pretending they aren't there, that they aren't real does me no good at all and has actually been quite detrimental, so here goes...
From the time Bugster was little, I dreamed of her wedding. There was nothing really specific about colors or particular flowers, just that ladybugs would definitely be incorporated. I dreamed of her being walked down the aisle by her daddy. Of her having memories of that incredibly special time with her dad like I have of mine. The whispers, the nervous giggles, the "I love you's", the "You're going to be just fine's", the voice catching in the throat and threatening to spill over, because tears of gratitude and happiness are just under the surface, and the squeezing of hands until you can hardly move your fingers anymore, because the blood is long gone from them. It was replaced by the love that passed between your souls as you share this incredibly special moment.
And to be honest, I wanted something for me. As I said yesterday, I come from a very large family. I have 8 brothers and sisters. And I always assumed that when Bugster got married, that they would be there. Granted, the chances of all of them being there was slim to none, but some of them would be there. They would be there to share in the celebration of our daughter starting her new life with her new husband.
They would be there to support me when I was overwhelmed with emotions. When we went down Memory Lane and saw her as a baby and then a little girl who turned into a lovely young woman, they would be there with me, so I didn't have to go down Memory Lane alone. They would be there to laugh with. To cry with. To hope with. To pray with. To help me wonder where in the world the time flew and how went by at mach speed.
And I know. I know. The wedding isn't about me. And I totally and completely get that. It is absolutely the bride and groom's decision, and not only do I get that, I support it. It was their choice to get married at the courthouse, and I respect that.
But I also feel a little cheated. I feel like Hubster was cheated out of walking his daughter down the aisle. He was cheated of that special walk that prepared him to give his daughter away. The one that's long enough for him to come to grips with saying goodbye to his little girl. Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful that he was able to give her away at the courthouse, but walking her through the doorway isn't the same as a long walk down the aisle. It's so abrupt. There's no time to prepare for what's coming, because by the time you realize exactly which foot is supposed to go first, you're already at your destination.
And I will forever be indebted to Mom for making the trip and surprising Bugster for her wedding. I honestly have no idea how I'd have made it through it without her. It was incredibly difficult, and I was on the verge of tears the entire time. Not because of happiness that my baby had started her new life with Bubster, but because of an intense sadness. I felt so alone.
Calamity decided to drink, even though she had been adamantly been told that she could not order drinks when she asked. We were by and large ignored, while Calamity sidled up to Bugster and Buster's friends at the wedding table at the reception. She then accused me of glaring at her, and thus I was the reason she supposedly drank. What's funny is that I did everything I could to ignore her, because as much as it didn't meet my expectations, this was Bugster's and Bubster's day, not mine.
I wanted nothing to detract from that, and I was afraid I might say something to Calamity that didn't come across right, and give her an excuse to behave poorly.. I don't hate Calamity. I hate what she has done to the boys, but I don't hate her. I don't like her, either, though, and I wasn't raised to be phony, so I did my best to avoid interaction with her. That way, I didn't have to compromise my integrity, and I didn't have to pretend to like her or pretend that I was gloriously happy that they were getting married.
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't horribly unhappy that they were getting married, but I also wasn't gloriously happy, either. It was just so rushed. So. Incomplete. Shoot. Mom and we are the only ones that brought them gifts. Granted, there were only about 20 people in attendance, so it's not like they would have had a table overflowing with presents to get them started in their new life together, but to see that we were the only ones that brought gifts hurt my heart.
You see, our little girl deserved more than this. She deserved a 'real' wedding. Bubster did, too. Especially after having the childhood he had. After what Calamity had done to him over the years we'd known him. It needed to be something more than it was. It needed to be as special as they are.
And I know that they'll be celebrating next year sometime with a more traditional ceremony, but it's not quite the same. Because once you're married it's not quite the same to get married again in another ceremony. Although, I am hoping that there will be a way for family to make it down. To help everyone celebrate their wedded life. But them already being married will change things. It just isn't going to be the same.
I am trying very hard to look forward to the celebration, but it's hard. I'm hoping, if I deal with these feelings that I'm having that I'll be able to celebrate with authenticity next year. That I can be gloriously happy and not feel cheated. That the tears that catch in my throat are tears of happiness and not anguish. After all, Bugster is married to a wonderful young man. He has exceeded our expectations as her husband. He's matured more in the months since they were married than we ever anticipated, and we're so very grateful. He's become a young man instead of the boy of a year ago, and we're beyond thrilled that they're happy.
I'm sure that part of the grief I am feeling is knowing that she's the only one of our daughters that will ever get married. It was our once chance for our dreams to come true, and it hurts terribly that it didn't work out the way we'd hoped. It hurts that it wasn't as special as she is to us.
I'm really hoping I can get over myself and get through the grief I feel, so I can be the mom my daughter deserves next year. Because as much as it hurts to admit it, she deserved more from me this year, too.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.