…in the blogging world.

…in the job search world.

…in the Christian world (which is not of the world)

…in the “You’re a 40 year old woman with a dog and a husband in suburbia USA” world.

Aaah. And there it is.

Why do I think this post is probably a no-no? Well, it’s off the cuff. It has no other purpose, currently, than to serve as a plate for my word vomit.

I’m literally right now texting my family group chat about my mental health, the strength of my marriage, etc. ETC.

No response. And it has been like 30 minutes. Not even a little heart response. So I said, “Since no one is talking I’m blogging this.” So here goes.

I’ve always held walls up. Walls with friends, walls with boyfriends, walls with family members. And the reason for those walls were so if I ever got hurt I could say, “See. I knew this would happen.” and I’d be less hurt. But that’s a really fucked up way of dealing with people in general. So when I say walls with boyfriends, let’s start with my husband. When we were dating, my walls were sky high. I just knew this man (like all men) was out to hurt me emotionally. I just knew it. But I still wanted to be with him. In part, because I was afraid of being alone. So I’m with him with the fear of not being with him, and I’m putting up walls to keep me from getting hurt. That’s also a pretty dysfunctional way to think. It’s all about Kristin not getting hurt. Kristin cannot get hurt. Why? Kristin’s been hurt enough. How? This is what I am out to discover.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still 100% certain my emotionally absent mother (EAM) affected me to my core from my very first breath. But what are these hurts that are making me so afraid of being all in with my boyfriend? My earliest hurts include crying to my mother about why my dad never called me. He was in the Army, and I had his enlistment photo in a little frame next to my bed. I see my mother was comforting me, like genuinely comforting me. I don’t remember what she ever said. Was this where I formed my thoughts about men? Men aren’t there for Kristin. Men don’t care about Kristin. Men will leave Kristin.

There were a few times when we were dating when I really thought my now husband was going to break up with me. I always felt like he should break up with me. Because I was damaged. Because I was depressed. Because I had mental problems. I basically thought the worst of myself and could not wrap my head around the fact that this man would want to be with me, me. With all of my flaws, with all of my mistakes, after all that I’ve done, Mr. P wants to be with me. But wait…men aren’t there for Kristin. Men don’t care about Kristin, therefore Mr. P will leave Kristin. This was the same story with my ex from college. I put him through hell, and myself, for no other reason than I was afraid of getting hurt.

What’s so bad about getting hurt? Have I ever been hurt in a way that was irreparable? Other than my biological father not being in my life. Come to think of it, no. My biological father not being in my life, in addition to being raised by an EAM mother, hurt me beyond repair. I never felt wanted. Which makes sense. My mental formation was “men don’t want Kristin” which was established by my biological father. I remember thinking, “I don’t want to be here anymore.” I just didn’t want to exist. I saw no value in myself or what I could contribute to the world. Men don’t want Kristin because she is not valuable. My mother wasn’t exactly telling me how precious I was either. If anything, it was the opposite. She would call me selfish and a bad older sister constantly. She would go into rages when I did something wrong even the smallest of somethings. You’d think I was a terror child. Let’s say I was a terror child. Let’s look at my day-to-day as Little Kristin.

Unfortunately, and I say unfortunately for no other reason than to cushion the blow to my real dad Joel that I’m about to say this, I witnessed domestic violence as a very young child, possibly from the age of 3 depending on when the abuses began. My stepdad was never the initiator of the physicality of the arguments. I don’t remember him being verbally abusive either. He didn’t initiate volatile arguments that ensued almost every conversation between the two of them when they were married. So, I am boldly saying, based on my early memories and my de-mystified dysfunctional thinking, my truth is that my mother was the abuser in their marriage. My mother would call Joel the most horrible names. She would tell him how awful he was and how she hated him and wished she’d never married him. Like, regularly. That is verbal abuse, and I am sickened that the truth is I am the same way! I verbally beat down Mr. P when we are arguing. No matter how mad I am, there are just some things you don’t say. Ever. Ever.

In addition to daily verbal altercations, I once witnessed my mother and Joel wrestling on the ground during a fight. I remember seeing them on the floor, my eyes darting toward my mother in fear looking for answers. Our eyes didn’t meet. She didn’t communicate with me about what to do or what to make of what was going on, or even pause because she could now see I was watching her. Our eyes never met because she was biting Joel’s shirt at the collar. She looked like a disgusting animal. I could see the saliva and hear her growling. Seeing a scene that remotely resembles this even just once would be traumatizing. But I would see repeated physical fights and repeated nasty verbal fights. Doors slamming, threats of never coming back, and throwing Joel’s racquetball trophies at him were commonplace in my household. And we’re talking I am a child. I am a child. Watching this. And hearing this. Day in. Day out. So the fact that I didn’t fit in with my peers, the fact that I had, and still have, trouble forming healthy relationships, the fact that I did poorly in school makes so much fucking sense! But in my mother’s eyes and words and actions, I was the bad one. I was the troublemaker. The liar. The bad big sister. Of course I was! Look at you, mother. Look what you were doing!

All of this was Little Kristin’s foundation. My foundation for my development of preferred communication styles, my development of emotional regularity, my development of coping skills and beliefs about men and marriage and myself. Little Kristin was hurt beyond repair, and then she grew up.

And here we are. Mental health challenges galore, dysfunctional thinking and behavior — I’m your girl. But this truth doesn’t make me sad like it used to when I would think about it. This is good. Uncovering and naming my past hurts is key to healing from my childhood trauma. And I feel apart from them. I no longer, fully at least, feel my past hurts are a part of who I am at my core. Now I feel…

Kristin is valuable. Kristin is wanted. Kristin is a precious princess.

This radically changes my entire perspectives on all of my relationships, most importantly my marriage.

With joy,


Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash

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