I was having a conversation this evening with Secunda and Quatorze... Secunda getting more and more passive aggressive and, finally, a bit vicious in what she said. I gathered my things up to leave as Quatorze fled the room in tears. Then my beautiful teen apologized and cried. We were able to speak calmly about what was going on and find some solutions.
At one point, I said to her, "You are so hard on yourself! And I don't know where that comes from." She looked at me as though I'd sprouted two heads. Then, quietly let me know she just acts like me. My heart broke!!! I made a pact with her that we would both try to be gentle with ourselves.
I tried. I tried to keep my mental illness, my self deprecation, my own loathing away from my children. I don't want any of them to be my age and have to look back on such a life. Don't get me wrong: my life is lovely now. But by the time it became that way I had such an ingrained habit of looking at myself negatively... I am having trouble breaking that habit. And now one of my vital, amazing children has seen and internalized that nasty habit. I tried to teach them that they were loved by God, important simply because they were made in His image and likeness. Unfortunately, my actions have spoken louder than my words. Father God, help me with damage control. Because this negative self image and harsh self treatment is damaging! Give me the words for each of these precision souls. I love these people you have entrusted to me. And I'm learning to love myself. May we be gentle.