Just Admit It...You Were Wrong!
This morning, we were all sitting out on the deck eating breakfast and my daughter came out with her little unicorn diary that has a lock and a key. She is unable to write her own name yet, but she uses it to draw and practice writing her letters. She came over to her dad to show him her diary and talked about how she can use the key to lock it and that she wanted to show him something that she drew inside of it. I listened to all of this and then made an off-hand comment, “You know that you don’t have to share all of your secrets…”
In my household, growing up as a little girl, there were a lot of things that I did not tell my dad. He was very much the authoritarian in my household and wielded the belt when any of us (my 3 sisters and I) did anything that was not to his liking. So, there were some things I chose to share, such as my grades and other things I chose not to share, like my grades which in one instance forced me to forge his signature on some of my tests that I did not do well on. I was of course caught and promptly punished. There was a lot of fear to disappoint so I chose not to share many things with him. Upon reflection, as I see his relationship with my mom and also with his financial dealings, I feel that he holds many secrets himself and has been unwilling to let us in. I think that the combination of his secretiveness and my desire to hide and not share with him made me secretive in some ways and is something I am trying to remedy now.
Upon saying those words, my husband immediately looked at me and asked why I said that. His face was very stern and he obviously did not like what I said. I told him that I was just joking and was not meant to be taken seriously and with my daughter present and hearing this, I feared she would be confused by our messaging. It was clear that I had upset my husband and I did not feel good about what I said and did, so I went in the house and jumped in the shower.
The shower is where I do my best thinking…as I let the hot water run over me, I replayed what was said and immediately felt that my husband was in the wrong and that I did nothing wrong. I could feel myself playing the victim and turning all the blame onto my husband and saying in my head about how he always acts so self-righteous and likes to make me feel like the bad parent. This kept replaying in my head and I didn’t like where it was going, I could start to feel resentment and anger towards him. He didn’t say anything wrong, he just questioned why I said what I said. I then thought about what I have actually told my daughter, which was that I did not want her to keep secrets from me. As a young girl, it is imperative that she feels comfortable enough to tell me things that happen to her and in order for that to happen, she needs to feel comfortable to talk to me about anything. In that moment, I realized that what I said during breakfast was wrong. My mind then turned to me as a young girl and how much I hid, my feelings, my emotions, my failures from my dad. So much so that he still does not know to this day about me, I don’t want that for my relationship with my daughter.
I came to the realization that I was actually wrong and I was ready to admit it. At times with my husband, I will begrudgingly admit defeat just to make peace but still hold resentment in that I did not feel that I was truly wrong. But this felt so different, I was able to wade the waters of victim-hood and get myself out right away because I truly did not want to stay there. I was ready to call myself out on my own shit and that is where the real self-care comes in. I cared enough about myself to realize and admit that I was wrong and ask for forgiveness, which I did soon after I got out of the shower and which felt authentic. I loved that moment of true reflection where I turned the mirror on myself and my behavior and my words and saw where I did not want to be, which was a victim.
So often in the self-care and wellness world, there is this look and feel of self-care as being and carrying “positive vibes” and “being true to yourself” but do you continue to live that even when things are shit or when you have been shitty? There is much that I do wrong and I am not the epitome of the perfect wife, mom or friend, but I try and if this situation that occurred this morning is an indication of where I would like to be as a person, I truly hope that I keep this up. This continuous reflection, of turning the mirror on myself and “being true to myself” and admit when I am wrong.