I Don’t Know Who I’m Protecting

Deep down I know that I’m really protecting the girl that didn’t feel protected and the woman who hardly does. I know that the people in my present aren’t those from my past. I want to apologize to them specifically because there are those who I love and appreciate that I know want to help me but I’m not ready yet. I don’t know when I’ll be ready. I don’t expect anyone to understand where I’m coming from, parent or not, but this is something I’m dealing with and can’t seem to find my way to the other end of right now.

I need a break from my children, but I won’t allow anyone to give me one. I do feel like people are offended by it because I talk about it so much and I feel like they wonder why I always talk about it if I really don’t want one. That’s the thing though. I want one on the outside, it’s the inside that’s not ready. Nobody ever really offers so I don’t ever invite myself to the subject and the thoughts surrounding it. So, on the rare occasion that it becomes reality, that’s when panic strikes. It’s very much stressful on my mental because to not have my kids in my sight feels like I’m slacking on my job. Again, I know that these people aren’t those from my past but that doesn’t matter to the mother in me. My past affects me and my choices as a parent 99%. 

Any time someone ask me if they can keep my children, deep down, I want to yell “Please take them.” But the crazed thoughts that would run through my mind without them in my sight wouldn’t let me sleep through the night. This is one of those very few, actual, “It’s not you, it’s me” situations where it is actually, literally me. I’m protecting the girl who waited years to open up about something that had been happening to her since she was younger. The teenage girl who wasn’t believed nor taken serious when she said that she was sexually assaulted. The child who was told by her own blood, “You can’t come back to my house if you tell your parents”. While all of these instances weren’t sexual, they are still damaging to my memory. So, when someone ask, “Do you think I would hurt your kids?” My answer is usually “No” because I don’t want to keep having the conversation. But I understand how the whole of, “While I don’t think you would hurt them physically but I do believe there’s a possibility you can cause them mental and emotional damage.”, would still offend people but be clearer. 

I know that it does me no good to be this way because I cannot protect them from everything nor forever. I know that if anything were to ever happen to them that I would blame myself because it is my job to protect them. However, I think about my parents and them thinking how they could trust the people they let me be around. How could I blame them or them blame themselves for what neither of us knew? I feel like someone talking to you in a sexual manner is something that people don’t take serious enough – because to them nobody physically touched you, so it doesn’t matter. Fighting in front of children that aren’t yours can weigh heavy on them. Even if they are yours which would make it that much worse. Sleeping in the bed they sleep in could make them uncomfortable, no matter who you are, but many don’t care nor think about that. Simply being too close to them could trigger or make a child or adult uncomfortable. I don’t agree with people whipping someone else’s child/ren. This isn’t back in the day so that doesn’t fly with everyone. Send them home for all that. I don’t agree with yelling at someone else’s child because you’re frustrated and I damn sure am not okay with, “Don’t tell your mom or dad”.  Why does the world act as if only inappropriate, forced touching is the only form of violation when it comes to these things?

I want my children to know life, have friends, be able to do things that they want. I know that I have time for that though. My children are still very young, so the thought of the future is something I try not to stress about. I have to get through now so that I’m not in their way in the future. I know that every single being they cross paths with isn’t going to hurt them. I still have to ask (myself) if how I am, currently, is that bad for someone who is trying to give her children the protection she wishes she had. 

I know that I have to teach them to protect themselves which is what I’ve started doing. Everything from walking away when it feels right or when they feel uneasy around someone or somewhere. Never listening to, “Don’t tell your parents” because those words alone mean you should. Expressing that something that me or their father did hurt them because they have feelings too. And right now I’m teaching my oldest that everyone isn’t her friend because I witnessed a girl being mean to my child and her just wanting someone to call “friend” not even realizing the child doesn’t want to play with her. It broke my heart so again I’m trying to teach them what I can while I can.

I am doing the best that I can. I want my children to feel protected and be able to live life, fully, how I wish I had as a child. I can honestly say that I’ve come to the conclusion that I have been living my life in fear. I will get out of my kids way before they reach the age where I feel they can and should be able to do things on their own. I know I will. But the guilt I carry from telling people that they can’t watch my kids is tremendous. The guilt I carry from being so overprotective, even though they are young, is tremendous. The guilty I carry from not accepting help from those that I feel truly want to help me – but I won’t let because I feel like help says “I can’t handle them” – is tremendous. I don’t know why this is so hard for me. I often cry when I can’t block it out of my mind because I am that afraid for my children. But am I more afraid for the little girl (in me) who didn’t feel protected or that girl who is now a woman trying to give her children every drop of protection she wishes she had?

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