I am a Survivor. With a big ol’ capital S. Why the big S? Because being a Survivor requires the acknowledgment of something stronger than just a name or description. It’s not who I am totally, but a big portion of my heart, soul and body. - Shani Kenny 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The moments of overwhelming understanding hit....

....... and hits like a big bitch. Let me start of with saying this, I often refer to my mom as La La as it was the name my oldest gave to her. Never was she going to be grandma! LOL But then also, my mom was NEVER EVER perfect. She had a lot of faults that ended up taking over at times and consuming her. She had a lot of other perfectly Betty Crocker/Sally Home Maker moments. I laugh at this as I type, because to know her was to know these words contradict her in so many ways. Never was she perfect, but she was who she was. She was my mom, my hero, my friend, my enemy (the way I saw it in the old angry teenager moments), a person I didn't like at times, but always did I love her. She was Mom. To my brother and I, she was a mess of contradictions, but one of the best people I've ever known.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "This chick is delusional!" No, not always. Well never really, never enough to push away the bad stuff......that's for another day. Anyhoo, in my own ways I understood her way of thinking and why things were the way they were for her. She grew up dirt poor. The second oldest of 6 kids. By the time her youngest brother was born, she was a teenager and looking for a way out of the highly dysfunction, crazy family she Survived in and from. From the bad stuff, she created a lot of good. She made sure that we had at least more than what she had ever been given. We did have a roof over a heads, regardless of the inner turmoil. We had food on our table mostly, and we had shoes on our feet. All things that she didn't have a whole lot of as a child. We KNEW she loved us. There was never ever any doubt of that. Sadly, she didn't know how to show it as much as I do towards my kids. It's ok though, because I can forgive the lack of hugs and I love yous. Don't get me wrong, she did do those things, again not as much as I do. It was easy to forgive something that she didn't know how to do. it's kind of like you can't be mad at your friend who can't drive and you need them to, because they were never taught. For me, that's it. The forgiveness comes with out hesitancy. I could forgive the flaws that she didn't know how to fix and I can forgive the bad moments. Because the good moments, out weighed a lot of them.


I was 10 when the accident at my moms work would leave her disabled for life in many ways. To keep it short, she worked in a convenience store and was just made assistant manager. She was working that day and it was hot, and a lot of regulars came in. This one lady and her two little ones came in  and during their time there, something horrific happened. A car was driven through the front of the store. I don't want to put the details out there just yet. It's something that I share....I'm not ashamed or angry anymore. It's just...maybe a little more raw today than other days. My nightmares have been laced with the accident. Anyhoo, one person died, two walked away with minor injuries. My mom suffered severe back issues, pinched nerves, ruptured discs, PTSD, Manic Depression, Anxiety, and at one point agoraphobic. I was sent away that first summer to an aunts house. It was easier for my mom to deal with things with out me there. With all that I know now, and as a parent, I do not fault her. I'm not angry, if anything, it makes me proud of her. Because she was strong enough to save me from the horrors of it. I would find out years later the hard truths of it. Out of that accident came the whole change in our lives. We were stuck. Shew as going to move us on our own at the end of summer. We'd have medical and dental, which we badly needed. The accident rocked our world and was forever off kilter. I can forgive the faults that were born that day in my mom, because she honestly did what she could.

Don't get me wrong, Several years ago I had to face some very hard truths about my childhood. I was angry, and hurt and all that goes with it. I never stopped loving her, even then I knew there had to be a reason behind it all. She was methodical like that. It's hard to explain to anyone that wasn't with us day to day. Through the anger and heartache, I came to understand her so much more. She had been gone for almost 10 years then. She passed in 2002. I had to struggle to sort things out, and I'd be lying if I said that I don't still struggle. I do, and I live with it. But for me, there wasn't a whole lot to forgive. Why? Because I was learning. I was learning the lessons that I was meant to learn through her or by her. I know that now. I was learning to accept and love her even in her physical absence.

Now to the point.....at my age of a ripe old 37, I finally REALLY get it. I understand what it mean to her to be so restricted health wise. Even if she felt ok physically, she was on a battle of emotions to remove the bad, to shield us from the nightmares and flash backs she had. It crippled her and in that last year of her life, she shared a lot with me. Her anger over being so crippled by any of it that she couldn't do more for us. She felt like she failed us and took on the blame of the accident on herself. Even though NONE of it was her fault. As parents we willingly take on whatever we can to protect our kids. We do everything we can to make their lives better than what our lives were at their ages. Just like she did. Our life wasn't perfect, but jt was a hell of a lot better than what she had.

I get it Mom. I get your struggles,  your anger, hatred, helplessness and every other emotion towards all the bad stuff. I'm there Mom, and it hurts. I hate being so crippled by this illness and anxiety that I can't do the most simple of things. I get to the point where the pain is so much I can't even move very much. Or the fears of the past coming back and taking over again. I know your pain, and I'm so very sorry for every moment that you went through that was hard and traumatic. For any moment you weren't loved like you should have been. I'm very sorry that someone didn't step up and take more notice to help you. I love you more now, than I ever have. Because I'm learning what it's like to truly live with all this mess and the daily struggle just to really SURVIVE. I know you always said it made you stronger, and yes it does. But I wish you had let us know more as adults and how to help. I wish I could have taken ever moment the man you loved abused you. I'd take it all away if it just meant you could be you at 100% every single day. Mom, you're love has made me stronger and I've learned to be a better parent than you were. I say that in love, and I always know you know that. Ty for giving me these lessons, even now through Mommy (my "other mom Sassy" I hate to say it like that...it's just..different) and how you guide all of us. Ty for giving us a chance to live when the whole world shut down around us. You my beautiful mother are the reason why I can truly Survive this. Because the struggles give me strength to go on for my family. I love you so damned much. You're in my heart always.

Finally to all...it takes a lot of courage to face life every day and not just curl up and hide away in a dark, cold corner. It takes strength to push past the worst part of your day and know that today was better than yesterday. It takes a whole lot of balls to take on the world. When the overwhelming understanding hits you like a bitch, and you can truly learn from it, then you my friends....can stand straighter as a true Survivor.

With loves, and peace,
some chocolate and a soda,

all my love

Shani

3 comments:

  1. I will get to where I can do this. I will. I WILL.

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  2. I have always adored you. Now I count you among my sheroes. I can't imagine the strength you have to do this. I'm not there yet. You are helping me get there. I am grateful.

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  3. ok who the hell said ya'll could make me tear up and give me goosebumps this early in the day???? Ya'll are so mean! JK <3 but seriously....ya'll humble me beyond belief. I started this on a whim and in honor of a dear friend. I ended up even more, doing it for me. Because I needed this. I needed an outlet to share. Ya'll just make it that much more important to me. <3

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