I watched the modern version of Cinderella recently. The stark contrast of life’s injustices with the fairy-tale became so evident for me after watching the movie.
The timing coincides with a time of reflection for me on many of the personal injustices of my life. I didn’t do anything in my life to that staff member who worked against me and created a toxic work environment. Instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt, she believed the lies and slander of my wicked step-mother. I always do my best to give someone the benefit of the doubt but I have learned that I can’t expect the same from others.
I worked myself into a state of dire health to save a business that my father shamelessly neglected. He then blamed me for ruining his life when he failed to save for retirement. When my health collapsed and I was no longer able to produce the goods, he walked away like I meant nothing. When the money dried up, the love dried up.
Of course I’m the heroine of my own life story. I don’t have any delusion that life is a fairy tale but I did hope that in the end it would all be worth it. I sacrificed so very much financially and I lost my health and thereby the ability to run and to achieve the goals I value so much. I persevered because I believed that I would reap the benefits eventually. And it is clear that I did a good job of building the business. The board, including my deluded father even acknowledged that. So where’s my reward for all that suffering? Why am I not better off five years later?
I’m supposed to be grateful for this gift of illness. Yes, it got me out of that toxic environment and it freed me from the painful relationship with my father. But that’s not the gift I was expecting. My faith would lead me to believe that it is all for good reason and in time I’ll understand. But I’m more doubtful than ever before. I don’t see it as worth it at all. And I can’t help being enormously resentful for it.
The selflessness of parenting is a bit like that too. You give and you give and there is no thanks or tangible evidence that you are doing the right thing. I’ve lost the ability to pursue my goals and dreams. I’m not able to strive to be the best I can be because I’m too busy wiping noses and bums. I spend energy that I don’t really have, giving my children the magical childhood that I didn’t have. And I do it because I love them more than anything in this world. I want them to look back on their childhood with great memories.
My childhood was so bad that I have actually blocked out the memories. My kids often ask me about when I was a kid. I remember so little and what I remember is not suitable for sharing with small bright-eyed children. I don’t think they would believe or understand what my parents did because they have parents who love and nurture them. It does not compute for me either.
My three-year-old daughter is practicing for her school concert and is singing the words ‘I’ve got the magic in me” and I cannot help but relish that. She believes it fully and I suppose I do too although the magic is quite overshadowed by the blows I’ve been dealt. My response is typically ‘Oh, you do my angel’ and I want them to believe in the magic as long as they can. School and the demands of society pushes them into growing up faster and fitting into the mold. But I’d like them to really live their childhoods and to stay naive and carefree for as long as is healthy.