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About

Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

A Peak

For whatever reason, my 25th birthday has seemed an arbitrary deadline for getting my shit together. That this is the point where I leave all my baggage behind and step into the threshold of a new life. Because- I just. Can't. Carry. It. Any. Longer. I don't know that I can change my world in 4 days but it's gotta be a good place to start.

I've felt in limbo for a long time, like I'm teetering between the hell that life used to be and this new world. This world that is the closest thing to a fairy tale I ever could have dreamed. I know I want to, need to, have to, dive in head first but it's frightening. And so I inch and inch forward and backslide almost as fast as I'm progressing.

It's hard because I never learned who I was. Because now, I am wife and mother and friend and I don't know what's underneath. Because all that was ever allowed to be underneath was what they allowed, what they proclaimed, and that person I created to protect the me I'm searching for. I don't remember much. Like snapshots rather than stories. Sure some are sunny, smiles. But most are not. Why it's so fragmented. I don't know that I was ever "wanted" and love was always with condition. An environment where those meant to protect one's innocence couldn't cope so they closed their eyes and avoided and ignored and left a child, a girl, me to fight and fend and do what it took to survive.

And I did. But in doing so, things were lost. But mostly never gained. Certain skills and securities escape me nearly a decade removed. While I am able to see the world one way, I react to it another, always on guard, always waiting for that beast to return. What once was fighter, now victim. And this I carry with me. While I have forgiven I have yet to deprogram. To wipe MY slate clean and rebuild again. To discover the truth about the me the world has yet to see.

I know how to be Mama, the thing I was put on this planet for. My only confidence. I don't know how to be a wife, I know how to love, unconditionally, but far too much history carries over. I react to my past rather than my present. 5 years in I'm blessed to have my soul mate stand behind me. Maybe a little slumped but solid. It seems the only thing missing is me, and I'm out to find her.

I've stopped a cycle, conquered addiction, grieved losses, ached for how things "should" have been, how some things still are, and it's time to turn off the light, close the door and create a new beginning. Some build walls to keep people out, I've built them to see who loves me enough to knock them down. For the first time, I'm first in line.

4 days, impending and promising, rebirth.

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  • Blogger Adventures In Babywearing says so:
    4:45 PM  

    This next year for you will be your best yet. I just know it. And I hope to be here watching, and a part of it, as it all comes to life. This post could not have been more real.

    Steph top

  • Blogger To Think is to Create says so:
    5:41 PM  

    I have way too much to say to contain it in this tiny window, so I think I'll just email you! top

  • Blogger Carrington says so:
    8:06 PM  

    This was so beautiful. You are so great at communicating some of the deepest of emotions. I pray that this time for you will be felt as excitement instead of anxiousness. You are amazing, thank you for sharing. top

  • Anonymous Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats says so:
    9:37 AM  

    Welcome to your mid-twenties. A very good counselor friend of mine told me that your twenties are for figuring out and working out your past. That helped me alot when I was dealing with VERY similar issues as you've posted about here. Blessings as you figure it all out! top

  • Blogger Glass Half Full says so:
    9:42 AM  

    This post definitely reveals HOPE. I can't wait to see more unfold in your life....you deserve it!

    Lori top

  • Blogger Erika says so:
    9:49 AM  

    I understand so much of what you say. I too react to the past than the present. Once you have figured out how to move forward clue me in. I haven't figured out how just yet. top

  • Blogger Tracey says so:
    1:33 PM  

    You are on your way. I can sense it.... Just being able to declare that you are going to find yourself and be in charge of your life is an affirmation to that.

    Good luck, best wishes, and happy birthday in 4 days! top

  • Blogger JoynerFam says so:
    11:26 PM  

    I totally understand how you feel about being the victim, rather than the old you who could handle anything. I know what it's like to look back and go "well poo maybe I should/should not have done that". It's life and I think all mom's go through that feeling. What I have learned to realize is my incompletion of things and the thinking I am not the warrior I used to be are totally wrong. We are completing things even more important then what we didn't do or finish years ago. We are conquering potty training and bath time, and making sure everyone is happy without breaking a sweat. Our strength lies in our ability to keep our marriage on track, and little ones happy. And most importantly even though we think we never understood who we are as a person, we know who we are. Were constantly changing as we grow older and maybe we look back and we think we never had ourselves down, but in reality we do know. We are the mommies who get everything done, the loving wives, we love rock and roll, and we love our friends, and in that we find who we are.
    But in those moments we find our thoughts scattered and mistake them for being lost, its alright to feel like a victim. It's okay to be sad and wonder what should have been done, because in that we find strength to improve ourselves and make a better us.
    As for our past that sometimes hinders us, those doors that still let the cold air creep in, they can be easily closed. I know in retrospect it's easier said than done, but remember who you were then made you and got you to who you aree now

    Even as I write this to you know I think of mmm a year ago when I moved to Michigan city with Michael and life was started to unwrap as a family. A new baby, a new future in a new place and I found myself happy, yet unable to dive in. I was never good at long term, a little bit of a commitment phobia, I let my past try to rule as how horrible of a parent I could possibly be. I got scared and almost cost me my marriage because here was something so perfect so great so unbelievable I just didn't know what to do with it. It's scary having something great, like fine china we are afraid to use it in fear of breaking it. It's life, it's mommy hood, it's normal. Don't fret ash things will pick up soon, you'll find your happy place and find yourself helping others get out of the funk.

    Hopefully I didn't mis-read your blog, because sometimes I read things differently than meant to be read. Happy Birthday, and I hope this helps! top

  • Anonymous Mama C-ta says so:
    6:54 PM  

    I can relate to so much of this: "Some build walls to keep people out, I've built them to see who loves me enough to knock them down" those words alone have described my life to a T. But can only imagine your personal struggle.

    From what I've seen in you in just this short time is quite remarkable. I understand why you feel like a victim but just knowing that isn't your real role in this life is a huge step and great place to start.

    I hope you enjoy your birthday tomorrow knowing how much you are loved and knowing many of us are here to grow right along with you and remain a source of support when you need it. Although the things you've accomplished on your own in this life, I have a feeling I'll be watching you reach all of your emotional goals on your own. xoxo. top

  • Blogger This Military Mama says so:
    3:03 PM  

    Wow. This is beautifully written. I can't begin to tell you how I relate to this.

    As some one who is in the midst of the battle as well, I can see how strong you are. From your writing I can tell you will conquer all that you will face in your journey of self discovery. You will come out the other side a stronger woman.

    Thanks for sharing. top