If you’ve spent any time reading my blatherings for any length of time, you know that I’m a pretty positive person. I can’t help it, really. I am one of those annoying “eternal optimists” and even if I weren’t, I have a pretty charmed life. I’m married to a handsome man who cherishes me and together we’ve built a family that consists of three of the most fascinating children that this world has ever seen. We live in a nice house that we (he) made our own on a large property that backs onto Crown (Government) land and is walking distance from a creek that burbles alongside the Trans Canada Trail. I have a great job with fantastic benefits and a circle of friends both far and near that fill my heart to overflowing.

I have nothing to complain about. In my head, I know this.

Every once in awhile (once every twenty-eight to thirty-five days, if you want to get specific), my rational head seems to disappear. It’s like I’m stripped of my armor and those other things get to me. Those things that seem so innocuous the rest of the month in light of all of the good in my life are suddenly towering over me and I cannot will them away, even if I try. I feel helpless and hopeless and the tears flow freely. I try to talk myself out of the tears but that only makes it worse because I get mad at myself for being such an insensitive jerk and MAYBE IT’S OK TO CRY SOMETIMES, ANGELLA.

What is it that’s breaking through the armor this month?

I’ve had plan in the works for a side project that I’m super excited about but it’s been sputtering and hiccuping and stalling for FIVE MONTHS and I’m feeling creatively constipated and the back end is out of my expertise, so. I’m standing here with my hands tied and my tongue tied and I don’t know where to go from here.

My kids are leaving this coming weekend for a week at Grandma’s. Last year found Matthew and I wandering around our empty house like lost puppy dogs and I had hoped that this year would involve less tears and more productivity. Right now, I’m not so sure that it’s a feasible reality.

My Mom. I haven’t talked to her since that weekend that I posted my side of the story and I’m not really surprised. It’s always been up to me to make that first phone call where we pretend that nothing happened and carry on as we have always done. I no longer feel the need to be the grown-up in the situation, so I haven’t done a thing. I’ve let it go, for the most part, and will go days or weeks without thinking about it. Then the walls come down and I just don’t get it. I look at my three kids and know how much I love them and ache for them and cannot comprehend that my own mother does not feel the same. How can you inflict so much hurt upon your child and not want to make it better? Am I so unworthy? In her eyes, I suppose so.

My broken edges are jutting out and my eyes are dripping my chest is heavy and then my husband runs inside and tells me to grab my camera because the sunset is SO PRETTY.

Thanks be for someone who will listen to your hurts and wrap you in a bear hug and then points you to something so inspiring that you forget why you were crying in the first place.

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  1. Joanna June 29, 2010 3:15 am edit

    Those pictures made me gasp a little. How stunning! I know it’s incomprehensible to not feel that unconditional support from your mom…that’s what demonstrates how wonderful you are as a parent.

  2. bethany actually June 29, 2010 5:35 am edit

    I’m sorry your mom is so broken that she can’t be the kind of mom you deserve, and that it hurts you. That sucks, and there’s no way around it. But I’m so thankful that you have awesome kids and Matthew and wonderful friends to remind you that you ARE loved. And then God goes and sends you a sunset like that just when you need it, because He loves you too. :-) I haven’t commented much lately but I’m still here, praying for you!
    .-= bethany actually´s last blog ..dottery class was fun- =-.

  3. K June 29, 2010 5:48 am edit

    .-= K´s last blog ..Birthday Festivities =-.

  4. Kate June 29, 2010 6:22 am edit

    Amazing pictures!

  5. Kate June 29, 2010 6:45 am edit

    You live in one of the prettiest places that I have ever seen. Those pics are amazing!

  6. Carrisa June 29, 2010 6:54 am edit

    God knew exactly what he was doing when He put Matthew in your life. And vice versa. There’s a new song out that I love. I don’t know if you’ve heard it or not. It’s called God Gave Me You. It made me think about you.


  7. Rebecca June 29, 2010 8:00 am edit

    With both of my parents being much like your Mom, I have endured so much heartache by their hands. Finally, at 40 years of age, I have let them and the pain they cause go. It has been such a relief! I am trying to let God love me unconditionally like my parents never have. He is my heavenly Father, and all I need. Thank you for you openess. May God bless you as you walk this road.

  8. Sharon June 29, 2010 8:02 am edit

    Wow – gorgeous pictures! Sometimes a sunset is exactly what your soul needs. Beautiful!
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Dad’s surgery =-.

  9. gorillabuns June 29, 2010 8:10 am edit

    I’m upset for you with your children being gone for a week. I can’t imagine!

    You are so blessed to have a wonderful partner who cares for you and your family the way a man should.

  10. Jenn June 29, 2010 8:17 am edit

    Good for you for breaking this cycle of behaviour. Not easy but look at the rewards you are reaping.
    Looking forward to seeing a sunset sometime soon but it seems like the Lower Mainland weather gods prefer shades of gray. I will have to post your pics on my windows and just sigh I guess.

  11. Tia June 29, 2010 8:35 am edit

    Those photos are breathtaking. I wish we had sunsets like that here (in Portland).

    I admire you for breaking the cycle with your mom. My parents have never been anything but loving and supportive, so I can’t quite relate. On the flip side, my in-laws are retched people that emotionally abuse my husband. Just last month he finally decided to cut them off for good (a VERY hard thing to do with family), and he said he’s never felt happier. It was such a weight off of him to cut away all of that negativity.

  12. Jen June 29, 2010 8:40 am edit

    1. I love that you always talk about your husband and children so positively.

    2. What’s the side project?

    3. I hope that you and Matthew have a GREAT weekend, despite missing your darling children.

    4. I’m so sorry about the mother thing. I don’t get it either, because if you were my child? I’d smother you with love.

    5. Those photos are INCREDIBLE. As are you.

  13. Danica June 29, 2010 9:17 am edit

    Beautiful post (and pics!) Angella.
    This past weekend my sisters and I and some friends were talking about the psychological term ‘projection.’ If your Mother fails to see worth in you, it probably has more to do with the worthlessness she feels about herself. It’s not you. You’re an amazing being created by God with a very special purpose!

  14. Kim June 29, 2010 8:36 pm edit

    Yes! Her stuff is not about you.

  15. Procrastamom June 29, 2010 9:37 am edit

    Beautiful sunset!

    And thank goodness for wonderful husbands. Mine has spent the last 19 years talking me down from various (monthly) metaphorical ledges. Like you, I think of my life as pretty full and amazing for about 25 days out of each month. The other 5 find me relegated to the fainting-couch, kleenex at the ready, woefully listing in my mind the various ways life has spited me and mine. He always lifts me up.

    Sending you wishes that you’ll be back to your glass-is-full self sooner rather than later.

  16. Kerri Anne June 29, 2010 9:59 am edit

    Matthew is so great.

    It’s very OK to cry once in awhile. Or every day if you need to. I’m a big fan of tears as healing, because rarely do I feel better than after a good cry.

    I’m here for you always, babe, on the best and worst days.

    Also: That sunset is incredible. (Just like you!)
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..Est 1982 =-.

  17. sizzle June 29, 2010 10:12 am edit

    That’s one beautiful sunset. Wow!

    I know that crumbling feeling all too well and it is mostly cyclical too as I am generally optimistic and feeling good about my life/relationships/blessings. It helps to know that it will pass and that so much of it is hormonal, not necessarily an internal “problem”.

    Though I can understand your feelings about your Mom and how her not showing up for you as your parent would deeply hurt you. It’s not fair.
    .-= sizzle´s last blog ..Costly Kindness =-.

  18. monstergirlee June 29, 2010 10:15 am edit

    Wow, that sunset showed up just in time, and Matthew is so wonderful. Sounds like you truly enjoy and appreciate the good things in life because you have perspective on how bad things could be.
    Crying is fine, I almost always feel better after crying, even tho things are exactly the same as they were when I started crying. Its a release.

    Those pics are amazing! Enjoy your quiet week.
    .-= monstergirlee´s last blog ..Picking Peas at AJs House =-.

  19. Kami's Khlopchyk June 29, 2010 10:20 am edit

    He is the perfect man for you. I already knew this, but this? This is tangible proof.

    Those pictures are simply breathtaking.

    And your mom’s issues have more to do with her than with your worth. Remember that, kay?

    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..Six- My baby is 6- =-.

  20. moosh in indy. June 29, 2010 10:59 am edit

    I saw these pictures on flickr and for some reason I knew there had to be a story to them.
    Seems to me when you have a really crappy day? God gives you a really good sunset.

  21. angella June 29, 2010 9:30 pm edit


  22. Melissa June 29, 2010 11:01 am edit

    Beautiful pictures Angella, you are a most blessed woman in so many regards…but you already knew that! We all have bad days and it’s totally ok to cry and hurt for the things we can not fix during those bad days.

  23. Sarah June 29, 2010 11:09 am edit

    Every month or so I go through a period where I do nothing but cry and be sad. Nothing can start me off and I’ll just sit there and cry. I’m sure the fact that it rained constantly the first six months I’ve been in Portland didn’t help.

    I know how you feel. And also? Those pictures are GORGEOUS!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..The Zoo =-.

  24. Kristabella June 29, 2010 11:27 am edit

    We’ve had the talk about your mom/my dad so I totally get it. And my dad has been dead for almost 8 years and before he died, I didn’t talk to him for like close to 5 years before that. And there are still days where I will sit and wonder WHY he couldn’t have been there for me and been proud of me and wanted his life to live and breathe with his kids.

    But it is a disease. And it wins out. And nothing you or I did is the fault of it.
    .-= Kristabella´s last blog ..A New Houseguest =-.

  25. hillary June 29, 2010 12:33 pm edit

    I love that you don’t let your heartbreaking relationship with your mom affect the awesome relationship you have with your kids. Your mom can’t be there for you and that’s crappy and depressing and you have every right to feel hurt and angry but you aren’t letting the cycle repeat and that is awesome. Way to go, lady. You rock!
    .-= hillary´s last blog ..Whatever This Is Oh Baby Ive Had Enough =-.

  26. LauraRadniecki June 29, 2010 1:10 pm edit

    Uh WOAH. Those photos are WICKED AMAZING. I LOVE them. The part I love the most is the sun rays. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always felt like those sun rays are what Heaven must be like.

    Praying that the days of sadness pass and you are back to your usual self, but even if it takes a few days, I’ll keep praying.
    .-= LauraRadniecki´s last blog ..Music General Dance – Spring Show 2010 =-.

  27. Hannah June 29, 2010 2:28 pm edit

    I am so glad you have Matthew.

  28. Rebecca June 29, 2010 4:08 pm edit

    That is beautiful. And I completely understand. (I’m currently between 28-35 days and bawled yesterday ;)) Life is a wave of emotion and it’s relieving to know that in the midst of being optimistic, you are still human and rely on a bigger God and stronger people from time to time ;) Lord knows I need more strength all the time!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..In Spite Of The Rain We Ate A Tiffanys Box =-.

  29. Nicole June 29, 2010 5:40 pm edit

    Wow those pictures are awesome. The sun looks like a fire in the bottom two; then again, the sun is a ball a fire :)

  30. Nicole June 29, 2010 5:41 pm edit

    Rather, the middle two look especially like a fire.

  31. angella June 29, 2010 9:26 pm edit

    I knew what you meant. Also, thanks. :)

  32. Teri June 29, 2010 9:04 pm edit

    Some people are only mothers because they managed to get pregnant and give birth – they never actually do anything to earn the title. Some people are too caught up in their own self-inflicted misery to notice the people around them or care for the family they have created. There’s nothing you can do for those people – when they feel like growing up and joining the rest of us in the real world, they will. Or not. It’s their decision.

    Meanwhile, you go out and embrace motherhood for all it’s worth. Your kids are insanely lucky to have a mother who loves and cherishes them and makes sure they always know it. They look so happy in all your pictures. Cry when you need to – I know how disappointing it is to realize that one of the people who is supposed to love you unconditionally just doesn’t care – but know that you are creating a wonderful and loving family of your own, and your children have a shining example to look up to.

  33. Teri June 29, 2010 9:11 pm edit

    I had a looooong comment about how your mom’s problems are her own issues, and how you’re a wonderful and loving mom who is setting a great example for her children, but it disappeared into the great beyond. If anyone sees it, please send it to Angella. Thanks.

  34. angella June 29, 2010 9:24 pm edit

    Spam was being a meanie. Comment, moderated. (And much appreciated.)

  35. Victoria June 29, 2010 10:40 pm edit

    Hugs and love

  36. Fred V. June 30, 2010 4:59 am edit

    Hey, there is a (perhaps “the”) thorn in your flesh, as the apostle Paul put it so bluntly but also honestly. Thorns hurt us but shouldn’t. But God’s grace is in important ways sufficient, no, great for you: your man, your trio, your home and the amazing world which surrounds where you live. It’s great that Matthew helps you keep in touch with the good stuff. Thanks for reminding us all of the grace in your life.

  37. Hilary July 1, 2010 3:49 am edit

    That was a beautiful post. I read it last night before bed, as well as all the links, and have been thinking about you ever since. I so admire you how you were able to overcome the issues you have experienced and become the opposite mother to your kids. They are very lucky to have you.
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..It’s just like riding a bikejust with your thumbs =-.

  38. Grandma Shona July 1, 2010 12:34 pm edit

    Jesus is coming soon… Your pics look prophetic
    I love that you have Matthew
    What people cannot provide…
    security, significance and contentment
    Jesus does
    That’s my hope for me this year and for you and for us all.
    See you soon!

  39. Donna Y July 2, 2010 8:21 pm edit

    Oh, my. I’m all muddled in a similar brokenness. You captured it so well. Here’s a thought…. Perhaps by NOT making that first call, by not doing anything…. *that* is being a grown-up.

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