Getting Back on the Horse

 

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My proud girl and her new friend.

Sometimes I stumble. Actually, I stumble often.  Sometimes the past whispers in my ear, tells me I am not good enough, tells me my attainable goals are out of reach. It whispers I am not beautiful enough, smart enough, rich enough, strong enough, or worthy enough. My inner voice is polluted at times.

I heard somewhere, that as mothers, our words and actions to our children become their inner voice as adults. Nothing about parenting is more true. Being a former foster child, who was taken from  an abusive mother, my own inner voice sometimes has a deep, harrowing echo–it sneaks up on me at vulnerable times. It is especially loud during intimate moments and in small daily perceived failures.

Children who were foster children, or who suffered abuse by a  trusted parent often have a life-long emotional barricade. Physical wounds heal and people do move on. We look whole on the outside, we can grow and succeed, but that inner voice taunts. It pushes us to fail, to stop while we are on the path to emotional freedom.

It makes us hold our breath, it keeps us expecting hurt. Sometimes it invites hurt. Failures, personal or professional, seem par for the course. In fact, there is a comfort in being cast aside, or losing a professional goal. That nagging whisper tells us our negative inner voice is correct. It is  the lifelong impact of early abuse.

But, being a mother now always gives my soul another chance to drown that inner voice. This week, I watched my beautiful girl get up on a big horse and proudly trot around an incredible horse farm. Her bravery and confidence astounds me. Her inner voice is strong. When she is scared, she hears me telling her she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She hears her family telling her she can do it, telling her to try one more time.  She is whole and not fractured. She later climbed a fort, pulling herself up on ropes, and laughing at my fears. She is strong, where I am not.

My proud rider.
My proud rider.

She stumbles (not often), and she gets herself back up. I asked her how she is so brave. After all, she is now an aspiring artist. She is my little chef who studies french baking. She still climbs trees and likes to rock climb higher than I ever would! She nurtures every living creature, even the scary ones. Most importantly she always wants to help someone else. Only yesterday she asked me if she could do more to help foster kids. She is so proud of herself when she gets involved. She is selfless beyond any child I have met.

I felt so emotional watching her climb that horse. My daughter is everything I was not as a child. She is fearless.

On the way home, I told her I am so proud of her willingness to try so many things. Her response was: “I am so proud to have you as my mom, in all the universe there is not a better mom. That is why I get back up when I fall off!”

Me-- Just entering foster care after I was taken from my mother.
Me– Just entering foster care after I was taken from my mother.

This is what foster children, discarded children, and abused children need. They need what secure and loved children like my girl have; one consistent voice and presence urging them to be their best selves. Advocates can bring this to all children. Former foster children can create a new generation of givers in our own children. We can create strong women and men. Our own inner voices can be quieted for yet another day.

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This work by menaanne.wordpress.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Getting Back on the Horse”

  1. I love this! Your words are so deep and strong… You captivate the world, and hold in right in the palm of your hand! God bless you and your beautiful girl… She is a gem, for sure, as you are yourself! XO

  2. I love this so much! My dad was the one who taught me how to ride, and one day my horse got spooked and took off at a gallop and I clung to her mane for dear life. My dad kept saying, Let go! Let go! But I was stubborn. When the horse finally stopped he told me that he knew exactly what kind of person I was. There is something so special about having a parent witness you try something new and bold as a child. You your mini me are so fortunate to have each other.

  3. What an incredible piece! You reached into my soul and inspired appreciation for who you are and what you have been through. Your daughter is blessed to have you, and she knows it! You must continue to share your inspiring perspective. I also hope your words will reach young mothers and parents willing to adopt a child out of the foster system.

  4. You are a wonderful mom and have done such a great job with her. She is very lucky to have such a great caring and loving mom. Despite what you have been through you have excelled as a mom and provided excellent guidance for her. Your story was very heart felt and inspiring. I wish I had been reading your post all along. I will deffinintly tune in more often to read more of your wonderful warm encouraging stories.

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