Who truly benefits from martyrdom? The ideal answer would probably be: everyone else, right?
I have four siblings, so there were seven of us in our home at one time. Of course, that meant my parents struggled–hard–to keep us fed and clothed, my mother being the main “victim” of this responsibility.
She worked two jobs starting from about 5AM, all the way up til about 9PM every single weekday. How noble, you might say. How generous, you might think. Well I guess it is in a way, but who took her place while she was gone? At least she worked from home in the morning but “working mom” is not “make you breakfast and lunch and walk you to school mom”, you know? That was “don’t bother me mom” and “I’ll see you later mom”–understandably so. She was gone or leaving for her second job by the time I got home from school.
My parents weren’t able make it to 95% of my school events. I didn’t mind at the time; it was embarrassing anyway. We didn’t tell each other we love each other very often, and we rarely ever hug. I didn’t mind at the time; it was embarrassing anyway.
But the lack of closeness and familial intimacy has bled into my adult life and habits, as would be expected. We just aren’t close and it stings sometimes, especially since I’m now over 800 miles away. I feel a twinge or so of envy when I watch my husband’s family interact with each other and see the way they interact with me. Honestly, it took a bit of getting used to and I’m still working on it, but it’s a breath of fresh air to lungs that almost never knew it.
That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate everything my parents did for us because I wholeheartedly do–we were never hungry and we always had clothes and toys and gadgets… maybe I just wanted something deeper than that. Does that make me selfish? Maybe. It’s just a little unfortunate that in this case, us kids didn’t completely benefit from my mother’s martyrdom. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”, right?
Martyrdom, to me, is a brutal double edged sword and should be avoided at all costs.
This happened to inspire a poem for me! Check it out here.