Memories that we wish we could forget…things that we wish we could banish from our minds.
Imagine that writing down your worst memory will free you of it.
What is it?
Why does it haunt you?
What could you have done differently?
Write it down and let it go.
Let’s keep it to 600 words or less.
* * *
I am lucky.
I know this.
Trying to respond to this prompt made it all the more clear: I regret many moments and choices I’ve made, but I don’t wish to forget any of them.
None of them resulted in catastrophe.
Some ended in heartbreak, leaving scars but my soul intact – something I can harness in writing.
Some overwhelm me with guilt and shame – but I use these to remind me what I wish to change.
Some terrify me – a reminder to be careful in future.
Some are sad, bringing tears to my eyes – but they are life, which is messy and imperfect.
I am blessed.
I have a husband who I love, although at times I simultaneously wish to strangle him.
I have two healthy children who push my buttons, drive me to the brink, then give me a hug and drool upon me. While I wish they would actually obey me more than test boundaries, I would not change who they are.
I have a home. Air conditioning in Texas.
My husband is paid enough I can stay at home with my kids, and still have the occasional vacation.
I am lucky.
If I truly chose a moment to forget, to banish forever, it would surround my failings, not those done to me.
The moments that eat at me as mother, filled with remorse and mommy guilt.
The Mommy Monster moments.
Yelling at my children – when it isn’t deserved.
Lashing out in anger.
Listening but not truly hearing what they’re saying.
Striking one child to protect the other.
So many tiny moments I wish I could erase.
Yet I hold them tight.
To remind me the next time.
That is not me.
That is desperation. Exhaustion. Hormones.
Fear I am not good enough. Can never be.
Fear I will fail them through my own weakness.
Fear the tiny times of resentment will somehow overthrow the love I share.
Fear I was stupid to think I could handle this parenting thing.
Would I love to banish this fear forever? This guilt? This doubt?
Do I think it helps hold me in line and remind me of who I am and who I want to become?
I am lucky.
For my worst memories are survivable – lessons for my future.
I embrace them all.