What do you think of when you hear that word? Does it make you cringe? Does it make you cry? Does it make you want to wipe it off of you and spit it out of your mouth? Me too.
Unfortunately, I put that word, that role, on every now and then and struggle to escape its grasp. It's suffocating at times. You see, I wasn't an overly wanted baby (at least by my own perception). A year and a half before my arrival...my tumultuous arrival I might add...my parents had suffered a great loss of their first born...a son, beautiful and perfect...to an accident on the farm. He was still just a tiny little boy of 3 years old when he was ripped from their arms, and my older sister was merely an infant. They had their perfect family...a son and a daughter....and didn't want any more. But God changed their world in a single horrific moment.
And then I came...in a fury during a blizzard and full of fire. I was not in the plan and didn't agree with their status quo. Older sis was "perfect" as I've been told numerous times. I, however, was fiery, feisty, temperamental, and equipped with a great pair of lungs. And on several occasions have been told how they hated my infancy, that I was the worst toddler, and my mere demeanor, and hence presence in my mind, made them never want any more children. In fact, they cried when the found out they were pregnant with my younger brother...because they didn't want another child like me.
Now as a mom...sometimes I can understand from where my mother was coming. However, being told over and over and over that "you were the worst child ever" and that "they didn't want any more like you" can sometimes tear you down...even if that wasn't the intent. You see, I think all of our parents did the very best that they could. And sometimes we need to forgive them their mistakes because they, too, are only human.
But I find it hard to let go and release the hold that "unwanted" has over me. I feel it at every family gathering even if it isn't intentional. By virtue of losing a child, I think you hold onto the remaining child even tighter. Which I think happened, but I never felt a strong grip toward me. When older sis was perceived as "perfect" all of the time, younger sis (myself) was unable to live up to that expectation...and according to the re-telling of my childhood, I fell short. Big sis was allowed to torment me throughout my childhood with no repercussions, and now, she goes after my kids...still void of any consequences. I feel like the white-trash step-child who descends upon the royal family with my little white-trash posse in tow.
To top it off, when I was 3 my parents had an unexpected birth...a son. He was placed on a beautiful blue pedestal. And I can't really blame them. Little "T" was so loved, cherished...protected. As a mother, I think I understand and can say that I would probably do the same. What I can't wrap my head around is the disconnect that I feel now and felt throughout my childhood. Was I really that "unwanted"? Put those words on for a second. They don't feel very good do they? A little suffocating? Do you feel smaller? Do you feel.....less?