Jet Puff Marshmallow


Have you ever bought one of those bags of jet puffed marshmallows and roasted it over a camp fire? You see how it grows and grows until you are forced to take it of the stick and eat the finished product, all soft and gooey, stuffing your inner mouth with sweet flavor? This was me in the beginning. A jet puff marshmallow. One of many in the bag, looking all the same. No telling one from another. I have always hated one thing about myself all my life. Confidence. The lack of confidence. I am not sure why I never obtained it. It never really grew on me. I hate to place blame when the blame should bounce back on my own weakness, but I really do believe it was the lack of hearing compliments about me, and the constant need trying everything I could, to earn one. I had wonderful parents, but that just wasn’t part of who they were, giving the pat on the back, and saying good job, daughter! It may even stemmed back further, before I even knew and understood what being accepted was really all about. It may go back to the time when I was four years old and remembering hiding behind the living room chair, listening to my real mother and step mother argue about me. One saying to the other, you will never see her again, and the other saying I will be back when she is sixteen, and we shall let her decide who she wants to live with. Our brains are working properly at that young age. They just don’t jump-start once we start going to school. Maybe I got a part of that argument in my head and it stuck all of my life. When you hear things that are negative it has a great impact on your life. Sometimes I think I remember those more than anything else. I can remember my mom making a fly by night comment on one of my elementary school year photos, about me being the one stuck out in the photo, that she was going to HAVE to put me in the Weight Watchers program. One Easter Sunday morning, I was sitting up in the big people’s church and mom told me I was constantly chattering and flipping my hat off and on. I had totally embarrassed her and she could not concentrate on the message. The most critical comment that has always stuck with me was when my mom told me she could never love me as her own. I knew then, that I was unworthy of love from anyone. If my real mom had left me behind, and my step mom had made this comment, I must surely be a bad seed. So, the marshmallow remained in the bag, never being opened to puff up. Even though it is hard to admit to myself, let alone to you readers, I have lived my life even my adult life as trying to prove myself. In my first marriage, everything had to be perfect. My children had to be clean at all times. If they played outside and got dirty, they got a bath and clean clothes. If my husband wanted to do something on the spur of the moment, I had to make sure the house was in tidy order. He and I used to argue about this quite a bit. Which was more important, he would say, me or the house. It didn’t seem that way to me, I just wanted it all. The perfect mom, and the perfect wife, a wonderful combination. My second marriage was me trying to be the perfect nurse-maid. I took care of my insecure husband. I made all decisions about anything that has to do with a marriage. I think I enjoyed this power of knowing I was making everything right for another person. I was healing him, right? Wrong. It destroyed me. It wore me down, and in the end, it made me feel more unworthy than in the beginning. The marshmallow still remained in the bag, untouched. All my life I wanted to puff up like the marshmallow, and never got there. I am fifty-eight years old, and have lived over half of my life. I know the reward is to know God, and sit by him in heaven, but I still wanted to succeed in my life. I wanted to feel needed and worthy. I wanted someone at my funeral to say she is going to be really missed. Do you remember that time she made such an impact by doing so and so? I started writing. I wrote about my life and the journey I travel, taking care of my brother. I have tried writing a funny one, and even ventured into the fictional writing, using one of today’s big problems in the world. I have been able to write, placing myself in another person’s shoes. My first story I wrote for the world to view, I received a comment. One of my first followers was Bird. I still tease her today about being my first! More and more comments came in, and I clung to them, and took them to heart. People were liking what they read. They were leaving positive comments. It didn’t matter to me if it was a quick note or a long letter, they were responding to something I was doing. The marshmallow began to move, wanting someone to take it out of the bag. I have had some really good advice given to me among the comments also. One recently was to open my eyes, that my brother, who is mildly mentally challenged, and I stress the word mildly, may also be able to use his mind to manipulate me into giving him what he wanted. I had bent over backwards trying to please him. After all, he is the sick one right? He, in his own mind could still use situations to his own advantage. He cries a lot, due to Parkinson’s, but he also cries to get his own way. Although, he is 57, his mind is 10. Thanks to a comment of advice, that I took, I was able to learn that he can be just like any of us, acting out when we want our own way. It took two days of constant battle from within myself not to give in on his crying binge, wanting me to apologize for something I had not done wrong, but I did win. He finally gave up, and I have now seen more smiles. I did something right. I didn’t let me heart do the work, I let my mind do the work. It felt good. I had succeeded in something. I had a goal, and I completed it and won. As the comments started coming more and more, I realized that I was already a success. Not maybe in the

Marshmallow

Marshmallow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

writing area, but a success in my own right as a human being. People opened my eyes and reminded me that God loves me and that I am alright just the way I am. I don’t have to keep trying to prove myself. I am not completely healed. I still count on the comments, but I am relaxing some. I may never be a published author, and I will never be president of anything, but I can be the marshmallow roasting on the stick. Being prepared to be accepted and enjoyed by other human beings.

48 thoughts on “Jet Puff Marshmallow

  1. Agree with Mona here, it’s fantastic to read that you have come so fare … that you don’t can stand up against him and his drama – as I said before, he are so spoiled and it’s his way to get attention – you will know when the crying is for real. Just like a big kid. Good on you – even if I don’t like marshmallow *smile

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  2. I spent years trying to be the best girl and finally discovered I enjoyed being me and didn’t need to have constant reassurance that I was all right because I was all right for me. It’s a journey for all of us really, good parents, bad parents, life is still a journey. Nice to see you’ve come a so far down the path. 🙂

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  3. Beautifully said!!! Always remember that you’re worth alot. You were so important that God sent His son to die for you. He gave a blood sacrfice, His own life for you. We’re just here to remind you every now and then of that. Hope you have a great day!!!! P.S., the last marshmallow is usually the most savoured, and is valued better because it’s a reminder of the lasting sweet taste. You’re a the piece everyone gets to fight over 😀

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  4. Whooohoooo!!! btw, don’t say you will never be an author! if you believe that it will be true! you are already, and you have the talent to go further with it, if you want to! i’m preaching to myself here, but don’t let fear stop you! you are a really good writer!!

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  5. I absolutely LOVE this post beyond words as the imagery, analogy, and eulogy to what lies inside of us, dead or alive, we don’t know, reflects what many women go through in struggling with confidence that seems to be automatically given to others. Your writing is remarkable, and I actually think you could totally be published. I savour your posts like halal smores (which, doesn’t exist as far as I know, because they are so unique), just like you are. Rare and delicious! 😀

    Pink.

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  6. A wonderful post, beautifully written and very uplifting.

    I do wonder about that thoughtless comment that caused so much hurt. My mother told me her father once said something that cut her to the bone, a different comment obviously, but it stayed with her all her life until he was very old. It came up in conversation and he didn’t even remember. When she told him, he cried. He said he couldn’t believe he’d been so cruel as he absolutely didn’t feel that way. Sometimes we say hurtful and thoughtless things without a second thought. A child that isn’t ‘mine’ lives with me. I feel a certain guilt about loving her so much when she isn’t my child, like it is an insult to my own. My love for her is different but I can’t describe how strong. I can take pride in her in a way that I feel would be arrogant with my own children. Because she was not my baby I have a deep, deep friendship with her on top of the love and I am more protective of her because of her background. It is simply a different deep, deep love. I’d find that very hard to tell her (and my children read my posts) but perhaps your Mum just couldn’t express herself. It is worth a thought. It is like that feeling when you think you could never love a second child as much as your first, and then you find you do, but it takes nothing away from the first, who you still love with every ounce of your being. I’ll stop now, I’m rambling.

    I can also bang on for hours about how much I love my own children but the world wide web only has so much room and I have to share. Though they can be a right pain, all of them.

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    • you sound to me like a wonderful, loving mom. your kids are lucky. i can understand what you are saying to me about a different love. i don’t know how mom really felt. i know she did everything for her own child, and i worked for everything i had which benefited me in later years

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      • That is sad. I hope I treat mine all the same, though I have to be careful of treading on the real parents toes. My little love came for a one night sleepover and kept staying and staying until she practically lived with us. Then she just stopped going home. It was odd and her parents never queried it. So I just let her. I figured she just needed a Mum and anyone’s would do! She was 13 when I met her (21 now) and I’d be devastated if she decided to move back home, only half a mile away. I will take your story as a warning not to forget to treat them equally.

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      • i can so relate to this. when i had my family still at home, we had a sign above our house which said Teen Hut. all my kids friends would come, always open invites. some would stay for days leave and come back. i always knew where my kids were, and i knew their friends. it worked well with not worrying about them

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    • but how much she loved me i am not sure. we never bonded and this could be part of the problem. she never held me as a baby. i do know she cared, but i don’t know how much it is a shame she has passed on. i made peace the last year of her life, but i needed more time for us to get to know each other as adults

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      • Yes, it is a terrible shame as (obviously I don’t know, but) I would guess just from the way I feel, that she really did love you, but couldn’t express it.
        I will ensure that my little girl knows. She is home next week. Hooray.

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      • enjoy her! i make sure i tell all three of my kids i love them all the time. they probably get sick of it!! lol i don’t care. some day i will be gone and they will have no doubts

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  7. What do you mean ‘I may never be a published author’?? You are already and the world is your audience.
    BTW, I remember being 16, a very vulnerable age for a girl, and my father saying me that I had the skills but not the confidence. I’ve carried that with me to this very day. He’s never really understood how it affected me – and still does all these years later. It was a flippant comment with enormous ramifications.

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    • i totally understand what you are saying. a flip remark can and usually does remain with us for life. they may have not meant anything but insults or blows do huge damage, i never looked at myself as an author like u have just said. i guess since i have never sold a book i considered myself not an author

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  8. Great blog. I especially liked the last paragraph. It says it all. God loves you just the way you are. You don’t have to keep proving yourself. People are as fickle as the wind. Put your trust in us and we will fail you. God will never fail you. He will love you forever.

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  9. Everyone…everyone needs affirmation that they are doing something right…something good..from a small child to an adult and if we don’t get it as a child…only negative and in the case of what your step-mother said…cruel things then it is harder to feel good about ourselves when we are older…I’m glad you’re starting to ‘puff’ up…Diane

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    • thank you Diane. you are right. little insults, and snide remarks told to a child who has so much faith and love for the adults, can be very painful, and destroy a great part of their soul. thank goodness god is helping me along with the high praises i get on here from all of you

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  10. Such a sweet post and way to look at this! I’m so glad that you are gaining more confidence and know that you are much loved and treasured by Him . .. and us! 🙂

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  11. I can relate to your experience. As a child and young adult I had no confidence at all. I was shy and timid. I have changed a great deal over the last couple of decades, but I still have times when my confidence wanes somewhat. I, too, didn’t have much affirmation as a child and even as an adult my mother would criticize and say negative things to and about me. I’m sure she loved me but, as Elaine said, perhaps she just didn’t know how to express it.

    As to your being an author, Terry, you are just that with all the writing you have done on your blogs. You don’t become an author because you sell a book. You are an author because you write something worthwhile. I realize it’s a little more complicated to write a book than a blog, but this is an excellent beginning. The Bible says not to despise the day of small things. Everything must start small. But you have started and must go forward whether you write lengthy books or just short stories. It doesn’t matter except that you keep on using the gift the Lord has given you.

    I agree that God loves you just the way you are. But I would like to add that God made you just the way you are. And He knew what He was doing.

    By the way, I don’t like marshmallows either. 🙂

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  12. Terry, I can honestly say if you were gone today, I would miss you dearly. I would miss the words you write and share, and the love and life you share through them. You are a bright light shining in a world that is darkened with selfishness. You are showing people that sacrifice for those you love is a worthy calling, and that beauty truly comes from the inside. You are beautiful inside and that makes you special, and even more gorgeous than the reigning Miss Universe. You are the marshmallow that has been roasted just right, and the cut and refined jewel that shines the brightest.

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  13. those are the nicest words i have ever heard spoken about me in my whole life. you have begun healing a dark spot that not many touch, shining a light from within my soul. god bless you for touching my heart my friend

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