Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Pouring My Heart Out - Letting Go
I used to judge you.
Not you. The Moms that have children. Children that didn't live with them.
"I wonder how many kinds of drugs she's strung out on."
"She's probably at the club/bar too often to take care of her own kids."
"She's just a shitty excuse for a mother."
Yes. Really. I really used to think things like that.
Then, two months ago my eldest son moved out of state to live with his father.
(Middle Man. You remember him.)
Sometimes I try to playback where something might have went wrong. Did we disconnect somewhere along the way? Did I make a series of parenting faux pas that led to this?
But really, I'm only trying to make a good cover story. Something that will make me feel less guilt & sadness.
Middle Man might have 'belonged' to his father from the jump. From the day we divorced, even. But I wasn't being selfish. I was protecting him from a bad situation. His father had problems. Problems that needed to addressed before he was capable of parenting. But the years went by and Middle Man not only resided with his Mama, but he didn't even see his father. For years. M.M. never talked about him. Even if I brought him up in conversation, M.M. cringed. So, life went on.
Then as that cruel bitch, Father Time so often does-my little boy turned into a teenager. Full of angst, eye rolling, "I know better than you" attitude....Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. Then he withdrew himself, started failing in school, and just became-well, dark. I tried reeling him back in but to no avail.
An action of his own, forced me to have him hospitalized for a week. (Ironically, almost at this exact same time last year.) He came home and went to outpatient therapy, in school therapy, medications, & a tutor. The family banned together and pulled him into family time and outings. Everyone walked egg shell style around him.
"Oh no. YOU take the last pancake. " (Even though I'm starving to death.)
"Of course you can have that game. Let me run right now in the freezing rain to get it for you!"
Because we were all afraid. Afraid of him snapping. Going over the edge. No one wanted that. Alas, he is 1/2 ME, so he quickly learned to adapt to his situation. He took the ball and ran with it. He was at the wheel. He was in charge of the entire home. I didn't want to discipline him because he brought home another column of F's on his report card. What if he had some kind of breakdown? My husband didn't want to discipline him, because what if it ended up landing us back at the hospital with another 7 thousand dollar bill to pay?
As he spiraled out of control, he became venomous to me. Something that I had never witnessed from him. On a Thursday, the school called me. (Yes, again.) He had gotten into some petty trouble at school. But I grilled him when he came home.
"Why are you acting like this all the time? You're going to sit here until you can tell me what your problem is. Because we're going to fix it. Enough is enough." I finally felt in control.
For all of 5 seconds.
"I hate you. I hate you for taking my Dad away. I don't want to live here anymore. I want my Dad."
His Dad that he hadn't seen for seven and half years. He wanted a stranger. I really wanted to just tell him what REALLY happened with his father. But guess what? I didn't. I took the high road. I started Googling. A few hours later, I found his Dad. Then I done what any adult would. I made my Mom call him.
Fast forward to the next morning, his Dad called ME. Sure I was going to end up vomiting or calling him names, I took his call. He was cordial, nice even. He told me everything would be fine. He actually promised me.
And I believed...and still do....believe him.
Within 72 hours he was here to get him. All of his boxes. His clothes, his shoes, his personal effects, his X-Box. Just like that, without a proper goodbye, he walked away.
So here I am, two months later. Pound by pound, I get thinner. I cry for him.
But my decision was to sacrifice my own feelings for my son's best interest.
I don't judge YOU anymore. I understand. I miss my little boy incredibly. I didn't get to watch him blow out fifteen candles this year. I may not see 16, 17, or 18 either. But I'll continue to hope he continues to thrive, even if it isn't with me.
Thanks, Shell....for letting me pour my heart out.