I have a therapist who encourages me to write. She knows this is a way I connect with my heart, writing and people are the glue that hold me together. I haven’t a chance to talk to her about this new development though, something I worry about speaking aloud, for fear of backlash and judgment.
I have a secret.
Entirety is not perfect, and she is an even less perfect mother. But my counsellor would piss therapeutically on me for that statement.
I’m not wearing my family’s garbage out for all to see and to gawk. Instead I am speaking about some of these unspeakable things so that they could hold less power over me, and that stigma and inadequacy could be quelled.
An explosive child, and a child some days I feel lost at parenting. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse, living out dynamics of dealing with not always agreeing, and knowing this child acts differently with me then he does with his dad, and yet the thread remains.
I am sometimes afraid.
In the midst of trying to grieve my mothers death, I have been trying to hold family life together. Often with the absence of my ex-spouse who has been necessarily dealing with personal issues. And I am drowning.
In the last month I have seen Lawyers, Doctors, Bankers, Counsellors, Funeral directors, mental health workers, police officers and I can tell you I am about done with professionals. There is nothing more to make you feel alone than walking into all these offices to fight these battles with only air by your side. I don’t mean to undermine my sisters hard work through my moms death, but I am partnerless, and at the end of the day, on the days I can, I crawl into bed alone and listen to the sound of the furnace and I hope I can sleep. On the days I can’t, I crawl in beside my 9 year old to not feel so alone.
Tomorrow I am taking my oldest son to live temporarily somewhere else. I want to make sarcastic comments about what kind of mother has to do this. Wise cracks about what a loser I am, but I won’t. Because I know it’s not true, I am a good mom who loves all her kids, even the one that I am driving to a friends house tomorrow through an organization called Safe Families. In the last two months my son has been expressing an enormous amount of hurt through anger, a tv was broken, baking destroyed, my iPhone 7 lobbed through a parking lot and I have been called a fucking bitch more times then I can count. But I can honestly say with my rose coloured glasses OFF, I know he is a good kid.
So I’m still showing up.
When I was 8 my sister ran away. (Note here she is far from being an adult screw up despite some of her journey being unconventional through her teens… ok she remains unconventional but in a good way.) After she returned safely she spent some time living with my Aunt and Uncle.
I remember quite distinctly my mom during this time. I remember comforting her at the age of 8, like my youngest does for me. These moments don’t really make you feel like a great mother. One that your kid can’t live with you and two that you need comfort from your youngest and three this underlying fear that it was something you did or didn’t do as a mother. Cause if I am honest, I’ve probably only fucked up with my son a few thousand times. Like the time he ate crayons and I put tobasco sauce on his tongue for doing so, or the time I told him he was pathological. (Hoping that all his time watching House didn’t clue him in to what I meant.). But I get angry too, and I have said some hurtful things.
So don’t you see, after my mom put my sister in with my aunt and uncle, I just want to know what my mom thought. How did she feel doing that? Did she feel like a failure too? Did she question if they were doing the right thing? Did she cry at thinking about the vulnerability of her child while simultaneously go through the motions of having to keep showing up for me since I was still there? I want to ask my mom, but she’s not here. I can’t ask her what it was like and I can’t not think about the journey they took with my sister and I am now taking with my son. I keep thinking about this quote I read, “why can’t heaven have visiting hours?”
Parenting is hard. I know that’s not a news flash. But it’s hard and I’m still showing up, and I’m a lazy fuck.
My mom showed up too. Somedays better than others, but I always knew she loved me, and that she loved my sisters too.
I can love my kids. Even if the days are sometimes hard. Even if it means unconventional family life so that everyone can get their needs met as best possible.
I just wish I could ask my mom though, what she felt and thought… but true to form I’d probably just accuse her of backseat driving.