A friend asked me today what was going on and if I wanted to talk. I really did...but there were just no words. I know you probably find "no words" coming from me quite comical...but honestly that is how I felt. I felt completely drained of everything...yes...including words.
I knew eventually that I would hit a breaking point and when I did....that all hell would break loose. I was not wrong. Since January I have been going at full tilt trying to make everything okay for everyone. I have tried to be super caregiver, super friend, super planner, super mom and now I have added super student to the list and the bottom line is...I am not super anything. No this is not self pity talking here. It is self realization. I have run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to please and placate and sometimes I think the person I tried to please and placate the most was myself. I was trying to prove that I could do it all, that I was this person that other people seemed to think I was. The truth is though....I have never been that person and if you don't believe me, just ask my kids.
Oh yes....my kids. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer here before I continue. Mainly because in the mood I am in....things could get ugly. The disclaimer: I DO love my kids. I have always loved my kids, but honestly there are those days when I do not like them one little bit. The truth be told...I am sure the feeling is mutual. In fact...I am getting told that more and more. In all fairness to my kids...they have been through a lot in their lives. Their normal was shot the day I went into labor with my youngest (David) almost 12 years ago and it has never been the same since. Much of what they have dealt with just pure and simply sucked, but they seem to forget that they were not alone....it was not picnic for me either. Since that day sometimes they have gotten the mother they needed and sometimes they have just gotten a mother holding on by a thread and barely able to function. Thus is the price paid when you suddenly find yourself doing it alone with no set of instructions or road map to guide you through.
Over the years my children have challenged my authority, my patience and most of all my sanity. My oldest fought me at every turn, disrespected me and my home and somehow was amazed that he was no longer welcome. And then....as all kids pushing buttons do...he turned it around and suddenly it was all my fault and I was a horrible parent. Being stuck between single parent guilt and wanting to help my son....I caved on several occasions which opened us back up for a repeat of fighting and disrespect. Of course once again it was all my fault and I heard just what a horrible person I am. The constant worry, trying to do it right and never succeeding in anyone's eyes has taken me to my limits and caused me at times to become a hard and much colder person.
Now I am dealing with the 16 year old. Honestly....I have heard so many people talking about their 15/16/17 year olds and telling horror stories about how they talk and act and I was truly happy that I wasn't dealing with that. Don't get me wrong....he was not up for sainthood by any stretch but he was really a good kid. Suddenly though....he has changed. He is angry at me and it seems that the more I try to do for him...the angrier and more hateful he gets. I know that many would say that these are red flags for drug use and alcohol abuse in teens. Trust me....it has all gone through my head. I think though....the issue is that he really has decided he hates me. Yes...I said "hate!"
Yesterday I was sick...really sick. It had been coming on for over a week but I had fought it with school and trying to get ready for a back to school party for said 16 year old. Now before I go further....let me say that the 16 year old has been a major help with his little brother over the years. He has picked up a lot of slack that in most situations another parent would do. Not a day has gone by that I have not been grateful for this and so now that he has turned 16, I have tried to give back. I have tried to take everything off of him so that he can enjoy being a teen. At any rate yesterday because I was sick and irritable I called him on something and it didn't set well with him. It went from me telling him to do something to him telling me that I had no control over him and from there it just got worse. Before it was all said and done he had told me in detail just how much he hates me. My heart is truly broken. It changes a parent to hear that. It makes me wonder why I try. It also makes me see him through much different eyes.
Am I a perfect parent? Is there such an animal? Like most parents on any given day...I do the best I can with what I am given. I have never done drugs, I rarely drink or go out. I make sure my kids have everything they need and as much of what they want as I can give them. I try to listen when they talk, be there when they need me, to support them through everything they do and to help them however and whenever I can. My kids ALWAYS come first which is why I am probably still doing this all by myself, and I have fought for and right along side my kids, for their grades, their dignity, their health and yes even their lives.....but today....today I feel like giving up. I feel as if they see me as someone to walk on or walk over with no respect for who I am or what I have tried to do for them. I feel that I am worth more than fights and name calling. I am worth more than being used with little given in return. I am worth more than doing it all by myself just to be told I am hated. Yes...I think I have hit the breaking point.