Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Breaking Point

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.


Mrs. R said...

As someone who has raised 6 kids I feel for you. I have always had my husband and back up and normally all the foolishness stops there but you don't have that option. Maybe you are doing too much for your kids. Maybe it is time you make them do for themselves. At 16 I am sure your young man has many nice things and I think a great punishment for bad behavior would be starting to sell off his nice things a piece at a time every time he thinks it is okay to disrespect you. That might just get your point across. Hope things get better.

Anonymous said...

I know your 16 year old and I know you. I know what you have given and sacrificed for your family since Tim died. I know that you should have kicked your oldest to the curb a long time ago and never looked back. I also know that isn't you and that you love your kids more than your own life. I am ashamed of Mr. Z because he knows better than to ever treat you like that. I don't care what you say or do those kids should never give you a moment of disrespect. Your kids should thank God that they have you as a mom because if I were there mom they would really know what hate is!

Alecia said...

This blog hits home for me. I was just like your 16 year old not that long ago. My mom was a single mom and raised me and my brother on her own. Sometimes she was tired and cranky and there were fights. I was angry that mom always had to work and couldn't come to my dance recitals or my volleyball games. She tried of course by other mothers always came. I couldn't have friends over often because mom was tired when she wasn't working and I couldn't go places because I had to watch my brother. I got mad and I said I hated my mom many times. She never said anything and we went on. Because of my mom I was able to go to college but when I came home on break it wasn't my fun college life, it was back to mom working and being tired and me being angry. One day at college I got a call from my aunt. My mom had died. My brother found her when she didn't get up that morning for work. I have never missed anyone more than my mom and I have since regretted every hateful or mean word I have said to her. You only get one mom in this life and if you don't appreciate her while you have her there are no second chances. Oh and thanks to my mom, I graduated from college in the spring of 2011 and am now working towards my law degree. Thank you mom. Lets hope your kids realize this before they have no second chances.


Anonymous said...

Z is a great kid that grew up real fast. Maybe too fast. But given the circumstances and his heart, he did it because he was needed. And life isn't fair. But I've come to know a young man that is more responsible than most grown men.

But the truth is, he's still 16 and will be 16. And Z will do what most 16 year olds will do at times and that's drive mom crazy. Heck, I'm 50 and if my mom was still alive today she would still be doing face palms because of what I do.

Being a teenager isn't easy. He's going thru changes he doesn't and we can't always understand. Z has endured what few can understand and he's done it with strength, patience and grace. Looking from 800 miles away, I'm guessing he just needs to let some steamroll and someone to lean on. And most importantly, to be loved unconditionally, even when he may not be all that lovable from time to time.

And I know my friend, she may be stressed out beyond belief, but underneath it all, there is a strength that few will know in their life. And it is you my friend.

I'm here for you and the boys. And I'm praying. You know where to find me. Just call. Love you all.

Ben said...

My mom was an alcoholic with a bad temper. She also worked her fingers to the bone to support my siblings and I. She sacrificed and that sacrifice is possibly what caused her to drink. When her temper was riled she was a force to be reckoned with and she said some things I am sure she didn't mean the next day. Through it all though I never EVER would have thought to tell her I hated her or to even be hateful to her. She was my mom and I loved her unconditionally despite the drinking and the temper. I just don't understand kids disrespecting their parents. Especially their mothers. Hopefully things will get better. Great and honest blog.

MarniJ said...

My dear friend....I know you very well and I know Z....you both have been through more then many of us have or can even understand. You have done the job of both parents for many years with strength that I myself could not begin to fathom.
As you said Z has been through so much in his young life and you have given into much for him...yes. BUT that doesnt mean that he has the right to disrespect you. He has watched your oldest as he has done the same thing to you....and he probably feels like he also can do this. I believe that in some fact he knows that he can say these things to you and you will still be there for him unconditionally. You can set boundries! WE can let our kids know that we truly love them unconditionally BUT that there has to be a level of respect.
We have always told both our kids that as they get older we will fight, we will disagree BUT we will always love each other and be there for them.
Lisa as much as you dont want to hear this....This too shall pass. I know right now you cant see the light at the end of the tunnel but trust me...there is one.
As for you...you need to stop trying to please everyone. Because when youre trying to please everyone...YOU get lost in the shuffle. Stop and breath every once in a while.....I promise I will come up there and kick your butt Girl!!!!
Know that as I said eariler...call, message or text me. I am always here to listen. You know my number!!!!!!