Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Report Card - A Definite F

If there were a course in Life, Marriage and Motherhood I would flunk. Without a doubt I would be right at the bottom of the class. Well, okay maybe not right at the bottom. Maybe there would be a few with worse grades than I, like the ones that allowed their husbands to beat them or their children and didn’t leave. I’d be right down there close though.

Why do I cover for him? Why do I try to make things seem not as bad as they really are? Why do I keep trying to make things better? Go back a few posts and read the Einstein quote on insanity again. Uh huh. That’s me. Damn.

I left my son for three months with his father while I enjoyed the freedom of not having to be around his father. Selfish. . . Stupid. . . What was I thinking? Oh, I know, W seemed to be making strides at making things better given the counseling we were attending. I saw him making efforts. I took note of how he actually seemed to listen when the counselor discussed changes that should be made, changes that I had requested but that had fallen on deaf ears. So I thought it would be okay. I thought that things were better enough. Okay, okay, I admit it. I also wanted to be on my own and not have to deal with either of them for a while. Selfish, stupid decision on my part.

Now we’re all back in the same house. After a week of this, N feels free to come and talk to me about his feelings about the situation. I listen. I try to tell him things will be alright. I can’t blame him that he doesn’t believe me. Why should he? As he himself said, W doesn’t change. Yet I have done nothing to protect my son from him but attend counseling. Counseling that apparently has made no real changes.

Last night, N was sitting on my lap in the family room. We were watching an episode of Supernanny. As the 13-year-old girl on the show talked about how she felt about her dad, about how she didn’t think he loved her, how he yelled at her, etc. N told me that is how he feels about his dad. He doesn’t believe W loves him. He wishes he hadn’t been born because he wouldn’t have been yelled at if his soul stayed in heaven. It broke my heart, really truly broke my heart. He and I talked for a long time with him sitting on my lap, tears rolling down his cheeks (and mine too sometimes), and me hugging him close to me. Finally, we were both exhausted, and I took him to bed and went to bed myself.

This morning I called the Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) for work. I talked to someone there and have an appointment on Thursday. I need help. N needs help. W needs help, but I can’t worry about him anymore. I’ve got to look out for N and me. I hope the counselor can point me in the right direction to get the help we need, maybe family counseling to help get N and me back on a proper Mom/Son relationship. By that I mean a relationship where I am a mom that N can look up to and respect and trust to take care of him.

Today at lunchtime I went home for lunch. N was at a friend’s house playing. Apparently (as I found out later) he has pretty much spent the entire day there. Why wouldn’t he? It must be a much more pleasant place to be than with W. However, I cannot count on neighbors to provide “free babysitting” all summer. So now I’m looking into day camps for him for the summer. I can’t leave him at home with W. Things are too volatile there. Plus he’s going to wear out his welcome at the friends’ houses he’s spent so much time visiting.

While I was home at lunch I took the time to talk to W about some of the issues that are at hand. I tried to focus on what I thought were the worst. I started with the namecalling. I told him that it has to stop. He went into defensive mode. He was just joking, just kidding around, didn’t intend to hurt N’s feelings. Well, it does hurt, so just stop it. I won’t tolerate it anymore. I told him that N said last night that he wished he hadn’t been born, and told W that we, as the parents, need to work with N to make sure that he doesn’t feel that way, that he can feel that life is worth living. W professed to have no clue how to do that. Fine. I was tired, lunchtime was over. I needed to return to work. W proceeded to tell me how hurt his feelings are. I’m sorry, but all I heard from there was “blah, blah, blah.” I reiterated that I had to get back to work, and I left.

This is bad. This is really really bad. Why oh why did I let it get to this point? Give the lady a big fat “F” for failure.


Fiona said...

Perhaps, TS, you needed to get to this point to be sure. To know that you can be strong enough to make the changes you now see as a priority for bettering the life of your little boy.

Noone can, nor should, judge you. The important thing is that you are seeing clearly, that W can no longer come first. N must. And for N to thrive you must also come first with him.

I see so much strength in your words here, more than I've ever seen before. Your fighting spirit has been aroused. You go girl!!!!

Serenity said...

Oh no no, i will not let you take this on as your fault. You are NOT responsible for W's inability to be an empathetic and caring person and parent. This is SO not about HIS feelings, it is about N's. Do whatever you have to to protect N. Do not beat yourself up for choices you already made, you know it was for the best as far as your job, which you need in order to make a good life for you and N.
You know N has to be your first and foremost priority and I think we both know W is not going to become a positive presence in N's life anytime soon.
Ok, lecture over... hugs!!

Laurie Anne said...

Please answer--I'm sure they'd be great. You've been tagged! Sorry. Here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

oldbear said...

Hi Truey, there is some truth in yuor need to take responsibility for SOME of this, but as others hae pointed out, its mostly on W. (W?--ugggghh should have known somethig was wrong right there)

My parenets were strict, my dad was a bit of a hard -ass, but as soon as it became common knowledge in educated circles that the subconscience is literal, and that kids have to be told they are good, and expected to live to that.....Their and his approach to parenting and critscsism changed a lot!!!!

So it must be for W. HE must change!!!! PAx, OB.

Al Laddin said...

You've GOT to change that grade!

There is no way you bear the responsibility for all this yourself. Please hear us, all of us who care about you and what you're going through. Most, if not all of us have been there too. I certainly have. I have made horrible mistakes that I though were the best things to do at the time. It sucked and I moved on...but not without the requisite pain and anguish. One day at a time...one hour...one minute...one foot in front of the other.

I heard the greatest thing one time: "When you're going through hell...don't stop."

Love you, Tru.

Trueself said...

Fiona - Your comment stopped me in my tracks. I had to go back and reread my own post. Damn, you're right, there is strength there. Who knew?

Serenity - While I can't take fault for W's shortcomings, I must take responsibility for letting things go on for so long that N's spirit has been so damaged. I saw it. I ignored for too long. No more.

Laurie Ann - I almost deleted your comment. It felt a little spammish to me. However, I went and checked out your blog, and upon seeing the reason for you tagging me I, perhaps stupidly, was so flattered by your reason for tagging me that I decided to leave it. I will also get around to posting a response to the tag, but it may be a few days given all that's going on right now.

OB - I must confess to giggling over your strong distaste for my use of W to represent the hubby. Believe me he is quite different from "the" W yet just as annoying only not on a global scale.

Al - Yes, I know that I must not stop, but just keep plodding forward. I must make it to the other side for my sake and for N's.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel but it isn't true. Every parent makes mistakes and has things they wish they could undo but the fact that N talks to you and confides in you says you must be doing something right. Hang in there friend.

Trueself said...

FL - Thanks. Yes he definitely does confide in me. Unfortunately, it seems it us (N and me) against W, not a productive way to live. Gotta find a better way.