Friday, August 31, 2012

Saying Goodbye before Saying Hello

The last few weeks have been hard for me. I doubt you've noticed - I'm pretty good at hiding when things are hard. I've always been one of those types that push everything to the side - which isn't really a good thing, trust me. It usually ends up with a huge break-down over the smallest nothing because I've pushed all the somethings to the side. I'm working on it, it's a long process.

There's a lot going on right now, a lot of changes that I feel like I'm making within myself and a whole boat load of emotions that I could likely do without. I guess I've finally decided that enough is enough in my life and I'm going to face some really hard emotions and situations head on. Sometimes you have to say goodbye  before you've even really had the chance to say hello.

I will warn you. This post may become quite lengthy and if you don't want to read it, that's okay. But I have a lot to say and I don't want to not say it - because I need to say it. It needs to be said.

Let me start from the beginning:

I come from a pretty broken childhood, full of abandonment, drugs, violence, three divorces and a whole lot of messed up crap (to say the least). My mother left while I was young, reentered my life for a short period of time and had been in and out until I decided to leave her mostly out a few years ago. My father is an alcoholic, and had very possibly a more messed up childhood than I did. I have 5 younger siblings, 4 of them half siblings, one present step-mother and another deceased. My father as of today is divorced with no drivers license, living in a motel and spending most of his free time alone - but he often tried really hard, and I have to give him credit for that.

I will say that overcoming the things I experienced in my life as a child took a long while to face and accept. But I've learned that where we come from, our influences and our experiences severely shape a person and a choice must be made to accept this shaping as a positive one or a negative one. I am proud to say that I chose to take a positive shaping, molding my life into something better than what I had known.

Occasionally these things affect me, they cause me hurt and longings that I know will never be fulfilled and that's mostly what this post is about. It's about why I've been hurting so much lately, why I want to be happy because of where I'm at, but why it's sometimes really, really tough.

When Henry was born last July, I may have been one of the most confident mothers you could ever meet. I didn't ask any questions when I left the hospital, I didn't read any parenting books or scour the internet hours upon hours looking for what was the 'right' or 'wrong' way of doing things. I just faced this new blessing of a challenge head on, confident that my motherly instincts would take over and things would be just fine. And they were - until I went back to work and my precious little son screamed the entire time I was gone. I don't mean cried on and off, I don't mean screamed and then ate, slept and pooped and then screamed some more - I mean full-fledged, didn't eat, didn't sleep, screamed for eight hours straight, sometimes nine. I would come home to a blue-faced baby who was shaking from screaming so much. I did nothing but hold him on the weekends, hold him close and cry myself because I didn't want to put him through what he was going through at that time.

I knew what was wrong. I knew that he was attached and that when I left, he felt abandoned and alone in this huge, scary world. I knew and I told my husband this, my mother-in-law and anyone else who just had to comment on our situation. Upon being told that I was crazy, I succumbed to my husband and mother-in-law's insistence and took him to the doctor to prove that there was nothing wrong with my son. It took two minutes in the office and two nurses holding my baby (who immediately started screaming) to tell me what I already knew - my son was experiencing separation anxiety at the wee age of 12 weeks.

Every weekend it was the hardest thing that I ever had to do to walk out the front door and leave my screaming baby behind me. It got to the point that I was speeding home on my lunch just to hold him and feed him for ten minutes, just to rush back again. I started to get angry - angry that someone else wasn't there all week to help me, someone else he could feel comfortable around, someone else who should have been in my life as well. I was bitter and resented my mother for walking in and out on me so many times. I felt like every daughter deserves someone there when she becomes a mother - someone to help her and support her. But I was without. I got through it, I made the decision to leave my mother completely out of my son's life and I've stood true to that. Not because I was bitter, or angry but because I couldn't bare the thought of my son feeling abandoned by a grandmother who barely knew her own daughter as well.

Since his birth, I've had a lot of feelings like this. Feelings like my son deserves more from life, more than what I alone can give him. I've found myself in tears many nights wishing that things were different for me so that they were different for him. A lot of times I even wonder if having children was the right choice - because he will undoubtedly grow up with a different childhood than most of his peers. And how was I to know how to be a mother when I never had a mother? But I am confident that my husband and I can love him enough to make up for the love he won't receive from the others - and I feel like I'm a pretty damn good mother, even without one to turn to.

This post has gone a completely different direction than what I intended. I intended to write about my brother and how he is leaving tomorrow to head back to Texas, how his leave was not long enough and how I feel like he's been too busy for his older, married sister. It was suppose to be about how I felt like we hadn't even the time to whisper hello to one another and now we've already said goodbye. It's funny how things like that work - apparently I had something entirely different on my mind.

6 comments:

  1. You must certainly don't need anyone to tell you they agree or disagree with how you handle your relationship with your Mom but I agree with the choose you have made. Mom has said before that maybe you should give her one more chance and every time, I say no... it's not like you did anything wrong. She did. I think you are a fabulous mother. I see how happy Henry is in pictures, how much he is loved by his parents and more than anything how stable his world is because you and Jeremy decided to give 100% to your family/child knowing that walking away or giving up was never an option. You are the best mother, Jenn, inside and out, top to bottom. Love you!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. Honestly it's nice to know that someone agrees with me on the situation. From a distance it seems cold of me and I hate that, but how many 'one more' chances does a person get before you walk away? I feel like I'm doing what is best for my family now. I knew that there was a reason you were one of my favorite cousins. ;)

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  2. Sometimes the best thing to do is get rid of toxic people. Those exact people are poison to you and anyone you love (even if you love them). They bring you down and ruin a piece of you. you are a great mom, its evident!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I sure try to be a good mama!

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  3. You have to make the decisions that are hard but ultimately that are the best for you and your family. There are so many family members of mine that I have had to just walk away from because they are toxic. You are doing what's best for you and YOUR family. :)

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    1. I'm sorry that you've been in similar situations, but I am grateful that someone else out there can say 'I've done it and it's OKAY'. Thank you.

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You don't know just how lovely you are...thank you.