Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

Duh!


Ok, lately I’ve bitched about my son and his choices, and I’ve bitched about my daughter acting too much like the teenager that she is.  I’ve been really down, really hurt and really mad that they had not turned out properly, that that means I am a failure (and I guess by default, they are too).  Well, I am here to say I am well and truly put in my place, and now feel so sheepish, so embarrassed, I am full of regret and wish I could take back all the things I thought.

What I realized is that I was being so, so selfish.  I could not accept that they could make different choices, or have different opinions than me.  I was obsessed that only I could ‘make them come out right’, and then when they didn’t, I immediately blamed myself for not being a good enough ‘mom’, and simultaneously blamed them for being difficult and not doing/thinking what I wanted them to.

In other words, I am not a bad mother.  They are independent, thinking, strong teens almost ready to fly on their own.  That is a success, not a failure.  That means I am a success as a parent, as are they as great people.  I have been wallowing in self pity, and saying how bad I am and how bad they are.  But if I had really and truly looked around me and seen how great my kids really are, and how much thought and time and effort I have put into being a good parent, I would have seen how selfish and controlling I was really being.

Regardless of what religious choices my son makes, or how much time my daughter spends at home, or whether they moan about having to come to the table for a family meal, they are wonderful for who they are. They are proud, strong, independent, and speak their own mind and make their own choices.   They are my kids and I will always be proud of them (and of I guess that means of me too).  Sometimes, you have to look around you in the physical world to know if your feelings about yourself, your family and friends, is really accurate, or if you are just momentarily being swallowed by a strong event.    Sometimes the feelings you feel are wrong, and not based in the real life world.

I Lied


I’m sorry, im sorry i lied to you.  I’m sorry i lied to myself.  I told myself it was the right thing to do, that it would be true.  But everytime, i just dug myself a little deeper.  And now, i’m so far down i know it’ll never be right, i’ll never fix it.  I know i failed; i didn’t mean to lie–i meant it to be true.  but now i see i’ll never be able to make it so, to fix it.  I am a failure, everywhich way you look.  All the things I thought I could do, wanted to do, when I started my life, seemed doable, seemed within my reach.  I just knew that if i kept working, I would get everything I ever wanted.  I surely couldn’t fail.

But as time went on, things were lost.  At first, I thought, it’s ok…there’s still more time, it doesn’t matter yet.  Some things I let go, some things I took off my list.  This kept happening as time went on until the only things left on my list were myself and my kids.  These now seemed to be the only things still possible to succeed at.  The rest of my list has been erased.  For the last 7 years I have devoted all my energy and all my many many neverending thoughts to making sure my kids had the best life, a life better than mine.  I needed to do this to make up for all the mess I caused from being bipolar, from how I took away their wonderful, stable life, and now I have to make up for it by giving them better than what i had.  But i am failing at this too, this last, only, goal.  We have never lived in as nice apartments as I did.  We are always scrimping and saving and never end up having anything.  No going to movies, no eating out, no activities.  We sit at home and don’t talk.  We live in our own worlds and I am constantly reminded how I have failed to give them more than what I had, and that I was the one who took that from them in the first place.

The only other goal i still had left was myself.  To be successful, to be somebody.  To have a professional job, to be able to live comfortably and have some of the extras, to travel, to show my kids the world.  But now i know I will never be that person; i will most likely never even work full time again, and even if i do work at all, it will be entry level, part time type of stuff.  I will never make enough to take care of myself and my kids, to do the things I want to do.

So, all those times when things were bad, and i told my kids that it will get better, that things will change.  That i, mom, will make it right.  Those were all lies, lies that i desperately wanted to make true, that i hoped against hope that i could force them to be true, if i just worked hard enough, just tried more.  But they were still lies, even though i covered my eyes with blinders in hopes of making them become reality.  I am sorry.  Sorry for all the lies.  For never being enough.  For never doing right for you.  I’m sorry, so sorry.  So sorry.  I won’t lie anymore, or make any promises i won’t be able to keep.  I won’t say I can make things right again.  Because now i know they never will be right, no matter how much i try and how hard i work.  Nothing will ever be ‘ok’ anymore, and I will quit trying to make it be.

What I Received Today


” Dear Kat,

Please don’t be estranged from me any longer.  Your Aunt C is dying after almost a year of a long battle.  V is taking her from the hospital back to C’s home, and V will stay with her until she passes.  C is not expected to live more than 3 weeks.

And your Grandma was struck by a car while walking in a parking lot near her home.  She is in very bad shape, and will probably not walk again or be able to live in her own home again.

She and I have prayed for you daily all these years and I know it would mean a lot to her (and me) if she would hear from you.

She and I both love you deeply, and your kids too.

Please, please stop this.

I beg of you to call her.

Mom

So for those of you who have been following along, my Mom finally found me after 5 years.  When I cut her out of my life because  I finally decided I just couldn’t take the abuse any more.  And a month or so ago, she wrote me, and her letter was all soppy and sweet (ugh).  When I didn’t respond, this is the follow up letter I get (above).  So, when being all soppy sweet doesn’t work, she pulls out the guilt.  Now I never wished bad on anyone, and if it’s really true, I am sorry for them.  But that does not mean I can ever allow myself to be in any kind of relationship with her again—even if what she says is true (and I am not putting money on it).  But the real point is, if she can’t get what she wants by being saccharine, then she tries using guilt.  I expect the next letter to be angry, yelling, name-calling, to beat me into submission.  Hopefully, after that, she’ll try the ‘silent treatment’.

I started this post a while back, but wasn’t able to actually post at that time.  I can now, so here it is.

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