Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

So This is What Growing Up Means

As usual, I am not actually talking about myself growing up (as that would be far too easy of a topic, since I have not apparently done any growing up yet).  So, I am referring to my pride and joy, my son and daughter, who I have lamented, complained, and expressed joy over right here not that very long ago.  Recently, if you have forgotten or skipped those entries, I have been having issues with successfully causing my son to be more interested in trying to succeed at school, as well as to get him to wait on joining the LDS, as since it is quite a commitment, I want him to be sure he really wants to do it.  My daughter, not so many issues, just the development of the ever-present teen age girl thrust out hip, hands on hip at right angle, with heavy sigh and rolling of the eyes.

So, my daughter thinks I am old and out of touch ( and to be honest, she is quite right, as she and her friends most definitely represent the current culture in its infancy).  At least she she has a good head on her shoulders and usually makes responsible and good decisions.  It is, again, more my son that is worrying me at this time.  Not only does he think I am out of touch, but he thinks now that he doesn’t really need to listen to me and heed what I say.  He more considers it to be  something he might consider instead.  He is failing 4 out of 5 classes.  The only one he is passing is PE.  That is not really my idea of an achievement.  Now that he is identified with the LDS, I can’t say anything about how the world works, how people are, because he changes every statement to “that’s not how it is with LDS”–which is not really the point I am trying to make anyway.  I’m usually trying to explain how people or organizations or bureaucracies or just the nature of man works.  And now, he can  never accept that as something that is generally a truth.  Now, everything becomes a battle about beliefs, religions, and dogma, rather than just a simple explanation of the world.  I feel I have lost him.  I have lost him because my son, the son I raised, was raised to be open-minded, to be able to have a conversation about ideas and philosophies and various people, various societies and various religions, without any need to threaten or be threatened because it is different than what you may have chosen to adopt as your beliefs.  But now my son is threatened by any conversation that includes different beliefs, religions, or cultures.  Now, the only discussion he has is why his chosen religion is the right one.

I know I need to let go. I know my kids are almost grown anyway.  I  know all these years of parenting have been with the goal of them becoming adults and making their own decisions and living their own life and making their own mistakes without me being there to stop them or pick them up.  I think I am having a hard time finding the line between letting them go, and still being there to keep them from falling and to catch them when they start to.  How do I know when to steer them on a different path, or when to pick them up, or when to catch them?  I know I need to let go.  It’s becoming quite obvious, and painful for us all.  Do I hold on at all?  Or do I really let them go, and just help them up if they need it?  All the life as a parent, to me it was always clear what I was supposed to do and not do.  But the truth is, now, I have no idea what my role is, and I feel completely lost and bewildered, wandering aimlessly through the black forest with no idea what I should be looking for.  Part of me wishes they were already grown and leaving.  Part of my just wants this to be over now.  But the other part of me is terrified of what I’ll be when they are gone, since being a parent is all I have ever done.  Without them, this tension and confusion will certainly be ended, but what purpose will I have left in my life?  What point will there be to my continuing on alone?  I fear I will find that I am obsolete when the kids become adults.

No, I was right the first time

I recently posted about reaching an apparently new parenting stage, where I feel like I am losing the loving, caring, sharing beautiful, kind, thoughtful kids I have so enjoyed up to now.  I didn’t see this change coming, although I should have, since they are now both in high school.  I know this is when things really change, but I guess things were so fantastic that I just never considered I would lose them, the ‘them’ they have been.

Today, I took my daughter to the doctor cuz she is having a hard time getting over this cold she has.  She’s had it for over 3 weeks now, and was complaining of pressure in her ears, and has been coughing a lot.  While there, we asked for prescriptions of the samples she had gotten on her last visit, for her year-long allergy-like symptoms.  We couldn’t remember the name, and the doctor had neglected to write it in her chart (Duh!  what kind of doc doesn’t write what meds are given to a patient??!!) , so my daughter was trying to look it up in her history on her computer.  I came over to see if I could help her, and she pushes me away saying ‘i don’t want you to look, i don’t want you over here.  i hate it when you look like that’.  I was soooo soo so hurt, I started crying and could barely finish the appointment.  I was also very angry.  Like triggered angry.  Like I can’t trust her anymore with the real me.  Because now she is just like everyone else.  Now, she is just another person, just like everyone else.  Just like everyone else who only wants to use you, to get from you what they can, and they trick you and make you think you can trust them, that they won’t hurt you.  But they are always lying.  The only thing they want is what you can give them.  They only keep you around for that, and in the meantime, treat you like dirt, disrespect you, and otherwise show you how worthless you are, except for what they want from you.  As soon as they want something, and you give it, then they shower you with adoration and happy giddiness.   Until that wears off.  Then you are worthless dirt once again.

My son is proceeding on his conversion to Mormon.  My ex says to let him act out (we are non religious), because what more clear way of having teenage rebellion than to join a conservative religion when from a family that is non religious.  I saw some sense in that, and so did not try to convince him to rethink his decisions, choices.  But now, he is moving ahead with being baptized this coming Saturday–all of which is a prelude to the final step of total conversion afterward.  I am not against any belief system or philosophy, but I am concerned that he is making life-altering decisions when he is not yet an adult, and that he does not really and fully understand this religion (or any other), and thus is unprepared to make a knowledgeable decision about this.  But again, I am not supposed to say anything.  But I am supposed to give my permission, and I am supposed to show him support, even when I don’t want to give it, and allow this to play out —for what?  for a month?  for a year?  or for several years? or forever?  How am I a good parent by allowing this to happen?  And how am I good parent not to?  Whatever I do, I am wrong.  Whatever I do, will push him further away from me, from how I raised him.  Whatever I do, I am a bad parent.  I am not even necessary to  him anymore, and he isn’t even grown up yet.  All he needs me for now is food, clothes and shelter.  And for me to tell him I’m happy for him making these decisions.  He doesn’t want to hear what I have to say, to get input, advice, to play devil’s advocate.  But he still expects me to listen.  And expects me not to talk.

So you see, I was right for all those years.  I was right that I am worthless.  That I’m just dirt people let hang around for whenever they think they can get something from it.  All my life, every person in it, has been this way.  I have never had a true friend, or a true partner.  I thought my kids would be the ones that I could trust with my heart.  The ones who would never shove me aside, crush me, and hurt me so.  I thought that if they were the ones, the ones I could really trust, that maybe that meant that I wasn’t trash/dirt/nothing.  I thought maybe that meant all those other people who have been part of my life were the ones who were wrong.  That they were the ones who nothing, who can only cause hurt and suffering to others, and that I was not the one in the wrong, the one who deserved to be treated like that.  But I was wrong.  I now see that even your own kids, who you have sacrificed your entire life to give them every benefit, every resource, who love you purely because you are you, will toss you to the curb, discard you as soon as they get the chance.  So, I was right to begin with.  I am worthless.  I am dirt.  I am nothing.  I no longer exist.  I wish I’d never thought that I could.

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