Archive for October, 2014

I have to admit, that being a mom is one of the hardest jobs anyone can ever have.   You hear people all the time say how rewarding it is, and how they (whoever THEY are) wouldn’t trade it for the world.   I believe those things too.   You don’t hear as often though, how draining it is, how easily it is to have your heart broken by watching them making mistakes that change the rest of their lives, by seeing others sabotage their progression of change and success and by having to sit back and let them take their own path.

My mom says I should write a book. A book about all the things we’ve gone through, or should I say that I’ve gone through. That would cover most of the WE part, because I certainly have not had to endure this all alone.   Sometimes it’s felt like it; ok it does feel like it…daily.   But I’m not alone; I just try to bare the burden myself. I don’t think anyone else should have to.

Life is just like they say (again with the THEY), a rollercoaster. Up and down, spinning in circles, making you sick enough to want to throw up and at other times laugh so hard you spit and pee. I sometimes I wonder if I’d rather be on a slow moving train across the country.   Patience however is not my virtue. It never has been.

I am the extreme hands-on parent, the “just let me do it” parent, and the “you’re not doing it right” parent. It’s not right, because it’s not MY way.   I have serious control issues, and I am an expert at micro managing.   I get so frustrated, when I’ve tried so hard to stand back and watch, and it’s not happening the way I think it should, I completely lose it. Crazy breaks out into a whole new level.   This doesn’t make for a very good productive and balanced relationship. I don’t know how to stop.   They say (who the hell are THEY), that control is an addiction.   Well, if I’m not the poster child for that one…

I wrote a ton of notes the other night, before a meeting with someone I thought might be able help me understand some of the double standard we are experiencing.   I wanted to assure myself that I was not completely off my rocker.   In that conversation I didn’t want to play the name game, the victim, or make excuses for anything, so I wrote down what I thought might be worth sharing.   And during that time of reflection and searching, for the right and most politically correct words to express my frustrations and anger, I actually was able to define how I felt at that very moment as a mom.

Need me; I’m a mom.
Ask for guidance; I advise.
Trust no one; I’m a friend.
Manipulate and lie; I’m gone.

That says it all. The lady I met with validated my feelings, shared her frustrations as well and gave me suggestions that I didn’t want to hear. None of it was immediate, and none of it was a guarantee.   It could potentially do more harm than good.   I was thinking more along the lines of plotting revenge, and was hoping for a partner in crime.

BUT
Isn’t there always a BUT?

But, as a mom…I can’t be “gone”, I can’t just “walk away”, I can’t just “give up”.  Mothers don’t do that.   My mom never ONCE gave up on me.   She didn’t always (and still doesn’t) like some of the choices I’ve made. She’s let me fall, and been there to help pick me up if I couldn’t manage it myself.   She has always been my rock.   I need to be that too. But damn it, sometimes these situations feel like they are impossible to turn around.

Why do people (as a whole) not just my daughter…manipulate? Lie blatantly; leave out parts of the truth.   Everyone has done it. No one is perfect.   I don’t expect perfect from ANYONE.   I can’t.   That leaves too much room for disappointment.   But then I’m back to thinking it has to be MY way. No wonder my daughter is afraid of me, and doesn’t want to share with me, tell me the horrible truths she keeps locked inside…and why she doesn’t want to disappoint me.   Because in her mind, based on my actions, she can’t be “perfect”. So why try.   My God. I feel like a monster.

For 22 years, I’ve struggled to teach her the truth about everything. The most important of those truths is to expect only the best of herself and for herself, because she deserves it.   To realize that life just isn’t ever fair.   (That is the lesson in life that NO ONE really can get his or her head around.) I guarantee I have told her entirely too much about my past, in hopes she would not make the same mistakes I’ve made throughout the years. I know I’m not the first person to say, that specific kind of parenting, no matter how you slice it, does NOT work like you think it should. Where is that Parenting Handbook, hasn’t it been written by now? I think there is a niche for it, and it would be a bigger success than the Crock Pot “Fix it and Forget it” cookbooks.

Going back to the thought about writing a book describing the multitude of learning experiences that have happened in our lives, to share with others, the battle scars and the successful achievements…I wouldn’t even know where to begin. And honestly, what a depressing read.

The last 22 months have been literally just like a puppet show. The puppet masters are holding the strings, dangling their control to the audience of life. Watching it is like being in the middle of a B rated horror show and having the chainsaw being waved in front of you, while you’re begging for them to just kill you and get it over with. Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it? YES! It’s pretty accurate, and I want my money back.

Whoever said life is like a box of chocolates, is a liar. Real life is like being a bug, just waiting for someone to poison you, just after you’ve gotten your family all settled in somewhere safe, left to die a slow death. Or, I suppose it could also be like constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop and smash you into the serrated concrete, only to be thankful you went quickly.   Even the roses that smell good in the spring and summer eventually rot. I’m sure that’s why “take time to smell the roses” is such a well-known reference. They won’t always smell as sweet or look as pretty as they do in that moment.

And there again is that imaginary roller coaster that I want off so badly, because I constantly feel like vomiting.   Instead of “you must be this tall to ride”, it should say “you must not have children yet”, so the other laughing passengers can enjoy the ride, without having to change their clothes afterward.

My daughter is “The Center” of my universe.   Some may not think it’s healthy, for either of us, but until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes…

I’m learning from her every day. I’m watching her grow stronger every day in her sobriety (22 months!), watching her use her newfound tools to break through the doors that keep getting closed just as she’s trying to walk through them. Watching her setting boundaries with others, and someday she’ll be confident enough to set them for herself, and trust them. These are things that I struggle to do myself.

She’s so much like me. Some days we are able to step outside ourselves and see the future in the sun and clear skies and other days, stuck in a shit storm seeing no shelter in sight.   Unfortunately, we feed off each other. I know I’m supposed to be the strong one. That’s somewhere in my non-existent job description I’m sure of it, but is also one piece of parenting I feel very unqualified for.

Obviously, in our situation, running away is not an option. And truthfully there isn’t anywhere that would actually take away all of the difficulties that are going on forever.   I wouldn’t want anyone else’s problems, mine aren’t life threatening, so I’ll just stick with what I have and keep trying to start each day with a good attitude and quit looking at yesterday. Most times that is easier said than done.

All in all, though the past several years have been heart wrenching, terrifying, frustrating and sometimes even unbearable, I have a great support system of family and friends that help keep me out of jail and out of a straight jacket.

Today I will continue to be thankful that my daughter is alive, clean and sober and above all still loves me despite my extreme level of crazy. She is my center.

We got this YO!