Recently my daughter felt the need to take to social media and put it out there just how bad she feels about her father’s choices and how it makes her feel unimportant. How heartbreaking it’s been for her and her younger brother.
This is something I struggle with because I see the pain it’s caused them every single day. I watch the little ways that they both have changed. They are less trusting, less carefree. They both see how hard I’m trying and they both are stepping up in ways that makes me feel both proud and a little guilty because they shouldn’t have to. It was our job as parents to protect them from this and his choice to walk away wasn’t just from me, he walked away from them too. All the things that they expected him to be there for; birthdays, holidays, driving, graduating, celebrations, weddings. The list goes on and on.
I know for myself I never imagined doing any of the things I’m doing alone now. So I can understand their anger and hurt. My goal is to try and get them through the hurt and anger without belittling their feelings.
They are not children, they are teens. They understand far more than most people realize. The hardest thing I’ve had to do is listen to their anger and not feed it. The truth is they feel angry about all the same things I do. So not feeding the anger but rather trying to explain that they have a right to their feelings, but let’s try to find some compassion. Trying to encourage them to respond if he decides to reach out is hard. They feel like it’s never enough and the truth is it’s not. But if it’s all he can do then it’s something. I ponder if that’s even my job, helping them hold compassion for a man who walked away and moved on with his life like none of us mattered? All I can think is that eventually they may wish they had any relationship with him and if I don’t foster some compassion for him then will they ever accept what he can offer?
I don’t know if I’m doing it right but I’m doing this dance to the best of my ability. I’m trying to help them heal the hurt and anger while trying to heal my own hurt and anger. I am trying to make sure I do not put to much on them, but I also can’t do everything either. It’s a balancing act that some days I feel I fail at miserably and then other times I think I’m doing it pretty well.
I’m proud of my kids for speaking up and owning their hurts and pain. I am also incredibly sad that they have to. This isn’t always the man their dad was, this was exactly the kind of man he despised. How does a person become the type of person they once despised? That I don’t have the answer to.
I am a single mom now and that role is exhausting. I get tired of being told that I’m going to be ok. Nothing about this is ok. It’s just the only option I have and I’m determined to do the best I can at it. I won’t ever feel good about being forced into this situation but I’m glad that my kids know how much I love them and how hard I’m trying to take care of them. I’m proud of the fact that they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will always take care of them. I will fight for them and fight the world if I have to on their behalf.