So the half glass of wine is helping. I’ve stopped rocking and feel slightly less frantic. My skin is still crawling, but progress is progress. If you want to get to the heart of this post, scroll to the bold paragraph at the bottom.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately, about myself and who I am, about my business, about my writing, about my children–not necessarily in that order. After I hit publish on the last post, I took some time to read over the last dozen or so posts I’d shared (there are many that I started, but are as yet unfinished and probably will remain so).
Anyone who has read any of my blog knows that being a good mother is the most important thing to me. Connecting with my kids, speaking openly with them about their issues even when it means sharing some of mine, supporting them in things they want to do and achieve are all goals that I try to fulfill every day.
My daughter, now 14, is in high academic classes with straight As. She wants to be a practicing therapist, go figure. She still dances heavily. But now she has a boyfriend. I have tried to keep the lines of communication open, I have been supportive of her relationship (oh yes, it’s a relationship and don’t even suggest that it’s just a high school romance), in short, I have given her enough freedom to make some mistakes without them being life altering. All of those things aside, I expect her to make mistakes. I expect her to push the boundaries and maybe even rebel a little, after all, that’s part of growing up and gaining independence. However, twice in one week, she violated my trust and pushed those boundaries too far and showed a complete lack of respect. One day, the boyfriend was visiting, I was doing laundry. I was out of the living room for maybe 10 minutes. When I came back in, they were examining each other’s teeth with their tongues. I’m not stupid, I know they’re going to experiment and kiss and maybe more. I was disappointed that she hadn’t talked to me about it before jumping in head first, but whatever. What really got me was that she had enough nerve and lack of thought for me that she would do it with me a room away. I spoke to both of them candidly, she would say lectured, about how quickly things can get out of control and before you realize it, you’re doing something you’ll regret. I let it slide with no repercussions other than a discussion and I talked with the boy’s mother when she came to pick him up. She’s no help. Just a few nights later, we caught her video chatting on her cellphone with him at 2:30 in the morning. It had already been discussed that I wasn’t comfortable with the video chatting, particularly when in bed, because of screenshot capabilities. We talked about the risks and reputations and how relationships gone bad can change someone from loving to vengeful. So suffice it to say, i was infuriated and consequences had to be handed down. She is no longer permitted to have her cellphone in her room. She is no longer permitted to go to his house, because if I can’t trust her to make a good decision to hang up the phone and go to sleep, I certainly can’t trust her to make a good decision when there is sketchy supervision. He is still permitted at our home, but there will be no making out on the couch, a respectable distance will be kept between their bodies, and he will go home by 8 o’clock. I have not forbidden the relationship, because let’s face it, 1. I can’t stop her from seeing him at school and 2. I refuse to make him all the more attractive while driving her away from her family. Honestly, she got off pretty light. You would think I was the worst person in the world from her attitude though. They both glared at me all evening. She is barely speaking to me. I hate this role. I don’t want to be the mean mother, but I refuse to be the mother who doesn’t give a shit either.Then it was time to take the boy home and he suddenly has to text to see if anyone is there because he doesn’t have his key. He got lucky and his sister was there. I make it clear to my daughter that this wasn’t a spur of the moment restriction and had he not been able to go home at the designated time, he would not have been coming back for a while. It’s the lack of respect that’s really getting me.
My son, my poor, poor son. I feel so disconnected with him. I know some of that is the Asperger’s, but some of that is also me. I try very hard to be understanding of his needs and the fact that he processes and communicates differently, but I’m struggling. My husband keeps telling me I baby him, I feel he doesn’t understand his need for accommodations. I ended up losing it tonight during homework (which should have been done before he went to judo, but he fooled around and did very little). I snapped in front of my son and told my husband “I can’t do this with him.” Looking back, I’d like to swallow every one of those words. A few weeks ago, he had a meltdown and told me he wanted a gun so he could kill himself. He’s 11. He’s also been thrust into puberty that’s he’s woefully unprepared for. He didn’t understand that the pubic hair he’s growing is normal. Anyway, after he’d calmed down he came to me and told me he was just being dramatic, but I knew some discussion was warranted. My husband and I asked him if he ever really wanted to hurt himself, and he indicated that sometimes he thought about it. He’s even scratched at his hands and arms. We explained that it’s very serious to say you want to kill yourself and to even think it far enough through to know that you want a gun. I explained some of my anxiety and depression issues and that I used to want to hurt myself, too. Talk about a difficult conversation. By the end of it, we agreed that if he felt like that, he will come talk to me and we’ll deal with it together because I understand what it feels like. Now I think back on the words I said in frustration and possibly the beginnings of an anxiety attack and I have to wonder if I just gave him his very own invisible scar.
In this post, I was going to talk about the fact that I realized just last night that I hate myself and I’m embarrassed for my family to have to be seen with me. I’ve gained 15 pounds (and I wasn’t thin to begin with), I’ve fallen back into unhealthy eating habits and I’m drinking soda like it’s going out of style. My activity level is down and my depression is up. I have all but given up on writing, even though I have people who message me all the time about the next book. I hate my job, my business, but I’m stuck there. But I think the real reason I hate myself is that I feel like I’m failing my children.
How did I get here? How do I leave this awful place? What steps do I need to take to change this? I don’t do self-pity, it’s destructive and useless. I know it’s on me to change things I don’t like. But how does one change the fact that they hate the very person they are? My most recent tattoo is of a woman (face in profile). She’s pulling off a smiling mask to reveal tears and sadness underneath. Have I been wearing my mask for so long that I fooled myself into believing it? No wonder I’m having anxiety attacks. I feel so out of control.