Parenting: Am I Protecting My Kids Or Punishing Them

There’s nothing like a teenager or two to make you doubt yourself and feel like an unsuitable parent on a daily basis. I have plenty of friends who assure me that it doesn’t just happen within my household, that it happens in theirs too. Sure, I can be stubborn and set in my ways at times, I’ll admit to that. I’ll also admit that when my kids piss me off with incessant whining and arguing, I will say “No.” just to spite them. And don’t you sit there and act like you’ve never done it yourself!

A situation came up over the last couple of days that required me to make a very difficult decision in a short amount of time, and it wasn’t without tears, yelling and screaming from the kids. Normally that behavior would have resulted in “Excuse me?! I gave you my answer and I even explained to you why I chose that answer. You will not speak to me that way, so you’d better calm down and watch your mouths, because I’m not going to put up with it!” But this time it was different and I wasn’t entirely confident in my reasoning to begin with, so I actually let them argue with me about it. To better explain, I need to divulge some personal information regarding the situation.

My nephew Zack had been very ill for the last couple of weeks, and after making a couple turns for the better, ended up making even more turns for the worse. I received the phone call Tuesday morning that he was to be taken off of life support later that day. I was going to keep this news to myself, as my kids were still home due to a delay from school because of inclement weather. I ended up deciding to tell my oldest first, and we commiserated on how terrible it was. She continued to get ready for school and my other daughter came in a few minutes later asking what her dad was talking about on Facebook. She had seen his post about Zack and I told her what was told me an hour or so earlier. “He is being taken off of life support and has a less than 5% chance of surviving….” She asked a few questions regarding who was there and who would be there and I told her I wasn’t sure. She went back to her room and started a conversation on Facebook messenger with her dad. They found out that he was driving across state to go and say goodbye and to be there with the rest of the family, and they really wanted to go. I called their dad and asked him what he was saying to them and he assured me that it was them begging to go, not the other way around. He said he would come and get them if I wanted them to go, but neither of us were sure if it was a good idea or not. He was stressed out, emotional and trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends before he was able to leave town for the 7+ hour drive, so he told me to tell them that we’d decided it wasn’t a good idea and to quit messaging him so he could finish getting ready. I called them down from their room and calmly explained that after having a conversation, we didn’t think it was the best idea for them to tag along. I understood that they wanted to go and pay their respects, but I also didn’t want to subject them to such an extreme situation. I was instantly the bad guy. My oldest was yelling. bawling and telling me it wasn’t fair…that she deserves to go and be there with him and be with the family and my other daughter said she wanted to be there too. I again explained that it wasn’t going to be a peaceful, happy time and that it would be extremely sad, emotional and overwhelming for them and everyone else involved. Their dad called me back before I had finished my argument and said he felt horrible for not letting them go. I had to agree that I felt like an asshole, but I was trying to protect them from experiencing death and heartache.

The truth of the matter is, they would be affected either way…directly and indirectly no matter which path was chosen. I told them they could go if they could manage to not fight with one another on the ridiculously long car ride and to take things with them to keep themselves occupied. They packed their things and waited to be picked up and begin the uncomfortable journey across state.

They arrived at the hospital around 9:30pm last night and gathered with the rest of the family. I received a phone call around 12:15am Wednesday morning saying that Zack had passed… I paid my respects to my ex and inquired how the girls were doing; he said they were very shaken up and upset. Understandably.

I hate that they are all the way across the state. I hate that they are teenagers that aren’t too keen on calling or messaging me to let me know how they are doing. I hate that their dad doesn’t bother to tell me how things are going and to just give me general updates about the well-being of my children. At least I don’t have to live with the guilt that I am the one who prevented them from seeing their cousin one last time and saying goodbye. The long term effects are yet to be known, but I can only hope that they will process it as a learning experience and a lesson in life and death. I love my kids and don’t want to see them hurting…I’m still questioning whether or not I made the right decision. I can’t change it now.

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I hate that this still gets to me, still…

I hate that this still gets to me, still makes me sick to my stomach and makes my blood boil.  I. Hate. It.

After all the times without public admiration and affection on the networking websites, including on birthdays and anniversaries, I grew to not expect anything from him.  It hurt that he could leave things for other people to read but when it came to me, it didn’t matter.  In part, I think he was jealous that I had so many people pining over me, telling me how much fun it was to read my blogs and how they looked forward to it every day.  I think the he was genuinely jealous of the attention that I was getting from other people.  Maybe it was because he thought their opinions mattered more to me that his own…but in the grand scheme of things, I suppose they did.

It sucks to feel that your significant other doesn’t support your dreams.  Even if he did, he never showed it and it hurt me.  So when other people believed in me and told me that they loved my work, it meant a lot.  He can perceive it as choosing to value their opinions over his own…but I know that isn’t the truth.

I’m just irritated that I have to see how Uh-Mazzzzzzing his girlfriend is and how much he fuckin’ loves her when he couldn’t even bother to tell me Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary half of the time.

It’s a slap in the face is what it is.

Shit I’m Always Thinking About Even When I Don’t Write It Down

Dreams

–noun

1. a succession of images, thoughts, or emotions passing through the mind during sleep.

For some reason, they’ve started coming to me again.

They aren’t so pretty.  Usually I wake up livid and upset, sometimes with a few tears in my eyes with bated breath.  They are all about this time in my life where I don’t understand, when I can’t understand.  It isn’t mine to understand, I just have to live it.

I’ve made the choice to survive and continue on even though I thought it would never be possible.  I’ve tried to use these feelings as an outlet, as creativity, as growth.  Sometimes I feel like I’m paving the way to a new and happy existence and other times I feel so shot down and hurt.  I was driving yesterday thinking about the ocean and how so many dreams have been sent out to sea and have drawn their last breath before sinking into the deep blue abyss.  I remember moments at the ocean, moments of joy and sadness, moments of awe and wonder.  I wonder if anything will ever truly compare to the happiness that was carried away with the splash of a wave.

Sometimes the anger inside me comes out in my dreams…I scream to you, I beg you, I try to make you see.  It doesn’t help, it just frustrates me.  I wake up hating you, your choices, and your actions.

There are so many things you overlooked about me.  Things you thought you knew or saw, but didn’t fully understand about me.  You saw what you needed to.  It was enough to get by, but it wasn’t enough to keep you around.  The passion and approval that I needed so badly from you wasn’t seen when I needed it most.

You taught me a lot of things and for that, I thank you.  You taught me how to talk things out and to come to an understanding instead of just shutting down.  You taught me what it’s like to have a strong, loving family.  You’ve taught me that judgments aren’t always accurate and “smart” people come from all different backgrounds.  You’ve also taught me how to survive when I didn’t think it was possible.   You taught me how to see things your way and to allow someone else’s opinion to become my own…later teaching me that it’s ok to stand by your own opinions and stick with that you’re most comfortable with as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone in the process.

Until next time, I don’t hate you…  Then again, this is all just a dream, right?

Bittersweet Significance

Ok, so forgive me right now for sounding like a complete bitching asshole, but today…today really sucks for me.

It’s technically my 11 year wedding anniversary, yet the last 5 months we’ve lived apart and are just now about to file divorce papers.  I have so many good memories of the past and then I have these last 5 months.

I’m annoyed because I feel forgotten, I don’t feel significant anymore, I feel like my purpose has been so altered that I’m unrecognizable, I’m fettered and alone.  I wanted to hear something, anything, an apology, a sarcastic comment, a sigh…but nothing.  I know I shouldn’t expect anything, but that doesn’t change that fact that I wanted it.

For what it’s worth…..Happy Anniversary Claude.  There were definitely more good times than bad, more laughing than crying and more memories than not.  You played a major role in my young adulthood, you’ve been with me for half of my life, you’ll always be stuck with part of me and I’m thankful to be stuck with part of you.  I’m sorry that things got sucky and that it came to this, but it did and I love you regardless.

March 15th might just be another day, but part of me is stuck back in 1998.

Fuckery

I’d love love LOVE to know how you single people manage to date around…it sure seems like a huge pain in the ass to me. lol You start talking to someone, decide that you like them enough to give them a chance and then after it appears to go well, they just don’t talk to you anymore. hahaha It’s fucking retarded!

I know that each person and each situation is different and that people are looking for different things in life. Clearly I’ve been out of the dating game for a good 15 years but holy crap why do people have to be so selfish and superficial. Grrrrr!

These last couple months I’ve been fucked over in more ways than you can imagine. A select few of you know the unfortunate details of my life and as much as it might suck to listen to me bitch, piss and moan about all the crap, please know that I do appreciate you very much. In the last week I’ve lost a few friends over some shit decisions not only on my part but theirs too; one of which I valued quite a damn bit. She made the decision to step away from “this train wreck” so I say fuck it…walk away. Leave. Be a selfish bitch, I’m just glad I’m not one of your “friends” that has to put up with your shit on a non stop basis. Have fun wallowing in self pity.

The other two aren’t really worth the effort to mention, mainly because he fucked me over and left me to deal with the clean up. Knowing what he knows about me he still chose to pretend he was something that he wasn’t…not only tricking me but hurting a lot of people in the process. I wanted to try to be his friend, and then I decided that my life was too complicated with him in it, so he’s gone…and hopefully he’ll get his shit together.

I care too much about people, about their feelings, and I don’t care enough about my own needs. I have to start respecting myself FIRST and everyone else can come later.

I get attached too easily, I care too much too soon and I get fucked over because of it.

I’m done whining now, go about your business.

I Thought I Knew.

I thought to myself ever since I was a little kid that I’d have a grip on my life, that I’d never end up one of those cold, grumpy, unhappy people who just stays where they are in life out of convenience.  I told myself after being taught that sex is for marriage that I’d wait until I was married before I’d have sex.  I told myself that I’d never do drugs, that I’d never smoke a cigarette, that I’d never smoke pot, and that I’d never put myself in the position to make bad decisions.

I really thought I had a firm grip on my life…I’d been married for 10 years, we’d had 3 beautiful kids, we’d had some semblance of a life, a normalcy, some common ground, a relationship…

What I didn’t foresee happening is that we’d grow apart, that the attention of others would slowly diminish our relationship, our friendship, our love.  It wasn’t so long ago that I swore up and down and inside out to myself that it couldn’t happen to me…that I wouldn’t let it happen to me because I’m better than that, I’m a good person and people who are trying shouldn’t be able to fail, but again, I was wrong…I was headed down the path of insecurity toward someone elses virtual arms.  It might have been nothing but words, but those were words I could eat with a spoon that would satisfy my soul if only for a brief moment.  Words that would keep me hanging on when I thought I wasn’t good enough to be a mom, a wife, a daughter….

There were just words.

We all have our struggles, we tell ourselves it’ll never be us, that we’re better than that.  That when the time comes we’ll see if happening and we’ll do our best to put an end to it, but once the lights are out and you have time to think, is it worth opening your mouth, starting another fight, causing animosity…

I have done a few things right…
I did wait for sex until I was with the person I knew without a doubt that I was going to marry.  I’ve never done drugs, smoked a cigarette or smoked pot.  Yet…
I have made some poor decisions as well…almost cheating with my husbands best friend before we were married.  I’ve had online friendships turn into more than just innocent chit chat, laughter and banter…my emotions and my insecurities have ways of getting the best of me even when I try my best to ward them off.

Couple all of the above with stress, selfishness, insecurities, jealousy and a few kids and you’ve got one hell of a basket case on your hands.  A serious emotional slow fuck is what I’ve given myself over the last 15 years of my life.  From the beginning things weren’t right…they got weirder and then they got worse.  I thought things had gotten better, but they’d really just turned into resentment on both of our parts…

“Resentment is weak and lowers your self-esteem.”  Barbara Sher

I’m learning how to live for myself, for my heart and my soul.  Asking myself what I truly need in my life, what matters most at the end of the day is that I’m happy, but not just any happy.  I have to be happy with myself, with who I’ve become, with who I’m becoming.  So far I’ve had a few hurdles to jump but after not having ran the race in so long I’m making some pretty good headway.

I’m able to breathe, to eat, to sleep, to think, to walk on my own two feet, I’m able to voice my opinion, stick up for myself, say what I want and what I don’t want.  I’m able to be the person I always wanted to be.

I only thought I knew who I was going to be 15 years ago…