You asked me today to spend time with just my children…. This is how I feel and how I wish I could respond…
I know this is going to hurt you for what I’m about to say, but the truth is we both continue to hurt from this relationship. You never ask to spend time with us as a family. When you do ask, you only ask to see my children. I think you want them to know this version of you, the sober one, the one who found Jesus. I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come. I know you want to love on them. But we have so so far to go and I know you’ve given up on us. But understand, I have to protect them like I wasn’t protected. The truth is, you cannot have a relationship with my children without having one with me. I’m not my sister, I didn’t abandon my children so you can see them without their mother whenever you want. We are a family, we’re a package deal. I feel like you do not try to make an effort with spending time with me with the exception of you wanting to see me on my birthday. You don’t even know who I am at all. You don’t even know what foods I like and don’t like because you’ve never been there to know. If you knew me, you’d know I don’t want gifts, you spend money to show your love, I don’t want that kind of love. I want a relationship with a parent that acts like I am still their daughter. A parent that doesn’t give up on their child, a parent that doesn’t stop trying to make amends and give any opportunity to show they love them. Not a parent that talks about me behind my back only for me to find out later. Or A parent that makes passive aggressive comments in front of my children, like I’m no fun, that i don’t ask you for help, the list is plenty long and I’m not the only one who has noticed… It doesn’t matter who or when I was told about the things you’ve said about me. But you telling others that you have to walk on eggshells around me only puts blame on me. Only hurts me. You are not taking responsibility for the reasons why I am hard for you to love. The responsibilities you must take for the things you have done.
The point is, our relationship is hard so you don’t really try or you just leave me alone, likely because you think that’s what I want. I’ve always grieved for the relationship we have never really had. I’ve held onto these words for years because believe it or not I love you and I know it would only hurt you and I’m not so consumed in my own selfishness that I seek to hurt you or want revenge. I am not hard or distant from you because I don’t love you, I’m hard and distant from you because I love you and you broke me, over and over and over again. I am only this hard version of myself when I’m around you, it’s like instinct, it’s automatic, it has been survival. I don’t like who I am around you. Trust me, the guilt is there for me too. I’m sorry for my inability to cope with the pain that has consumed me my entire life. I don’t like the broken jaded version of me my children see when I’m around you. I don’t want them to be broken from you because of the comments you say, or the lack of you being around. I want better for them. I want to be everything for them that you couldn’t be. But I don’t want your complete silence either. I know you tried your best then, but your best isn’t good enough for them. It’s not good enough to stop the generational trauma curse.
You could say I don’t try, and you’re right I don’t. I have boundaries with you because I have to protect them. I have to protect me. I have to protect them for who I am around you. So yes, I stopped trying a long time ago, when I did try with you over and over again, your words cut so deep. So it’s not like I didn’t try. You said things to me that I can’t and would not ever ever say to my daughter no matter what they put me through. Your words just added to the layers of trauma I already have. When I wanted to kill myself as a teenager and again after I lost the baby, I thought of what you said about how you wish you never would’ve had me or that I was just a dumb bitch who only decided to become a good person when I met my partner. Those and so many more words you said are like PTSD reoccurring over and over again. I will forever have holes in my heart from you that will forever remain as scars that serve as a reminder to keep my guard up, to protect. How do you fix it? You’ve asked before. You’ve said I continue to punish you. No, mom you are punishing yourself. I cannot change how you feel, just like you cannot change the things you’ve done or how I feel. Therefore, you don’t. You can’t. Believe me if I could change the past I would fix it too. The only thing we can do is move forward, try to be better than before and that means me always, putting them first. Putting this family I have created first. Always and every single time. #Anxiety #Parentifiedchild #MentalHealth #Depression #ChildLoss #Trauma #Suicide #forward
Early in my injury journey, while on a walk in the woods I met someone that inspired this. Meeting him helped me understand, that as bad as my situation was, things can be more difficult. I also realized that knowing this didn’t lessen what I was experiencing. Click the link the read the full story that led up to How. soiwasthinking.blog/2020/04/28/how
Happy Mother’s Day to the moms!
Happy Mother’s Day to those of you who are hurting- from infertility, from broken families, breaking generational traumas, or loss.
1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage- mommas, Happy Mother’s Day. I know it hurts.
If you’re like me, if you’re living with so many diseases and illnesses that your womb can’t possibly carry a little one and your number of miscarriages is so high it physically hurts to count… momma, I see you.
If you’re like me, and you’re absolutely terrified that one day you’re little rainbow baby might come down with all your illnesses and then what… momma, I hear you.
If you’re like me, and the doctors have told you to simply keep your IUD in because it’s easier than giving yourself a shot in the stomach daily to have the small chance of keeping yourself and your baby alive… momma, you are not alone.
If you are yearning to be a mother this Mother’s Day and it’s just not in the cards… hug your animals close, because you are still valid. Every emotion and tear is valid.
Today, I celebrate Mother’s Day as a dog mom.
Today, I celebrate with my 2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, Beyla, at Cars and Coffee.
During our daughter's life when someone would outright state or even insinuate that their problems weren't equivalent to what our family was going through, I was always quick to stop them and let them know that it wasn't fair to compare. Everyone has their own challenges and threshold of what they can handle, and it isn't fair to assign weight to them. I always felt that comparing anything besides a comparable life was equivalent to comparing an apple with a pineapple. They share the category of fruit. Diminishing what someone else is experiencing doesn't make what challenges another person any heavier. They both are what they are to each of them.
Being a parent of a child who died is a unique category. (Thankfully) There are fewer (but really too many) members of this group. I have found myself confused and not confident in the role of parenting after a child's loss. For the last 3 years, I have been confused as to what subcategory of life we have fallen into. Are we still a medically complex family? Are we a hockey family? Are we a typical family? Do we have the right to have accommodations made like they once were when we had a child who was medically complex and then dying? In what category do our surviving children fall? After all, children are resilient, right?!
When the world returned to normal after Covid, so did we. As if we didn't experience the death of a family member. Unless you know us from before, or unless one of us mentions it after, you wouldn't know. We blend into life. The kids are in extracurricular activities, we travel, we spend our summers away, Sam and I both work, we smile, we laugh, and for all intents and purposes, we act as if we have the perfect family. Sometimes, but rarely our emotions are on our sleeves. Unless people want to travel the grief journey along with us, they too can pretend that our lives are normal. They can stay far enough away from the unimaginable pain they are thankfully able to avoid and tune into the part of our life that we outwardly display.
Among fellow bereaved mothers, I mentioned my conflict with what is grief? and what is normal? I shared with others the everyday pain, the lack of energy, the lack of motivation, the anger, the frustration, the short tempers, the feeling of being a failure as a parent, the challenges with deciphering what is teen/child typical behavior and what is related to grief. I mentioned that I was torn on if the behaviors my children are exhibiting are typical or if it is grief. Is the grief a cop-out? Is it fair to place the onus on grief? I listed all of the struggles I have felt but didn't want to be told by someone who is not in a similar situation that "of course, it is grief, of course, you're experiencing all of those emotions, you lost a child"
It was at the same moment that I was speaking my thoughts aloud that I started to process the entirety of the last 8 years. The actual significance of parenting a child who was medically complex and whom we knew we would one day bury as a child, but didn't know exactly when. I had a million flashbacks of a life that went by incredibly fast that simultaneously took 4 years 11 months and 23 days of her siblings' lives as well. I listened as a mother responded to me about how she wishes she could surround herself with my bubbliness every day because maybe it would help her feel motivated. I listened as she said she was processing everything I was saying. I listened with tears in my eyes as she said, "but Randi, a cop-out?! Honey, it is not a cop-out, it is your reality, it is your life"
For the last 18.104.22.168 hours since she said that sentence to me I have repeated it in my mind while thinking about all those times, I shrugged off the weight of all we have endured. I have thought about the words while thinking about the fact that 3 years ago our children's ages ranged from barely 2 years old to barely 10, none even old enough to sit in the front seat (and due to height, all were still in car seats or boosters). I think about how not only did we have to deal with Covid, but we also had to deal with the death of a significant family member. We buried a child and sibling who didn't go longer than a month of her life going into a hospital. A child who spent close to half of her life in-patient at a hospital. I have th#ought about it all on repeat. There is no comparison to anyone who has experienced a loss of any kind. There is no it is worse because of "XYZ", there is none of that. But, also, there is no coping out, and there is no cushioning the reality. The reality is that there is no denying that things are different for us and they are harder in many ways, there is just no way to sugar-coat that. There is no coping out because the struggles we have had to face as a family are not normal, they do warrant some extra attention and some extra accommodations, but most importantly, they mostly warrant giving ourselves a little more grace.
Only genealogy buffs such as myself will probably find this interesting. My great-great-great grandmother, after losing two children and never recovering while her husband was away fighting in the War Between the States, was sent to live out the rest of her life at the most well known mental hospital in North Carolina, Dorothea Dix Hospital. I have always identified with and felt a bond with her due to her mental anguish. Well the state archives of North Carolina was able to find her information in a patient admission and discharge log from 1868-1875! She was buried in an unmarked grave on the site and not much is known about her. Back then many family members would not come to receive the bodies of their family members who died at the hospital due to the stigma. I am honored to be able to celebrate the life of this beautiful woman who has been forgotten by history. #History #MentalHealth #Trauma #Grief #ChildLoss #mentalhospital