Last night would serve as substantial evidence that I did not meet this goal. Not that it should really come as a surprise, if one looks at the facts. The fact that as much as my divorce has impacted me, as much as my choices in certain men have hurt and disillusioned me, my divorce and my choices have impacted my children.
My goal as a mother, from the point of conception was to provide my children with a life rich in love, health and memories. This goal has not changed. Choices made have have not afforded my children a childhood with that vision.
I thought that finding a significant other would complete our family. As I have said many times already, because I focussed so much on the happy ending, I ended up making poor choices. Choices have consequences.
As a single mother, when we choose the wrong man and invite them into our home and family, our children are immersed in the negative, the unhealthy and the hurt that the wrong person brings as much as we are.
I have learned my lessons. Unfortunately, it has taken me a few years to do so. In those years, childhood moments have been stolen and tainted. There’s no magic to undo that and I’m not sure I’ll find forgiveness for myself for making the choices. I may not find it from my children either.
Last night became a head on collision for me. I went through my day relatively peacefully. I had coffee with colleagues, laughed and was productive at work. I headed to dinner with a colleague and tried Persian food and enjoyed some laughter. I returned home going about my night. All of my children gathered in the kitchen, it was pleasant. I literally turned to do something and when I turned around the peace turned into catastrophe. Not unlike a car accident, everything changed in a millisecond.
If only the moment had come with a warning to brace for impact. I was hit with my son’s anger like a Mac truck taking out a Honda Fit.
My son and one of the twins had a sibling moment of name calling. I just stood in the kitchen the other day and lectured all three kids on how we will speak to each other in the Home. Last night, my son felt I should have called the twin on her name calling and started taking me to task on it. This was the moment of impact. I didn’t realize how hard the impact was until my son’s anger and judgement sprayed around the room like pieces of a vehicle in a full impact collision.
My son was feeling alone and unsupported and he did not like my answers. He had the perception that I only call him out on bad behaviour and not the girls. This is inaccurate but his perception. Something about my response ignites pent up anger. My son unleashed all that he thinks about my choices in men and the decision to include them in their daily lives. How his childhood has sucked because of it. Nothing I say brings calm. As he goes on, all I can think is he just wants to be angry. I express remorse, I own my choices, I acknowledge his feelings and remind him that I cannot change it. I remind that I experienced it all too. I apologize again. To him the apology has no weight. Disappointment and feeling robbed of happy times prevail.
I cannot argue with how many things have sucked in the last 13 years. I don’t disagree that there have been intense negative moments in the hands of male counterparts. More than should have ever occurred. On one hand, I get the anger and I do not blame my son for his anger. It should not shock me. It’s how it is unleashed that hits me. The debris and shattered glass tears through my soul and it is now embedded with already existing shards of failure, shame, regret and hurt.
What they don’t see from me on a daily basis, since the divorce is that I beat myself up, they don’t see the pain, they don’t see the shame and self-loathing that I battle already for having failed to provide them with the childhood I had dreamed of for them. Their disappointment is my tragedy. I soldier through these times, I hold my head up, I move forward, which may appear to other’s like I’ve forgotten or as if it all was of no consequence. The strength it takes to move forward and face them everyday, they will never know. I know I’ve failed, I know they have missed out and I know I will not likely find forgiveness from myself or from them as they make their way through adolescence. I hope it will come and I will stand in front of the firing squad when necessary.
I tell my son that only time and my actions going forward can prove to him that I have learned. I express to him that if I could go back and change it I truly would.
Last night he stormed out of the house in -40 degree weather. My girls crumbled. I was at a loss. In shock. He ranted the teenage rant of when I can I’m moving out and never looking back. My heart shattered, my reaction anger. As he tied his shoes, I told him “You are my son, I love you. No matter what you feel for me, I will not stop caring for you. I’m sorry you feel this way.” He left. I was mad and then I was scared. Two girls falling to pieces beside me.
I texted him once the world stopped spinning “Let me come get you and take you where you want to go. No talking.” A text comes back “can you just come pick me up.” I do.
I open my eyes this morning to a six foot two, shirtless young man. He stands silently at the side of my bed staring at me. I break the silence with a quiet “What’s up?”
“I’m sorry for last night.” He says wiping a tear from his face.
“Are you?” I respond. Not sure why that was my choice.
“Yes, I am” he says.
I pause and offer “Okay.”
He lingers a moment, wipes another tear “I have to go to work” and walks out. It’s -40, I let him walk.
I choose to move forward in most days positively. I do not forget my failures but I try to grow from them. I have to move forward and find laughter, any other choice would bring about my soul’s death and then what would be the point of it all?
Tomorrow is not promised. I will do my best to make each day count. I will do my part to make the rest of their lives an abundance of happy days.