That is how long I have left with my son. He is moving to Texas on the 18th but I am leaving for a trip on the 15th so my last day with him will be the 14th. He will graduate high school (hopefully) and then that is really the end of a very long road for us.
I am not sure if our relationship will continue...or if it does, what that looks like.
There is so much water under our relational bridge. Both of us thinking and believing that the other person is delusional. And likely both of us being right about the other at times.
Letting go is painful and the fact that I never thought I would have to let go in this manner, even harder.
We do not get along. That is perhaps the biggest understatement I have uttered in a long time.
Like everything else in life, it is complicated and not easy to parse out what is his and what is mine. I think both of us live with the persistent idea that it really more the other person. That is true and not true at the same time.
I have done my best, which admittedly, at times has not been stellar. Overall I would give myself a C for mothering him. So many things that I didn’t understand in the beginning. So, so many things that I can see now were evident, but I just couldn’t see them. And so my management of those particular behaviors couldn’t have been more wrong...but hindsight is like that, makes the past clear in ways that it could have never been as you were living through it.
I love my son. I always have and I always will. But I find the way that he is, how he is, how he treats me, uses people and substances to be unacceptable and I can’t live with him anymore...for all our sakes.
I pray that this new adventure in Texas brings him everything he hopes for in life. I pray that he is able to find a new way to live and succeed. I have done everything I can think of and I know that he would tell me (because he does every single day) that I did it all wrong. And I regret that we have such a disconnect in this department, that I have done everything I have done out of love and concern for him...and regardless of my loving intention, he sees my efforts to put him on some different track, mean, spiteful, selfish and abusive. That is how he feels and so that is what he believes.
It has not been easy raising him. And the prospect that he is leaving and that it is a real possibility that I might never see him again, painful. I feel he is woefully unprepared for life, most especially on his own.
I hope I am wrong. I pray once the parental controls are off and in his rearview, he rises to the challenges of being on one’s own, shows up for himself and gets his life going in a positive direction. I want this more than I want anything. I want to be wrong. I want to be pleasantly surprised. I want him to live a happy, peaceful life full of love and all the good feels. And I pray there is a place for me in that life. Because I know that I cannot walk with him on his current path any longer for my own health and sanity.
I am also very grateful he is going. I am not sure what would be left of us if he remained. I am grateful for the people who are taking him in, and providing him a job. I am grateful beyond words I can express.
I never thought parenting would be such a humungous lesson in letting go. I have let go and been dragged a lot. This time I won’t be. I am really releasing him to himself. Ending my tenure as his handler and life manager and am turning over the reigns of his life to him, with love and hope as my primary emotions.
There is a great beyond for us all. Out beyond what we think is right and wrong and good and bad. And when we launch ourselves out into that world, we find out that this whole idea we have that things are “either” or “or” is really just folly. And at least part of the secret of life is seeing that most of life is “both” and “and”. Which doesn’t fit the black and white world we have lived in our youth. Things are much more shades of grey, and color, so much color.
I do not know how to do this letting go completely thing. I am not sure I have it in me. But I do know that I will find it and it will be hard and painful but hopefully, some good will come of removing myself from his path...I can no longer be blamed for all that goes wrong. Except I know all too well, that every action I have taken or failed to take, from his perspective, is the source and reason for all his misery. So why would this be any different?
So I do the only thing left to do, let him figure it out on his own. I will just be right here, loving and praying that he find his way. That is really all that is left to do.