I feel it. I have to deliver some really bad news to someone today and it feels like too much. I know I have to do it. But I really, really don’t want to. I am scared of their response, scared that my guilt will cause me to give in and capitulate. Mostly I just feel like shit that despite all my efforts, all his efforts that we haven’t really moved the needle at all in any kind of productive way.
I have heard it said, and have said it myself that guilt is a wasted emotion. But it is that even true? I mean it makes me at least feel like I am alive. When you are about to do something shitty to someone, feels like a normal human feeling to feel badly about that.
Some might argue that what I am about to do today isn’t really shitty. It is life saving. And that would be why I am overriding my guilt and taking the action anyway. But I will fully own that this person isn’t going to likely be happy about the decision and may hate me. Regardless I still think it is the best decision for all concerned.
Feels like I am always having to make these decisions. These life altering decisions. These decisions that back someone into a corner or live a life that is just hard every single day. That there is no solution or end in sight.
I never thought that parenting would be so hard. Never. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that it would be like this. I had such a different view of what this would be like. And I have grieved that view, that perspective for the last almost seventeen years. And I have loved being a mom. I have loved it even when it is hard, gut wrenching and awful. I wouldn’t make a different choice. I love both my kids with all that I am. I just was totally unprepared for what would be asked of me. I wish that I would have known. I wish that I would have been better prepared for the kids I got. I wish that I could be a different person for them.
I have done a lot of work too but it isn’t enough and I can see that. And I think that is where this unbearable guilt comes from: this idea that I could be better but I am not. Which leads me to the conclusion that I can’t be better, at least not right now. Maybe, if I keep doing the work, I can grow into yet another better version of myself. But today, today I am this stunted, traumatized version of me and I can’t be different. I have tried. I have planned. I have made resolutions. I have made promises. I have done everything I can think of to do, and I am still hopelessly inadequate.
This feels wrong. I should be able to be a better version of me for these kids. I should be able to handle what they dish out. I should be...but I am not.
If there is one thing I have identified in my life that is the most corrosive thread...dishonesty with self. It is the lies I tell myself about myself that have fucked me up more than any others. It is my own failure to see myself as I am, rather than how I wished I were that have caused me to arrive in middle age disappointed, let down, sad, tired and overwrought.
This is just the way it is. But if there is one thing that I can say that I have done well, is that I don’t accept my own bullshit about myself. I have been fearless and thorough when it comes to carving up myself with truth. I have done the work. I see my own deficiencies and they are quite glaring. And instead of telling myself a pretty story that makes me all better. I have learned to just sit with the fact that I am this person. Some good, some not so good. And I am doing the best I can and in some cases, my best just will never be good enough. I can’t give this other person what they need. I cannot be what they want. I fail repeatedly.
But I can own my failure and my part. It isn’t all my fault. But it is partly my fault. And for that I can be sorry. I can be wiling to continue to try to change and I can be empathetic to those that my being me hurts. It isn’t intentional, it is just how I am.
I spent the first part of my life wishing I was someone else. Anyone else really. It has taken me the better part of my 27 years of sobriety to get to a point that I actually like myself, most of the time. And if there is a time that I can carve out, delineate that I do not still like myself very much, it is in the parenting department. Well relationships in general. I still suck at intimate relationships. I am not sure it will ever get better. Which causes me to want to retract, to pull away from people, and stop trying. But that is not an option with motherhood...at least not for me.
My kids deserve a mom who shows up and brings even her worst self. I never mean to do that but it just happens sometimes. Far too often from my perspective. But I do show up. I haven’t tried to drown myself in booze or men or food or other addictive things that appear way more fun than parenting. I have been here for the entirety of their lives, parenting, often badly, but I am here. Doing the deal. Trying my best, even as I can see that my best is just not good enough.
So today I will level another person, again. This might be the blow that ends our relationship. It might be the final straw. I don’t know. But I guess the only thing that propels me forward is the honest and sincere desire to see this other person live and thrive, even if that means that he never speaks to me again. I would rather have him happy, alive and safe and never speaking to me, than to be chained to the life that he currently has, living with me and fucking it all up. A hard choice, but really a mother’s only choice. At least this mother’s only choice.
I am not looking forward to this conversation today. It helps to remember that God is in charge of it. I am only to show up and say what I mean, mean what I say and try not to say it meanly. I will do my best. It is all I have. My fucked up, keep trying best that often serves to be way less than best from most especially his perspective...
If you pray, I would love some prayers my way today. For him. For me. For the therapist that is going to facilitate this whole shit show. For his dad. For my daughter. For my parents who sit by and watch the people they love most in this world hurt. I will take some prayers and good thoughts and energy today. I am happy to give it back another day. But today, I need it. I need to feel the power of the spirit world. I need to feel held up and the love of something greater than me. Because I feel pretty puny right now.
I need to feel MOTHER strong, but instead I feel mother weak. Sad. Scared. So very unsure if this decision will be his undoing or his becoming. I guess I have to remember that all of that, the becoming and undoing is really, totally, 100% up to him. I am always sidelined to watch from the parenting bleachers as he engages in his life, or not. I can only set and maintain boundaries for myself. He has always been his own person. And nothing I can do or say will alter that. And I don’t even want to. I just want to keep him alive long enough so that he can mature to a person who is capable of making choices that are life affirming instead of destructive.
Ok, time to go within and allow that God consciousness to guide me forward, through the pain, the fear and the insecurity. Namaste...