Friday, April 8, 2011

Facing Reality

Letting go of my daughter has been a process.... It's been miserable as I've had to face the truth... Truth that others see but I just have not been able to get a glimmer of as I'm blinded by love.

I actually opened up and spoke with a young woman at work about what's going on.

This woman is like half my age, married but has no kids. She's very unusual and I like her a lot... maybe that's why I just started blabbering about Dani. I told her that my youngest and last child had moved out and that I was very upset about it.

"Are you kidding me? You should be rejoicing!" she told me.

A blank stare came from me. I didn't get it.

"Yeah, I guess," I said, "But she's only 17, she's not ready yet!" (I explained that she's 16 and she'll be 17 in 2 weeks so, crap, she's going to be 17)

She looked at me like my head just fell off. "Kim, she's 17. She's grown... really...where were you when you were 17?" she asked.

When I was 17?  I had graduated high school and had made arrangements for some college. I moved out... from Lakeland Florida to Houston Texas, I got a job. I returned to Florida for school, but as I was going to school and working there I found that couldn't swing my tuition to continue so I returned to Texas where I could easily work for good wages again and that's when I began being a baker and a cake decorator.

The days are much different now... for me and my daughter.

I watched when everything went down with Jake. I honestly felt bad for the man at times. If he sent her a note  she'd cry. If he called, she'd cry. If he sent a card and didn't enclose a note she'd cry. If he did enclose a note she'd cry. I did not matter. The man could do nothing right. She asked me to ask him to stop contacting her, and I did...

Now I am speared on the end of that stick.

I must expect the same for me... but I'm going to refuse to play this game.

Right as my life was falling apart and I lost my home I found myself being attacked concerning medical care of my daughter. Now that I'm calm I see how ridiculous it was. She had physicals to participate in sports, she had vaccines, she had to in order to attend school. She's had eyeglasses and contact lens.

Still, the accusations made me freak out.

I've been down a long hard road with Dani and quite frankly at this point I'm ready to take another path.

She's been very good at getting what she wants and I'm sure she'll be fine...

As she thinks I have failed her and put her through a year of hell... Well, she doesn't want to know how I see it. For me it wasn't just a year or two.

I asked very little of her compared to most kids... very, very little compared to what was expected of me when I was her age.

She failed me too.

I went through many years of hell with her, while she flat out lied to my face. She started stealing years ago, starting with a scooter, then a bike, and I ate up her excuses and got her out of trouble. The stealing did not stop... and I turned a blind eye because she was my baby girl and I was busy pretending that I had this great life that I didn't really have... It was all okay. She couldn't really be stealing. Not MY kid. I didn't raise her that way.

I don't know where this came from. I thought I taught my kids that it's wrong to take anything that does not belong to you. But Dani just never seemed to understand. She doesn't seem to feel bad for taking things... but she does feel bad for getting caught. I'm really not so sure that her arrest for shoplifting will stop her from stealing again in the future.

I have spent most of my life making excuses and sugar-coating everything.  As that was my habit for many years, it has also taken many years to tear those fake defenses apart and be real.

I went through a lot to go get her from Florida and bring her back here to live with us. I had to deal with doctors and lawyers and everyone involved had to make a sacrifice for her. Don't get me wrong here, I was glad to have her. It was what I wanted. But I went through hell and so did everyone else involved... and it wasn't so peachy keen after that with her. She scared us a lot, with "cutting" and with an imaginary boyfriend online, and never enjoying anything with us.

We did trips to Seattle and she wouldn't go with us. We had birthday plans for her and she didn't show up. We had holiday dinners and she didn't come home.

So here we go... then I can't find work, have no money, cannot do a damn holiday and I'M a butthead.

It has been a one way street with my daughter and I. As I have wanted nothing more than her being with me, she has rejected me consistently. I was so glad that Wally could be an in-between for us. What she had to say to me she could relay through Wally.

Well, isn't that just all warm and fuzzy?

Her arrest in the park? Doing the wild thing in public, completely disgusted me. The thing that bothered me the most was that it was so casual. She will argue with me... oh he was a former boyfriend... uh huh... she had no serious feelings for that boy.... that was cold....  and it makes me feel sick.

I just don't understand it.

I'm not perfect by any means. I've been a Mom for 20 years with kids in my home and that has been my life. I've supported them, I've taught them, I've laughed with them and I've cried with them.Thick and thin, we went through it.. Feast and famine, we went through that too.

Wally opened the curtains this morning... There's just a beautiful view of the water. The gulls are calling and out fishing for clams. It's cold outside but I have to smile anyway.


  1. Kim, I've been here to read and re-read your posting a few times, but needed a little time before offering a comment.

    I'm a mom, too, and had to let go of one of my children when he was in high school; he completely distanced himself from the family and I don't think I'll ever know the reason why.

    The hardest thing to deal with back then was to hear people speak of having seen him "around town". That meant others were seeing him--I wasn't. I was at once hurt and angry; if there was a problem, how could it be solved or at least cofronted with him away from home?

    Eventually, he came back, but he never seemed completely at home (I'm not sure that makes sense, but that's the only way I can describe it).

    To this day, he's still distant, but we are occasioally in touch through one of the social networks...very occasionally. He's making his life work, is in a good relationship, and seems happy. For now, that's enough, but it still hurts a little.

    A friend once told me that some families just have patterns of distance which recur: I realize that I was distant with my mom (even though I did love her), my brother is distant, as is my son--three instances of the phenomenon, and I wonder to this day what causes it.

    I don't know if that's what' happening with Dani, but in my family's case, it appears to be just the way our family is.

    I have no solutions to offer; only encouragement to keep the door open and, in the meantime, let Dani learn about the world in her own way. She may come back, but you may want to be prepared for the possibility that she won't.

    I just wanted to let you know I understand at least a part of what you must be feeling now--and it sucks...profoundly sucks.

    I'm thinking of you, Kim, and sending all my best hopes to you.

  2. Well I don't know what to say Marge. I guess I just wish it could be different.. for all of us... for both of us.
    (((BIG HUGS)))