95: I Guess I Need To Explain

My intention, in the beginning, was not to share my struggles with the world. This little blog began as a way to communicate with my sister, my parents, my adult step-children, and out-of-town family, as they were all growing in their concern for M.

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     There was another time during which my life’s journey took me through uncharted territory. It was difficult, confusing, scary, and I felt desperate. But I got through it.

Did some people question my decisions?
Yes. 
Where my actions done out of love?
Yes
I did the best I could with the knowledge and resources I had.

********************************************************

Well, here I was again – facing something I didn’t see coming. This time, however, I was no longer a stay-at-home mom listening to the wisdom of my sister or girlfriends during “play-groups,” or eating lunches that went on for hours at McDonald’s Play Places, or sitting outside on a park bench while our kids played on a jungle gym.
      Between time-zones, new careers, and busy families, I couldn’t figure out how to reach my support system. So, taking a tip from the younger generation, I began writing private notes to my friends and family on a little blog that no one else would find. And if someone happened to find it, they still wouldn’t know whose life sounded so out of control because I would stay anonymous.

     But then something strange happened. My sister shared it with a dear friend of hers, and out of the blue, this kind person wrote me a letter – and it was that letter that gave me what I needed most…Hope.
     I was confused, scared, and desperate, heading down another of life’s unexpected detours, when the wisdom of a stranger gave me the strength to continue to follow my instincts.

     To some this blog is quite controversial; they feel this is a private matter that shouldn’t be discussed outside family. Some have suggested that I am ruining my relationship with my child.  My question to them would be…How? What “relationship” should I have with my child right now? Do they realize what my child is doing? I’m not trying to be his “friend” – I’m just trying to be his “parent.”
     Yes, M hates me right now. And the reason he hates me is because I’m not giving-in to his impulsive and entitled teenage ways. If he “liked” me, then that would mean that I was telling him that it’s okay to break the law, risk his health, treat others with disrespect, and throw his life away. I’m never going to allow him to think that being a teenager gives him a free ticket to such destruction.
     Sure, I hope and pray for a good relationship with him when he is an adult – but that time won’t come for quite a while. In the meantime I can handle the cold shoulder, the rolling eyes, the mean names under his breath, and the all around disrespect.

     The feedback I’ve received from family, friends, and strangers has been overwhelming. Many nights I’ve read the comments left by readers, and often those words are exactly the words I need to take with me as I trudge through the next day’s adventure.

There is another reason I write – it gets me to sleep at night. This has been my therapy as it helps me reflect and formulate how to deal with the pain, anger, sadness, and frustration. In the old days, I would have written all this down in a little spiral notebook. I only write the truth – nothing here is a secret. (Especially when you consider that you can find everything I write about on M’s and his friends’ Facebook pages.)

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11 thoughts on “95: I Guess I Need To Explain

  1. It sounds like a unanimous verdict…your posts are honest and uncensored and truthful. I don't feel like you are asking for validation…just a vehicle to let your feelings out before they overcome you (oh, do I know that feeling!). To all the anonymous naysayers who feel so compelled to tell you what you are doing right wrong, I say walk even a HALF mile in your mocassins! Your words help me deal with my own situation. The circumstances may be different, but losing any part of your child is the most painful thing I can imagine, and your experiences and the way you deal with them somehow bring me some comfort..maybe because it helps me realize that, when all is said and done, sometimes life just isn't fair. I commend you for doing everything you know how to do not to lose any more of your child. Thank you for helping to keep me sane.

  2. Your child is not your friend until they move out. And then they still aren't until they have their own life. Best advice I've ever heard.

  3. Most people are pious, pretentious and self-absorbed. I think you've been honest and vulnerable in this blog. I think you're a trooper in this journey. I pray the best for you & M.

  4. I understand the feeling that somehow you have to explain–but know that the truth is you owe no one an explanation. You aren't being irresponsible or mean–you are trying to save your son. There is NOTHING wrong with that. I agree with everyone above. You keep on doing what you need to do to stay strong. I look forward to your posts as they help me even though I cannot help my son in any way but to pray for him. It's been a most bizarre Christmas. Bless you and your family!

  5. Just received this quote in my email box from Real Simple magazine! It seems appropriate as to what you are going through!
    “Youth is not a time of life…it is a state of mind!”~Anonymous

  6. “I'm never going to allow him to think that being a teenager gives him a free ticket to such destruction.” Thank you!

    What tired lines…they are teenagers let them have their fun…everyone does it…we did it when we were kids…they 'only' drink at my house-I supervise them. It's the REAL parents who stand strong in their parenting. Real parents don't stoop to being their teen's 'friend' or casually let them borrow the car so they can go 'camping' up in the hills or stay quiet when there is a problem.

    This week our small town's newspaper is going thru the Top 10 stories of the year. It may be #7 on their list…but it is #1 on the minds of the local teens and their families. A group of kids were up in the hills…getting a head start on their “camping.” It's a tradition that goes way back (parents & grandparents). They still had finals the next day-the last day-of school.

    So I need to tell you about T. She was drop dead gorgeous-without makeup. No kidding-head turning beautiful. Amazing in FFA with her animals. She would walk by in the barn and you couldn't stop looking at her–so beautiful, happy and popular. And A? Another pretty girl, best friends forever with T. Sweet, popular and funny. Oh, and I'll tell you about C. A popular young man at KHS-involved in football and wrestling. State competitor-great kid and a hard worker. Sweet, happy and loved people. These weren't “bad” kids.

    They were all “camping” (drinking) when T got mad at someone. She stomped off, grabbed A (her bff) and they stomped off to her car. Along the way, T spoke with C, who decided to go along with them. A few miles out, on a straight stretch of road, T rolled that car and it came to a halt-upside down. A. somehow crawled out of the window-she had a Traumatic Brain Injury, lacerated liver, her body and pretty face were SMASHED into pieces. There she lay, bloody and alone with the coyotes and predators of the night, for over 3 hours while looking into the faces of her two very dead friends. The kids who found them were basically too drunk to make a proper phone call.

    T had a b.a.c. of 0.16-twice the legal limit. C., unfortunately, was just along for the ride…with two beautiful girls on a beautiful June night. After the funerals (both closed casket for obvious reasons), T. and C. were buried together. A. is alive, with a muddled brain and shattered body. She continues to have surgeries. Word around town is that she is drinking and partying harder than ever.

    Guess who everyone pointed their fingers at? Yes. The parents. The teens were excused a bit for being young, stupid and dead (or in pieces). But not the parents. If tarring and feathering were an option…it would have happened.

    Stay STRONG Major Momma. M is one breath away from death as long as he continues his reckless behavior and associating with those who are reckless (remember C.-just along for the ride).

  7. I agree w the above comments. You do not need to explain your position (mother who loves her son more than life itself) or your decision (to act like that mother and refuse to let him ruin his life and others')

    I think the proof of your love AND your (good, by the way) decision is evident in the fact that you don't care about the suffering it brings to you personally – the attitude from the child you love, the disapproval from strangers, etc.

    You owe a stranger (or even friend) no explanation. It's frankly none of their business, regardless of whether or not you post on the internet. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. It is always between you, M and God. You know what you need to do and you are doing it. I am sure you will have to dig deep at times to find the courage and the fortitude to persevere in this mothering role. But you've got it. You are doing great!

  8. As a new mom I have discovered that the best parenting advice isn't necessarily printed in books written by MDs or PhDs. Blogs written by everyday moms have been my go-to resources. I have said before that your writing is inspiring. It truly is, and I aspire to be the strong and loving parent that you are to my own children.

  9. You do a great job and you are real! Those of us with real life experience get it.
    It is therapy for us too. You are not alone in this type of parenting role. Thanks for reaching out. You had a poster say only an addict would act like this. Lots of kids act like this and are not addicts. We sometimes go straight to addiction as a reason when they are self medicating for reasons we haven't gotten to the bottom of yet. Our sons counselor helped us to see that. Keep fighting the good fight…..and keep being real!

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