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Mother's Day, A Journal Entry
Saturday, November 09, 2002
Mother's Day is coming. Oh joy.
How do I know this? Hmmm perhaps the on-line barrage of email telling me about the perfect mother's day gift was my first clue. It's been down hill since then. Oh course the second clue was seeing my boyfriend Miles buy three cards (one for his sister, one for his step mother and one for his mother) and knowing that there wouldn't be a card for me, that he has forgotten that I am a mother too.
I know Mother's Day is just another holiday for most folks. But I approach this day with the joy and happiness that you would approach a land mine; with trepidation and a great deal of caution. I did not live with June Clever my mother was more like Betty Davis' character in the movie Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. I'm sure you get the idea.
I overdosed on valium when I was 10. I shudder when I think about it now, but at 10 life was so painful that I couldn't manage it without stealing my mother's valium. Eventually I overdosed and ended up in the hospital in 1970. Back then they didn't have a clue what to do for me, no one had ever heard of a 10 year old trying to commit suicide before. Everyone at the hospital and even my aunts and uncles assumed it was an accident. It wasn't.
So at 16, in order to escape I married a man who was eight years my senior. This man loved me and knew my situation and wanted to help me. I was only 16 but I knew that if I didn't get out of her house soon that I would die; whether from her abuse or by my own hands.
I found out that I was pregnant while waiting to go on the pill. How ironic. My son was born in August of 1977; I turned 17 the day after his birth. Having a child at 17 was no where in my plans. I didn't grow up thinking "Wow, I can't wait til I'm 17 so I make a soldier for Christ." Unfortunately, being a good catholic girl I had no real options and I felt trapped. I knew I had a terrible role model on how to be a mother and I was filled with fears.
One of my biggest fears about my having a child was that I would treat him like I had been treated with verbal and mental abuse, beatings, and starvation. Once my son was born, I tried so hard to be a good mother. But I was unable to bring myself to love him. He was such a good baby very quiet and happy. Maybe he knew or maybe God just did what he could for both of us. I never beat him, I never raised a hand to him in anger and I never yelled at him. But looking back I neglected him emotionally. I couldn't even bring myself to play with him; I resented him that much.
The marriage was doomed to fail and eventually it did. I moved back home and began to drink. Alcohol took me far away from the here and now and it's pain. Everything was nicely fuzzy and bearable when I drank almost as good as the valium. When I was drunk I didn't have to think about being a single mother, about being uneducated, about a frightening future.
One day, I realized that my problem was my son. That he was interfering with my drinking. I would do anything to prevent that. Anything, including giving my son back to his father when my son was 18 months old. Oh I also knew that I was hurting him. I didn't beat him. Nope, I just emotionally neglected him that's all; as if that's was so much better.
His father gladly took the boy and married another woman almost immediately. His father told me that he was going to raise my son thinking that this woman was his mother. Great, ok, just leave me alone and let me drink. His father finally ran away with him about a year later when we were arguing about visitation rights. I never saw my son again.
This is hard to say, but looking back losing him it was the best thing that could ever have happened-for him. For me, well it sucked. Both knowing that I was a terrible mother and knowing that some other nameless faceless woman would do a much better job than me. Ok, not at the time. At the time I didn't think about it much. I was too drunk. But looking back, I have to tell myself these things in order to face myself in the mirror every day.
Years later, once I'd sobered up I began to search for my son. I searched for him everywhere including online. I finally found his email address and emailed him. I gave him my info and told him to talk to his dad about me. After a few emails I never heard from him again. That rejection was incrediably difficult. But the part about life that sucks so much sometimes, is that you reap what you sow. There are always consequences and if you think there aren't-excuse me but you are frigging nuts. Sometimes, if you're lucky like me, (please note the sarcasm here) you won't get those consequences until much later.
When I first sobered up his birthday and mother's day were major sob-fests that lasted several days. What fun. It was so terrible finally understanding and having to face what I'd done. I gave my son away because he interfered with my drinking. I should have been spayed as a child.
Living with what I've done has gotten easier over the years. Now I just feel sad. And sometimes I feel weepy and sad. Like I have this huge gaping wound in my gut that will never heal. Other than that I'm fine thank you and how are you doing today?
Sometimes it hurts so much to think of this. Sometimes I'm just numb and sometimes I think about others I've met on my journey. I have to remember how some of my friend's kids were. The ones who took their children with them on their love affair with alcohol. Their kids are a mess. In jail, sex abusers, alcoholics and drug addicts and God knows what else. Oh boy, the cycle of abuse continues another generation. And trust me it's not like I'm bragging and that I am so much more superior than my friends; I'm not and I know it. My kid, my beautiful son would have ended up just as screwed up as their kids.
So at times I have to console myself with saying that at least I (in my own special selfish way) managed to break this cycle. And if the price of keeping him safe from my neglect and abuse-from me, was to lose him than so be it. Hopefully he is a loved, sane, well adjusted young man who believes with all of his heart that he can do anything he wants to. And, oh yeah that his mother really loves him.
So if you're out there, my beautiful son, please know that I love you and wish you the best.
"The life we lead is a result of the choices we make" from the movie Renaissance Man.
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|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|fireant, you are in my prayers. such a sad, powerful write! well done!! love, your new friend, karen lynn. ((((HUGS)))) p.s.: love your name, but not the REAL fireants; i live in texas, and the REAL fireants are a GIANT pain; but YOU are A-OK!! :)|