On The Third Day of Christmas…

I was going to write about the frustrations surrounding my family the day after Christmas, but decided against it. I could go into every detail that got under my skin, but what’s the point? I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that the “normal” family get together I have playing in my head just does not exist when it comes to three of us. Dwelling on it just makes me feel worse. Long story short; this will never change.

So, instead of staying stuck in a miserable state, I decided to focus on happier times. I will be posting old pics of Christmas past.

I remember this like it was yesterday. Dad was an avid photographer. I always had a camera in my face. On this evening I was trying to watch a Christmas special on television and he was desperately trying to get me to look into the camera.

Thanks for the memories, pops.

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A Most Horrible Day

Today was an incredibly crap-tastic one.  I can barely stand to write about it because it makes me relive it all over again.  The prodigal called early in the morning to see if I felt like tagging along as he starts his apartment hunt.

To my great surprise, he has already received his first payment  from employment insurance.  Wow! That was record breakingly fast. I’m impressed.

Here’s what’s not so impressive about that, though; the amount.  I’m really hoping that it is because it covers only one week with a deduction because he had to declare some income received from his employer.

If not, then he cannot afford to go out and rent his own flat. So, he is stressing.  He is trying to figure out everything all at the same time; how much money he will be receiving, will he find a decent apartment, he needs appliances, how much will heating cost, on and on and on.

Pardon my French, but my nerves are fucking shot.  I really needed to relax and recoup these next two weeks off of work.  I’m so exhausted I can feel my heart beat in my own chest.  When he stresses like this, it’s like it’s happening to me.  I’m an empath by nature. I suck up whatever energy is around me like a sponge.

Because all of that was not stressful enough, I walked into the kitchen this morning and found an uninvited visitor.  A mouse. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHNONONONONO!

Angus McKitten had caught him, but didn’t quite know what to do with it, so he was playing catch and release with it. I felt like I was going to both throw up and shit myself at the same time. Whaaaaat is going on lately?  Is this some type of bad karma coming after me?

So it scurried off into my little office that I’m working so hard to set up and make it all pretty and comfortable.  This mouse is a dick. I feel so uncomfortable in here as I’m typing because I have no idea where he is.  I had him cornered while I was waiting for my son to come over and help.  We almost caught him but he got away and squeezed into the heater and is somewhere in the walls, I’m assuming.

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Heeeeere mousie mousie mousie, come on out!

The exterminator cannot make it here before some time next week. In the mean time I went to Canadian Tire to get some mousetraps.  I just could not bring myself to buying one of those cruel spring/snap ones.  I hate that this rodent is in here, but my heart is still soft and I don’t want to kill. So I bought those sticky glue traps.  I still don’t like the idea, but it’s better than decapitation and suffering?  I ordered a humane mousetrap on Amazon.  It should be here by Sunday, hopefully.

My anxieties are at an all time high.  All I want to do right now is sleep and wake up when everything has been sorted out.  I know things will turn out ok and this is just a phase.  We have all been there or something similar at some point, haven’t we?  I know I have.  Watching someone you love go through it is brutal.  I’m doing my best to encourage my beloved prodigal, but it is not easy.  How can I convince someone that everything will be ok if I am a nervous wreck myself? I’m so tired….

 

 

It Should Come Naturally

Hey good morning all.  So, the latest on my prodigal’s situation.  I was just settling at work yesterday when he called me.  He needed my opinion on something regarding the live-in ex.

He had just come back from dropping off her little son at daycare.  That alone, in my humble opinion, shows a great deal of maturity and decency.  Anyway, he has gotten to know some of the daycare providers pretty well and one in particular often chats him up regarding the little guy.

My son, (let’s call him “A” moving forward) let the daycare provider know the he and the boy’s mother were parting ways and that at some point he will no longer be picking up/ dropping off the boy.

She told him he has shown so much kindness and seems to genuinely love the boy.  She went as far as to say that A has shown more interest and care than his actual mother and father.

The little tyke bounces back and forth to the great-grandmother’s and to the father’s and paternal grandmother’s on a regular basis. He is actually “home” only about three days a week, and is never home on the weekends with his mom. I can’t even imagine….

Anyhoo, daycare lady said that she just doesn’t understand the boy’s mother; she doesn’t seem excited when picking him up after a three or four day absence.

So, the million dollar question A had for me yesterday…He wanted to know if the love of a child was something that could grow on a mother or was it a “it’s either in you or it’s not” scenario.

My answer: See this pic below?  Twenty-six years ago, that was pretty much love at first sight for me.

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This is what unconditional love looks like.

My heart hurts for him right now.  I know he is trying to find some type of redeeming hope for the type of mom she could be for any possibility of future children of his, but I think the writing is pretty much on the wall.

Having raised him as a single mom since he was two, trust me when I say I am in no means trying to vilify her.  I know how hard it can be and I know of the silent judgments and blanket assumptions some make.

It’s such a shame, this situation.  Things were good for the three of them for a while, but friends with bad influences got in the way.  That will be for another post though.

I wish I had a magic wand and could wave it over all of them and make this situation better and everyone gets a happy ending.  So hard, as a parent, to watch young adults learn some hard life lessons.  My prayer life has gotten amped up by quite a few notches of late! lol!

Have a great Friday, all.

How Will Things Turn Out?

It’s a question that keeps rolling around in my head on a continuous loop.  The prodigal came over for supper yesterday.  It can’t be easy for him; newly unemployed, still under the same roof with the now ex-girlfriend until he can find his own flat.  The waiting game..waiting to see what he can afford.  If he draws the maximum of unemployment insurance, he can afford something small but cute.  If he doesn’t, his options are limited until he starts work again in March.

I’m so glad that he draws near to family in times of trouble.  We are a clan that sticks together through thick and thin.

Instead of coming up with a plan A,B,C,D…etc, I just let him vent and go over the what ifs and the what could have beens.  All the while I was cooking one of his favorite dishes and listening quietly and interjecting supportive comments.

I was happy to see him actually getting excited about getting his own place.  He seems to be tapping into his creative side and I can see that will be expressed by way of how he chooses to decorate his upcoming new digs.    I’m excited for him.  I can feel that good things are coming his way.

My heart breaks for him, but I have to remind myself that we have all been there at some point in our lives and have lived to tell the tale.  It’s all part of growing up.  We can chose to either dwell in a place of darkness or chose to dust ourselves off and start again in a new direction.  That’s the only way a person grows and matures.

So, stay with me on this.  Any words of support/encouragement/advice will be welcomed.  Do any of you have grown children that have been through a tough patch?  How, as a parent, did you keep your worries at arm’s length?

Have a great day all.

 

 

The Gift of Laughter

Hello all. Well, 2017 is going out with a bang for my little family. My beloved prodigal has called it quits with his live in girlfriend and is now looking for a flat of his own.

Regardless of the fact that my son is almost 26 years of age, I still worry about him. I can’t help it; a mom’s heart will beat in my chest until I draw my last breath.  Who are we fooling?  I’ll probably find a way to worry in the after life as well!

I thought I would be a more nervous wreck version of what I already am, but for some reason, I’m not..so far.  Something inside of me is saying it will all turn out just fine and he will get through this.

How do I know?  We were able to laugh and giggle yesterday while munching on pizza and watching a comedy in between snippets of conversation and musings.

He has matured by leaps and bounds in the past year or so.  He is also more even tempered since taking meds for ADHD.  It has helped him to be so much more eloquent in speech and thought. Gosh, I wish we would have known this when he was back in high school.  Those years could have been so different for him and for myself.

So I suppose you’re wondering why they broke up?  Well, even if you’re not, I’m giving you a condensed version of the spiel.

He has come to the conclusion that they do not share the same values in life.  He works hard, has goals for a family and kids and a house.  She has goals to go out and drink to all hours with her friends.  A couple months ago she thought cocaine was a good idea.  I don’t think it was her intention; her friends have a heavy influence on her.

Did I mention she has a little four year old son that is more often than not passed on to his great grandmother?

He is a bit of a minimalist and likes a clean/tidy place.  She leaves shit aaaaalll over the place.  I’ve been there, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

He has been telling her that her little son probably is on the autistic spectrum. She has been in denial.  Fortunately though, after some pushing, the little one was finally taken to the pediatrician and the doc agrees there is something not quite right.  Testing with psychologists to follow.  Or not.  My heart sinks when I think of him most probably getting lost in the cracks now that the responsibility of doing the right thing will be left solely to her.

I know, I know, I sound like a mother who thinks her son is perfect.  I’m really not implying that at all.  Nor am I trying to vilify the now ex-girlfriend.  I honestly feel bad for her because she just doesn’t seem to get it. I feel even worse for her son.

My son will be ok. The timing of all this sucks; a couple days before Christmas, he is a mason by trade and is now newly unemployed until March when they start up again. He will now be looking for a new flat based on what little money he will have coming in.

I am proud of him for not settling.  I am proud of him for having walked away from this messy situation when he recognized that the two of them were just not compatible on some very important levels. I am proud of him for being a little scared but doing it anyway. I am proud of him for taking the high road and discussing things with her and coming to what seems to be an amicable split.

Our family is very close knit. We are always there for each other. I guess all those frustrating conversations and discipline and trying to teach him the right way have paid off.  He acted decently and is continuing to do so up until he moves out.

So, bye bye 2017.  Please usher in a kinder gentler 2018 for him and for anyone else having a hard time of things.

Just remember, laughter really is the best medicine.  If you can laugh and share a smile with someone, despite what you’re troubles are, you will most certainly be ok.  Tomorrow is another day.

Be Careful What Your Wish For

It was the literal calm before the storm. I haven’t been writing or keeping up with my fave blogs lately.  My intention was/is not to give it up.  I was just taking some time to sort through this funk I’ve been in.  Last night I seemed to have finally come out of it as I was sitting on my back balcony, doing an on-line class from UBC called The Science of Happiness.

Angus and Pacino, (my kitties) were at my feet, the crickets were chirping in the background.  I took a minute to listen and look around.  I was in my element, learning something new.  I said out loud “Thank you, God.”

I have been praying lately that the loneliness inside would go away.  That I find a sense of purpose and contentment once more.  I even asked if He had forgotten about me.  Could He please send a little excitement my way?

Apparently, I should have been WAY more specific with the type of excitement I had ordered.  Thirty minutes later my phone rang and it was my beloved prodigal, asking if he could move back home.

Seriously, God?  This is your idea of a joke, right? Or maybe a lesson for me to shut my big yap when there is an absence of drama and to enjoy the peace that no so long ago I had been praying for night and day. Point taken.

Aaaanyhoooo….seems that the honeymoon stage is over for the couple that moved in together way too fast.  Hey, I love my kid.  I also love him enough to not sugar coat some of his decisions.

So what’s the issue with my son and his gal pal?  By the looks of it, he wants to settle down and she is still the party girl.  She works odd hours, so they are never really together all that much.  She finishes work at about 10pm, and apparently has taken to hitting the bars with her friends afterwards and crawling in at the wee hours.

Did I mention she has a four year old child? So not only does my son work in masonry and restorations, he is also a glorified manny (male version of nanny).

I’m minding my business and am being a sounding board for my son.  In my head though, I’d love to shake little run around Sue like a rag doll.  Maybe throw in a smack up side her head, too.

You’ve got a four year old at home, dumbass.  In case you forgot, you’ve got a pretty decent guy too.  He’s gainfully employed, doesn’t run around, loves you, your kid loves him.  Wake the fuck up!

I’m not sure what is going to happen.  Hopefully they will be able to resolve their differences and be on the same page moving forward.  Or at least be able to finish the term on their lease in an amicable way.

Never a dull moment.

Abuse With a Side of Narcissism

This is not going to be a pleasant topic, dear readers, but it’s something I need to put out there.

When you hear people speak of abuse, what’s the scenario that first pops into your mind?  I’m betting you think spousal abuse, child abuse, even abuse towards animals.  That word probably conjures up visions of the raging alcoholic husband beating his wife.  Or is it the parent that neglects their young child’s most basic needs and is heavy handed with punishment? Or maybe elder abuse at the hands of care providers.

What of parental abuse?  It’s out there, but not many people speak of it. Good luck finding support or information on it.  It’s about as easy to find as a pink unicorn wearing a crown of four leaf clovers as it leaps over the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on its way to greet Santa at the North Pole.  Know what I mean?

Do you believe that the only abuse a person can fall victim to is one where they are physically beaten and have the bruises to show for it?

If so, you are misinformed.  I know, because I have an abusive relationship with a family member. This is not easy to write about.  I feel awful putting a name to this.

I know what you must be thinking. What type of parent puts up with abuse from their children.  I don’t have an answer to that.  This form of abuse is so insidious.  It creeps up on you slowly over time.

As a tot, my son was such a happy baby.  Always smiling and laughing.  I could take him anywhere.  He was no trouble.  Which was such a blessing; I divorced his dad when he was a few months shy of two years old.

Flash forward to the teen years.  That’s where it all started.  It’s normal for teens to mouth off, but his was of epic proportions.  He had no problem telling me to f*ck off in the heat of an argument.  He was always so very quick to run down the list of all the ways in which I was a horrible parent that did nothing for him.  Grounding him did not work, he rarely apologized for his behavior.  In his mind, every foul word directed at me was justified.

They were horrible horrible years.  I never remarried.  How could I bring another person into this mess?

When I would try to speak to his father and ask for help with him, his go-to answer was always ” well, he’s not like that with me”.  Thank you, sperm donor, for confirming I made the right decision in ending our marriage.

Back and forth I went with my son.  Some days great, others sheer hell.  Arguments would escalate quickly and I would end up feeling so confused and exhausted by the end of it.  Therapy, anger management, you name it.  We tried it. Nothing lasted too long and all it did was give me watered down versions of his disdain towards me.

He has moved back home twice now and each time the same thing happens.  He is on his best behavior for a little while, but then history inevitably ends up repeating itself.  I should know better, but when someone tells me they have nowhere to go and ask for help, my mother’s heart makes all the decisions.

He is not a bad person.  I can still see glimmers of a good heart inside of him.  It hurts me to be around him because all I want to do is give him a kiss and a hug and tell him how much he is loved.  Sometimes my mind tricks me into acting as though nothing is wrong and I try to make casual friendly conversation with him.  My efforts are usually greeted with a coldness that is reserved for someone you truly cannot stand the sight of.

This is why I’ve been so quiet lately and have put my writing aside.  When something is wrong with my family life, nothing else seems to matter.

There is a version of his childhood that lives in his head that does not match with my version of his childhood.  To hear him speak, you would think he was abandoned from birth and merely “tolerated”, unloved, un-cared for.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

A good parent cannot let disrespect and down right anarchy go unchecked in a home.  I disciplined and I also loved.  I supported and I reprimanded.  I encouraged and I let consequences of bad decisions be known.

Things have come to a head here.  I feel as though bridges are beginning to burn.  After yet another blowout, I had no choice but to ask him to start looking for another place to live.  It is one thing for a teenager to be disrespectful to a parent.  You almost expect it, all those hormones and peer pressure being what it is.  However, when a 25 year old male stands before the woman that gave him life and calls her a loser, an asshole, among other things…..well, it forces a person’s hand to do something that is very painful.

I’ve worked hard to support a child on my own and I’ve gladly sacrificed many things.  Now its time for rubber to meet the road.  If I continue to allow this behavior towards me to go on, I am afraid of what the outcome will be for both of us.

Clearly, he does not like himself.  How could he?  I think of how I would feel inside if I spoke to my own mother that way.  I think it would be akin to sipping a little dose of poison every day.

I may not have done everything right, and Lord knows I’ve made mistakes.  As parents, we all do.  Nothing I have or have not done warrants this type of cruel treatment.

This post is not to seek out sympathy or to have a pity party.  It about finally coming out and putting a name to what I’ve been living for far too long.  It’s about recognizing a familiar and unhealthy dance between two people.  It’s about new beginnings.  It’s about self acceptance.  It’s about knowing my worth.  It’s about ending a cycle of abuse and choosing a life free of drama and living peacefully.

I am hopeful that things will change, but prepared if they do not.