I haven't blogged in a few days, not because I have nothing to say but because I have too much to say about things I shouldn't whether it be conversations that should stay between a man and his wife or secrets that need to be kept to protect the reputations of family members.
and here on my front porch at 2am considering things, I wonder why that is. Why there are certain things that no one ought talk about. It's not as if anything has never happened before. Why are we so afraid to admit to less than perfection?
Let me tell you about the worst mom I ever had the misfortune to know.
None of my children were planned. Every single one of them were a blessing brought about by stupidity. Kind of like winning the lottery because of your gambling addiction.
I had my oldest child when I was 19. Old enough to know... well, everything. At least old enough to be able to think about more than myself and what I wanted, to see what I didn't know or to find a way to find a way. I was a very selfish girl. Selfish and lazy without a clue about life. I didn't know how to cook or keep a house or do any things mothers should be doing, especially not how to take care of a kid. But did I care? No. I figured it didn't matter. I figured ... I don't even know. I didn't try very hard those first few months. I met his needs and played with him and such because it's what I wanted. I did not want to get up at night or in the mornings. so I didn't. I let other people do that. Like my teenage sister. I knew she wouldn't let him cry.
By the time Alex came along, I had been on my own for a while. I was doing better. not perfect. still clueless. but trying. I had a better idea on how to take care of kids, still didn't know about household stuff but I was mostly taking care of my own kids. Until a boyfriend introduced me to the fabulousness that is a regular overindulgence in drugs and alcohol. overindulgence leading to dependence before I even knew what hit me. I thought I was ok. I thought I was handling what needed to be handled and everything was fine. until I woke up one day alone, sober, with a handful of disconnect notices, an empty pantry and refrigerator, and Alex wore a towel for a diaper. I was jobless, car-less, friendless, and had been cut off from my family. When did this happen? How did this happen? We were screwed.
That's when I knew I can't do this. I looked at my boys and realized they deserve better. There's quite a bit of drama involved but the short story is I took Walter to my mom, and used her phone to call Alex's grandma and tell them I messed up. I can't do this. I need help. They agreed to take my children while I got on my feet.
I sank deeper into depression, turning even more to the drugs and the alcohol and the random sex to fill this hole inside me, or to at least take me to a place I didn't have to face it. I worked hard to get my boys back. I took all the hours I could, I worked my days off. but as much as I paid on child support, as much as I saved for a car and for a house, as hard as I worked, I wasn't really trying, wasn't really understanding. I didn't get that the problem wasn't only a roof over our heads and food in their bellies. When I wasn't working, you wouldn't find me sober. or alone. or anywhere near my boys.
That was the longest and fuzziest year of my life.
I finally got my boys back... well, stole them back because both sets of grandparents objected. Lord knows why, right? I got a place to live. a car. a job. What else could they need that I can't provide? I was fine.
I stopped the drugs because my boys deserve better. ...but there's nothing wrong with alcohol, right? It's not like it's illegal. and what could a 4 year old and a 2 year old know or care who was in my bed? Eventually, through sex, I would find love. I mean, come on, where else do you find it? The boys were fine. I met their needs, I spent some time with them, what more could they want? Who cares what happens after bedtime? Foolish, foolish me.
The combination of alcohol and random sex is where I got my Goofy one. I tell you all the time but I don't think you really get it- The Goofy Child changed my life. I sobered up- completely- and I found nothing inside me. I was dead inside. I spent many days in my bed, staring at the wall, feeling this emptiness, thinking of the choices I made. I sat silently on the couch and watched my children. and I knew I fucked up. I knew I had to fix it. For them. For me. As I was, I was no good for anyone. not me, not them. I was looking for love, looking for something... and this whole time it was staring me right in the face and I ignored it. I quit. I quit everything.
These moms, the ones who are where I was, I'm most likely not going to reach them through blogging. Most, if any, are not reading blogs or hanging out on parenting forums. they are looking for answers in all the wrong places. But I can tell you my story. and I can tell you that there is no shame in asking for help. in getting to that point where you wake up and see what you've done and then try to fix it.
I've wondered many things. I've wondered if we would have had a name for what was going on with Alex earlier if he hadn't been bounced around from home to home. I wonder if someone would have noticed something before the shock was laid at my feet when he was 3 years old if I had paid more attention or left him with someone who would instead of selfishly yanking him back because I wanted him. I have wondered how things would have been different if I had listened to the grandparents and waited until I really had my shit together instead of giving in to the shame and my selfish desires because I thought I was ready enough.
When someone comes to you and says to you, "I can't do this," remember that there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that has happened before will happen again. Try not to be too judgmental. Try not to feel too resentful. Try not to shame them or to feel shame, yourself. and don't count them out.
I have been sober and random sex free for 8 years now. I'm not the perfect parent or the perfect wife or the perfect anything but I'm trying to be who I want to be... One day at a time.