Today is a different conversation. Today I will focus on telling you my story of Betrayal.
As I’ve shared with you before, I am 47 years old, I’ve been a mother for 30 years. That means I have never lived the adult life without having my children in my home. I didn’t participate in the sports, clubs or groups most people do in their 20s or 30s. Instead, if there was any extra time or money at all, it always went to my boys, no contemplating necessary. I remember feeling guilty for buying a new to me vehicle when my oldest was graduating high school. He came home one day, saw the new vehicle in the driveway, and was said something very similar to, “I’m the one graduating and you’re the one getting a new car, how does that work?” Maybe he was joking, maybe not either way I felt horrible. I asked their dad if I should return it, and get something much cheaper so we could also buy him something newer. Of course, this did not happen, I’m fairly confident that dads usually don’t suffer from an unhealthy feeling of “dad guilt”. LOL
I decided the moment my first son was born there was nothing more important to me than being a mom. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been so indecisive (afraid I’ll choose incorrectly) and this decision was now made for me so it only made sense. I believe though, that I really was meant to do this. I’ve never thought or claimed that I was the best one, but I always felt quite sure that I wasn’t the worst either. I always tried to put my children’s needs before my own. I made my life circle around my children. I always took the jobs that made it possible for me to go to all of their events and to drive them to school or from school if I had to. I told more than one employer that I was always mom first, therefore my job would always come second to my family. I passed up opportunities because they would not allow me to be where I needed to be when I needed to be there for my children. I was passed over several times by employers for jobs and/or promotions because I wouldn’t have been as reliable as they wanted or needed me to be. I never complained nor did I blame anyone. I felt it was the right thing to do. I always said that when I decided to be a mother I put myself second to my children, it was that black and white for me, no grey area.
I realized recently that my oldest 2 sons have been a more active part of my life, even lived in my house longer than I was with my own parents. They have been in my life longer than any man, any pet, or any belongings. Who would I be without sons anyway? When my husband and I got married, I had such a hard time wanting to change my name. Not because I wasn’t proud of him or didn’t want to share a his name, but because I was so afraid of what it would be like not to have the same last name as my boys. Even now, 5 years later I JUST started having a couple things with my new last name displayed at home. I never wanted to because I felt like it was leaving out my boys and I didn’t want to cause any sort of disconnect.
I hear people talk about their children leaving home, and how excited they are for it to happen. They make all sorts of big plans, remodel their house, move away, almost like they are starting a new life. I won’t even make plans for a holiday because I want to be home JUST IN CASE my boys want to come home. Heck, when even with a teenager in the house, who is quite capable of being alone for a while, I insist on being home at a decent time if I leave the house because I don’t want them to feel forgotten or alone. I did go on a honeymoon with my husband, and traveled with him for quick weekend trips to watch my oldest son play football when he was in college. I called home every day, more than once, to check on them and make sure everything was alright. How can people be happy for their children to grow up and leave the house? I struggle greatly with feeling like once my boys are all grown, I will no longer have a life purpose. I suppose that’s because I really don’t know how to be an adult without the “child at home” responsibilities. I’m 47 years old, and I haven’t done that yet.
Why do I have such a hard time with this? How do I find myself? In 2 short years or less, my youngest will leave home. I will no longer see a beautiful face of one of my sons every morning. I will no longer hear “I love you” from any of my sons mouths on a daily basis. The days of getting to hang out with one of my boys and talk about nothing, or laugh at something silly on TV, will be over. Honestly, I can feel my heart start to palpitate and my stomach turn just from talking about it. How do people just do whatever they want to do without even considering their children? Yes. It’s safe to say I can be pretty judgemental when it comes to moms and their kids. Yes I realize its shitty of me, and who the hell do I think I am? Relax, at least I can freely admit it. And rest assured, I’ve learned that it’s not me actually judging other mothers, as much as it is me justifying my going overboard. My lack of self esteem and feeling of inadequacy certainly contribute to my uncertainty of my mothering mentality and my need to reaffirm to myself that giving up so much for my children and always putting them first is the right thing to do. Now this is me and how I think, but all mothers think differently and all mothers “mother” differently. I’m only explaining to you how I’ve done things to help you understand me. There are good moms, and there are bad moms, I am no expert but I think we probably mother the way we needed to be mothered, whether we were or not.
If I struggle with an abnormal amount of worry that my own children wont accept me or love me, can you imagine if they suddenly told me that they want nothing to do with me, and they hope I spends the rest of my life being lonely and miserable. Well, that’s what happened. Son 2 misinterpreted, misheard, is mad about something he wont be honest about, or his wife has decided to sideswipe me. What happened for certain, I’ll never be sure . What I can tell you, is he threw me out of his life, forbid me from seeing my grandchildren, and then with his known habit of “story telling”, he convinced son 1 that I am a horrible shitty person and for probably the first time in his life, son 1 chose to believe his brother.
I have not seen my 29 or 27 year old sons in 7 or 8 months, nor have I seen my grandchildren. That clinically depressed state I told you I was in for the year of 2018….well 2019 didn’t get any better. In fact, it got even worse. You hear about parent estrangement and grandparent estrangement. You assume these parents must be abusive, alcoholics or drug users. If you do some research you will find that now days this is fairly common, and not just to the “bad” parents. A mostly narcissistic generation has decided to put a stop to the “respect your elders” and done away with respecting your parents because they are your parents and they love you.
I never thought this would happen to me. With all of my self loathing, my feeling of always being “less than”, the one thing I thought I could count on was my children, MY family. After all, I put them and their needs, often times even their wants, before everything else….and now….I get nothing but hate, mean comments, and disrespect in return.
I’ve had some hurtful things happen in my life. I can honestly tell you, this is the most horrible pain I have ever felt. I’ve been kicked in the ribs and punched in the face, and I would gladly have both of those things happen again rather than feel this betrayal.
In my opinion, that’s exactly what this is. Betrayal at its highest level. I understand disagreeing with your mom, I understand arguing with your mom. I understand avoiding too much conversation your mom, I even understand being outright mad at your mom. But wishing hardship on her and telling her that you best never find out your name passed by her lips….that is too damn much. I’m a true believer that a mom deserves a certain level of respect if for no other reason, simply because she gave you life.
Earlier this year, I was so hurt, so mad, that I found myself wishing I had given those 2 boys up for adoption. At one point I actually said what a waste it was to stay by my sons side when he was on life support after his wreck. I went back and forth from sad to mad. No where in my mind is this behavior ok. No where in my mind did it make sense. I didnt have a great relationship with my mother, but this never crossed my mind. I cried nonstop for weeks, I again found myself suicidal, I obsessed about it every minute of every day. My husband, my younger sons, my brother, my sister, a few of my amazing friends, even a couple friends of the older boys rallied around me to help ease the hurt. Probably what actually pissed me off more than anything, is seeing them (son1 & son 2) not just pretend like I dont exist, but they havent kept in touch with my parents (their grandparents), their dad or stepdad, but worst of all, they cut ties with their little brother. (Son 1 talks with son 3 a little- but not at all with son 4) (son 2 hasnt kept in touch with either of his little brothers) Let’s add to the situation, son 2 and his wife havent kept in touch or let the children keep in touch with her mom or stepdad either. Hmmmmm. See a pattern? Bottom line, dont think that this couldn’t happen to you. Dont take your relationships with your loved ones for granted and dont forget to tell them that you love them, because you never know when the tomorrow you are expecting will never come.
I have attached a link from Psycology Today about family estrangement.