I feel completely shredded, like my heart and soul are being ripped out from the very depths of my being.
My physical pain cannot compete or compare to the pain in my heart and soul.
Fridays are supposed to be good days, you know?
LaLa, my oldest daughter just told me she’s discussing being legally adopted by her godmother, my friend from this post a few days ago.
Let me back up a bit. Sorry if this post is sketchy and all over the place, that’s how I feel right now and I just have to let it out somehow or my head is going to explode.
My day started sometime after 1 am when I woke up coughing from dehydration and dessicated night air that sent my back into a shattering explosion of pain and almost caused incontinence. So, as silently and calmly as possible I slid off the bed and hobbled my way to the bathroom. I didn’t want to wake Jerry or Luna up and they occupy 3/4 of the king size bed we share.
No hope of getting back to sleep with that kind of pain. So, I maneuvered couch cushions and lay down with my knees and legs propped at one end and my head and neck propped at the other and managed to doze a little. Then sometime after 3 am Jerry woke up. I tried to go lie back down, but he couldn’t settle back to sleep himself and I gave it up for a lost cause and went back out to the living room where he was reading his Bible. I logged onto the laptop and did some blog reading and worked on organizing my blog a little. He turned on the tv and caught up a little on White Collar.
We had this parenting class to attend at 11 am and we missed last week, so I thought it was really important we make it to this one. Jerry told me he didn’t feel like going; partly because he wanted to focus on his job search but mostly because he doesn’t like feeling put on the spot and being forced to talk. Since the attachment/bonding difficulties seem to be between Luna and myself, he thought it would be good for it to just be her and I together. I reminded him that the leader said no one should feel that they were being forced to talk, but because of the configuration of the room, where he sat and she had been standing it just felt like she was pointedly looking at him to speak. He could sit somewhere different. I also told him that I had really been hoping we could go through the class together in order to improve our communication and cooperation with each other as parents working together. He made some kind of agreeing, but non-committal sound and the conversation was over.
Around 5 am Luna woke up, came out and climbed on daddy. He turned on last night’s premiere episode of Elementary, and we watched that. When it was over, he went back into the bedroom and I turned on the Disney channel for Luna. She watched it for a few minutes then realized daddy wasn’t around and followed him to the bedroom where they both went back to sleep for a couple of more hours. They got up a little after 9 am.
Since I didn’t have a clear idea of whether or not he was going to the parenting class with me, I asked him about it. His response was something like, “Why do I need to have this conversation again when I already said I wasn’t going.” So we had some conflict and tension from that. I finish getting myself and Luna ready to go and we go outside to wait for the pick-up bus. Just before we went out the door he let me know he had a bad headache. The bus was running late, so we had some pleasant, low-key playful and loving interaction. That was the best part of my day.
I got a text from my friend who is still in the hospital recovering from her latest surgery and this is what ensued:
Friend: Whatcha doing?
Me: Getting ready to go to parenting class.
Friend: What made you decide to take a parenting class??? Is Jerry going with you? [I immediately felt defensive]
Me: It’s part of Luna’s program. He went to the first class. Not today, bad headache.
Friend: I’m glad you are going. I hope this will also help you with Marco (25 yrs) and LaLa (19 yrs) [An increasing feeling of defensiveness and agitation]
Me: Thanks. As far as Marco and LaLa go, it’s mostly out of my hands now since I can’t change the past. It’s up to them to seek their own healing and decide if, when, and how to be in relationship with me and Jerry. Since they tend to lump me & him into the same category and avoid dealing with him and thus with me, I have little control over anyone besides me. I try to communicate to them that I love them, I’m proud of them, and I will be here for them. I try to give them as much space as they need and allow them to decide their next step.
Friend: You can still parent them. I believe the reason you and Jerry get lumped together is that you have always put him before the kids. You have not stood up for the kids and protected them the way they needed. I am not trying to be mean, just honest. I think owning up to the past and taking responsibility without talking it to death and making excuses would also be a good thing.
At this point class was about to start and I was feeling all kinds of being attacked and like somehow I was expected to explain and justify myself to her. During the break in class this is what I responded with and haven’t gotten a response back yet.
Me: I understand & know that you are trying to be caring and honest and I appreciate it. That being said, you have not been present for various conversations I have had with them where I have acknowledged the truths you pointed out and accepted responsibility for them Regarding talking things to death, I have made the effor to make changes. All of that being said, this is not a subject I am willing to discuss with you or anyone other than Marco and LaLa.
The thing is that she and I were never as close as she thought we were, I guess. We met in 1989 when we attended a teen mom school. We had a complicated relationship and a crazy history in and out of each other’s lives until the mid ’90’s. Due to some really unfair and crazy things that happened in her life, she basically had her sons permanently adopted out from under her because she “came out” and left her addict, abusive husband and stood up to her manipulative and crazy mother. She was present for the birth of LaLa and named godmother at that point. After that we lost touch until the end of 2001 when we reconnected at a time when I was crazy, unbalanced, over medicated, dealing with a rebellious and acting out teenage son and grade school daughter and having conflict with Jerry. I packed up, took the kids, and left Jerry without notice or warning and moved out of state with her for less than two months before we moved back home with Jerry. Again, she and I fell out of touch until 2009 or 2010 when she found me on Facebook. Since then she has latched onto me as her oldest and only friend who knew her when she was still a mom and had her kids. For a long time since she came back in my life I have felt like I’ve been in a tug of war between her and Jerry. She has proprietarily inserted herself into my life in ways that are uncomfortable, but I have done my best to not reject her because I don’t have many friends who have known me or seen what I’ve gone through in ways she has. I have talked with her and tried to set boundaries and tried to show her compassion, understanding, tolerance, and acceptance. I have tried to help her understand me and Jerry, our history and the history with the kids. But somehow, every conversation I have with her I feel like she’s judging and talking down to me. I understand so much about what she has experienced and the woundedness that is in her life and when I do push back and constructively set my boundaries, she seems to respond. But, in her own way, she’s as much of a draw and drain on my emotional energy as Jerry is and I love them both. Oh yeah, LaLa has spent the last month with this friend while she was recovering from reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy, radiation, and chemo treatments for stage IV breast cancer. ANYHOO…
The topic of the class was stress: what the triggers are for us and for our children, the development of the brain and how that plays into stress reactions (tantrums), prevention, and tools for prevention and deescalation. The most important thing I was reminded of is that the frontal lobe development of logic, reasoning, and self-regulation occurs from between ages 5 through 25. This is the developmental area that I think was impaired for Jerry. This is the development area that doesn’t exist yet for Luna, although we are building the foundation. This is the area that got forcefully overdeveloped for me, with significant gaps, as I was growing up and becoming a parent at 17 years of age. I cried a lot and processed a lot about what had transpired between Jerry and I this morning and my feelings about the messages my friend had sent me.
When we got home, everything was “chill” at first. Then when I was giving LaLa a hug and telling her how much I loved and missed her she told me that she needed to talk to me, and amended to state Jerry could be included.
She and my friend have decided that LaLa is going to be adopted by her. Last month Marco’s adoption into another family was finalized. She assured me that she didn’t want to hurt me, even though she knew it was hurting me, that wasn’t why she was doing it. She was doing it because somehow the interactions she’s had with this friend in the past month have made her feel like she has someone there for her in a way she claims I have never done.
I brought up the text conversation between my friend and I and we discussed it, briefly, in Jerry’s presence. I admitted that it did hurt, but that it would never change the fact she was my daughter and that I would always be her mom. It would only change the legalities. She’s an adult and able to make choices and decide for herself.
It took every ounce of everything I had inside of me to not break down and rant, rave, and wail.
My heart is broken.