Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Parenting is Tough

I have wanted children since I was old enough to play with baby dolls. I went so far as to marry young and give birth at 21. I think that is where it all went wrong. I married a drug user and all around degenerate (I was young and stupid at the time). I divorced him when the girls were very young and was given a 50/50 split custody(that was not my idea at all). I got ALS and had to force my kids to grow up before they were ready(it also put fear into their lives). These things helped in shaping my kids or did I fail them? I know I could not control certain things but maybe I could have delt with them better.

Michelle was affected the most. She was so afraid of me dying that she took on the role of caregiver, a role I sadly admit I allowed. She loved her dad but knew she could not count on him and was afraid to be around him at times. I was her anchor and we were so close you could not tell were I ended and she began. When she hit her teens I was seeing the anger start to rise up in my little girl. I picked up and moved the three of us to the country, against their father's wishes. It took time for my ex to be ok with it, but he was seeing Michelle's anger and knew a change might help. The girls liked the move but old hurts and hormones soon kicked in and I found myself in hell. Counseling, church and my rules did nothing to help Michelle not self-destruct. She was angry, aggressive and rebellious. My youngest was afraid of the anger and stayed in her room and I was scared of my own daughter. My ALS made it so difficult to deal with her, I had to send her to her father at 17.
When I met and married Dave (see 1st entry in Nov. archives) she was 19, so jealous and yet relieved I was well taken care of. She feels replaced and not loved by me because I don't agree with her choices like, drinking, saying the F word in every sentence, smoking, men and her money problems. I support good choices, offer no financial enablement(is that even a word?) and tell her I love her but it's never enough. She won't get to know Dave and she never asks about my life but calls often on every detail of her life(even the stuff I don't want to know). The relationship I once cherished is slipping away. I miss her!

Jessica, was robbed of being the baby by most of this stuff and it made her grow up afraid of everything. I had to push her into trying things in school, driving and getting part time work. She had few friends, hated school and loved TV on the couch. She was hard to get close to and was happy just listening to music in her room. When she got grounded it was not to her room it was to a family activity. Her sister treated her badly, so when Michelle would rage, jess would cry. When I moved Michelle out it really helped Jess relax but she was very moody. When she graduated she moved out into her boyfriend's parent's house because my rule was work or go to school. She got married in June and is having a baby in December. The father just turned 19 and works at a casino. Jess never got a job, stopped driving and is enjoying just being on the couch. Her in laws don't know how to deal with her moods and she has created quite a bit of tension. She visits me and we talk more now that the babys coming and she thinks Dave is the greatest. I just worry so much about her maturity to raise another human being. Her story resembles my own in ways that scare me. The cycle begins again!


emmapeelDallas said...

(((((((Tammy))))) <----that’s a BIG hug.

Yes, parenting is incredibly tough, “the hardest job you’ll ever love”, as someone once said, and parenting adult kids is even tougher than parenting little ones. I wish it weren’t so, but it is, and all of my friends who have adult kids agree on that (the honest ones, at least). It’s not like kids come with a manual, and hindsight is always 20/20.

Hang in there.



Theresa Williams said...

You can't change the past, but you can decide how you want to live now. Stand strong and love your children and your partner. Your love will be their greatest gift. And yours. Love: It is the only thing that means anything in this life.

Gaboatman said...

We are going through some of the same issues with Paulette's son Trace as you are going through with Michelle. I'm glad you are smart enough not to enable that behaviour. Two years and thaousands of dollars later, Trace is the same, maybe even worse. Perhaps having a baby will give Jessica a new perspective and help her come back into life and off that couch to experience the joys it can bring.