You know what? My life really sucks right now. Things went back to square one with Chai Tea. Well, no. Worse than that. We have gotten to the point where we cannot communicate with her without a third party present. We've left the ball in her court. Only we are afraid she will never pick up that ball.
One of the reasons I decided to take a "blog break" was that I need to paint Chai Tea's room so that we can move Double Shot into it. His room is off of the family room and is really meant to be an office. The door has glass panels in it and we've had a curtain hanging on the inside of the door for the last 6 years. We had some issues with Double Shot being distracted by the TV during the school year so we decided to move him upstairs. The room has been taped and ready to go but every time I go in to start on it I panic. It was the same when she left. For four months I kept her door shut. I don't know how many times I went in there to try to start packing things up. When I finally did, it took me 2 days and they were two of the worst days I'd had since she left in January. Right now it is still her room. The color is just... her. It won't be her room anymore once I paint it. Once it is painted and Double Shot is moved in... there will really be no place for her here. I don't know why it is so hard. At the same time I never want to live with her again. I need to finish the room so we can move Double Shot in this weekend. School starts on Monday. Every day for over a month I have had this struggle. For me, putting the paint on those walls is shutting a door. And it is a door that must be shut.
I won't share details of exactly what is happening. We are a family with 4 other people besides myself that are affected. One of the things that is good about this blog being anonymous is that, in some ways, I am free to share the heart of things. I've shared a lot on here that is very personal but at the same time, I don't believe I am all that unique. I often wonder how many others there are out there that are like me and really hurting. When I 've shared things before it is because I hoped that it would find someone who can relate and that they can know that they aren't alone. Today... this is just for me. I don't care if anyone can relate or not.
You know... I hated blogging. I thought that it was a waste of time. There were a few blogs I was aware of that I knew the people in real life and what they presented on their blogs was far from reality. It bothered me. I also strongly felt that the computer replaced real life relationships for many and that it wasn't healthy. But then I was home alone all day for the first time in 20 years. My voice prevented me from the normal ways of keeping up with people. I traitorously stepped out of the homeschooling world... and into silence. I did not realize how far we'd gone in surrounding ourselves with almost exclusively Christian homeschoolers... I did not realize that when we stopped homeschooling that only a few would remain friends... I backed into blogging. I had so much fun those three months I had my first blog, Laughing Always Helps. I love to make people laugh. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like everything is really okay. No one knew I had trouble talking. No one knew I was lonely. I got positive feedback. I started to dream and believe that maybe it was possible to still accomplish some of my goals.
One of my biggest fears is that my children will all leave and that I will not be able to get a job and that I'll have to stay at home all alone every day until my husband retires. That I won't be able to make new friends. That I won't have any purpose.
You know, I've gotten a lot of wonderful feedback from y'all. So many have been so nice to compliment me on my attitude and how I've handled things with my voice and my daughter. This blog is much more honest... real... than the other one was but, I still only share what I want to share. Everything I write is honest and how I feel the moment I am writing it. There's a lot I don't write. There are those days where I feel so alone and so sorry for myself that I'm not even really functioning. My husband made me go get on anti-depressants a couple months ago. I've written about how we are working toward a better relationship with our daughter... before I deleted the other blog I wrote about how we will always be waiting for her with our arms open wide. I don't always feel that way. There are days when I am so hurt and so angry over what she has done. This is hard. This is the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life.
It's funny how things you go through change your perspective. I don't sleep well. In fact, the doctor gave me something for that but it doesn't always work. Since January, I often fall asleep readily but then wake up within an hour. I've spent so many nights just going over things. Thinking... thinking... always thinking. I search my mind for every memory. Where did we go wrong? Where did I go wrong? I should have handled this and that situation this other way. I should have been more patient. I should have nipped that in the bud. I should have... should have... should have... Other times I think, I am a good mom. I know I am a good mom. One time not long after she left, I was in Wal-Mart in front of an end cap and I unknowingly said, "I was a good mom!" out loud and then started to cry. There were other people around and it was really embarrassing. I had to leave.
In December of last year, just over a month before she left, there was that shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. When we heard the gunman had been homeschooled, his father was a doctor and his mother was in charge of the women's ministry at their church, I thought their family must have been royally screwed up. His father must have never been home. His mother must have cared more about her ministry duties. I don't know how many times in my life that I have judged people by their kids' behavior. Ever since our daughter left the way she did I have thought of the mother of that gunman. My heart breaks for her and the rest of their family. Not only did her son kill others, but he is dead too. I pray for her.
The other night I was listening to a program on Christian talk radio. It was some Family Life Today, or something like that, with Dennis Rainey. They were talking about men/women differences and got into parenting... it might have been one show and then another starting. It was raining so when I pulled into the driveway I decided to listen to the rest of the program. They were talking about gleaning wisdom from parents who've already gone through what you are going through with your kids. They said to look for the parent's who'd been successful... who had kids that turned out... I cried. That would definitely NOT be us.
I know that our kids have their own free will. I know that we are not responsible for the choices they make. I know that we love them and that, while we are in no way perfect, we have done our best in trying to do what is right for them. But... I feel differently so much of the time. If only... if only... if only...
At my core, I am optimistic. At my core, I always hope for the best. It is a fight though. I know that it doesn't matter how many times I get knocked down... that what matters is how many times I get up. I know I will continue to get knocked down and I will continue to get back up but, sometimes I am afraid that there will come a time when I won't. I know enough about myself from the way I do projects that I start out well, falter in the middle, and then finish strong. I keep telling myself that maybe I'm just faltering here. I'm uncertain. I don't know that I can do this. But, I will finish and I will finish strong. I won't know until it is all said and done.