How many times in our walk through parenthood do we tell our children that if something is bothering us, to talk about it, find a way to deal or cope with it, or remove themselves from the situation. In my years of parenting, had I received a nickel for each time I'd said those phrases, I certainly wouldn't be worrying about my son's Chromebook that just recently went on the fritz! But I can tell you, I wouldn't take nary a penny for those words. Because in the last 3/4 of a year, I myself have learned a great deal from those words. You just simply will not believe how I learned this!
You see, I grew up sheltered. In a small town in the Bootheel of Missouri, where it seemed everyone knew everything about everybody and anything done at school was certain to beat you home. Where the upstairs attic of my grandmother's home was a playland like no other. Yes, that little town with all the little roads that my friends and I traipsed over every summer (and every weekend until we learned how to drive!). But that was the fun part of life.
My grandmother raised me. Not because my mother didn't want me, but simply because she wasn't capable of being the mother that would need. God knew I would need someone with grounded roots who would raise me to be a person of morals, someone with virtue and someone who would be able to care for my future children. Amazing, isn't it? Yet, my mother remained in the picture. I can't say that I regret her being there because she did love me, but I can say I sometimes wish she had been more absent. I loved her and I still do. But because of her lifestyle choices, the disrespect towards herself and her mother, and the drama that encased her, I found myself growing up feeling confused about my relationship with her. Sure, some of my friends like her, but what wasn't to like: she was a party-hard kind of mom. She would play loud music, drink, smoke cigarettes, and always had company. Secretly, though, I had longed for a relationship with her like other kids had with their parents. The one where their parents were parents - not friends.
It was my 12th birthday when I had to grow up. Mother was the party-crasher that day. Thinking she had stopped by to wish her only daughter a happy birthday, she began fussing with my grandmother and eventually causing quite the scene. I did what my grandmother couldn't do. I called the police. That was when I realized that life was hard. Seeing the police chief place my mother in the backseat of the cruiser and drive away, my friends simply stared. What else would they do? I was staring, too, as tears began to swell in my eyes.
So what? People have to make these decisions every day, right?
Sure. If they are grown. In what realm of normalcy should a child have to make that decision? NONE!
And as I reflect on that memory, I came to further realize that even today, my relationship with my mother is far from normal. She has her character defects and I will not elaborate on them. But I continue to see the vicious cycle growing larger. As of just less than a week ago, she asked me to help her find a place to stay because she had basically burned every bridge she once had. While it wasn't all her fault, she is responsible for herself and can only have herself to blame. Driving the distance to collect my mother and take her to the local homeless shelter was one of the most depressing times in my life. I can't help but think of things being different for her. Not so much thinking as hoping and praying. Cutting ties is difficult. However, sometimes in life, we have to remove the parts that prevent us from growing. Sometimes removing those parts helps us grow. While I will always love her and help her in any way possible, I must place a strong wall of emotional separation between us. She has always been supportive of me and my decisions, but at what mental cost am I paying to continue this toxic relationship?
I encourage you to find the negative aspects in your life, evaluate them, and look for a way to safely cope with them.
Welcome! My name is LaVonda. I am the wife of Rodney, the mom of 5 remarkable kids (well, 2 are adults now), an avid homeschooler, blogger, and graduate student. I am blessed with the ability to spend my time sharing our homeschool and life experiences with you. It is my hope to provide you with motivation, ideas, and some candid stress-relief through my blog - Mom's Scribe! Grab a cup of coffee, sit on down, and make yourself at home!