A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

Welcome to My Therapy

on July 11, 2013

God the Father with Angels

Every once in a while, I feel the need to do some therapy writing. 

Welcome to my therapy session. 

So here’s the event. My girls went to Texas for three weeks to be with their dad. As per their choice, they started out with heavy hearts and trepidation. These visits have not always gone well. However, in a last ditch effort to redeem their relationship with their dad, I gave them the following advise: Go without expectation. Erase all the monuments you have in your head about what a perfect dad should be because, Lord knows, no parent is perfect. Just accept him for who he is in this moment and just allow yourselves to just love him. If he goes above and beyond, let it surprise you and accept it – whatever it is – with joy.

And I put them on a place and sent them off.

Three weeks passed and last night, they came home. Happy to be home and my prayers were answered in that they had an amazing time. For once, they did not come home to me broken. I was thrilled.

And then they started telling me what had them so excited. Her. The ubiquitous “her”. The “her” I’ve feared and tried my best to resolve within myself to like for my children’s sake. After all, I have to practice what I preach and I’ve always said one more person loving my children is a good thing. It is a good thing.

However, it is important for “her” to remember that while she claims my children as her own, I still am. I still exist. I still matter. My girls came to me with stories and plans of moving down south once they turn 18. They told me how “her” and their father were going to remodel the house they’re in, sell it for a profit and then purchase land upon which they can build their dreams of a horse ranch. (I never knew he had such dreams. Seems he’s as much of a chameleon as I am?) They told me of plans “she” made with them to send them to England for college, how she plans to take them to England for a traditional English Christmas and how she plans to come north and spend more time with them. Their vocabulary was not once devoid of “her”. There was little mention of their father and even less mention of their paternal grandmother. It was all about “her”.

Now, these plans in themselves are not bad. Nor are they wrong. Yet, they beg the question of “her” character. Who is “she” to make plans with my children? MY CHILDREN! I held my composure as they spewed to me all the wondrous ways she was going to improve their lives, the horses she’s promised to buy for them, the tack boxes she was in the process of pricing and buying for them. I held my hurt deep within me as my youngest told me of her plans to move to be with them at their ranch the second she turns 18. I held my tongue as my oldest made mention after mention on how crass northerners are and how polite southerners are and how life in the south is so magical.

Every word a dagger in my heart. And I bore it, as I always do, with a smile and a nod and a platitude telling them, “I only want what makes you happy.” All the while dying inside.

Because “she” was there when Shelby was in the hospital. “She” was not there as I told my children alone that we were divorcing and moving north. “She” did not see them shatter into a million pieces. “She” was there two years ago as I begged my youngest to eat something more than cucumbers, desperate in her attempt to lose weight. “She” was not there when my youngest was bullied right out of school. “She” has not stayed up night after night wondering how to pay for braces, eyeglasses, school supplies, school fees, and the numerous other things needed by children. “She” was not there every time they’ve been sick. “She” has not held them while they cried over whatever hurt – regardless of how big or how small.

So “she” doesn’t need to be making any plans for MY children.

In fact, “she” needs to remember they have a mother who has sacrificed more than they can ever realize. “She” needs to realize that God – AND GOD ALONE – holds their future, not her!  “She” needs to respect my position in their lives. “She” needs NOT to promise anything “she” may not be able to deliver. My girls have had enough of that from their father. Because the bottom line is all these promises of land, horses, etc, is all contingent on the sale of their remodeled home which they are still remodeling and let’s face it, the market to sell is not what it used to be.

Promises are far too easily broken these days. I never make them to my children because our lives can change with next beat of our hearts and I don’t want to break my promises. A major promise has already been broken and that was when I didn’t see the writing on my own walls and promised them their father and I would never divorce. I PROMISED myself at that time that I would never break my covenant with my children again. EVER. So to hear others make promises to my children they may not be able to keep is more than a little disturbing.

After all, “she” and their father are on their 4th marriage so obviously, why would I ever think “she” knows the value of any promise.

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One response to “Welcome to My Therapy

  1. Rob Russo says:

    Thanks for inviting me to your therapy session! I can very much understand what you are feeling – the only exception being that for you, it is about your kids. For me, it has been about others that I have loved. Still tends to happen. I can very much understand your sense of waiting for that one to show up in the girls’ lives. I completely concur that while it is a beautiful thing for more people to love your children, I get wary of what their definition or understanding of love is. But the other big thing that jumps out at me in this is one little thing that ‘she’ did not seem to say (we don’t know, but you never indicated that she said this)….’we can do this and this and this….>>>but we ought to check with your mom too before we plan this<<<'. I do find it quite inappropriate for someone who has just met these kids (or at least hasn't known them for long), knowing they have a mother, to indicate all of these possibilities without stipulating that we have to talk with your mom about this as well. Even if she can fulfill these promises, there…is….another….primary….parent. In such conversations or hopes, ALL parental figures, especially the primary parents, must be consulted. If the understanding of love or connecting with the kids of a previous spouse is to make such promises or allow them to get excited about such ideas, I find that questionable. (My take on your older daughter's comparison of the north and the south is that the northerners are direct and don't hide as much….southerners, I wonder what's behind the smile, the promises, etc….but that's just me. What do I know?)

    I love you, sis! You rock, you will always be the best thing that ever happened to those young women, and they will never forget that. I know that like I know that I am sitting here typing this. I hope you feel comforted soon, and you are back on the rails really quickly. My cauldron of energy is always available for intentions…. 🙂

    YOU ROCK!!!

    Like

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