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Two things

Denial is a very nice place. I like it much better than reality. Unfortunately, my lease in denial seems to have run out and I’ve been evicted. My household goods came with me; I know because they all seem to have hit me on the head as we crashed to the ground.

Another @#$% growth experience, as a friend of mine remarks. Except I’m not sure I’m actually growing.

There are two things, actually, that are on my mind right now. They’re sort of related and hard to talk about, so I play around in language and try to pretend to the issues that I’m not sneaking up on them at all. Avoidance is kind of like a lesser version of denial, maybe the caffeine-free diet Coke of the universe or something.

Right. So. The first thing: Syd has chosen to live mostly with his dad. Every other weekend, he will come here, but that’s all. He has rational reasons for this. He explains them cogently. My brain processes them and nods along, trying to ignore the screaming of my heart. What I really hear is: rejection rejection hate hate bad mommy run away leave hate hate hate rejection bad bad bad. The game face replies appropriately and lovingly and then I crawl away to die of stab wounds to the heart.

I’m a little stressed. Because I always try to follow the directions and turn in my work on time so I can get the teacher’s pat on the head, I have been going to yoga class to work on that. I am bad at yoga. In theory, this is fine. Yoga accepts me where I am and blah blah blah. In practice, I fail, over and over again. My body refuses to bend. I pretend that I am happy about the small progress, that I am pleased to have oiled up the joints even a little. It’s a lie. I am tired of trying to do things I am bad at. Which leads to the second thing.

Life is full of things I am bad at. I am not good at anything, except possibly reading to small children, which is hardly something to build a life on. I seem to have failed spectacularly at everything from parenting a teen to breathing to making a living. A phrase from high school floated into my head this morning: personality transplant. That’s what I need. I wonder if Kaiser covers that.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 9th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
from HAT
hmmm... die of stab wounds to the heart? what?! it's so much more fun and painful if you die of poison, right? i thought so... Friend, this is me trying to cover the stab wounds in your heart. Or, I can try and stab other things for you if you'd like.

Yoga doesn't work. Pilates does. I'm terrible at both. :)

I wouldn't say you're not good at anything. I think you're exceptionally bad at seeing how loved, valuable, and talented you are. So in a way, you're bad at seeing through your friends' eyes. I would poke mine out and lend them to you b/c when I look at you (w/ my eyes in my head) you look like you excel in all kinds of wonderful things. oxox
Jul. 9th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say you're not good at anything. I think you're exceptionally bad at seeing how loved, valuable, and talented you are

What HAT said.

Re: Syd, being rejected and loving him anyway is being a good parent. A lot of kids don't know how to turn into adults without going as far away from their mothers as possible. And a lot of people have to go through multiple relationships before they realize that the shit they keep smelling is in the load on their backs. Only then do they go back to Mom, Boyfriend #1, Best Friend they rejected in middle school, whomever, and say "Oops. I told you it was you, but it was me." Syd will get there. I'm just sorry his route to adult wisdom is straight over your heart.

I hesitate to say this bit, because I'm afraid you will feel guilty (it does rather seem to be your default setting--are you sure you're Protestant?), and I am not blaming you in any way, but: divorce sucks for kids. It just does. Syd has been forced to choose between time with you and time with his dad, and that's not his fault. And he is good and pissed off about that, as he deserves to be, and because he doesn't quite accept yet that life presents sad choices that aren't anyone's fault, he's looking for someone to blame, and that's you. Is part of your bad feeling a suspicion that getting divorced was your fault? I know that almost 6 years after giving up on my first marriage, having long since dealt with guilt and regret, I still harbor thoughts of "if only I'd done X, maybe we could have been happy together." You did the right thing. A teenager, especially one who's personally affected, may not know it, but you know it.

And like shadowsmark, I'm wondering if the main issue is that you miss Syd.

We'll bring hugs along with the peaches tomorrow. Thanks for sharing precious Syd-time with us.

P.S. I suck at yoga too. I especially suck at the Buddhistic, "let go of self-judgment, sucking or excelling isn't the issue" part.
Jul. 9th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
I wonder: do you think it's rejection, or is it that you really miss him? I bet you're feeling really sad not to be with your kid. Which doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you!

Jul. 14th, 2009 07:42 am (UTC)
I've just now read this . . . sorry to be so late in responding!

First . . . *HUGE HUGS*

I seem to have failed spectacularly at everything from parenting a teen to breathing to making a living.

This is so completely untrue. Like HAT said, you're just bad at seeing how wonderful you are. Don't feel bad about that - I think it's a fairly common plight. I suffer from it sometimes, too. Well, okay, maybe a lot of times. *more hugs*

(BTW, from what I've seen of both your boys, they're genuinely exceptional young men - funny, smart, erudite - not that they don't have their moments, I'm sure, but they're both terrific. Which kind of suggests to me that you haven't come anywhere close to failing as a parent).

I have empathy for how you're feeling right now, though. Both on the parenting front, and making a living. I feel like I've failed spectacularly at both these things, on a regular basis. (I feel that way on a regular basis, I mean). And eventually I make myself stop and step outside of myself for a bit and realize that no, I've made some choices that maybe weren't great, but mostly I've always done my best, and that really, "my best" is pretty damned good most of the time. I'd say that line of thought applies to you, as well. Right now, you're hurting (or at least you were a few days ago. Hopefully you're feeling better by now). This will pass, though.

You're wonderful. Let yourself believe it, okay?

*still more hugs*

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