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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Yes, I swear, sometimes quite a lot.

I am pondering this whole parenting gig. As I so often do.
As a single woman, in my innocence and naivity, I would dream of the day I would have children, of precious smiling infants and amusing toddler, of first days of school and christmasses with Santa and happy secrets.
I think, now I know, I have changed my mind.
For one thing, how come teenagers never crept into my dreams, not once did I think of having a teenage child, ever.
I certainly didn't think of having a problem one, of any description, because I was absolutely going to be the perfect mother, I would have model children and would be the epitome of patience and calm.
I would always be in control and be a listener, be understanding and so involved that MY children would never need to rebel or wreak havoc, no need to push any boundaries, so safe they would be in the knowledge that they were loved and understood.
Well Bollocks to that, I changed my mind. I understand that it is too LATE to change my mind and should those damned blog / mind/ spoken out loud reading/ hearing gremlin type wish granters be reading this, go to hell, it's too late, if you take my kids from me now you won't be granting a wish, you'll be wiping me out, go read someone else's blog and grant their wish, leave me alone.
I get way too many wishes granted by those buggers, I only have to whisper " Argh how I would hate to have chin hairs like THAT woman" if by magic, bristly beard.
"Ewwww, imagine having baggy skin like that!" FLOP. wobble, all mine.
I can scream to the sky about wanting a mansion and a new car...deaf as a bloody post then, oh I am not saying 'take my children from me I don't want them.' I am just saying, well what I am saying is this.
I didn't know about this part of being a mother. We all left home really young and got on with life, made mistakes and I am certain we whine to our mum, I know we tell her stuff ( less now than before though) but dear Lord, we left home.
More and more I find that I thrive on the odd phone call from my older boys, the 2 minute HELLO...all is well kind. Jordan needed our help a month or so ago and how wonderful ( when I typed that it came out as wonderfuk, which...GREAT WORD!!) that to be able to help him and see that he was OK.
Dan never asks for anything, he just tells us what he wants us to know and is cheery and bright and that, my friends is the motherhood I like, that's what I signed up for.
Sophie is 19, she is homeless again and she could give a monkey's nipple. Seriously,
" Sophie, where will you sleep tonight?"
"Don't know, what top should I wear to meet my friends?"
"Sophie, what are you going to do?"
"Don't know, am meeting Naomi, see you later"
She turns up here at 7/8am in the morning, not a word about where she has been, is happy and perfectly fine and she sleeps until she is ready to not sleep and hoorah life is so grand for her.
I was making phone calls, and crying and worrying, was trying this avenue and that one, was heaving and doubled up in the most terrible stomach pain, unable to eat and what to do what to DO?????
What I am doing absolutely nothing. Nothing.
It would seem that I have been less tough than I thought. Obviously not tough enough, doing too much, helping her much. She has no idea AT ALL that I have stopped helping her. I am waiting until she wonders where her money is, what is happening next, when she can have her medicine....when she asks me what I have done, THEN I tell her nothing. Nothing.
Then the fun will start then I have to start ALL OVER AGAIN..with the "but it's your life, this is YOUR problem, this is what YOU can / should/ need to do.
That's the bit I have changed my mind on, I somehow imagined that by 19 she would be somewhere else ( a long away away please) calling me when she has news. I thought she would have learned SOMETHING by now and she has, she is NOT taking drugs or drinking to excess or even smoking and if I find out she is, well I can't even say what I will do then because I am at the end of the extension on my tether.
I see the sunshine and I know how much I would be loving it if only.....
I think about all the great things about to happen and would be excited if only......
I am so angry that ONE child can do this and be so bloody oblivious. Or is she?
In speaking with the mother of her friend, the owner of the house where she has been staying ( And is not allowed to go back to) I discover that the daughter ( Sophie's friend) has been saying, word for word, what Sophie has been saying to me, playing the same cards, using the same tools of destruction. Playing the same game. Yes, GAME.
They may not be doing this intentionally, Sophie may not realise that she is playing me, I think she gains happiness from seeing that I care, which is good, to deliberately make me sick and cry to gain that security...not good. Even to see that her actions have led to this and be even a tiny bit pleased, not good.
I am incredibly good at appearing OK. I even convince myself that I am fine....but my body lets me down, stupid stomach hurts, skin does it's ugly thing.....poor body screams whichever way it can to MAKE IT STOP! Oh if only.
I am not pretending right now, I am happy at happy things ( sunshine, nearly grandbaby, upcoming trip) and I am sad about sad things ( same old, same old) I see good, I feel bad. Life, pretty much.
I feel on the outside wishing I was in. I just want to enjoy these little boys and my husband, what I am actually doing is dodging the bullets, watching Sophie like a hawk, keeping her as distanced from H as I can, H is being patient beyond what I thought were his capabilities with this girl, he is saying nothing, even being polite and kind to her ( for me, I pretty much know that is for me) when she teases the boys, I step in, when she is here and I go upstairs I hold my breath and listen to see if she pushes the buttons while I am out of sight ( so far, no) when I am here she doesn't hold back, she teases and annoys, argues and pushes. I am so tired of it.
Nobody should feel they are on a tightrope in their own home and I am so angry, so resentful that it could end in tears.
That she can swan around without a care in the world fuels that rage.
I tell myself that she doesn't even know what she is doing, that stops me punching her in the face.
I tell myself that this too shall pass ( which stops me punching myself in the face)
I tell myself that drinking is not an option because if ever a bottle or 5 of something to bring on oblivion was appealing, that'd be right now.
I tell myself that one day we will look back and " Oh...ha ha do you remember when?"
And then I punch myself in the face because was I completely INSANE to have another 3 that will be teenager right when Sophie is an adult and not here ( which is as good as the imagining gets) I am holding out for a lovely dose of senility right about 56, I shall sit in an inco pad lined chair and laugh at the patterns on the wallpaper. I shall be fed out of a spouted cup and not even be able to tell the sweet care home nurses that I don't drink tea and shall gum on a slice of bread and butter and hope in my befuddled mind that one of my children will visit and bring me some chocolate. Just my luck that it'll be Sophie who visits every wednesday afternoon and she will tell me every bit of her life in such detail that I shall dribble and whimper until she has gone, and in my head I shall be screaming. Pretty much the way I am right now.

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Blogger Rachel said...

Helen, I know you know this already, but lemme just say it again:

You can do everything "right" as a parent (and the quotes are necessary to show that there is no real "right") and still have kids who go down paths you would never choose for them. Anyone who tells you otherwise (or intimates, or grunts, or gives dirty looks)is wrong.

All I can think to do is to equate your relationship with Sophie to your relationship with Heavenly Father. Sorry to get all "churchy," because I HATE it when MIL does it to me, but how many times have you made a choice that you knew He wouldn't approve of and continued on anyway? Did He stop you? He's there, feeling sorrow for our choices (as you do with Sophie), maybe even mourning some of them, but He still lets us choose. And He's there waiting for us, *when* we're ready to change, just like you are with Sophie.

I personally think (as I always have thought) that you are doing right by that girl of yours. All you can do is tell her how you expect her (or hope for her) to act and watch as she chooses to delight you or hurt you with her choices.

You KNOW I'm going to be calling you when Lily is a teenager. I'm sorry this is causing you such anguish. Sorry for the novel. ;)

6:49 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

Oh I am sorry that you still have so much on your plate right now. I too have days where I long for the men in the white coats to take me somewhere, anywhere, it really doesn't matter, dump me in the middle of the countryside if you like. I think that is part and parcel of being a Mam. I hope that Sophie can make choices that will worry you less.

Take care

12:13 am  
Blogger LosingSanity said...

I would so love to have some words with that girl...just to tell her how lucky she is to have a mother who tries all she can to do right by her and how she is oblivious to the hurt she causes. A great mom is one of God's greatest blessings. She shouldn't take it for granted. I am so sorry that you have to go through all of this. I hope that you are able to find some peace where Sophie is concerned.

4:03 am  
Anonymous julie bo said...


You are by far a much better mother than I could ever aspire to be. She'll realize it too some day.

4:16 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

You are a good mum! Pity that Sophie doesn't realize it or seem to even care about that.
It is frustrating to not be able to make people CARE - especially the ones we love.
It's harder to be tough. Hurts more too.

7:20 am  
Blogger TN said...

Someday (soon, I hope) she will realize what a good Mother you are. You have gone far and beyond in dealing with her. I just want to smack her myself. But all you can do is keep on loving her and letting you know you love her. Don't Worry!!! Be Happy!!!! TN

4:43 pm  

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