I see adult children with their parents. I see these parents with grandchildren. I hear the laughter, the joy and yes, even the worry and heartache over things that would happen to their adult children. Parenting never ends no matter how old your child is.
It’s in that last sentence that my story lays.
I had a child. She’s going to be 35 this month. Yet, I haven’t seen her in over 2 years.
She will not take my calls. I doubt she gets my emails. If she does get them, she doesn’t respond to them. Perhaps, they have been deemed “spam” and simply go to her spam box that she never looks at and my words, thoughts, feelings and everything else that I’ve agonized over saying to her, get trashed without her having read a word.
“Bullshit” and “grow the fuck up”, she responded to one email where I let her know that her estrangement from me was hurting me badly and how I loved her but, how I could forgive her for her choices, I couldn’t forget the years that were missing that she could have with us as her parents. I also couldn’t forget how she had dismissed my feelings of grief and loss when my brother passed away suddenly and she chose to disappear from my life then proceeded to tear me to shreds as a person and as a mother. That hurt. I can forgive but I can’t forget that from her. Not as an adult. She was old enough to understand what she was doing. I was already abandoned by the death of my brother who was my best friend most of my life and now, her disappearance willingly from my life and the cruelness she’d done it with.
No, I didn’t say all of those words to her but, I did tell her that I loved her, missed her and how I couldn’t believe that she was the same daughter that I had loved so much and raised to a beautiful young woman. I could forgive but, I couldn’t forget this from her. I didn’t understand it. I still don’t comprehend it or what I’ve ever done to have deserved this from her.
I tried many more times to reach out to her, telling her that I loved her as the “experts” all have told me to do. I attempted to keep the lines of communication open while she was shutting doors in my face one by one and diminishing the number of ways that I could speak to her. Now, she answers nothing. My thoughts, feelings, words and love are spam to her. Why? That’s the question that I keep asking myself.
As I watch the other parents with their adult children, I’m not naive enough to believe that everything between them is always peach-keen where rainbows, sunshine and butterflies exist within their relationships. I know that there are always problems. I only see what I want to see in them all. I see the good and I think,
“At least they have their children speaking to them and with them. I have only my husband left in my life now and even he is only physically here a lot of the time.”
That saddens me. That thought tears me apart because it’s not how I wanted it to go and it’s not how it used to be. This is how it is now though.
I am in grief.
Plain and simply, I am grieving the loss of my daughter because for all intents and purposes, she is akin to non-existent in my life or, though I hate to say it, “dead” in my world. She no longer exists except as a memory as so many others in my life have done through a real death. The difference being, they never chose their deaths. She did.
Holidays and birthdays have all gone by over these past couple of years. I mourn not having my daughter around us. It feels empty and strange, sad and pathetic. Others are having Christmases with their adult children or grandchildren whether it be on actual Christmas or not. Meanwhile, we listen to Christmas music, put up a tree and the lights, watch White Christmas for the 100th time as a tradition and sit there, looking at one another saying, “now what? Is this Christmas?”
For those adult children who have estranged themselves from their parents and are ready to find the comment button to tell me that I must have done something wrong because you believe that your parents did something wrong to you in your mind, let me assure you that years of counselling and 3 therapists later, being honest, open and hoping to find something that I could apologize for, asking my daughter (when my emails didn’t go to spam that is) what I did wrong…please explain so that I can explain or work on it with her or go for counselling as a family, I get nothing in return. There are no answers. As I’ve said in a previous piece, perhaps it’s because she, herself, doesn’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing? I don’t know.
I do know that I never drank or did drugs, neglected her, abused her and I gave her everything that I could possibly give her in every way and then some. I gave her space, let her have friends over day and night (literally) and I supported almost everything she wanted to do or be. Yes, I did stop her from doing adult things as a child out of safety reasons. I said “no” to going to adult clubs at the age of 13. I told her “no” when she wanted ice cream instead of dinners day after day. I let some slip by and let her be a kid. I gave up a career to take on work that I never wanted to do so that I would be around for her more than other mothers were. Maybe, I gave up too much of myself or gave her too much?
I never expected her to get “A’s” or be something she didn’t want to be. I encouraged her and supported her when she found something she did want to do. I bought her a car when she wanted one so that she could get back and forth. I endured a quartet of messed up boyfriends that she wanted in her life but, tried to let her know that part of her depression episodes might be because she was with the wrong young men. I was proven to be right about that, thankfully, when she’d drop them and move forward and back to herself and her friends as well as her life, happy and herself again.
Enter this drug riddled, opinionated, disordered jerk into her life who fed her drugs and she’s gone. The daughter that I raised not only moved out of the house to be with this moronic creature from Mars but, I tolerated him, gave him gifts, treated him like he was part of the family because he hated his own. I did that until he pushed us away, along with all of her friends that she’d also dropped and insulted every one of our family members left in this world until no one would come around us if he was part of the times we were together. It was partly due also to the fact that after 6 years, he had worked to try to get us out of her life as he had done with every single other person she had from her past from friends and family to us. He tried to do drugs and get her to do them around us. We finally said, “no…not in our home.” That was it. It was done at that point.
Enter today’s time frame. Everyone else has moved on and they expect me to do so as well. I know that I must as I cannot change her nor, do I want the person she’s become now, around us. This person is not our daughter. She’s not the daughter that I walked the floors with at night, or stayed up with while she was teething, sick or couldn’t sleep because she was worried or upset about something. She isn’t the person I would throw at least 2 birthday parties for every year or the lavish Christmases that put us into debt every year. She wasn’t our daughter. She’s obviously still not. She’s possessed by two demons, a jerk and his brainwashing that she refuses to get out of. It’s like she’s part of a cult that I cannot get her out of no matter what I’ve tried or done all along.
“Move on,” I’m being told by everyone else.
“Forget about her and live your life,” others say.
“She’ll come back one day and she’ll regret it,” still others tell me whereupon I ask, “when? When I’m 6′ under? What good will that do me?”
I am in grief though. I’ve lost my daughter to her own continued choices. It’s not put upon her. I can’t even blame The Jerk-off she’s with because she is choosing to remain there with him in spite of us telling her that we’d be here to help support and protect her if she wanted us to be and how the door was always open to her. I’m not so sure that she even knows that door anymore.
Frankly, I don’t care how many regrets she will have when we both pass on if she doesn’t snap out of it soon. She will have them but, they will do us no good for her to have them after we are no longer part of this planetary existence. Yet, what choice do I have? I didn’t choose this for her. I didn’t choose for her to do what she’s doing or has chosen for herself. She sleeps one night on a couch and the next on a mattress on the floor. She’s been in the same broken down apartment for the past 8 1/2 years, never having moved forward in any way and likely won’t as at last talk she had with us, they were in debt greatly and had such bad credit, no one would offer them another lease. Her evenings, when she’s not working are filled with drugs and no friends, no going out other than a few movies or concerts here and there in the cheap seats. How sad. How pathetic. It’s not the life we ever envisioned her having nor, is it the place in life we’d ever thought she’d be at this age. Still I hold no criticism towards that aspect of things…only grief that she’s allowed not only this lifestyle to continue endlessly but, to separate herself from everyone except those who are “Jerk Approved”. Even there, it’s a select few druggies as well.
I am in grief. I grieve the loss of our daughter though I am not welcomed into bereavement groups because my daughter is still physically alive somewhere on this planet still.
Friends and even what little family is left of ours, don’t care anymore. There’s nothing for them left to say. There’s no more to talk about and I’m supposed to shut up and be happy for them while they talk about their adult child or children coming over, calling, texting, being around for holidays, Mother’s and Father’s days. I’m supposed to ignore my pain because there’s nothing left to say that they haven’t already heard. I’m supposed to keep my sorrow, grief and pain to myself and I do…except for these blog pieces that hardly anyone reads. It’s a hard topic to deal with or cope with for any parent who has to endure it. The hurt, depression and even anger are to be held in while we put smiles on our faces for others with their children and grandchildren while I feel as though I gave birth as a surrogate for an idiot to have a playmate and now, she’s gone.
I won’t forget this episode in my life and heaven only knows how long any of us have on this planet but, for the time that I do have, I grieve the loss of my daughter and all that could have been and should have been while this moron she’s with reaps all of the benefits from her being with him as selfishly as he’s taken her into his life and as unthoughtful as she’s been and is being by ousting herself from everyone else who ever has loved her and hasn’t died.
From my little corner of life to yours, I know that parents lose children every day to deaths and illnesses or even estrangements. It’s not a foreign concept.
There are many parents out in this world who are also grieving the losses of their children in differing ways and for different reasons. Grief knows no reasons. It only knows the feelings of grief and loss. It doesn’t differentiate.
Be well. Love and Light to all who have read this far.