To be or not to be…a raging bitch?

So here we are, months from my child’s high school graduation and while I am super excited to see her achieve this milestone in her life it has also become a sort of stress-inducing situation.

Let me fill you in on a little bit of the back story:

15 is the age I was when I had her, as was her father.

15 was the age he decided he didn’t want to be a father.

He was in and out of her life, in when he was “attempting” to reconcile our relationship and out when he and I were at opposite ends.

His family, while they made a minimal effort to be in her life, were and are just as self-serving as he is. You know the type, the mom who can’t admit her son is wrong, the type who makes excuses for all his actions… that is who he is, that’s who raised him.

The last 18 years of her life have been an emotional rollercoaster of unresolved feelings and bouts of anger, directed at me because she cannot direct them where they belong, their relationship is not that solid, it would not survive her honesty.

If we’re being honest he wouldn’t accept her honesty, he would simply blame me and say I brainwashed her. Her father is the type of guy who is never wrong and bad things just seem to happen to him, he has never accepted an ounce of responsibility for his actions, I’m speaking in regards to her.

When she was 8, I packed up our stuff and relocated from San Diego to Riverside County, 2 1/2 hours away from him, his family, my family, my friends and anything we’d ever known. It was our fresh start and I could not be more grateful for the move we made.

Not once did he say to me, “Don’t take her.” Instead the first few years I heard a lot of, “I’m going to take you to court.” I welcomed the idea because maybe then he could build a relationship with her. It never happened.

In the 1o years that we have lived here, he has made the trip a handful of times. (I’m not even being dramatic.) On the occasion that he made his way out here to pick her up for the weekend or we met him halfway, I always ended up having to go all the way to San Diego to pick her up because he decided he didn’t want to make the drive to hold up his end of the commitment. I put an end to that quickly and never heard a complaint from him about it.

If this sounds like I’m just complaining about the shitty man I had a child with, I am but it’s only because I need you to understand what’s coming next.

I am the parent. In all aspects. I have always been the parent, even when I turned 18 and then 21, even when I partied and had moments of selfishness, I have always been the parent.

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I am blessed to no longer be doing this alone, my boyfriend has been in her life for almost 8 years now as a father figure and while she doesn’t call him dad, that’s exactly who has been for her.

We have come along way with her, teenagers suck. We’ve dealt with the weed, the drinking, the sneaking out, the sneaking in, the lies, the attitude….(oh Lord the attitude) and the overall teenage drama.

When she began to act out, I made an effort to reach out to him, I explained what was happening and he said, ” I will talk to her.”

Well, that conversation never happened, he has yet to have a conversation with her that reflects him in a parental light. I decided, he just wasn’t that man in her life. (He made that decision for us all actually.)

She loves him, despite all his flaws, she loves him. He has no idea how undeserving of that devotion he is.

Welcome to my dilemma.

 

She gets 7, count them, 7 tickets to graduation. I have no intention of reserving any of those tickets for his family, I had no intention of reserving a ticket for him. I expressed my feelings to her and she expressed hers.

“He’s my dad.”

I guess.

Am I wrong? Am I wrong for not wanting him to be a part of something that WE, her and I, my boyfriend and I have worked so hard on? My boyfriend knows and respects the fact that he will be there, he’s not childish or immature in any way.

I just don’t understand how he could even show his face knowing he hasn’t been a parent her whole life. This parenting shit isn’t easy and I’ll be damned if credit isn’t given where credit is due. WE have done everything to motivate her academics, to help her pursue her college career, to make her a better person.

WE have just simply been her parents.

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Do I let go and just let it play out?

His child support hasn’t been paid in over a year, maybe he can earn his ticket by catching up on his payments? (It’s not about money, it’s about principle.)

Be a fucking father, don’t just pretend to be one for the gram.

Thanks for reading my long post. Your opinions are welcome.

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I gave up my life for you.

At times I feel like I deserve a do over.

And then I feel guilty for thinking such things.

The weight of the world has always been on my shoulders.

To be a mom is God’s greatest gift, to be a single mom, perhaps a blessing and a curse.

When she gets restless and acts ungrateful I feel a resentment burn inside me.

I gave up my life for you, perhaps a better life and you wanna talk back to me? You wanna fight and argue with me when I say no.

A resentful feeling of frustration manifest inside of me and then the guilt comes, never far behind.

I can’t feel any other emotions because the guilt is always in the distance over shadowing any other sense of emotion.

I gave up my life for you and you don’t even realize it.

My time, my energy, my sense of control and my peace, never have I felt so vulnerable and helpless.

He calls and has a 30 minute conversation, gives you a couple bucks and he’s done his duty for the week perhaps the month and here I stand, disregarded and disrespected.

I gave up my life for you and I’m the bad parent.

I’m the one who hands out punishments and deals with the stress and the headaches, let’s not even talk about the heartaches.

I gave up another life for you, one where I’m selfish.

At times I feel like I deserve a do over.

A guilt manifests so deep inside that I can’t shake the idea of no you, no me.

He gave up nothing for you and somehow his guilt doesn’t consume him.

Somehow you can forgive him and love him despite it.

He feels no guilt, he feels no shame.

He feels no worry, no stress or heartbreak.

I gave up myself for you.

At times the weight is too hard to carry, at times too much to bear and so I cry.

I cry because I can’t control you and I worry.

You have no idea what the weight of the world feels like.

You have no idea, Life doesn’t offer a do over.

Who’s really being punished here?

We openly drink in our home, on weekends, during get-togethers, you know brunch and dinner type stuff.

My 17 YO daughter has been on restriction for the last two weeks, following an incident involving alcohol.

My guilt was getting the best of me, I thought to myself, maybe I’ve been a terrible influence, maybe I should stop. I even considered throwing out the alcohol we have in our home.

 

I pushed the guilt out of my head and decided that while I may be a weekend drinker,

mimosas with brunch

wine with dinner

a beer at a ball game

a margarita for happy hour

I’ve earned that right. I work hard and I provide so if I want to have a fuckin drink I will have a drink or two or three.

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She will not. Not until she is 21 and able to pay for her own alcohol.

As I pondered this I asked myself, who’s really being punished here?

Why do I feel guilty?

I feel suffocated, I gave her so much freedom, too much trust. It was easy for my boyfriend and me to escape on a Friday night and go have dinner and now, I don’t even want to leave her home alone for 20 minutes.

She hasn’t had her phone and it is like I have a toddler again.

All of the sudden she remembered she had a mom.

I can’t shower or pee without an interruption.

She says I’m being dramatic and Its not fair, she made a mistake and I’m going overboard.

“It’s not fair.”

She’s totally and absolutely right that it’s not fair.

It’s not fair that I can’t leave my 17-year-old home alone because I don’t trust her.

It’s not fair that I, her mother, had to drive her to the emergency room because I was terrified of what could have been in her system.

It’s not fair that I’ve lost a piece of my sanity, my peace of mind.

It’s not fair but it’s life.

I realize she is going to make these mistakes but it’s my job to ensure that these mistakes impact her life in a positive way, in a way that will teach a life lesson.

Your choices have consequences.

It’s been a long two weeks, for both of us.