The Mom Files

I try not to make this space too kidcentric because I know it can grate on the nerves, especially since this a mental health themed space. But as a single parent who does have a plethora of mental illness, it is relevant because it is such a balancing act and struggle trying to make sure I’m not screwing her up with my issues.

Last night she stayed with her grandma. I had a kid free night. I had a few drinks (yes, bad girl, I know) and texted a wordpress friend, which I really enjoyed. She’s a kickass woman, also raising kids, and the more I get to know her, the more it seems we have in common. I don’t know how that would translate in real life since I fuck up everything relationship/friendship I have (usually because I am depressed and anxious and people can’t handle it, so they run off and I shut down and keep everyone at giraffe neck’s length to protect myself from further hurt and rejection.) Not to say I don’t make mistakes and repel people, I am sure that is part of it. But if I retreat to loner space, it does make it harder to let people in. But in all fairness, it was NICE to talk to another adult mom about a little bit of everything. I doubt without the drinks I’d have had the courage to ‘bother’ her with so many texts but I just hope she reads this and knows how much it meant to me that she bothered to wish my kid a happy birthday via text then spent the evening keeping me company.

See, much as I need a break from my kid, after the first few hours…I become lost. Being a mom is all I have known for ten years. She is the only thing that gets me up in the morning and keeps me from giving into the dark thoughts of distortion and hopelessness. When she isn’t here, I am not sure what to do with myself. When I am stable, I usually have stuff to keep occupied. When in a deep depression and anxiety cycle…Mom-ming is the only thing I can manage with any aptitude and consistency. No Spook, no mom-ming, and I am adfrift.

At the pool yesterday, watching her splash and have fun with all the attendees, I just stood for a moment and stared at her laughing and having a blast and thought, my god, she’s beautiful, I haven’t done such a bad job on my own raising her. I just look at the young lady she is becoming and beam with pride, not for myself, but because she really is her own person. Smart, funny, creative, a great artist…My mom and the donor and my dad always say I can’t get along with anyone who isn’t exactly like me and that is patently false. I love people who have common interests but are their own person. Spook has her own personality and she is so outgoing and loves people so much, she is nothing like me in that regard. I love her just the same. My problem with others is that the relationships are rarely fair or balanced. They get to vent their problems but if I try to talk about my mental health battles, they seem to burn out and bolt. Like I want to talk about it. But when it is at its worst, I need to talk about it, and I thought friends were supposed to listen and be supportive. When I don’t get this from relationships, I do pull away and simmer and stew and…it blows up in my face and I look like the asshole. But with my daughter…we butt heads when I tell her ‘no’ to stuff but we are super close, super affectionate, and for now, she loves her mom and needs me. As teen years approach I envision my heart shattering as she pulls away and I am nothing more than someone to roll eyes at and rebel against.

Last night without her here, I found myself snuggling the little throw pillow she bought me with her birthday money. It made me think of her and how thoughtful it was of her. I miss her. I have not rushed to go fetch her, though, because well…the panxiety is rioting and this would be a bad time to drive. I figured I’d wait and see if she calls to ask me to come get her. Otherwise, she is having fun likely playing with the dog there so…let it be. My neediness is not her problem.

Okay, so I’ll stop waving my ‘my uterus did its job and produced a kid’ pompoms but the challenge of raising a well balanced child who knows she is loved when your moods change and you live in paranoid terrified darkness…It’s difficult. The stakes are so high because you don’t get a do over with a kid. If you mess them up, it’s for life. And I worry about it constantly. I just do my best and pray for the best and I’m not even religious. I am trying very hard to parent her even while technically, my mind is very ill, and people seem to think this means I am cured or doing ok. Well, I am hanging by a frayed thread so every day I survive and get to go to bed and wake up the next morning and my kid is still smiling and happy…

I’ll take the win. There are parents out there without mental health challenges who bail on their kids because it’s too hard. I’ve been here since day one and I am not going anywhere. She was failed by one parent. I cannot fail her. I can only love her, hug her, and interact with her to the best of my ability and hope it is enough.

As for her P.O.S donor…I can’t do a damn thing about his idiocy in rejecting her but I can encourage her to keep an open mind and give him a chance and I will seethe and hate him for both of us. If ever an ex deserved the right to feel hatred, it is me or any other parent who ended up doing it alone because some weak spineless donor/incubator bailed. The kids are the one who suffer and that is worth every ounce of contempt I have for him. Because it ain’t about us not working out, it is about his choice to shun her for 8 years now without so much as a birthday card or returning her email.

This man is the very definition of a lousy parent and he made the choice so he can only blame himself.

Maybe he is why I have tried even harder to battle my mental demons and still be a good mom and dad. I am all she has. Failure is not an option. Let’s just hope that love truly does conquer all and she remains a happy well balanced young lady.

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