Monday, May 7, 2007

A Word about being a Mom

My first priority with this blog is evangelization, adult catechises, and all my theological thoughts, with a bit of homeschooling progress reports along the way, but today I need to write about motherhood. I am suffering with a broken heart.

For the past 26 years I have been the mother to a beautiful blonde, blue-eyed boy with the smile that would make you just giggle. My husband, his step-dad, called him "buddy" and swore his little face was just a "buddy" face, which was the reason his step-dad insisted that he drop the "step" for. We were alone for seven long years until I met this real-life knight-in-shining-armour, but not without precious memories. We went camping together with our little dachshund, Buttons, and spent Friday night paydays at the mall sharing a large coke and french fries. We traveled together to Houston, TX to visit my dad a few times. My son was great to travel with....he never quit talking, who needed "jolt' cola. He was the social director for the apartment building I moved us into when he was 4 after divorcing his father of nearly 6 years of emotional and verbal abuse.

As a Catholic girl, I never thought divorce was the thing allowed until I attended the Catholic social services and all they could do for me was teach me coping skills and at 26, coping for the rest of your life with a man who didn't care if you lived or died, much less was happy didn't appeal to me any longer. Besides the fact that as we would fight, our son would come down the hall crying that we hated each other. It had to stop, so out we went, my son and I.

As I watched him grow up and struggle with peer pressure, his learning disability, and continued verbal abuse from his biological father, I would put him back together the best I could and make him understand that he was loved with all my heart. It was important to me that he knew he mattered, was respected, liked, and appreciated for all the gifts he did have: a sweet personality, creativity, and that little 'buddy' smile. I look back and can't remember where all the years have gone, two more children showed up on the scene which was expected, but the third one came as a shock for him. He saw his territory shrink a bit smaller with each sister born to us. However, it all smoothed over and he was a very good big brother to them and a highly sought after 'expert' babysitter in the neighborhood.

Well, my little boy blue is a young man of 25 now. Leaving the nest has not been an easy one for him or me, for that matter. Unfortunately, it has gotten ugly, he stayed in the nest way too long and out grew us years ago. He picked at his sisters daily, irritated me, and rarely spent anytime with us. We suggested last year that he begin to think about getting out and on his own. He didn't want to, "couldn't afford it," he would tell us. Now he isn't speaking to me and has accused me of being a bad mother, incapable of understanding him, much less listening to his life's problems. He blew up at me last week, took up with his best friend and hasn't been seen since, however, while we were at Mass on Sunday, he came and took clothes and his mail. I have been walking around all day feeling like I was punched in the stomach, feeling like I have lost my best friend, and that all the memories, tears, laughing, and sharing our lives together are for naught, thrown in the pit, gone forever in vain, debase, and forgotten. Is motherhood supposed to hurt this much?


Cindy said...

This is the first time I have been to your blog, and this entry just breaks my heart. I have no words of wisdom, just know that I am praying for you and your son.

Catholic Mom said...

I will add both you and your son to my prayers. Motherhood is supposed to hurt this much because we are supposed to love this much. If we didn't love, it wouldn't hurt. You have given your son the best mothering you could for 26 years. Trust that now that he has left your home, Blessed Mother will pick up the slack, and your son will still have maternal eyes on him. No words can fill the void he has left, but God's grace and mercy can. Don't lose hope.

Ebeth said...

Thank you very much for both your kind thoughts and your prayers.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of your difficulty with your son. i fear yes it is part parcel of sometimes encounter a difficult child/adult for whatever reason...all you can do is pray, stand firm & take care of yourself & the rest of the have been more than generous..

God bless

PortraitofPeter said...

An emotive post which I felt deeply too.

Words can be so hurtful and uncaring and the scars can remain.

But they are words and deep within your son he may be feeling deeply distressed as a consequence and of his failings within himself - hence the words!!

May you find comfort from those around you and who love you too and also in prayers for both you and your son.

Ebeth said...

Peter, thank you very much for your words. Your prayers are truly appreciated.

Christine said...

I have a son who moved out the day after Christmas in 2005. He was just 17. I have seen him only twice since then. I love him dearly and pray for him. As his mother my heart aches each day that he is apart from me, but I have other children to consider and adult responsibilities to fulfill. I cannot wallow in the hurt. As time has passed, the hurt has become less acute.

I pray that your son would move beyond him anger to see the love you have for him, and that he does it quickly. I pray that he would continue to have a realtionship with his siblings that becomes more loving as separation makes his heart fonder. I pray the good Lord would soften his heart.


Aldara said...

I just recently read this post and I am so sorry for all that you are going through. I cannot imagine or give advice. All I can do is tell you I am praying! Hugs!

Suzanne said...

Elizabeth, I told you that I wanted to come back to your blog after you had visited mine. I'm sorry that it took so long and I am sorry that you are going through this tough tough time. I, too, went through a very tough time when our oldest daughter was in her teens and I had shuffled her around from school to homeschool, to part-time school and back to full time homeschool since Gr. 4 I wish I had never put her back in school at all...big mistake, however, I did and we went through some very very rough waters. I seemed to get crazy emotional and said and handled alot ...not all, but alot of things in the wrong way. Her father and I were not completely on the same page, and of course she knew that and like any of us would at that age, played it for all it was worth. Then her boyfriend's parents who I tried to work with, didn't see eye to eye with me on things and I felt alone and rejected in my mothering. Still, like you, I cried out to God! Something had to change! This made no sense! Her father knew that things were out of hand, but to be honest, he didn't know what to do...I felt that if I could just get a hand on myself, it would help. Well, things went from bad to worse in some ways, but I continued to seek spiritual help.
Eventually, between her coming up against a wall with a big decision to make and my prayers and following the advice I was given by a very old and wise priest who had lived quite the life BEFORE he entered seminary, I went to her...he told me..."Go to see her.
Don't ask to go in (the apt. where she was living with a bunch of other people)...don't enter and get more upset...stay outside. Do you love her?" "Yes, of course I do, Father!" "Then, you place your loving and motherly arms gently around her. Look into her eyes lovingly and simply say..I love you, that is all I want to say.
THEN, you quietly turn away and leave."

Approx. two hours later, my daughter called ...ready to talk and come home.

It is not that you feel your son needs to return to the "physical place of the house," however, of course you want the return of his loving spirit with you and not only for you, but for his very self! I do understand! It isn't the same exact story, but I do understand very much what you are going through. I still have three children and I have a son very much like yours who has two older sisters and I have a very strong feeling that we may encounter this in our future. It is frightening, however, so very many parents and families do go through this.
Perhaps he is going through a bit of a rebellion towards his "blood-line" father and it is just something that he has to work out.
The idea, is to pray and say as little as possible that could arouse more not let that part of his present self win. It is time to lean heavily on the Lord, Mary, Sts. Augustine, and Monica. Please know you can write me anytime you want to. I truly hope things are even better as I write, because things can change in a day...the Lord's time is not the same as our time. Is it?
SincerelyMyThoughts...Suzanne May God be with you and your family.