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Member since: Sat Sep 6, 2003, 03:28 AM
Number of posts: 15,399

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I did not mind all the sacrifices but stealing my joy as a mother is beyond cruel

I will be deleting this thread, because the topic is meant to be a howl from the wind in the middle of the night, and because communication itself must also be sacrificed.

Giving up alcohol for nine months so that your little brain would not be harmed was a piece a cake.
Carrying you around on my back for most of three years, all around town, was exhausting ó a lot of fun. Reading to you for hours every night until you were eight or nine years old was a joy, even the entire Series of Unfortunate Events which you insisted on having me read to you when you were five, which we both loved.

Many people encourage parents when the kids are young. ďOh, thatís so good for him!Ē you hear. The reading, the games, the walks. Surely you are doing the right things. You listen to the teachers, you read the parenting books. You scale back your career ó ďI could have had a bigger career, but what matters to me more is the kid.Ē

Precious things got sacrificed too. I gave up a lot of time with my beloved sister, because she lived in another state, and you had school and activities and there was never enough time. I gave up a book club that was comprised of a few good friends. I put up with thousands of changes that are necessary to keep peace in the family, whether or not I fully believed they were the right thing to do. Moms and dads sacrifice a lot to keep peace in the family. Moms and dads donít always agree on the right way to do stuff, so you compromise and sacrifice and the only guiding light that helps you solve disagreements is ďwhatís best for the kid.Ē

In middle school, I stayed up late many nights trying to help you with homework and occasionally almost all night helping you with a project. Helping you with the science fair. And in one of those irrational slaps in the face that you get from a certain kind of boy, I sacrificed the science fair itself, which I had so much wanted to go to because I knew it was the only such memory i would ever have, watching you present at the science fair, because youíre my only child, and I loved science fairs when I was growing up. So that would have been such a special memory for me. But you really really didnít want me to come in so I sat in the car and waited, and cried. You came out eventually, and I hid my tears and put on a happy face, because I didnít want to ruin your positive experience, but you were already angry when you arrived, because I was parked too close to the front, or some other unexpected complaint.

Now, Iím prepared for an early retirement in another place, where a peaceful house is waiting on the lake I can rest outside of this cold climate. Two extra years here, for your sake. Iím carrying a mortgage thatís more than I can handle so that you could go to a school that was supposed to be good for you.you didnít end up staying there, but thatís another story.

But now, youíre on the cusp of adulthood, and you seem to want me to sacrifice my sanity, my self-respect, and worst of all, 17 years of my most meaningful memories and the simple dreams that any mother has. Your anger and hostility overwhelms me, your sarcasm frightens me, your demands infuriate me, your recklessness worries me, your threats and your coldness break my heart. In the last four months, minor frictions have exploded into major chasms and bewildering behavior.

Who can I talk to? If it were up to you I would hold it inside till I explode. I talk to my friend when youíre out of earshot, but no one comes to the rescue. Iím too old to be a damsel in distress, I guess. Rescues canít be made, escapes are closed. Iím not strong enough to withstand your behaviors. Iím getting old, tired, forgetful, in pain. I tell a friend, ďI feel like a gazelle in a small boat with a lionĒ. Sort of like Life of Pi. Am I a ďloserĒ because I didnít fight harder for a bigger career? You say so. And in every argument, when I push back, you push harder. I am a willow, not cut out for parenting. Not like this.

Everywhere I look, I see reminders of those sweet early years ó the car commercial with the pregnant couple, the framed art from middle school on my wall, the young family playing outside. I ran across the books that said it all: A Series of Unfortunate Events. I scream at friends on the phone. My heart has.broken into 17 pieces, who can put them together again? Next weekend is ďMotherís DayĒ. It is a cruel joke, and it would be best if it passes without comment.
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