I just realized as I went to open and draft this blog that this will be draft number 99 since leaving the security of my then comfort zone when birthing Knowing. Thanks to things such as blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, mixed with applications such as TimeHop, one can really create a living and endearing electronic diary of days gone by.
There's a beauty to seeing how things come full circle, in being reminded that some mountains are indeed rounded repeatedly until they're climbed. That sometimes when living in those moments, when we thought we wouldn't make it, we in fact find out that we went the distance. Sometimes we even went further than we thought we would. Without looking back and remembering my own mistakes and lessons, I wouldn't have the wherewithal to know that we do endure all things. I also would of never have learned that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while wishing, hoping for and expecting a different long-shot result.
I started writing this blog in August 2014, a little over one month after my daughter (ex's kid/the step-daughter) turned 19, and at the time two long hellish weeks since she decided to walk out of our lives again in a cowardly fashion. Given the months prior, this will be the final time she "runs." Yes, the girl we all loved in this family, raising her part-time from age 7 on and full-time from age 11 on. Even now, I'm on the fence as to where I stand in sharing this truth, in even acknowledging the event as having happened. It's been painful, like loosing a child but not loosing a child.
Our last four years of the ups and downs of our mother-daughter relationship are contained herein at Knowing (The Blog), veiled in stories of love, acceptance, letting go and moving on. I've learned so much about healthy boundaries, love and abuse on this journey. Despite the pain of what has happened, I'm still grateful for the experience of it all. I don't regret not one single day loving her unconditionally. Even now, as my heart breaks watching my son mourn her loss from our lives. I can't even begin to tell you how heartbroken he was that she didn't come to her great-grandfather's funeral at Arlington Cemetery at the end of October. Not even a call to him to let him know she was thinking about him those two days. I know this much, my family didn't raise her to be that way.
As I've progressed upon healing all that was broken in those years of living in sickness, all that I allowed to be broken in my own life, she too has been on a path of discovery and learning. Just before her 18th birthday, her father reached his final straw "again." I knew that she was on a dangerous path. One that I've been very mindful to not enable and very careful about not being used or manipulated on. Tough love is hard; really, really hard. Especially when all you want to do is love and take away the pain of the person who is hurting.
My daughter knows she has always had a room here and a safe place to rest her head, but the requirements of having a job and/or going to school full/part-time and learning to be a responsible adult just haven't been priorities for her as of yet to have such accommodations. I mean really, why do those things for yourself when you can instead find others to take care of you? To think it's okay to just use and manipulate others because well, that's what your biological parents do, is unacceptable.
It's been a painful few months up to now, watching her find her way in the world from afar, trying to run from all that has been broken in her for so long. Her Facebook and Instagram images have been shocking since she came home at Christmas break 2013, after leaving school. Our last Skype screenshot images left myself, family and friends in tears. This is not the vibrant young lady we had so much promise for, the one we invested in so deeply to try and save her from the crummy cards she was dealt growing up as she did.
Watching a healthy young woman wither away to skin and bones is the worst pain for any mother, even one who never had a biological tie to this child. Her poor health left her hospitalized multiple times as well, none of which I could be there for her through some 1000+ miles away. That hurt horribly for all of us here. Her decisions to leave, to instead run away and bounce from choice to choice has been tragic. To leave and live the life she's chosen; these hard and horrible things have taught me so very much about acceptance and letting go of that which I have zero control over or influence on.
As much as it hurts to have her walk away yet again, this will be the third time. I'm rather used to it by now. So much so, you'd think I'd be over it. This will probably be the last time though. The first two times were dictated by her biological father after I left him. She was a minor at the time, so I couldn't and wouldn't hold her responsible for his choices. This last time as an adult was of her free will and choice, in the midst of her acting out in her teen years. This was an intentional withdrawal of emotion and affection to serve an agenda. This was in essence her simply doing what she's been taught to do by those who are sick in her life. That's why even in this pain, I'll always have an open ear and heart for her.
Yes, the sickness in her life. The biological mother, the woman we spent most of her childhood protecting and saving her from. The woman subject to a capias for arrest for her failure to pay child support, the subject of various child protective orders and the woman who not one single time ever sent her child a Happy Birthday, Easter, Christmas or graduation gift, card or present. The woman who always ran from her problems and her messes, using her own parents or the man of the month to bail her out time and time again. The woman who once told my daughter, "I get paid to have kids." The woman who to this day that I'm aware of has yet to ever tell my daughter sorry or take responsibility for her being as messed up as she is. The woman who blamed a 9 and 11 year old child (twice) for soliciting her own abusers.
Our sweet little girl, hurt in a million pieces, went back to make sense of the pain from the one person responsible most for it. I expected this to happen one day and I welcomed the closure and healing it could possibly bring. I just didn't expect her to walk away from the only family that was ever really positive and there for her because of it. She was never asked to do so and she was never given an "us or them" ultimatum either.
It makes me sad; really, really sad to see it come to pass as such. Her number one hero in life, her dad, had the power to change her path but he could never love her unconditionally and abused her verbally. Honestly, he can be just as bad for her as her biological mother is. Can you see why I still want to hope? The cards were stacked against this girl from day one.
At this point I can only hope and pray that one day my son will understand the depths of it as I do. That he won't hold a grudge, and that he'll come to find peace in the path that his sister has chosen for herself. That one day he'll understand that even bad choices are okay, because without them we would never come to suffer and later learn how much we appreciate the good ones. I know first hand. I've made them and I eventually turned out okay. God willing, if it's her path, she will too one day. Until then, I'm continuing to let go. She may repeat the cycles before her as she's currently doing, or she may wake up and decide upon a better way. Either way, her contract, her path and her growth. One thing I've learned more than anything else in this lifetime is that we can't help those who won't help themselves. It's insane to even try. Remember that. I love you.
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