Sometimes Teen Elder is so convincing in her belief that I am a bad parent, that I need to take pause and look at it.
Sometimes I’m sure she bounces vilifications off teen younger, so they can present a united hateful front.
With their father’s projection of evilness onto me as a backdrop for their worldview, I become the source of every problem, and the one responsible for every solution.
And I’m tired.
Perhaps if I wasn’t doing anything else with my life? If I was just sitting at home on my bum being evil…
But no – I got this life thing that occupies most of my time. And it is somewhat challenging in and of itself.
This week has been particularly shit.
But then, I say that about a lot of weeks, as they pile one atop the other in an epic monument to just how shitty life can get.
However, this week has been the frosting on the top.
I find the urge to pack the car and go becoming increasingly strong. After all, who would miss me?
My own life is reduced to the tiny shreds of time I can commit to friends and pursuits that keep me alive.
The life I give to my children has no value. I pick the things up, clean the dirt up, and get in the way of what they want to do. They’re convinced they’d be better off without me, and treat me in appropriateness to this desire.
So why the hell am I here?
Parenting is hard. Holding my ground – keeping the line. Not under-reacting too often. Not overreacting too often.
Trying to maintain some sort of life of my own is hard. But if I do nothing that feeds me, I have nothing left to give. Too tired to go out. Too tired to stay in.
Everything financial is hard. I take consolation in the fact that it used to be harder. I don’t look at the future.
I am a ‘good enough’ parent. With better supports and better finances I would be a better parent.
Why do I refuse to do all the things for my children? While accused by my ex-husband of laissez faire parenting, and of some sort of abuse/neglect/unfair distillation by my kids. Because they need to learn to expect to do some of the things themselves.
Why do I hold the line during emotional manipulation that would bring a Saint to tears? Because I want to teach them that emotional manipulation doesn’t work. Ever.
Why do I teach them to do school subject that they love, while letting go of the ones they show talent in but are not passionate about? So their lives form around things they love.
Why do I focus on their social skills and navigating the choices they make in life above school grades and academic results? Because that is what this set of children need.
Why do I do these time-consuming, exhausting and challenging things for them, when they resent me for existing, at best?
I would like to run away. To somewhere where I could sleep and sleep and sleep until I finally wasn’t tired anymore.
And once I wasn’t tired, I would write and draw and paint and read.
And voluntarily share time with friends, because I wouldn’t be struggling to find genuine time for them.
Trying to work out why I’m writing all this is like trying to work out why I’m still here.
There’s a lot of glib statements and affirmations that would tidy this up nicely, and make it look like a cohesive piece of writing.
But that’s just not how life is.
There’s a part of me that just wants to leap off a cliff, cos I’m not 100% convinced that I wont fly. ‘Reality’ has never been completely convincing to me.
And if I fall, would I even notice?