A Letter To My Children

Judgement. I’m not really sure where you learned this and I’m really not sure when it was that our world shifted and somehow you all landed in a place believing it was something that you were entitled to in our relationship. Maybe because of the dysfunction of my family. The role your Aunts and Grandparents took in your lives, often time presumptive roles that were exacerbated by my lack of self worth or maybe it was the influence and witnessing of your father and how he treated me, again exacerbated by my own lack of self worth. Whatever it was that brought you to this place I became awakened to my real feelings about it around 2 am this past Thursday morning and I can say that I will no longer sit back and and be the victim of this choice that you all make.

I want you to know that to assume to know or understand my life and who I am at this point in your own lives is an impossible task. For either of you at the ages of 31 and 22 there could be no possible way for you to have any idea of who I was or what my life had been at the same ages as you right now and to assume that you can make any type of assessment of my life from that age up until the age I am now is impossible as you yourselves have not lived that long to know what those ages are even like in a lifetime.

At 31 years old I had 3 children, 12 4 and 1. By that time I had lived in 4 different states (two multiple times) and 2 different countries, I was on my second marriage to a man who informed me after two weeks of marriage that he had made a mistake and proceeded to live that way for many years of our union. I had been a single mother to you, J, by that point for approximately 9 of those 12 years with no help at all from your father and very little if any child support. I did have the blessing, as did you, of help from your grandmother and grandfather at varying degrees and at different points of your life up to that point. That would continue throughout the next 10+ years until your mid 20s, again a blessing for both you and I. But among the times of help from your grandparents I was alone, trying to do it with you, alone. I did the best I could with the tools I had and if there are things about yourself that you wish to choose to judge me about than I suppose that would be appropriate, I would prefer a conversation, to apologize and forgiveness, but it is the part of my journey that is yours so how you deal with it is your choice.

By the time you came into the world I had been the product of a terribly negative divorce that began at age 8, separated from my sisters and my mother by the age of 12 and exposed to a multitude of women in my fathers life while at the same time being “raised” by the woman who remained in the dysfunctional girlfriend role to my father and exposed to all of her insanity. I had to search for role models throughout this time growing up, attaching myself to people and families that I felt were interested in giving me the love and acceptance I needed so desperately. This also translated into my male relationships and at times translated into abuse.

This is just a summary of experiences that had taken place up until I was your exact age, a very brief summary that is in no way an attempt at an explanation or an excuse, and does not even begin to touch on the world that evolved from 31 until now, again a time you cannot even begin to relate to as you haven’t been there yet.

While I am not trying to write your own personal story for you I do know that, being your mother and the person walking next to you for most of your time on this earth, your life has not unfolded in any way the same as what I have just shared with you so I’m sure you can understand what it is that I am saying when I say judgement of me and my life can in no way be possible.

R, by the age of 22 I had one child, had lived in 3 states, two multiple times, been married once and had been though all of summarized  years above that described my youth. My world was in so many ways different than anything you have ever lived. There have been moments in time, in our relationship, that I do not even hesitate to think you are in judgement of because of the things that unfolded that you were exposed to and for those things I will always be sorry from the deepest places in my heart and soul. I know though that for you, things still are very different than where I was at the same time and I know that judgement is never OK when coming from a place that does not reflect in anyway our own experiences.

For the both of you. What you have experienced being next to me in this journey of family has been in and of its own self insanity. I hope an insanity that you never have to experience yourselves from the perspective of mother, wife, daughter, sister or human being. The fact that you have a perspective on this part at all is upsetting to me but you were my children, growing up in my world, and for that you have every right to feelings about your personal experiences and where they have brought you. I will say that reaching this point in my life, with more than half of my life over, and looking back knowing that happiness has been so fleeting and joy so rarely felt; knowing how hard I fought for love and family and foundation for myself while at the same time working to create all of it for you all,  with no real tools to speak of and being emotionally alone throughout every breath up until now, is very bitter sweet. For I now have to go forward still fighting, but in a different way, to hopefully finally create that love and family and foundation for myself alone, in hopes that there will come a time when I actually get to feel it and know it is there before I go on to be with my God. I know that I have created for you all all of these things and as long as you are willing to open your hearts to them; love, family and foundation are without a doubt instilled in you and were put there by me, a woman who has survived her own life to the end of being able to start again and a mother who has given each of you the gift of independence, love and security and most of all non judgement.

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