The past few months has been tough for myself and my Adult children. I’ve been awkward around them and, at times, not the nicest either. I hold a lot of guilt because of this because I love the two of them so much and only want the best for them.
That said, as they have grown into amazing adults, I have always been open and honest with them about my own personal growth and life experiences. I’ve scolded them when I feel they’ve fallen off the common sense wagon or when they have been “mean” to someone else. I’ve never condoned bad behaviour. I always applauded awesome behaviour.
My daughter and I had an incident, when she was a teen, where I felt she cornered me into making a bad decision for the sake of “family unity”. All in all, it was my decision in the end and I hold no fault against her, but I’ll never do it again. I’ll always go with my better judgement going forward and this experience was talked about within our family and a lesson was learned. More so for myself than anyone else as I harboured a lot of guilt with the decision I made to stand behind my daughter against my better judgement. No matter what, common sense and kindness will trump “family unity” going forward. Both kids are well aware that I will not stand up for them anymore if they do wrong to someone else.
Dealing with my Adult Children
Myself and both children have gained weight since our martial separation and my daughter has experienced much anxiety. It hasn’t been an easy ride for them as they learned some horrible things about a parent. They’ve had to deal with me being outrageously upset and angry. Mainly my daughter because she lives with me.
I have tried my best the last month to be the mother I should be with them. I have tried my best to lash out at friends, rather than in the comfort of my home where it affects her. I have also told her not to ask questions either. I’ve tried, but at the same time, it’s been awkward. We’ve always talked about everything and now there is one conversation that we can’t have anymore. That conversation is family. I know they are thinking “Don’t ask about Dad” while I’m thinking “I should ask what Dad’s up to”. Hey, let’s be honest here!
I’ve come to realize one thing though. As a mother and homemaker, we all have a certain amount of control when it comes to our family. We have prepared meals, taken care of everyone’s appointments, discussed finances, made sure everyone was OK mentally and physically, and so much more for the majority of our lives. When a marital separation happens, especially when a family is ripped apart, the loss of control is blinding to most women no matter how meek and mild they are. I know I have changed drastically, but I have seen other woman change into entirely different and angry people because of this loss of control and their family “togetherness”. I can’t say I blame them, and I’m very understanding when discussing their “grieving” mishaps and flaws, as this too shall pass.
This song pulls at your heartstrings (and very old) but this is a mother. As a Mother, we may or may not have been all of these services, but we sure tried to be everything to everyone. So what people tend to forget is that a broken family hits a woman very hard. Not only is their spouse gone, but with adult children, they are completely and entirely left alone. There is no more wiping faces, tending to colds, and making dinners. There is just her, her memories and her unknown future.
Discussing my Future with my Kids
I sat down with both kids yesterday. I had to get it all out before I took my next steps. I have always been so honest and vocal with my kids and this awkwardness had to be put to rest.
I apologized for my behaviour the past few months. I have been an asshole at times. I’ve ignored the family at times because of these stupid triggers that makes me cry uncontrollably. I am so sorry for being this new person they don’t know, and I hope that one day I’ll return back to the old me but better.
I explained that my head isn’t right, this is the first time I’ve been on anti-depressants, and, sadly, there has been many a day where I just haven’t wanted to see another day.
I informed them that I am on a path of thinking only about myself and my future. That I deserve the love that I have given everyone else in my life. This is something I’ve never done before. I’m a 46 year old woman who has applied to over 100 jobs and I haven’t received a call for one interview. This is a very scary reality I am facing alone.
I also explained that their father was a very lucky man. To do what he did and to have someone who was willing to seek therapy and reconcile is a gift. A gift that no man or woman should ever refuse after that many years of commitment and loyalty. The indiscretions can be forgiven with much therapy, but the fact that he threw away 30 years without a thought is far more devastating.
I also forewarned them that if they ever do what he did to their significant other, I would not be coddling and saying that they deserve to be happy when their partner is experiencing extreme pain based on their shitty decisions. I wouldn’t condone my brother’s or neighbour’s behaviour, so why should they be any different? Common sense and human kindness before family unity.
I also noted that I have talked to many broken women and men who were separated or divorced. Some early and some two or three years separated. The mental ramifications of cheating is heartbreaking. Breaking a family apart and cheating is the most excusable crime in Canada, but shouldn’t be. There should be tougher laws.
That said, I don’t want them not to love their father because of what he did. I just want them to know what LOVE AIN’T and how to treat their significant others with honesty and love.
I then informed them of my plans. I told them that I need to look at the reality I’m currently facing. Their father ultimately made his decision on his future. Now, it is time that I stand up and protect my financial future as this was not my decision. I informed them that this may result in lots of anger, but I wanted them not be mad at me and to just remain impartial. I’m just taking care of myself financially, like their father did for himself when he made his decision. Marriage is an emotional and financial commitment. It’s supposed to be until death do us part, but unfortunately that isn’t the case, and the laws in Ontario sees that.
I will not share their thoughts and feelings but they gave me some smart advice. I’m very happy that the conversation was an adult one and I feel that the awkwardness of the past can now be put to rest on both sides. Honesty with adult children is key. The more we hide, the more the anger rears its head.
I do not want to talk about what he’s up to anymore. I do not want to make my children choose. I do not want to loose the love of my children because of my anger and hurt. I just want them to know the facts as they happen and they can make their own decisions from there. I want them to love, live, laugh and enjoy their lives.
As for me, I’m going to rise and live this life the way I want to. With love, honesty, truth, and my integrity in tow. I will never be silenced. It’s all about moving on and moving forward.