August 22, 2012


The morning was going so smoothly, my Mom had to pick up the kids early to take them to the day care with her and I thought I'd have to wake Sam up.  I was pleasantly surprised when he woke up a bit before 7 and came out into the living room.  They watched cartoons, I made breakfast, got dressed with no troubles at all.  We had already talked about him going with Grandma today and he was fine with it.


It was 7:45, right in the window where I knew she'd be getting here to pick them up.  And suddenly, Sam wanted to play a Wii game.  I told him that there was no time, Grandma would be here any minute.  He put on a short video and when it was over, he again said he wanted to play Wii.  I told him again there was not time, that we wouldn't be able to play a level.  Right as he switched the TV over to the Wii anyway, my Mom walked in the front door.

And the devolution began.

Arguing.  Crying.  Telling me I was not right before that there hadn't been time, and if I'd just let him do it this would not be happening.

Explaining.  Trying to reason.  Telling him I have an important appointment this morning and that even if he didn't go, he would not be able to play because I would be very sad and frustrated and would not be letting him stay home and play video games.  Pleading.  Trying to get him to tell me why he is doing this.  Telling him I really NEED him to go with Grandma today.  Offering different toys he can take if he wants to.

Turning red.  Big tears.  Raised voice.  Then, clammed up and refusing to talk.

I carried him to the door.  I put him down and tried to get his shoes on, and when he wouldn't do it, I picked them up and I carried him out to the car.  I put my 6 year old into the car crying and telling me he wanted to stay home with me.  One of those two little pieces of my heart that walk around outside of me, and I strapped it in and shut the door.

I couldn't even make it back into the house before I started to cry.

My Mom told me that he'd be fine, he'd get over it, that it was okay, and she hugged me.

But it's times like these that I feel like I am letting him down, that I must be failing somehow, that I shouldn't be forcing him to be away from me.

And inside me, it's a hurricane, because I NEED this job interview today, and I NEED some time away from them, and there are things I need to get done, and I know that giving in to some stupid demand about a video game to make this not happen isn't the answer either.  And I know he'll be fine, he'll be okay and he'll probably have a fun day, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

The ugly cry starts before I even get the door shut.  Gut wrenching sobs because this is not how things are supposed to feel, and on top of everything else in my life I just can't bear it.  One of the hardest parts of our transition into two households so far has been when Daddy comes home and I leave.  He tells me not to.  He doesn't like being left with anyone but Daddy or Grandma, but if he's in a certain mood even those choices aren't what he wants.  He just wants me all the time.  This isn't totally a new thing, but hearing if hearing your 6 year old tell you "this is too much leaving!" doesn't feel like a punch in the gut, then I don't know what does.  I can't bear him asking me not to leave him.

Guilt crashes down on me like ocean waves and I curl up and cry and cry and cry.

How do I do this?  I don't know how.  How am I going to make it okay when I have to work full time for Sam to be away from me?  How am I going to be there for him and somehow also be there for myself?  My emotions are running high, of course.  The last two years have been difficult, and while the impending final end of my marriage has it's good sides, it also just sucks.  Some days, I just don't know how to do all of this, to be the person I need to be to raise two healthy boys and stay sane and somehow support us all emotionally and financially.  And I'm okay most of the time.


Until I have a morning like this where I just feel so far gone, and still need to pull myself together and go to a job interview for a part time job, which still leaves me worried because I'll probably need two part time jobs to get by and what about health insurance?  Until I am tired because Danny woke up 8 times last night.  Until I'm blindsided by Sam refusing to even talk to me until he begs me to stay with him.  Until I just can't take it anymore.  Until I sit down to write this and start to cry again because I just feel raw.

And I let myself, because it's the only way.  And I know that in an hour, after I shower and get dressed I'll be okay.  But I'm walking on the edge, and sometimes I fall, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.


Audrey said...

Awwww sweetie, I wish I had some wise words, or just words of comfort.   

This will pass, in time, and the wounds will close and start to heal.    Sam is going through such a tough adjustment right now, to his "new normal" and this is probably his only way of articulating how genuinely difficult this is for him - even the smallest of changes.   I think given time, and lots of communication along with hugs and reassurances from both you and Justin, along with the new routine that will come when school starts, he'll start to adjust to this new normal, a bit better.   At least, that's my prayer . . . for all of you.

Whatever you do, just keep talking to him, and reassuring him that despite having to work/go to an appointment, that you'll always be there - always come back to him.  

Trish Haveman said...

Feeling waves of empathy for you, right now. That guilt, that inner hurricane of "how in the world will this ever get better?" is something I experience a lot when dealing with Ty's anxiety. Like the moment when I'm about to step out the door to go to an appointment and he suddenly loses it and just feeling utterly helpless as to what you're supposed to do. You can't miss the appointment, but the tough love is so hard to follow through with. "He just wants me all the time." God do I know that feeling...

Crying is okay. Let it out -- vent the guilt and frustration and sadness. You'll feel better for it. Hugs to you. If you feel like venting about anything on Friday, that's totally cool.

Michele said...

Oh sweetheart, there is NOTHING wrong with needing some alone time! Like Audrey just said, Sam's going through a rough time right now too. Adjusting is going to take time for all of you. It won't be easy, but it'll be so worth it in the end! Sam will be playing with kids at daycare while you're busy today. Try to stay focused on the interview and don't let this morning's heartache interfere. You can take some special time with the boys this evening :)

I wish I was there for a big hug and to take the kids for an occasional afternoon. I'm glad your mom is so helpful and reassuring.

Ediehope said...

I was impressed with how Sam knew what he needed to be okay today and how well he articulated it to me after we got to daycare. He took some time to himself and when he was ready he joined the rest of the group. Once he pulled himself together he was a really strong and happy presence. I wish you could have seen him. He is a wonder. I am so proud of the strength and confidence you have instilled in your boys. You are an amazing mother and a sensitive, beautiful person.

Colleen Gonzalez said...

I'm so sorry you have to feel this way. Coming from someone who now has a 19 and 15 year old, I'll tell you, they adjust, but we always seem to beat ourselves up. My kids both say they liked that I worked full time. I've never had a career, just an office job so I thought they would feel like I should've been home, but they didn't. It's hard for us because we have to juggle so much, but when they see us doing all this AND we love them, that's what they remember. My daughter (the 19yr old) thought I was a good model by working hard and doing what the family needed. I still wish I was home with them because it went so fast. They see a more positive story than I do. I hope that helps you. Hang in there!