July 26, 2006, I was nine months pregnant and oh so ready to meet my baby girl. It had been a long pregnancy and the struggles I had with her “father” left me ready for her to get here. My induction and labor lasted over 36 hours, non eating hours that is. By the time she was born I was so tired but felt guilty for saying that. I needed to sleep and process the fact that I had just given birth but I felt like I needed that hallmark, messy nursing baby story.
Our time in the hospital was fraught with allthepeople that wanted to come see us (her.) I never really had a moment alone to breath her in, take in the face of the baby I created and absorb new motherhood. None of that happened.
Honestly I don’t think I had many moments like that with her. At least until she was older. They would come out of nowhere when I would look at her and realize that she was in fact my daughter. Part of her is my DNA, my spirit and my very being. There are times now that I look at her and I am awestruck by the little girl that grew from my chubby cheeked six month old to my as tall as me almost third grader.
It’s taken my quite the journey to get to the point where I can see those things in her. I have shared before that the first several years of our walk together were difficult. I was repeating what I learned from my parents and was raising her out of total reactivity from my PTSD. That doesn’t lift the responsibility from me to continue walking forward and making the changes I need to so that she gets the mom she deserves.
I think about how I feel about Abigail and I could never imagine hurting her. Now or as an adult she will always be my child and I would do whatever it took to protect her.
Thinking about the way I feel and relate to Abigail makes it difficult to not look at the way my mom was with me. There was blame and taking sides. My voice was never heard and anything that went wrong, even in my mom and step dad’s marriage was my fault.
I could not escape from the feeling that I would never amount to anything and learned very quickly that my place in my family was limited.
I left at 18 and only came back once or twice. It no longer felt like home and my parents never felt like there was a deep, intimate love. There never was that kind of love but after all of my problems started it seemed that they completely withdrew their love from me.
When I moved back home in 2006, when Abigail was three months old I honestly thought that everything was going to be fine. I had stopped doing drugs, I had a baby now and was ready to move forward.
It seemed as though that was possible for awhile but after being back in their house made it very apparent that nothing changed on their ends and that nothing I could do, except for saving them myself was change our relationships.
I finally started to see the truth of my childhood and reflect back on the truth after I had been away from them for awhile. It is certainly a painful thing when you realize that the childhood you just thought was normal was in fact abusive and damaging.
It was then that I started to walk away from my family and made the final split in September of last year. It was the best and healthiest thing I could do for myself and Abigail.
My parents weren’t very good at respecting my boundaries. One night I was sick and in bed and Abigail got a hold of my phone and called my mom. I hung up because of my boundaries. That was the first time that my parents called the police and said that Abigail was in danger. Everything was obviously fine and the deputies left, keeping my parents from coming near my apartment.
Then a week before Abigail and I left for Portland I had a note from a Human Services case worker on my door step. She wanted to talk to me about Abigail. Aparently someone made allegation abuse based on a blog post I wrote. It was taken totally out of context though and the other things that the reporting brought up were things I haven’t struggled with in at least 10 years.
I was broken hearted over this. I couldn’t figure out who would do something so vile when everyone I know and that knows me can see that Abigail is not a victim of abuse. I tried to let it go and have fun on our trip.
However it nagged at me who would report something like that, and two and two came together and I realized it was my parents who made the report. Since I haven’t seen them since last year and they have no contact with us there is only one reason I can think if them doing something like that.
They want Abigail, that’s all it’s ever been. My parents don’t take to kindly to people setting boundaries and the only thing I can think of for why they would do that is so the case worker would call them to take custody of her. Granted she’s eight and isn’t on her own. However I can not imagine being that manipulative towards her. I know that my parents have their own deep issues, that they have never been willing to seek help for.
If they felt so strongly about what was in the blog post (which was taken out of context and the rest of the blog was skipped over) then I think they could have spoken to me about it. Asked if I needed help or if they could help us get on our feet again.
But they didn’t.
They called and reported me to CPS ( which I was cleared of anything ASAP)
When I think about how much I love Abigail and would always want the best for her I cannot imagine treating her that way. I do and would always want the best for her. Not to put her through devastating and traumatic events.
I know that I did the best I could with what I had in my first few years as a parent. I also believe that my parents did the best they could with what they had. Unfortunately they never grasped what it meant to change and being loving, healthy parents.
I know there are people that have lost parents and that is a grief I cannot understand. But I am grieving my own kind of loss with having to make the choice between being healthy and trying to maintain co dependant relationships with my family.
It breaks my heart that my words were used against me and part of me wants to be passive aggressive and write a snotty post about it, seeing if they’ll read it.
Right now I am just focusing on the love I have for Abigail and the knowledge that I will always love her unconditionally and without manipulation.
July 15, 2014 at 8:38 am
My story is different, but I GET THIS. The hardness of setting boundaries, the parents that cannot possibly understand why, and the love that makes you want something drastically different for your child. This encourages me greatly! Just because we change, doesn’t mean we can magically have healthy relationships with those who have not changed. You are a warrior!