Tag Archives: Parenting

Closure Exposure

Closure Disclaimer:

I was sent a “closure” email recently and I’ve contemplated responding to it but haven’t. That being said, I do need to have my say.  To be able to get these words out.  Somewhere.  So, like all things, I turned to my little web-corner and I’ve decided to have my say here.  These are my words.  My feelings.  My thoughts and my opinions.  If you don’t want to hear it or read it, please close your browser now. 

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Dear So-and-So,

I recevied your “closure” email but quite frankly, I don’t care if you have “closure”  or not.  So the next time you feel inspired to write a piece of hate mail, leave me out of it.  I am tired of hearing the same old hashed-out insults and complaints.  I wanted to reply but, as you will soon find out, I have nothing nice to say to you.  That being said, I do need some closure for my own self so that I finally start the healing of this hurt. 

Everytime I start to think about what to write, I get so exasperated I can barely think. Your behaviour and attitude is beyond comprehension.  Your words are contradictory, your behaviour is erradic and overall this whole situation is nonsensical. 

Let me start by saying I am furious with you and the things said below come from a place of bitterness, disappointment, and embarassment. I am downright incensed with the person you’ve grown into and the behaviour you’ve demonstrated and I need to get this out. I always thought you were better than any of this but I was so wrong.  You are fake.  You are a liar.  You are entitled. You are destructive and you are hurtful.  You spew hate and hurt toward this family yet you act as if you are the “hurt” one.  Stop playing the victim and start owning up to your own behaviour.  You haven’t grown, you haven’t changed, you haven’t done one goddamn thing you preach about yet you expect praise because you’re going to school?  Let me tell you girl, it’s going to take a helluva lot more than a college diploma before I believe one ounce of breath that leaves your body.

In your email, you thanked me for being a parent to you when neither of your bio-parents were able.  You know, it may have meant something to me if you hadn’t spent the rest of your time bashing my character.  I’m not sure who you think you are but until you are faced with having to make the same decisions, you are unqualified to judge my actions and my decisions.  Being your parent was hellish at times.  I spent more hours crying about, worrying over, and double guessing my decisions than any one person should have.  I spent my early 20’s dealing with your shitty attitude and behaviour and oh look, now spending my early 30’s doing exactly the same thing.

Your words, your behaviour, your actions have caused me more hurt in my life than anything else.  That’s because they used to mean something to me.  Your opinion of me, meant something.  That’s starting to change.  See, all those years I’d find little notes about you wishing your Dad would leave me, all those years where you felt it necessary to impart your opinion on our relationship, all the times you’ve yelled, screamed, pitched fits about how crappy your life was are taking their toll. 

You’ve always made your opinion of your Dad’s and my relationship known and that obviously isn’t about to change.  My response to that is “Butt Out”.  It is none of your business.  My relationship with your Dad is between us.  Keep it to yourself.  In my opinion, you would be lucky to find someone as kind, caring, loving and considerate as your Dad. 

Another one of your many complaints is that your Dad chose me over you but you’ve failed to explain exactly how he’s done that.   It’s time to lay that to rest.  It’s obvious your Dad loves you.  It’s obvious he’s been there for you, there were times when he could have been there more but overall, I’d say he’s been pretty involved in your life.  I challenge you to do the math of how many years you’ve lived with your Dad, spent weekends with your Dad and then talk to me about how he was never there or chose someone else.  Until you can come up with compelling facts, backed up by people other than just your Mother’s Camp, your complaints fall on deaf ears.

The thing that has bothered me the most in all of this is how you are constantly slinging mud at your Dad.  You know, if he ever said the things to you that you’ve been saying to him, you would go on the war path like no one has ever seen.  It would serve to validate every little real or imagined injustice you have felt through your life.  You would use it against him for all time and show every person how awful and mean your Dad is.  You know, people are in your life for a short period of time and one day, you will miss your Dad.  One day, you may regret the things you’ve said to him.  One day, your Dad will be gone and I sincerely hope that regret weighs heavy in your heart and on your soul. 

I am constantly amazed at how you expect others to accept you, believe in you and look past your mistakes but you aren’t willing to give the same consideration to other people.  We’ve apologized for our parenting mistakes time and time again but that’s simply not good enough for you.  I have a news flash for you – we are people too. 

The bitter-hearted part of me sometimes wishes I could go back and take back every birthday party, every special holiday, every hug, every inside joke, every new anything and the shopping splurges, every time I did put you before my own children, every time I referenced you as my own daughter, every Saturday morning family cuddle, take the flower that represents you off of my body, basically take back every little piece of me I’ve ever given you. That is pure anger talking and it’s going to take time for me to work through that.

Beyond the bitterness and anger, beyond the hurt and brokenheart, this has made me stronger.  In the past, I would have bottled everything up inside.  The end result of that being an explosive response when I just couldn’t take anymore.  Now, I’m reaching out to people in my life and it’s a really good feeling.  I have kind, considerate folks who are willing to listen to me.  They help me talk through the hurt and the pain and support me in my growth.  It gives me renewed strength and energy to face the next time you enter my life.  It is a great feeling and I’m happy that I’m able to establish stronger relationships and really value them as they should be.  Our family is more honest and supportive of one another.  We are stronger because of this and are re-evaluating relationships we may have otherwise overlooked. 

Over the years we have included you in every family gathering, every family function, worked so hard to make you feel important, to make you feel loved and valued and at the end of the day, it was all superficial.  We never meant anything to you.  You keep saying “we aren’t your real family” over and over and for the longest time I didn’t want to believe it but that’s probably the only truthful thing you’ve said. 

We aren’t your real family.  To you, we never were.  It sucks for all of us because to us, it was very real.

Parenting Paradigm and Prayers

When you become a parent, there is usually a chorus of “congratulations” and “hold on tight, it’s going to be a ride” coming from those who are close to you or, frankly, anyone who sees you.  In the beginning, it’s not so much hard as it is scary.  The day you bring a baby home and look at it and think “what the hell am I supposed to do now?” hits you like a tonne of bricks.  It’s the day you realize that you are truly responsible for another human being and a helpless one at that.  Luckily, for most, those moments only last a short while and you quickly move past them and get into the swing of things.

Then life takes hold and all of those lines you were fed suddenly become painfully clear. Time really does speed up, to a pace which rivals light speed.  Before you know it, you’re facing the terrible twos, which have nothing on the terrors of a three-year old.  Suddenly your baby isn’t a baby, she’s a toddler then all of a sudden you’re standing in an elementary school waiting to register for kindergarten and you’re thinking “WTF?  How did I get here?” Once your child enters school, it’s almost like time isn’t measured in months anymore, it’s either “the school year” or “summer”…holy fruit nut batman, where does the time go?  You negotiate the school years with grace, charm, twists, turns, bumps, and pitfalls BUT you make it.  It’s graduation day.  What now?

Somehow along a timeline that has been put in super fast-forward, you negotiate the waters of parenting and you start to realize two things.  First, you realize you start to sound an awful lot like your parents did and second, that your parents were generally right. 

I am in a tight parenting spot right now.  If you take the baby bird analogy, as provided by my dear BIL, STech, we have a baby bird in need of a mighty kick out of the nest.  The hard part about that is we know our baby bird is going to struggle with the fall.  We know that she may not flap her wings until the very last possible second.  We have to have faith that she will flap those wings of hers and take off into flight. 

As her Mom, albeit her step-mom, it is heart-wrenching to watch her be scared and confused.  I feel that same fear and confusion but for different reasons.  I fear that if we don’t push her to independence she will never get there.  I fear that if we continue to swoop in and make everything alright, she will never learn how to make things alright for herself.  I’m confused because I never wanted to be in a position where I had to push one of my children out of the nest when they don’t have a job or anywhere to do.  I’ve been there.  It sucks.  Big time.  I am worried about how she will make out, out on her own.  Will she fall back into a cycle of poor decisions?  Will she get herself into a sticky situation?  I guess time will tell that. 

Parenting is so hard and it gets harder as time goes on.  It is exhilarating and confusing and frustrating and rewarding and simultaneously the most difficult and the most incredible thing I have ever done.  I pray that I have the strength to guide my children onto the right paths while respecting their ability, need and want to make their own decisions.  I pray that our family will pull through the raising of three children, all from very different foundations.  I pray for the day that we have a big family dinner, the days when my hair will be more salt than pepper, and I can look around my table, at my beautiful children, and see the successful outcome of much laughter and many tears and so many years of hard work. 

I want my children to look back at their lives and remember that their parents supported them.  Maybe not in the ways they would have liked but that we were there, with love in our hearts and resolution in our spirits.