Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Art of Failing

The Hardest Day Is Here

Today is the day that my son flies out. I dread this day every year. I'll spend the rest of tonight after he leaves either completely immersed in a distraction, such as a video game or book, and quite possibly drunk. Then I'll fall into a deep depression for about two or three weeks, and weep inconsolably at random moments. Actually, I have tears on my face now, but I can still see to type, so I'll just continue. Where it gets rough is the feeling that I did the right thing by him, sending him to live with his father, because here I can barely keep a roof over my head. Then I wonder where the fuck I went wrong in my life choices that THAT is the best option I have.

I'm not any of the stereotypes of mother who doesn't have custody of her kids. Don't think for a moment that I lost custody, I didn't. My son begged me to live with his dad because his dad had, at the time, just returned from a tour in Iraq and my son hadn't seen him in nearly two years. There were other factors, such as the fact that I was leaving North Carolina to go back to California and the area I was moving to had shitty public schools, but that was the main factor. I still wonder what I could have done differently.

I want him to stay with us so badly. My husband is fully supportive of that too, they get along great. The problems is money. This Summer has served to illustrate that point painfully well. With the extra person in our household things have been tough. We've had to sell things precious to us to pay bills, and we're looking to sell more. All of this so that my husband can complete his schooling, and have a job that pays well, so that we can drown in student loan debt. I feel like we're on a merry-go-round that is moving too quickly, and we wanted to get off hours ago, but the operator is insane and won't let us go.

For all that, it was a good Summer. My boss has been great about allowing me time whenever I asked for it. We have been able to do some fun things, with kind assistance from friends. I haven't taken as many photos as I would have liked this year, and there will be even less now. One of the precious things we sold was my dSLR. The power bill needs to be paid however, and with the heat we've had this year, it was higher than normal.

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning, failing so badly I will die. I think to myself that maybe wading out into a lake and taking a deep breath would be better... But then I think of my son, my husband, and I know I can't do that.

Not the best photo, but we were hiking.
I keep telling myself that it will get better, that I'm doing what I can, with what I've got... It's just so hard. I must remind myself that I'm better off than many people right now. I have a stable job, there is food on my table, and I have friends who love me. I'd like to say I'm not concerned about the roof over my head, but that's a lie. I should be alright there, but I worry.

Sorry this post has been so depressing. I just can't shake the feeling that I somehow failed my son, while I was trying to do the right thing by him. Maybe I should have kept him with me? Maybe I should never have left NC (not that I would have had anywhere to live if I hadn't...)? They say hindsight is always 20/20, but that's not true. I still don't know what I should have done differently. I've had people looking at me like I must be a shitty mom because my son doesn't live with me for so long, I believe them now.

I could go on about this for hours, but you guys have got to be sick of my whining at this point. Let me lighten things up with Buttermilk the goat. She's a dwarf goat who seems to enjoy picking on her friends. (not my goat btw)


  1. It sounds to me like you're an amazing Mom who's willing to do whatever it takes to give her son a great life. Even if it means sending him to his dad, even if you miss him like crazy.

    While Andrew and I don't have any kids, we did have a time in our lives when he was supporting me while I went to school full-time. We lived in a shitty one-bedroom basement apartment. We relied on one space heater to keep the main room warm and an electric blanket for our bedroom, because we couldn't afford to pay the heat bills, so we just walked around wrapped up in blankets. We didn't have cable or satellite TV or a home phone, and we used the city's WiFi to get internet.

    This, as all other hard times, will pass. You will get back on your feet, and your son will be able to come back to live with you.

    Thinking of you xox

  2. Living life precariously, not by choice but by chance and circumstance, can be exhausting and can lead to over-analyzing. I know this only too well. I've spent enough time crying, and over-analyzing, paralyzed by my own fears of future failure and the past "what if's" in my precarious life to be familiar with the blues you speak of. And sure, we all have choices and one could argue till the cows came home about how, if you just did things would be "there" and not "here". And the grass will always be greener over "there", sweetheart. The choices we never made will always be better or worse in that alternate universe because we reason it MUST be so. But they're not. Not one bit. Because they will never affect the path you are on today (Unless you have a time machine). But today, you are loved, admired, cherished and a good mom because even though you made some painful decisions, Connor LOVES you. The love of a child for a mother is something so deep and special. And you have it. So don't cry, it will just keep you from smiling that radiant way you do. *hugs*

  3. Is Your son a decent person that you are proud of? If the answer is yes then you have done the right things in life. Since you're sad about your son going back to his dad means that you care deeply for him which also points to you're doing it right!

  4. We don't have the same situation, but still I feel the similarities. I know how it feels when you just don't know what to do, and when it feels like you have failed your kid(s). Just remember, it may look like it will neer be better, but it will. And your son is alive and well :)

  5. This too shall pass...I know that may sound cliche' and maybe even patronizing but it really is true. The fact that you're staying strong and pressing forward means that soon life will catch up and start getting better. And your should be proud of the wonderful example you're setting for him. Too often people are selfish, placing undo burdens on their children just to placate their own needs. You're showing him your love by giving up your happiness for his security.

    Just make him Skype a lot!

    Princess WeeWee