Right now I have one adult child who isn’t speaking to me at all because I have ruined her life and the other adult child who messaged me on Facebook begging me to make him a pan of my lasagna to take to a work party. It’s no wonder being a parent makes us crazy.
I make light of it but the situation with my oldest daughter is so, so sad. She has been through so much-admittedly, a hard life. Partly due to our poverty when she was younger and partly due to her sexual abuse and partly due to just life being hard and partly due to her own poor choices. However, everything she is doing right now is typical of an abuse survivor, and that breaks my heart. It’s all just so sad, and I don’t know what to do for her anymore.
But here is the thing I have to remember: she doesn’t want help right now. I tried, Steve tried, our chosen family has tried, and she seems hell-bent on this path of what is surely self-destruction. We took her and Aubry in a few months ago when her poor choices led her to being evicted from her apartment, and then there were all these lies. Not little white lies, either, but the big kind that really have an impact not just on her life but on everyone’s. Then, when confronted with a few of them, she lied even more. She had a choice, to be honest with us and get some help, but instead she chose to leave. And beyond a very few words I haven’t talked to her since.
I think the thing that bothers me the most is that sweet baby. Hannah loves her with every fiber of her being-Aubry doesn’t lack for love. What she lacks is stability, and the knowledge that she comes first in her mama’s life, and any sense of a “normal” childhood. There have been all sorts of uncertain situations and that sweet girl doesn’t even know what to think half the time.
But while I am worried about Aubry, and equally worried about Hannah, I have done enough Al-Anon work and recovery work to know that there isn’t really anything else I can do. I have my boundaries, and she violated them repeatedly, and I can’t make her do anything. I can’t make her acknowledge the broken parts of her, nor can I make her see that there is hope and light. All I can do is love her and pray for her, and remain distant.
And it’s never ever about giving up on a child, because that isn’t possible. Not in my heart, not for me. But it IS about trying to keep sane and stop using tremendous amounts of energy on a child who can’t hear anything you say.
So. The thing is to keep moving forward. I have high hopes for her, not OF her.I pray for her to learn hard enough lessons that she will learn from them, but not so hard that she has to lose everything. I pray that God will speak to her through people and circumstances and show her that she CAN heal. Mostly, I just pray that she will someday be happy. That’s all a parent really wants, isn’t it?