Monday, May 11, 2009


Over the past few days I have been talking to someone about stuff. This morning I was thinking about my kids and their feelings and the effects of the past year on them. I was actually blaming myself a fair bit and wondering where I have gone wrong and what I can do to fix it.

There are a lot of things I have done in my 'time' that have, no doubt, contributed to this....but you know what, I am still here and my kids know I will not walk away and that I love them the best that I can. I think that counts for a lot.

Last week in Shelli's counseling session the subject of her step father ( he has been her 'father' since she was 14 months old) was raised. This has been raised before and has been met with a shrug and an I don't care attitude. This time anger and hurt was shown. I call that a huge step. This kid has been abandoned by him even though he says differently, and it has been a major contributor to her present problems. In fact, her cutting last week was brought on by her thinking she was being abandoned by her friend.

I wrote an email, short and to the damn point to him this morning. I debated with myself over this and in the end, I did it, because you know what....I am sick of wearing the whole hair shirt here...I have done my best. And I have not abandoned my kids, ever, except to go to rehab, to save my life, so that I didn't abandon them permanently.

This is what I said to him

"A word of advice.

When these two new children that you have in your care get to be teenagers, make sure you don't abandon them when things get rough or life gets different.

This abandonment can lead to children becoming depressed and even contribute to them harming themselves as, for some strange reason, children believe everything you say to and promise them.

Also, next time someone who has been close to you is dying, I would advise that you don't offer help and then not deliver okay. This just leads to hurt and disappointment on the part of the people who thought you gave a shit.

And before you point out to me that you have always been there for them, I will acknowledge that and also point out to you that you are not now. And now is actually important. I am not asking you to do anything, in fact, I would prefer you didn't do anything to disappoint them again.

Just be careful Robert, you have new babies now, don't make the same mistakes. Parenthood does not end at aged 15 and walking away, even unintentionally, sends a message to the child that says "you are not worth loving"."

And do you know what else, he will more than likely reply and justify and even be angry with me. I just don't care.

The damage is done.

The funny thing is that when I look back, this email could have been written to my father.


My point here?

I am not quite sure but I will tell you this..

I have spent years carrying guilt for my choices in life but you know, some of it was not mine to carry.

And I may have tried very hard to run away from myself but I never ran from my kids.

My mum once said to me that you take what happened to you as a kid and you just do better.

That the buck stops here.

She was right.


wykd wytch said...

People hide their guilt with denial...I look at the way my parents raised me ( and even though I feel that they really did do the best that they knew how ) i still feel it was in part ignorance and NOT WANTING to learn who to do it any better. I know I strived to find solutions or different ways of doing things but my parents just did not - they just fumbled through without looking at consequences of "getting it wrong" and not trying to repair the damage ( the I am always right and you are just a stupid kid thing I guess). My mother is still self indugnt, the whole world revolves around her and I will not get blessed relief until she moves on to her next reincarnation. But I have resolved my anger with this , although as everyone who knows me knows that it still has a massive effect on my life. You are right the question as a young person growing up can often be "why did not my parents just try a bit harder for me?" was I not worth it?????

jewell said...

yes shell it's time to let someone else wear that's so not you!!!

Love you xxxx

nollyposh said...

i think deep down all mothers carry this same guilt, seems to 'come with the job'... i know that we shouldn't especially when we can acknowledge that we are doing our best under fire! ...We cannot be expected to do more than our best right!?! xox

Lisa said...

well done brigit Joans xx

Bogey said...

Hi Michelle,

Great job Michelle. It's never easy to take a stance but I think when your children are in the middle of it you do what you gotta do. There is no telling the kind of unseen damage that is occuring for things they knew nothing about. Heroes ;)

And thanks for the support earlier. I kind of got on a roll and couldn't stop.

Anonymous said...

Hooray Michelle! Whoo Hoo! I LOVE IT! What you did was open and honest. If he can't take it and he hides behind a wall of denial - sucks to be him! You were doing what any loving mother would do - you were protecting your children. And I am so happy to read that Shelli is now addressing her anger and fear around his behavior. Look out world - Michelle and her young women are coming on strong!!! Awesome!


Butler and Bagman said...

I hope he listens and learns, Michelle. I could have written the same to my father and I had an exwife and son who could write the same to me. I hope I've learned as my second and last marriage seems to have hung in and I'm now granddadding. And in July, KAren and I will getting a visit from my reconnecting daughter. I walked out on her, her brother, and my ex-wife when she was 7 or 8. She is now 32. It will be wonderful to see her, although, of course, scary as hell. And I don't think I have too many illusions about myself. I've turned out all right eventually, but I was a complete shit back then and can't go back and change it.

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

Great letter Michelle! You are a wonderful mother!!

Barry said...

"I may have tried very hard to run away from myself but I never ran from my kids."

What a different and better world this would be if everyone could say that. No matter our personal flaws, in one generation we could remake the world.

Renee said...

Very powerful Michelle and very true.

This could be a banner for children and families abandoned by anyone.

I think it is so important to be addressed and when he replies there is nothing wrong with replying back. And asking if you haven't abandoned Shelli then what are you willing to do. And stating what is at stake.

I am glad you have written this Michelle.

Love Renee xoxoo