Saturday, April 2, 2011

defeated least that's how I feel. In so many ways. About the most important things.

I know that I am not able to be the hard-ass, consistent, rational person that Gabi needs me to be. I hate her hating me, if only for a moment.

I've always told my girls that my job is to be their mom, not their friend. And I still believe that. But when the 'not their friend' feels like enemy, it's really hard to persist.

Especially when you're trying to be yourself at the same time.

It seems like there comes a time when a parent feels like they've denied their own 'whatever' long enough and they want to embrace it with a vengance. My mother did it when she remarried, and I, as a teenage girl, felt rebuffed.

I have tried not to make my girls feel the same way, but at the same time I recognize ways in which I grasp at some separate identity and feel like I somewhow 'deserve' it and; therefore, give myself permission to indulge myself. Which, in the moment, makes my life easier, but ultimately feels like a disservice to my daughter, which is a horrible offense that I will flaggelate myself for again and again.

I am so lost for an answer, that I am ready to -seriously- try to bring in her dad. As Terri says, what's the worst that could happen? I already feel completely alone (except for my amazing friends and family) and couldn't end up any worse off. The question I have to ask myself is if I truly have no attachment to an outcome with her dad. My inability to write her off is akin to inability to write him off (once upon a time). Although, I would never reach my end with her. The concern is, have I definitively reached my end with him in respect to Gabi--so that I have no expectation whatsoever of his response, help, denial, etc.?

Terri has initiated "Operation Graduation." An intervention to try to get Gabi on track to be able to graduate on time. She is almost half-way through to graduation, which requires 27 credits. She has 5.5. She should at least be close to half of the requirement, but isn't even one quarter of the way there.

And she doesn't care.

It doesn't matter to her. She doesn't see any impact to her life if she doesn't have a high school diploma or doesn't learn to do things that may not seem fun or be her first choice, just because it's what needs to be get a paycheck, to pay the bills, to have a fucking roof over your head and food on the table--let alone a night out or a vacation.

I have utterly failed to create in her a sense of responsibility or accountability or even the idea of consequences that are real enough that doing the minimum required is worth it.

My friends are on board to help fill in the gaps I leave. To remind me of what I need to do. To take on doing some of that on their own to support this awesome girl that we love and, I know, to support me (whom they love, awesome or not).

I am so grateful for that.

And I feel so inadequate that I am obviously incapable of doing this on my own.

And the truth remians that it will, most likely, turn out ok. And she will be fine and possibly amazing--with or without my inadequacy.

But as a parent that's not enough to make you relax. Or sleep well at night.

And, as Terri keeps telling me, "There is no way to fix this."

There is no magical solution. There is nothing I can do--no matter how awesome I might suddenly become--to really make any of this different. And I have to find a way to live with that--without copping out or giving up hope--no matter how tempting that momentarily feels. I will, regardless, go into battle again tomorrow. And I might do okay or I might get my ass kicked. So it fucking goes.


Anonymous said...

Your are in the throes of parenthood. Don't try to do it alone. Remember, Gabi is going to make her own choices. Don't give up, just show her unconditional love and take care of yourself. Lee

Ii$h4 said...

I may be missing the mark completely so take from this what you will...or not.

As I read this I am sadly reminded of my shithead-adolescent stage. I was horrible and rebellious and all my mom wanted at the time was to get along and have me make the right choices. She was at her wits end when one of her friends reminded her that if your child, just like any other person, isn't treating you with respect (for everything you've done and continue to do/your job & just for being a human being) then why do you owe them such great respect and accommodations in return?

I'm ashamed to look back and realize that when my mom stopped trying so hard and (seemingly)caring so much it made ME sad and made ME want to reach out to her. I had to earn her respect back and did so by making her proud.

Sorry for the long-winded comment. I just want to remind you that you are an amazing mom and person-I've witnessed it with my own two eyes and personally felt it when you were there for me.

Remember that this, like any other relationship, won't function properly if it is one-sided. And that you can't force someone to desire and take pride in something but there still isn't a killer like the disappointment of a mother-you'll always have that card in your hand if need be. ;)

Good Luck & Lots of Love!

It will all work out it in the end!


The Michiganders said...

I so empathize. These teen years are so tough. There are days when I wonder if my daughter even likes me anymore. I hate to be the one who has to get after her when expectations aren't met etc....

Love you. I hope that there are some priceless moments in there amidst the crap.