Saturday, May 05, 2007



All Alone

I have always wondered what it would have been like to have a mom when I was going through my teenage years and on into adulthood. I can't begin to tell how many nights I cried myself to sleep after she died, aching for her touch, trying to hear her calm and loving voice take away my fears and hurts, and longing for her wisdom as I faced difficult decisions. That grief lasted for years and years.

I had to go it alone for so long. Stumbling, I bumped into brick walls, fell onto the pavement, got hit by words and fists - and alone, I picked myself back up again and nursed my own wounds. I built up a protective shield around me so that nobody could hurt me (or so I thought). The problem with that shield was that I didn't let anybody love me, either.

I never felt safe during those years. Only scared. And empty.

I filled the void with broken promises of others and fake laughter amid the noisy chaos of my life. When I touched someone, it was out of desperation rather than love. When I tried to love someone, I couldn't trust them or be vulnerable with them - so the feelings were based on a desperate longing rather than a healthy need.

How would my life be different if my mother had lived? I'm not sure.

How would my girls' lives be different if I left them now? Would they feel the pain I went through? I don't know.

I do know that my biggest fear right now is leaving them behind, to face what I have faced all these years.

Do they know how valuable a mother's love and presence is in their lives? Lately, it seems like all they want is for me to be gone. Totally out of their lives. Do they know how difficult it is for me when they push me aside, when they deliberately lie or withhold information from me, when they make decisions which go against God's will and against what is right for their future, and when they are just so rude and argumentative that it hurts? I know some of you will say that this is "normal" for a teenager - but I beg to differ. Somewhere along the line, my family got off track. And I've been trying to get it back on track for over a year now, but I'm not able to.

And I'm tired. And scared. And alone. And empty. And ready.to.give.up.

My birthday is next week. I'm taking a little break from blogging during this time to do some soul-searching. I'll be back after Mother's Day with an announcement. Go give your moms a big hug and kiss, my friends - she deserves it! :-) And a Happy Mother's Day to all of my girlfriends out there!! I love you!

8 Comments:

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous ashley said...

It's hard to comment on this properly, because you don't specify exactly what has happened, but I think you're being too hard on yourself! Teenagers grow up and become adults. Often along the way this shows itself in arguments and hurtful words. I'm sure later on that they will find their way back to you, but with regards to decisions and beliefs, everybody questions them once in a while. Even if they are making choices you don't believe are right, to a certain extent, you have to let them make those choices and/or mistakes. It's how they will learn what is best for them. Everybody is individual and it may turn out that they don't necessarily agree with the beliefs in which they were raised, or the religion. (I'm not saying that this will happen, just that it's a possiblity). But this is down to every individual person; and isn't your fault. I'm sure you will find after this phase has based you will be closer than ever, no matter what they choose to do and/or believe!

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Barbara said...

Valerie,

I am finding that I agree with what Ashley has just said - I think that in even the closest and most loving family, there wil come a time when a teenager will test the boundaries. They may try to keep pushing and pushing to see just how far those boundaries will stretch (if at all) and then also keep pushing - just to make sure that they are still the same...

They also need to know that they are loven - unequivicably - and I have told number 1 on more than one occasion that I love him very much but I do not necessarily like him (or his behavious) at that particular moment.

Please don't be so hard on yourself. If they make a choice that we feel is wrong - then, give it over to God and that is all you can do. If you are proved right in the end - then so be it.

The thing is, and I feel that you probably feel the same, if that we want to sheild them from the real world and the hurts that his brings for as long as possible. I am finding that, with number 1 in particular - that he is making choices that have led to him being very hurt - and I have cried for him - and with him - but he is growing from this - and despite the hurt, they (teenagers) have a coating of rubber that makes them bounce back in a remarkably short time.

Your hurts and lonliness from your childhood is bound to come back and haunt you.. but you are there for your two, and, that is the important thing isn't it? YOU ARE THERE.

Take care.

Thinking of you

B x

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger annb said...

Oh Valerie, how I can relate to the hurt and the desperate feelings when you've built walls so thick and so high that no one can get in - not to hurt you, but not to truly love you either! Sometimes, I think, the wounds are so deep they can never heal! The loneliest feeling in the world has to be the loneliness felt when you are with people who should be the closest to you over all others in this world! I'm thankful I had my mother during my teen years, but I have to say that I was mean and rude and hurt her very much during those years. Only after becoming a mother myself did I understand how deeply my actions hurt my mom . . . and my dad. I went through it, as well, with my girls when they were teens. I just couldn't understand how they could be so mean and disrespectful when I loved them so much! Thankfully, they are all three mothers themselves now and I have a great relationship with two of them. I still struggle with the relationship between my oldest stepdaughter and me. She was nine when I married her dad and she - more than all the rest - had a very difficult time adjusting to the new family arrangement. When she was 13 she decided to move to her mother's in another state. She was there three years when her mother died in a car accident and we brought her back to our home after she was released from a two-month hospital stay! She was resentful that we had moved her back with us when she felt that her life was somewhere else. I don't know if we will ever be close - although I pray that it will happen. Even in the midst of the anger and the arguments with my teens, I know the love is there - just stuffed down for a while, I guess. I know they will return - in their own time. I will be praying for you. I know how difficult it can be when you're a mother to teens. I hope that your birthday is better than you could possibly expect - or hope - that it could be!
annb

 
At 6:23 PM, Blogger ukok said...

Valerie,

You know that you have a special place in my heart and that my heart goes out to you, just reading through these words and catching a glimpse of your pain really hurts me on your behalf.

Though things may well have changed in your family, it might be that this just is 'normal'. Had your dear mother been alive during your teenage years (God rest her soul), you may not have behaved so very differently than your daughters are now. Perhaps that's wide off the mark, but I know that I had my mum around and I treated her despicably. That doesn't make it excusable. It damaged our relation ship severely. I thought she llived a narrow life, I wanted my life to be different, full of experieinces she'd never had. I hated the person I turned into just trying to live a life different to hers.

I don't know if teenagers ever really think unselfish thoughts. The whole world just 'has' to revolve around them and anyone sticking their oar in can just go to that nasty place where satan resides...there are exceptions, I'm sure, but still...

It doesn't make it any more paleatable to hear, I know. It doesn't take away the pain and confusion and the wanting to find a way to get things back to how they once were when the girls adored you, showed their love for you and respected you and the boundaries you set. I suppose this is what setting them free is like...letting them make their own mistakes, enduring their rejection, have them trampling on your feelings and not care about it at all....shout that you aren't thinking outside the box and that they don't want to llive the life you live.

I am loathing this time coming with my own chidlren, it will come all too soon, my duaghter is 16 this year :-(

I think I won't want to go on when she rejects me, when her words that used to express love, will express loathing and derision.

I hurt for you. All I can do is pray for your situation, so please now that I am doing that. And I pray that your children let you know how much you mean to them on Mother's Day at least....you're a loving mother who deserves to be told of their appreciation everyday, though, and I pray that they will come to realise that you are not the enemy and that of all their family and friends they will ever have or make, you, and you alone, will never turn your back on them even if they turn theirs on you. Because there is nothing quite like the love that a mother feels for her children.

God Bless you, Val (((hug)))

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Ashley - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective.

Barbara - You know exactly what to say to touch my heart and soul. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ann - I love getting to know you better, and finding out that we have shared similar struggles. Your story is an amazing one. THank you for sharing it with me.

Deb - God bless you, too, my friend. I promise, one of these days I'm taking a trip overseas to meet both you and Barbara! We've shared so much, and I appreciate your concern and prayers.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I'd like to add at least 2 cents :)

God said, raise up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it.

You have laid a solid foundation for your girls. Right now they are testing their wings. They are trying out independence in the way that they know how. The decisions they make may be the wrong ones for their future, but God absolutely will take the "mess" and make it right in His good timing.

God allowing them to lay one brick atop another and when the wrong brick is laid, He marks it. When the time is right, He tumbles the wall to take out the wrong brick. It is one reason why we get so tired in life, we are constantly having to relearn lessons that we didn't get the first time.

Pull back the lens, Val. Take the wide-angle view and you'll see that the details which seem so critically important when viewed close up, really don't amount to a hill of beans in the broad picture.

Trust God's judgement.

It was the hardest lesson I had to learn, that letting go and letting God. Some days I had to put my older daughter on God's altar every 15 minutes to an hour because I kept worrying over her.

God never let her down and He has never let me down. AMEN. So I know beyond doubt that He'll do the same with your girls. AMEN.

Love you! Happy Birthday! My birthday is on Thursday -- May 10 ;)

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Shawnda said...

Oh Val...I'm SO sorry! First, I can't imagine my mom not being with me through my teen years and onward!!!!! Man....I was HARD on her in my teens (before I knew the Lord)...and sometimes I STILL am, BUT it's because of MY sin...not anything to do with her!!!

And secondly...it's not "normal" for teens to do what your girls are doing...it's NORMAL for ALL of us because we are sinners!!!!! And the only thing that keeps us from being sinners...is PURE GRACE!!! So, if your girls are hurting you, Val, and making poor choices.....their sin does effect you....but it's not against you!!!!

Though I just have toddlers....that's something I'm having to learn....and it's hard. I'm sure I will have to relearn it : ( with teens and onward as my kids grow.

Keep in perspective (though their sin is incredibly hurtful to you) that it's not toward you...it is FIRST and FOREMOST against the Lord.

Keep praying for them, Val. Keep praying for them!!! The Lord's grace is deeper still!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Shawnda said...

OH!!! Happy Birthday AND Mother's Day!!! : ) I pray the Lord will give you comfort and peace...true gifts for the soul!!!!

 

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