New Year's Day 2014 is today.
Many people around the world are hung over from too much celebrating the night before. Celebrating a new year with hopes of new beginnings, hoping that this may be the year that something lacking thus far in their lives will find them and fill a void. Resolutions are made by many, resolutions that will soon be forgotten.
Yesterday there were no celebrations in my house. The house and kids were a mess so my agenda was to have something cleaned before the New Year started. After a slow start I decided to start with our kitty and give him a flea treatment. Since he sleeps with me, I thought I should also change my bedding. Not that was riddled with fleas, but it is better to be safe. Then I showered my youngest. As I brushed and combed her washed hair I discovered she has lice, which shockingly is a common occurrence with British children. OK, that meant dry the hair and put lice treatment on, change her sheets, comb with lice comb, re wash hair! Then I told my other daughter she better check her hair....she thought she was all clear, but eventually found two disgusting creatures in her hair. OK, treatment and thorough coming, wash hair, change sheets! I might as well do mine, to be safe, but later, too much to do! Any one who has been through this ordeal, knows how tedious and time consuming it is!
During all this I am getting phone calls and txts from my son. He had a Dr's appointment and wanted to stop by since the doctor is very near my home. Eventually after lots of toing and froing we agreed that he would stop by but not come inside and collect his benefit letter at the door. Then when I made the suggestion that he could stop by a certain friends house, my son was very quick to inform me that he is no longer welcome there and that it is my fault! Apparently when my son was kicked out of the first homeless shelter for drugs and was looking for places to stay, even if for just one night, this particular friend asked his parents and it was ok until he let it slip to his parents that my son was homeless and why. Upon hearing the truth, this friend's parents said that my son was no longer welcome in their home. So my son started to tell me how this was all my fault, I made him homeless! I tried to explain how it was all his choices that led us here and that the more people that refuse to help him because of his drug addiction, eventually he will learn why and start taking some responsibility to get into recovery.
So, as I was trying to deal with my mess inside with mountains of washing (and no tumble dryer), realizing that time was getting on and that I still needed to get out to the shops since come New Year's Day they will be closed, and still not dressed, my son knocks on the door. Never is anything simple, could we just say our hello's and collect his letter and be on his way? Of course not. Somehow my son started talking, again, of how he needs to have his clothes washed, he wants to bring some stuff by because he has too much to lug around, etc. I noticed that he had new trousers on. The day before he had met with his father who bought him some jeans and a thermal top and gave him £50 and bought him lunch etc. OK great...but I have given him much more and it is never good enough. He tells me how the trousers I gave him for Christmas have already ripped and blah blah blah. Then he contradicts himself by telling me how good he has been living since he is homeless. The shelter feeds him good food, he has been treated to lunches and he is near fast food places. He has been more productive, he is out more etc. As much as I understand that he longs for a relationship with his father and independence is a self satisfying experience, my son seems to want to hurt me with the way he communicates these things to me and always puts in an insult or two for good measure. He not only treats me with gross disrespect, blatantly holds me responsible for EVERY bad thing that has ever happened, he speaks highly of others who do minimal for him and yet is ungrateful and even unaware of how much I have done and still do for him.
I had to try to stand my ground and not emotionally charged and keep the interaction to a minimum, while offering him to come over the following day and then he could also pick up some nicer clothes to wear to the police interview on Jan 2nd. When he continued to wind me up about his father, I succumbed (as I often do) and asked if his father has offered to support him some way on the 2nd. Has he offered to get him to the police or stay with him to give him emotional support? No, because "Dad is going away for a few days ". Lovely! "He can go away if he wants, why not?".
After I shut the door I lost it. The floodgates opened. Why do I have to deal with all the crap? The fleas, the lice, the washing, the cooking/cleaning, punctured tire on my car, the bills, the debt collectors, lawyers, courts, police, social workers, drugs, chemicals, drug services, suicidal daughter, groups therapy, appointments, mental health services, doctors, school, being on the news, gossip, shitty comments, lost friendships, unemployment, my son's homelessness, crap from their father, listening, crying, arguments, putting up with the crap, hoping, waiting, wanting to fix it all, and now Christmas and trying to keep it together and keep the magic alive for my youngest......why, why, why???? He CAN GO AWAY? He doesn't have to deal, he can relinquish responsibility and also blame ME for Everything? How the F*** is that right or fair!
Their father lies to the Social Workers and sends me txts such as, "You seem to be ok with the girls not seeing me before Christmas and not getting their presents...?". Disregarding all we have had to deal with lately and that also was my sister was in town for only a few days. He then said he would not see them any other day before the 29th. When that was agreed I said that he could collect the girls across the street from the house, it's easier that way and better for the girls. So I get accused of being difficult and he will not have it. I again caved in to the games and said that I was just trying to put our children's well being first, unlike him. I also asked for a time when the visit would end (so I could plan my day). So when I read his response, "Great job you have done with our son. When the big hand is on the twelve and the little hand is on the five", well I was in tears and so upset that he could be blaming me on what a great job I have done in raising our son. Hell-lo, he did/does have a father, yet he blames me and me alone? Then he speaks to me like a child regarding the time his visit with our daughters will end? Really!?
It's ok for him to go away whenever and wherever he likes? How about me? This hit me even harder than usual, because a few weeks ago an old lover in France sent me a lovely email about how I need to do something for myself, and get out of "it" for a few days. He wrote me that we could look at the snow on the Alps, drink wine and love one another. For the first time in a long time I felt excited and happy that I can do something for me and it is OK. I deserve to get away for a weekend and recharge my batteries. To feel young and beautiful and worry free. I thought about it, we wrote a few emails and then I started to look at airline tickets and planning in my head who to ask to look after the girls, which friends could they go to , who would look after the cat etc. Long story short, it is not happening and I feel that he may have bailed on me, I told him when I was thinking of going then it was no longer convenient because he will be away working. No discussion on making other plans and no contact now for a while. My bubble burst, big time!
So I am having a rant here, sorry. I just feel like all these little and big incidences boiled up inside of me and I felt like screaming.
Today . New Year's Day. New beginnings. New chances,
I started with playing a board game with my daughters. My youngest has been feeling neglected since so much of my time and attention was always taken away by her brother and his problems, which of course helped build my own problems. When he was getting ready to move out and I explained to her what was happening, I told her that now we could start trying to make things better at home. "So you will play with me more from now on?" was her reaction. I had to say that not right away, but soon, "after Christmas, mummy?". "Maybe, we will see how it goes".
What a better time then to show to my daughters that things will start getting better, playing a game together on New Year's Day. My little girl was thrilled and we enjoyed it!
My son arrived a couple of hours later and it all changed and I realized that it is so very hard to make change happen. Everything soon went pear shaped and the raised voices and arguments and disregard to my wishes were all happening again as if the last 15 days never happened. He left a couple of hours later only to return an hour later (for 10 minutes he said) to collect clothes for tomorrow, That 10 minutes turned into a couple of hours and him getting high/drunk in his room and messing about and wasting time. My daughters were shut away in their room and I was getting so frustrated and disappointed. Eventually I had to tell him that he is no longer welcome in my home unless he agrees to be clean and sober. No more lies. No more manipulation. No more shit! I even told him that because of his behavior that I will not take him to the police in the morning, make his own way and whatever will happen will happen.
All this is NOT MY FAULT. I am NOT responsible for my son's behavior. I am not responsible for his choices. I will no longer be his scapegoat! This is a new year and I WILL NOT do it anymore.
I will think of making this a happier home for me and my daughters, and I know it will take time. I will find someone who does want to spend time with me and have moments to recharge myself. I will not feel guilty if things go wrong for my son. I will continue to love my son and hope for his light bulb moment which will lead him onto the road of recovery. I will welcome him back when he returns as my son and not a using addict.
New Year, may not seem much different in my house today. Nothing has changed for my son. Nothing has changed within our dysfunctional relationships. The problems and difficulties remain.
Something is different though. No matter how much my buttons get pushed by my ex, or guilt is thrust upon me by my son, or I feel rejected by old lovers, I am not going to let it control me anymore. I will try, little by little, try to make that change and this year will see me becoming more empowered and ultimately happier, whatever the future holds.
At least, this is my goal....today, on New Year's Day 2014!