I am a mother and as a mother I can only speak from a mother's point of view, so I think that for most mothers when they imagine their children, they imagine them as a family unit forever. I do not think that any mother taking care of her babies and raising her children ever imagines that one day her family will be torn apart. We may wonder if our marriages will survive, we know are parents will pass away and life will change but we assume that our children will always be there and always be together.
To be a mother of three children and knowing that one child says that she will never ever want to repair things with her brother and does not want to see him or know about him ever again, is extremely painful to acknowledge. My daughter is also very annoyed and upset at the thought that her brother may not get a lengthy prison sentence, though she knows the pain I will endure if any prison sentence is given, this to me is shocking. I could not imagine not ever seeing my sisters again or wanting them to spend as long as possible in prison or suffering in any way! I have to remind myself that she is a teenager, and that with time this will possibly change.
My son is understandably very anxious about the court hearing on Friday and is very fearful of being sent to prison. He phoned up the other day and wanted to come by for a visit when his sisters were at home because he said that he wanted to see us all. I could imagine that in his head he was thinking that he would like to see them before he gets sent away! How hard was it for me to say, No. Even harder yet to try to explain to him that there has been a lot of damage done and that they do not want to see him. That same evening he was coming by for his bike and of course rather then taking it and being on his way he knocked at the door. "Can I come in?" "No." "When can I visit all of you?" "I don't know", "Can I use the toilet?", "No.", "Can I have some money?" "No." " I am cold, can I come in just to warm up?", "No.".....What an unimaginable conversation for a mother to contemplate let alone ever have with her first born child!
As parents we are realistic enough to know that our children will not always get along. We can imagine that one day they will not all live near home or even in the same state or even country. One thing we never imagine though, is that our children will never want to be, or in fact will never be, in the same room or home together sharing a meal or a civilised visit! Even envisioning family arguments at Christmas time is a better alternative then imagining one of your children being excluded.
Oh yes Christmas! Our last Christmas did see my son excluded from the family and how painful was that for me and surely for him. I had to exclude him then because of my daughter's increasing suicidal thoughts. Then when I did open my door and my heart and invited him here during Christmas (with my daughter upstairs in her room the entire time), it failed miserably because he proceeded to get high in his room! Now we are fast approaching Easter and I think to myself, "Where will my son be at Easter?" Will he be in prison and if not shouldn't he be part of the family and share in a meal at home, because that is what it should be, home. How do I separate my children and their lives and still feel like we are a family with a place that we can all call home?
Maybe it is just a question of time, maybe it is too soon and the damage is still raw and painful. There has been little healing done at home because I feel "stuck" and in limbo. I find it difficult to move forward not knowing what the future will hold and in the meantime struggling with these thoughts of a broken family. My older daughter is just starting to show signs of improvement in her recovery towards a better and healthier life. Of course, the main obstacle is still my son's drug addiction and altered state of mind and disjointed memories. Until he seeks recovery and starts repairing himself, family relationships, especially with his sisters, can not be healed.
I find it very hard to believe that it has been three months since my son no longer lives here. I have yet to clean out his room and I find it very hard to think or plan for the future. Perhaps it is because of the ongoing uncertainty of his police investigation or perhaps it is because I feel unable to move forward until he is actually recovering? Well, if it is the latter I am screwed because I might have a very long wait ahead of me!
We all give up some of our own dreams as we grow up and live our life. We are in the process of living and shit happens, so when we are in our 40's we accept that life is not quite what we imagined it would be when we were very young. However, the dreams we have for our children are often greater and more powerful than the dreams we had for ourselves. We want our children to grow up from generally happy childhoods with enough good memories to out weigh the bad ones. We want our children to get more of an education than we did, to have more opportunities then we did, to see more of the world than we did and to be happier and more successful than we were. When one or more of children's dreams are crushed and we see them living such a dramatically different life then we ever dreamed for them, well that is a very bitter pill for a mother to swallow.
I am of course speaking of the here and now and of course I am not that cynical or depressed to know that none of us know what the future holds and it may indeed turn out to be wonderful for all my children and I will feel happy and fulfilled. Yes, I still hope for brighter tomorrows and healed wounds and repaired relationships and new beginnings...but in the meantime I am dealing with what I have in front of me and my daily struggles because sometimes life is just about dealing with each moment as it comes.