Love is anything but simple or trite. It is the total opposite. Love is hard, and often bat shit crazy. So I think I need to blog today.
As I’ve said in the past, I generally don’t blog as much as maybe some would like. Blogging is hard for me. It’s digging deep into the epicenter of myself and uncovering all those emotions that roll within me and taking them out. It’s fully exposing myself to a world that might otherwise reject me. (At least that’s been my experience. OR my perception of my experience in many ways. Let me just say that)
December 15th of 2015, my husband and I lost our youngest daughter. It was probably the hardest day of my life. Has been difficult. I just went through a few days of complete sorrow and laid in bed because I just couldn’t face the day. I couldn’t even face anything, I was just a wreck. Again, after all this time, I know she’s gone. Some days hit me harder than others. And this was no exception to the rule. I was gone, for all intents and purposes. My hopes and dreams were dashed. My last remaining child in the home is gone and it just boggles my mind how completely empty I feel in my heart, and in my mind. (Especially my mind) I know that I have a tremendous husband to support me. He’s been such heaven sent in my opinion. He has been so supportive and so loving. Giving me the room I need to breathe, not ever complaining about my laying in bed, crying, or even talking about her. And I love that he’ll talk back to me about her. But I have more troubles than that brewing.
For the last, let’s say three weeks I haven’t been talking to my eldest daughter. It’s not because she isn’t loved by me. As my title states, I love her more than I love myself… but. There is always a but. Ashleigh is without a doubt the most difficult child I’ve ever raised. (Granted, I’ve only raised her and her sister) She has mental illness and cognitive disconnects that we had tried to get through to her over the years through DBT Counseling, Foster Care, Regular Counseling, Mentors, Caseworkers, Payees, The court system…. I mean, we ran the gamut. It’s hard to explain without much experience in my world, but we tried for her. And no matter what, time and time again, I’ve been there for Ashleigh. I’ve listened to her. I’ve gotten confused by the large amount of facebook accounts, the phone numbers constantly changing, the emails changing, the boyfriends changing, her locations changing, her constantly telling me she’s pregnant. She allegedly had one baby already that’s in foster care (but details she’s telling me about progression in the child’s life doesn’t add up to where a child should be. It’s hard to explain without going into longer detail. And I’m already past the Readers Digest version. Let’s just leave it at that)
When I talk to Ashleigh, she’s very verbally abusive to me. She expects me to do things for her. Drive her around, give her food or money, she swears more than a sailor would ever consider doing and honestly sometimes talks to me about details in her life that no mother or daughter would ever exchange details about. The way she treats me is just awful and I’ve told her that time and time again. And I’ve told her that the bridge was breaking to us and that she needed to keep that in mind. Well, one day, I told her I was done. I couldn’t talk to her anymore. Not to facebook me, not to text me, call me, or anything. And about a week later, she called me from a phone number AGAIN that I didn’t recognize. So I quickly got to the point of what she wanted and hung up. Immediately thereafter, I changed my number. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew she would keep changing her number. She would always have me that little bit off guard by that too. Because I’d never know who it was. And at that point I had been getting calls from the medical examiners office for Darrian’s results on her autopsy, my caseworker for foodshare, among others. So needless to say, the madness had to stop.
Just a day or so ago I got another YET another email from Ashleigh. Apologizing for how things had been towards Eric and I. Which, whatever. I get it. She’s apologizing. She’s continuing to say she’s pregnant, which my brother says he believes that she is this time. I still don’t know if I do. But I’m afraid if she is. What that means. I don’t want to be that person that totally throws her to the wolves. But she’s pushed me to the point where I don’t know what to think. She’s told me in the past all the symptoms she’d been having, she’d shown me ultrasounds which I later come to find out she found online and just printed off saying it was her ultrasound. She’s been obsessed with being pregnant since she was little. And now if she is? What does that mean. I don’t want to be the absent grandparent, but dealing with the kid she is….. she has to get it. Doesn’t she? Doesn’t she have to admit at some point that the money she gets needs to go towards good purposes, REALLY good purposes. Not cigarettes, but a place to live. And not only a place to live… which she can afford. Her payee has banked enough for her to the point where social security is saying she has too much money (or so it was told to me last time I talked to her). She has to work to get the housing situated. And then make sure that the lease is signed and she is constantly going to keep her place up and maintained. Which she has a caseworker… but the caseworker hasn’t gotten her to that point because she never sticks around long enough. She makes excuses why one place isn’t good, too expensive, lack of friends, etc.. etc. She has to, has to get to a point where she can navigate the bus systems to her appointments with her own doctor, wherever that is. And then she needs to save some money for her prenatal vitamins. She has to take care of herself, if she is. But how is she going to learn this. Because all I can see at this point – if I were to contact her, is her trying to get me to enable her. And if she does have this child, then I’d get attached. Eric would get attached. And that’s not even so much the problem as her taking care of a child because she is constantly homeless. Living off the goodness of others until they realize that she’s not doing for herself. She wants others to do for her.
This might sound like a cruel rendition of how someone lives, but it’s the truth. I raised her. It doesn’t make me proud to say these things. It actually embarrasses me. There is nothing good that can come from it, until she learns. REALLY learns what it means to be a person. A person who wants to grow and learn to thrive. And to stop thinking that this is the ticket to life. Life doesn’t owe you anything girl. Get with it. Oh, and that social security that you get? I signed you up for it. So at the very least, you should be thankful that I even got it set up for you. UGH!
Sorry. I’m just agitated.
So tough love it is. I’m almost 40 and Ashleigh will be 21 in February. I hope to all that is watching over her that she does figure out a thing or two. I do miss her. But I miss her in the ways of what a mother/child relationship should be. Not what it is/has been. I need her to want me for the right purposes. Not to use me for what I can be useful for. Or to escape from her problems. I love you Ashleigh. And that’s why I’m doing this. So you can learn that you need to do for yourself. And that you can’t treat me like I’m disposable. Like I’m trash. I need you to understand respect goes both ways. And if you can’t treat me with respect, I will not give you respect. It is earned. Not just understood that it’ll be given regardless. But I love you. And if you are pregnant, I already love the child within. But you are still a child who needs a lot of help. And I hope I can hear that you are getting it. Because I want to be a part of your life again. At the right time. Please, just know that you are a large part of my heart. As is Darrian, and Dad. I urge you to take care of yourself. And find help. And not those that will hurt you or take advantage of you. Because I can’t do it. You’re an adult legally, so, you have to learn to act like one. But I love you. More than I love myself.