Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ummm, Yeah, Life with a Teenage Boy......

As y'all know, I have a 14 year old teenage son.....ummm, yeah, that makes life interesting for sure. Why do teenagers have to be so challenging? My poor son, K, is in many ways the typical teenager, but in many ways, he is not. He is a deeply traumatized young man with serious trust issues and no self esteem at all. I know that part of this comes from being the child of a nasty, nasty divorce that was very ugly. While I am not solely responsible for this, I know I played and still play a part in the way things happened. K and I argued, as usual, a great deal today. 

It seems that no matter what I do or say will ever be good enough for him and that he will never believe me no matter what I say. He thinks and says on a regular basis that I should just get rid of him. K thinks and tells me frequently that I do not love him or want him, and to go ahead and get rid of him if he causes me that much stress and worry. Today's argument was a doozy. He told me that he fears of becoming just like either one of his parents. And believe me, the view he has of me and his dad are less than pretty. He fears thinking just like either one of us. K has sadly reached a point that if the courts forced him to choose who he had to live with, he would choose neither one of us.  He talks of suicide every so often and seems to think that I the only reason I would ever miss him if something happened to him and he were no longer around would be because of the free labor he provides. This is complete and total bullshit, but no matter how hard I argue or what I say, he will not change his view on this. Why does he not realize just how much I love him? He hears I love you at least 2 or 3 times I day from me, and I try to show him how much he means to me, but I know I don't always succeed. Am I really that bad at parenting that my children feel unloved and like an unwanted burden? 

I know that K sees how hard I fight to make sure he is taken care of, especially when it comes to the boys' dad. Their dad is less than willing to take care of his sons financially and I had to literally force him thru the courts and the state to pay child support on a regular and consistent basis. I had to get his paychecks garnished in order to make him take care of his sons. Would someone please tell me why this was wrong? K seems to think it was wrong and that the only reason I keep him and his brother is to keep taking money from their dad. This of course being what they hear from their dad and his wife all the damn time. As if I only cared about the money and not the boys. It is not so much the money I care about... I do care about it, but only in that he takes care of the boys as they deserve and need. I do not understand why this is wrong and how someone can be that way about their children. 

I have no idea how to handle or deal with the great amounts of negativity and resentment K holds bottled up inside him. I have thought of counseling, but he is not too fond of counselors and does not trust them. This 14 year boy holds enough anger and resentment inside him to power a city. How do I go about defusing all this before it turns into hatred and total apathy? I worry so much about him and I have no idea what to do. I feel completely helpless and incompetent.... I really don't like feeling that way about my sons. I do my best to spend what free time I can with the boys, but this is not always a possibility, but I do try. Will I ever be enough of a parent or the parent the boys need? Will my sons ever grow up to be decent men? 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reliving the Past and Hoping For a Better Future

Life is a mystery to me.... It is scary, fun, treacherous, wild, sentimental, painful, joyful, happy, sad, and everything in between. Looking back on the life that I have had, I know I am very privileged to have such a wonderful family that loves me despite my rebellious ways that includes a polar opposite point of view on most political and social issues. To say I am the black (well red since I am a redhead) sheep that marches to a completely different drum is putting it mildly. 

My younger life, while rebellious and challenging (*snort* Somehow I think this is putting a sugar coating on that) was full of many family members and friends that did their best to guide me in the right direction... fat lot of good that did me.... As a young adult, I chose to do whatever the hell I wanted, and instead of listening to people that really did love me, I made the biggest mistake ever in my life..... I got married to a jerk that never loved me for who I was and only saw me as "I will settle for her til someone better comes along". Granted, I got two beautiful sons out of the fiasco that was supposed to be my marriage, but I wasted way too much time on a jerk that didn't deserve my love. I gave him my youth and best years, and that is what I regret. I don't regret the boys at all, but I do regret wasting all those years on the jerk. He never treated me with respect or love, and I was too young, stupid and naive to realize it. 

Of course if I hadn't wasted so much time on someone who didn't deserve me, I wouldn't be who and where I am today.... so that is the conundrum isn't it. I am mostly ok and partly comfortable with who I am today and I know I wouldn't be where I am now if it hadn't been for the fires I have been thru. I take the lessons I learned from that fiasco very seriously... almost too seriously maybe, since I refuse to allow myself to ever get involved in that kind of relationship again. You see, I have been thinking about this lately thanks to my dear friend Divorced Diva. She has a wonderful blog that chronicles the way her marriage fell apart and how she bounced back from it. To me, she is amazing.... her marriage ended as badly as mine did, but she bounced back so much faster and is able to date again. How is that possible? Her posts are really making me think on why haven't I been able to bounce back in a social way like that. I know everyone is different, but still, I wonder why. 

I am really questioning myself on why am I unwilling or unable to trust men again in the capacity of relationships and dating. I haven't completely figured out why yet. I do know that my ex really did a number on me psychologically, and he did it on purpose.... his ultimate goal was to destroy me in every way possible, emotionally, mentally and financially. He succeeded financially and came very very close on the other two.... there is nothing like being told repeatedly that the courts are going to order psych testing on me because I was unstable and an unfit mother that would have her children taken away forever. And this was because I had the audacity to be angry and cry over his affair and the way he went about letting me know about the other woman and that he was leaving. This was just one of the things that the jerk did to me... I do not know if I really want to go into all the horrid and gory details, but I wonder if it will help me? I do know that after everything my ex did to me and everything he continues to do to this day, almost 4 years after the divorce, that I am not willing to become involved.

I know that all the anger, rage, frustration, betrayal and everything else I felt in regards to the divorce and the jerk fueled my desire to make something of myself.... I tell you, the one way to get me to do something and do it well is to tell me I am failure and that I will never amount to anything at all. I heard that repeatedly from the ex as divorce proceedings took place and for a long time after it was over. Even now he makes snide innuendos to the kids and others that I am still a failure and that I cannot survive on my own. I do not care what he says to others, but that kind of talk should never be said to the children involved, and yet, there he is, saying shit like that to our sons. He doesn't care that it is tearing them up, all he cares about is causing trouble for me. Maybe he is jealous of the successes I have accomplished without him, or maybe he is just a nasty, petty, childish jerk that has to hurt others to feel good about himself. Since I know the jerk and how he thinks and behaves, I am willing to bet that it is both of those as well as other things that are wrong in his head. It doesn't matter, except he keeps hurting the boys.

Anywoo, back on track here, I fueled all the rage and emotions into college and graduated Magna cum Laude with my AA in 5 semesters and with 3 scholarships to get me thru UCCS, the local four year university. Between the boys, classes, homework, jobs, and life in general, I had little time to really think and process everything that had happened. Maybe that is what I am starting to do now.... really process and deal with all the pent up emotions that revolved around the ex, his affair(s?), the divorce and the way he continues to behave in regards to our sons. I do know that it is very hard to heal when the wounds keep getting the scabs ripped off with the current actions of the ex and the female he was involved with and married within months of the divorce. Maybe once I fully work thru the morass of hurt and negativity regarding it all I will be ready to be more social. I also know that forgiving is important, but I am not sure I am in a place where I can do that yet. Every time I start making progress, bam! the ex does something truly heinous that amazes me with just how low he keeps sinking. When that happens, I lose a lot of ground that has been gained. 

I think that it is interesting that all this is starting to really bother me now. The end of March marks 4 years since the divorce.... why is this still bothering me? I am just as busy now as I was in the past 4 years, if anything, more so because UCCS is more challenging than the community college was. Why is the ultimate question, isn't it? The even bigger question is, how do I deal with it all in a constructive manner? Do I start blogging about it like my friend Divorced Diva? I don't know. I am not sure if I am willing to spread all that negativity around. There is so much hurt and anger still associated with the whole mess that I don't know if I want to put it out here... that stuff is pretty toxic and I really hate feeling like that toxic train-wreck friend that everyone has but avoids. I already feel that way with many of my friends, and I think I even lost a few Facebook friends because I seem to be toxic (maybe I was just too annoying for them, I don't know). All I know is that I seem to have already lost a few people that I genuinely like, and I am worried I will lose other friends. But then again, if they aren't willing to stick around thru the nasty stuff, are they really my friends in the first place? But the other side says why should they have to put up with a perpetual train-wreck?

Ultimately I have to do what I think is best for me. But what that is yet, I do not know. I know I will continue on with the way things are because I won't jeopardize my boys or my education. So however I deal with all this will have to take into consideration everything I do. This is going to be a really hard journey.... but as the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step...... and a flat tire, an overheated radiator, and a broken pair of heels. Altho I do admit that I would not be wearing heels, I would be wearing comfy sneakers.... I never ever wear heels. =)

I think this is enough for one post.... this is starting to wear on me and I don't know that I want to think anymore about this tonight.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week and that y'all stay warm and safe with the extreme weather happening this week. Those of y'all facing the storm have my prayers and thoughts for safety, warmth, and a quick end to the storm with as little damage as possible.

These babies are too precious and have to be shared, so I am sharing them here. Maybe they will help me realize how precious life is and encourage me to get a handle on my inner battles so that I can enjoy the preciousness of life.