For those that have been following me for a while, you’ll recall that my eldest daughter hates me. It’s an on-again-off-again thing, but this last time was in August (“my child divorced me...”). But as a mother, with Christmas gift-giving in mind, I sent her a Facebook message for gift ideas. This is what I got back:
“All I wanted was your love and acceptance and I can’t get that from you so I don’t want anything. You’ve caused me enough pain in my life.”
I don’t even know where to start. As the mother of a child with mental health needs, I did anything and everything to get her help …. I fought tooth and nail with our primary care physician to get a psych consult (she was FIVE YEARS OLD!!), got her into play therapy, drug therapy, enrolled her in pre-preschool, preschool, and gymnastics, advocated for her at her grade school and with her teachers …. I don’t know what else a mother has to do. OK, so her father and I divorced …. many parents divorce, but her father and I are still friendly and made decisions for the benefit of the children, even at our detriment. I moved down to Southern Illinois (from the NW Chicago suburbs) after I almost lost my mother — the children had to stay with their father in part because of my eldest daughter’s mental health issues. My parents had a working farm at the time, and I believed I was needed.
I am not a helicopter mom —- I don’t hover over my kids, worrying about every little thing (like my own mom does STILL). They are in their early-to-mid 20’s. It’s time for them to find their way in the world. I don’t judge their choices. It’s not my business that my eldest daughter is a server/bartender. She’s good at it. And if she wants to be a server for the rest of her life, I have no issue with that. Just be able to make a living. Have an apartment. Have a driver’s license and not bully people into giving you rides. Have health insurance. You know ….. BE AN ADULT. Not just SAY you’re an adult because you’re almost-25. Living at home with your dad, trashing his home, not paying your way, not helping with household chores, making life a living hell for your sister.
I’m keeping my distance. I will send the gifts I’ve already purchased. I’ll let her know I’m a phone call away if she needs anything. But being hated by your eldest child is hard on a regular day. Christmas is the time for family. Part of me is missing.