Looking In From Outside

It was inevitable really. Once you start to back away from your child’s care, you get left behind really quickly. I didn’t want to end up here. Partly, it was because I was so ill and partly because that nagging voice that tells me “perhaps I am the problem” never really went away. After L made her choice at the meeting with the awful smirking nurse, as I left the room, I saw her face. A mixture of horror and shame at me shouting at them, tinged with disgust. I still see it now. And the voice “perhaps it’s you” just got louder and louder. I stupidly thought that if I backed away, she might miss me. But she didn’t.

Now, our house is the hardest place for her to eat and has been ruled out of bounds following her formal review which took place today. I wasn’t invited and wasn’t there, having said her father should take this role. I would have been there in a shot if she’d asked, actually, if anyone had asked. I awkwardly tried to tell her that I wanted to be involved if she wanted me to and she smiled and said she knew. But nothing else.

And so the review went ahead without me. I asked for an update which was solely that my house was out of bounds for meals and snacks, so L and I could rebuild our relationship. In the hour or so between snacks or meal on alternate Fridays presumably. Even a divorced parent would get more time. I text L and after a few texts end up apologising for texting her. She replies with a cheery Love you, don’t worry, but any suggestion I go and see her, is sidestepped.

Because I need to get well, you see. But the problem is, my heart is breaking into pieces at this final loss of my daughter. I cry till my face is sore and I can’t breathe and then I cry some more. I so, so want to believe that this is for the best, and she will get well one day because then I think living without her might be worth it. For now though, it just hurts so very much. But I have no one to blame but myself. I should have been stronger and I should have been better. She needed me and I let her down.

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4 responses to “Looking In From Outside

  1. Please believe that you couldn’t have been stronger and this is not your fault. The last few weeks don’t erase the last 17 or so years! You will find a new relationship with L. It is natural to grieve now but it is a temporary loss. She will come back to you and your relationship will be stronger than ever. I was told this 20 months ago when I thought all was lost and I didn’t believe it. But it’s true – my daughter is well and we are good friends. Don’t give up !

  2. You did not let her down. You did not let her down. You are not the problem – those of us who know you and care about you and your family know this to be true.

  3. You did NOT let down L. No way. And you couldn’t have been stronger or better. And you didn’t choose to be ill, any more than L did. But there are times when, despite our love for our daughter, we – their mother, who wants everything to be right – simply can’t make it all better. And that strains the relationship beyond comprehension.

    I’ve been there. But the relationship I now have with my daughter is stronger than ever. She has conquered her demons and achieved many of her goals. And she understands how a mother feels about her child. You and L will get to that place one day. Perhaps not for a while. And that does feel like an enormous loss and failure. But it isn’t. It is L being driven by her personal demon – Ed. You can’t help that and nor can L.

    Get well yourself. For yourself, and for L. And for J and K. And for C. You all deserve so much better from life. And you will get there. Onti is absolutely right in saying you are not the problem. I too know this to be true. You are grieving now. And that is a painful journey. But you get through it, just as you will recover. And somewhere in the future you and L will rebuild your relationship.

  4. Sweetheart, there is nothing you could have done that you have not done. Sadly, we mothers have no magic wand. Our children are autonomous human beings. We can give them chances and be there to support them but in the end they must make their own choices. Sometimes, like now with L, those will be bad choices and we have to bear looking on whilst they take time to realise that for themselves. You could not be doing more than you are. I am not surprised at your grief hurt and sadness. I sincerely hope that things look up soon and that you have a reason to be more optimistic. In the meantime, you have to concentrate on your own health. You have a life apart from Ed, even though it has been all consuming. I wish I could provide any answers. My heart breaks for you. Be gentle with yourself, Amy (aka Hope) xxx

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