I eagerly awaited Carter’s stability for a long, long time.

I didn’t romanticize it; didn’t expect to shit rainbows or to find money raining in through the chimney. I accepted a long time ago that life with Carter is going to be difficult, even at its best.

No, I wasn’t full of overly-sunny expectations, but I never could have anticipated how completely I would fall apart. Really, I’m at the emotional place where I’m damn proud of myself on any day when I manage to brush my teeth and refrain from watching more than ten hours of TV.

I have not left the blogging world forever, but these days I can’t write (or even think) about anything or anyone but Jacob and Abbie and their absence. The pain is overwhelming and I can’t see over it.

My eyes are swollen and my face is tired. I don’t know how to live with this drum-beat at the back of my head that says, “My children don’t want me. My children don’t want me. My children don’t want me…”

On and on it goes, starting at guilt then cycling through shame, fear, anger, pain, loneliness, and back to guilt. Regret is just this terrible, poisonous horror that won’t leave me alone. In moments when my guard is down, I start to problem-solve, trying to find ways out of the pain, ways to fix everything and make it better. Then I remember there isn’t a way out; there’s nothing to do but keep letting my kids know that I’m here and I love them.

And me? I have to learn to live with this. My identity has to, somehow, include, “mother who did not finish raising her children,” and “mother whose kids don’t want to talk to her.”

I will learn to live with their absence. I will, because Carter and Brian want me around and that will keep me going until I can see the sun again.

In the meantime, please don’t forget about me. I’ll be back. Somehow, I’ll find a way to climb down off this stupid cross.

Damn, I wish I still smoked.

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24 thoughts on “Anti-Romantic”

  1. Hon’ my heart hurts for you, I don’t know exactly how you feel so I can not say I do. But my mess is, well… its a mess. I fear that my ex will try to take my kids and he abused them, but he has money and attorneys, I don’t. When they are gone, it hurts so much.
    But, the one thing I can say is, from what I have read in your blog, you are a do’er and are a strong and you will get through this; things I have to tell myself to get out of the bed each morning too.


  2. Adrienne, we could never, ever forget about you. (Why do I hear a bad 80’s tune playing in my head now?… “Don’t you…”) In spite of our short attention spans, we bloggers are actually a patient lot and will wait for you as long as you need us to.

    Also? My heart breaks for you. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all better, but know there is naught to be done but endure. Damn.

    Know that we are thinking of and loving you, throughout it all.

    Even if you never write another post (and I know that you WILL) you are, and will always be my inspiration.

  3. I feel compelled to write something after spending hours laughing and crying over your blog. Beautiful writing that connects me to you right away.
    It will get better. Your kids are going to hug you someday (maybe even in the not-so-distant furture…) in that “Thank you for all that you did and didn’t do” sort of way some day.

  4. could it be that it is not YOU that your children cannot handle? Could it be that the constant needs of Carter were more than they could bear? Could it be that the only solution they could find with their childlike minds was to run away from the situation?
    I don’t have a carter but I do have a special needs child that has demanded the majority of my time for years. I do see my other children grow resentful and it is so difficult to find ways to help them understand.
    I don’t know all the ins and outs of your situation. However, I think there is a slight (at the very least) possibility that they aren’t running from you, that it isn’t you that is the problem. I think the situation is too difficult for them right now. Try to not take their rejection as a personal attack. My guess is they love you, they just can’t handle life as it is. So focus on you for a while. Since Carter is doing well, get to where you are doing well and things will be better.
    My heart breaks for you, really it does!

  5. I’m not sure I have anything useful to say this morning…I’m so drained right now, and frankly if my children didn’t need me to feed and clothe them I’d probably crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head for a couple of months. I don’t know how it feels to have my children live somewhere other than with me, but I know how much it slices and dices my heart when they get mad at me and tell me “I never want to see you again!” “I wish I had a different mother!” If the pain I feel then is only a small part of what you’re torturing yourself with, then my heart breaks for you Adrienne.

    I hope you are getting any medical and/or pharmaceutical assistance you can with this depression. Therapy? Excercise? All of that. And I know that those things won’t solve what you’re living through, but they will help.

    Thinking of you.

  6. My heart hurts for you,it really, really does. I’ve mentioned before that my Hubs & I are in the same situation with his two kids.

    Kids are like water, they always take the path of least resistance. I always have to remind myself that if my parents has been divorced, I would have done the same thing, fought to be with my dad, but my relationship with my mother is now strong.
    You can be sure that once the drama of hormones has calmed down and they are out on their own (not being influenced by their father) they WILL come back to you.
    I know that doesn’t make now any easier, but try to hold fast to the knowledge that now is not forever.

    We will wait for you, in the meantime open your soul to the strength we are all sending to you.

    Love & Martinis

  7. Adrienne – I’m so sorry you are going through this. Sometimes kids/teens need to break off from situations so that they can find their own voice and then they come back when they are able to cope. My thoughts are with you. Hugs, Meg

  8. My dear … we’ll be right here.

    Be where you need to be. Do what feeds you. And yell if you need help.

    And for the record?

    “…there’s nothing to do but keep letting my kids know that I’m here and I love them.”

    That’s not nothing. Not by a long shot.

    Breathe lots. You’re in my thoughts.


  9. I came back again to tell you that I think of you every day, and hope that, little by little, things are getting better.

    Sending love your way. And letting you know I will be here when you are ready to climb back out of the black hole.

  10. I have been missing you, my dear friend. But I am praying for you. You will come out of this hole…it will just take time. All the feelings have to be picked up and felt–over and over and over–before it will be ok to lay them down and let them just be.

    And until then?

    And even then?

    And after then?

    I am always here.

  11. Listen Lady… are not a mom that didn’t finish raising her children nor will you ever become that mom! Abbie and Jacob are teenagers! All teenagers hate their parents. Keep in mind the cycle….up to adolescence,
    we are great. The provider of hugs and kisses when they are sick or hurt. They listen to us, follow the direction we give them, candy may be involved as a bribe, but still they follow and take our word as truth. Then they are teenagers and suddenly all of that changes. All respect is lost, we become the most stupid and insensitive people in their lives. We can offer them the support and instruction they need but they reject it. If a peer offers the same support and instruction well you know…. Then something happens about our mid twenties or so and behold,our parents are looking pretty damn wise as we remember back to our teenage years. We find ourselves emailing, calling them asking their advice on the little things as well as some life changing decisions.
    I can bet Abbie and Jacob know just how much you love and adore them, support them and would do anything for them. Hang in there and I am willing to make a pretty heavy wager they will be coming to YOU in their early to mid twenties needing and wanting YOU in their lives. When they become parents themselves, I bet you will hear, I’m sorry mom for all the hurt I put you through when I was a teenager as they call YOU for comfort and support because their own teenager has rejected them.
    Blessings and love to you my friend…..

  12. I have been in your shoes.

    All I can tell you is keep loving them because eventually they will realize the sacrifices you made for them.

    And they will love you for it.

    I’ll be patiently waiting for you to come back.

    And doesn’t a smoke sometimes seem irresistible?

  13. Just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you and that I’m sending you love and strength. I hope you find a way to heal soon (I know you will). ((hugs))

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