Of all the things I miss the most….

I really do miss my kids the most. 

Was talking to my other half last night.  About what the kids do not understand about me.
At this point in my life, I do not want to be critical of them.  I do not want to correct them.
I do not want any sort of confrontations over anything.  I have been at this point in my relationships with them for a long, long time now.  

Health plays into why I feel this way.  I’ve had a known heart condition since I was 43.  Obviously it didn’t just all of a sudden happen.  I’d been living with it almost my entire life.  
So, when I said I was tired I wasn’t tired like a normal person, I was tired like a person with a heart issue.  I do not have energy to criticize, manipulate, be demanding, point out someone’s faults.  In general if I like you we will have a friendship (or whatever applies).  If I do not like you, I will put up with your presence if I must.  But, if you are not a necessity in my life (say you do not sit on the same board of directors I do) then, if I do not like you, I simply do not have anything to do with you.  That simple.  There are no confrontations, no lies, no tears, no manipulations.  I just don’t call you or make any pretense of caring in the least. You were zapped out of my life, because frankly, I’m too tired for the negativity that you have a tendency to saddle onto other people.  This is in general, and pertains, not at all to my kids.  

A reason that a couple of the kids grew up, or grew older thinking I was stupid enough to not see how I was being lied to or manipulated. Is probably that I let way too much slide with no consequences.  When you have had a child “kidnapped” and kept from you for six years, and then are reunited after those years what it comes down to, is that you don’t know the kid anymore, and the kid doesn’t know you anymore.  Everything has to be rebuilt. 

From a parents point of view, mine at least, what that meant was holding my tongue about many things and letting many things happen under my watch that I did not like or want happening in my home.  This was because I did not want confrontation with my kid.  What might have been a normal child/parent spat could easily been turned into a kid running away from a situation where she was safe at least and getting in over her head out in the world. 

I did not want her boyfriends sleeping over.  I did not like that she kept a knife hidden in her boot.  I did not like it when she pulled a knife when a “boyfriend” and were fighting.  I did not like her foul language, nor her lack of participation within the family.  She sat in her room a lot.  She helped some.  But, mostly she was detached, arrogant, very opinionated.  She forgot who the top dog of the house was, and it was not her.  I never said any of this to her. 
I never wanted the relationship to run afoul.  I had my kid back after six year of hell not knowing where she was or if she was ok, hell, didn’t even know all the time if she was alive. 
It was one of the hardest times of my life.  Why would I want to judge her, make her feel bad about anything, or even try to correct her.  Because I could see the potential loss on the other side of the fence and I had no reason to want to go there.  

 Most kids lie, manipulate, and do other stuff at times.  The problem is that most the time same said kids outgrow it.   I really don’t give a damn what they do outside of my sight and hearing.  Natural consequences will eventually come heaping down upon a mean, angry, or manipulative person.  In one way or another one always pays the piper.  Karma can be a real bitch.

One of my kids, borrowed $600 from a friend.  Not even a boyfriend. Has made no attempt to pay it back.  I am fairly sure she has lost him as a friend.  As far as I could tell he was a better friend to her than her boyfriend was.  I talked to her gently, suggested even if she paid a little bit consistently every so often, it would be better than nothing.  I don’t think she has any intention of it.  It is hard to see this and realize that children I raised have no real sense of ethics or even common decency.  That was a huge loan for a 19/20 year old to make. He deserved much better treatment than he got from her.  Even a thank you card would have showed some class!!!

All I really want to do is love them.  I don’t want to see, and I do not want to know.  They are all adults now.  I’ve done my best.  The best thing I could do for myself at this point is to move far, far, far away.  The point is I am not sure I like my kids enough to even have a mother/kid relationship with them anymore.  It all is incredibly painful. Family can be who we choose it to be.  Two of them have divorced me.  I probably should just divorce them all.  We are not compatible in the least. I don’t want any of them taking care of me in my old age.  I want loving people around me who are supportive.  I don’t want any strings attached like–if I do something immoral or unethical, mom, you have to look away and never say a word to anyone, EVER.  That is the unspoken command. 

So, I am making it really clear, within my purview, I just do not want to see it or hear it.  All I want from my kids is to love them, and for them to love me.  I don’t think that I could really be anymore clear.  

My youngest can’t keep her space clean to save her life.  It gets dangerous, in my view.  She’s at home again.  I told her the other day, I’d give her back her bedroom if she could keep her space clean.  Not that I am expecting a whole lot, but better than it is.  As it stands she is now living in an old RV that we bought to refurbish for us, the parents–for alone time.  

This old RV has had the floors replaced, linoleum and carpet put down.  New bed.  New curtains that I made myself.  Customized for he and I.  Packed with stuff for the family.  There is no room for our stuff in there anymore.  She doesn’t like my curtains.  But, she won’t keep it clean either.  We have had this discussion many times over the years, and over the years its generally the same excuse, “I’m just so busy, I have no time…”   It’s not her property, and she has no time. I want to love her unconditionally – but she’s not keeping my space clean.  Not to mention the fact that she doesn’t do much around here.  She was told to have a dog here she’d have to help maintain the yard—meaning help with crap duty.  I’ve told her it was “her turn” once….and she’s done it once.  The kids take what they want.  They don’t seem to understand that they are using other people’s private energies and resources.  And no, parents were not put on Earth to use and abuse.  And then toss away when child disapproves of a parents challenged opinions about them.   Especially when the opinions are about choices that they made within the sight of their parents, or on their parents property, or with their parents property.  

My son has actually entered upon a civilized state in his life.  It still kind of cracks me up when he thinks that I am so stupid that he will pay me back a few bucks he owes me and then ask me to run to the store and get him a mop with my money like he’s doing me some big favor.  I can laugh about it because he’s had so many issues, been down a hard road, suffers with mental illness, and a developmental delay.  He’s done all the drugs on Earth I think.  Basically over dosed his mother – purposely.  Tried to overdose his little sister.  He’s been to jail a few times.  Other half and I were “missing” for a few days.  He grabbed the keys to the jeep and asked a friend with a license to drive it to help search for us.  Friend abused said Jeep which was a major love of other half’s life.  Totaled out the Jeep. $1800 later, it was still not fixed and usable.  Said Jeep is gone.  Other half will probably never forgive or forget.  But, his stance has softened some.  My son hasn’t done a lot that I’m proud of.  But, as other half has seen, he’s done a 180, and I feel that perhaps love can overcome all.  Time of course will tell.  But, of the four, these two above mentioned kids (2 of 4) hold the most promise.  They are the (youngest &) kindest kids that I have.  That is not saying much, I know.  

Back to the missing part…. for a moment:  Friend who tore up the Jeep tried to convince son that his parents were indeed dead and that he needed to just get over it already.  Oh by the way, open up the gun safe.  I want those guns.  See for some reason, even the kids’ friends think they can walk all over us.  

And that is not to say that the kids don’t try to over run each other.  During the “missing” episode, son tried to maneuver a friend in to ‘rent’ –basically take over the house payments in order to guarantee himself a roof over his head.  Which left one minor child out in the cold.  Oldest decided, I guess, that they would both stay in the house and pay her rent.  Which I find incredible considering we’d never talked about what us parents wanted done in the house in more recent times at least.  She’d been diagnosed with MS.  It had been decided she’d have no responsibility for ANYTHING once we were gone.  Nothing.  Apparently she tried to convince the younger siblings that she was the only heir to the other half (the only “LEGAL” heir)–as I understand it. She got everything.  Ho ho ho.  She gets nothing at this point.  Neither of the two oldest get anything more than a dollar, so that we can acknowledge their legal presence and acknowledge no premise of a gift or legacy.  When you are treated like shit, you have a tendency to want to give your stuff to a non-profit who will sell it and do some good with the money.   Current plan.  

The two oldest, just think, I guess that they think they are pretty smart.  I of course, never had a clue that when I asked them to clean the bathroom for me that they did not.  They stuffed a bunch of stuff and called it clean.  I said, “Thank you” anyway.  I just want to love them.  One of them manipulated us (by lying to us) into letting a boyfriend stay for a bit.  Turned out he was a registered sex offender and he was around my two minor children.  Said child has no clue how lucky she is that we even had a thing to do with her after that.  For her to tell me that I should cut my son loose was not only hard nosed, and hard hearted, it was severely hypocritical.  We all make mistakes.  None of us, if we are humans, living on Earth — are angels. 

All I want is to love them, and for them to love me.  I and their (adoptive) father have over looked a lot over the years.  A lot of hurt gets caused by a mouth that is so loose with anger and condemnation.  Lack of respect.. Under normal circumstances it’s all good as long as they get what they want.  There are no discussions about anything–they demand, we are to fall in with the request.  I’m sorry that is just not how families work.  Discussion is the main format for getting what one wants.  But the discussion has to be calm, respectful, non-threatening, non-manipulative to the best of your humanly ability.    At least one of my children is not capable of that, not with me at least. 

Last communication from her basically said: “watch what you say, or I’ll cut you off forever.”
The truth is, that I told her the truth, and she called me a liar and then cut me off.  That was no threat she threw at me.  It was a promise.  A foreshadowing of what her intended next behavior was going to be.  It did not matter what I would have said.  I could have said, “I love you” and she would have still cut me off.  Over the years, I have told many people that she is cold, calculating and cut throat.  I meant every word. People have known for years that I was scared of her.  She did not know it.  But, that does not mean it wasn’t the truth.  She is a person that I NEVER want to have a face to face confrontation with.  I consider her a physical danger to myself and anyone else she is angry with.  It does not help that at age 15/16 the kid came up behind me and hit me in the middle of the back as hard as she could.  She literally knocked the breath out of me.  I never understood why. It has never been explained.  She was definitely old enough, whatever her age to know better.  I pretty much ignored it.  But that doesn’t mean I did not feel it, and that there were no consequences.  The consequences have been alive and well all these years.  I have watched my tongue.  I have worked over time to not say a word that went against hers.  I avoided any sort of confrontation like the plague.  She bought books for my youngest about Wicca.  Did I approve?  No, not in the least.  I took them quietly and put them away.  Recently they were disposed of.  I never, EVER gave them to youngest, nor did I speak of them to her.  Life is confusing enough—she didn’t need to study witchcraft. 

I have watched them all grow up.  Have been greatly disappointed actually.  When is it ever ok to tell a child that they can abuse their biological parent, but not another adult in the family?  It is only ok when you really want to stir the pot, poison the well…the goal I guess, create more havoc, keep people from seeing the truth by distracting them with other issues.  I don’t know, it’s all just a guess.  I have a child who could not tell the truth if she wanted to.  She takes a lot after a paternal grandmother.  I think she probably has an undiagnosed mental health issue.  Like her father, who does not believe there is a such thing as mental illness, she’d rather not see a therapist or psychologist because “I like who I am.”  Liking yourself can be an issue to treat or not treat, but it doesn’t have to be the reason for the therapy at all.  It can be totally 1000% beside the point.  But that this is how she cut me off-she did not want to hear about it. So, I shut up. 

How does one really like oneself when they know they are a liar?  When they know they can be violent?  When they must know how angry they really are?  When they know they manipulate other people to get what they want?  When they use people around them so much, that the people end up so angry that they are sorry they ever lent a hand at all to the kid?  When she lived with us, she agreed to pay her part of the electric bill.  She then ordered a lot of electronics.  A brand new laptop for one.  The amount of the electric bill went unpaid and she basically lived off our resources for free until she got a job.  When she did get a job after a few paychecks she was asked for some money.  She snapped at her father, “you’ll get it when I get it.”  The choices SHE made created the issue. But, he is the one that got his feelings hurt.  I will tell you, he does not forget.  He really doesn’t forgive.  And paying for gas money to get yourself to the job in your mom’s vehicle isn’t doing your mom or dad any favors.  It’s just what you are supposed to do.  None of what was done made the kid look any better in “daddy’s” eyes.  

And I live with this stuff.  I literally stuff the stuff.  Because all I ever wanted to do was love my kids.  I do not want to be negative.  I do not want to point out my misgivings and their bad points.   I want to be loving, supportive, a cheer leader of sorts.  Mom’s can be really good at that, and having come to that conclusion helped me to let go and let them grow up and leave without much contention. 

I am a really good person who has worked over time to treat others with kindness and generosity..  I have worked hard for a living, kept up with men.  Put blisters on my feet walking around a mall, keeping things spotless so that I could hold the job and feed my kids, pay the rent, put gas in the car so that I could go out and do it all again the next day.  I’ve held up to three jobs at a time.  I did this all with a heart condition.  I ran all over myself for those kids because I loved them and wanted to do my best for them.  

As a child I was abused and walked all over by my father.

As a young married woman I was abused and walked all over by my first husband and then a “boyfriend” after that.  Not that in reality, I actually considered him a boyfriend very long. He gave the kids the example of being very manipulative, a liar, and so on.  I could not get rid of him soon enough, but he held on and continued to try to manipulate the situation to stay.  It became a grand power struggle.   

Now, my kids have watched all the examples and have decided that I can tow the line with them.  The message I get from them is that they get  do as they please, including to lie, and manipulate and all I have to do is look away. 

Really? That is what I want to do!  But ethically, I can not when ANY child is involved. My kids know this by heart.

I have to let them create a whole new pig sty on my property, if I say a word, they will leave because I am the one who mean.  Sneak out in the middle of the night in tears as if they were the victim.  When all I did was ask said kid to clean up her room.  She was 18/19 at the time.  Rephrase: I’ve been asking you for years to keep your space clean.  You are old enough to do this.  Your room is a fire hazard and is not safe (literally)–not to mention it would draw in rodents.  Clean it or get out.   That was the reality.  She actually choose to leave, in tears, the victim.   Really??!!  

The price I pay is that the kids think they have the power to cut me off, and I will fall to.  What they do not know is that mom has a limit.  The hurt has been great enough, that someday, when all ducks are in a row, they will no longer have to give mom or dad so much as a thought.  They will have no address, no phone number, no clue.  And mom will be so happy to not have to look away, or be disappointed, unloved, used, manipulated and lied to. (or lied about). Sounds like a pretty good trade off to me!

Fool me into letting a sex offender to stay in my home and expect absolutely no hard feelings or consequences?  

I have apologized for their terrible childhoods at least a thousand times over the years.  Each apology was totally sincere.  I really had no clue just how dysfunctional my family was.  In fact, I am still learning about how dysfunctional it was/is.  There really is nothing more for me to do for them.  

Said kids have no right to complain about a damn thing.  They have been loved, supported, and cheered on.  Seems to me they need to look and see just who the real cunts are.  

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 57 years old with four kids who are all grown up (& all have flown the coop). In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteered at many different non-profits. Former President, Secretary, and Director at Large on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society for 10+ years, and former Secretary at the Cloverdale Historical Society (Sonoma County) for nearly 10 years. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks! Another goal of this website is to disseminate a message (i.e. education) about domestic violence, child abuse, and all forms of sexual abuse to society at large. The message comes from real experience from the whole spectrum of the violence from sexual abuse by a perpetrator to sexual abuse perpetrated by a husband, to the abuse of children within the family. Peggy has seen it, lived it, and been hurt by it. There will on occasion be details that might be hard for some people to read, and a warning is usually posted at the beginning of the essay so that those who want to turn and not read may do so. The only way to teach and to let others learn what to avoid is to SHARE what happened with every detail necessary to make the point. Thank you.
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