I have been struggling for the last week. It’s become even more of a struggle because I am aware that others are judging me, based on the current situation only.
They do not know or understand how long this relationship has caused me pain, suffering and anguish.
They do not know how it feels to know that no matter how much I gave and gave and gave, it was never acknowledged… nor was it ever enough.
They do not know what it was like to be used for things. It was ok to want the world from me, but my words, thoughts, opinions, feelings never mattered. In fact, I learned a long time ago that the best rule for dealing with this relationship was to shut up and put up.
They do not know the grief, hurt and disappointment I felt nearly every single time I drove away after interacting with this person.
This person had the ability to deeply wound me from the time she was three years old and I was in my mid-twenties. Even then, when I tried to be a positive influence on her, to correct her and teach her how to interact with adults in a way that was respectful, I was told to mind my own business. “All kids behave that way, wait till you have kids of your own” was the message I was to hear over and over again.
Of course now I do have children of my own, and I teach them the same lessons I tried to teach her. Since they’re my own kids, my lessons aren’t ignored. I wouldn’t stand for it! In my close-minded little world, there’s just a certain way that people should treat one another. It’s not OK to refer to a teacher as an asshole because he fails you for not showing up to class. It’s not OK to take the easy way out because you’re lazy.
I’ve recently made the painful decision to step back from this relationship. It’s been fairly easy to do because she’ll walk out my parents’ front door when I come in the back door. I haven’t seen her or spoken to her in months, aside from sending her a text and an empty card on her birthday. I’m sure the lack of cash bothered her more than anything else.
This 19-year-old child now has a child of her own. I long to hold that baby, to love her and be kind to her, and to teach her all the things I think she won’t learn at home. But I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ve learned it well. It’s simply not OK for me to try to teach anyone else’s child things that I feel are important… at least that’s the lesson that was crammed down my throat.
I can’t help but wonder, if I died tomorrow, would she miss me? Would she take the lessons I’ve tried to teach her, and teach them to her own child? Somehow I don’t think that would be the case at all.