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Monday, August 29, 2011

The trials of single parenting

I wrote this post several weeks ago.  I've gone back and forth on whether to post it.,  Eventually I decided to share it because writing is what I do and many of my friends aren't people that I can just go across the street and knock on her door (you know who you are).  Most of you have known Kelsey, in one way or another, since she was a teeny-weeny little baby.  That's what decided me.  I need you.


I never envisioned being a single parent.  I suppose I should consider myself lucky that it's only parenting single, not financially single.  Still, it begs the question that's been circling my mind, how the hell do you single working mom's do it?  How do you get through the day with enough left for your kids?  With enough left for yourself?  Not like you can think much about yourself because by the time you actually have time to do that, all you want to do is hit the pillow.  Or that's all I want to do.

"When it rains, it pours."

That saying seems to have always applied to my life in some aspect.  Not one thing can go wrong at a time.  No, I'm not that lucky.  It's always multiple things at once.  At this point, I would be thrilled with "bad things come in threes".  Yeah, that train has left the station.  I think it's in Maine right now.  I ask myself if I'm cursed.  I ask myself if I'm just that unlucky.  I ask myself why the fuck I can't get a break.  Do I make these things happen?  I'm clear on the last answer to that.  It's hell fucking no. 

I'm going to tell you a story about a nine year old girl name Kelsey.  Many of you know and love her.  I would die for her.  Though maybe in this particular story I shouldn't use the word die.

Things had been going swimmingly as well as could be considering the circumstances.  Kelsey was acting out more than usual, but that was to be expected.  What was unexpected was her regression to the behavior she began showing around age 4.  The hair pulling (pulling her own hair out of her head).  The rages (not temper tantrums) that can last up to an hour.  The hitting of herself with her own hand.  The scratches she would inflict on herself.  When that behavior started showing again, I was alarmed.  Reasonably so.  Kelsey is a 9 year old girl that, while somewhat explosive, knows how to expressive her feelings in a more appropriate manner.  She also knows that those behaviors do nothing for her.  Back into counseling for her.  I am hyper-vigilant about both my kids behavior, especially at this time in our lives. 

On Sunday I got a little nuclear bomb dropped on me when I found out that Kelsey said she didn't want to live.  As in she wanted to die.  As in she wanted to kill herself.  A nine year old girl.  My nine year old baby thought her life was so bad for one moment in time that she didn't want to be there anymore.  I fucking freaked.  Put that in with her recent behavior and I damn well took it seriously.  I never imagined that I would be going through either of my kids rooms taking out pencils, scissors, anything sharp, belts, headphones, anything heavy, etc.  I cried while I was doing it and she cried watching me.  All that while I kept having to tell her that I wasn't mad.  It's my job to protect her.  It's my job to make sure she's safe.  I had to tell her that over and over again.  She wasn't in trouble. 

Forget the drink, after that I needed to check myself into the psych ward.

It's been touch and go since then.  We've been to see her counselor and psychiatrist.  The counselor really got her to open up which was great.  What might be one of the worst moments of my life was when the counselor asked, "Kelsey, have you felt like you haven't wanted to be alive before?" and she whispered in this tiny little un-Kelsey like voice, "Yes." 

Which leads me to the conclusion.  I'm a fucking failure.  Or maybe I feel like a failure.  All I know is that my nine year old daughter is having thoughts and feelings that no girl (or boy) her age should.  So where have I gone wrong?  What have I done?  What haven't I done? 


Shannon said...

Oh honey I am so, so sorry. I don't know what to say or do except send hugs and prayers your way for all of you.

Lori said...

Casee, I'm so sorry. There's nothing worse than when your kids are unhappy, and it's so much worse when you don't know what to do to help.

You are doing the right thing, getting counseling for her and letting her know how much she's loved.

I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.