Friday, December 23, 2011

Perfect or honest?

I don't have a perfect relationship with my children. Its hard to have a perfect relationship with anyone when you live with a mental illness (PTSD and Acute Anxiety Disorder) is there really such a thing as a perfect relationship anyway? But I know unequivocally that I have an honest one with my children. For me that is far more important then "perfect".

One thing that I have told Laura and Nathan (and will do for Aston) is that if they ever find themselves in a situation where they or a friend need help - be it because of anything - drug, alcohol, sex, anything - and they need an adult, that they come to me, and we will work it out together. No judgement, just support, and hopefully resolution.

Laura has come to me several times. The latest this week. I got a phone call from her on Sunday. A friend that she works with had done a pregnancy test, and it was positive. This young woman, K, has only recently turned 17. She was afraid, and feeling very very lonely. I asked her about her own mother. This was a definite no go zone. Her mother goes through her things, recently found tampons, and wanted to know what sleazy people K had been hanging around! K was adamant that if her mother found out that she was pregnant she would get kicked out of home.

As the week progressed, and I took her to the doctors, held her hand and told her to breathe while she had blood tests and ultrasounds, my heart became sadder and sadder. We spoke a lot. She talked about her relationship with her mother. I talked about what was going on with her body, and how important it was to know and understand her body. I talked about taking care of herself, of making sure she doesn't find herself in this position again, about what her options were. I talked about actions and consequences.

I was very careful not to be derogorative about her mother in anyway, saying instead that I know without a doubt that her mother loves her, that being a parent is hard, and her parenting choices will no doubt have been informed by how she was parented growing up. Inside I was wondering why she had created a relationship with her daughter that was based on fear, and lies.

There are people (as I'm sure there will be people who read this) that think I should not have gotten involved. That it was none of my business. And that is true, it is none of my business. But having been a young woman who felt unheard, unseen and afraid, I refuse to let anyone go through something so definitive alone if I am able to be beside them. It cost me nothing, and I am hopeful that K has learnt a lot from the experience. I know I have.

I'm thankful that I have an honest relationship with my children. They know - no matter what - that they can come to me and that I will love them unconditionally. Its not perfect... But its honest.

(The universe intervened, and K miscarried. Regardless of how or what the outcome, at least she wasn't alone.)


  1. Perfect doesn't exist. Honest is so important and you've done so well to achieve it. I hope I will, too (my children are still young, so it's too early to say), but it will be hard work. I know because of my relationship with my own parents. They loved me and they did their best and it wasn't enough to create an honest relationship.

    It's so great to hear that you've helped K and that she had someone to talk to. It is a decision that she will have to live with for the rest of her life, either way, and it is so wrong to take these decisions pushed by emotions because we feel unheard, unseen and afraid.

  2. I agree, no perfect relationships because they consist of imperfect people!

    I think you did the right thing in being there for K. Having been in her situation at that same age, and being scared to death of telling my own parents, I understand what she was going through. I am sure she appreciated your support.

    A miscarriage is sad, even in an unplanned pregnancy. Thankfully, that's where my story differs from K's. My son is now 22, and I couldn't imagine life without him.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! x

  3. Wow. Maybe it technically wasn't any of your business but I am positive that K is very grateful that you stepped on a plate and provided a friendly ear and someone she can lean on. It breaks my heart to hear about Mothers & Daughters that struggle to connect - mainly because I have such a great relationship with my own Mum, and it's something I really want to create with my own daughter. I think what you did was wonderful and it probably means more to K than you'll ever know.

  4. I have the same focus with my kids (although they are not yet old enough to need it as much) - i work at it now to establish a clear policy that they can come to me with anything and be honest and they will never be judged or lose my love.

    I would have done the same thing as you if she did not want you to speak to her parents and help them understand - thank god she was not alone.

  5. I agree, perfect doesn't exist. My kids are only young but I truly hope one day they feel they can come to me with any sort of problem, like your kids can with you. I had the sort of relationship with my Mum that your daughter's friend has with hers and now that I have a daughter of my own it kills me to think she'd never feel able to talk to me about anything. Great post.


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