vendredi, février 08, 2013

Through the desert

A few days ago, I did the inconceivable.

I asked my seventeen-year-old daughter to move in with her father.

Actually, the verb "to ask" is probably stretching it.

Infuriated by her behavior towards me, I told her I was bringing her clothes down to her father's house.

Those of you who are friends of mine, who have walked this long, often barren, sometimes heartbreaking road alongside me (no one else can walk it with me), will know that, as hasty as this choice appears, it was actually the product of years of agony.

I have been in darkness for a long time -- looking back and wondering if anything I have done has mattered in the least.

The conferences at the six or seven schools she has attended since kindergarten.

The trips to therapists.

The conferences with her father and child guidance experts.

Right now, I don't know how to be her mother.

 A mother is supposed to protect, to rejoice, to discipline, and to teach, as well as to love. I could do none of those but love -- and because of the constant friction between us, to be brutally honest, I often questioned my ability to love her.

A survivor of a family suicide, I fought with every fiber of my being to prevent this from happening. But the choice just ratified what was there already.

I'm also aware that there will be facile, quick judgments -- that I will be seen as  parental failure.

All I want to say is -- walk in my shoes, or anybody else's shoes, before you condemn them.

Tonight I am grieving -- a grief beyond tears.

Is my daughter lost to me forever? Am I lost to her?

There is no answer, at least not now, that I can embrace.

And this is just the beginning.

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