Tuesday, March 10, 2009

X Processing

I just got back from my therapy appointment. She reassured me that I've been handling everything really well, and also gave me a fresh perspective for dealing with everything.

I also got a really nice card from Kori this weekend. She reminded me that I have given X every opportunity to be there for his kids, to be a part of their lives, and dammit, I have. I have bent over backwards to allow them to have a relationship, all the while maintaining the limits and boundaries necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.

As far as the future goes, visits will be completely off the table for some time. Again, we're not using the words "never" or "ever." But it's safe to say that in the foreseeable future, it is simply not safe for the girls to see their dad. The therapist advised that, with some gentle prodding from me, we should allow Sylvia to make the decision whether or not to talk to him if/when he re-surfaces, and I'll step in as necessary. Basically, to guide her in setting the limits for herself in recognizing what is in her best interests. Which, when you get right down to it, is what parenting is about.

I have questioned and doubted nearly every moment of the "talk" that we had last week, particularly as that talk has been like an earthquake, with seemingly endless aftershocks - some of them even bigger than the event. But I just keep reminding myself that it's a process. And as much as I've doubted and questioned, I remain convinced that it was the right thing to do, that I said the right things, and that we are on the right path. It helps that my therapist (an expert in child development) has validated that.

On Friday, I was having myself a full-on pity party, but I've moved beyond it. It is what it is, and I can only cry about how unfair it is so much. Now, I'm just trying to move forward, and remain calm.

Riley is a marvel. It's not that she doesn't have any feelings on the subject, she just has an ability to compartmentalize it and hold it until she has therapy on Friday. At the age of 8, she has more emotional maturity than me. I couldn't be happier, frankly.

Sylvia is where she needs to be. It's always been different for her. She still remembers, albeit vaguely, a time when we lived together. When we moved out here without him, she put him on a pedestal. She's come a long way - he's no longer on that pedestal. She can acknowledge that I did the right thing to leave him. I have always told her that it's okay for her to still love him. He's her father. And she is learning to accept him for all that he is. In some ways, I just hope she gets more selfish. That she learns to demand more of those that say they love her. I hope that, come her time to leave home, we're both confident that she will remain the loving, compassionate soul she is now that also cherishes herself too much to allow anyone to use her. That can maintain a healthy emotional balance.

We still have a long way to go. I really do think we'll get there.


Anonymous said...

Kori is right, you have done everything you can.

I actually think pity-parties are healthy as long as they aren't constant. I know mine really helped me to refocus my energy into something productive; it sounds like yours did, too.

Kori said...

I think you are ALL in the right place, I really do-it is where you need to be, and hey, you ARE a great mom doing the right thing.

Megkathleen said...

I'm new here, but it sounds to me like you've done more than enough. I imagine a lot of women out there in your situation would not be handling it nearly as well.

Lifeofkaylen said...

I am also new here, but I agree with the above comments.
Pity parties are important sometimes to have a good healthy cry and let your feelings out without letting them bog down your life.
And you seem to have a good mindset on the girls and their feelings.
It sounds like you are doing great!!! So many parents just don't make an effort to worry about feelings - be proud of your mothering skills cause it sounds like you are on track!!!

Meg said...

Raising two kids, raising two kids in LA, raising two kids on your own with a whacked out ex--you are doing great.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I've said it before.... you're doing an awesome job. Keep up the good work April. Your girls are lucky to have you for a mom.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

Daddy falling off his pedestal is a big thing. She is doing it sooner than most of us, but it sounds like you are doing the right stuff.

MindyMom said...

I agree with the first few comments too (the only ones I read). You have shown what a great mom you are and your kids are lucky to have YOU, dad or no dad.

jenn said...

I feel bad for your girls (and you of course). It's so much to have to deal with as a kid, but they'll be stronger for it. And they have a mom that is doing everything possible to help them get through it. That's what they'll remember.

won said...

Wow April, I am sorry for all the pain. I really am.

I too hope Sylvia gets selfish. It's not always a bad thing, as you know.

I hope that throughout this you are finding ways to care for yourself and nurture yourself. Just a few minutes here or there can make a difference, especially now that you are being asked to step up to the plate in more extraordinary ways.

Gentle thoughts for balance my friend.

Tara R. said...

I don't know how you stay so grounded through all this. I'm not sure I could be as compassionate as you've been. Your daughters will come through all this whole and healthy because of how you handled this complicated situation.

Shiona said...

You will get there. Even though the talk has aftershocks I think that is good. You guys are dealing with something that has to be dealt with. And handling it as well as any person could possibly expect you to. Like other commenters said the pity parties can actually help. Sending many hugs your way.