This is a photograph of my oldest son and daughter, Anthony and Eileen. I think Anthony was about four here and Eileen almost two. I look at this and my heart melts and tears come to my eyes. I love all my children so very, very much. Poor Anthony with his bowl haircut. I didn't have money to take him to a Barber, so I used to cut his hair myself. Same with Eileen. We were as poor as church mice . . . .
Eileen is developmentally disabled, but has achieved far more in her life than I could ever have hoped her to. When they first told us she had developmental problems, I had no idea how this would impact her life in the long term. You always fear the worst scenario, but with strength and determination, she has forged a life in this world that is remarkable and she has done remarkable things. I am so proud of her. We talk every day on the Messenger. Every day. I am so grateful that she takes this time for me and that we are so close. It means the world to me that she makes the effort. I know she doesn't have a family to care for, or full time work, so it is perhaps easier for her to do so than the others, but I am really pleased that she wants to talk to me and to share with me.
Yesterday when we were talking, her MIL came into Tim Hortons where she was. Before I knew it I could tell Eileen was upset. Eileen had said to her MIL that she was talking to me and her MIL had said to her . . . "Don't listen to the Mormon stuff." Like she was warning her about me, suggesting that I would say or do something to harm my daughter, to make her uncomfortable, to cause a disruption in her life.
I do not understand and cannot comprehend
the need for divorced and divorcing
people to vilify one parent
I was a good mother. I was always there for my children, and I was often the only one who was there for them. This is a fact. My ex-husband was in the Military and his career was very important to him, so much so that it came first. You don't get to be a Chief Warrant Officer without putting your career very high on the totem pole of things that matter in your life. He was away A LOT. He was away more than he was home. He volunteered for everything and was sent to do everything. He never said no to anything work related. I supported him in all his endeavors and I kept a good home. I went along with everything he wanted to do, to accomplish, etc. I loved my family dearly and I took good care of them and of the home when he was away. I was mom and dad and everything during those times. I have always loved my children and I always put them and our home first, and then PTSD happened and things went all pear shaped. It was very, very complicated. Things got really bad for about a year . . . a year that he spent in trying to stay away from me and our home as much as he could. Things broke. We broke. Everything came tumbling down. We split up. I left the family home, and the family, because I mistakingly believed that I was doing the best thing for them. I didn't want them to lose their home or for anything to dramatically change for them. I thought that by me moving out the only thing that would change for them would be that I would be living a little bit further down the road. I did not know I had alternatives, or other choices. To put it kindly, we were all manipulated into doing things we otherwise might not have done were we in our right minds.
And ever since I have been fighting
to prove that I am a good person
and that I love my
The truth is (and I learned this the hard way) that you can be a good person and do all the right things for all of your life, but if you make one mistake, that is what you will be remembered for, and vilified for . . . for the remainder of your life. This is enough to make people who are supposed to have loved you, turn against you. Forever.
I have never said anything against their father to the children. This didn't mean that he didn't or hadn't made mistakes or done anything wrong. It only meant that it wasn't anything to do with them. I have always maintained that all my children ever needed to know was that they had two parents who loved them dearly. End of story.
I am a Mormon,
that doesn't make me a bad person.
I live my faith every day of my life.
I will not apologise for
Nor, should I have to.
I love my children, all of them. I would never do anything to harm them. I respect their right to believe or not to believe. To worship God according to what they choose to believe, or not to worship God. It is their choice and up to them what they do, and I would never try to influence them either way. If they believe at all, it is because I brought them up prayerfully. Took them to church and Sunday school, tried to teach them as children to love God and Jesus Christ. They are adults now. It is their choice. Believing, not believing, however they want to believe . . . it has always been their choice.
I hate that I am vilified to them because of my life choices, or that anyone, ANYONE . . . tries to demean me, or my beliefs to them, or to use my status as a Latter Day Saint to somehow make me worth LESS in their eyes.
I am their mother. I gave them life.
I cared for them when
they were small
I care for them now.
I will always care for them
and have their best interests at heart.
To suggest anything different is just . . . wrong. And it breaks my heart.
Thanks for listening. I try always to keep it real on here. I am sad today, but I will get over this as I get over everything. To some this might seem a small insignificant thing . . . but to me it is another arrow driven in an already deeply wounded relationship, and it hurts. My daughter stands up for me and that makes me happy . . . but like the good Shepherd who always worries about and mourns the sheep that have strayed away from the fold, I am a mother who will always mourn the children who have shut their hearts to me . . . I cannot help it . . . but I will not spend the rest of my life apologising for who I am and for what I have chosen to believe. Or being made to feel like I am a bad person, or less of a human being simply because I choose to walk a different path.
In The English Kitchen today . . . Garden Tomb Cookies.
Have a lovely Wednesday. Don't forget . . .
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And I do too.