I’m feeling out of sorts. Part of it is the medicine. Part of it is my stuffy nose. Part of it is MY LIFE.
Things were really unusual this week. First there was the surgery and all of those fears and emotions that came along with that. Then there was the whole “end of the world” thing. I wasn’t buying it, but if you were on Facebook at all, you know that it wasn’t easy to ignore.
On Friday, there was a rumor around my son’s high school that there was going to be a shooting. I assumed, as administrators insisted, that it was a hoax, but I sent my son to school with fear. He insisted on going because they were going to announce the cuts for the soccer team. He even joked that he just had to survive until his 6th period class when the announcements would be made.
That’s what we do in our family. We joke about our fears. We joke about our sorrows. But there is something wrong with sending your son to school and telling him, “Please do not try to be a hero. Just come home to me. I need you here.”
It turned out to be a hoax. Either that or it was a plan by one of the 50% of students that stayed home from school that day.
The holiday weekend began and my pain started to increase. And that really sucked. It didn’t fit into my plans at all. Normally, the kids and I have plans. We see movies. We bake cookies. We celebrate our freedom from homework. It’s different. A change.
And we all know how I feel about change. OUT OF SORTS.
Then The Ex called with his cash request. And he continued to call and text this morning, although I stuck to my guns and continued to ignore him. You know what this does to me, though. I have this ongoing internal conflict. I understand addiction and enabling. I know what the right thing is to do.
Then my youngest son received a call that a friend’s father was killed in a car accident last night. That strikes pretty close to home. His friend had spent the night with us last night, and they decided that they wanted to buy her a gift to cheer her up. They chose a beautiful silver heart pendant that says “The Heart Remembers.” It was touching.
You know what this did to me, right? Thoughts about the frailty of life. How short it is. This poor girl and her sister lost their father just a few short days before Christmas. Just a short time ago, 20 young children lost their lives in a pointless shooting.
It’s the season of giving. A time to look out for each other. And yet there is all of this tragedy.
Guess where that leads my enabling-trained mind.
I’m here in the season of family and giving and joy, and I am not giving to someone who was once a major part of my family. I ran out and bought a necklace for a girl who was hurting, but I’m not putting myself out there for my boys’ father.
Don’t worry. I’m not caving. Tough love all the way. Rah rah rah!
The thing about tough love is that its TOUGH. It makes me feel like a bad person, even if every textbook tells me that I’m doing the right thing. The reason that people like me enable is because someone we are close to is hurting and we feel responsible. Not necessarily responsible for their hurting, like being the cause of it. (Although sometimes.) Responsible because we have the ability to alleviate the pain.
It is only a temporary solution, and it certainly contradicts the long-term outcome, but for the moment, there is pain. And when you don’t help to fix it, they blame you. And you blame you. How can you just sit there and watch someone suffer? Where is your compassion? How can you donate food to Some Other Place and clothes to Goodwill and volunteer your time at your kid’s school, but not help out someone this close to you?
How can you not overlook everything that has happened during this season of thankfulness and forgiveness? How can you idly sit by while he suffers? This is the father of your children, for crying out loud.
Of course, I know the answers to all of these questions. I would be quick to tell a friend those answers, if she were in my shoes. I mean, really, who on earth would give a man money when he already owes you thousands of dollars? Who on earth would help a man who hurts your kids and treats you with venom? Who on earth would enable someone with alcohol and gambling addictions?
For now, not me. But it doesn’t stop my enabling mind from torturing me.