Dooce posted an inspiring story about her four year old today. She aimed it at new mothers, floored by post-natal depression and a non-stop screaming baby who just can’t handle it any more- she gave them some hope. That one day their baby would be an intelligent, thoughtful human being who they would have riveting conversations with, conversations that will change their lives and make them grateful for that little child. So they could hold on a bit longer, have a bit more hope, and feel a bit less afraid.
And that post made me cry, and made me wish I was one of those mothers. Because they have hope.
But I’m not. And I don’t.
I have an eleven year old. Who is intelligent and funny and polite and absolutely lovely, on the outside. Who I love so dearly, but who makes me hate myself.
I don’t know how to talk about him. I try to keep our difficulties with him off this blog. He is not an infant, and talking about his issues is so much different than talking about a six week old with colic who stays up screaming all night long. So, I try and keep it positive, and a lot of the time I feel like I’m full of shit. And that the very few people who know me and know my son will see that. But I have no choice.
Because it’s not just the strangers who read my blog occasionally that I’m trying to be positive for, it’s me, too. Because I need to believe that he cares about things. I need to believe that he’ll be fine, or that he has interests and passions and that he’s normal.
Because I still haven’t found that mommy blogger who says “It’s ok. You might hate yourself, and cry yourself to sleep every night. But he WILL grow out of it. He will become a GREAT man, and you will get through it. You are doing the right things, and he will be ok.”
I don’t have any kindred spirits, any friends who have been there. Who have had to carry a screaming, punching, kicking seven year old out of a museum by themselves, only to have them wrestle away and run off in the middle of a major down town street. Whose six year old was handcuffed and forcibly removed from a Walgreens after running away from 3rd grade. Whose infant grabbed the hair on either side of his head and PULLED with all his might while screaming.
And I feel two inches tall, because people keep asking me if I’ve tried restricting his tv time and I’m too scared for my son and I’m too scared for me to laugh. And I feel like my mother must have felt, all those years ago, when I ran away from home, when I was put into juvenile detention repeatedly, when she found out I was doing drugs and having sex. When I told her I was pregnant. And I can imagine someone asking her if she had tried restricting my tv time. And I can imagine her laughing, and then crying.
I feel useless, a failed mother, a failed women. I feel like I’ve let myself down, and my mother down, and most of all my son. Because I can’t fix it. Whatever it is that is wrong, with him or with myself. And maybe I just make it worse. And maybe he would be so much better off without me, and maybe I should have been a bit stronger, a bit smarter and given him that chance when he was born.