I haven’t posted anything for awhile, mostly because I have been all over the place mentally and emotionally. I didn’t want to come across as a miserable sot of a person who no one wants to be around, because that is what I’ve been.
If you know me, have been following me on social media, or our paths have crossed, you probably know that life likes to hit me over and over and over again. It likes to keep things interesting for me and remind me when I’m not on the right path. Heaven forbid I get in a rut.
My kids abandoned me and I took it hard.
Losing my kids was my biggest fear, and what I mean by losing them, was that they wouldn’t live with me 24/7. This fear started the day my ex kicked me out of the house and grew when he told my son that I didn’t want him living with me. When I finally got my son back under my roof, I feared he would leave again and take his sister.
I wrapped my whole existence in being their mom. I tried to make friends, date, and find work outside the house… I failed miserably at all three and gripped onto my children even tighter.
I wasn’t a traditional mom, cooking meals, or doing all their laundry. I was a single mom who worked long hours, though I was working from home, and was trying to become a novelist. If I’d been a traditional mom they would be more dependent on me for their care and not in such a hurry to take care of themselves.
In our home, we were a team, working together to build a life. Their chores were different based on what they wanted to do, which wasn’t emptying the dishwasher – I’m not sure they even know how this one works. They did the grocery shopping, their own laundry, and cooked their own dinners. I cleaned up after them, was their bank and their taxi service.
My son is 18 and it was natural for him to want to move in with his girlfriend and friends. That was hard enough. I was getting used to him not being a daily fixture in my life when my 15 year old daughter got angry with me for a decision I made and felt safer living with her brother. Her brother, not her father, is the protective male figure in her life.
I did not take it well. I cried for days and needed some pharmaceutical help, so I didn’t go crazy… I still do and it’s been four months.
I spent days, weeks, months, alone at home – miserable.
One day I was a single mom, the next, I was nothing. I didn’t even have a job, as I’d just been laid off for the second time. I was lost. I had no reason to get up in the morning. I had no reason to do anything and my environment reflected this. A hazmat suit was needed if you were to visit my home.
The main thing that saved me from jumping into the hole of despair was acceptance into a self employment program that has enabled me to start a marketing management company. I’ve gripped this lifeline everyday to stay sane because it gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.
Some days, I even shower and go out into the world.
I’m getting stronger and finding my own way as I build my brand.
My start up business has become my newest child and it is slowly beginning to thrive. It takes all my attention, resources, and love. Just as my children used to. The only thing I know is, it’s my life line and I will build it into something wonderful, as wonderful as my two brilliant, independent, resourceful children.
My kids will succeed in life.
We were a close little family unit and I watched them grow, become young adults, and did my best to be there whenever they needed me – no matter the time of day. I gave them all my resources, efforts, and focus. I made sure they got what they wanted and had as good a life as I could afford to give them, which was poorer than the one I had at their age.
I did the best I could with what I had and it wasn’t much. I was a single parent with no support system and it took three years to get my ex to pay full child support – and a year for my kids to destroy that victory because when they decided to move out, their dad started paying the child support directly to them and it might be 70% of what he’s suppose to pay them – I’m being generous with the math.
Before you tell me he can’t pay the kids the child support directly, I already paid a lawyer to fight to get the child support and I choose not to fight again. Legal battles take more effort and emotional strength than I have. It would also mean upsetting my kids and I can’t do that. The divorce battle is over and I don’t want to open that door again. They moved out because they needed to get away from me and thankfully he pays their rent, if they don’t want the full amount, well that’s their choice.
My son has been accepted to a local University. My daughter is still a good student and will get through Grade 10 with good marks and strong friendships. The two of them are taking care of each other and have each other’s back. I’m very proud of my son for taking care of his little sister and being there for her. He takes care of the women in his life, his girlfriend, sister, and even his mom when he has time.
When your children moved out on their own, how were you effected and did you find a life line?
This morning social media told me I’m unlovable, not good enough, and not wanted. And it’s only 9:00 AM, give it a few more hours.
Advice and motivation can feel hollow because there is something missing on social media, the deeper story, the complex, the vulnerability, the soul of true connection, and the art of honest listening.
If you are struggling to pay for food and the roof over your head, many posts will tell you that you are not good enough to love, to hire, or even to know. I am cash poor and have no clue how to pay my bills, no one wants to be me, some fear my bad luck will rub off on them, and I can’t blame them. Hell, I don’t want to be me most days.
Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. She has authored three novels in three different genres. Her company, Shannon Peel Marketing, helps Independent Professionals and Small Businesses define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels. Click to find out more:Shannonpeel.com