I won’t diminish your feelings, but I WILL tell you my son definitely didn’t receive what he wanted that Christmas and I’m the only one of the two of us who remembers.
It took me YEARS to get over what a fuck up I was to make such a foolish mistake and cost him the Christmas of his dreams… yet HE was fine.
We decorated a plastic tree in our pjs and ate too many cookies and THAT is all he remembers.
Every year since that Christmas I’d find a solo moment (typically in the shower) to shake my fist at the sky and curse the fact that I dispersed nicer gifts than Santa to a bunch of strangers with my cherished possessions I’d worked so hard for… until this year.
The other day I asked my son what he recalled about that holiday and it was cookies. Cookies and a drive thru light display.
He was in no way negatively impacted.
All these years I’ve held on to this grudge with myself. I’ve poisoned myself with anger.
This is the year I forgive and let go.
You may not be able to see an end to your struggle right now and you don’t have to.
You just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I have faith that one day you’ll find a laugh, as twisted as it may be, in your pain… and that’s when the healing begins.
“The State of Florida will not budge on this unless you can prove something absolutely awful is happening… Like his father is shooting heroin between his toes on a regular basis.” That was one of the first pieces of feedback I received from one of the many attorneys I’ve consulted with over the years regarding my fight to have my son’s last name legally changed to mine. I also heard “the State of Florida would prefer he have an absentee father than no father at all.” Oh wow! THAT’S not a psychological recipe for disaster AT ALL, is it? I am not a victim. I chose his father. This isn’t a pity party. This is a story about a mom’s attempt to right a wrong.
My journey to have my son’s name changed began when he had just turned 4. His bio dad made it crystal clear that he was not going to be a reliable presence in his life and that’s when I realized I had to make it happen for this little boy. I had to make sure he and I had the same last name by the time he started school. I knew kids were unintentionally (sometimes intentionally) cruel and they’d be asking why he and his mommy didn’t have the same last name. I knew each time it would be a piercing reminder that he’d been abandoned and those were feelings I was laser focused on avoiding for him. Entering a school environment is life-altering enough, I didn’t want to ice the shit-filled cake.
And around every corner I was met with resistance. What the attorney’s said very quickly proved to be true. What concern is it of the state that my child is the only human being he knows with his last name? Why should they care that any time I took him anywhere that paperwork was required I’d be forced to explain (almost always in front of him) why we have different last names? COUNTLESS times I’ve picked this little boy up from school and he’s repeated stories to me that have straight up BROKEN my heart. Of kids telling (not asking) him he must be adopted and he can’t possibly be his mommies REAL child. Him questioning the truth. So many tears have flowed from both of us.
I obviously never accomplished my goal of changing his name before grade school. His bio father refused to allow it. At that point I had already met and fell in love with my now husband and every attorney told us there would be no hope of a name change until we were married and my child would be ASSURED a father. GTFOH with that garbage. But facts are facts. We didn’t rush our wedding by any means, but it has taken a painfully long time to make this happen.
Today it was finazlied, you guys. Today my son became OUR son. It’s never taken me so long to achieve a goal, but we finally have the same last name for this first time in his entire life. He’s been through SO MUCH in his short time here and I can’t stop crying because he’s wanted this for so long. To live life as an adult not feeling like you belong is gut-wrenching and this is what he’s been experiencing all his life.
I’ve never been able to breathe or sleep easy with this weighing on my mind… The pain this boy has felt.
This will NOT be an uplifting piece of writing. Just laying that out clearly right now. I’m treating this blog like a public diary of sorts and this is what’s on my mind today.
Not sure whether it’s pandemic life, age, stress levels, physical pain or any of a number of other reasons but my son told me this weekend that lately I remind him of the TV commercials for meds that feature “moms who are not really paying attention to what’s going on around them because their brains are too busy”. Wow! GUT PUNCH! But he’s not wrong. And now when those commercials come on (almost always on Bravo cause they know PRECISELY where to find their demo) it makes me nauseous.
If I’m being honest with myself I am always in some way “checked out” now and I don’t know what to attribute it to. I was taking meds for depression and anxiety when COVID hit and have since whittled it down to a new RX that was suggested by one of my new physicians specifcially targeting anxiety. I’m in constant pain due to TMJ and arthritis in my jaw. I’ve talked with my husband and some family and friends and honestly… the world is so fucking bonkers right now that it’s hard to tell whether it’s LIFE or it’s ME feeling the way I do.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And is there a pill for “covid is fucking with my head 24/7”? If so, does insurance cover it? Do I have to go to a pill mill to get it?
And that’s a whole different issue. Is this a national thing? It can’t just be a Florida thing. All the “good” doctors no longer accept insurance and insurance suggests every pill mill in town as reputable physicians, but based upon personal experience… NO. When I go to someone who my insurance company has advised is a “therapist” and the first question out of their mouth is “what meds do you want?” It’s shameful.
Remember how I told you in the beginning of this entry that this wasn’t going to be uplifting? I’m a lot of things, but a liar isn’t one of them 😂
So I guess that’s my question to you… Do you feel any of this? A portion of this? I know I’m not alone, I just don’t know HOW much company I have.
What are you doing about it? Going through the motions? Telling yourself things will be different soon?