I’ll be the first to admit that I like to take trips. I love sunning on the beach. I enjoy the drive through the mountains. I like to explore the city and I think back road trips are best. I have a passport, I have my luggage on wheels, and I have my travel size accessories in hand so I’m good to go at a moments notice. (Not really, but you get the idea) Guilt trips???…well, I’m not a big fan, but I seem to be earning my frequent flier miles in this department.
The guilt trip I seem to frequent the most is my role as a mother to my son. Deep in my heart, I know I failed him greatly. I’m not searching for arguments. I’m not seeking out pity. I’m not looking for justifications. I’m speaking from the pit of my soul. To be honest, I’m not sure how I would have handled it differently, but I think about it constantly. I wrestle the thoughts in my dreams and I battle the guilt in my mind as I try to hide from the nightmares my failings bring.
In our minds, we have this vision of a mother. Whether this vision is based on our own mother, the mother of a friend, or a fictional mother from television, we all have a picture in our mind. I saw myself as a mother who was there to pick her son up from school each day. I would listen to his stories about recess, or a grouchy teacher, and that cute little dark-haired girl, while helping him with his homework. Next, I would prepare a home cooked meal and then we would end our day watching a favorite TV program. (Sounds so Leave it to Beaver-ish …just like in my vision).
Instead, my son had a mother who worked long, and often late hours, was tired and stressed when she was home, rarely cooked him dinner or took the time to sit down and watch TV. My sweet parents, and on occasion a friend, took on my role of being his chauffeur, made sure his homework was done, and nurtured his soul.
My role, however, consisted of pulling in the driveway of my parent’s home in the evenings, leaving the motor running, darting in to pick him up, gathering up his things, and running out the door again. I think most of our conversations consisted of a few phrases such as, “Go hop in the shower; time for bed; time to rise and shine; and do you have your backpack? Not exactly my vision of a great mother in action.
I’ve concluded, that I was consumed with survival and trying to keep my head above water. Realizing that I had a child I was solely responsible for terrified me because I was afraid of failure…again. (Marriage being my first failure). I guess I had something to prove to myself.
Much of the time since my divorce (past 7 years) has been a blur. It’s like I have been engulfed in a fog, lost in a maze, or buried alive. However, I am beginning to see the light, I am finding my way, and I am digging myself out of the hole I have been in. It has been suffocating, but I’m beginning to breathe.
I’m certain I’ll take more guilt trips, but I hope I will no longer be a frequent flier. I’m tired of going down this road and I think some new scenery will do me good. I hope my son can forgive me for the time I spent wandering… lost in the fog. Realizing it’s time I cannot get back is what hurts me the most.
Today I am thankful for a change in scenery and a breath of fresh air.