As we navigate yet another sharp turn in the road without a positive male role model in their lives, without the benefit of connection of the extended family in grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins that I flourished in, deeply connected as a child and young adult, I once again feel inadequate and isolated on the island of being the sole provider of everything for my children.
While I am emotionally supported by friends, my children are adrift in a vast sea where I am the only life raft in sight.
I have tried to help them navigate emotionally. The time has come for me to acknowledge that I have used my entire bandwidth over the last few years between them, my own challenges, and trying to make social changes to prevent others from experiencing our same fate. Juggling it all with providing for us financially has been a balancing act that I have not been too terribly successful with.
I am currently evaluating career possibilities that could incorporate my talents as well as accommodate my residual deficits, which I have finally accepted will continue to challenge me moving forward. Yet an unsettling feeling percolates just below the surface. I recognize it as the feeling I had the day I made the decision to move out and leave my children with their abusive father to preserve my own life. Then I reasoned I’d get out and come back and fight for them once I was out, but it felt like I was abandoning them to sink or swim on their own.
As the last five years have flown by, so, too, has my time of influence narrowed. They are not out of the woods. They still struggle. I feel like I, their lifeline, will be further abandoning them to their own devices, especially my 15-year-old, when I take on the additional responsibilities while further drawing from my limited energy to engage in the hours that comprised a typical work week ‘before’. Though I have tried my very best to guide them, somewhere in the depths I feel like I am failing them further.
It occurs to me that many of our society’s ills are born of lone mothers trying to survive emotionally and financially and raise healthy children in the absence of involved fathers and extended family. The most successful adults had solid family units growing up. Those at risk tend to have fractured and broken families.
In a perfect world I could create a life that allows the luxury of time with children, producing income, and taking care of myself. Raising two traumatized kids to adulthood and self-sufficiency has and will continue to be a top priority. Providing for them and looking towards my own future looks much like the tightrope traversed by a flying Wallenda. One misstep can have disastrous effects. It becomes paramount to move forward carefully.