Just over a year ago now, I shared a blog here with you all, opening myself up to you with a pain my family has been struggling with for four years now. Something that has broken us into a million pieces and left us lost, heartbroken and down right angry. I shared Kurt’s pain and grieving ( you can read part one here ), and since have not really touched in on the topic publicly as I’ve been on a path of determination, strength and pain myself with getting Kurt, myself and my family right. Truth is, behind the photos of Instagram are real people dealing with their own private struggles just like anyone else, including me. I have also worried about myself writing another piece, bringing up memories again that will upset me. For me, if a thought of her comes to mind, I instantly distract myself to stay focused and happy. I find talking about her or thinking about her as a negative, and at this point in my journey, I prefer all the positive vibes I can get. It’s a much happier and freer way of life.
Last time I wrote about this, I had so many people able to relate – which was incredibly mind blowing, as I’ve always felt so alone going through this. It was an eye opener that alcoholism is a real issue in our society and it’s out there way more than we think and is let on. So this is for those who need to not feel alone in a time of heartbreak and pain as they deal with a relationship breakdown due to alcoholism. It’s an ugly and messy illness, and this is our story the past twelve months as we’ve continued to lose my mother deeper and deeper to the illness…..
A year on from the last piece I wrote, a lot has happened, and a lot has changed. My family are dealing with their own private struggles, yet I am feeling stronger than I ever have before about it, despite the odd moments I have from time to time. Still, certain songs will trigger my emotions and leave me in a blubbering mess. I guess its a pain that will never truly go away but I have learnt the skills through meditation to help me control my emotions most days. Certain thoughts will randomly come to mind, like the other day, I was wondering who I could get to watch Kurt for me while I went in for an appointment. My mind instantly thought “Mum will, she will come along and watch Kurt!”. Then just as quick as I thought it, I froze and asked myself “Why in the heck did you think that?!”. I could feel the tears coming but told myself to block the thoughts and continue with my day, which I did. I mentioned this thought I had to my Dad and he said its a completely normal thought to have as its a normal way of thinking and was once upon a time for me.
Before she was an alcoholic she was the one I’d turn to for everything. You know when your parents are just the most amazing thing in the world, and you think so highly of them and that they have the answers to everything? She was that to me. She was there for me so much as I grew into a lady and a mother. Kurt was her favourite thing in the world. She had this sparkle to her eye every time she would see him and hold him. He was the apple of her eye.
Since Kurt’s last struggles, he has moved forward in leaps and bounds. I feel like he’s finally let go to the pain of not having his Nanny around with him anymore. But he hasn’t got there easily. There’s been hurdles he’s had to overcome and Mann and I have been there every step of the way helping him. Though she’s miles and miles apart from us now, we were given false hope from a third party that she was on the path of recovery. Of course we were all hopeful and hoping that this was the day we had all been waiting for. But in the back of my mind, I doubted what I was being told and remained optimistic, while not getting my hopes up. Not long after, we were then given some news that she was incredibly sick and potentially life threatening. We all waited for the results to come back to know our course of action we would take and if we’d bring her home to be with us if it was the worst news. We were all a mixed bag of emotions hearing this news. Have we wasted too much time hating, and is this going to be our last moments we get with her? In the end, her results showed that she is sick but it is not life threatening at this stage.
During this, she had heard from us at our weakest and most vulnerable. She had us believing that though she is sick with Emphysema, she was doing so well with getting better off the alcohol that she wanted to come down and see us for a weekend, and Kurt wanted this day to happen more than anything. The idea of playing with Nanny was like a dream come true. Nanny is finally getting better! It all came undone in a matter of weeks when she lost control of her actions while drinking and sent hurtful messages out to the family. So we all knew there and then we’d been lied to yet again. It made us doubt if any of it was the truth or if it was all staged to try come home, as in that point of time for her, she was desperate for a roof over her head. My sister was left completely broken as she was more hopeful than all of us I think. She’d been in contact with our mother and had hoped for a miracle. When I realised I had to let Kurt know Nanny wouldn’t be coming to see us, I decided to just leave the topic and hope he would forget about it. I couldn’t be the one to disappoint him. The day she was meant to see us had come and gone, and a few weeks later, Kurt was showering and called me in. “Mum, Nanny didn’t come to see us, you lied to me!”. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move. I froze. Kurt thinks I’m to blame?! He thinks I’m the one who lied about her coming to see us?! I got myself together and spoke to him, letting him know that unfortunately she isn’t better yet, and that I don’t think she will be for a very very long time. I told him this based on the truths I’ve been told about how her state of mind, her actions, and her behaviors. With where she is at right now, her coming home well to us is not a reality. I felt it was better to have him lose hope for any near future hopes of that for his own good.
There was also a moment a few weeks back where I was giving Kurt some cuddles in bed before he went to sleep, and he bought her up. He asked if he will get to see her again soon, and again, I had to tell him “No mate, its not going to be for a while, she’s very sick so it won’t be for a long time.” He asked me how she got sick and if its cancer. I told him “It’s not cancer but when you’re older I will be able to tell you more.” He asked me if I was going to cry, as usually when we speak about her, thats my que to cry, and I hated that he knew and expected that. I told him “Nope, I’m stronger now Kurty, she can’t hurt me anymore.” We then talked about how she’s my mum and how once upon a time I was a baby inside her tummy but a while ago she chose that she wanted to leave us all and its not any of our faults. It was her choice no matter how hard we tried to stop her. Kurt looked at me and said “She should have chose you Mum. She’s on the red side and you’re on the green side.” I hugged him so tight and welled up. Kurt had been learning at school that the red side is a bad side, and that the green side is the good side. Hearing him say that just meant so much to me and also set me free of any doubt I had that he blamed me for not having his Nanny around. It felt like closure, like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I later told Mann and my family and they were all so happy to hear Kurt’s progress. We were all so proud of his maturity. Since then, he hasn’t spoke of her since until the day after his birthday, when we all realised he hadn’t heard from her for his birthday. He turned to me and said “I don’t think I like her anymore, shes not a very nice person.” None of which he has heard, but all of which he has thought himself. It wasn’t nice to hear those words come out of my son’s mouth and speak those feelings towards his Nanny, but at the same time, again it was closure and a fulfilling feeling inside of me knew that’s he’s ok. Later that afternoon, I said to Kurt “You know what you said earlier about Nanny, did you mean it?” He responded with “Yes, I’m angry at her.” I told him it was ok to be angry with her but we have to know we can’t stay angry forever because it’s more fun to be happy. He gave me a “Yeah it is” and I told him I’d been thinking about what he had said all day. What I didn’t tell him is how I let her get the better of me through the day. I was stewing on how much she has been disappointing Kurt, to the point that I had this anger inside me and I acted on impulse, by putting my number on silent and trying to call her. All I wanted to do was yell and scream at her for hurting Kurt the way she has, and to tell her how much pain she has left behind still to this day. I just wanted to keep yelling at her so she heard everything I had to say without getting a word in. I wanted to stick up for Kurt, I wanted her to feel the pain of disappointment like she has caused all of us. Luckily, she didn’t answer and after that, I cried and cried. Once the anger had gone through me, I knew I had acted on emotion and should never had tried to call her because it would have felt good to say it all at the time, but it wouldn’t have made any of it better. I later told my husband and family, they’d just wished I’d called them to help me through my emotions. Lesson learnt. I’m not perfect in any way, but the hurt is still there at times and it can so easily get the better of me when I don’t get my mind centered and focused. I have to remember, she can’t hurt me if I don’t let her, and that Kurt is ok at the end of the day.
I have to remember to stay composed and strong for Kurt, he is a strong kid after being so hurt by her. The feeling of being abandoned and forgotten about has left him empty enough to feel nothing towards her anymore. Its a scary thought, but seeing his strength in the last year, I know he’s now ok. I know she’s made him stronger from having to grieve her. I know one day when he’s old enough, he will ask me what really went on. Mannie and I have decided together that we will tell him the truth at this stage when he does ask. He remembers too much of her and the pain he’s gone through to not deserve the truth at a later stage. For Kyle, he wouldn’t have the faintest idea who she is. They’ve never had a relationship which use to kill me on the inside. I now look at Kyle having no relationship with her as a good thing, because he’s missed out on the grieving and pain that Kurt had to experience.
I can feel it deep down inside myself that I have let go of my mother and knowing that Kurt has too really just helps so much with closure for me. His pain has always been my pain too. Seeing your baby have to go through the pain of it too has been quite the challenge and hasn’t made it easy. I’m happy, content and not regretful in any form with where my mind is at right now with my mother.
To me, a mother is maternal in every way, they put their children first, they consider their child’s feelings, they don’t give up on their children, they be their child’s rock. She hasn’t been that to me for four years. She’s taught me how to come out of the dark side alright, she’s taught me how to be a strong independent woman, she’s taught me how to be a mother. As strange as that last ones sounds, it’s because she’s taught me everything I don’t want to be in a mother. If I can do the exact opposite to what she’s done, I’m winning. It might sound harsh, but that’s the truth from a broken daughters heart. One that can’t comphrend how one can turn their back on their children and grandchildren. One who has learnt the hard way and would never do the same.