Facing fear

100_2329Once again, a Writing 101 challenge.  Today’s topic: My worst fear.

I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but my worst fear is that I’ll die before my kids are grown up.  My memories of my mom are fragmented; sometimes I remember things that don’t seem possible, and other times I recall things with crystal clarity.

But mostly, I don’t remember.  I don’t remember very much about my childhood before my mom died.  I would really, really hate for my kids to say the same.  I’ve always worried about it, which is why I stayed at home with Bubbles the first two years of his life.

The only problem is that I didn’t actually like staying home.  Even though it was what I wanted, I was miserable, and I didn’t know why.

It took years for me to realize that I was probably suffering from post-partum depression, and I think if I hadn’t been taking classes online from the local community college, it might have been a lot worse.

I know that I shouldn’t worry about dying young, because it won’t help and it will probably hurt.  But I find it hard to stop.

At least I’ve faced one of my other major fears: how to tell Bubbles why his father and I divorced.  I’m still not sure if I handled it correctly or not, but it’s too late now.  He’s so upset, and I wish that I could take the hurt away for him.  But he asked, and he’s old enough to understand, and he deserved the truth.

Why does the truth have to suck so much?

He’s asked before, and I replied that Daddy and I fought too much, that it wasn’t good for anybody, and that sometimes, even when people love each other, they just don’t get along well enough to stay married.  I didn’t think that would be good enough this time, for some reason.  I’ve been dreading this day since the day our divorce was finalized, because there’s no good way to tell him what really happened.

185305_10150254569193575_7730199_nBut as much as I wish I could make it not true, I know we’re all better off with the hand life dealt us.  I have a wonderful husband, and Bubbles’ dad has a very nice wife.  They have three kids together; Seymour and I have two kids together, plus Miss Tadpole.  I love our family, and I love that Bubbles has two families who would do anything for him.

What I don’t love is how much the truth has hurt him.  But I hope that one day, the truth will help him to be a good man, honest and true.  I hope that he can learn from his parents’ mistakes and that he won’t repeat them in his own life.  I hope that I’ll be able to answer any questions he has without projecting my own feelings onto things, so that he can make up his own mind.

I hope I haven’t scarred him for life.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

17 thoughts on “Facing fear

  1. Fran Macilvey says:

    It’s not honesty that scars kids – even though it hurts, they can get a handle on honesty – it is the lies and pretence that really cause damage. You do very well, and can relax a bit now, methinks. It is natural to worry that you may share the same fate as your mom, but, your paths are already very different. Maybe that might reassure you a little. Bless you! xxx 😀

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  2. Mara Eastern says:

    This is an understandable fear, I mean the parent’s fear that you die before your children grow up. As to the other fear, I think there’s simply no way that a child could take such news well. It’s not your fault. I think you don’t need to be worried about this second fear.

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    • Kay Kauffman says:

      I think you’re right about news like that. I’ve been dreading that conversation since the day our divorce went through. I think I handled it reasonably well, though I’m sure there are things I could have done differently. But what’s done is done, and now it’s time to move on. Right? Right.

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  3. Tricia Drammeh says:

    You’re a great mom. Sometimes we have to face things we’d rather not deal with, and our kids are dragged along for the ride. Your kids have a good solid foundation. They know they’re loved and cherished.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. M T McGuire says:

    I’m with Fran. We had a similar conundrum at Chrismas 12 when my brother in law died. We had to go to the funeral but what to do with our (then) 4 year old McMini. I sat him down and explained that his uncle had died and we were going to go to a special service to say goodbye, that people might cry; grown ups, but that it was OK because they were sad and that if he (McMini) felt sad, it was OK for him to cry too. I told him that if seeing other people upset was too much to just tell me and I would take him out. He was brilliant. So calm and adult about it all that I was slightly in awe.

    If you are honest then sure, the truth will make your wee lad sad but in the long run, he will appreciate having been treated as an equal. As he gets older he’ll know how hard it was for you to tell him the truth and will be far more grateful, to you for doing so. If you lie, the message it sends is that he’s not worth trusting. On the whole it’s us adults who can’t handle the truth rather than our kids. I think if you give them support and love and are there for them, they can handle most things. And since you clearly do that I’d say you’re fine…

    And everyone worries about dying young. I worry about dying before my parents. It would kill them. We all do it, it’s part of human nature and because of your Mum it’s kind of natural for you to worry.

    Cheers

    MTM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay Kauffman says:

      That is fantastic about your son. I remember when my grandpa died (my dad’s dad) that my parents wouldn’t let me go to the funeral because I was only 5 and had never really met him. I was upset because they wouldn’t let me go, and I’m not sure if they thought I wouldn’t behave well enough or if it was because I didn’t really know him because he and my dad didn’t get along.

      I think you’re right about Bubbles. I hope so, at any rate. I asked him last night if it would help to talk to his dad, but when I called and told his dad what was going on, he (my ex) got very upset. I wanted him to come over so the three of us could talk about what happened, and he didn’t come. I think it really bothered Bubbles that he didn’t show up. I told him I could try to answer any questions he might have, but the one question he asked is the one I still don’t have an answer for. I wish I did, for his sake.

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      • M T McGuire says:

        If Bubbles has a good relationship with his dad and his dad’s family I’m sure it’ll be OK. It must be hard for you though and there’s all that guilt about splitting up running through it, too – no matter how the split happens or what the circumstances there is always going to be guilt. That’s natural and allowed. 😉

        cheers

        MTM

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay Kauffman says:

          He does, which is good, but I don’t always, and I hope that won’t affect Bubbles’ relationship with them. I want him to keep that good relationship with them, so telling him the truth was difficult because it will certainly affect how he views his dad and his step-mom. Like the old song says, breaking up is hard to do.

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  5. Sophie E Tallis says:

    Wonderful post, Kay, and very poignant given the loss of our dear friend Lindsey, who left her three lovely children without their beloved Mum. I think that is a universal fear and one that really tugs at all women in particular. Of course having both parents is ideal, but it’s so so tough on kiddies if they lose their mother. Well done you for facing your fears. Wishing you and all your lovely brood, health and happiness for many many long years to come. 😀 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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