Sunday, January 18, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

It's not so much fun to watch either.

She says, "He'll get over it."
She says, "It's just a joke."
She says, "He's got drama."
She says, "I'll get over it."
She says, "I'm really mad at my boyfriend."
She says, "We'll get back together."
She says, "I'm sad Mom."

Maybe yes. Maybe no. To all of the above. At any point during the day.

She's sad. She's hurt. She's mad. She's worried. She's exhausted.

She's blue. She's hopeful too.

But I must caution her against being girlfriend and boyfriend again. At least for a while. I must caution her to remain a friend only, for the time being. I have to somehow show her that creating or enabling a cycle of breaking up and getting back together is not a good thing.

This break up is not the first but it has become the worst (for her).

I think I may have underestimated the extent of their relationship. The deep, abiding love they carry for each other.

I believe that when it's happened in the past it's been so brief as to be 'cute' (forgive me -- it is never cute) or immature or a mimicry of what has gone on in their lives, and I didn't give it enough thought or notice. Or credence?

I must caution that those ups and downs are not emotionally healthy. In fact, they are very bad for her. For anyone. But how to explain that?

I have to remember, I have to feel, and I have to understand that she is a young adult now and she feels the very same emotions that we all feel and that my responsibility is to protect her ... well ... from herself.

I know all of that. I'd just forgotten. [reads as if the forgetting is no big deal -- but it is]

In the Sweetness and the Cute-ness and the First Love-ness of their relationship, in the Pure-ness and the Honest-ness, The innocence, this mother dropped the ball. I didn't prepare her for ups and downs, although any small difficulties have been helped along as they occur [from both the moms and sometimes the dads].

I am quite sure if he called her today and asked, "Hey Em, will you be my girlfriend?" She would say, "Oh S. Sure! It's fine." And while I would like to allow that yes, it is fine ... I guess I'm thinking that it is and it isn't.

Note to self: She's more in touch and in tune with things than even I sometimes give her credit for. Knowing. Understanding. Loving. Caring. Hurting. Feeling. Forgiveness.

How do we Moms handle a break up? With as much grace and understanding as is humanly possible. We have special children, now young adults, who have been first pre-schoolers together and then friends and then eventually girlfriend and boyfriend. We must think first of our own child and what is best for each of them. We can't allow this break up or moment or temporary set back to come between us and I've enough faith in our own friendship that we won't.

I've no doubt that Emily will remain a friend for life. Loyalty comes to mind. Acceptance. Love. Kindness. Caring. It's all unconditional on her part. She's made that way. If you are her friend you are wrapped in a cocoon of love and loyalty.

I'm sure it's not healthy for her to feel and hold on the way she does, but her life experiences aren't as broad or varied as [yours and] mine and it's difficult to know if the explanation given actually gets through in the way it's intended.

Keeping a close eye on her in an attempt to gauge her feelings has proven to be something along the lines of unreliable. If I bring up S or the breakup I hear, "oh don't worry about it mom."

But if I listen to the quiet I see and hear another story all together.

I see and hear sad.

cross posted @ Flamingo Feathers

I know sooner posted this entry here ... walked down the hallway to hear Em having a phone conversation. "Oh, it's okay. Alright honey." LOL ... sort of. She called him. He apologized. "We're back together!"

Which, as I mentiond above is and isn't okay. I'll spend some time chatting with J this week and eventually we'll figure this all out.


Cynthia said...

Womanchild and I have gone through this, and I've gotten to the point of believing that we really can't teach about the dangers of loving. We can try, but young hearts still believe so devoutly that the only way they learn is by breaking

Lisa :-] said...

This is hard, Kathy... because even though you are Emily's mom, you can't really give her the benefit of your experience, because she experiences things much differently than you did. You want to protect her (like any Mom would) you want to keep her from making mistakes that will make her unhappy. But any parent--even the parent of a special needs child--can only shield her child from so much. At some point, the child needs to have her own life. That is living. She may never be independent from you, in the sense that another child might be... But I don't think you should feel responsible for shielding her from every (non-life-threatening) bump in the road. ((((Hugs)))) to you and Emily...

cw2smom said...

I've gone through this a time or two with Abbie, but this current relationship is her, serious love situation. She's 17 and he's 19. They really are connected and I do not want to see what happens if it doesn't last! But, such is life and we live and learn. Here I am 55 years old and want to be serious with my male friend and he's taking it very slow. I can't imagine my life without him, but it could happen. Geez. Life was so much easier when boys had cooties! LOL! Blessings to you all! Lisa