Last night I was reminded what guilt I carry in regards to my kids and leaving when I divorced their dad. I didn’t abandon them. But it feels like I did.
I went from full time all the time mom to spending multiple evenings not home so they could sorta transition to time with their dad. To moving out and only seeing them a few hours a few days a week and every other weekend. Oftentimes I had to come sit with them on his days because they were inconsolable at bedtime.
I feel like I have caused them irreparable trauma, evens eight years later.
At the time everyone told me that it would make me stronger and them stronger and it would make me this force to reckon with and a role model. I’ll look back on these days with pride, they said.
But I don’t.
Instead I feel like they’re worse off. Instead I feel like I left them. Instead I feel like they’re closer to their dad. Even tho he only sees them four days a month. Even tho he’s the fun uncle who never has to set actual boundaries or develop routine or be there for them day in day out, night after night.
I feel like I’m here all the time and I’m worse off for it.
I want to not have so much guilt. I want to not have so much resentment about the fact that it doesn’t seem like they even care what love and effort I put forth. I want to feel like I’m not losing my mind.
My mental health is slipping further and further away.
I can’t be who I want to be for them when I can’t seem to let this go. I don’t know how to navigate their apathy. I don’t know the productive way to move forward.
For all my growth, I’m here again barely treading water.