There is always a week or two a year that I consider myself useless. Everything I have worked so hard at and know to be true about myself is gone. I forget it. I forget how hard I’ve worked for the last six years. I disregard the giving person I’ve become. I cancel out every step I’ve taken in recovery. I punish myself.
I hold him tight the night before he leaves. We usually have a good talk. My pretty smile is out. I let him know I’m going to miss him. I just try not to overdo it. We enthusiastically talk about what an AMAZING time he is going to have while he’s away. He deserves that from me. He deserves to hear me be happy for him. He deserves to know that it is okay for him to be happy with his other family. He deserves to have me calm any insecurity he has about missing his brother and sister over Christmas…all while negative, anxious, and fearful thoughts get funneled to me.
When I finally have to say goodbye, I will struggle. It will take everything I have not to sob and finally tell him how badly I want him to stay. “Please, don’t GO! I want you to stay. Please, please, stay here with us…with me. I don’t want you to leave. It’s never the same without you!” Those words will want to come out, but I will never let them. I will keep that pain in. I will look at his beautifully innocent face and put on that smile. He will know I am a little sad because that is the only moment I can’t fully fight the tears but, I don’t let them leave my eyes. I look at him with complete conviction and a quivering lip (I will be completely pissed I can’t control that). “I love you and will miss you so much. You will have a blast!!” I keep my smile. I know he knows I’m sad, but he has no idea how much. Not until he disappears do I turn away and finally allow myself to let go.
This is my punishment. It’s the reminder for what I did to him. Every time he has to leave, I feel like God is trying to tell me that this is how it felt for my son when I left him. Like, maybe he’s making sure I never forget so I don’t put my other two children through it. Yet, I recognize how selfish it is for me to think this is about ME. It’s not about me! It’s about him! I’ve never wanted to write about this before or talk about it, because I hate that I still have this hovering. It will all happen again the next time he has to leave and I will almost welcome it as my punishment. And if I don’t fucking stop this, it might be the thing that rips me out of recovery. I want to let this one thing go but, I just don’t know how. I just don’t know how or if I can or, even scarier…if I want to and deserve to let it go.