By the time I was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew I was on my own.   My ex husband was not thrilled with the thought of being a Father,so when daughter 2 came along and daughter 3 came along I was pretty much on my own.   The ex found a place to work out-of-town and he stayed there for weeks on end.  I would receive the occasional bi-weekly visit that couldn’t end quick enough.   I loved being a single mother and his visits were normally very stressful.  I soon discovered that there was a reason he hid his earnings from me and stayed away for so long.  My ex was addicted to cocaine and marijuana.  I had grown used to being his personal punching bag when he was around and began to believe that I was lucky to have him since I believed that no one would ever want me.  I was convinced that I was fat, ugly and worthless.   I was such a victim it was ridiculous.  

When I was 26, the death of my parents a year and a half apart woke something in me….a will to live maybe.   Seeing their lives come to an early end somehow empowered me.   I felt at the time that my Parents deserved better for their daughter.   I wasn’t able to say that I deserved better, not yet at least.     Leaving him was the best thing I ever did, I felt as though I stopped a cycle of abuse.   I didn’t want my daughters to think that it was okay for men to hit women or treat them the way their father treated me. 

What I’ve learned is my daughters were affected regardless of me leaving and even though I removed them from the situation, the behaviors were still there.   His addiction and my co-dependancy (sp).       What a mess.  

Of course I overcompensated.  I spoiled my girls as best I could with no money.   Their happiness became my happiness.  The youngest of the 3 never really knew her father and he made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with her.   It was something we never spoke of, but she always knew and for a few years, she had very little contact.  In spite of being broke, endless bills and fear of eviction, we were happy.   I spent so much time with my girls and we were so close.   Those were some of the happiest times I’ve had in my life.  

 When my ex remarried his abuse got worse.   He would threaten me almost daily of taking my daughters from me.  I lived in constant fear for YEARS.  Every bad grade, mishap at school or grounding for naughty behavior was reason for me to lose sleep and wait for the papers that he said he was going to serve me with were served.  The new step mom was as abusive to my girls as he was to me and someday I will write about that ordeal.     I call those my dark days and honestly never thought it could get worse.   They did. 

He and his wife divorced and he would tell my daughters that it was their fault.   My girls would come home from weekends with him in tears.   It was awful and I felt powerless.   Eventually one by one they refused to go for the weekend, they refused the dinner dates and then refused contact.    By the time my eldest was a Junior in high school she was done with him and wanted no contact, and of course this was all my fault.     The youngest had never gone on visits but a few times and when she refused, he was relieved.   

My middle daughter continued the visits and his influenced helped her make some really bad choices that she regrets to this day.    There is no drug use for her, she detests drugs, but she did drop out of high school and get her GED because she said her Dad did it and he turned out fine.   College was out for the same reasons and she spent many summers with him, yet she was alone the entire time because he spent his time in his room doing who knows what.    My daughter took her anger out of me, her sisters and my husband.   I still have situations with her where she treats me like crap.   It hurts me so much and I don’t know if she’ll ever stop punishing me for his behavior toward her.   

There is now no contact with him…my middle daughter saw him months ago so he could give her money to help her buy a car.   There has been no contact since and she thinks he has once again taken off to do his own thing.    What this means is that until she finds him, she will be horrible and cruel to me.   If I become upset because she hasn’t cleaned up after herself or if she has argued with her sister.   I will get the normal rolling of the eyes, sometimes the finger and lots of door slamming in my face.     My daughter will be 20 in May and I keep telling her she needs to move out but don’t see any sign of her leaving.   I guess if I were living at home and not paying rent, I would stay too.   

The strange this is…..I am not a drug user, I even hate taking prescribed meds.   I don’t drink, I hate the way I’s the control freak in me I think.   I raised my girls in a totally sober environment.   We all watched the show “Intervention” religiously just out of curiosity.   I thought I had a crazy honest relationship with my girls.  We were happy, we had lots of family time and honesty, and yet I have a daughter who is struggling with addiction and living with an abusive drug selling jerk, just like her father, I have another daughter who has a chip on her shoulder the size of our state., and another daughter who is 16 and looking for trouble.  

I feel wounded by the lies, the cruel treatment and lack of respect.    This can’t just be a teen, kids, girls thing.    It has to be the way I raised them.  I gave them everything I could, sacrificed more than they will ever realize…how could this be?     I think back about my parents and I adored them.   I was a teen who hated rules too, but I loved them so much and never wanted to hurt them.   Why don’t mine feel the same about me? 

I do have a 3-year-old who is the sunshine of my life, but now I wonder if I will screw her up too.  

How did I go so wrong to raise 3 daughters on my own the best that I could and have them so angry and selfish?    Ugghh!   I feel ridiculous for even saying these things, but I have had my feelings hurt more time that I will admit and maybe that is part of the problem.  I care about what they think and how they treat me.   I guess I should just pioneer forward and not worry about how they feel or think.  

I need to believe that I am a good mother and not their friend.    I do what I do for the right reasons and soon enough they will love me the way I love my own parents.   I wish I had my parents right now to give me some advice.. some good old Mom and Dad advice.   😦  

 I am rambling and feeling pretty frustrated with what seems like my horrible parenting skills, and hoping I didn’t ruin my daughters lives in the process.