Last night I rested in bed – unable to sleep, but still very restful – allowing thoughts to wander through my mind. Our preschooler loves to “read” as most preschoolers do: reciting favourite stories and making up new adventures with the combination of illustrations and imagination. I began thinking about Her/She – the one who tried to be mother and failed.
Why did Her/She fail? I don’t want to fail my child, so this question is very important to me. Her/She started with the best of intentions. Each day I give my best, and at the end of my journey it is my goal to be able to say: “I got it right most of the time; I always did my best”. My best varies from day to day, and one day’s best is not necessarily equal to the next. Did Her/She give her best? I believe she did at the start, but then priorities changed.
Her/She got another child. One who was not a Rose-Coloured Son. The son argued, fought, struggled and caused stress. Her/She found herself defined by this. There is no challenge to a rose-coloured child, only obedience. Her/She wanted rose-coloured children, but it’s a personality she could not love. Her/She loved the abuser. Her/She loved the addict. Her/She could not love the Rose. Even once the damage set in, Her/She ignored the problems, because a rose-coloured child will always put forward a good face.
Eventually, the Son found the Girlfriend who was much like him and destined to be beloved by Her/She. The Girlfriend replaced the rose-coloured child because she too was all that was argumentative struggle. It’s interesting, because now that I’ve moved away from being the Rose-Coloured Daughter, Her/She wants be loved by me. But Her/She doesn’t need me, and I know that Her/She’s version of love is like a poison. The Girlfriend replaced the image of the “girl-child” and Her/She has not suffered from a smaller family. Even in removing my Self, my husband and my child from the situation, Her/She has not suffered from a smaller family. Son and The Girlfriend had a child – a girl version of the Son for Her/She to love. Soon, Her/She will only miss us when she wants, and most moments of most days, Her/She will completely forget that my husband, child and self exist.
Some may find this sad, but I find relief in it. Her/She’s problems should not be mine; I tried while I was there, and was rejected, it’s not my responsibility. But being able to see the picture more clearly helps me to realize how she failed – and in that, how I can avoid the same mistake. Some would think I’m angry writing these words, but the realizations of last night offered some peace. That is a past relationship that cannot (should not) be repaired, but it most certainly has lessons for me to learn and move forward with the knowledge they’ve taught.