Sunday Confession- Close
For the past year and a half I’ve been completely mystified, confused, & angrivated over a situation in my life that I’ve hoped would change & go back to normal. It wouldn’t bother me at all if it didn’t involve my children & their feelings. It’s one thing entirely to walk away from another adult in your life that you’ve had a tightly knit relationship with, but to do it to an innocent child just puts me right over the edge. The Mama Bear inside me has awoken from a long hibernation to handle business, and I hate having to let her pull rank almost as much as my hubs does, even though it’s hated for different reasons. I hate unleashing the Mama Bear because she goes against my sensitive, sympathetic, welcome doormat character, while my hubs only hates it because I’m unleashing the beast in this situation on his beloved mother, who raised him the majority of his life as a single mom.
His mother is young still, only 52 as I’m writing this (she had him at 16, plus he has an older brother by 3.5 years!!!) & she is long since divorced from their father, whom she does remain friends with after all these years. When I first met her, I learned that like me she suffered from depression. Only, I also learned that she self-medicated with pain pills like Vicodin & Norco, causing major addiction problems because she’s already a recovering alcoholic. She is on disability for her issues and some physical conditions that cause their pain she’s getting the narcotics for. Despite all her problems, she stepped up to her role as grandma, or as we ended up calling her, Nanny. In fact, her embracement of the role made me a little jealous because she connected with my kids so well, developing an exceedingly close bond. Nanny was overflowing with fun, able to kidspeak fluently with ease, and get lost in imaginative play alongside my babies better than me, their own mother! These kids thought of her as a precious gift, wanting to be with her a much as their lovies and begging to see her again after ten minutes of leaving! It made me feel happy to give them another relationship in which they could learn the meanings of trust, love, sincerity, and be filled with confidence, raising kids with high self-esteem, especially in a time where their dad & I were going through personal problems with fighting our own addiction.
Nanny was technically single, but also in an on-again, off-again, platonic relationship with whom all you pagers know as Papa Douchebag. She really just kept him wrapped around her pinky finger because it’s hard living on a fixed-income while feeding an addiction. And Papa is such a douchebag, he allowed this farce between them to continue on because he’s desperate with lots of mommy-issues that need professional help. Everyone thought they were content with their arrangement.
To all of our astonishment, Nanny announced that she’d be having a long lost ‘friend’ she reconnected with on FB, come stay with her for a week because a mutual family friend of their mothers had passed away and he lives in another state. This guy was friends with her ex-husband and her when they were teenagers pretending to play house, and when her husband had to spend some months in jail, Nanny had a brief, flirty-fling with the friend. No one knew they had reconnected through FB, exchanging private messages over the past three months or so. Well, a week long visit turned into two. Then the smooth talker convinced her to go off back to Ohio with him for a week. Five days later I log into FB upon waking as I always do & there is the post that has forever since hurt my children & shaked all our worlds to the core:
Nanny and Strange Guy got married at some Ohio courthouse!
That alone wouldn’t have been an issue. But the same Nanny that was here for her grandbabies whenever they wanted, just minutes away in the car, available at moments notice, had vanished from existence when she took her vows. She came back to Michigan for just a few weeks in order to pack some belongings and sell off her trailer back to the trailer park before driving away to her new married life.
We were very happy for her in the beginning because she was truly happy. Soon became apparent to everyone that not only was Nanny happy with her husband, she was happy without any of us in her life. Phone calls went unreturned, text messages unreplied, e-mails unread. The only way we knew she was even alive was FB, where she imaginatively carried on her faux relationships with grandkids through commenting on photos I post as if she was really there or at least in contact with me & aware of the scenario! There’s been promises of visits planned out already for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and other special occasions where the whole world can praise her awesomeness, yet she never actually comes through.
My kids drive me insane asking questions about Nanny and her mysterious whereabouts. They speculate over reasons for her abrupt departure from their lives, fantasize over the activities they’d partake in if she should show up one day, replay the thousands of memories they have created with her in the past, and cry themselves to sleep for their beloved Nanny missing in action. I’m left to be the bad guy, explaining away what I don’t even understand, telling them about the stupidity of people newly in-love even though I do know her absence has much more to it than that. You can’t simplify the fact that Nanny only married & left us because this guy was so obsessed over her all these years that he waited for her & will now take care of her financially so she never has to experience a single responsibility again, into terms a child will understand. It still doesn’t even begin to explain away how she decided that her world with us couldn’t carry over to the one with her new husband. It’s beyond my comprehension how you could love a child so much one day and forget their existence completely the next.
You were so close to them that they walked on air for days after playing with you, built their self-esteem up with the way you made them feel like they were the only favorite grandchild you’ve ever had, showed them how to trust by keeping their secrets & taking everything they ever said as if it was important as the Nobel Peace Prize, then in the blink of an eye, you destroy it all & crumble their foundations into a pile of rubble. I, alone, have the task of delicately piecing together the damage you have done to my undeserving babies. The ignorance of your choices is more than I can bear, a load too heavy to carry without the support you used to once provide me. How can you just walk away from those innocent, precious gifts from Heaven, who were closer to you than even your own sons? What you have done to my family makes my blood boil, my emotions rage, my heart ache with all the pain I try to shelter from those who have no means to cope. They are grieving for you, as if you are dead, because truthfully, the relationships you created with each of them are dead, unreviveable in the wake of your selfish, unthinkable, cruel decision to cut ties for whatever reason your marriage has given you. The door to these kids’ hearts has been closed to you, the damage irreversible, & the Mama Bear has been evoked to stand guard over them. I hope your marriage lasts til death do you part, because the welcome sign on this family-friendly establishment has been flipped over, we’re closed permanently to you & honey, you’ve got a long way left to go.
7 thoughts on “Evoking Mama Bear”
Oh sweet sister my heart breaks for you all. 💔 I don’t understand the selfishness of narcissitic, self absorbed people. It will be hard, painful, and difficult to put those broken pieces of your children’s hearts back together. It will happen in time, and the gift is that the loyalty bond to their Mama bear is unbreakable. Love and hugs to you and your family. 💓
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I’m so much stronger than I give myself credit for, but somehow I’m doing it & teaching my kids to use their own. They are so resilient in the bigger scheme, but still, they really are experiencing the same stages of grief as they would if she had died & I didn’t really recognized it at first. Now that I see, I can help them better & can understand their feelings better. Thanks for everything & your understanding! Love ya lots!
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Yes you are!!! We never truly know how strong we are, until it’s the only choice we have. They have your Mama bear genes so resilience will be their strongest attribute. Grief comes in many forms death, loss, and departure. I’ve been through it all, and I will love and support you from my corner of world. Much love to you Mama bear and your cubs. 💗
You are my angel, a true reflection of your mama, whom you so lovingly described today with the deepest of devotion. ❤
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Oh thank you sweetheart. She was a true gem, your Gram sounds like a beautiful soul as well. Hugs. 💗
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Oh honey, I am so very sorry. I’m sorry that she hurt your kids and I’m sorry that she hurt you. I don’t understand how people can just turn their love off and on like a fucking water faucet. I’ve dealt with those people,(my family mostly), my whole life and I can take it, but hurt my kids and yeah…Mama Bear comes out. And I don’t care that my kids are grown!! I really do wish I could come up and hug you and give you a damn break and make your kids laugh. I’m a Nana and I can’t imagine just walking away from my granddaughters. She’ll regret it some day. But you are doing a great job protecting them w/o bashing their Nanny….and that’s HARD. You are my hero. I know you don’t know me but I say what I mean and I mean what I say. Love to you. Hang in there, honey. You’re a great Mama. Don’t EVER doubt that. ❤
Now I’m crying again today! It is SO hard finding ways to explain & help my kids understand what happened without placing blame on her or tarnishing her image & their memories of her. I knew my own family was full of narcissists so I protected them from it from the get-go, but even my hubs didn’t see this one coming & he’s a straight-up momma’s boy, which also makes it very hard to vent all I can’t say to the kids to him cuz he’ll defend her to kingdom come. Your words are so comforting & reassuring, thank you for giving me a friend in all this!