Miles To Go Before I Sleep – Strength, Weakness, and Discovery

“You are human and mortal; we are the sum of our weak moments and our strong.”
― Mercedes Lackey

Weakness. We all have it. It’s there, lurking in a shadow. Waiting for that opportune moment. “Do I do this, or do I fall?” It’s not a fault. It’s one of the many traits of being human. Without it, we’re just not.

Concerning weakness and strength, you can not have one without the other. Sometimes weakness is inevitable. Sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes bending until you break isn’t weakness at all, but a measure of the person you are and the things you’ll do to find peace.

Sometimes it’s strength.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
― Criss Jami

I’ve had to make a lot of difficult decisions lately, none of which were made lightly.

I decided that for nine months out the year, my daughter will not be with me. No one made this decision for me. It was something I did on my own.

Back in 2009 I was an aspiring model. I was hardcore into Warcraft. I lived a decent life. I was without want, mostly because I wasn’t sure what I wanted back then.

One thing I was certain of was that I did not want children. A visit to the doctor changed all of that. “Your chances of having children are slim. Your chances of conceiving are slim and will diminish completely in a short amount of time, about the time you turn 30. Should you conceive, it’s possible that you will have complications.”

That moment changed everything. Changed me. That window was closing. My chance of having a child was soon-to-be non-existent. I wanted a baby.

But, I wanted a baby for the wrong reasons. I wanted a baby because I was just told it was nearly impossible. I’m not the type of girl that you can say “you can’t” to.

My pregnancy was horrible. I was sick up until the very last month. However, every moment of pain was worth what I had brought into the world.

I had the most beautiful little girl. I loved her, but that took time. We didn’t bond right away. I’m of the opinion that we never truly did, and that’s because I never wanted to be a mother. I brought a child into the world for selfish reasons.

Her life was not the product of selfishness and fear to someone else, however. I gave a child to a man who, for his own reasons, thought he would never have children. He is the best father I’ve ever known. He was meant to be a dad.

Her father and I were on and off again. It was a constant battle in which neither party was alone in fault. We were together for our child, and it came to a point where that was no longer enough. It wasn’t the home we wanted to bring her up in.

Some may think me heartless. Think of me as you wish, but do know that I love my daughter more than anything in the world. I would do anything for her. The includes making the toughest decision I’ve ever made and doing so for her well being.

So, with a heavy heart, I made the decision to walk away from the life I had. After much arguing and self-loathing, I made the decision for her to stay with him for the school term. I made the decision to give my daughter a better life, even though it meant that I would not physically be with her in it.

I did not give up. I did not give in. I did not walk away from her. I wanted her to have her best chance. I forced myself to face facts. I forced myself to admit out loud for the very first time that it wasn’t the life I wanted. The moment I did that, everything changed.

To really understand my decision, you’d have to be me. You’d have to of been in my situation. However, you are not. There is only one me and I only I know what I know to be right and wrong. No one can know those things for me. They can be of the opinion that I was right or wrong in my decision. They can judge me for it. But, they are not me.

Why am I sharing this with the public? For the same reason I share everything with you – I am not the only person out there who has had to make this decision. Here I am in words on a screen telling you my story because people need to know that these situations do happen and that the people involved are not bad people. There is so much pressure from society to be “by the book.” Life is not a book. There is no manual. Right and wrong do not apply to every situation. People are not robots. We are not tuned to deal with every situation we find ourselves in the same way our neighbors do. There are always differing circumstances and unspoken details. It’s the people who believe they live in a black and white world that make discussing such matters difficult. It’s that blind world that makes us ashamed of our tears.

I refuse to exist in that world, for my world is full of many hues.

“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”
— Robert Frost

This was just one of many decisions I’ve made over the past few months. As someone who is not used to making decisions on her own, the process has been both liberating and painful. I’ve had a lot of self-discovery going on and I’m grateful for that. I needed reality. I’m coming out of this with a greater knowledge of who I am.

I’ve hurt myself. I’ve hurt others. I’ve been hurt by others. I’ve been judged, bullied, and disregarded, but I’ve also been loved, cared for, and wanted.

My father walked out of my life for good after I came out. His leaving hurt more than I was willing to admit at the time. Not because he was my father, but because he was someone I struggled to have a relationship with and in the end that struggle mattered not. Every tear shed. Every moment curled up weeping and telling myself he didn’t want me. Every moment of joy that was brought on by believing I was wrong about him. All gone.

I’ve learned that letting go of people can be just as painful as keeping them. I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to let go. You have to move on. I’ve learned that sometimes you have to do things you don’t want, that you shouldn’t have to, for the sake of happiness. It is not weakness. It is not strength. It is a balance of both.

My weakness and strength are one in the same. I am not one without the other.

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
— Robert A. Heinlein

Violet, my daughter, is happy. She and I have spent the past few weeks at my parents house. They usually only see her once a year for about three weeks. She has a rock at the park that she calls her “dragon rock” and she likes to climb up on it a roar. She has changed so much since being here. We both have.

We will continue to have a relationship. I am and will always be her mom. Summers will be spent teaching her to embrace herself and live freely in the world around her. She continues to game. She recently discovered comic books. Bells and I have discussed taking her to Comic Con next year.

Although my emotions have been trying, I am happy. I am happy for my daughter and the life she will have when she returns home. I’m in love with a wonderful woman who means more to me than I’m capable of ‘wording’ at the moment. One day I’ll show her. She may not realize it, but she’s helped me grow. She’s helped me become a better me. I’m learning to love myself. I’m learning how to know myself. I’m learning what I want, need, and how to live the life I’ve always dreamed.

I have places to go. Things to see. People to love. I am not finished. I will not be undone.

“These woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
— Robert Frost

3 thoughts on “Miles To Go Before I Sleep – Strength, Weakness, and Discovery

  1. I wish I were not reading this at work. I wish I had more time to give this the response that you deserve. But I realize I don’t have the words that this deserves. I am glad that your daughter has you in her life, because you have so much valuable, hard-won experience that she will be able to draw upon when the dark times come to her life’s door. You may or may not have had a child for the “wrong reasons”, however that is defined. But…you are “her mother” for all the right reasons. *hugs you tight*

  2. Great, great post. It really hits home for me (although my situation is a bit different, I’d say)

    My biological mother had me at 16, and so I was adopted and raised by my great aunt and uncle. It wasn’t until recently that my biological mother and I became reuinted and became closer. While I wish she would have been present in my life sooner (she moved after having me because she couldn’t face anyone) I cherish and thank her for making the decision to bring me into this crazy, but wonderful world.

    I commend you for realizing your needs, but also doing what you felt was best for your daughter. I’m glad that you are maintaining a relationship with her; there are so many years that I feel like I missed out (my great aunt is my “mom” through and through, but being with the person that brought you into the world is so special).

    Sure, people who don’t understand that not all families are cookie cutter will talk shit, but as a product of a mom who was not quite ready to be a mom, I’m thankful to people like you and her who don’t straight abandon their children (or worse!), but instead do what they believe is best out of pure love.

    Sorry for the long reply, just wanted you to know that there is someone out here that understands (in a roundabout way, at least).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>