Last year, I separated from my husband. I moved out of our family home that my 26-year-old daughter and her boyfriend had moved into. There were many problems in my marriage. Watching my husband and daughter sit outside together, night after night, drinking and smoking, was too much for me. They are both alcoholics. I sent my daughter the following email this morning.
On May 3, 2012, at 8:20 AM
Yesterday, I had another meeting of the new women's group I started. I didn't share much. But, just sitting there, listening, I had some clarifying thoughts that I wanted to share with you. It's about why I left .... why I live alone.
For many years, I lived more and more as a facilitator for the lives of my family ... for you, your brother, and dad. This was the role I chose. I was the mother. Unfortunately, I wasn't strong enough to cultivate my own life at the same time.
In last few years, you all needed me less and less. Your lives became bigger, and mine became smaller and smaller. I felt like I had no life of my own. Living by myself, I'm attempting to create a life for me. First, I had to find myself .... figure out who I am .... what I like ..... what gives me joy. In many ways, I feel like I'm back to the 10-year-old, right before my life fell apart, when my father died and my mother moved us away from all my friends.
Slowly, I'm moving forward. I am sorry for any pain I've caused you during my transition. I know I'm not doing this all in a perfect way. I'm just doing the best I can.
I love you very much. I'm so proud of the woman you've become. You've always amazed me. You're a strong person. I have no fear that you'll follow in my footsteps. That makes me happy.
An hour later, I received this email in response .........................................
Glad to hear the explanation, and thank you for the apology. I don't expect you to be perfect.
What hurts me is watching you shut Dad out of this. He wants to be there - to change and grow and learn - right by your side. He's trying to be a better person - trying to be more considerate to himself and to the people he loves. After all that you have been through, he's still your best friend, your #1 fan, your supporter through whatever you do. And he wants to be there in this new life that you're trying to carve out.
It is painful sometimes to see the way he feels when you ignore him or just don't care. I feel like he could do so much better if you were on his side, even a little bit. Invite him over on the weekends, come see Dylon occasionally, or just make a point to visit and tell him that you love him - that you're proud.
I'm naive about marriage, I know. But in my naive opinion, there is something very sacred and honorable to me about those vows. If you love him, if you think there's a chance, then don't go down without a fight. Pick him up so that the two of you can go into this new phase together.
I love you, Mom. No matter what.