My son turns 31 tomorrow. I still remember when he was a little boy and I can't believe he is a grown man now with a wife, three daughters, and a home.
I went to visit him and his family yesterday, they live in Mountainview and I live in Sacramento so I don't get to see them very often and to see them again was wonderful. However, as soon as I got there I noticed that his wife had pictures of her family all over but no pictures of me or my youngest daughter; even though I gave them two framed pictures last Christmas.
It may seem insignificant to other people but I am very sensitive and I was deeply hurt. I asked my son about it when we were alone and he told me that they do have pictures of me, I asked him if the pictures were in the closet, and he responded that he didn't know.
His wife runs the household and she does a very good job but we are not very close and thus my exclusion in the family pictures in her home. I don't blame her for excluding me from their lives because of our past history, but yet, that is no excuse for my son. I think my son should make an effort to stay in touch with me and have a few pictures of me and my daughter in his home. I tried to be positive and I asked his wife if we could take a picture of our whole family soon, she didn't give me a straight answer and she is the one who makes decisions in her home.
On my last birthday the only thing I asked for was a family picture-my two daughters, my son, my grand-daughters, and my children's life partners but it didn't happened.
I think of my crazy ups and downs, the mental hospital 72-holds, my inconsistence as a mother, and I feel responsible and guilty for our fragmented family now. Looking at my son and grand-daughters among all of his wife's family pictures made me feel so sad and a little jealous that it made me cry. It is almost as he has been adopted by his wife's family for a lack of his own. I wish I could turn time back and be a better mother to all my children.
It has taken me 50 years to be mindful of my disease and realize the damaged that it has done. Four failed marriages, twelve jobs (fired from half of them due to manic or depression episodes) and I regret my damaged life.
I didn't have the best family life growing so I lacked a healthy role model to begin with. The parenting I have done has been instinctual learning from mistakes as I have gone along.
I have asked my children for forgiveness several times and they always say that is ok, that I am a good mom and that they love me, but I still feel bad. I think the reason is that it is so hard to forgive myself.
My children turned out to be wonderful people and the three of them are happy and have wonderful life partners so I should give myself a break and let the past go and focus on now, the only time I can make positive changes as a parent. I know these things in my mind but my heart hasn't caught up yet and thus the anguishing memories live in my mind and taint my life with sorrow and disappointment in myself as a parent.