It's something I never thought would happen.
Maybe that was my mistake - not expecting it.
As a single parent, all of my son's 16 years has been dedicated to him. To raising him in the best possible way I know how at the same time keeping my head above water and trying not to lose myself whilst doing it.
My teen and I had (have) a perfect relationship. It was strong, open, respectful, honest, thoughtful and trusting - a truly secure relationship for both of us. We were happy.
I was very mindful and worked so hard at building this relationship. It was important for me to make sure that my son had a stable and happy childhood. I thought that this relationship we've developed could withstand the teen years that I had heard so much of and was excited about.
I understood that these teen years would be trying and difficult for both of us, and I've been riding the tide together with him. Stepping back and giving the space that he needed, allowing him to grow. As his mom, I feel privileged and honoured watching him grow. It has been such a pleasure for me seeing him develop at every stage.
He's been responsible for the freedom and privileges that's been given to him.
I recently found out that he's been holding a secret from me. He was very well aware of my stand on this reckless behaviour he was keeping from me. We talked about it countless times, but I guess it was not good enough, or maybe I did not make myself clear enough.
Not only did he betray my trust, but he broke my heart.
It's something that I thought would never happen - I was foolish to think that. I wasn't prepared. I started reading all the articles there were telling you what you should do. Do this, not that. Say this, not that.
I could follow all the do's and don'ts, but nothing was mentioned about healing a broken heart.
Photo by Jonathan Cooper on Unsplash
I understand that the issue at hand is the reckless choice that he chose to make. I understand that his choice was just that - a choice that he made consciously. He didn't do it to ruin and make my life miserable. He just chose to do it regardless of how I felt about it. I also understand how selfish and reckless teenagers can be.
I understand that I should not take his behaviour personally because it's not a personal attack against me nor is it a reflection of parenting, yet, I ask myself 'Where did I go wrong?', 'Did I make a mistake somewhere along the line that I missed?', 'Did I give him too much freedom or not enough?' So many questions unanswered.
I understand that teenagers are supposed to make mistakes, make bad choices, drive me insane but breaking my heart doing it, I wasn't prepared for. Finding the balance between dealing with what he has done and keeping my emotions in check is not easy. I feel like bursting into tears at the slightest thought, but I hold back those tears, leaving a perpetual lump in my throat.
I understand a lot, and I try to be the support that he needs. Most of all, I understand this is not about me. But I can't help it.
I also understand that he's trying to deal with a lot too. Apart from the actions he has chosen, he's also dealing with consequences and, I know he knows that he's betrayed my trust and broken my heart. He must be disappointed in himself too. I might not speak of my emotions, but I know that he's noticed it in my eyes and the bouts of silence when I choose to be with my thoughts, trying to understand why all this happened and how to move forward.
Will I be able to trust my son again? I'm sure I will, in time. For now, I'm shattered, trying my best to keep my shit together while I collect all the pieces I see laying around me and putting it all back together again. All that while I carefully find ways to mend this current strain in our relationship.
It will not be easy, but it has to be done. I am determined to find the right balance in giving my son the necessary freedom he needs to grow and make mistakes whilst I watch him closely so he doesn't ruin his future with a single stupid decision.
I will continue to love him unconditionally, and I am certain we will come out of this mess together with a relationship stronger than before.