I guess the saying is true. We do learn something new every day. I've mentioned before that the last few years have been incredibly pivotal and life-changing for me. There have been many realizations and I've put an incredible amount of work into changing the things in my life that needed changing. As they say, with age comes wisdom. And I say what's the point in all the life lessons if we don't change because of them? We have the ability and are capable. We only have to reach that magical point where we realize it's time.
Some lessons are more difficult than others and I find myself smack dab in the middle of a doozy at the moment. It's a 'Mom' lesson, so I suppose that anyone who isn't a parent may be hard pressed to understand it. I always find that if it involves my kids and/or my parenting, it will be the most trying and this one is no exception. A child-induced heartache can make a mom unable to focus on much else and also proves how little influence we have over what life may hand us. Sometimes our only measure of control comes in the form of how we deal with it and how much we allow it to change us. More simply put: Sometimes, no matter how much we want to make something go away, we can't. We have to do the best we can with what's there. We just have to deal with it.
I confess. I'm not dealing with this particular situation in an admirable way.
If you know me at all, you know that it was never unusual for me to allow others to walk all over me. They could use and abuse and take advantage and I seemed powerless to stop it. I've gotten better at standing up for myself and I don't allow things to get quite so out of control anymore, but there are still times when I'm apt to allow their poor treatment of me at the time, then simply avoid that person in the future. (Perhaps not a perfect solution, but it works for me.) However, I am a Mama Bear when it comes to my kids. Do NOT mess with them. There is no better way to earn the wrath of Kelli than to do something mean or hurtful to my offspring.
And then...there comes a point when the mistreatment comes at the hands of someone in authority, someone who really has the final say. Whether or not their behavior toward your child is justified is strictly a matter of their own opinion and they have to answer to no one for it. A personality conflict? Maybe, but if that's the case we are completely unaware of it. They do as they see fit, handle the situation at their own discretion and that's just the way it is. It makes me angry.
It also makes me sad. I've watched my child's self-esteem diminish throughout this ordeal. I've seen the effects it has had on other aspects of her life. This one person, the one who wields all this power, should actually have very little control over her life as a whole. But when the one thing he does control is something that is very important to her, the result is crushing. So significant are his actions that their effects spill over. We've managed to get some of these 'side effects' under control but I can't just wave a magic wand and heal her heart. And that breaks mine.
As a parent, I've been a terrible failure these last few weeks, at least where this situation is concerned. I'm not proud of some of my actions and many of my words, but sometimes an aching heart has more control over us than we care to admit. I've worried, lost sleep and even been sick over it all. I've come to realize that none of that changes any part of the situation. I've also come to realize that as long as the situation doesn't change, it's incredibly difficult to change my reaction to it. I feel completely powerless. It's one of those no-win situations.
I'm sure that somewhere down the road we will come to the realization that it all happened for a reason. We'll find that there was something better awaiting her, something so much more significant than this huge THING that's consumed us for so long. None of this has changed who she is or what she can be...as long as she doesn't allow it. That's the hard part. But I also know my girl and she's strong, smart, beautiful and capable of anything. She'll get past this (probably a whole lot sooner than I do, if you wanna know the truth) and she'll file it away as one of her life lessons. I think it will read something like this:
Fair is a matter of perspective. People don't always have your best interests at heart. We aren't always given the same chances that others are given and sometimes we have to just live with it.
And P.S. Having hissy fits about it the way Mom does won't change anything. ;)