Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Are Enough

When long term relationships fail, rarely are the people involved surprised. It's been years of negotiations, of discussions, of trying to work out a plan that works for those involved.

No one is surprised that a final straw has been reached, or a last line crossed.

I have reached that point. Not with my wife- calm down. My wife is the love of my life and while we've had our ups and downs, we are particularly tight right now.

Except when she wants to spend money.

I tried to create a family for my boys. An expansive one. I never had much family growing up and when I met Jeanine's clan, I was in awe.

And jealous. I wanted that for my kids.

I tried. Deep down, I didn't feel like I was enough. That I could not possibly give the boys all they needed, wanted. In some ways, I think that's true of any child, any where. More people, more love, is always a good thing.

For me, though, it was my mother's voice that said I wasn't enough. I had made a mistake. It wasn't fair to any child to bring them into this world in a lesbian relationship. They would suffer stigma and be outsiders. They would miss out on having a father.

As if that did me personally any good, having one who abused me but let's not go there right now. I knew I wanted a father. One who wasn't creepy, who didn't grunt and say disgusting things.

(She said that to me when I told her I was going to try and get pregnant. Right after she said she was going to move to Australia. I kid you not. She really did say the shame was so great she would have to move to Australia. Canada, clearly, was not far enough.)

Those words gnawed at me for years. My heart knew I did not make any mistake at all. But that voice lived on for many, many years. Even my mother retracted her words eventually. She loved her babies. By the time Jake was born, she was Grandma with a capital G and don't ever question that.

Not enough. I wasn't enough. Jeanine and I together, were not enough. I am not someone to sit by, so I made it happen. I fixed it. Or at least I thought I fixed it.

I don't believe that anymore. Over the last few months, major shifts have happened in our lives, in our kids lives. A final line was crossed. The last straw drawn. It has been devastating for me personally.

It didn't work. Too many unsaid things, too many disappointments, too many hurtful, clueless boundary crossings. When we saw our oldest son suffering, and understood where his pain came from? We slammed doors shut so fast Maxwell Smart wouldn't have made it through.

I can take a lot of shit. You can rain down on me. But my kids? Never. No way.

It's been a few months since that happened. Life has shifted for the kids, for Jeanine and I. The biggest lesson I learned? We are enough. We are most definitely, without question, enough. If I had one lesson learned that I wish I could shout from the rooftops to every two dad or two mom household, it is you are enough.

All those innuendos, and Madison Avenue images that barrage you every day, making you wonder if your kids are missing something in their lives... whispers of straight family members, or people in your community... They are wrong.

Two loving, committed parents (and I don't care if you're divorced- it's about loving and being committed to the kids) are what your kids need.

It took 14 years and a lot of struggle for me to realize that.


Anonymous lez zorba said...

I think it was Winnicot who created the concept of "good enough parenting..." (although I think he termed it "good enough mothering.") It's the idea that none of us are perfect. And that's ok. To be expected. We don't have to be. We simply have to be "good enough." And you guys have that covered and then some!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

it saddens me to know that 7 people i care for very deeply are all hurting!

6:21 AM  
Anonymous cbc said...

long time reader-- have an 18 month old daughter and a son on the way. this post struck home.
i'm feeling overly sensitive about 'guys trips' i'm picturing my son going on with my father in law and brother in law. afraid it will leave me out of the mix- as the non-bio mom. i've found with my daughter i have my own bonding place with her- but i'm worried how it will shake out with a little boy.
i already believe that we, his moms, will be enough- i'm just worried that he won't.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

cbc? he will.

trust me.

2:02 PM  
Blogger J said...

As I start down the path towards single-motherhood (AI a few days ago...assuming it works) I struggle with the same question. Will I be enough?

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stop thinking about yourself so much and think about your sons, look in the mirror for once

9:31 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I am thinking about my sons.

I am thinking about how deeply they will continue to be disappointed.

I am thinking of my sons.

I am thinking about their safety, and about their exposure to inappropriate behavior.

believe me... I am thinking about my sons.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

in fact, anon, if I told you the whole story, you'd be a little horrified I ever considered anything else.

needless to say, I have not told the whole story here. I appreciate it might be hard to understand my choice with only veiled, vague references.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

in fact, anon, you should ask your brother what he did to have this happen.

let's see if he tells the truth. I appreciate you have his back. but if it were your kids... you'd do the same thing.

I'm happy to have you contact me via email to discuss if you'd like.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Morgan said...

While I agree that everyone is hurting, I believe you have handled this correctly and with much more restraint than I would. And I know the reasoning behind that is specifically because you are thinking about your sons. Healing to all.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

Wouldn't it be great to not have to hurt? Unrealistic as it is, that's what I wish for you.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! I finally figured it out. You actually bought the anti-gay line about children needing mothers and fathers in a family or as closely as you could approximate that.

The explanation is now perfectly simple: you were a moron. Now stop being a moron.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Rev. Bob said...

Go back to your group work classes and management classes. There are certain functions that have to be performed: convening, recording, gatekeeping, and so on. Those functions don't have to belong to certain predefined roles; they just have to be performed by somebody. They especially don't have to be performed by certain persons with certain characteristics. So long as the functions are performed, the group or family works. And as the boys mature and are more able to take on some of those functions, flexibility makes the family work better.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

I am a single mum after two marriages, the last was not a good one, and I have questioned myself a few times, am I enough, well I got 'it' with my kids help, yep I am enough because I love, love my kids and they know it, they know I love them and will always be here for them, no matter what and to me that's the most important thing.

10:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home