I was reminded of this the other day, ironically during a conversation with a counsellor who was trying to tell me I need to leave the past behind and stop being driven by guilt.
But how? It is my fault. Yes, I got him back after losing him as a baby, and I’ve put my addiction years behind me. But still. I can’t shake this incredible sense of guilt. He struggles at school, and that is directly my fault. Me and his mother… but since she isn’t around to help, this is my responsibility alone.
It isn’t always easy, and I hope this year is better than last, but seeing him struggle and knowing it’s almost certainly because I and his mother were junkies before and during her pregnancy with him.. that gets to me. I’m sorry, Josh. I’m trying to make things right as best I can.
I’m not perfect… I’ve become too much his “friend” and not enough of his parent, and now I must slowly try to change that. Also my approach of telling him everything in the hope that it should deter him from ever using drugs (as I wrote about recently) could backfire according to that same counsellor… because by telling him too much I might normalize drugs instead of deterring him from them. So I’m trying to get some help and advice to see what I can do to be a better parent.
And now, as I wrote this, she called me, demanding that I send her my old phone and money, and calling me “the biggest poes” (South African slang for the biggest cunt, only less polite) because I refuse. Heck, I bought her a phone when she stayed here and she stole more than I ever paid for that old phone anyway. Also she blames me for Josh hating her. Meanwhile in reality I have defended her for years, and won’t even tell him I’m writing this. I hope he finds it one day after I’m long dead and that it reinforces what he already knows: that I am well aware of my mistakes and am doing my best to make up for them, if I possibly can. I love you, Josh.
Edit: I’m sorry if this comes across too negative… life is a struggle for me at the moment. It feels like even though it’s a year on, I haven’t come to terms with my mother’s death; my ex and Josh’s baby sister being here for several months really took a toll because I love the little girl but I can’t have my ex here; Josh’s struggles – for which I feel guilty; and work has been tough.