My son is growing up a nice young teenager. We´ve come closer, not really friends, cause it is a lie that children and parents are friends: it is a strange relationship, deeper, often conflicted, full of love and one that you don´t choose or escape. My son and I have come to respect each other, so it is not just love.
I divorced his father when he wasn´t even three years old, therefore he doesn´t have memories of us three as a family living together and I have avoided saying anything about his dad until a few years ago, when I got tired of being painted as the evil bitch by his dad and I deemed my son old enough to sit down and have a good conversation with me.
Today he asked me why I tried to kill myself when he was five years old.
I told him I was in the first serious crisis of my disorder and that it was a perfect storm of unemployment, a young child to support without any help from an ex-husband who did not work and wanted alimony from me (which was crazy), the horror of being completely alone, no family support whatsoever, and a sense of failure, of hopelessness, that I wasn´t good enough for my son, that I should give my son to his paternal grandparents, and yet I could not live without him, that I was worthless, lower than the lowest life form that crawled in this planet, that I should have never ever existed.
None of this was his fault, he was the only thing I ever did in my whole life that was good and perfect, and I wasn´t good enough for him. He deserved better than me. I was sick and did not think it right, I did something that would have hurt him, but I sincerely thought I was so worthless he would not miss me and be happier without me, so I thought I was doing him good. I can´t ask him forgiveness because I simply did not know any better then, I was too sick, too disturbed, suffering so much, but I never, not for a second, did not love him.
What I can promise him is that I am treating myself, that I´ll have good and bad days, but I will always love him, even when we fight, as mother and son are wont to do.
I just hate my ex husband for having told my son about it. He called me crazy, implied I was a danger to my son, tried to poison my relationship with the kid. And my caregiver and I did all we could to hide from him – he was only five – the days I spent at the ICU, mom was traveling for work. He was too young, I was too sick, we wanted to protect and shield him as much as possible from the most gruesome parts of a crisis. Until a few years later my ex husband spilled it all.
The kid is getting taller than me. He hugged me and said “I love you, mom!”. It meant the world to me. My baby, my boy, my prince. Looking at him, healthy, intelligent, caring, I feel that I did not do a bad job, in spite of all my problems. I put love first, and it proved to be a good strategy.
I love you too, my son.