Watching Beyond Scared Straight on A&E and I suddenly broke into tears. Teens filled with anger and self-hatred. Teens committing crimes with no sense of remorse. Teens shrugging off drug use, drinking, being expelled from school. Single parents sobbing while their children are carted around a penitentiary…sobbing with hope that something will change.
And I am shattered. After five years of marriage, I chose to walk away. I felt like I was doing the right thing – avoiding a tumultuous relationship that would only teach my son what harm a match and gasoline can really do. I walked away, thinking change would come, either in the form of growth or divorce. I had always secretly hoped for growth but it never came.
I wanted to be free of the fighting. But what has my freedom cost me? My son is a statistic. My son is a product of my failure to fix the broken. I am the first to say it takes two people to make a marriage work and two people to make it crumble. But I am a mother before anything else. And I will carry every burden that is put upon my son in the wake of my actions.
I am scared. The world is a cruel place. The world is hard and unforgiving. My son was born with a united front and now will live with a scattered army – more focused on hurting each other than protecting him from the tyranny of the worlds inevitable pains.
My heart is breaking, breaking as I type. Because this was not supposed to be his start. I prayed for my son. I begged for him. I planned my pregnancy in marriage. And delivered my son to a broken home.
I can try my hardest. I can do everything humanly possible of me to show him love and to give him opportunity. But it will never be enough. He will hate me. He will resent me. He will be ashamed of the fact that I am not an accomplished individual. He will feel for me what every teen feels for their mothers at one point in their lives. And all I will be able to do is say how sorry I truly am. Because he didn’t ask for this. He didn’t ask for me.
I love my son. More than this blog, any blog, words, thoughts, tears or screams can convey. My son is my only reason to breathe. I failed in saving my marriage. I failed in giving him the dream. The dream of a child who came from a broken home.
All I can do is spend the rest of my life showing my son unconditional love, supporting his dreams, listening to him and respecting him as the unique individual he is.
But is that enough to give him the light he needs to avoid the negative influences so prominent in our world?