Should've, would've, could've...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, May 18, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Now that difficult child has been out of the house almost a year and a half and is more or less standing on his own two feet, I have found it more and more difficult to not reflect back and see all my mistakes contributing to his troubles. Don't get me wrong, in many ways I have been a good mother, done my best and even succeeded, but then there are those things...

    I have done a lot for my kids. They have always come first for me. I seriously mommy-tracked my career, I gave up a lot to be the best mom I could. I was there for them and loved them unconditionally. That part I'm not regretting at all even though there was days when I wondered why I ever wanted to have kids. My own childhood wasn't easy. To be honest, my father is a mean SOB. Driven, dedicated to his thing, successful too at least in some ways I guess. But not a good father. My mom was smart and lovely but very irresponsible eternal hippie. Men came and went but I ended up being an adult in our relationship from early age on. I wanted something totally different to my kids. I may have went somewhat overboard but I'm sure that didn't hurt them.

    Then there are things I did wrong. I shouldn't have spoiled difficult child so much. I shouldn't have compensated because I felt bad for him, when he wasn't treated fairly by others. At times I was simply too tired or too angry to do what I knew was a right thing to do. at times I didn't know what to do and made some big mistakes. At times I protected him too much and at times not enough. I feel bad for these things, but I do know I didn't do those in purpose. I did what I knew, what I was able and what I thought was best at that moment. Lots of should've, would've, could'ves, but I did my best.

    The really difficult part is those things I knew were wrong. Which I could've done differently, which I knew would end up badly and still did. Those I have a hard time living with. The biggest one is what started this whole mess. To contradict my parents I was always exceedingly proper. Did things right. I think one big thing I fell in love with in my husband was he could give me a lifestyle I wanted, those picket fences I so wanted. And we did things in proper way. When we had been married proper time, our career's were in right point, we decided to try for baby. We left birth control and started trying. And then I did the most GFGish thing possible. Had a fling, or more like one night stand, with a workmate. Day before I knew I would have my ovulation. I have never been able to explain that to even myself. It was just something so hugely stupid and self-destructive that I can't understand what I was thinking. And what I was thinking when I got some morning-after-pills next day - and never took them.

    And of course I got pregnant. During the pregnancy I didn't know who was a father and didn't tell husband. After difficult child was born I still hoped against hope he would be my husband's but I knew he wasn't. husband found out when difficult child was around six months old and had to be hospitalised. husband noticed difficult child's blood type there and understood difficult child couldn't be his son. It was very difficult time for many reasons, but husband decided to stick with us. And promised to treat difficult child like his own. I promised never to tell anyone except difficult child when he would be an adult, not even to his biological father. Unfortunately husband also told his mother and mother in law has never been able to keep her mouth shut. So both our sons do know and so does many in our extended family. That has certainly left some scars to difficult child. difficult child has not yet asked about his biological father, but I do know that day will come. And I really don't know what to answer to him. Even husband doesn't know, who the father is and doesn't want to. husband has tried his best to treat difficult child as his own. Sometimes it has been better, sometimes not so good. He does favour easy child very clearly but I don't know how much of it is this and how much is, that he simply doesn't get difficult child. easy child is the son he always hoped for, difficult child is not.

    And also that is my fault. I of course can not do anything to my own difficult child genes, they are what they are. But there was always this certain intensity in both of my parents I really hated. Long time I thought I didn't have it but later I have understood, I do have it, I just turn it inside. My husband has very little that kind of intensity and I adore that. But the guy I had a fling with, was one of the most intense persons I have ever met. He does well in many areas (awesome genes many would say), but he does have heavy difficult child family background. And he does have that certain intensity. So I shouldn't be surprised, that difficult child managed to inherit enough intensity for four normal person and his fair share of GFGness. I did choose that to him and he is the one paying the price. And I have hard time to live with this. I'm sorry I did this to husband, but at least he did have his choice in the matter and if he wanted to stay with us. But no one ever asked difficult child if he wanted to be born in that screwed up situation and be the one to deal with all the consequences of my horrible choices. And that is something I have really hard time living with.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    OK, let me be completely blunt and honest: You're human, right? You make mistakes. Me too. I've made some doozies. I didn't have the same outcome (different mistakes... Maybe) - but for the most part, just like me, you did the best you knew how with what you had available to you.

    If you'd known the outcome? Maybe you wouldn't have. But - maybe you would have anyway.

    Your husband is a gem, and he knew he had a gem, in the rough perhaps, in you. mother in law sounds like my father in law - can't keep his darned mouth shut for NUTHIN'.

    And something I've said before, and will say again - there was one perfect person on this planet, and we nailed Him to a tree. So... Personally, I'd rather mess up than have THAT happen! (Though sometimes it FEELS like I have been!)

    More :hugs:.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Aww SuZir, give yourself a break, hon. You made a mistake. Life is full of mistakes, some large, some small. It's how we learn and grow as people. You obviously did not repeat this mistake, which tells me you learned a valuable lesson from it. It takes far far more than sperm to be a father and a Dad. Someday your difficult child will mature enough to realize that profound fact and that husband is not his biodad will no longer be an issue of any sort.

    I do my best to live my life with no regrets. That is not to say I haven't make some pretty major mistakes in my life........In fact, you'd probably faint if I told you some of them........heck, even my own kids will never know some of them. But each of them, no matter how awful or foolish or self destructive they were taught me something........and I did learn the lesson. So I don't regret it. Because if I regret it, then I also regret the lesson I learned along the way. My mistakes have made me a much more empathetic person than I would've been otherwise, much more well rounded, less eager to judge someone, more prone to attempt to understand.

    I have nothing against my biodad. He is who he is, the good and the bad. But my Mom's 2nd husband, the man she married when I was 2 and divorced when I was 6-7, but who I still saw every single day of my life until he died when I was 22 yrs my Dad. When someone asks me about my Dad, he's the one I think of first. I'm lucky if I think of biodad at all. It didn't matter if I was created via his sperm or not, it didn't even matter that he divorced my mother when I was 7........he took me as his child at the age of 2 and I remained his child until he left this earth. Know what I mean??

    Your husband is your difficult child's Dad, he just happened to have a biological sperm donor.

    You have to learn to let such things go. We can't change the past, we can only do better in the present and future.

  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi SuZir, tender and warm hugs to you right off the bat. If a thread of confessions began, we would all be at this for the rest of time. Mistakes are part of life, so what everyone else has said, I ditto that. We're human, mistakes are part of being human.

    If you hadn't connected with that guy, your unique difficult child would not be who he is, he wouldn't be at all. You gave him life. I use to tell my daughter, after her Dad and I split up, that he and I got together specifically to connect to have her, that she was the very unique combination of the two of us, without that sperm and that egg, she would not be. That's how I felt reading your post. Your difficult child is here because of that choice you made, and if you can forgive yourself, you can start anew right in this moment seeing it differently, seeing it as the gift of your creative family, each boy a different soul with a different destiny. I think it's time for you to let go of the blame of yourself and start all over seeing each child as the gift he is, and you as the Mom they were both supposed to have, with the Dad they both were supposed to have. My granddaughter wrote on her facebook page that true happiness is loving what you already have. I think that about sums it up, don't you? I hope you can forgive yourself and move on, let go. Perhaps in writing it all down today and sending your words and your guilt out into cyberspace, you can let it to and lighten your heart. I hope that for you.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    You know something? I was sitting in my room one Sunday morning and I was flipping through the channels - and I came across this (do not laugh at me) televangelist. I wouldn't have watched except what caught my ears was the man was talking and preaching about - FORGIVENESS. I mean everyone messes up, everyone falls short of grace everyday, everyone sins (being politically correct here), and like Step said we're all human. Okay with the exception of a few ex's and Mother in laws and ex mother in laws, and some sister in laws, and a few sisters, and lemme think - I better include a few brothers, someones Mother and a couple of Fathers, step relations and that should about cover our board here. (aunts and uncles, grands et al)

    So anyway - I'm sitting there and this tv evanglist says the most incredible thing, because as a difficult child Mom, I have beaten myself up pretty good over the years. I've done some things that I had not forgiven myself for -oh going back to as far back as I could remember. I'm talking like gradeschool. So I'm listening and he's talking and between you and me? MY thoughts have always been that when I made a colossal bo-bo? If I kept saying (to my higher power) I'm sorry for (that thing) and kept saying PLEASE FORGIVE ME for - (that thing) remember Lord, (that thing I did back in 1976?) and (that thing I did in 1981) and OH (that thing when I was you know) and who could forget (well you know THAT?) and that one usually comes out making me sound like FOREST GUMP. I just figured if I kept asking for years and years for forgiveness then God would get that I'm still sorry about it, and get that I've not forgotten and keep forgiving me for it. I carried around such emotional baggage and guilt - It was just killing me. And of course - some of those things other people knew about and like your mother in law were mean or spiteful because they were so miserable in their own lives and hadn't found forgiveness in their own misdeeds - they felt the need to open their mouths and put my business out on the street - and well - people like that are really, small minded, petty people. FORGIVE HER. FORGIVE YOURSELF....and understand this. (and I'm not preaching BUT) Our higher power does not ----DOES NOT want us to ask forgiveness for any of our sins - BUT - ONE TIME.......ONCE and done - and it's gone. Like Step said also - That's why there was a man on the cross - ONCE, and done.

    So the next time you beat yourself up over your son - YOUR PRECIOUS GIFT OF A SON.....regardless of how he got here.....REGARDLESS OF IF you think ......"YOU THINK" your husband favors the other....we all have our favorites - but I would bet.....he LOVES ALL OF HIS CHILDREN different but the same. I know another Father like that. REGARDLESS OF how many times you THINK you've had to ask your husbands forgiveness - it should have only had to have been ONCE. Because he's not more perfect than the man on the cross....and he ONLY asks ONCE.....ONCE AND DONE.....

    I thought it was very 'interesting' how the channel got changed that morning with a puppy bootie call........I certainly wouldn't have deliberately stuck to that chanenel..But there was a message in there for a woman who had been beating herself up over a lot of things....over and over - and oddly enough that time, that day - I just sat there quietly and said - I'm going to ask once more - for these things - and now? I can't even remember how badly it felt to carry them for so many years. I needed to hear that message that day - and I hope it helps you understand - it's once - and done. And you've been given a precious gift. It doesn't matter how we get's what we do once were here that counts.

    Hugs & Love
    (cause I have no idea how I got here - either)
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    You are kind. And very right that there really is no use crying over spilled milk. And while I do want to strangle difficult child at times, it would be unthinkable not to have him. And as wonderful as my easy child is I would never want to switch my difficult child to having two of him. Of course not that other biological child of me and husband would be carbon copy of easy child, We could have just ended with the different kind of difficult child than our difficult child. And yes, he is our difficult child, husband is his dad, Always will be. I do expect difficult child getting curious about his biological father at some point, if not earlier then at the time he will have his own children. But I have to say that he has never questioned his dad being his dad. Not even when he was little bit younger and they were fighting and it could had been so easy to throw that "you are not my father"-bomb to the air.

    And I really am a lucky gal to have husband. When he decided to stick with us, we made some rules. There was that not telling to the difficult child's bio father he had a kid, other one was that husband would treat difficult child as his own and the third one was that this matter would never been used as a weapon when we have a spat. And also that we have managed to keep. Not once has husband hurled that one out during the argument, not even when we have been fighting over difficult child's issues. In fact I have heard that "YOUR son did this or that" more often when easy child has done something to irritate husband than when difficult child has.

    Still it is of course a sore spot in our family and even more so between me and husband's relatives, especially mother in law. And unfortunately also between mother in law and difficult child. It doesn't help that difficult child and easy child don't look anything alike. Well, they are same race and there is something around the eyes they have both gotten from me, but other than that they do not look like brothers at all. easy child looks very much like husband. He is big, athletic looking kid and he ha s a pretty face, very good looking kid all together. difficult child is even taller but have always been very lanky kid. And he was always much taller than others and tried to look smaller so he has that slouching act down to the tee. And he has not been that lucky with looks department as easy child. His features just don't quite go together. But there is certain, hmmm, presence and that intensity in him, he is always noticed. But they are indeed remarkably not looking like each other and people notice and joke about it. Most probably have no idea how close they hit but it is still very awkward, especially when we do not know how many people do know. As said mother in law has a big mouth but she also has a big thing for appearance and I'm sure she doesn't want people outside of the family to know her son was cheated and is raising other man's child.

    At times it feels almost unfair to difficult child that easy child has so much more going for him. All the things that are so hard for difficult child come easy to easy child. easy child is very popular, has lots of friends and is very well liked, is always getting those 'nicest guy' and 'fair play' awards sport teams give out, has been captain of his teams often. Mostly likes school, he has to work little bit more to his academics than difficult child, but not much. And while easy child may not end up having the level of talent in his sport that difficult child has, he is still very, very good. Luckily boys get along fine, but I do know difficult child is jealous of easy child and easy child at times feels embarrassed his brother is who he is. And that is hard for me to deal with emotionally.

    I do know it doesn't help if I beat myself over this. And in some ways I'm almost happy I did make that mistake. Not only because it gave me difficult child but because screwing up so huge did teach me a lot. I had always prided myself of my propriety, how I always did the right thing. If I hadn't screwed up that badly I would probably be even more insufferable know-it-all than I already am. That indiscretion taught me a lot of humility and gave me more understanding to others. So I'm not at all sure if I would take it back even if I could and in the other way also that feels wrong because it did hurt many people.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Suz -

    I look at it in a more final way - because when it is all said and done? I ONLY have to answer to ONE person for all I've done in this world. MY Mother doesn't judge me. My MOTHER IN LAW certainly gets no vote. My Famiies opinion and their "sore spot" doesn't count for squat, diddly poo. I have to live under the same roof with my DF (you have a husband) and he's already forgiven you - remember what I said? Once and done? So I think (in my humble opinion) the person here that is beating you up is yourself. Over.....a BEAUTIFUL GIFT.

    It's illogical. See if you follow this -

    Suzir - says - Here Star - I got you a beautiful donkey colt....
    Star says - OMG OMG OMG and faints.......wakes up - OMG OMG OMG.....faints...wakes up.
    Suzir says - Well what do you think? Love him huh?
    Star proceeds to punch herself in the head, kick herself in the kiester, and runs all over the meadow doing that and never FULLY looks at or ENJOYS the beauty of the donkey colt.
    Suzir - stands there GOBSMACKED. WHY would she not want the beautiful GIFT and blessing of such a wonderful gift?

    NO ONE KNOWS.....the question can't be answered - because it's illogical. A GIFT IS A GIFT IS A GIFT....

    (not that difficult child is a donkey colt - but if you knew how much I wanted one? You'd understand that if someone plopped one on my door I'd love it like a new child)

    STOP LOOKING AT WHAT YOU THINK EVERYONE ELSE SEES and TELL THEM - THAT YOU ONLY HAVE TO PLEASE ONE PERSON IN THIS WORLD AND HE"S THE ONE THAT GAVE YOU THIS GIFT - and HE IS VERY PLEASED! You can tell that by the inner contents of His gift. And if there was wrongdoing? You only had to ask once to receive forgiveness with GOD. If they think they're any better than HE is - they need to get back into CHURCH or the BIBLE ...

    and if THAT doesn't satisfy the sore spot of the family tell them to (cant say that here) but BOY if you can't say it - call me and put me on speaker phone.

    Hugs and Love Star.
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're a wise woman SuZir, I think wisdom and compassion are what we gain from our mistakes if we stay open, and you have. While reading your post, my granddaughter's best friend came to mind. She is a fraternal twin. She and her 'twin' sister don't even look like sisters at all, they look like they belong in different families altogether. One is rail thin, the other pudgy, one is SUPER smart, wants to be a Doctor, the other has to take remedial reading in school, the smart one is super popular, has tribes of friends while her sister is shy and withdrawn. One talks a mile a minute, the other is quiet and calm. Both of the girls are over our house a lot, they couldn't be more different, and yet, both are endearing, lovable and wonderful kids. I've known these girls since they were in the second grade and they're 16 now and all these years you can't help but think, how in the world did that happen????? The Dad favors one, the mom the other. They could not be more different looking or more different in personality and everything else. So, kids in the same family being so dissimilar in every way can be completely plausible.

    In reaction to your comment, "it did hurt so many people" it sounds to me like it hurt you and husband, and he got over it.

    If you think others are judging you, I think it would be prudent to remember that we react to the judgments of others to the exact degree that we are busy judging ourselves. My guess is that when you completely stop judging yourself for this "mistake" you won't be bothered to notice mother in law or anyone else's judgments. What they think is none of your business. Hugs to you............
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Suzir....I have 3 boys. 1 is from my first marriage and 2 are from my current SO. Tony took on my oldest when he met me and Billy was just 2 years old. He is the only father Billy actually remembers. Billy knows who his father is but only from meeting him as an adult and me telling him who he was over the years. His bio father never bothered to contact him during his childhood. Tony raised him. Now obviously Billy is a half brother to the other two boys...just like your difficult child is to your easy child. Billy really couldnt look any more different from my younger two if he tried but when he is out with Tony everyone thinks he is Tony's son. No one has a clue that I had him before we met. As far as Tony tells anyone, he has 3 boys. Its what he always wanted and I just came with one already built in. He got a head start...lmao.

    My boys adore each other. They are all now in their mid 20's to early 30s now. Gosh Im old! Darn I should probably say late 20s to early 30's really. 26-31. Unreal.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Star, are you sure you don't know my difficult child? Donkey colt indeed. Kicks, bites, more stubborn than anything, sensitive and high-maintenance. And at times the most adorable thing in planet. :rofl:

    Yes, wallowing in guilt does not help anyone and is something I should just stop. Neither is there any point to fret about what others may or may not think especially when most couldn't probably care less. Not even in husband's family. In fact mother in law's mother in law (husband's granny) is one of the very few people who has said anything about it to my face. She asked, if I really imagined difficult child is the first kid in the family tree who doesn't happen to look like his father at all. And remind me that in older times there were no reliable birth control. And when it goes outside of the family, I do know that worrying much about appearance doesn't make me more pleasant or better person. Just more small minded one.

    Maybe I should just start using the same tricks difficult child uses when he starts thinking of gambling to stop these thoughts. Because you are right, they are not for any use. husband has forgiven me, I don't think easy child thinks it much and it really is not his business anyway and if difficult child at some point wants to know more, that will be a right time to tell him more. I do believe he has a right to know who his bio father is, but he really is the only one who still has something to say in matter.

    And when I (again) start to worry what others are saying and appearances, maybe I just have to take out my DVDs and firmly remind myself that while I do kind of adore Hyacinth Bucket, I may not want to turn to her. (Hyacinth Bucket is a main character in older British tv series Keeping Up Appearances, that is still funny as h***. If you have never seen it, I highly recommend it. It has a fabulous group of various difficult child characters and few long suffering un-difficult children.) It was already scary enough when Desperate housewives started it run all those years ago and I got acquainted my long lost soul sister Bree Van de Kamp :winks:
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The whole "looks" thing? Can it. Permanently.
    I have an adopted bro, and a bio-bro. Less than a year apart in age.
    Until they were well into teens, they looked more - MUCH more - alike, than any of the rest of us in our immediate OR extended family. And not a single shared gene.

    I know another family with a boy and a girl - one bio and one adopted... and it's the adopted one who is always being commented on for the striking family resemblance.

    There's other families where there is "genetic throwback"... where recessive genes that have been hidden for a number of generations, show up.

    I get it that this is a really sensitive spot, and not exactly easy in the old self-concept... but... it ain't about looks.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm with IC, because...

    Onyxx looks MUCH more like me and my Mom than her bio mom... Genetically impossible, but there you have it.
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    You are right that looks can be very deceiving. And big part of how we see this 'comes after their mom/dad/granny' is in fact the mannerism and expressions that are often learned. So it is common to children look like their parents even when they don't share genes. Also my difficult child has some of his dad's expressions and mannerism but he comes more to me in that too. Still I'm sure most/all of those people who joke about our sons not looking the same and difficult child not looking like his dad, don't have any idea, that they are hitting so close. And if they do, it is probably because how we react to the jokes. They most likely just assume difficult child comes after some relative in either mine or husband's side. And to be frank, I assume that if they would even suspect difficult child is not husband's natural son, they would just keep their mouths shut and not joke about it. At least not when our sons are listening. It is just that having to hear those comments may make my sons feel uncomfortable. And even difficult child is socially aware enough that he knows that asking them to leave the topic would just make them understand they did hit home with that.

    I have never really talked with either of sons about how they feel about it. I have tested waters with difficult child but he doesn't want to talk about it, but I can see it is a touchy suspect. But I'm not going to push it. easy child has few times kind of tested waters to talk with me about it, but have never wanted to really go to it anyway. He is young, very good kid, somewhat naive and matters around dating are of course very important to him. The idea that I have cheated his dad is difficult for him. He couldn't (in this point) ever think of cheating someone he loves and me doing that to husband is something he seems to have hard time understanding.

    When husband's granny made that comment about difficult child not being the first kid not looking like his dad, she wanted to give me perspective to this. She doesn't approve mother in law's big mouth about the matter and thinks her making the noise about it is simply bad decorum. That there has always been cheating and before birth control many more kids were born as a result of it and there is no reason to make a mess about it but just live with it. I kind of got a distant impression that maybe husband's dad or one of his siblings are also not the natural kids of their dad. Don't know, don't care. At least husband's granny has always treated difficult child just like her other great grandkids. Unfortunately with mother in law I can't say the same. Not only did she spill the beans for husband's siblings, she also told difficult child and easy child about it and she has not been nice with it with difficult child. And while I could come up with nicer table conversation topics in family dinners between main course and dessert than my cheating ways, I'm sure it hurts difficult child's feelings far worse than mine. Not that mother in law usually says anything straightforward any more, she just implies. And if confronted, plays dumb. But there has been times when I can see how also difficult child just waits for the first comment to come and flinches when the first one hits. And that breaks my heart. Easy solution would be not to have a dinner with mother in law, but unfortunately that is not quite so easy. I could of course decline, but husband and our sons do want to do it anyway.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Wow Suzir, you have lived some hard lessons, but I can do nothing but be impressed by how you have dealt/are dealing with it. Whether bio kids or adopted, we all choose to be family and to love, or not to connect and love. Sounds like your family made the decision to be a real family....made from love. Husband and Wife (or significant others) are not related yet are the most common definition of family, because they choose to commit to each other. I agree with Star, what a beautiful gift. My sister has two kids born from different bio was African American (not in the picture at all) and second is mixed-Japanese/Swedish. Kids look nothing like my fair haired sister. They are full siblings, bro. is annoyed by and protective of his baby sister. She never even used his name till last year. Just called him 'brudder' all these years. Q is adopted, Hispanic/African American/Italian heritage, and the other three cousins are blond/reddish haired, fair skinned....but they are full cousins in their hearts. Would never say differently. Family is extra special when you choose to commit when there is not a bio connection (not diminishing the bond of a bio...I have bio parents afterall) is such a special opportunity.

    I love your husband's granny. Mine was similar. My dad's mom just loved her grandkids, and took on extras if need be. Everyone was welcome to the party! As my sister says, can't ever have too many people love our kids.

    I am certainly not saying there is reason to deny that there will be feelings and some hurt/confusion/wondering/whatever.... But you have been honest, and like many people who are in adoptive situations, you are giving him an open door. When he wants info, you have made it clear he can get it. At his own speed, in my humble opinion that was brilliant and sensitive.

    I hope you can more fully forgive yourself. I work on that for situations too and I am sure we all have stuff. Some more challenging than others I realize, but I think your difficult child was meant to be just as he is. For whatever reasons???? But he does sound like a great kid, and when thru these challenges I stand by my feeling that he is going to really be something. Probably wont be an easy ride, but he sure shows signs of wanting to take steps forward.

    Your post has made me think about dumping some baggage, so thanks for that.