In 2004, I met a man who was, yes, older than I was, but seemed like everything I ever wanted. His daughter was only a year younger than me, his son was 7 years younger than me - I was 19 and very naive. The kids' BM had died suddenly in 2000. I tried to respect her memory as I spent the next 5 years raising her son. I was far more involved than my now ex-DH in my SS's life. I went to conferences, dropped everything and left work to go to the school when there was a problem, took SS places when exDH was busy, fundraised for a field trip to the East Coast, sat up with SS when he was sleepwalking and having night terrors as a teen, etc. In the beginning, I would call exDH and ask him what he wanted me to do, but within a year, his quick response was "I don't have time to deal with it, figure it out." So that's what I did. The most help I had was from SD because, I realized, she had been the one raising SS since their BM passed away. My youth and naivete eventually caught up with me, things spiraled, exDH and I got divorced, and SS who had a lot of problems by then went away to Job Corps for a while. During our divorce, exDH actually thanked me for being a good SM to his son and for always being there and doing everything that I could. SS and I tried to keep in touch for a while, but it got harder (Job Corps limits contact without the outside world to help reduce negative influences.) After SS left Job Corps, I would call and leave messages or send him messages on fb, but very rarely heard back from him. He recently turned 21, is engaged and has a second daughter on the way. I got to talk to him on his birthday, but hadn't had him return a phone call in over a year before that. He contacts my sister, who lives closer to him, more than he contacts me.
Tbh, I feel lost. I guess I just don't know who I am to him. I honestly felt like a mother, or at least the closest I'll ever be to one, but now I feel a constant loss (trust me, I know this is nothing like the loss of a biological child, so please no one assume that). It's kind of like I feel like my "mom" card got revoked. I've been divorced since 2009 and I still cry about this and think I should have done better, been a better SM somehow, or waited for my marriage to fall apart until I could have helped SS. Is there anyone out there who can relate? Anyone with any wise words?
(This is my first CM post. I've been on CM for a while, now, though, and kind of kicking myself wondering if I'm just here looking for some kind of validation and if it's sick because I'm not a "real mom.")