Need to vent, need advice.... Failing like a true failure as a mom!
Hi friends... Need some ears and some advice? I'm a single mother of a 16 year old son (who lives with his dad) and an 11 year old daughter who lives with me. After divorce moved up north for a year, but ended up moving back to Florida for kids to be closer to their dad. Son wanted to live with father when I came back, and I let it happen because mediator thought if he wanted to be with his father, let him. I have custody of daughter and she has lived with me since. I have struggled for the past 7 years, to stay in the same town, support her without any child support, etc. and to keep her in the same elementary school. I have lost numerous jobs, due to technology or whatever else. Every year it seems I get into the position of losing job and not being to afford where I live and have to move again. We have moved every year since then, at least 6 times. Presently I am losing my job again, due to electronic records and have reduced hours with total layoff within next month. We were living with boyfriend from 9/2010 to 9/2011, but threw families together and my kids rejected him and his family. Due to lack of finances, not being able to afford the house we were living in and the desires of my daughter, I moved separately into one bedroom, me and daughter while he moved to his house than he owned but was rented out and will soon foreclose due to bankruptcy. Have lived here since 9/11, driving her 15 min out of the way to school in previous town so she could continue at great school.
Anyway, despite the sacrifices I make for her, as an 11 year old, she doesn't get it and wants and wants, but is very abusive and hurtful towards me. Yes, she is a brat and a diva and very manipulative and is very strong willed, whereas I am a marshmallow who has a very hard time setting limits, discipline, teaching respect, etc. I have gotten to the point again where I have to move and am going to move in with my boyfriend at his house a few towns away, about 40 min from where we used to live. She is most likely going to live with her father who is a little closer to that area but insists she go to school by his house that he won't drive her out of the way to school she loves. Good thing is she listens to him, and doesn't treat him the way she treats me. She likes his girlfriend who is a good woman and gets along with everyone there.
Problem is, I am conflicted, guilt ridden, heartbroken that I am a failure to her, can't provide her a stable homelife, can't discipline her, can't keep her in the school she loves, can't give her the security/stability and discipline that she needs. I want to, I love her deeply, but she is driving me so crazy that it blinds me half the time to thinking that I dislike her and that's she better off with her father. Other better days, I am so torn at wanting to make a life for her myself, being a successful mother, one she can respect and love and be proud of. I adore her, love her so much, but she tortures me.The guilt and conflict are raging inside of me all of the time. I have this guilt from giving up my son to my ex then and how I never developed a closer mother-son bond with him. I have regrets that I hold onto and can't let them go. I suffer from bipolar disorder/depression and this does not help my situation at all.
Sorry this is so wordy and rambling. I guess I just want to hear other views on this. Am I a bad mother to let my daughter live with her father? How do I let go of the guilt and feeling of failure? I hurt so much these days. My kids are going away this weekend to be with my family up north and I need the break to work on myself. Not sure how it's going to work living with my boyfriend again. He's a wonderful guy, but I'll have to deal with his kids now. 40 year old disabled son, 8 year old son, and 23 year old daughter who doesn't trust me with all of the problems we had and separating. He also has an independent 33 year old son who actually just got him a job and is nice, but also doesn't trust/like me. My daughter hates him and his little son and doesn't want any part of them. Tells me when she lives with her father, and I'm with my boyfriend, she will never see me again because she doesn't want to see him. :( She's a bit of a drama queen, yes, but I fall into her trap everytime.
Okay, will stop now. Anyone not bored after this long story and would like offer me some wisdom/advice? Marianne in Florida