My baby girl, oh! she cried,
knees buckling as she stood in the corner
waiting for mother to don her cape.
I did fasten my cape, but too many years later.
I can live with regret, I’ve proven. But failure is another animal. I failed my Nicole. Nicole, my savior. Savior, I mean truly–my daughter, upon her birth, saved my life. Yet, I allowed her to be emotionally abused.
She was three when I married her father, and twelve when I left him. To this day, I cry whenever I remember what she asked me upon telling her I was divorcing Jeff: “Am I coming with you?” That my baby girl had to wonder whether or not I wanted her…it’s a scar on my heart. But I should say here that near the end of my marriage, I was drinking a lot, and spending most nights out with my friends. I AM ashamed of myself. I have to live the rest of my life knowing that for a time, my daughter wondered how important she was to me. I hate myself for that. She’s twenty years old now, and I still fucking hate myself for making her wonder.
I can live with the residual effects of the abuse I suffered and witnessed growing up. But the time I wasted self-medicating, missing out on Nicole…in essence, mistreating Nicole…I can never forgive myself, even though my girl does forgive me. Even though we are the best of friends.
I didn’t handle my ex-husband’s abuse well. I became an alcoholic, like my mother. I never wanted to be like my mother.
Everyone always said, when Nicole was little, that I was a great mom. They say now that I’m a great mom. I know I could have been better.
I could have been better.
I could have been better, and goddamn it, that knowledge eats my heart out. I can’t blame the abuse I suffered from Jeff, Nicole’s dad. Lots of people would say, “It wasn’t your fault.” But motherfucker, I’m a mom! I love my child more than the air in my lungs, and I failed her once. I failed her once in a big fucking way. And no matter how many times Nicole and I talk about it, and she says it wasn’t my fault, or that she forgives me, I KNOW I FAILED.
How do I forgive MYSELF?
Do I even deserve forgiveness?