Mother’s Failure- Kindra M. Austin

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?


17 thoughts on “Mother’s Failure- Kindra M. Austin

      1. And I’m excited your books are released! I’ll read the first chance I get.

        I was having some trouble with my email. You might see it as one uniform text with no breaks at all. Let me know and I’ll re-send. Love, B.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh my love… I understand this feeling. I became addicted to pain killers after my divorce from my abusive ex. I feel the same way, I let my children down. It’s such a painful thing to live with. Nicole is old enough to understand and she wouldn’t still be with you as a best friend and daughter if she didn’t truly forgive you. I think you have done the best thing you can by talking to her about it. Now it’s time to talk to yourself in the same way. You were hurting, you made a mistake, and you fixed it. I don’t know how to make it feel any better other than reminding ourselves that our children love us now, focus on that part. I love you ❤

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  2. I was waiting til now to comment on this because I wanted to say a lot. Now I’m here again, I’ll try and keep it brief haha. You know that I know how this feels. I have beaten myself up for years and I’ve written about it lately too. I’ve gone over and over it in my own head and I’ve spoken to my girls about it to death. They get pissed off at me now if I bring it up and NOW I understand why it bothers them so much. They love me! Nicole loves you! We may not be perfect, Kindra, but we are loved by the very people who we think we’ve hurt most. I’ve analysed it all so much and I’ve watched other parents parent (or not, as the case may be) and the penny finally dropped when I realised that some people just don’t know how to be sorry. Some people can never admit that maybe, they were shit at the parenthood thing. They never apologise or feel remotely responsible for any of the shit that they put their kids through. I know this first hand, because my kids’ dad is one of these people. I’ve watched him fuck up regularly. He’s driven his son away because he couldn’t swallow his fucking pride and tell him that he was sorry he fucked up. S. has told me on numerous occasions that should he become a dad, he will never ignore or avoid his kids. I hope that I had something to do with THAT mindset. He NEVER says sorry for anything. He will never accept responsibility for his actions or for not acting at all. You are a wonderful mom, Kindra. I’ve watched you for so many years now and I love what a good mom you are. Please try and stop blaming yourself for the past. It’s called past, because it IS. There’s nothing now that you can do to change it, but you can accept that it’s over. It’s now and the future that matters and you’re doing a fucking great job! I love you very much. (I think I kept this quite short really…considering 😉 )

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  3. Kindra- I also have so many thoughts here. Of course you deserve forgiveness- because we all do. We ALL fuck up – sometimes horrifically, sometimes in mundane ways. I think not forgiving ourselves actually in some ways creates continued pain for those in our lives. When we don’t forgive ourselves, we continue to hurt and possibly engage in self-destructive behaviors, which then also hurt those we love. So, in a sense, we owe it to those we love to forgive ourselves – we will then be more whole, kinder people because of it. Not to say it isn’t incredibly hard.

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