I realized yesterday that I don't want Tabitha to come home. I miss her a great deal, but the thought of dealing with the a child who is unpredictable and extreme brings me nothing but dread. Adjusting to her absence was awful. I believe I cried for days. But now I have adjusted. Daily life brings an empty spot where Tabitha used to be, but it's sane and predictable.
My house is no longer covered with her messes..."Tabitha droppings," my mother used to say, for everywhere she went, my daughter seemed to leave a pile of unexplained "stuff." At some point I will have to clean her room. I'll probably do so this week. Before she left, Tabitha packed much of her clothing and belongings in boxes, as we had been considering relocation to a smaller home. That hasn't happened yet and Darrin has stopped talking of it. We'll see if it comes to pass in the next few months.
It's quiet here. Adam and I do chores, work, read. We are very much alike in our need for silence and solitude, but at the same time, we crave companionship from people who allow us to be ourselves. Adam now accompanies me to the store and helps with dinner, taking the Tabitha-time I allowed for my daughter when she was here.
I find myself avoiding television programs and movies both Tabitha and I enjoy. I don't go upstairs (where her bedroom is located) unless I have to. I try not to think of her or talk of her.
I think all this is temporary and part of learning to regroup and heal from the horrifying stress of dealing with a suicidal teen. I believe I probably do want her to return, but I don't ever want to go back to the situation that existed before she left.
This morning I was feeling very guilty about not wanting Tabitha, wondering what that said about me, as a mother and a human being. At the same time, I couldn't feel any desire to interact with her. I received permission to write to her two weeks ago. I've not done that yet. Last night I finally made myself sit down and write to my daughter. I sent the letter today--but I didn't want to. Part of me wants her to stay away.
The weird thing is, there is another part of me that still weeps because I miss Tabitha. Sometimes I want to hug her and laugh with her. I want to hear her singing. I still shop for clothes for her even though I don't buy anything. I find myself eating foods I don't really like because Tabitha enjoyed them.
So, probably I miss her. Maybe I miss her so much that the feeling of not wanting her is a defense mechanism to help stop the pain. Who knows? I feel sort of confused and messed up today, but better than I felt yesterday. I wish I had more answers.