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The Unnecessary Backstory (the beginning)

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But Anyway by Blues Traveler

Custody Battles. FML

Monday, March 1, 2010

“There’s a weight over me today
It’s something I have to say
I love you too much to leave
Don’t like you enough to stay”

That’s the intro to a song I heard today. Though the song is about lovers, many of the lyrics fit well with what I’m feeling for my mother right now. I love her. I really do. But I don’t trust her, and I don’t even really like her.

Sure, this sounds like any other teenage rant. I know that. But that’s what I am, just a teenager. A nineteen year old girl trying to keep the peace in her dysfunctional family from 800 miles away.

My mother called me today and asked me to speak on her behalf in the custody hearing that will happen in late June, for my youngest sister, Lauren. I can’t do it. Nope. Not gonna happen.

But I don’t know if I can tell her “No” either.

I need to interrupt a little and go back. You, reader, whoever you are, don’t know the story. I’m not going into the details, not yet. Eventually maybe I will, but for now it’s enough to know that my mother is an alcoholic, who lost custody of my two sisters June 1st of last year. After a lot of shuffling around, my sister Amanda, age 12, ended up in a foster home, and my sister Lauren, 10, ended up at my aunts house.

My mom’s been sober a few months now, and they let Amanda go home. Lauren doesn’t want to go back to my moms house. She wants to stay at my aunts permanently. She likes that they have a ‘real’ family. That they all like each other; my family wasn’t like that. My mom was angry all the time, and Amanda and Lauren fought a lot. I avoided arguing, but even that was hard. To be honest, I think its best for both of my sisters if Lauren stays at my aunts. But no way would I ever be able to tell my mom that. I am afraid that if I did, she’d get angry, get stressed, and fall back to drinking. I know that she’s having a hard time staying sober. I don’t want to push her any more than necessary.

But Lauren is happy where she is. She’s thriving. She went from a C/D student to an A student. She’s playing basketball and loves it (my mom always refused to sign her up for any activities, even though Amanda got to do many.) I don’t trust my mom to stay sober, and Lauren, of all three of us, suffered the most from that.

Amanda does unbelievably better on her own. Without a sibling nearby to compete with. She needs attention, or at least, can’t share it. “Just because I don’t want it, doesn’t mean you can have it,” is her unstated opinion. She is very independent, but also competitive.

As much as I think it would be best for my sisters, I don’t think it would be good for my mom at all. She wants her baby back. I’m scared. I’ve decided for now, I’m staying out of it. I wont be involved in the hearing. My job, as always, is to pick up the pieces at the end. Whoever doesn’t win can be comforted by me. That’s what I always do. I don’t take steps because I’m afraid.

Am I making the right choice?

I wish my mother hadn't put me in this situation. I can't call her, because she'll want my decision. How can I explain it to her?

Song credit: Look For the Woman- Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip


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