My children are successful. They are academically gifted, they have friends, they play sports and games and sing and are generally happy. I look at them and I think, I did okay. We made it. Most of the time, I think that.
And then something happens with their dad, and a look crosses one of their faces, and I know it's all an illusion. Some day, they're going to end up in a therapist's office, talking about how much their parents fucked them up.
They'll be right.
No matter what their father or anyone on his side of the family did, I should have been able to protect them. To keep them from the insanity. The bitterness. The anger. The constant fighting that was really about their father's unresolved feelings and not about them at all.
I should have, but I didn't. I thought I was, but I wasn't. And the truth is that, years and a really good therapist later, I still don't know what I could have done differently.
You do the best you can, my mother would say. As an adult, a parent, I know that my best wasn't good enough.
That really sucks.
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