The Fight Ends

Suddenly she felt the fight drain out of her. She had been fighting for so long that she could not imagine a time when she had not been. Fighting against doctors, specialists, so-called experts. Fighting with teachers, administrators and those who could not see past the labels that had been given to her child. All she had wanted was to give her son a fair chance, for him to have the opportunities that the other children had – the children he played with and learned with every day.

She remembered the long nights spent in front of her computer crafting letters to be sent to those in authority. She remembered the after-school meetings each year with the teachers her son had had. She remembered the doctor’s appointments, the diets she researched and explored, the energy she had spent on her only child’s future. Her marriage had suffered: her husband leaving to live with a woman who focused on him and spent time with him. Her friendships had all fizzled out:  the same excuses can be accepted only for a certain number of times, and then the invitations stop. Her focus on Grant had caused her to lose focus on herself with the result that she was no longer healthy herself.

All those years, all that time, to culminate with the words her son had just uttered.

“I am sorry Mom, I cannot take it any more. You control my life too much: what I eat, what I do, where I should be every moment of the day. I want to be able to live my life on my own terms, make my own decisions, make my own mistakes. I need to leave before you suck everything out of me. Dad is picking me up tonight. I am packed and ready to go. I cannot do this any more.”

Describe a time when you received a shock like this mom. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: Fight)

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31 thoughts on “The Fight Ends

  1. This is not so shocking, I think. Maybe this is the normal carving out of space a teen requires to become whole – an individual. I do feel a sad poignancy for his mom, though. I recognize her in many of us, self-included, who have given our whole selves for our children. Perhaps the letting go will be bitter-sweet?
    Eventually, we all must let go. Perhaps it is the wide expanse of the future without defined roles that causes pause and a sense of panic as we moms focus on re-organizing our lives after the fallout of abrupt change.

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    1. This is a scenario all moms are at risk of finding themselves in, isn’t it? One way to avoid this may be for us to have an interest outside of our own children; something in which we can channel our energy when we do feel the need to control every aspect of our children’s lives.

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  2. Hi Colline – I’m stopping over from FMF. Wow – what a heart-stopping moment. My heart breaks for this woman. Great, great writing…you definitely have a gift.

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    1. My sense is that she would have lost her husband first as she was not paying attention to her marriage. I can imagine her feeling deeply distressed after her son walks out through her door.

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  3. It is in the way the mother is sacrificing so much not the sacrificing itself. Mothers usually do not understand that at one stage they must let go. Then it isn’t always no appreciation it is again the way it is done.

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      1. That’ it. When my son was about 10 a friend told me to let him go. Give him the opportunity to think on his own, I did it and it just went better and better. Today he still looks up to me because I gave him space to develop his own self. (You know how teachers are, you are more strict on your own children. That’s what I did when he was still young!)

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        1. And all this is done in a safe and secure environment where the child knows that it is okay to make mistakes. I am hoping that I am able to do this successfully too.

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          1. You know something, I did not know how to let go at first. I am so glad I did it at that stage because 2 years later my husband committed suicide and the foundation I gave my son was good. He could keep his head up and be proud of himself while moving on without a father. It could easily have turned out the other way

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            1. Isn’t amazing how a comment made by someone could turn out to be the catalyst for something that can help later in life? His dad’s suicide must have been hard for your son and well dome to you both for managing to overcome not only your grief but the stigma attached to it.

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  4. Great writing Colline, the last paragraph sums the story up, she didnt see the signs coming, she didnt see the forest for the trees, makes me wonder if that was also the case in her marital breakup.
    Regards
    Ian aka Emu

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  5. Powerful piece which in only four paragraphs creates a lot of thought. Did she overdo it? If not, and as he is obviously, a ‘problem’ child can he now make it without her? And then – what are the next chapters? Can she regain other interests? Will he return when he feels less stifled?

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  6. Balance. It’s always the answer to everything.

    This is hard-hitting, Colline. I LOVE YOUR WRITING SO MUCH! You always hit the right chord at the end. It’s like watching a movie, one that requires a second reading (because of the ending) for better result.

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