Thursday, May 24, 2012

Another Update

Since Chelsea is approaching her 18th birthday in August, this seemed to be an appropriate time for another update. She continues to thrive in ways I could never have imagined. She went to a school dance with a young man; she looked so beautiful in her dress. She has learned to speak very clearly and her behavior is nearly perfect. She looks healthy and happy, and I know she is loved. We got together with our extended family and held a swim party for her and then out for dinner. We all had a great time and got lots of Chelsea-hugs. I miss her every day, but I know that she is so much better off with her foster mom. Just because I love her with all my heart does not mean that I am capable of giving her the best care, I clearly was not. There are times I feel guilty for turning her over to her foster mom, but then I just think about how well she is doing. She is so much better off now, and no matter how much I miss her, I have to remember that I did it for her best interest. Bottom line - not everyone has what it takes to raise such a special child, and I readily admit I don't have what it takes to do it right. Some folks (who obviously didn't have a real high opinion of me) had indicated that they thought my life would continue to be miserable even if I didn't have Chelsea, I guess they were insinuating that being a tired, depressed, bitter person was just my nature and Chelsea was my excuse. I can admit that the first year after she left was pretty bad. I was still depressed, my marriage still in trouble, and my finances in an even deeper hole than before. Add to that the guilt I felt for having failed to be strong enough to take care of Chelsea, and it was a pretty rough road that I wasn't sure I would come back from. Over time, however, life has gotten better. I've adjusted to life without her, I have been in counseling since she left, and I have started to live like a normal middle aged woman. It just took awhile to find out what that even meant. I have just gotten to the point where I feel okay about running to the store late at night, there's still that little tiny bit of feeling like I can't do that. I never experienced any burst of a sudden sense freedom, just a laboriously slow return to something close to normal. Finally, we are happy, and Chelsea is happy. And after all, wasn't that the point?