Below is Part 3 of our blog series sharing excerpts from our memoir, Kathleen~Cathleen. Last week we shared an excerpt from when we were first transitioning from Honeymoon into a harder time in “Going Dark – Sundown.” Here we go deeper, darker and realize there’s more to reunion than meeting and going our separate ways.
Below is my excerpt from the Going Dark chapter of the memoir, titled “Deepening” (then read Cathy’s Deepening excerpt at ReunionEyes.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
It was hard for me to tell sometimes whether she was enjoying what we were doing or just going through the moves. In my mind, I knew that it must have been tricky for her to decide how she wanted to be around me. I was a different kind of bird than what she was used to.
I also found myself unsure of how much of a guiding force I was supposed to be for this grown young woman I had taken in as my daughter, twenty-two with a mind of her own. We were using words like “mother” and “daughter” but the truth was clear: we were intimate strangers.
The fresh feeling of Cathy’s arrival faded with daily life, and our celebratory feeling began to gain some weight. Between my work schedule on weekdays and the lack of personal time and money, I began to feel frustrated.
I wasn’t in a position to just slip her the money she needed to help her explore her next steps, the way a parent would for a child who is entering the world on their own. I wanted to give Cathy more than I had to give, and it was frustrating not to be able to provide her with things and treat her to special gifts.
Not only that, but I couldn’t afford to carry another person on my hourly wages. For the past year I had been paying off high phone bills and debt from my ex-husband’s easy spending habits, and lived from paycheck to paycheck without any savings to fall back on.
Guilty feelings started to rise inside me. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do – whether to act like a mother of a grown daughter or the gracious host of a B&B.
I opted to be the host most times because it was the safest and least complex. Underneath my steady composure, feelings of inadequacy kicked into gear and started to erode my confidence.
I wanted my original portrait as a pregnant teenager with no options to evaporate and be replaced by a mature woman with resources and experience and money to lavish on her daughter.
To read my daughter’s counterblog, please visit ReunionEyes.
All Rights Reserved