Being weak is not unfamiliar to me.
I’m not talking so much physically (even though I’ve never really been a muscular powerhouse) as I am emotionally and spiritually.
I’ve been weak more times in my life than I care to admit. I let myself be pushed around and beaten down by bullies when I was younger. I had a major insecurity problem and tended to wear my emotions on my sleeve, which was a big fat bullseye during my school years, particularly middle school. I’ve always had problems with my self esteem. I’ve been guilty countless times of losing my resolve to commit to a particular course of action. I dread difficult decisions. I shy away from confrontation. I’ve battled with, and sometimes still do, unhealthy habits that can potentially break me spiritually.
And yet, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to develop somewhat of a shell, or at least a thicker skin. I’m caring less and less what others think of me, outside of the ones I love and love me. I’m better at taking criticism and applying it positively to myself. I’m better at dealing with assholes with a shrug and a “whatever”. I’m not afraid to seek out help when I need it, whether it be for small things or for major issues. I try very hard to keep the big picture in focus, and not be derailed by smaller distractions. I’m a lot better at overcoming failures rather than letting them overcome me.
It’s taken me over forty years, and at times I still struggle, but I’m a lot stronger person than I used to be.
Now if only my daughter June Bug could reach that point. Quickly.
She puts on a façade of a tough outer shell, but she’s easy to crack. She started a job a week ago which is a fantastic opportunity around here for a single mom trying to get on her feet, but according to her some rude coworkers are trying to break her. Yes Dear & I try to cheerlead for her as much as we can, but we can’t go to her work and experience what she is experiencing. We can’t tell how much of the problem is her work environment and how much of it is her inability to stick it out. She’s talking about switching shifts to nights where she would have much less responsibility, but I’m not convinced that her problems wouldn’t follow her to that shift as well. Not to mention it’ll be problematic keeping CJ and his separation anxiety away from her during the day while she sleeps.
She also says that she has issues dealing with people her own age, that she does better with people older than her. Probably because many of her peers are involved in the same kind of habits (partying, drinking, drugs) that she’s trying to stay away from. But it’s hard making it through life without friends, even when they may be bad for you.
And then there is the narcissistic Baby Daddy. Whom we discovered she contacted a few times last week, despite our strident warnings not to, because he’s exactly the type of person that can and will prey on her weaknesses.
Though she swears she now sees her mistake, we’re afraid she’s following her usual pattern of being wishy-washy. That she doesn’t have the strength to make the hard decisions for her own good and CJ’s, that she will always take the path of least resistance, even when she can see it leading her back to hell. That she will return to the habits that got her into trouble in the first place. That she will always make excuses to get out of doing the right thing, even when it’s the only thing.
We’re afraid. Very afraid. That we’ll have to make tough decisions of our own that involves cutting her loose and letting her sink, because we can’t afford to let her actions disrupt our family.
Or harm CJ.
And that’s a route that we pray that we don’t have to take again.
It’s not like she doesn’t have many options. There are numerous things that can be done, resources available, that can help her get on her feet and keep her and CJ safe. We have lots of people willing to help and provide us with such resources. Yet not one of them is going to matter worth a damn if she continues to be weak. And pretty soon, she’ll find herself without any of these resources, without any of these options. Where all the decisions, for better or worse, will be made for her and she will no longer have any say or control over her life or CJ’s.
We can only encourage her so much. We can practice toughlove only so much. The ball is now in her court, and it’s up to her to score with it or fumble it.
But she’s weak. And she knows she’s weak. And we don’t know how to get her to overcome and push through it.