My daughter called me at work today. I had just clocked back in from lunch when I noticed she was calling on my cell phone. I quietly answered and told her to call my work phone. She told me it was something serious and she would just call me back after I got off of work.
Um, no. I stepped away from my desk to find out what was going on with my girl.
“You can go back to work, Mom. I’m not hurt. I can talk to you later.”
I assured her that I could talk to her right now and I wanted to know what was going on. At which point she burst into tears.
She was freaking out about rent. She’s coming home over Thanksgiving break and working at the hospital but she doesn’t get paid until after her rent is due. She was going to be $200 short.
I reminded her that I already knew she was going to be short and I had been planning on helping her pay it. I just needed to know when she needed it.
She kept telling me she was stupid and felt bad for asking me for help.
I had to tell her once again that I was not dead broke. I am not living pay check to pay check. I am being smart and I’m being cautious, which is why I try not to spend a lot of money, but I have money in my account and I can help if needed.
The next crisis was school. She has two papers and a test due before she goes home next week. She told me she didn’t think she could do it anymore and she wanted to come home.
Once again I remind her that she is the most organized, goal oriented person I know. I tell her she can do anything and I have every confidence that she will get through this. I tell her to break it down into little pieces. Write down what needs to get done. Tackle whatever is due first. Then move on to the next thing.
I told her she needed to focus on getting through these last few weeks of the semester. Once that’s over the hardest part will be done. No more five hour credit classes. Chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology will all be done. She can breathe a little more next semester. She’ll apply to nursing school, get in, and from there on out she’ll be working with patients, which she loves.
I made her tell me she was awesome and then I made her tell me she could do this.
By the time we got off the phone I felt she was doing much better.
And then I got the messages from her two best friends. They both reached out to me in a group text to tell me they were worried about her. They said she had been very closed off, wouldn’t talk to them, and hadn’t been herself lately. They wanted to know if there was anything they could do to help her.
My stomach dropped. It must be bad if her friends are contacting me.
I keep telling myself that she is fine. She has her ups and her downs. She’s always been a perfectionist. She’s always been driven. This is the kid that placed 2nd in the state on balance beam and was pissed because she didn’t take home first.
“Rock Star, out of all of the girls your age in Utah you placed second! That’s amazing.”
“I didn’t come to take second. I came to win.”
I can handle her freaking out and crying. I know she can fall apart on me and pick herself back up and continue on.
When I’m getting messages from her friends telling me they’re worried about her… I begin to freak out a little myself.
For any of you who follow Chump Lady you know that one of the things she’s often asked is, “When will it stop hurting?” Her reply has become, “Tuesday. It will stop on Tuesday.” She’s not sure which Tuesday, of course, but it will eventually stop.
To be clear, I am not pining away for the ex. Sadly though, he still has the power to hurt me through my children. Fearing that my daughter might end up a suicide statistic hurts me.
My daughter should not be worried about how to pay her rent. She should not feel as though she has somehow failed if she needs to come to me and ask for financial help.
I hate him for that. I hate him for not making sure his kids have everything they need.
You want to make sure I never get another dime of your money? That’s fine. Pay your goddamn kids directly! Give them what they need instead of trying to bribe someone else’s kids. It doesn’t matter how fucking good you are to the mulligans. You have failed your own kids.
I’m going to take my own advice. Break this up into little pieces. Survive one crisis and then tackle the other. By all accounts it sounds like she is doing much better. I texted her friends back and let them know what was going on. By the time I finally had a chance to get back to them they told me she was more like her old self and she was laughing and talking to them.
The mobster called her and talked to her. He reported that she sounded better as well. Of course, as he acknowledged it’s a lot easier to fall apart on mom. He didn’t expect her to open up and fall apart on him. But he gave her a pep talk and let her know how worried I was and how worried her friends were.
One foot in front of the other. Tuesday will come one day.