Loss of Self Identity

Many years ago, when I was unfortunate enough to get involved with my children’s father, my mother kept telling me “Don’t lose your own identity.” Of course, being young and naive PLUS not wanting to admit my mother just might know what she was talking about, I just ignored the comment. I didn’t even know what the heck she meant by that until later in my life.

I always tried to instill in my children to think for themselves, to be self-sufficient and to stand up for what they believe in. I taught them that what they have to say is important. I taught them to respect others for their thoughts and what they believe. I taught them to be responsible for their own actions. I thought I did a pretty good job until recently.

My daughter, S.R., who is 8 months pregnant with J.’s 5th child – yes, I said 5th – always maintained that she doesn’t want or need anyone to take care of her. She was adamant that she can take care of herself! When I have suggested in the past that she try to get on some kind of aid, she refused because she didn’t want to make things more difficult for J….. (Awww, poor baby. He has 4 little girls with another woman [his wife] that he has to take care of. Waaaaa! Waaaaa! Someone call a Waaaaa-mbulance!) She maintains that she can take care of herself. Well, that IS the way I raised her.

This morning her tune changed. She made a comment about ‘when she quits work soon’ to have the baby, due Oct. 29. I told her that if I were in her position, I would apply for cash aid and food stamps so she can sustain herself until she gets back to work. She quickly said to me, “NO. That’s what J. is for!” I said to her, “You cannot depend on him or anyone else to take care of you and that baby. You need to look out for yourself.” She immediately clammed up and never said another word. I was in such shock that I just left the room for fear I would say something to make matters worse.

Yes, he should step up and take care of her and that baby. He should be coming by to spend time with S.R., but is he? NO. He hasn’t bought anything for that baby. Hell, I’ll bet my last dollar that he hasn’t even been looking for a job! The last S.R. saw him was when he and his buddies hauled the camper off after the storm! She believes everything he says. She believes that he is out looking for a job. She believes he is going to find them a place to live. She believes that he is going to be there for her. He should be, but that doesn’t mean he will be! And he sure hasn’t shown that he is trying.

I sit here now, wondering what the heck happened? She went from a strong willed, opinionated and an independent thinker, to this naive little follower. I don’t know what happened. I’m afraid she is losing her own identity, like I did so many years ago. Take it from me, once lost, it’s a long journey to find your way back to you.

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