“Will my kids forget about me?” is the heartbreaking question of all questions for any noncustodial parent. It burns and churns so desperately deep and violent.
As humans we don’t want to be forgotten. As parents we don’t want to be forgotten. As friends, lovers, partners, high school BFFs – you get it – we simply don’t want to be left behind, blotted out or intentionally discarded into the misfit category.
It’s an intense innate desire; a built in feature of belonging, purpose and justification as to why we’re even here. We feel that if we don’t belong, we don’t matter; and if we don’t matter, we’ll be forgotten. It’s clearly a logical thought process.
But this ongoing mental pattern is what I like to call the “Circle of Death” because it robs us of the ability to enjoy and soak up every scrumptious, heavenly-created morsel of our perfectly timed and intricately created beings.
We give up before we ever had a chance to prosper, we then lose before we ever had a chance to win.
The problem, however, is this: we chose that life.
Now, don’t jump to conclusions too fast okay. I didn’t say that we have chosen to live our lives without our children; I am saying, however, that we have chosen to live our lives within the mind-numbing, society-pleasing, life-sucking, personality-draining boundaries of the “Circle of Death” mindset.
This “Circle of Death” will hold you hostage, and if you continually ask yourself, “Will They Forget About Me?”, you will soon find yourself dangerously snuggled inside the bondage of the Noncustodial Parent Trap. How, you ask? This.
If you are focusing on the possibility that your kids will forget you (which they won’t), then you’re not focusing on creating a life and a future that you and your kids can’t wait to be a part of.
Sure, ask the question once or twice, but then move on. Don’t dwell on the what-ifs and the what-has-happeneds. Because that’s what I did, and it’s ugly.
“Okay, then. So how will they not forget me? How is that even remotely possible?! I’m not allowed to see them or talk to them. I have no presence in their lives. I have no authority to make medical or school decisions. Heck, I can’t even see my kids at school without being interrogated and publicly humiliated in front of the school staff and their friends.
My family doesn’t even know who my kids are anymore. They have nothing in common with their cousins because, if we’re lucky, they get to see them once a year. And, in all serious honesty, I don’t even know my kids anymore. I don’t know their likes or dislikes, their clothing or shoe sizes, their scariest thoughts or deepest dreams. So how can they not forget someone who barely knows them? Or sees them? Or talks to them?”
Trust me, I know. Those questions were my questions too, so let’s start here:
Kids are super intelligent. They know so much more than what we give them credit for. They may not know how to communicate on a level that matches adult conversation and comprehension, but they can feel, they can sense, they can see the writing on the wall often before we can.
They understand tension, anger, distrust, conflict, hatred, oppression and manipulation long before it fully manifests outwardly in the circle of their life.
The vast amount of negative energy that it takes to create such experiences (where the child is forcefully separated from a parent), is the same vast amount of negative energy that will reside within their broken little spirits.
They will instinctively know that something isn’t right.
Eight years ago I chose to have an unassisted childbirth at home. I won’t go into the details here as they are many, but I will say this to further contribute to my point above:
Labor was naturally rough and I needed a break so I decided to lay down, relax and take some deep breaths. This did what I expected it to do – stop labor. After 45 minutes of contractions 4 minutes apart, I had this gut feeling, this instinctual feeling, that the time was now. I didn’t question that instinct. It was primal, authentic and indisputable.
I pushed myself up to my knees and immediately he moved into position. I felt his head literally dive down as he readied himself for birth. I rushed off the bed, squatted on the floor and less than 5 minutes and 3 involuntary pushes later he slid out – all 13+ pounds of him.
It was instinct that led me to unassisted childbirth. It was instinct that guided my heart and research and preparation. It was instinct that taught me how to trust and believe. It was instinct that forced my body into position to safely and effortlessly squat him out.
Our kids have that same instinct. They don’t question it either. It’s primal, authentic and indisputable. It isn’t spoken or transferred through a message of words and voices, but it requires listening. And because of their child-like persona, they listen before they are told, they believe before they see and they know before they are shown.
Now, back to you. You created their being within your being. You created their life within your life. You created their measure of love and unconditionality within your measure of love and unconditionality. You created their future within your future.
You, oh beautiful you, did that.
You became their instinct within, and through that creation process you became their full circle. You became their connection to life, liberty and happiness.
There is no man, no conflict, no challenge, no trauma that can break that connection.
There is no way to sever that bond, even by choice. It may be pushed downward into the darkness but it will always be alive and present.
So don’t you see how powerful you are? How powerful you have been? How powerful you can be again?!
It’s time for you to own that power and act like the life-creator, life-nurturer, life-transformer that you are.
Get out of your head, get out of your hidy-hole and get out of your continual self-induced pit of destruction. Please, I beg you, don’t continue to live sheepishly cowered inside the dark grip of the “Circle of Death”.
Your kids won’t forget about you because they can’t. They are you; you are them.
But the question now is this: Will you forget about you? Will you forget who you were, who you are, who you want to be? Will you?