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History Repeats 

Sometimes it sucks being a parent. 

So much responsibility. So much pressure to do the right thing. 
Not ever feeling that I am doing anything close to right. 
It sucks even more, the second time around. Raising grandchildren is tough. 
Looking into their eyes and seeing their confusion. Feeling their pain. 
Trying to act like life is normal, trying to believe that everything will be okay. 
It’s not normal or okay. 
It’s not fair. 
“Do I have a father?”
“Do I have a mother?”
The questions were expected. The answers were simple. 
The ongoing conversations are not simple. 
Dealing with abandonment issues, mental and emotional health and substance abuse is more complicated than I can explain and harder than I can handle. 
I did it once. With their mother. I’m still doing it. I’m being tormented by her burdens, her addiction is my pain too. 
Every waking moment is filled with sadness and fear. 
The youngest one’s father is somewhere. Addicted. 
The oldest one’s father passed away at 19 from an overdose. 
I wait every day for their mother to be next. 
As much as her constant calls and texts asking for money send my heart sinking into my stomach, the days that go by without hearing from her are harder. 
My mind starts to wander. I imagine where she might be, what’s she’s doing or if she’s doing anything at all. 
Is she still breathing? 
I look at her children and see her. In their actions and words. In their struggles. 
I can’t put into words the intensity of my concern and despair. 
People have always called me strong. 
I’m not feeling strong. 
I’m feeling weak and helpless. 
Running on empty, hoping beyond hope that I can get through this, that we all can get through this. 

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