In the Daily Mail this week Deri Robins wrote about the price of putting love before her daughter in this honest article where she talks about leaving the family home and her child for another man. I think it’s fair to say that most of us Mothers cannot comprehend leaving our children for anything, so what drove her to it and did she do the right thing? I didn’t want to hang her out to dry just yet, as something struck a cord about why she would do the unthinkable.
Deri talks about having 3 children, 2 of which had already left home. She had no other immediate family of her own and acknowledges her drive to have her own family. Her then husband was older than her, and didn’t take the best care of himself. Reading her article it struck me that it was loneliness or just the fear of it that paved the way for the set of events that transpired. Meeting a charming Irish man at sea, having a whirlwind romance and then deciding to leave the family home and the daughter behind for a new life before her last child flew the nest.
To all intents and purposes the marriage was dead, financial worries were taking their toll and it was clearly a unhappy household yet Deri was unable to make the break from the marital home without the arms of another to fall into. Would the right thing have been to sort out the affairs of the failed marriage before thinking about the next partner. It would have been but we all know life isn’t like that, people aren’t like that, but why? What drives these questionable decisions, laced with complications.
It’s struck me over the years there are some emotions or states that are so powerful, that they can break the Mother – Child bond, lead us to the most irrational of decisions and cause havoc with our lives and those around us. Often we think love is the driving force, that would seem romantic and perhaps more forgiveable or palatable to the outside world. It’s not love that opened the door in the first place, it’s something else. Often it’s loneliness. It’s power comes from making us feel vulnerable, fearful of a life of misery and unhappiness, without a soul’s companion. It grips us in the moments of low self esteem, when we lack confidence and can’t imagine being happy any other way regardless of the riches we have in our lives.
My own Mother was plagued with a fear of loneliness, and was very much a troubled soul on far more levels than Deri. She made some awful choices about relationships and unfortunately I had to go along for the ride, my childhood needs playing second fiddle to men that really shouldn’t have been around children at all. I was abandoned in my own home, my mother distant from me in the same small 2 bed terrace. How I’d wished she’d have left me if these were the choices she was going to make for us. In the end, I left her for my own self preservation.
So did Deri do the right thing? Maybe she did. She talks about her new childless partner not being subjected to the trials and tribulations of her pre-teen daughter. Staying with her father ensured her needs would be met through the close bond they already had. My situation was different in that it was complex, fraught with chaos and in the hands of a Mother with mental health problems, but what drove her was the same. A fear of being on her own, and I was not enough for her.
If my Mother had of left me I may have felt abandoned and deeply hurt, but I may also have had love, stability and security to soften the blow. Having a parent that put love before Motherhood while I was at home was far more traumatic and has resulted in a complete breakdown in our relationship. We haven’t spoken for 14 years or more and I have no regrets what so ever as I strive to provide my family with the love, stability and security they need.
Deri could without doubt have handled things a lot better and preserved the relationship with her daughter. Fortunately things are improving for them and their relationship which is great news. I wonder though if her leaving has ultimately saved them. What do you think?