While I am enjoying the peace and slow pace of an undemanding Thanksgiving Break for myself, my heart is so fucking heavy from what family occasions do for my older son. Especially sensitive(always deeply concerned that someone is angry with him), he struggles daily with wanting to “please” both his father and me. I do not need for him to hustle or to please me. To be kind, honest(not just speaking words factually related to truth but intentionally matching actions to words, no matter who is present), and courageous is what I preach. Three out of the four of these are in direct conflict with the expectations of his father and extended family. The tension between (us) his mom and dad (escalated by my own “family’s” presence and agenda) affects him daily and deeply.
S1 regularly expresses HATE for my mother/ sister, he actually uses THAT word, which pains me, because we mostly do not use that word, and I know It is the correct term for what he feels for tHEM. (Hate harms nobody more than it does the hater. So, I hate this for him!) Like me, hiding feelings is impossible and trying to do so, for too long, runs S1 down and manifests in fatigue and illness. Also like me, he is a terrible arranger and manager of his facial expressions. The fallout of the rancid connection between my sister/mother(they may as well be one person) and his father- S1 recognizes the promised and permanent fracture THIS causes within his 4-person/primary family unit. The hostility IT arouses and sustains in my ex for me, affects my sons unfavorably, the younger more socially agile and less overtly affected, and in this way, he scores favor. It was reported to me that- My ex was apparently corrected by his new girlfriend, for a recent rant about me, in front of our sons, following a dinner gathering with my mother/ sister. So, perhaps this girlfriend-person will be a ray of hope for US, our family.
My older son(S1) is now reluctant to call or even to text me while in the presence of his father or any of father’s people. At first I felt hurt, angry, betrayed and adamant that he do it anyway, I got phones for them so that we could connect without them having to ask or announce. I have now assured him that he need not worry about it, that I understand. WE will be ok and able to connect when he is here, with me. But why should he have to worry? It is wrong and damaging to impose this on a child. I toss my boys their phones on all of the nights in which they are with me and then leave the room so they can call and connect with their father. They are able to discern that calling dad, loving him, and connecting with him– will cost them no love from me.
Why must they endure the guilt and shame intended for me? I am crippled by the grief of what is done, in vein, to my children. Why????— Addiction, family secrets, systems, and cycles of abuse & dysfunction, mental unwellness – all of the unspeakable shadows. I am powerless and to date, still unable to genuinely surrender. The best I can do is to be mindful of my reactions to the sickness–to say ouch correctly, privately or not at all. Because- if I put forth another request or plea, it will serve no purpose, other than to illuminate their own rights to carry on, victoriously(and to what end?) — exactly and only as they know, purely self propelled, yielding only to what they want and what they have always believed about their rights and entitlements– “acting out of love” . It is true, this is the only love of which they are capable. This love is conditional and non-nurturing. It is vain and righteous and dark AF. IT will not end well for my sons. I can be there to catch them, to show them another kind of love and to offer shelter. They shall not be spared. I hate it.
My inability to protect S1 as I watch his mental health slipping, feels inhumane. He cries of feeling generally unhappy and mostly stressed, wanting to retreat under his covers, in his room away from all, and desperate to spend time alone with me, nightly after S2 is asleep. Fuck tHEM for their ACTIVE and fiercely dedicated parts in this, for building walls instead of bridges to peace, for causing unrest, insecurity, and anxiety for our children. Fuck their egos and agendas and need to be right. The pit of darkness and sickness in which my boys are thrown directly– is savage. Literally.
So while I indulge my own personal peace for this holiday, my heart is ravaged by my inability to spare or rescue my son(s). My younger son(S2), is more social and resilient, effortlessly adapting to whomever is around. I foresee how they will each manage the pain they can never take to their father. They express regularly, that their feelings of unwellness or unrest are best reserved for sharing, with me. Fuck sick people who force children to pretend/deny and dissociate in the name of love, whose messages spoken, and otherwise elicit anything other than love and connection to their parents. S1 and S2 are well aware of what happens to those in their father’s world, who openly suffer, struggle, or question- they will be ousted.
My sister/mother have snatched our hard earned family recovery and cohesion away while my ex throws it away. In these choices, they have exercised their mighty power to do just that…why not choose to positively influence repair and healing—bridges-NOT WALLS ? Oh, wait, I know why– and yet I am dyyyying to know something different. I cannot YET find acceptance for the unacceptable. I will continue working on myself. They will never change. Shaking my head. Trying to breathe.Much Love,
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