My older son loves loves loves mountain bike riding (introduced to him and supported consistently by Sweet Greg for more than 5 years). He has gained almost 6 inches in height since the purchase of his current MT bike and has been researching new bikes and his earning possibilities for months, as the next bike will not only be larger but more specialized and costly…. and all bikes are difficult to come by due to the backlog created by Covid. Both boys eagerly worked to tune up and clean THEIR bikes last week in preparation for sale.
Sunday morning, within 10 minutes of posting the bikes for sale, 8 offers at top blue book value for our bikes, in good but not excellent condition, came in. Before responding to offers–I texted the boys and their father. Their father unsurprisingly, did not respond to me and was reported by my sons(via phone) to have become highly agitated with them…while saying nothing to me.
My older son called, in tears, begging me not to tell (what he was sharing) as he knows his father will, rather than correcting and amending his own menacing behavior, will school our children for reporting to their mother, snitching. Father is not wishing for privacy but attempting to impose a gag order, regarding things said and done in his home.
There was a flood of frantic calls (more than 14 between the two) from my boys to me, reporting their dad escalating and demanding THAT they tell me to NOT SELL THE BIKEs. My younger son elected to wait to sell his bike to avoid dad-wrath and my older son decided with trepidation to still sell the bike but was shitting his pants over predictable blow back.
After more texts by only me, regarding conversations with the boys, their dad at last texted to express “his concern” about our older boy not having a bike and missing out. Older Son group texted that he was ok with that and I shared that Sweet Greg had generously offered his bike in the interim. Problem solved, right? Nooooope. He was reported by both to be furious at the option to ride Greg’s bike. Because anything other than compliance is regarded as war. So my older son feels abandoned and like a pariah, while my younger son cried to me that he is allways put in the middle.
The boys father, ((I envision red face, maniacal laughter and spit flying from his mouth (because that is the vibe, though he is fantastic at holding composure)) then taunted our older son, the lover of mountain biking, laughing his ragey passive aggressive laugh “Oh well, I guess we now have someone to watch the dog while WE go mountain biking”, to our younger son… — to punish, to send the reminder of what happens when you displease a Master. I am beyond sad for our children and the legacy of unwellness and trauma. But why—he will have a bike…oh right, the price to pay for being your own person.
Unrecovered me would like to say exactly this to boys’ father:
Your behavior is mean and spiteful, immature and bad. Dividing people is for monsters. Triangulation and taunting is for hurt, broken, weak ass- losers. The tension and stress you impose on our boys when you are displeased and your retaliations are super fucked up. Grow up. Get some help. Go to a 12 Step meeting. Break the cycle of broken families like mine and just like yours also. Just fkn stop. Be a man! A healthy grown ass man who can self reflect, change, grow, apologize, repair. Do the goddam work. There is a reason nobody in your family stays married and that you cannot sustain an ongoing close relationship with literally anyone. The reason is you. Change yourself. You want to raise two depressed, lost, disconnected, addicted children, well then carry right on but I will resist you every step of the way. I will die on this mountain. Gladly. I will not stop sharing, writing, trying for something better. Fuck you! (like I said—very unrecovered- the recovery is that I do not share this message or any with him, that is not necessary.) And here is an idea: Instead of trying to hide shameful behavior, consider apologizing(to your sons) and changing it. Demanding that children deny, pretend, cover up difficult experiences it is very sick. Control yourself not them.
Recovering me- posts here instead- for anyone who might relate, benefit or care. I will keep reminding my sons that certain types will resort to viciousness and cruelty when they feel confronted, challenged or defied. That is an inappropriate response and deserves a lot of space. I just keep saying to them: You do not cause, imagine or deserve that. Other people’s behavior is on them. Mine on me. His on him. Yours on you. I used to do all of the things I reference here. Recovery changes people when they are willing. Highly Recommend.Much Love,
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