In the past month: **My boys’ father met a woman, requiring him to stay out late on school nights (past 10 and even 11) leaving my boys home alone, at night to go to bed, without knowing when he might return. He only has them every other week. This is neither necessary nor ok. ***The father has whisked them on a frantic last minute trip to the mountains for a weekend to meet her, with them all staying in the same house.(more on this in a later post). **My older son’s continuing numbness in his legs and feet required a visit with a neurologist who mentioned the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis and recommended an MRI to rule MS out. My sons’ father texted feverishly with new woman throughout the neurology visit, of which he did not report to me a single detail, even when asked directly, like not even the mention of MS which had been made in front of our son. He engaged in minimal dialog, to our son before returning him to school to finish out his day, with thoughts of possibly having MS. While he felt uncompelled to comfort or soothe our son, I bet big money that he promptly contacted everyone he knows to share the news and extract compassion and support for himself.
Regarding the introduction of the woman, after so little time, and in such an unfair way, the mountain cabin intro yielded highly predicatble results. It made my older son very uncomfortable and the ways in which his struggle manifested, led his father to call him shaming names repeatedly and over an extended period of time, followed by cold silence. In his messaging, he let our son know that our son’s discomfort IS THE problem, that he was the problem, and it is agreed by new woman and previous woman, by all of the people. What a sick mother fucker. Expecting our sons to tow the line for his new relationship, requiring them to make her feel welcome(perform comfort), like family.
After tearing our son down, his father was childish enough to say, “Well, there go my New Year’s Plans”…as if that is what matters at all- or is relevant and hinged to my sons. When a woman splits, that is on him, them, a failure by THEM to develop a sustainable and durable connection. If a woman of less than some number of years even tries to blame our sons, she is toxic and good fkn riddance. I intentionally waited 6 months before making mention of Sweet Greg. Then another two before making introductions, where we met at a park, and our boys could play and have space and then another four months before they saw one another again. It has never been the boys’ jobs to make Greg (or anyone) feel any kind of way. NEVER. We don’t intentionally manipulate people’s perceptions & feelings. And if it wasnt a good fit, we would just have continued to see each other only on kidfree weekends, for as long as it worked. I am not perfect at anything but I have allllllways put my children first, ahead of any other person, including my FOO (family of origin) and their own father. In true narcissist fashion, they rejected and punished such behavior. Thus the departure from those systems—and THEIR crucifixion of me.
Last night, there were dinner plans with the “woman of one month” and my son was panicked as the evening approached, knowing he would be persecuted and punished for literally being who and how he is. Not sanely or fairly punished like a natural consequence for rule breaking, but shamed and banished for failing to perform and to please and be pleased. He texted me early in the dinner to say “I am trying to be different and I can’t”. I felt crushed for him and was grateful to be surrounded by my people who are sympathetic and supportive of our sons. Fortunately, his aunt, who has some recovery sensed his struggle and was able to speak to and comfort him. She was one of the two sensitive truth seekers in her FOO and is familiar with the price to be paid.
THE emotional tyranny and obsession with his appearance is the legacy, the cycle, the curse of those who have gone before us. It must end.
My mother and sister similarly, I think, felt a certain kind of non-almighty-ness in the face of my observable discomforts and requests (not so unlike our son’s life experience). They were enraged by it, as if it touched on some essential beliefs about
dominance and control potency and importance, about both the wielding of power and losing of power. And also somehow tied to their ideas of success and failure.
Each, overly invested in the idea of their own authority, and offended by anything and anyone posing to them, as an outside influence, like outside of their own ideas and desires.
As if they believe that their control shall universally be agreed upon and affirmed as unyielding and absolute, with no other option but to apply discipline in the firmest and most unequivocal of ways.
There was constant and collective resentment over my unwillingness to stop being so sensitive and assertive. Because our son is of similar composition and disposition (to me) I cannot help but worry. AND Favorite reminds me that he has something I did not. He has people(allies and witnesses), undeniably in his corner, me, Sweet Greg, Favorite and her family. Will it be enough, though?
Will I accept the truth of my experience or continue to break myself against it as I observe it in real time being repeated?
AND one more thing—Rather than correcting or acknowledging the damage of his words and behaviors, my sons’ father would judge only their sharing of the continued hardship and trauma imposed by him. I behave like a rabid animal at times, lose my shit completely, and have and would never consider telling or even suggesting to our boys to not tell their dad. A person’s experiences are theirs to share, explore, learn and heal from.
Victim’s Children’s secrecy and silence are never part of the solution. Deep dep sigh. This is ALL so terribly familiar.
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