He’s gone…

What is a mother without her child? Miserable, that’s what.
It all started when The Ex bought MonoBoy the car the first week of January. Remember his reaction to a discussion about insurance and vowing that he would see to it that I would pay for whatever sin he assumed I committed?
He’s kept his word. Slowly over the past few months, and then all at once, I lost my son to him. The first big shift I remember was the wisdom teeth. We agreed on a date for MonoBoy’s surgery, but he “forgot” that conversation and planned a family trip to the lake. MonoBoy was furious with me that he would miss a trip to the lake. Forget the fact that the lake house has been in his family 150 years, and they’ve only gone twice in seven years. Forget that we planned the surgery two months in advance. I was to blame and I battled the two of them for two weeks. And MonoBoy’s first words to me after surgery were “I hate you.”
About a month later, another fun trip was planned and MonoBoy skipped a basketball tournament to go. Never mind the fact that his dad was actually the assistant coach, there was fun to be had. The trip included golf, and that seemed to spark a new interest and a new bond. Soon MonoBoy started spending the night at his dad’s for early golf adventures with his step-brothers. He quit basketball and somehow, it was portrayed that he no longer enjoyed it and he only played as a sense of obligation to me.
For a while he was in and out, but now he is gone. Completely. He doesn’t visit or check in. The last time he spent time with me was on our shopping trip for his brother’s birthday. For the first time in his life, I didn’t sign all of his school forms. I didnt get to tell him he looks nice in the new clothes I bought for this first week of school.
His dad now has a job and a wife that we like and a stable life. It’s new and exciting for MonoBoy to have what he has always dreamed of. A dad that can provide for him. A dad that can actually father him.
I get that this is probably a healthy thing for a teenage boy. Perhaps he can leave behind his depression and start to flourish in school, instead of isolating himself and sabotaging his grades. These are my hopes for him.
I just thought that I would be a part of it. He’s my baby. I have been there for every part of his life. From the colic to the sports to the girlfriend problems. I have been there telling him how wonderful he is and how much he means to me. But he’s gone. He doesn’t need that from me and none of it matters anymore. To him.
I know that I have to let him go and experience this. I won’t breath a word to him about how I feel. I won’t make him feel guilty or feel responsible for me in any way. I will suffer in silence. But I am REALLY suffering. I can hardly breath at all.
Friends tell me that it’s temporary. My Ex hasn’t made a permanent change. Things are going well for him, so he is able to play this part. Eventually the monster will surface because it’s who he is. I don’t know. I remember the monster that he was and the things that he did, but I also remember the guy that I met and married, and I suspect that he’s acting much more like that guy right now. 
And that guy is holding true to his word. Not just the vow he made in January, but the one he made during the divorce when I repossessed the truck (he first time). He promised me that one day he would be back on top and he would be looking down on me and laughing. 
I believe that he is because he has always enjoyed my pain. And this is a far greater pain than I could ever imagine. They say that having a child is like watching a piece of your heart walk around outside your body. And now my heart is broken.
(I typed this into my phone through tear-soaked eyes. It’s raw. It’s real. I won’t go back and proofread. I apologize.)

Comments

  1. I am so sorry this has happened. Yes, I know how much it hurts and how lost you feel. Kinda of walking around in a fog–waiting for something good to happen to bring back your son. But, maybe it is good for him to live with Dad for awhile. Maybe he will see Dad’s true colors. In the meantime, let DAD support him. You can get your house physically in order, make his room nice and neat and if he says with Dad, you can have a little extra $$$ to put away. Oh, I’m sure he will be back–in the meantime, you take some time for yourself! It’s been a long time since you’ve been able to do that. You can’t do a thing about it…you might as well go with the flow and see where life’s river takes you.

    • Thank you. I’m literally dying inside. I’m still paying for doctors and school lunches and soccer registration and cell phone and car insurance and modeling classes. I’m afraid to change anything. I don’t want him to think I’m writing him off or that he’s not still my world.

  2. I’m so sorry. I have no words. I will just pray that in time, your son realizes it’s still just a facade and facades crumble, revealing the crap behind the nice temporary exterior.

    • It’s hard because the boys deserve a dad. It just sucks for me. I didn’t go off the deep end and do terrible things and have the wrong priorities. I made them my life. And now half of it is gone. They deserve the best. I have to suck it up. But on here, with internet friends and support, I can share that I am dying inside.

  3. I feel for you.

  4. Wife Goes On says:

    I feel this pain so clearly for you. I’m so sorry that you have to go through it. I’m sorry that yet again, the alcoholic mean person is seeming to win. Truly, it’s true that the kids have to see that the alcoholic parent can’t be who they want them to be. And yes it takes time, and yes, you will be the strong one to help him pick up the pieces (again), and it will happen. It’s just a matter of when. Like you said, everything is going well for dad “now” but it’s a hard facade to hold onto when you’re the alcoholic and not changing any of your thought patterns.
    Praying for you, and like others say – take time for you while you can and fill up your own bucket :-).
    So sorry for your hurting heart.

  5. Blah. This response got really long….Sorry about that.

    This is such a hard thing for kids to go through. His father is making him choose, that’s how he’ll know how much his son loves and respects him. A relationship with you equal disloyalty. Of course your son won’t understand this is whats going on – he is just simply mimicking his father in order to be accepted.

    Its really the worst position for you to be in, being responsible and capable, raising kids so they don’t become sucky adults, only to have their father fuck everything up for you every step of the way.

    I know it hurts you. I really know. I know it hurts more than any kind of pain that has ever been or ever will be created. I also know that, as much as it sucks, you need to start setting some boundaries.

    Your ex needs to step up and take on the responsibility of being a parent. Not just show up and be a warm body, but pay for shit. Be responsible for shit. Sign the kids up for shit. ON HIS OWN. That is being a parent. Right now they are all enjoying the luxury of doing whatever they want, and you’ll pay for it. Email your ex and let him know that you’re not going to pay for x,y,z any more since mono-boy is not living with you anymore. Give ex the amounts, who to contact and whatever info he needs in order to keep things happening. Then stop paying for stuff. Seriously. Stop it. I know you love your kids and you want them to have whatever they need, but if they believe they have two parents, then let them actually have two parents – not one parent who does all the work and one parent who does nothing. That’s just one parent. Mono-boy wants to be parented exclusively by his father, let him see what that is really like.

    I know it feels counter-intuitive to do something like that because it will be your son that suffers – but this is part of growing up. Just because your dad sucks doesn’t mean your mom should have to do 5 times as much work. I know your family dynamic was just that for a very long time. You have the opportunity to change that.

    I get that you’re used to protecting them and even though their dad is a shit head, you try to make up for it. Stop that. Just be the best mom you can be, and let their dad do whatever he does. Let everyone suffer the consequences of their decisions. Don’t be afraid to follow through with boundaries.

    Text mono-boy every day to tell him that you love him, ask him how his day was. Send him a funny picture of your cat. Invite him over for dinner. Whatever, just keep connected however you can in small ways – but don’t expect anything in return. Just continue to be the consistent force of love and reason…that is truly all you can do. It will still suck. A lot. But, kids are forever changing. They are moody and exhausting and no two days are ever the same. Tomorrow he could walk back in the door like nothing ever happened. Or he might really hang onto this living with dad thing for a while.

    Regardless of what he chooses to do, YOU need to carry on as you normally would (as best as you can). Your kids are getting older. They need to be able to make decisions (ever super shitty ones) on their own. They also need to live with the consequences of those decisions.

    Mono boy needs to find himself to really be able to flourish in school and life. He’s working on it. Unfortunately, all you can do is sit back and hope for the best and just keep being the great mom that you’ve always been.

    Last week I was messaging with A and at the end I said “let me know if you need anything and I love you.” and his reply was “I will, and I love you too.” I hadn’t gotten an “I love you” in nearly 5 years. I started crying.

    I’m thinking of you and please know that while things may not get “better” any time soon, things are always changing. Love and Hugs from Maine.

    • It sucks. I want to keep in touch, but I don’t want to put pressure on him or make him feel guilty. I know that he struggled with guilt in the beginning, and it actually turned him farther away from me. So it’s this awkward dance that a parent should have to engage in with their child. I once texted him that I enjoyed spending time with him that day and his response was “Don’t say that. It sounds like you’re just my grandmother that I visit every once in a while.” I wanted to respond “if the shoe fits,” but chose lol instead.
      I think of you and the similarities of our situation. You are brave and strong and I hope to handle things with the strength that you have. Unfortunately, though, I’m more of a hot mess down here in Texas.

      • The truth is, while you might feel like everything you say to him is wrong, you have to say it anyway. Every day. You’ll probably get a snotty response, but try to remember, he doesn’t fully realize how he’s acting is wrong. He’s learning from his dad. Just keep at it. Really. Because when his dad starts being his normal rotten self, he’ll know that you’re still there for him. It’s not putting pressure on him for you to say “I was thinking of today. I hope you’re doing alright :)” He can respond or not. If he’s feeling guilty, that is something that he’ll need to work on.
        Every night I’d text A and say “I hope you had a good day. Love you” He almost never responded. If a football game was on tv I’d ask if he was watching the game, that would usually get a response, and a little back and forth…But I knew that he was in a hard position, and doing the thing he thought was right. As his mom, its my job to be supportive of whatever shitty decisions my kids feel that they need to make.
        You can’t prevent your son from feeling shitty about being in a shitty situation. You can text him every day, and you should NOT feel badly about that. If you texting him makes HIM feel badly, then he’s got some issues he needs to work on.
        It sucks to see your kids slip away like this, especially when other divorced families seem to manage not screwing up their kids with half as much effort as we have to put in.
        So really. Text him. Every day. Keep it light. Don’t worry about who feels guilty about what. You will survive this. Really. I promise.

  6. I’ve come back to re-read your post at least half-a-dozen times, trying to come up w/the right words to say…
    “Misery loves company” sounds so trite, but unfortunately true.
    Stacey already said All The Right Words.
    You must do your best to keep the connection alive, no matter how much it hurts. I’ve had to delete my blog in this insane vicious custody battle that just goes on & on, far past the point of any normal endurance. Somehow my ex wrested custody from me, thanks to corrupt family court system – & my son & I are just counting down the months (10) until he turns 18. I know we’ll survive somehow – “One Day at a Time” as the 12-step bunch likes to say!!!

    • I am so so sorry!!!! This whole divorce thing is a tragedy. Of course, the marriage was no picnic either. He spent some time with me over the weekend, since we had previously scheduled his modeling classes in the big city. It was a bit awkward at first, but after the first night, he relaxed. I never did. I was worried that I would do something to upset him and he would leave. Eventually, he did and no matter how much I tried to prepare myself, it was devastating. But it did help as far as keeping contact. He actually texted ME today!

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