I hate July. It is hot. My hair is dry from chlorine. I am several pounds heavier than I was in May. I have to shave my legs every day. I hate July.
I hate July 2018. This is the month my life changed forever. In many ways, this will be ok. Possibly better than ok. However, today, yet another wretched, heat-wrecked July day, nothing is ok.
My son left me. Kicking and screaming, quiet and subtle, conniving and plotting, my son left me. He is fourteen years old. Handsome, articulate, clever, witty, bright, cruel, empty, hateful, brainwashed. My son left me.
He and his father and stepmother have been planning this coup for longer than I can imagine. I have no sense of the timeline because my son has been taught the art of silent surveillance. He has been encouraged to observe my family and take back information to the enemy. My son’s stepmother always said she wanted him to be in the military. “Never too young to learn. Let’s use our broken homes as the practice field! That’s what I always say…” Do you think her cigarette was dangling out the side of her mouth when she said this?
The mission took shape in January and I noticed troops setting up camp on the hill. No doubt they had been strategizing long before I saw them. I have always been known for being naive. My son knows that. His father knows that. They both know everything. They enjoy telling me I know nothing.
The culmination of variously sized battles that had been fought on and off for years was intensifying. My son, who left me, was a member of both armies. He claimed loyalty to whoever he was with. He kept us all confused and made sure no one knew the other’s true course or next move. January came and he sideswiped me with an attack more heinous than usual. This involved calling the police and fabricating stories of how I beat and bite him. This was the day I knew my son would leave me. For good.
In March I was served with papers. In April I realized I would be broke from legal bills. In May I understood how much my son was told he wanted to leave me. In June I had a false sense of hope and loved my son. In July my son left me.
I lost the war. I fought a fight most told me to stop fighting. I lost. I am glad I did not listen. I fought like I should. I did what I was born to do. A mother fights. I fought. I lost. But, I tried. My son left me. I have no explanation. He has no explanation. He left me to leave me.
My son’s win was dirty and unjust. From his stepmother’s suffocating conditioning to the judge’s debauched and unconcerned ruling in the enemy’s favor. The win was dirty and unjust.
I do not miss my son. Not today. He was a poison in my family. He continuously contaminated each one of us with his merciless spite. I miss my son. Always. My son left me. I am not a mother. I am a mother who was told she cannot finish raising her son. Another person, unrelated to me or my son, told us we are not to be together and I am not allowed to raise him.
An abusive, manipulative, mean-spirited man-child will finish raising my son. My son left me.
I tried. I failed. I love my son so much.