Today I am angry. I know in my heart of hearts an atrocious crime was committed. I know because I realize I am not crazy. I am not a control freak and I am not the reason my son left me. My son’s sperm donor tells him I am a control freak, just a stupid woman who is good to no one and the smartest dumb person he knows. The man formerly known as my first husband has expressed these little gems to me before, during, and after my son’s existence. Once my son was old enough to understand and believe anything he was told, he began to tell me I am the worst mother and I need to think long and hard about how a mother should behave. My son. He told me these things. He said them. And texted them. And believes he believes them.
The people with whom my son resides allow him to speak to me like this. They encourage this.
Out of this tragedy and humiliation, my eyes are seeing differently. I romanticized the relationship between a mother and child believing nothing could break the bonds. I carried this boy. He fed from my breast. I sang to him, played with him, comforted him, made his favorite dinner, read his favorite book, rearranged my life to make his life easier. I made a horrible assumption that nothing, no one, not ever anything could break the mother-child bond.
No one except … the child.
Picture a long hallway. Decorate it as you like. My hallway is white and blank. You are standing at one end staring at the thing you want most. It is at the other end. There is a door close to you and a door close to the thing you want most. You are not sure if the door is locked. If you try then you’ll know. Knowing frightens you. The thought of leaving this narrow, one dimensional hallway never crossed your mind. Why would you ever want to escape? The thing you want most is in the same space with you. You can see it. Why won’t it come closer? Maybe I coax with treats. Maybe a song and dance. Circus tricks? Kind words. Harsh words? Why is the thing I want most looking at the door. Wait! I will dance harder, sing louder. What if it reaches the doorknob…turns the door knob … there’s a lock on the door, right? Stop! I can do more! I promise I can do more! Why is the thing I want most opening the door that is supposed to be locked? Panic. Where is the thing I want most going? Gone.
The thing I want most just walked out of the hallway, through an unlocked door, away from me.
I think I have a choice. I can stay in this hallway looking at the empty space where the thing I want most used to stand or I can try my door. Maybe my door is not locked, either. It never occurred to me to try my door. I never wanted to leave. Even when the thing I want most rejected me, I never wanted to leave.
My door is not locked.