My daily life is significantly easier. I do not wake up and instantly begin fighting with my son because he refuses to get up with his alarm. He then refuses to take a shower. He then refuses to make his lunch. He then refuses to put his shoes on. He then refuses to pack his backpack. After all of these refusals, often my daughter would be forgotten and left to fend for herself. She might cry out of frustration, join in the yelling, contribute to the lateness because she is so discombobulated that she has no idea what to do next so she wanders aimlessly around the house until my yelling is aimed at her. All of this chaos before 6:30 AM. Once school is over, the afternoon shift begins. He refuses to talk about his day. He refuses to do his homework. He refuses to do his chores. He refuses to clean his lunch box. He refuses to get out of the car to go to therapy. He refuses to get off of his XBox. It is enough to bring any person to her breaking point.
There is no reason for my son’s refusals. A simple request such as, “Take the trash out, please,” could lead to stomping, screaming, and/or name calling. Several years ago, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) was added to his list of credentials. I am on the fence about my son and ODD. Does he have this disorder? Is this a real disorder? Is it something more serious? Personality disorder? Does he have My Dad Lets Me Do What I Want Disorder (MDLMDWIWD)?
I don’t know. I am not sure I will ever know. What I know is I have an immense amount of guilt because I hooked up with a jerk. Bottom line. I was a rebellious teenager who had the world at her feet but couldn’t see past her impulses. I saw an opportunity to have a little fun and consequences could work themselves out at a later date. I liked being with an older man who did not follow the rules and was very experienced with the shady sides of life. A “little fun” soon turned into entrapment. Once an abuser dominates and possesses you, it is nearly impossible to escape. By the time you understand the tangled and permanent disaster that has insidiously enveloped you, your life is headed down the darkest of paths. There is no light at the end because he is intentionally blocking it. He knows you’re searching for it but he will never let you find it as long as he is in control. The more you search, the more powerful he becomes.
Merriam-Webster defines “bully” as:
a : a blustering, browbeating person; especially : one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable
- tormented by the neighborhood bully
As a grown woman with a good education, solid career, and friends and family who spoke their minds about my husband, it still took 13 years to escape him. How can I expect my son to understand what his father is when I didn’t? I continue to fight my guilt over bringing a child into this world knowing what kind of a monster my child’s father is. I could have stopped this madness but I continued playing house and pretending everything was as it should be. I am now fighting a battle I created.
So….my daily life is easier. My daughter has a chance to flourish and thrive. I have the opportunity to start and end the day in peace. But, I do not have my son. I do not know what he is doing during the day. I do not know what classes he is taking in school. I do not know his friends. I do not know if he is sick or sad or happy or tired.
I am at war with myself.
This is my fault.
But, I know it is not.
But, it is.