I spent a month away from writing.
Several weeks ago, a perceptive, insightful friend insisted on stopping by my house for a couple of drinks. This seemed odd since we are both teachers and drinking past 9:00 pm on a Thursday night is a death sentence for Friday mornings. When she arrived, she wasted no time getting past our daily gossip. She took a drink, stopped rocking in her rocking chair, looked me in the eye and began her intervention.
She told me to pull myself out of the rabbit hole. The parental alienation blogging, article reading, YouTube channel watching, book ordering, Facebook support grouping rabbit hole. She was right. I was tunneling further and deeper with every new piece of information garnered from my searching about parental alienation. I told myself I was taking comfort in knowing I am not alone. I convinced myself I should be educated about all things parental alienation. I suppose it is fine to become aware of information and resources, but when you immerse in the mourning and misery of other people’s parental alienation stories you begin to see only discontent and torture in every situation. The entire world is dejected and spiritless. Pointless. Irreparable.
I stopped writing. I started watching mindless TV. I put my phone down and gave my daughter undivided attention. I played the piano. I went to bed earlier (ok, I did that once…) I began singing again. I made a concerted effort to not talk about my son or parental alienation. I started to pull out of the rabbit hole.
I went to the store and bought every Shoebox card I could find that was not specific to an event like a birthday or graduation. I mail my son a card every few days. I know he will not respond. When I mail the letter I am not looking for three little dots to appear on the screen. I am in control of my one-way communication. I have no idea if he receives my letters.
Most letters are light: “We got a new dog!” “Great job on the math test!”
Some letters are sad: “Please text/call your sister. She is confused and misses you.”
Some letters are mad: “None of us deserve this!”
Some letters are abject: “Please forgive me for making you feel like you are not good enough.”
I do not want to chase after someone who doesn’t want me. Even if this person has been brainwashed into rejecting me, I do not want to chase him. Currently, my son is a spitting image of his father. An abusive, selfish manipulator who lives only in the present. He notices only those who let him have his way. He holds no value on anything and refuses to think any deeper than how he can take his next shortcut. Now that my head and heart are free of traps in the rabbit hole, I see that I must accept what I know to be true. I will not see my son finish growing up. I must adjust to my new life and press forward. Someday my son will have to choose to take the high road or maintain the easy road. I will be waiting for him.