Wednesday, December 30, 2009
One of the best things that could ever happened to me happened yesterday. I spent a grueling day in a "workforce" program, designed to keep the needy focused on job hunting forty hours a week. I came home at 5 PM, exhausted, not only from that but all my other responsibilities and problems: juggling my few therapeutic clients and figuring out a new place to live since my landlord is or has become mentally ill and/or hell bent on getting more money from me than is in our lease agreement.
"My God," I proclaimed as I entered the house, "I am sooo tired."
I walked past my son's bedroom and saw that his pregnant girlfriend was still here. He had snuck her in late the night before. I went to my bedroom and leaned back in my very comfortable office chair at my desk.
My son entered the room. He came behind me and put his hands on my shoulders, rubbing them, something I can't recall him ever doing before. Usually it's a hug when he shows affection. I guess it's because I was sitting down.
"Sounds like you've had a hard day," he says, with warmth in his voice.
I turned to him, my eyes flashing anger, and said, "That won't work this time. You need to get a job, immediately."
His gentleness changed in a heartbeat.
"Ma, don't start," he snapped, in an angry, warning tone voice.
"Yeah I'm starting. I've been going through hell, and today and yesterday you've sat on your azz. No more."
He said, "Fuck you," and walked toward the door, and as he exited, threw out one more insult, said quietly enough so his girlfriend could not hear him: you can suck a dick.
This was the moment I became free.
Free of being a victim of his mood swings, and forgiving or excusing his parasitic, disrespectful and entitled behavior. It has dragged me down emotionally and destroyed me financially, off and on but never ending, since shortly before he turned 14.
It ended yesterday, quietly, for I said nothing back to him. Usually I'd admonish him; this time I said nothing, and instead found a strength from seeing clearly the man he has become, not the helpless, neglected child that I adopted many years ago.
At that moment, I freed my heart from loving him, and he became an adult. He doesn't know any of this yet. He will as soon as I move, anytime within a month.
That evening I picked my daughter, Cassie, from her friend's house, and drove to a new grocery store in the area to buy her a cherry pie for her birthday. In the parking lot, I told her of the conversation, the plan to leave him on his own, and my new found freedom.
Then I said, "Cassie, I know you have seen me put up with a lot of shit from your brother over the past several years, and apologize for this. I want to let you know that I have never, never, tolerated this kind of abuse from a boyfriend, and don't ever want you to do that either, not from anyone. Xavier was different because he was a child, my child, and the mother in me could not turn my back on him. I made a terrible mistake bringing him with us to our new place in August. It won't happen again, because I am free."
"How can you be free," she asked, "when he's still living with us?"
"Freedom begins in the mind."
I offered my hand to shake on my sincerity. She smiled in surprise but refused it, shaking her head.
"No, Mamma, I don't believe it. I think he'll play you again and you'll take him with us."
She could see the strength in my eyes when I shook my head and said, "No, not this time. Not anytime, not ever again."
She shook my hand and held it for a long time.
Later that night, Xavier came to my room and apologized for what he said earlier. I waved my hand away, dismissing him.
"What? I'm apologizing!"
"I don't accept it and I don't need it," I replied. "It keeps happening and it will happen again."
"No it won't!"
"That's what you always say. I'm through."
I turned away.
He started to curse me again, but then stopped before he could get the words out, and instead left the room. Perhaps he thinks I only need to "cool off".
He couldn't be more wrong, because I am free, and by extension, so is my daughter.
Posted by Kit (Keep It Trill) at 7:40 AM