Sunday, February 21, 2010

When The King of Lies Wins A Soul:
Part 1


There is something haunting about seeing your young adult child hold a loaded gun to his head and wondering if you're gonna die, too...


Last week was doozy, and I made it through Tuesday by the grace of God and a true friend. You really learn who those are when you have major problems.

Spent that morning asking my caseworker not to penalize me for not being able to come in because I didn't have gas money to drive there to job search. He's a good guy, but he had to put pressure on me because that's his job to make sure people comply. I couldn't, having only enough gas left to make it a couple miles when the program is ten miles away. This was very hard.

Spent part of that afternoon watching my son hold a loaded gun to his head because he got mad when I asked him to get another job since he quit or got fired from the other one. He still ain't told me why and I'll have to ask his boss in person if I want to find out the reason.

Timing is everything, but with people who really unstable, it becomes harder to ascertain if the timing is good. Lil' nigga seemed happy. Hell, he should have been; he'd had a wonderful Valentine's Day with his girlfriend on Sunday, thanks to me letting him buy steaks and a box of candy with my food stamp card. The following evening he had friends over. Tuesday rolled around, and late that afternoon he was blowing time playing on Facebook. He looked happy enough.

"Xavier," I said, "you don't look too busy. Why don't you look for a job again?"

Zero to sixty in ten seconds flat.

No, not the car of my youthful dreams, but his anger, and it's accompanying cussin' and bitchin' about how he's under too much stress and how he's done with all that. I walked out the room, telling him he was acting like an azzhole.

Less than two minutes later, this crazy boy is sitting across from me in our living room, gun to his head, trigger cocked, and repeatedly daring me tell him to shoot himself.

How did he get the gun?

I bought a little .38 for protection a whole lifetime ago, when I was 21 and living on my own. This gun has a lock on it, and I always keep the key separate.

Well, he friggin' found both.

He begged me to dare him to do it. Worse, he looked angry and impulsive enough to go through with it.

So many things ran through my mind in those few minutes... questions like, how did he get this bad? How did we get this bad?

"Go ahead, Ma, I don't care anymore. Just tell me and I'll pull the trigger."

"You're not that stupid, Xavier. You're really not."

What could he say? Yes I am? Nah, that ain't something he'd agree with, thank God.

Instead he said, "I'll do it. I really will, just dare me!"

"Nope. It's a stupid dare."

He then proceeded to ventilate of how hard everything is for him.

"You seemed pretty happy to me the past few days..."

"It never lasts. Just dare me."

All the while, holding that cold little .38 to his head.

Me, having visions of him firing it into his brain.

Me, being so gotdamned angry with him that the childish side of me wanted to dare him just to see if he had the balls (and the stupidity) to do it.

Him, how spiteful he can be, how he might be the kind of person who if I did dare him, he'd shoot me first for not loving him enough and daring, and then kill himself.

The image of us both laying dead and bloody, or him dead with me wounded in my chair or on the floor, then my daughter walking into the house an hour later and being traumatized from this scene for the rest of her life.

Or him shooting me, leaving me in wheelchair or dead, then chickening out in shooting himself... the trial, the family trauma... the waste...

While these thoughts crossed my mind, I just stared at him coolly and repeated in a firm voice, "You're not that stupid."

He vented some more about his stress. I know all about his stress. He thinks I don't, but I do. He gets stressed out if you ask him to do his laundry, yet when younger and maybe even now, thrived on the stress of selling a dime bag of weed and never 100% sure whether or not if he'll get busted.

The more he vented, the calmer he became. Fifteen minutes later, his azz is back on Facebook like nothing had happened.

What a narcissistic azzhole.

And nah, he ain't in the hospital. If I had tried to hospitalize him, he'd have convinced them he wasn't suicidal and been released, if not that day the next.

Then I spent the evening being yelled at by my landlord, who also has a mood disorder, for two reasons. He came home and my dog was startled when he walked in kitchen backdoor and barked at him. He don't give a shit that his dog has had diarrhea for two days and nights straight, and I'm the one letting her out.

He was also pissed that son had gotten too loud the night before when entertaining his friends who weren't loud. Like my son, he's a coward with other men but a bully with women. He has never told Xavier to keep the noise down. Nope, instead he yells at me to control my "child", when my child is a grown azz man. Instead, he becomes every bit as intimidating, hostile and ungrateful toward me as my own son does.

Some of you may recall a post I did on him in December, My Psycho Landlord, where he made a death threat to me and my dog.

How in the fuck did I have the bad luck to get sandwiched between these two nutcases under the same roof? And why is it that they both tend to flip out on the same day?

There are some men who are so threatened by women that they become extremely dangerous when they're expected to pull their own weight, or in other words, to exercise normal give and take in a relationship; could be a mother-son relationship, domestic partnership, or one at work or between a live-in landlord and tenant, as in my case. Being reasonable with a woman is not something they value nor want. They want total control, and generally it's exploitative.

Geezus, I hope being around all this lunacy doesn't make my daughter so scared or hateful of men that she rejects them. Most are not that way, and I keep telling her this and to observe the good guys in the family like my brother and nephew and her uncle. But still, who does she live with? I'll get back to her in Part 2.

Tuesday must have been a day when the cards were stacked for me to die. As soon as my landlord started yelling at me, I threw on my coat, grabbed my dog and left out of the house.

I sat in my car and cried like a baby. I couldn't drive anywhere 'cause I my tank, like my soul felt, had hardly any gas. For a few fleeting moments, the image of me putting my own gun to my head and ending the despair and futility flashed through my mind.

Just get through this month... you knew in December than January and February would be a bitch... The Spring is coming, and along with it, the flowers you love so much, and a good job with the money to escape are just around the corner... Just hang on, babygirl, it won't be like this much longer...

That was my internal voice of reason speaking. I love that voice.

Kit, where's your pride? How can tell us this shit? Ain't it embarrassing?

Yes and no. I actually wrote the draft for this on Wednesday, but had to think about more and whether I really wanted to share this. I have a lot of pride, too much sometimes, but am also guided by serving others.

I learned from being a social worker and a therapist that the shit I've gone through lately is so gotdamned common, particularly among mothers and women, but also fathers and men, that it ain't funny. Having serious problems can be isolating because often people feel horrible and embarrassed, and wonder if bad shit only happens to them.

Being a helping professional makes me no more immune to having family problems than being a doctor protects one from disease. Problems in life, like rain, rain on everyone.

I called my relative, who had planned to meet me a little later with gas, and boo-hoo-hoo'd. He's been trying to steer Xavier away from bad choices for many years, so is so familiar with our situation that he wasn't freaked out. The most useful thing he said was exactly what I needed to hear, and reminded me of what I "forgot" on this very dark day.

He said, "God has carried you this far and won't leave you now. Think about all that you've been through since November. You survived, economically making do with very little because your own clients can't afford therapy anymore. You emotionally survived Xavier's relapse at the same time your landlord began acting crazy and trying to hustle you for more rent money because he's not earning much and sick with lung cancer but no health insurance, and you checkmated his azz. Hang in there. God didn't get you this far to let you down now."

He was right. Judging by the police that pulled into the gas station right next to the one we were at, I'm pretty sure it was being robbed. What if we had chosen that one instead of this one? Damn.



This is one face of the Great Depression II. Danger and despair everywhere... but also, I must add, hope, love, and for most I think, a determination to survive.

And that was Tuesday.


***************************

There is so much in this post that I broke it up into two parts; the second will explain the title. Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences, and I'll post Part 2 in a few days.



22 comments:

  1. You are not alone in any of your travels,having the talent to put it on paper or computer is a blessing in it self.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All I can say is wow. The sad thing is that you know that this same situation is repeating itself in households all across America and is having the same outcome. I am raising 3 boys alone and I hope and pray I can coax them into a path that leads them away from the nonesense.

    Tiffany
    http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. KIT,

    I was having flashbacks of different situations that my three sons took me through. I know it is difficult and I also know what it feels like when a person is worn low. I've learned over the years that what the elders have always declared is true-trouble don't last always.

    Hang in there-God does not take us to spaces and places without being right there too. I always consider the first voice that I hear to be that of the Holy Spirit. The message that comes forth is one of hope and redemption. I'll lift you and your family up in prayer. Hold on sista! God will not fail you or your loved ones.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know things will get better for you. As long as you don't give up hope God will always come through for you. I can say this from experience seeing I am going through some very touh times of my own.

    I just need to remember to turn it over to Him every day. Then I let Him do the rest. Somehow everything always seems to work out.

    I was in such dispare a few weeks ago I didn't think I was going to make it to the end of the month without loosing everything. I thought I would be living out of my car by the end of the month with nothing to eat. But I found a couple temporary fixes that should help get me through until I, too, can find a job in this tough economy.

    Even when things seem insurmountable God will carry you through as long as you don't give up on Him. The only reason I can say that is because even with all my faults He hasn't given up on me yet.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing this Kit.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Big Mac, Thank you.

    Redbone Girl, Yep. Bad economic times exacerbates stress and families are even more vulnerable. I wish your trio of boys well.

    Deborah, I got a little misty-eyed reading your comment. Thank you.

    Solomon, I understand, I really do. The fear and worry you went through, and still have to some degree, is enormous. I'm soooo glad carried you through. I will pray that He continues to.

    Lauren, You welcome, and I gotta post for you later this week, so thank you for sparking the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You really, truly, need to put his ass out. Now. Like I've told my sister countless times, when you stop bailing him out, is when he'll grow up. She said to me "See what happens when yours is 23". And I do realize that there but for the Grace of God, go I, but I also believe that God helps those that help themselves. And I'll be damned... My niece survived being put out unmercifully. She has a job, and a decent apartment, and some semblance of a life. My sister survived putting her daughter out.

    Put him out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so sorry for all this, Kit, especially that he seemed to be getting better lately. Just think of the reward that awaits you at the end, just think of the moment when you'll be able to enter your new flower-filled home without fear and stress, when you'll have fun evenings with Cassie, when you'll be able to entertain again and have a social life, when you'll just be able to live in peace and normality. Like you said, it's not that long until then, and it will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  9. go and take that gun to the police station and give it to them to melt down. you can't let it into the equation.
    jeez, what a life you have. i wish i could offer something.
    i like your writing. and good luck with the mad men that surround you.
    x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bear Maiden, I've mentioned this before and the reasons why in posts and comments to that suggestion, but putting him out isn't feasible. Some cats are too disturbed to respect a police order...

    Marianne, God-willing, you're right.

    Bobby, Kudos to being the first to address the gun issue! This is written about in Part 2.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your son reminds me of my ex so much it's not funny (well, it wouldn't be funny anyway...)

    One night, the night he came out actually, my ex threatened to kill himself. He told me he'd been drinking and he was going to go out to his car and drive until he got in an accident. At first I told him to calm down, but he kept going. He could see it was getting to me (where nothing else he'd said that night seemed to be getting to me). Then I snapped.

    I was so angry, so hurt, so... UGH! that I eventually said, "you know what? I'm so sick of you taking my emotions hostage with these threats. So if you want to kill yourself, go ahead. I hope you're successful."

    I shudder now to think that I actually said it, but I did. I knew he hadn't been drinking, and I knew that for all his bad boy ways, he couldn't stand a drunk driver, so maybe I assumed a little too much comfort in knowing the future in saying those words. I should not have said them but that was the moment he finally pushed me over.

    The next day I called his mother to tell her I was planning to end all communication with him and to be ready for whatever he did. Turns out she was on a plane on her way to him. He had been in a one-car accident.

    And then I got some perspective.

    Ain't sh*t easy about this, Kit. I'm proud of you for making it as far as you have and trust that you'll make it further than even you think. Your relative is on point.

    But man, I wish your son would let you breathe. I know the suffocating feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Damn, you have had quite a week. Trust and believe that things will get better. Thank you for sharing, you are not the only one going through hard times. I think we need voices like yours speaking to the madness that is happening as a result of the great recession/depression or whatever it is. We need to see that the folks affected are just like us, no shame in that at all.

    As for your son, there is part of me that wants to suggest you should put him out but as his Mama only you know if that would help or hurt. That said, get rid of that gun quick fast and in a hurry.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well Ms. "Keeping It Really Thrilling", like Big Mac said, if nothing else, this is compelling reading. And, it's free *smile*.

    Are you kidding me, it's not "Precious" but it beats the rest of the Oscar nominations.

    Hey, I have an idea. Now sit back and work with me. See, in your book, I think there should be a chapter called "I found love on a lonely street". Well, it involves you coming to my blog and reading one of my despartion stories, okay. Then you e-mail me and we share deeper stories. It's sort of like sleepless in Seattle, with a "hood" twist, because we are both so broke we can't rub two nickles together. Well, we'd have to take the greyhound to meet each other, but anyway. But after a little more small talk, we see a twinkle in each others eyes. I know... I know, you don't feel very twinkly right now, but the story gets better, it has a happy ending. See, I too have a memoir/book in waiting and at the present time, it needs a great love story on the scale of the "Titanic". I mean, I think the lovers died in that movie, but it was a great story, so we'll have to work on the ending. Okay Kit, whatya think? *smile*

    On a more serious note, I wrote a post that in many ways is similar to your struggles. It's actually a piece from my journal, that I started many years ago. Please take a look. You are not alone, and things can get better.

    It's called Webster's Holocaust... A Great Destruction.

    http://careycarey-carrymehome.blogspot.com/2009/05/websters-holocaust-great-destruction.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. I little more about the process of moving on. The path is never easy... as you know.

    http://careycarey-carrymehome.blogspot.com/2009/04/death-in-cheap-seats.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kit,
    You had a hell of a Tuesday! I can't imagine all the emotions that must of went through body, I'm just glad you made it through.

    I understand your frustration with Xavier, all the work you put into him and this is the thanks you get. I'm guessing Xavier's behavior is more hurtful because he's closer to you and doesn't seem to have a clue about anyone else's feelings besides his own.

    Hang in there KIT! You've had tough times before and made it through. Remember what you did in those times and try to repeat them again. Take some time for self care as well. People in the helping field can sometimes take time for everyone else besides themsevles.

    Your a brillant human being and hellva writer, I'll keep you in my prayers.

    Peace

    ReplyDelete
  16. Damn Boo......
    I have no words to express how I feel right now after reading this. My first thought is that your son and your landlord need their asses kicked. If it is one thing I cannot stand is a sorry ass healthy ass man. My sister got mad at me the other day because I refused to send her money along with the gifts I brought my nephew for his birthday. She has a man-boy who sits around her house all day playing XBox that refuses to do anything except live off her government assistance. I told her that I ain't got it and I told her why. She hasn't talked to me since I sent the gifts. Hang in there Baby girl. All this shit has got to be happening for a reason. I know that sounds kinda hollow, but I guess that is my way of saying I wish I could do more to ease your pain. This shit will pass Boo. It ain't got no choice but to.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lifting you up in prayer as always, Kit. Your strength to endure, let alone write, in times such as these is quite admirable.

    "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."

    ReplyDelete
  18. WOW I stumbled upon your blog by mistake.....well not really cuz I KNOW GOD makes no mistakes.....

    I'm at my desk about to cry...I feel your pain, I feel LOTS of emotions right now....

    I am a single mom of 2 young men...divorced for 4 years now...my oldest being 21...he is heading down a terrible path in my eyes...he moved back home with me and his brother Jan. of last year after being gone a year. long story short...he lost his job that he had since he left highschool and lied to me about not working...I found drugs in his bedroom(A LARGE AMOUNT) and we have not been the same since....he moved out and is living from place to place...BREAKS MY HEART....

    Sorry this is so long and drawn out......I should have e mailed you

    whats on my heart is this...I son't know you from a can of paint but I do know this....

    God tests us to see where our faith is....all you need is the faith the size of a mustard seed....he will do the rest....this is a test to see just where your faith is!!!!

    YOU ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!!!!
    GOD BLESS YOU.....

    Dee in San Diego
    diondelynn@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. How brave of you to post this, KIT. Both fortunately and unfortunately you are not alone. I cannot imagine what you are dealing with, nor will I undercut the seriousness of your situation by saying "I understand" but I will say that I think just having the balls to write this and share it means you have more fortitude than even you give yourself credit for.

    ReplyDelete
  20. KIT,
    I'm not quite sure how saying "I understand your frustration with Xavier" undercut the seriousness of your current situation. My point was to validate your feelings about being upset by the young man's behavior.

    If I offended you KIT, please accept my apologies. It was not my intention to minimize your experiences with Xavier.

    peace

    ReplyDelete
  21. Truth, Me offended by you? No! Not at all. I had to read through the last few comments to figure out why you might have worried about this, but don't. I thank you for your consoling words.

    La, Hey girl, nice to see you in my neck of the woods. Yeah, I guess writing this could be considered ballsy.

    Anon/Dee In SD, A job can cure a lot of problems. Check out at snagajob.com. It's ideal for your son's level of education and experience, and they'll email you daily of jobs in your area. If that's the main reason your boy is dealing, finding employment could keep him out of trouble. Good luck.

    Penny Wize, Hi. Thank you, and I hope joy comes in the morning. Got a job interview!

    Dirty Red, I smiled at being called Boo. Thank you, it feels like a cyberhug coming from you. And you said, "All this shit has got to be happening for a reason.".

    My thoughts precisely...

    Carey, You a wild bro, you know that, dontcha? Ms. Keep It Thrilling! Thanks for making me laugh. Been swamped this week but my load lightens after today, so will read your stuff this weekend.

    BGIM, Hi. Yeah, lot's of tough challenges lately and very little time. I wanted to upload Part 2 two days ago but too many distractions and stuff to do.

    A.Smith "But man, I wish your son would let you breathe. I know that suffocating feeling."

    I think about your similar experiences with your ex, and you captured so well the relationship dynamics and how it leaves one feeling. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Kit, I have been reading your blog post for a short while and I truly appreciate how you keep it so very real. I have had problems in my life and still I cant say that I understand your pain, but I thank you that you share it with all of us. I know that your testimony is blessing others, whether they comment or not! May God continue to be with you and your son.
    Anna Renee at wrestlegod.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Hi, this is Kit.

I haven't posted since summer 2010, and comment moderation has been on for a very long time.

My old blogger friends (you know who you are) are welcome to email me.

I can be reached at:
kitsmailbag@gmail.com.