Saturday, May 05, 2007

" The world breaks everyone and afterwords....
many are strong at the broken places"
~E. Hemingway
A farewell to Arms

Today is my ex-husbands' granddaughters sweet 16. Anna's mother, Lisa, and I are best friends, more like sisters. We look alike, we think alike and were married to father and son. We are both divorced from the father and son. Over the years we have seen our friendship survive the break up of the family. We have watched our children grow and have remained loyal to each other in spite of the discourse of a very dysfunctional family. Through it all Lisa and I have stuck with each other through many hard times and tears but also through laughter. Lisa was there for me when I lost Dennis on September 11th, when my niece died shortly 5 months later and then 3 months later when my dear sister Lilly passed on. I have been there for Lisa through her first and second divorce, through the pain of lives difficulties, as a single mother and then recently when her father Frank passed away just this Christmas. Lisa calls me when she needs to vent and I call her. The latest phone call this morning almost as a last minute gentle touch before a very busy day and later Anna's party to which my son Jon and I will be going
(Allen is packing to go to PA).
About an hour ago my son called me very upset (it is his father's weekend and I was to pick him up at 6:00 to go to Anna's party). At this party Anna's father Michael will be with his wife, children and his two brothers and there families. My ex has not spoken or seen Michael, his son, in about 5 years over an argument with Michaels sister. The brothers do not speak to the sister (bear with me, I know it is tricky to follow - bizarre actually). Michael did ask Lisa not to invite me (not sure why - he and I were never on bad terms) to which she stated " What!! are you crazy". Recently he asked her to tell me that I was not to say hello to him, his family nor his brothers. Ok,so back to Jon's phone call. He calls to tell me that his father is not allowing him to go to Anna's party. The phone call was heart wrenching, here is my 14 year old put in a position that no one should be in. Jon and Anna are very close. I could tell that my son was frustrated, tearful and directing his anger at me. He told me that he hates this family and can't stand what his father and I do. My heart was breaking for him. I know that Jon understands that he can be angry with me because it is safe and I will always love and support him. He is terrified of his fathers meanness and would never dare contradict him. He would never defy his father but it is safe to defy me. This I understand.
I told Jon that I understood and I felt sad that he was in such a state. Jon began to direct all his anger and frustration at me. I told him that I could challenge his father, but this scares him. I told him that one day, even if its not today, he would have to stand up to him, but, that for now I would support his decision (not that he has any choice, trust me). I told him that I loved him, he was crying and said he doesn't know what to do. I told him it was OK but that he should understand that I thought it was a terrible thing that his father was doing to him and to Anna. He said his father told him "that your mother is ruining it for everyone by going". Meanwhile Anna and Lisa (whose paying for the party) invited me. Anna calls me Nani and I have been at every major event in her life. I told Jon that I loved him and that he did not do anything wrong, that whatever choice he made, I understood why he made it. I hung up and cried from frustration at not being able to help Jon and also in knowing that 7 years after our divorce, my ex could still hurt me, not directly but by hurting our child. I cannot even but into words what I think of him as a human being and how I wish sometimes he would disappear but the other me knows that this is a journey my son has to take and I cannot stop it. I understand that there are lessons that he will learn from his dad, as I did when I was married to him. He is not a healthy person and he lives enmeshed in his own venom, it is truly quite sad.
My son is a good, kind and smart boy. I know that regardless of who his father is, my presence in his life will be his true force of goodness, truth and well-being. My son will find his way, I cannot pave the road for him nor make it a smooth one, but when he loses his way, he will know that my hand will always be within reach to guide him home.
Life is hard but we do mend and sometimes, if we are lucky, we grow stronger.....


Lisa said...

I am appalled...this is an all-time low, and I've seen some of his lowest.

I don't know what the stranglehold is that these men have on us. Why are we still so afraid of them? Is it learned behavior, or are they really that scary?

I know that you are very wise and will make the best choices for Jon. When I told Dylan that Jon wasn't allowed to go to Anna's party, he flipped out. He said that was "the stupidest thing" he's ever heard. I agree.

BTW...unrelated, really...isn't it funny how you have two Lisa's in your life that are close to you, and I have two Maria's?


Betty said...

Dear Maria,

I am so sorry that you and Jon are going through this. I have been afraid of my son's father all along, until finally his behavior last Dec. 26 was so outrageous that the police told me not to allow him to see my son. I've been standing up to him ever since, and now I'm being summoned to court. The jerk is suing me for custody of my son plus child support! (He never paid me a dime of child support, and he knows nothing about parenting- he only knows bullying, bribing and intimidation). It's kind of the worst nightmare I can imagine.

My hope is that you and I and our sons end up "strong at the broken places."


Lisa said...

Some comments on the special woman wh writes this blog from the Lisa in this entry:

Not only did Maria come to the party last night although her heart was breaking for her son, but as usual, she was my biggest comfort all night. She took over 100 pictures, graciously chatted with the guests and like a true sister, made herself available to me for support and whatever I needed to keep the party running smoothly. At the end of the night, she transported girls to my house for a sleepover, counseled me through an emotional meltdown and then, when she could finally go home and get some rest, she finds she is locked out of her house! (another story). She is truly an amazing person and I am so grateful and lucky to have her in my life.

Maria - you're the best - I love you.

simply me said...

Li - you know where I've been and how far I've come. He is a very Toxic person and I, as a grown woman did not know how to function in his world so I can only imagine what poor Jon at 14 feels...dread?

Betty I am so honored that you visit me so regularly. It is incredible every day to me that I was married to this man and doubly incredible that he is such a sick individual. He had it all and was still miserable. I truly think he lives because he gains strength in hurting others. He was abusive and a mean person we were married 13 years....I am glad that you chose to protect yourself and your little boy from such a person. I will pray that the court system will see him for what he truly is. If you ever need any moral support please just write to me.

Lisa- No matter the circumstances, I will always be there for you and my Anna. You guys were the blessing from a bad marriage. I love you too.

My 2 Lisa's are a great gift to me

Matty said...

It always seems to hurt our children most. Life is surely unfair, esp. to the children. We choose our life-mates, they don't get to choose their parents. Teens have enough peer pressure to deal with, they don't need their parents baggage as well. Jon seems like a strong loving boy, he'll get through this. I'm glad you went to the party and had a good time.