A Box in the Closet
I left astounded. Hurt. And definitely pissed the fuck off. I guess that’s what happens when you let your guard down. Interactions with people that leave me feeling this way are something I try to avoid. In fact with some of the people I love the most, I have very limited interactions for this very reason. This time, however, I was in new territory and wasn’t sure how to respond. It wasn’t necessarily the actions or words of the offending person that bothered me so much as it was the glimpse of my own past that I had never seen from that viewpoint before. I needed to process. I needed my mom.
We left our house that morning with plans to take his daughter and her man to the races with us then stay the night at their house so we could spend some time with them before the baby was born. Plans changed, she didn’t want us to stay the night, said she was embarrassed because they didn’t have much food. Well shit, we all been there, no need to be embarrassed, just say something. We can help, a hand up – not a hand out! Well, that is what we were feeling when we got to their house, this changed quickly. Luckily we had made other plans for overnight, but stopped by their place to drop off some groceries.
I was comforted by the fact that I looked over at my lover and seen the tears of anger and frustration welling in his eyes as we left his daughter’s house. What a strange thing to draw comfort from. I have been with my boyfriend for a few years now, and although there have definitely been some rough times, I have lots of love for most of his family as he does mine. It’s like it all just fits…… He has been doing lots of work to repair some of his family ties and is finally starting to build a solid relationship with his adult daughter, who is expecting a grandson in just a about a month’s time. The history of their relationship was rocky, a lot of manipulation and the behaviors that go along with it, involving her mother. That’s not my story to tell though so I will move on from there.
Many people in the family had an ill feeling about the baby daddy from the start, but I always go for the benefit of the doubt stance because tons of people who have a rough start in life are able to clean up their lives and make good things happen. I met him at the same time as meeting the daughter, so I took them in my heart as pair, a family, as she was already expecting. I kept a little distance at first and allowed her to set the pace of our relationship. It seemed to blossom with ongoing texts and conversations, even an invite to the gender reveal ultrasound and being referred to as “grandma” a time or two. I was asked to be in the delivery room. My heart gushed. However, was turned back to the current reality and source of the surprise, hurt and angry feelings sprouted from her baby’s father that day and the insight into a potentially abusive environment.
A dose of disrespect goes a long ways, especially when it comes from someone you consider “one of your kids”. The little event that took place was based off of a moment of real life encouragement as a parental figure to the baby daddy. He was telling of how he had quit his job….. again…. and was pursuing to start his own company and be a contractor so he wouldn’t have to work for the man. Discussion pursued with open support of his ideas, but with the realistic approach that with a baby on the way, he may find himself needing to have a consistent job. This was often the type of life experiences that I shared with all my kids, kind of like its ok to dream, but you have to have one foot in reality. He took it the wrong way, continued to get angry, proceeded to curse, attempt to throw us out of his house, and even attempted to instigate a physical fight before stating for his gf to call him once we had left and out the door he went. The whole scene was ridiculous and definitely a glimpse to a new side of him.
Amazingly, both myself and Josh stayed seated with calm voices covering our feelings of being disrespected and angry, stunned. I seen a glimpse into my past, things my mother may have gone through that I couldn’t even apologize for. I remember times where she felt unwelcome at my house because of my husband’s influence, I thought it was ridiculous, but was seeing it through new eyes. As I watched Josh’s daughter sit there through this interaction, and her empty eyes afterwards, it was difficult to know what she was thinking. I can’t say her path and mine were exactly the same, but familiar nonetheless, I had been there before. The rest of the evening, things felt surreal. We continued on to the Races as planned, but my mind was elsewhere most of the night. I know his was too. I sunk into moments of meditation, feeling the vibrations of the motors of the racecars, the smells, the sounds, letting them flow through me as I worked through my own shadows that had surfaced. I know my mom had spent years in this same environment, I searched for any of her remaining energy. The welcome taste of whiskey on my lips brought me back to reality here and there. I longed to hug my mom and tell her I love her and see now, yet another thing she suffered through just trying to love and support me.
Looking back, I realize I was also incredibly angry with myself for putting myself out there. This also was a prime example of behavior that I do not have to tolerate, will not tolerate. I know now I put myself in a place to allow this to happen, I will further proceed with caution. I choose not to have interactions of this sort, they are toxic and quite frankly they hurt. FUCK, allowing vulnerability in your life sucks, but building walls sucks even worse!!!! However, I realize that over the last few years, I’ve really changed. Had this happened even just a couple of years ago, my reaction definitely would have been different. I wasn’t one to sit calmly and attempt to diffuse the situation back then, but rather add fuel to the fire and poke it til it burns oh so bright! I had a short fuse (still do at times) but I’m learning to keep the explosion controlled. I hate the way it leaves me feeling when its not.
I don’t take for granted the amount of respect that has been instilled into my sons and nieces and nephews alike. It comes from examples handed down through the generations. The amount of love that I feel for them is intense and it grows each year as our bonds tighten. In fact, when I think about the number of souls I consider “my kids” it encompasses, not only my boys and nieces and nephews, but many of their friends that have attached themselves to my heart throughout the years. They have all been “real-lifed” by my own hardships and experiences and this little incident will not stop me from providing strength, guidance, and support to those that I love.
Its been a couple weeks now, baby is due anytime. The communication between them and us is non-existent. It hurts me tremendously and I know it must hurt her daddy tenfold. The excitement of the bonding with this little family, helping them set up house and gather supplies for the new baby was a great source of joy for us. Its rare to see a man so high on life as mine was the day we took a whole truck load of household items and groceries to their house when they first moved in, being honored to help. There is definitely something missing in my man’s smile, a piece of his pride taken away in worry that he is again losing his little girl. I hope that as time passes and they learn lessons of their own that they are able to learn and grow from them. I know even as small as the confrontation was, the box that it opened in my proverbial closet brought immense opportunity for my own personal awareness and growth. Past to present and ongoing into the future of this fun adventure called life, I hope for continued ability to process and share the things I’ve learned as well as listen and learn from the experiences of others.