Thursday, May 17, 2012

Just When You Least Expect It

"Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans."

The above quote is one of my favorites. I've seen it attributed to so many people, I'm not sure who actually said it. Ironically, I'm an atheist, but I agree with the basic premise-- life is what happens while you're making other plans.

In 1992/93, I'd been dating a woman on and off. I finally ended it when I decided that things were not working out. On July 4, 1993, I got a call from her-- she was pregnant.

She decided to go through with the pregnancy, and after my son was born, we decided to try to work it out. I lasted about two years with her, and moved out when I realized her fits of uncontrollable rage were not ending any time soon. I'd spent my whole childhood in fear of my father's fits of uncontrollable rage, and had no desire to live with it again.

Things were fairly amiable for a while after the split-- until she realized that I was not coming back. I'd come to realize that she was always going to be abusive. She hired a lawyer, and tried to keep me from ever seeing my son again. I hired a lawyer and kept her from doing that.

For the last 16 years, my son has shuttled between two households. He had planned to move into my home permanently a few days after his high school graduation on May 26.

About a week and a half ago, I was home alone on a Saturday-- he normally would have been there, but his mother asked to have him for an early Mother's Day celebration with her family (irony alert here!) My wife and my daughter had other plans and were elsewhere.

I'd settled in with a movie and a couple of glasses of wine, when I got a text from my son, asking if I was working. I was not, I replied. Then could I come get him-- he was moving in that night.

I was floored. I called my best friend Jim, who has become, basically, Adam's uncle over the years. I knew (as did he) that Adam's mother could be very aggressive. I asked him to come with me. Jim had also settled in for the night, but without hesitating, told me to give him a few minutes to get out of his pajamas.

About an hour later, I got to her home. I texted Adam, and he started bringing stuff he'd hastily packed out. His mother came out, and was, surprisingly, calm.

It turned out, as I discovered, that she'd started arguing with him, and needled him, asking why he was unhappy. He wanted to tough out the last few weeks with her-- her home is much closer to his high school than mine is-- but she kept going and going. Finally, he let loose with 18 years of what she'd done, including kicking him out-- twice-- when he was 8 and 9. Her general anger and pissiness. She still could not understand what he was upset about.

After all these years, after all the anger and acrimony, it all ended quietly. He moved in with me, and will stay with me until he goes off to college. I can't even describe how happy I am about it. His sister (his stepsister technically, but they think of one another as brother and sister) is happy to have him here, as is my wife. It's been a long, long time coming.


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Mr. Yen

Pat Tillett said...

Hey there!
You are so right...Life Happens!
In this case, it seems that things are working out well. It must have been very difficult for your son to live with her. I also had a difficult ex, who tried her hardest to ban me from seeing one of my kids. For no reason other than she was a whack job!

jane said...

Home at last.

LegalMist said...

Kids are not stupid. They almost always know which parent is playing games, and which parent has their best interests at heart. I'm glad your son figured it out. I also hope, for his sake, that his mother figures out that she needs to stop playing games and just be there for her son....

Kudos to you for taking the high road and being a good dad all these years. :)

LegalMist said...

Also -- we, too, have a fantastic friend named "Jim," who is like an uncle to our kids (they call him 'Uncle Jim'). It is so good to have such good friends, isn't it?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so glad that your son is home, in the right place.