Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grey matters

He is one of the most maddening people I know.  Sometimes I am quite convinced that he does things like this, simply to see what kind of reaction I will have.  And then I remember, he's only 14 years old, and his brain won't even be done growing and fully functional until he's around 25.  

He's my kid.  And as far as kids go, he's a damn good one, too.  He doesn't smoke, he doesn't drink, he doesn't have sex or call me a fat twat or generally talk to me like I'm an ignorant whore.  He is capable of great empathy, and is pretty much just a parent's dream.

Most of the time.  

Sometimes, he's a giant prick.  Sometimes he's a thoughtless, selfish teenage asshole.  And in these moments, I am genuinely clueless.  

I'm not going to torment you with the boo-hoo story of my mother, or my childhood again.  You've heard it.  You know it.  You know she's a lunatic, and that my reasoning behind keeping my distance is legitimate.  So we can move forward...

Several months ago, my son confronted me, as I knew he would one day.  He wanted to know the truth behind my anger, resentment, and distance from my mother.  He has seen her behavior firsthand, but knew there was obviously more between her and I that went much deeper than the goofy and socially twisted antics to which he has been witness.  

And so, I sat him down, and told him.  Of course, I left out the specific details of the sexual abuse I suffered.  I'm not a moron, and I know he doesn't need to know that.  But I gave him a decent account of our rocky history, and told him that basically all of that, combined with her recent unpredictable lunacy and dangerous lashing out led his father and I to agree that unsupervised contact with her wasn't in the best interest of him and his sister.  After all, what kind of parents would we be if we felt uneasy, but still allowed someone complete access to them. 

He told me he completely understood, and after being allowed to hear things from a more adult point of view, it made things much more clear for him.  

And now, we flash forward to this afternoon...

This kid, who has been on one of those "kid" kicks, where they seem to push every button possible to see how long it takes before you snap, and murder them, told me he was going outside to play.  

Two hours later, I received a phone call from next door, where she is currently residing. 
The fuck?!  

"Hi.  I was just wondering if I could stay over here and play for..."

I didn't even wait for him to finish his sentence.  

"You need to get your ass home *right* now.  You know how I feel about this.  And I want you home.  Now.  Right now."  

I'm completely dumbfounded.  Oh sure, there are excuses.  His cousins were calling to him from across the field.  He wanted to know if he could spend the night at their house, and needed to call me before they left to go home.  

And my personal favorite, he just doesn't know why he did what he did...

I don't feel like I'm being unreasonable.  The woman is unstable.  She tried to run me off of the fucking road, for fucksake.  The short list of her wacky behavior makes Britney Spears look like Mother Theresa.  And even if she were a perfectly "normal" person, the fact that she makes me and my husband uncomfortable should be enough of a reason for us to say "no."  No good parent gets a "red flag" sort of feeling, but gives that person free roam of their kids anyway.  So, for that reason, I feel absolutely justified. 

This is precisely what I told my son when we had our long, uncomfortable, and very honest talk.  This is why it's so maddening to me when he does this kind of shit. 
One moment it seems as tho he "gets it."  He's totally got a handle on the situation, he gets it, and discipline in the area of XYZ will never be an issue again.  Because he gets it...

And then, a day like today happens, and I get a fucking phone call straight from the lion's den. 

Now, he's being punished, and is completely furious with us for being such enormous, gigantic, bogus, way-uncool turds.  (My words, not his.  That would be another nine years chained in the dungeon.)  

The absurd part is, I feel like an enormous, gigantic, bogus, way-uncool turd.  Not for the punishment.  He deserved that.  But because I can't stand it when he's upset.  Because lately, his goofy decisions have led to him being in trouble often, and I can't not punish him for it, otherwise, I'd just be an idiot of a parent like my own mother.  And I certainly don't want to raise a kid like I was.  Ick.  And yikes.  And ick, again. 

I suppose it is just the impulsive nature of his incomplete brain, and I suppose I just have to accept that.  And I suppose I just have to keep on punishing him, and knowing that he will eventually catch on. 

And I suppose I just have to sit here and stomach the fact that I am the bad guy at the moment. 

And I suppose that eventually, that mooching leech of a woman will ooze her fat ass back to Georgia where she belongs, and I won't have to worry about crap like this for another year.  

But in the end, I suppose it's only natural that they'd want to spend time together.  They are, after all, both functioning with only half a brain.  

Oh, you knew I was gonna.

1 comment:

  1. YOU didn't do anything wrong, so stop beating yourself up. To be a good parent, you have to punish your kids when they do something you have told them not to do. It sucks and you hate it when they're mad at you, but they'll get over it. You have always been a parent first, and not concerned with being their buddy and their friend first. You are absolutely correct about the "red flag" feelings, and you care enough to not put your child in those situations. I promise, you aren't being a bad guy.

    Like you said, he is 14. I can totally believe his excuse that he didn't know why he did what he did, because at that age, no one knows why they do what they do. At that age sometimes (ok, most of the time) you're just in the moment, and you really don't even think about being punished when you get home. Remember? I remember being like that. Compulsive and spontaneous and, "Eh, if Mom gets mad, it'll blow over, no big deal." Be glad that he tests the waters once in awhile, and isn't a complete ass-kisser. Ha ha.

    As he gets older, the abuse you endured will become more real all the time. He understands now, but one day he will truly "get it," and then he'll realize why you do what you do. And he will absolutely love and respect you even more for not falling into the same cycle.