Wow, time flies, doesn't it? Suddenly it's been months since I've written here. I don't even know where to start, except by saying that so much happened in that time period, accounting for my absence, but not excusing it. I should have been writing the past few months...seriously. I could have saved a fortune in therapy and alcohol, probably.
I would love to go back and tell the story, but I'm not sure how it would come out now, after the fact. Maybe a little Reader's Digest version would be good:
In November of last year, my 16 year old son, Matt, "ran away" - in quotes because he actually only went as far as a friend's house down the street. I tried to work with this kid's mom, to get her to talk to Matt; we tried family therapy and parenting classes. As his grades tanked and his attitude deteriorated to the point that swearing at me and coming and going at his own will was standard behavior, I even tried God. I started to pray - me?! - for my son, for our family, for all the mistakes I was convinced that I had made that had led us to this place. By Christmas, we seemed to have repaired things, but in February it all went sideways again.
He's been gone, for the most part, ever since. Two arrests, one for shoplifting, one for domestic assault, and a night in juvie later, my kid has gone to live with his biological dad and refuses to speak to me nowadays. Of course, he refused to speak to his dad for the year before that, but when it's mom vs. jerk-of-a-dad vs. homeless, I guess your options are limited. He failed most of tenth grade and his dad doesn't care - as long as they're buds again. That's all that matters. He even told me that: he said he wasn't really interested in parenting, just having a good relationship with his son.
Wow. So there it is. Neither of them talk to me, unless it's a mean text or a rotten email or an in-my-face confrontation like last week, when Matt stopped by friend's house here in our neighborhood and took Jack for a ride in his car without asking me first. I can hardly look at him anymore; I have no idea who he is, or what he did with my son.
I wrote last year about The Boy I Knew, and it feels like I will forever be fighting this. Him. Us. People keep telling me that he'll grow out of it, that he'll come around. My closer friends, the ones who know him, are less optimistic, but still hopeful. As for me, I don't know. If I think about it too much, I can't bear the sadness, so I tend not to think much. I tend to pretend that everyone's right, that this is just a phase, and that if I stop stressing about it, it'll go away and all will return to normal soon enough.
My heart thinks differently though...my heart just wants to love my son and right now, it can't. That's the hardest part of all.