"YOU WON'T LET MY MOMMY COME HOME!! Thus began the journey that took me back through generations of family dysfunction that in hindsight, never really needed to happen. There are stories of abandonment and alcoholism in the distant past and a great deal of bigotry and racism in the more recent. How I found myself between an indifferent father and a spiteful son is a story that begins with my childhood. Mom never really knew where Dad was most of the time and she made herself insane over it. Even when he was home, Dad ...
"YOU WON'T LET MY MOMMY COME HOME!! Thus began the journey that took me back through generations of family dysfunction that in hindsight, never really needed to happen. There are stories of abandonment and alcoholism in the distant past and a great deal of bigotry and racism in the more recent. How I found myself between an indifferent father and a spiteful son is a story that begins with my childhood. Mom never really knew where Dad was most of the time and she made herself insane over it. Even when he was home, Dad was something of an intolerant menace to have around and he could scarcely acknowledge accomplishment from any of his children. Dad would belittle Mom in front of any of us and think nothing of it. He bullied and he badgered and he made my mother feel as though she had little of value to offer him. I resolved that I would never be the kind of father that my dad was nor would I be that kind of husband, either. Not long after high school, I would marry the first woman who would have me, although she wasn't my first choice. She may or may not have known that but she was with child and it was mine and I never once entertained the idea that I didn't have to do this. Having known so little of love, it was easy to embrace the whole situation and I felt I was more than ready. Aside from the fact that she was pregnant, I don't know that Wannabe Wife had any other reason to agree to the union. We didn't last long, but the consequences of poor judgment and even less remorse would lead to a situation where I would lose the love of my son forever. Children of divorce never have an easy time of it, no matter how normal everything seems to appear. The single parent household can become a harried environment where child care has to enjoy first priority yet everybody still has to make a living. Children get moved around whether they like it or not and they have to spend time with others not of their choosing. Conversations happen and words become missiles and impressionable young minds take this all in. The fact that I had physical custody of my son might imply that ex-Wife was an unfit parent. Not true. She was an unfit wife to me who chose to leave and she chose to leave our son with me. This would change the face of any father/son relationship I might have had in mind, especially when ex-Wife indicated after a number of ex-lovers that she might want to re-join us. Blended families don't just happen without duress, either. I married Carolyn who brought along an adolescent son of her own and now we were faced with the trials of never appearing to favor one over the other. We understood that each child was an individual unto himself, but we never considered how far they were willing to go just to demonstrate that fact. Adding to this would be the other parent - always the hero - leaving their effect at our doorstep to deal with. For me and Carolyn the expectations of our children were too much to keep up with and for a while we were of a separate mind regarding our collective offspring. I had always thought that once my son got to be older and perhaps more receptive, we could have a heartfelt discussion about the issues that had always kept us at arm's length. That fantasy came to an abrupt end when he said that I had ceased to be his father the day I married Carolyn. Then he announced that he had no interest in the why's or the wherefores of anything past, leaving us devastated in the wake of his resentment. Never did I expect that this would be the last of our time together. Now there are grandchildren, the mother of whom seems to be somewhat less than satisfied with what she has been told. Her inquisition was ended abruptly and prematurely and I was never able to adequately describe what led to the misfortune of our estrangement; another episode from our kind that never needed to happen.
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