All the Way On Empty

This morning found me at the breakfast table, apologizing to Seth and Owen for saying the f-word twice yesterday. They were noncommittal, Seth on his way to his last school responsibility of the year, a Latin exam, and Owen about to go all day to an amusement park, a beloved tradition of our local middle school.

Yesterday, I felt rage of white-hot nova-like heat. I am so sick of Monica* being the idiot that she is. As much as I cut her a lot of slack for so many reasons, as much as I am a novice Buddhist doing my best, the bottom line is that I sometimes am so fucking furious at her that I can barely breath. I did manage not to get into it with her, but the rage, as rage will, had that unfortunate way of spilling over into everything else. Over and over in my head yesterday I was saying, “I’m not going to make it,” and the boys got their hair blown back more than once. Even though they were being obnoxious, they certainly didn’t deserve the f-word nor the maternal tantrum in which I stomped out of the house and drove away. To get gas, actually; I figured as long as I was having a fit and storming off, I might as well take care of that particular errand.

At the gas station, the nice man got things started, then went off to do other business (we have full-service everywhere in this town, which suits my femme sensibilities just fine). Just as I had stuck my head out the window, staring mournfully at the mounting numbers, he came back, took a look at the meter, and said kindly, “Were we all the way on empty?” And how!

Monica recently found some texts on Seth’s phone making it quite clear that if he himself is not actively smoking pot, he’s certainly hanging out with kids who are. This threw me and Tex into high gear because there’s this scary amount of free time right now where Seth could hang out with his unprepossessing buddies, quite unsupervised. The boys will be with Monica during this time and I thought we should work together to sit on Seth a little bit, get him to hang out with the kids next door, long board, give him the chance to stay out of potentially stupid situations. Everyone agreed but Monica. Enter white hot blistering nova-strength rage. As she witters away about how she’s just not going to “imprison” Seth, I’m experiencing a depth of grief and rage that you would think I’d have gotten over by now, so many years after the divorce. But I haven’t. And I never stop wishing Tex and I had full custody of the guys and how we would give them the continuity, the support, the challenges that they would really be able to make use of. Blah, blah, blah! That’s just not going to happen and another thing, I’m never going to be able to work with Monica. It’s just impossible. Over and over and over again this is made very clear to me.

Today, I’m cauterized. I’m still sad and still worried about Seth and still caught up in “if onlys/what ifs”, like the 5th-dimensianal being in “Men In Black 3” who sees all the different possible realities, but I am going to let it go. I mean, I have let it go. I cannot work with Monica. She loves and cares for the boys and it manifests itself differently. My beloved therapist reminds me that everything these boys need I have already given them, in terms of modeling how to be a good and ethical person (and to be honest, Monica models this also, despite her very different – and exceedingly irritating — way of being in the world), that Seth is going to figure things out for himself even though I feel strongly that we are not in the best of all possible dimensions.

So I am burning less brightly today, and lo and behold, this leaves more time for me. To write a blog post, to sit and read half a mo’, to take care of a bunch of work that got completely kicked to the curb yesterday, to maybe even clean out the basement a bit, which will be such a gift to my husband when she returns tomorrow night. Looking at the clock, I see that it’s just about time for Seth’s Latin exam to finish up. He’ll be out on the streets with I know not who and who knows what might happen. But my heart connection with his gnarly, grumpy, responsible, kind and volatile self tells me that he will eventually check in, even if it’s not the exact time I asked him to. He knows I’m counting on him and despite his sometimes very obnoxious behavior that might indicate the contrary, he is counting on me, and together we will continue to muddle through his teenage years. Is there some cosmic message in the fact that one of his favorite bands is called “The Let Go”?

*my ex and the boys’ other parent; she gets a different nom de divorce every time I mention her

Published in: on June 19, 2012 at 12:43 PM  Leave a Comment  
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