My oldest son loves his dad. He always has. Ever since he was a baby.
Earlier this year, he tried, for a few weeks, to stay away from him. Because all the conspiracy stuff his head was being filled up with was getting to be too much and becoming really scary, disrupting both his days and nights. What 14 year old kid wouldn’t be scared being told the end was near?! So, he decided what was best for his mental well being was cutting ties, at least temporarily.
It was time. He felt that he had “made his point” and the conspiracy crap wouldn’t be brought up around him anymore. He hoped and figured that his dad had some sort of epiphany as to WHY he stopped seeing him. It was finally safe to hang with his beloved Daddy again.
He has been going out with him again. And it’s been completely fine. My son has seemed happy, even improving in school! And his father has been on his best behavior with barely any crazy, paranoid talk, at least not with his son.
Tonight was my son’s middle school 8th grade recognition ceremony. Kind of a big deal in the middle school crowd.
He began calling his Dad yesterday just to remind him about it. But, to his dismay, the only phone his dad has, a cell phone, kept going immediately to voicemail. He has left a ton of messages, what any impatient child would do.
And tons of emails.
No return phone call to reassure his son that he wouldn’t miss his recognition for the world. No email response telling his son how much he loves him and can’t wait to be a part of this wonderful occasion.
Today. When my son came home from school, he began calling his dad again. Still nothing. A full voicemail and more unreturned emails.
So, depressed and overwhelmed, my son had a tantrum. He refused to go to his graduation. No matter what our threats or promises were, he remained set in his stubborn decision.
He was sent to his room, out of my own frustration and disappointment, where he stayed until I got back from watching my stepdaughter graduate from middle school. A silly ceremony but bittersweet, nonetheless.
When I got home, I went up to my son’s room to check on him. He hadn’t left it the entire 3 hours I was gone. Not even to eat or pee. He slept off his anger, hurt and depression. He woke up still sad and very hungry.
He looked at me while eating the chicken nuggets I brought him, so sadly. Trying to swallow down his tears, he said to me, “If only my Dad had answered the phone, I would have gone to my graduation.”
He went on to tell me how upset he was. How hurt. How disappointed he was with a father that he can’t rely on or trust.
I couldn’t stay angry at my son for wreaking such emotional havoc before we left for the ceremony…without him. His heart was broken, once again, from the man that he loves so much.
I tried to reassure. Once again, I insisted that he realize it isn’t him, and thankfully he does.
But, he missed his end of the year, end of middle school ceremony. He’ll never get that back, this once in a lifetime event.
Despite the fact that his Dad broke a little piece of his son’s heart today, my son will recover, start hanging out with him again and eventually, have another little piece of his heart broken.
Banishing my son to his room isn’t going to shelter him from the never-ending cycle.
I just hope this doesn’t happen for his high school graduation in four years.