Posted by: Kathy | August 8, 2009

Protecting My Son

Note: I deleted this blog a few hours after posting it yesterday because I didn’t know if it was “right” for this site. My husband and dad were most likely the only people who had read the blog. When I sent a text to my dad saying that I had deleted the blog, he said he thought that it was appropriate. I had a copy in a Word document, so here it is, exactly as written the first time. I’m still not sure about the blog, but it’s what I feel and what I fear.

This time last week, the skies were grey, rain was falling, and the room was dark as I packed my son’s bag for the weekend. His only suit, which we bought for him to wear at my mom’s funeral, was hanging on the back of my bedroom door. He would be wearing it again the next day for another funeral. I was sad, he probably was too, but all he showed was anger. I’d be angry too if I were him – the lives of two people he loved had been cut short by cancer in less than a year.

As an adult, this is a hard thing for me to accept. My son is only 10, and I still have no idea how he feels about everything. I’ve always believed in being honest with my son. About 2 months after my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I had a very hard talk with my son. He knew his grandmother was sick, but she looked fine. I knew how deadly pancreatic cancer could be and didn’t want my son to be shocked if she died suddenly. He was so close to her, he loved her so much, and I didn’t want his world to be blown apart by her death. So I told him that even though Grandmom looked healthy, she was very sick inside and could die. I felt awful as I said it and my son started to cry. I told him how much I loved him and that I thought it was best to be honest with him.

I worry about what the coming weeks and months hold as my ex-husband recovers from the loss of his girlfriend. My son will be healing as well, but he may be dealing with more than just the loss of someone he loved. My ex-husband can be cruel at times, and only a few weeks ago, was very angry at his son because he forgot to call one day. Instead of calling his son, he stewed on it and then confronted his son about not calling when he picked up him a week later. That day, the one day that week my son had with his biological father, was not easy for him, as his dad was angry and bitter all day. In the past, my ex-husband has had a quick temper, been unforgiving for minor mistakes, and has inflicted emotional and verbal abuse, with words that cut like knives.

So how do I protect my son? Abuse without physical marks is hard to prove, although it hurts just as much. My ex-husband and I have joint custody and he sees his son once a week. I know my son loves his biological father, and I would never pull him in to a court to testify against his own father in order to get sole custody unless I felt it was absolutely necessary. I feel helpless at times. I know my ex-husband, his moods, and the pain that hurtful words or angry silence can cause. I just hope that my ex-husband will mellow, that his anger will fade or not be directed at his son.

This blog took a turn I didn’t expect it to. I just started writing what was on my mind and got to this point. It’s hard being a parent, knowing what to do at times. I love both of my kids. My daughter has kind of an “immunity” to things right now since she’s only 3. My son has been through a lot in his life and can be sensitive at times. I want him to grow and mature, but at the same time protect him. There’s a fine line between helping and being overprotective. I just want the best for him.

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