The months that followed my familys’ turning on me were the same months just before my son left for the military. It’s when he started spending more time at Sandy’s house on his weekends with me. To be fair, his cousin lived there and he was part of the reason for the visits. But his cousin had always been there and my son had never spent much time with them prior to this.
With me out of the “family”, suddenly Sandy was taking every interest in my son, which she had never done before. In fact, I had always been the one to pick up HER kids and take them out for fun (I had been very close to one of her sons actually); she never once did the same with my son. Now, Sandy started having him over often, sleep overs, and taking him out and to Major League baseball games. Oh wait – on that one she told him she would and then didn’t do it – typical. For his senior prom, my son stopped by Sandy’s house but not mine. I found out after that Sandy had paid for his prom photos. When I asked him why he didn’t ask me, he just shrugged his shoulders. What was going on here?
Here’s the thing, regardless of estrangement, if my sister’s son was about to go off to the military across the country, I wouldn’t have allowed him stay with me and take away from his mom’s last bit of time with him. I would have let him visit briefly but that’s it. For prom, I would have asked, “Did you stop by yours mom’s place?” And I certainly wouldn’t have paid for his prom pictures; I would have told him to ask his parents! Hell, I would have told him that whatever his problem was with his mother, he needed to fix it! I definitely would never have aided in it. Regardless of the issues my sister and I were having, it had nothing to do with our children. It was becoming clear though that Sandy was interfering intentionally. I would never have done that – you don’t USE children! That is the one sin I just can’t forgive.
I already posted about how my son and I then became estranged (see post: “Estrangement From My Son”). What I want to discuss here is the hand my sisters played in it. This was also around the time that Sandy and Sharon suddenly became best friends. These were 2 women who had spent the last 20 years constantly bashing each other to me and now all the sudden – the Bobbsey Twins! They were suddenly friends on Facebook and posting on each other’s walls. Sharon started going to family holiday gatherings again – interesting timing considering it was right after I stopped going. Guess she ended HER estrangement to facilitate mine. It wasn’t long before I de-friended my sisters on Facebook. The only problem? We all had my son in common as a friend.
Apparently, my son had come home from the military for the holidays. He hadn’t told me – no one told me. Such a wonderful family I have! I only found out because holiday pictures showed up with my son tagged in them in a post made by my sister-in-law stating, “Thank you Sharon for the wonderful picture idea!”, an idea Sharon had never had in the past. There was something unique about these photos – intentional harm was behind them. There was a couple group shots but then their were pictures with just my son and Sandy; then just my son and Sharon; then just my son with both Sandy AND Sharon. There were no pictures of them alone with any other of the 8 nephews and nieces. It couldn’t be contributed to my son being on leave because one of my nephews was also on leave from the Coast Guard and there were NO pictures of him. Could my sisters BE more transparent? How did no one else see and realize this? Oh wait – that’s right – no one speaks up in my family.
Nothing they do hurts me now (yes, they are still trying to play this game) but back then, I was crushed – crushed that my son didn’t want me to know he was home – crushed that he didn’t even want to see me – crushed that my own family was clearly out to hurt me as much as they could. And it pissed me off royally that my sisters were using my son. Didn’t they realize that in hurting me, they were also hurting him? Depriving him of the rightful relationship he had with his mother? It was right after that that I blocked my sisters from my Facebook. It was perfect – they couldn’t see my life and I couldn’t see theirs.
All I wanted was to move on with my life, to move forward. Their games were petty and childish and I wanted no part of it. But it wouldn’t be the end as I had greatly underestimated the cruelty they were capable of.