I am still in disbelief that my adult son estranged himself from me. I am in even more disbelief that he he has seemingly forgotten all the good memories of our time together. He had to have forgotten – if he knew how much I loved him and how much I did for him, how could he walk away? As far as I have ever known, we didn’t even have any bad memories, nothing even remotely major anyway. My son was greatly influenced by others, this I do know. I keep hoping that someday he will realize it. For now, I am trash and his father is God. My son still doesn’t realize the pain his father caused both him and me year after year when he was younger. I had to fight many times for my son’s rights. My son had to deal with horrible and abusive step-mothers, whose actions my Ex knew about and allowed. But my son only sees the fault of his step-mothers; he doesn’t see that his father was just as much at fault, if not more.
In my son’s current doubts of my love for him, if he could have seen me back then, he would know full well just how deeply I love him. One incident in particular would prove that my love for him has always been immense. It was one of the worst days of my life. Kevin was 6 or 7 years old. It was a crisp Wednesday in the early spring and I went to pick him up from his father’s house for our usual mid-week dinner. I usually picked him up from his step-mother, Hilda, since Dave was still at work, but this day was different. Their house guest, Tom, answered the door.
“Hello?” he said.
“Hey. Is Kevin here?” I said with a little apprehension. Something felt wrong. I could feel it in my gut. My distrust for Hilda was deep-rooted and I felt it coming to the surface immediately.
“No. I’m the only one here.”
“Did Hilda leave a note or anything?” I felt the panic beginning to rise within me. A part of me knew it was irrational and that maybe they were just late arriving home, but another part of me also knew beyond any doubt that this lady was completely capable of hurting or running away with my son.
Tom looked around for a note but found nothing. He let me in to use the telephone to call Dave at work. Every second that passed seemed to last a lifetime. Each ring of the phone seemed to take forever. Finally Dave answered.
“Dave! Where’s Kevin?” I yelled in a panic.
“What do you mean? He’s not at the house?” he said.
“No, he and Hilda aren’t here and Tom doesn’t know where they are.” I was trying to contain myself, especially since he always thought I over-reacted when it came to Hilda.
“Maybe they just stayed after school. Why don’t you drive there and check,” he said so non-chalantly. Wasn’t he concerned at all that his child wasn’t where he was supposed to be? I agreed to check the school and Dave said that he would make some phone calls. I ripped out of that apartment as quick as I could and drove to the school at a much faster speed than I should have.
When I got to the school, I checked everywhere and they weren’t there. I located my son’s teacher and found out that Hilda had picked him up and left on time, hours ago. Dave had left a message with Tom and no one had seen or heard from them. Oh my god! Hilda had my son and no one knew where they were. She knew it was my evening with him and she had chosen not to take him home. Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! This woman, who had verbally tormented my son, who had rubbed his face in his own vomit on the bathroom floor before telling him to clean it up, who I had suspected of touching him inappropriately; this woman had my son! Had she kidnapped him? Had she hurt him? Had she murd- no, no… don’t even think that! Oh my god!
I drove to my parent’s house in pure hysteria. I could barely see through the tears in my eyes. I ran in the front door, stumbling over my own feet, screaming, “She took Kevin! She took Kevin!” My mom came running to me. She had the same look on her face that I had had at first. She knew just as well as I did that Hilda could easily have hurt or taken my son. We didn’t want to call the police just yet; we didn’t really have any proof of any wrong-doing. I called his doctor’s office and all the hospitals – nothing. This was before the age of cell phones so I couldn’t easily get back in touch with Dave, as he was commuting home by that time.
For two hours I cried harder than I ever had, wondering if I would ever see my precious son again. Without facts, the imagination runs wild. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare! I had to keep trying to block out terrible images in my head. I was hysterical and my parents were trying to calm me down. An hour later, we were just about to call the police when Dave’s truck pulled up outside the front of the house. My heart leapt when I saw my little boy in the passenger’s seat. I will tell you this – you have never seen a woman move more quickly than when I ran out the front door of that house and down the drive way to my son. I picked him up and wrapped him in my arms so tight! I probably scared him a little. I don’t think I have ever known happiness and relief like I did in that moment. Hilda later said that she “forgot”. Yah, right! There is no doubt in my mind that she did it on purpose to get back at me after the custody battle. That whole evening, I couldn’t stop hugging my son. My life would have been over if anything had happened to him.
If Kevin could remember that love now, would he still be so distant? Would he still have done what he did to me? I never thought I would hurt like that again. The truth is, a part of me hurts like that now, it’s just a different kind of hurt. Someone took my son away from me again, only this time it wasn’t a third party – it was he, himself. Well, him and those who influenced him. Those who lied to him to promote their own nasty agendas. Those who didn’t and don’t care if it hurts Kevin in the process. It is the pain only a parent can feel.