My oldest son was the product of a broken marriage. The broken marriage a product of a broken heart. I didn’t know I had one. Or the damage those sharp edges could cause. My youngest son, too, is the product of the same, but in a different way, and for different reasons. Two marriages, two sons, two chasms of pain to be bailed, to be drained, to be re-trained and re-framed.
When my oldest son was young, when the confusion of the separating and the parting and the estrangement was all any of us ate or drank or felt, I had an ugly job to do. He soon had a step mom, my oldest son. She loved me so. Strange to say, because so much of it looked like hate, but true. Stepped right into the shoes I had grown out of, put them on and called me a fool as she danced her way through the life I deemed not good enough. Same bed, same house, same man.
Anyways, that’s not my point. My point. My point. I remember all the anguish of that young, confused love gone off the rails, divorced before I even knew what marriage was, stripped of my right to mother before I realized you can’t breathe, once you’re a mother, without your child. Without your child there is no air. You aren’t the walking dead, you are the walking dying, slowly, slowly, slowly, with each strangled gasp. Awake for your dying, you must cling to the side of the boat you’ve been kicked out of, or you accidentally jumped out of, as it drags you through water because in the boat… in the boat… is you. The thing that clings? The will of a mother.
I talked her up to him. To my oldest son, when he was young, before my youngest son existed. I talked her up. I sang her praises. I smiled. I played nice. She dug her nails into my hands, she pounded her fists into my flesh as I clung to the side of the boat that was once mine where she now took up space. Instead.
I talked her up. I sang her praises for him. So he would not feel bad about feeling love toward her or from her. I talked her up, I told him it was ok, because love is love and what kind of mother doesn’t want her child loved. It was so damned King Solomonesque. She’d tar and feather me before we were through. Tar. Feather. Strip me of every belonging I once had. The ones I replaced. After. After. After. They almost tried to take my second son too! I didn’t tell you that one did I? Ugh. Yea. Fucking weirdos. Not that I didn’t need help. They just always wanted the help to come to my sons to spite me instead of through me.
So much of my life has been colored with this strange hedging of power, these alpha dog games. Jealousy, competition, anger. And they’ve never been my thing. And some day, some day, they’ll realize, that THAT is the power they sensed. They wanted. The me and God got our own thing going but I’ll keep you company when I can, help where I can, see you clearly, because I can, because, because, me and God, we got our own thing going. Been at this long enough for me to trust.
So lately I’ve been looking at that theme. I guess many of us have. Power dynamics. Alpha dog, hierarchical, middle management, dynamics in the very many forms they take when we declare for ourselves a state of separate, a state of “apart”.
And man, when those dogs come out, circling and nipping and really getting the old animal urges rising up, it can be quite and down right annoying. Humans are travelling in outer space! China has a thing on the moon! Bezos and Musk are competing! I mean, we have international connectivity at our fingertips and people are still pulling middle management cards like they mean something?
And as far as I can tell? The ONLY place they mean something – AT ALL – is the so called housing market. It should be called the housing racket cause it’s about the last one left that still straddles dimensions. Everything else, as far as I can tell, is evolving.
This one. This one is going to need some finesse. As much love and patience as we’ve pulled out, we’re going to have to pull out even more. As far as I can tell. It’s going to have to be a real market. Because right now, there is no competition. And there is severe, life-threatening punishment if you don’t play, act and partake as dictated. Perfect place for energy to go in first. For Light. For Faith. For Trust. For a Higher Intelligence to check under the beds and behind the cellar and attic doors. Announce the arrival of Love and the assurance that everything is going to be all right. We believed in lack. Now we believe in each other. And there isn’t a fucking thing wrong with that.
My ex’s wife. She believed she had to destroy me in order to replace me. To take my space. She is not me. And I am not replaceable. The space she takes up will never be the same space I take up. When you get that, it’s easier to appreciate each other. She did fill in where and when he needed. I did lay down the groundwork for a pretty stellar home for her to walk into and enjoy and appreciate in a way that I could not. Once you take shame out of the equation, and apply this here lesson a little more broadly, it gets a little easier to appreciate each other.