Long are the days and short is the time to document all the events of our very busy lives. So much has changed in our family dynamic and though silence has been the assumed response, I want to shout in frustration.

I’ve never been much of a private person. Keeping quite on major happenings feels like a decision to breed confusion, speculation,and wrongly determined conclusion. 

And yet, at his wishes, I silenced myself. I didn’t publicly lament the loss of my son when he began to challenge house rules and ran away to escape them.  I didn’t raise my voice to form the words expressing my horror at having to break up a physical fight between hubs and my teenager. (Fighting to hurt, refusing to back down in the name of manliness isn’t what I’m used to seeing in my home. That’s the stuff you see on social media, shake your head at, and pass judgment on with only a snapshot of knowledge about a stranger’s life.) I didn’t poor out my frustration in being told by responding officers that my son who didn’t come home from school wasn’t “in immediate danger” and did not merit an active search – let alone an Amber Alert. 

I didn’t even allow myself to form the sentences criticising the treatment I received when I was reduced to “stepmother” at his school and was refused ability to access his records and facilitate his transition to a new start.  Though I was mom for four years, I’m not on birth or custody paperwork, and that means I don’t exist, or at least that I don’t count when it’s critical.  

Ignore the e-mails with his teachers and counselor, the meetings at Back to School Night, and the concerts and games to watch him perform. Forget about holding your son as he sobs about his disappointment with blood and trying to comfort him when there is no excuse for rejecting or ignoring your child because life kept going.  Pretend that you didn’t research opportunities, didn’t check on grades and homework, didn’t invest in his well-being beyond scholastics. 
When it counts, I have no say. Even in my home, there was no discussion  when I was told he was not returning to us. The decision didn’t include me. I was simply left to explain his absence to a family who adored him. I was told “it’s done.” And I apologized to his grandparents for having to reject their offer of taking him in (knowing it was a better option to keep him safe and to keep siblings together).

How many times did I ask for him to make contact with our son – to stop severing himself from a boy who desperately needed his father but might be equally stubborn about forgiving ‘the past’? I wonder still if my son read the note I tucked in amongst his things as I packed up his life. Did he hear the “goodbye, I love you” I sent?  Does he know I still miss him? 

In the aftermath, his sister feared for her security. Would we toss her out for something, too? Would Mommy simply let her go “while thinking about the others”? 

And though they weren’t part of the situation, every critical family member drew conclusions. They were fine before, so it had to be the wife. It is an easy assumption, especially when he refuses to defend the scapegoat.

It’s no wonder she thinks I am evil. Did it come as any surprise that she’d forbid her son from coming over? Should I have been shocked to read her text?

I not trying to be funny but I swear I hate your situation u see your sons sometimes because neither one of them fuck with your wife . It’s a sad shame that whole situation u was doing well when u had your own house and e everybody was happy!!!

Confirmation that I’m the villan in the village destroying lives. And no denial from the only one in a position to set the record straight. 

I can only take so much. I can only ignore the slights from his family for so long – – and the awkward gatherings that further distance me as an outsider invading and encroaching on their happiness. I’m the one being held responsible for all the changes. I’m the situation destroying his relationships. 

And I think I’m done being  that woman. There’s nothing I can say when I’m not invited into the conversation. It’s yours, mine and ours – and I didn’t sign up for that. 

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