As Sarah and I drove the long haul back home from Charleston, I found out that my son had arranged with his massage therapy school to take a leave of absence. He had skipped class all week (while we were traveling), but had pretended to be at class every night, going out around 5:00 and returning home at 11:00 on Tuesday, and at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.
He was only a month away from finishing and couldn’t stick with it for one more month. I was furious. He said he’d arranged with the school manager to finish the clinical portion of the class starting in January and finishing in February.
I had never been so angry. He was lying to us once again, not meeting his obligation to himself and to us, and, on top of that, drinking again. I told Mike he should throw him out of our house immediately, but he said our soon wanted to finish the course and he wanted to give him the opportunity to do it. In my eyes, he was a liar and unreliable, and I thought he simply didn’t want to finish the course and actually have to work for a living. I believed he just wanted more time to laze round doing nothing and drinking. I didn’t believe he would actually ever finish the course (I would prove to be right). I told Mike I was going to start looking for a job abroad, maybe Saudi Arabia, just so I could move out. I said it would be either our son or me.
After hanging up the phone with Mike, Sarah and I still had a long drive ahead and I was boiling over the whole way home. We hardly said a word to each other. She said she could see Mike’s side and my side. I said Mike keeps enabling our son and thus he has no burning desire to start taking responsibility for his life.
I didn’t want to take it out on Sarah, but I was so angry I couldn’t think about anything else. I told Sarah I was cancelling our Thanksgiving plans, that I refused to do anything at all.
After dropping Sarah off in Richmond, I seriously considered getting a hotel in Fredericksburg and not going home at all. I drove around in Fredericksburg for a while and then got on the phone with Mike.
I said it never mattered what I thought, that I had no voice or say in what happened. I didn’t want to live in the same house with our son anymore, so he would have to go, or I would. I said I was going to be utterly silent when I returned home. I wasn’t going to speak to either of them until he was out of our house.
I was yelling on the phone. I hadn’t been so furious in years. Finally, I decided I’d go ahead home. When I walked in the house, our son was out (likely drinking with friends) and Mike was sitting on the couch reading. I took all my stuff upstairs without speaking to him. I stayed in my room the rest of the night and we never spoke. I only asked Mike where our son was, and I said, “So you’re allowing him to be out drinking? It’s so ridiculous.”
I was so furious, I must have taken two Valium over the course of the night. The tension in the house was thick and dark. I tried to figure out how I could leave.
Mike had apparently told our son I wouldn’t be speaking to either of them. I didn’t have a voice in the house anyway, so what was the point?
Earlier, Mike had told him I was considering moving out. Our son said he didn’t want me to move out or he just looked sad about it, I don’t remember which.
This week in Charleston, which was supposed to be a nice relaxing escape with my daughter, who I mistakenly thought enjoyed my company, turned out to be one of the darkest times in my entire life. I realized that not anyone in my family cared about me. Sarah didn’t enjoy being with me. Our son hated me and would always hate me and Mike didn’t give a shit what I thought about anything. He made unilateral decisions and didn’t care about how awful and miserable it was for me to be trapped in the house with our son day after day. Nothing I felt meant anything to anyone. I felt withdrawn and isolated from everyone in the family.
It had been a long time since I’d had such a bleak outlook on life and felt so hopeless and disconnected.
On Sunday after I returned, I wrote to all by siblings: “Hi everyone. I know I threw out an invitation to host Thanksgiving this year. I’m not sure anyone planned to come anyway, but I think it’s best if I cancel the invitation. I’m sorry to say I just don’t have the heart for it this year. I hope you all enjoy your holiday! Love you all!”
My sister wrote to ask what was up and I said “Problems with A. What else?” As they asked for more, I said “The same old issues ad infinitum. I don’t think they will ever end.”
What a miserable week. I’ll forever think of Charleston as a dark and gloomy place, a microcosm of the misery of my life.
After I returned home from Charleston, South Carolina, I wrote a number of posts about my trip:
- on journey: an encounter with edward hopper on the way to charleston
- on journey: a drive from richmond to charleston
- charleston: fort sumter & king street
- charleston: the battery, the old slave mart museum, & magnolia plantations
- charleston: the charles pinckney national historic site
- charleston: fort moultrie, sullivan’s island, & a shopping spree on king street
This was one of the most miserable travel experiences of my life. Lately it seemed I couldn’t go anywhere without my son and his problems following me.
*Friday, November 15, 2019*