Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wisdom of a Mother, Unwise Me

My friend "Sally" is going through an awful divorce. She didn't get custody of her kids, mainly through the perfidy of her ex, who is a lawyer. He gets the automatic benefit of the doubt and respect as a fellow "officer of the court." As a result, he lies like a Persian rug. He has done the one thing that I think is unforgivable in a divorce: he makes the kids choose. If they love their mother and want to see her, then they cannot see him, OR their brothers who make the opposite choice. The man is a monster.

Anyway, today she calls me. She thought for a while that she and her oldest son were reaching some kind of detente. He was being nice. He was nice on a visit to her parents' home. He was nice when she saw him at the court ordered visits. He called when he went to visit his other grand parents. Then his birthday came, and he got his gifts from her and her parents. He hasn't called since. And you could look at it one of two ways. Either he was being nice just so he could get his birthday gifts, or this could be another example of XH not playing fair.

Middle son won't talk to her at all. He blames her for the divorce and for the ugliness created by XH. It's really sad, because this is the same man who demands that the boys not see their mother.

Youngest son, only 8, wants to go live with his mother. But he's been told by XH that if he does, he will never see his father or his brother again. And poor Youngest fears that. The only way he can go be with his mother is if he stands up to his 6'2", 180 lb father and takes the chance that he'll never see his brothers again. What 8 year old could do that?

So today, all this pain has been hitting her very hard. Sally was in tears on the phone. She said that she had applied for a job in London and just wanted to run away, make a new life... forget. Her father, a retired lawyer, was against the idea. He said she can't throw away what hope she has. But she's lost hope, today at least.

It didn't seem like a great idea to me either. She can't walk out on Youngest, even if he's not old enough or brave enough to stand up to his father--what child that age would be? Maybe there is no hope with Middlest and Oldest, I don't know. Nothing about this crazy situation has gone the way it ought to. Nothing. I do know that hope has an odd way of keeping you going until the weirdest things happen. Maybe one day, her sons will wake up and realize what has actually happened. Weirder things have occurred!

What I told her is probably one of the wisest things I have ever said. I try to give good advice, and you don't have to know me very long to know that I like giving advice. But I'm not sure that I'm terribly wise. But this was. I said, "This is a Bad Day(tm). Don't make any major decisions on a bad day."

I try not to make decisions on Bad Days(tm). I've had bunches of them lately. I have arthritis and Fibromyalgia, two progressive pain disorders that are, well, progressing and becoming more and more painful. I have IBS which is no fun at all. I'm always exhausted. Fatigue comes with Fibro, but I've been more tired than usual. And life in the objective has been very difficult and worrisome. I discovered recently that one medicine I take for IBS causes both fatigue and irritability. Have I been irritable lately? Can you be irritable and not know it? Apparently, yes.

Bad Days seem to out number the good these days. I try to keep my spirits up, but I yearn for change--to just be healthy again, not to be sick and hurting all the time. Would it help if I lost weight? Could I get back to writing if I stopped spending all my time on email? Could I manage to live in a house that doesn't look like a hurricane hit it?

I made a big decision last bad day... I dropped out. I can't decide yet, if it was a good decision or not. If by dropping out, I open up my time and what energy I have to write and sew, do stuff that I claim to want to do, then maybe it wasn't a bad choice. But maybe it was, I guess we'll just have to see.

But I really ought to put it on a plaque, right up there with "Let the editor decide." It should say, "Don't make big decisions on Bad Days(tm)."

Now if I could only take my own advice...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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My thoughts are with your friend and her family. It is a tough situation and no words can bring comfort.