This is the last picture i took of Jackson before IT happened. I find myself always saying IT because I still really don't have any idea how we got to where we are today. This was taken in early May, during a town rec. baseball game. He was angry that we showed up to watch. The other boys were waving to their parents, making eye contact. Not him. There was none of that nonsense. He had taken 2 years off from baseball, but when a friend's team suffered 3 long term injuries, The friend's Dad, who was the coach, asked Jackson to play for him. On paper, Jackson was 4 days too old to play, but the league made an exception. I was THRILLED. I tried to hide my glee. We didn't see any effort, it was pretty obvious he was only showing up for the social aspect and to get out of the house and away from us, but... he was showing up. Little victories are still victories. After that first practice I bought him some new cleats, dug out the giant rubbermaid tub full of baseball stuff, where I've saved everything from toddler sized to Doug's size that last summer he played at age 15 1/2, and he was good to go....for the first 10 days, that is... then it was "boring" and he started refusing to go. 2 days into that attitude was when he began running away. you know... 10 days after he pinky swore he'd stick with it and 10 days after I wrote the $120 check to the league@@. aaahhhh the memories.
right now, I'm just trying to stay busy, and positive. I listen to lots of music, play my piano-I have one now!, write, run, lift weights, take a few spin classes, spend time with our 2 youngest, spend weekends at my parents lakehouse an hour away(he hated it there), & eat too many carbs. Some days are so much harder than others. My mind wanders. My imagination is on full tilt. I have the strangest and most unsettling dreams about him. I dream about when he was little and silly and that sweet side of him would show just a bit. I'd read him stories at bedtime, He'd braid my hair & then ask me to stay in his room until he fell asleep. I also dream about him coming back here, in a black car with 2 friends. Bigger. Older..... and shooting each of us, one by one, while we sleep. depends on the day.
There is no contact. I call him, but he either refuses to come to the phone at all, or comes to the phone, blurts obscenities and slams the receiver in my ear. chickuh eeehhhhhhhhh. He is completely empty. VACANT. hateful. scarred.
In court, the DCYF attorney basically labeled us collectors. She said that 'this boy' was just a little project of ours and we grew tired of him. She & I have never had a conversation. She doesn't even know us. She judged us. I judged her too. Her business suit was too tight and she needed a waaay more supportive, as well as Back Fat Smoothing, bra. There. I can judge too. She was the one who made him her project. She wanted to 'save' him. Too late, Bitch. We already did. 'Lotta good it did anybody, huh?
Let's talk about that. Pull up a chair. NOT THAT CHAIR! kidding.
PROJECT? We refinanced our house to adopt that little boy. I traded in my car. I loved that freaking car. I gave up my job. I changed my entire life, my parenting style, my life & career plans. I left my 12 & 14 year olds, and my husband, for weeks and weeks while I tried to get him out of Haiti on a medical Visa. My relationship with Kristin, more than anyone, was seriously strained, and without going into detail, was damaged so much that it has never recovered. She & I do not have a relationship anymore. We've been to hell and back, and back to hell 75 times over since we started this process in September of 2002. He was not a little cutesy project. He was our son. I'd do it again... But I'd beg for a different outcome.
Our family shrink.. oh, who the fuck am I kidding? The guy, -who I will, from now on, affectionately refer to as Dear John,- treats ME... Anyhow, Dear John says we need to focus on the things we did RIGHT. The good things. The positives. He says I have taken this whole thing on my shoulders, carrying all the blame & burden for the abusers in his past, and I have to move on from that. I get stuck on the mistakes we made too, though. When Jackson first came to us, we may have rushed him. Rushed him to speak English, rushed him off to school. Rushed him to play sports, fit in, sleep in his own room, make friends, read, write, care for himself, stop wetting his bed.... was it all too much? I'm kind, but I'm not very physically affectionate with my children. It's something I didn't experience as a child, am not very comfortable with, and have to to consciously remind myself to engage in(the other kids will attest to this, especially the oldest 2)Did I push him away? Did he feel rejected by me, at times? Did he EVER feel any sense of belonging? Safety? Did he constantly feel like a disappointment?
See my dilemma? CONSTANT self examination. CONSTANT re examination of every move we/I've made in the past (nearly) 10 years, as parents. It's a tiring, sad and very lonely place to be.
I guess this is one of the hard days. Some really good things happened today! But, IT is always there, with me. Riiiight here, on my lap. On my shoulders. Heavy. Hard. BONE CRUSHING.
Maybe when i write again, I will be able to list some positives. Tonight? Not so much. I'm coming up empty.