Just Try to Understand Us

It’s been a very busy weekend – emotionally – are you surprised?

It was the weekend to have all four of the kids – Tim was coming for the weekend.  I was suppose to go babysitting but it turned out that they cancelled on me so I was home for the evening Friday.  This wasn’t too bad because everyone was kind of doing their own thing so it was just me at home for awhile.  I suppose I could have written then, but it was SO quiet around here I just wanted to sit in the living room and embrace the serenity of my house – that, and I knew everyone would eventually be home.

Colton did a little bit of work for a friend of mine and got himself some money.  I have mixed feelings about him getting a job because I know what he does with his money – cigarettes and weed.  Neither of which I like or approve of.  The cigarettes I have kind of lightened up on because he came to us already 4 years into his nicotine addiction.  I told him since he wants to be treated like the kids I gave birth to, I don’t ever want to ‘catch’ him smoking.  It just makes me uncomfortable to see a child smoking – he hates it when I call him a child, but he’s 17 and I’m afraid that’s what he is – a child smoking and he’s been doing it since he was nearly 13.  Who catches their child smoking and doesn’t kick their ass??  (metaphorically speaking, of course), so he “sneaks off” to have a smoke when he needs one.

He also came to us a year and a half into his weed addiction.  I know, people have themselves convinced you can’t get addicted to weed – well I have news for you all, yes you can because we are dealing with it.  He was given two conditions if he were to move in here – get rid of that girl he was dating (she’s nothing but trouble) and get help to quit the weed/drug thing.  Thankfully, he’s getting help and he actually looks forward to his conversations with his counselor, Julie.  The girl he was dating – well that was a whole different battle in itself and it finally came to a head this weekend.

He knew how much I disliked this girlfriend of his when he was moving in here – we’ll call her Tanya – so I told him she’s not allowed near this house.  He approached me one day and said it wasn’t fair that he couldn’t have her here because of the stories I was listening to from his mother.  He said it wasn’t fair that I didn’t even give her a chance – they were together for 3 years and he told me, “I can’t just get rid of her like that”.  I thought about it and he was right.  I’m the kind of person who likes to come to my own conclusions when it comes to people.  I agreed he was allowed to have her here – so long as they didn’t spend it in his room with the door closed.  That lasted about a month and I found myself constantly turning on the downstairs light and making sure the door was open.  Another condition was if I see her treating him like shit, we’d be back to the she’s-not-allowed-here rule.  I have heard about it all in the past how she treated him, but I figured it was only fair that I see for it myself.

So, last night he went to a friends’ house – no doubt to smoke some weed with what little money he probably had left from his one day of work.  I got a call around 10:30pm and it was Colton looking for John to go pick him up at his mother’s.  He sounded like he had been crying.  His mother calls me shortly after he leaves there and tells me the most horrible thing I have heard in awhile.  Apparently this Tanya one was with Colton at the get together, drinking (she drinks a lot) and he wanted to come over to the house for something.  She followed him out the door to come with him and then they started fighting.  She was calling him a ‘worthless piece of shit’ and he won’t amount to anything.  She was calling him a loser because he had no job, no car and he can’t even go to sleep without his weed.  If that wasn’t the worse part of the conversation, she hits him in the face!  And proceeded to hit him more than once.  He held back, they walked and she proceeded to abuse and bully him almost all the way to his mother’s house.

He told me he stopped and told her one more time and he’s done.  He said he opened his arms for one last hug and she resisted – he told her “you better hug me because the minute you break away it’s our last one” and she pulled away so he said goodbye and left her in the street.  I’m proud that he never hit her back (he does have quite the little temper), but sour that he allowed her to continue hitting him.

She called here prior to me finding out all of this, looking for Colton and I just told her I had no idea where he was.  I was on the phone with his mother when she called up there!  I told his mother she better answer that and make it quite clear how pissed off we are and how she will never lay another hand on that boy.

Here’s the dilemma:  I really wanted to press charges.  I really want her parents to know what she’s done.  Even though I’m the other half of his parent/legal guardian, I just don’t think he’d accept that fact that I did something like that and he’d be a monster to live with.  I’m very much trying to convince his mother to call her parents – she knows them better.  If John were to call or visit her parents, I’m certain he’d end up in jail too!  It wouldn’t be a pleasant scene.  What do you do?  It’s eating me up inside just watching his parents sit back and do nothing.  I’m really hoping his mother contacts her parents and tells them – not that they’d do anything – but just so long as they knew.

Here’s the kicker that some of you may never understand – they’ll probably be back together within the week.  I went downstairs this morning and spoke to him about that.  I told him that she’s not welcome here anymore and I really hope that it’s the end of them.  He told me this isn’t the first time she’s done this.  I told him I understand why he keeps going back and it’s easy for other people to say “get rid of her”, but when you’re in a controlling, abusive relationship, it is SO hard to just leave.

I know this because I was in his shoes.  I told him how much I understand because when I was with Erin, he was violent, controlling, and verbally abusive to me.  I told him the story about when I graduated college (2006) and Erin and I were going to the reception.  Erin was the kind of person who couldn’t socialize unless he was high – I had no idea he would be snorting oxy’s the night of my graduation, but I later found out he did.  After the graduation we went out to a local club, had a few drinks and then, like out of the blue, he started getting all paranoid when I was talking to a male friend of mine.  We got into a fight and I left the bar.

After I got home, he showed up an hour later and he was wild.  He was yelling at me, running up and down the stairs (he lived in the apartment downstairs), being very loud.  His then 14 year old son came up to make sure I was okay.  Erin was yelling at me to call 911, he dared me.  I did.  Erin took off like a fugitive and the police had the dogs after him.  He’d spend the night in jail and at the end of the month would move out.

We got back together a month or so later.  I know you all are shaking your head but it’s just not as easy as people think it is to just leave someone you truly believe you are in love with – and oddly enough, you believe they love you too.  We go back because they’re “sorry” and we hear the “I love you, I’ll get better” – so we figure if we go back we can “fix” them.  They’re broken and we think we can fix them.  We are co-dependents.  If you were to read about it, you’d understand us more.  We are “flaming cos”.  Well, I’ve been struggling through recovery since 1998 and Colton hasn’t yet turned down that road.  He certainly is learning about it at such a young age, an age where he should be hanging out with friends, going to school, attending concerts, festivals, and dances.  Instead, he’s battling through anxiety, depression and bullying/abuse.  I have to step back sometimes and remind myself that I, too, have had past issues with codependency and I can’t let myself fall back into my old ways and think I can rescue him or fix him.  Yes, he’s broken, but he has to fix himself.  He wants to and he’s told me – he hates that he smokes dope.  He hates that his girlfriend (hopefully ex) thinks he’s a loser … and I told him it’s time to break the cycle.  I told him to dig deep and accept the fact that his life can only get better and her’s is going to spiral downhill if she continues to do the things she does.  I just hope he doesn’t stick around thinking he can rescue her, or fix her – if he does, his future will be just as bleak.

One thought on “Just Try to Understand Us

  1. I understand exactly what a co-dependent is roz,as you know,we have both walked the same path and luckily for us we were able to get out before it was too late.You are 100 percent right,you can’t fix anyone,they have to want the help and they have to work very hard to succeed.I hope things work out for Colton and I also hope that this girl realizes that what she is doing is abuse,physically,mentally and emotionally and that she needs to seek help as well.Great blog by the way,I really enjoy reading it.


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