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One Little Message.

August 26, 2015

Shawn had another panic attack. He called me to tell me about it. It had been long, but not debilitating. He should probably see a psychologist, I suggested. It had helped Lori. His health insurance was kicking in next month. Maybe he could make an appointment then.

Then the next phone call. “I talked to Dad today.”

“Aw shit.”

He laughed. “I told him about my panic attacks. He said he wanted to talk to you about it.”

“Well, why the hell did you do that?” I asked.

“I immediately tried to take it back. I told him, ‘Well, I was just trying to keep you informed.'”

Then I got the text. It was perfectly innocuous. “Shawn told me about his panic attacks. I think he should see a psychologist or a physician. Can we work together on that?”

It seems simple enough. A father concerned for his son, reaching out to his mother.

But it’s not. I know that the last time Shawn was having a panic attack and we asked Mr. K for help, he flipped out and had a heated exchange with my daughter Lori. I know that he just recently described Shawn and I as selfish thieves who only saw him as an ATM. I know what his real opinion of me is. I know the disdain he holds in his heart. And I know that there is no way to respond to him, no matter what the content of the conversation, that will go well or be acceptable to him.

And what exactly does he want us to collaborate on? Shawn is an adult. If he needs my car, he can borrow mine. If he needs help with money, he knows he can ask. I set up an appointment with a psychiatrist for him the last time he was having attacks with no help from his father. I started to draft an e-mail saying these things, as logically as I could. I sent it to Lori for preview. “I can read the bitterness,” she said. “Yeah, I know,” I replied.

Finally, after a string of group texts with Lori and Shawn, I replied to Mr. K, “What did you have in mind?”

I hope he has no response. But every time I hear a notification, I jump with anxiety.

I’m still terrified of communicating with him. Because I know the end result will always be the same. He will blame and criticize me for something and everything. Why do I care? Because he has the power to throw us off our balance. He’s still their father. He’s still the man that was my best friend, my soul mate for over 25 years. I can still taste the disdain and contempt in the back of my throat. I can still feel the despair and hopelessness. I don’t think I need his respect. I hope I don’t because I will never get it. I do want him to be absent from my life. I want no contact.

Not even an innocuous, seemingly kind text. Because nothing is innocuous with Mr. K. There is something behind it. Maybe he’s feel guilty for the things he said to Lori about us. Maybe he just needs to feel righteous. Whatever it is, it’s not simply an innocent offer for help. Nothing is ever pure and true with Mr. K.


From → Rantings

  1. Well, what did he say? Don’t keep me waiting. I need my blog fix!!!

    • Kitten permalink

      He asked questions that “Shawn” could’ve answered himself and offered no suggestion or course of action. I have been short and direct in my answers.

  2. I have a Mr K who acts the same and I feel exactly the same way as you do. Best of luck.

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