My Ex

When the divorce papers were signed, I naively thought that was the end of my relationship with my husband

When the divorce papers were signed I naively thought that was the end of my relationship with my ex husband, but that was just the beginning of a new stage of our life together. At the time, I was living in Boston and my ex had taken off for Los Angeles -- the call of the celluloid. I was left with our five-year old son, a mortgage, and no family to swing shift so that I could have a few free hours. I decided to move to Boston so that my son could see his father on alternate weekends. My ex had neither the money nor the flexibility to make trans-continental trips to see his only son. Sometimes their visits were trips to Disneyland -- the mecca for the broken family. Other times visits turned into my son being dragged to "business meetings on the tennis court," or broken dates. He also spent idyllic summer vacations at my ex's uncle's summer cabin fishing on a lake and picking blueberries -- straight out of "Golden Pond." His uncle Dick was a loving wise old man who taught my son that fishing takes patience. During the school year, my son bounced back and forth from his two "homes" -- packback in hand. His bed at his father's apartment was a fold out chair, and then he graduated to what was the maid's room as his father's fortune took a turn for the better. His new wife was a bit of task master, making my son do the dishes and take out the garbage. Our house looked pretty good by comparison. At the end of his visits, I usually got the "separation fallout." He'd come home angry and it would take a few days for him to decompress and then it would start all over again. I kept on telling myself, compensate for the divorce. At a therapy session when my son was in his twenties, he told the psychologist, "I will never forgive my mother." And then he launched into a series of transgressions -- that I never consulted him about our move to Los Angeles. He was happy in Boston. That was the first I heard about that. Or that he resented my involving him in my relationship with boyfriends. I could understand that, but I had my own defense. Dr. Borstein told my son, "You know, you are old enough to make your own decisions about your life. When you were a kid, your mother told you what do. Today it is up to you. You can stay mad, or you can move on. The choice is yours.That's the beauty of growing up." I begged my son for forgiveness, but he was full of hurt and might I say anger. I hope that he has now left that bag of bones behind him. He spent alot of time chewing on them, and I spent alot of time hitting myself with the "I'm not good enough stick." I am proud of my son for the responsible man that he has become and I am gratified that he has a warm and loving relationship with his 15-year old half sister. At my son's graduation from college, when she was just six years old she followed him around, her little braids bouncing behind her like Pippy Longstocking yelling, "Wait up for me. Wait up for me." Now she is catching up to him -- she is a sophisticated teenager and they are finding common ground. My ex and I still talk together, mostly marveling at our son's accomplishments and at our ability to steer clear of the blame game. That was for another time and place when our marriage was disintegrating and there was no putting it back together. But this is a new day.


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