Wednesday, January 23, 2013
An Uncanny Resemblance
When I became a mother, my diligence to my son’s daily care was just as significant as the extras I provided. My innate awareness grew from my intense love which meant putting his needs before my own. From my first days of motherhood, I thought of making each day special and began with daily walks in the fresh air. As years went by, I incorporated activities for my three children by daily outings of visits to parks and playgrounds or playing in the leaves and or snow in our yard. I was a mom who happily endured the cold to create snowmen even if the children opted to gleefully watch from the warmth of the house. Their happiness was my happiness.
During my separation from their father, I maintained our lifestyle. My children barely reacted as they were used to his lengthy absences. However, my routine had changed and sometimes I utilized the help of a babysitter, for a job interview or work, and occasional socializing, which I intended to keep from my children. But sometimes when you least expect it….
…To digress to a summer dinner at my house with several friends, and an unexpected addition of someone new, young and very cute. Undeniable mutual attraction, including my older son captivated by this kind and gentle man enthusiastically playing catch in the yard, something never experienced with his own father. The next month, I reconciled with my ex, and informed my son his father was moving home. With tears in his eyes, he expressed his preference for this new man instead of his father, apparently favoring a willing and doting “father figure” rather than his own, sensing his indifference and infrequent appearances in the family home.
But, a divorce was inevitable, and I steadfastly maintained propriety, keeping my social life away from my home. It was important for my children to be excluded from this, yet it served as an important process in my own healing as I began to discover men who did not believe the world centered around them.
But, my ex rushed the children to his girlfriend’s house, calling her fiancé and her teenaged daughters “stepsisters”. Although he had been dating her during our marriage, she was a stranger to my children; yet they were forced to sleep at her house, and share a bedroom with a stranger.
Never addressed was how these young teenagers reacted to the abrupt intrusion in their lives. After all, without preparation or introduction, the day after their father moved out, their mother brought an outsider into her home and bed. Recently I learned that this event stayed with these girls for years, as they expressed their disdain with a comment, “(Mom) never told us about moving (him) into the house.” I was appalled.
In 1996, the guardian ad litem suggested my children live with this woman without investigation. She relied solely on what my ex told her, and never sought to substantiate the information by anyone else, signing her name on a report advising my children live with a woman who clearly thought only of herself, and acted in a way that was anything but motherly.
Who takes the blame for this? The charismatic sociopath who masterminded everything, much in the way Charles Manson choreographed the most horrific murders in history? Or do we punish the puppets? The ones who obeyed either in stupidity and selfishness as the girlfriend; or with blindness, ignoring the authority they were given yet overlooked their responsibility? And a huge question still stands of why would someone disregard the job they were paid to do when the lives of three innocent children were at stake?
The lost children of the Manson family were troubled individuals, looking for acceptance, much in the way of my ex’s girlfriend. Believing they found someone so special, they would do his bidding without thinking of the legal or moral ramifications. But one would trust that an educated woman would not routinely allow herself to be charmed enough to ignore the standards of a GAL. Perhaps her husband, the former judge, isn’t keeping up his end of the bargain and she is seeking a replacement albeit in fantasy? Still working for the courts, she is guided by that same demon methodically destroying other children, the same way she devastated the lives of my three beautiful children.
Imagine how many lives would have been saved if the Manson family members refused to do his bidding. Imagine what it would have been like if the GAL laughed at the allegations of a narcissistic sociopath and did her job correctly. Her hands would have been clean. The girlfriend would have been abandoned, as she no longer served her purpose, but her daughters would have been spared of the knowledge that their mother was uncaring and promiscuous.
Still, I fear my children would not have been reprieved. Like Charlie, my ex had many resources to accomplish his deed which has been proved over the years. I fear the fate of my oldest children was tragically sealed on the day I recited my marriage vows.