Monday, February 14, 2005

Visit With My Son! :)

I saw my son yesterday -- first time in a few weeks. His little face lit up so brightly when he saw me...

My wife had agreed early last week to me going to LA to spend time with the boy. By midweek, when I called to work out the details, she was saying, "I don't know if I want you taking him anywhere." After that she didn't answer my calls -- so by Sunday it was clear she didn't want me to come and wasn't expecting me. So I got in the car and went to LA anyway, and called halfway to let her know I was on my way (no answer, no response). She finally returned my call when I left a message that I was at her apartment, ringing her bell. She let me in, so I got to spend the day with my son.

My sponsor was coaching me a lot before the trip, not to let my wife draw me in to a fight. Turn the other cheek. A Bible verse to the effect that if you approach someone with love then love will be returned to you. Responding to her that I can't undo the past, I can only go forward from where I am. Don't bring up my resentments and what I feel she's done to me. Focus on my son -- the reason I'm there is to be with him, not to get into tangles with my wife.

I think I handled it pretty well. For instance, when she accused me, for the umpteenth time, of "abandoning" our son after she moved him to LA (!?!), I said the most natural thing in the world for me is to throw a brick right back at her, but it won't accomplish anything, it won't resolve anything, it won't create any common ground to build on, and it will only cause harm to our son. Every ten or fifteen minutes, it seemed, all day, she was throwing a brick at me. With just a couple exceptions, I didn't take the bait. Once, for instance, I pointed out that she has put obstacles in my way to be with our son -- such as moving him to another city (I didn't even bring up her "facilitation" of the very visit we were enjoying). "I didn't put obstacles in your way, I got a job and had to move to LA." I thought, but didn't say, that just because she's comfortable with her justification for making the obstacle, it doesn't mean the obstacle doesn't exist. AAARGH!!

So, I was thinking angrily, resentfully and destructively, but I was speaking and behaving constructively and positively. They tell me in AA that's what you have to do in early recovery (and "early" is often years!). Over time, once you get used to breaking the alcoholic habits of speaking and behaving, you start actually thinking better, too.

In the end, my wife thanked me for coming -- and asked me to spend the night with them (me sleeping on the couch, of course)! This, after refusing to plan the trip in advance... after I was half expecting her to call the cops when I showed up... Insanity. I didn't stay the night, needless to say. I never know what she will do next. She suggested we look together for apartments close together, so I can be near our son. But I'd be a fool to believe that means she wouldn't up and move to another city again, and want to take our son with her.

Well, I just have to cross each bridge as I come to it. One Day At a Time. First Things First. Keep It Simple. Let Go and Let God. And for once, I can look back on a day with a lot of tension and potential conflict, and feel that I didn't create new wreckage.

And it was SOOOOOO wonderful to be with my son!! :)


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