I’m in the midst of my second divorce. Divorce sucks, even when you’re the one who wants it. There’s the bickering. Who’s entitled to what. The lawyers. Damn the lawyers. There’s the heartache. The heartbreak. The hurt feelings. The anger. The blame. Who hurt who more. There’s just nothing good about goodbye.
There is one thing, however, that hurts more than anything and that’s to see what the children go through. Seven years ago the undeniable devastation on the twins’ faces one night singlehandedly convinced me to try to make my first marriage work. Of course it didn’t. She was abusive. It took no time at all before she was hacking into my emails and literally cussing and yelling at the top of her lungs at me for not talking to her about our problems. Problems which our counselor had told us both he didn’t want us discussing until he’d had a chance to work with her on her inability to react violently to things she didn’t want or like to hear. When I mentioned that…well, that was just an excuse, of course. I just didn’t want to talk to her. I digress, however.
Baby C is two years old. I thought him young enough to not notice the things that were going on between his mother and I. We have never fought or argued in front of him. He simply spends half of his time living with her and the other half living with me. Up until a couple of weeks ago, my wife (for now) worked until 8 o’clock every night so Baby C was with me almost daily. He was used to his mother showing up when the sun went down to take him to her house.
Last night, out of nowhere, he started asking me to see Mommy and Granny (her mom, whom she lives with). He had never done that before. When he noticed my phone laying next to me he pointed towards the phone and said again, “Mommy? Granny?” I asked him if he wanted to talk to mommy on the phone and he said okay.
So I dialed his mother up and they talked. Well, as much as he can talk anyhow. He just listened with a smile on his face while she told him hello and that she loved him. I cajoled him into the saying a couple of things back to her. He’s still a bit gun shy on the phone. He’ll pretend talk all day but if there’s an actual person on the line he freezes up and won’t say anything.
After I had gotten him to say “I love you, mommy,” to her (I love you is something I’ve been working with him on for months and he just started saying it in the past week or so – it’s so damned cute), he handed me the phone and ran to the front door. He pointed at and stabbed it with his right index finger and kept repeating, “Mommy? Mommy?” When I told him his mother wouldn’t be coming to get him he lost it. Uncontrolled crying. Nothing would please him. None of the usual suspects would cheer him up. Even M&M’s couldn’t corral the tears, but he still ate them anyway.
I took him upstairs to get ready for bed and he just kept bawling while crying for his mother. And that’s when I about lost it. I just stopped undressing him and held him and let him cry. Tears began to well in my eyes, but I stayed them for his benefit. It wouldn’t have done him any good had I lost my composure. I just continued to hold him tightly and kiss his forehead. I told him everything would be alright. He responded with a dramatic, “Okaaaaaaay.” It crushed my heart.
I finally got him changed we went to the bathroom to brush his teeth, which he usually enjoys. Not last night. He cried through it all. He didn’t stop until he saw his bubbies (the twins) to give them night-night love. Once that was taken care of I loved him up and then put him in bed. On a normal night that’s the end of it, but as soon as I closed the door he started screaming my name and that’s highly unusual. I went back in there and hugged him, kissed him, told him I loved him, and said that it was time for bed. He said okay, and then laid back down. I closed the door again and went downstairs to take my medicine.
He started screaming my name again while I was in the kitchen. I took my medicine and went back into his room and calmed him down again. This time I left the door open. Five minutes later he lost it again. We went through this a couple more times before I decided just to put him in bed with me and he was fine after that. I was not, though. I was devastated. I was heartbroken. I was emotionally exhausted.
I sincerely hope this was a one-time occurrence. This is the first time anything like this has happened since our initial separation last August. I don’t know what the catalyst was. I don’t know what to do if it continues. He can’t talk that well yet, so going to a counselor is out. So I’ve got my fingers crossed that it was just a bad night and this doesn’t happen again.
Have any of you experienced anything similar with a two-year old? What worked, if anything?