Summer Time

It’s summer and it’s a beautiful one at that.  It’s nothing at all like the summer where we got fresh snow in June.  Max and I have been doing swimmingly.  A few hiccups, but generally, it’s just life.  We don’t have any vacations planned, but he’s gotten to go to summer camp / classes to learn how to create mobile apps and one for designing in Minecraft, which he’s completely enjoying.  Despite the title, I’m not really feeling like writing about summer…

Well, Sam is now living about 3,000+ miles away with the girlfriend that accompanied him to Sam Sr.’s funeral.  I don’t know how they met when she lives that far away and I don’t care.  I’m just happy I don’t have to worry about running into him as Max and I run around town.  He’s been there just over a year now.  I’ll admit to checking their FaceBook pages every once in a while.  I’m not sure why, because all it usually does is tick me off.  For example:  She wished him a long, gushy, “Happy Father’s day to the best dad ever”. And all I could see was red.  HOW?!  How does he deserve to be wished a happy father’s day?  Her kids have kids of their own, so surely he’s not playing dad to them.  Other than Sam Sr.’s funeral a year ago, he hasn’t seen our son in 4 years.  4 YEARS.  The photos he shares of Max on his Facebook page are from 6 years ago. How is that an any kind of dad to wish a happy father’s day to?

Anyway.

The fact that she’s made it a year with him and has reached out to Max on her own via holiday cards from just her twice has lead me to 2 things.  1.  Perhaps I should give her name in my story now. OK…. Mary (not her real name), and 2. I’ve started wondering why. My thought process has been going back and forth along the following lines:

Why would a woman get involved with and move an abusive alcoholic 3,000 miles to live in her home?   A man who had been bouncing through jobs, had been living with his father, and the only major item he owned was POSSIBLY a car that didn’t run and the clothes on his back.  Doesn’t pay child support and is barred by the courts from being in contact with his own child.

Well… why did I let him move in with me – and for that matter why did I stay with him for so long?

And I sputter.  But it was different.  We were young.  I was just out of college, so it makes sense that he came into our relationship with only a dufflebag of rugby gear, 2 antique milk crates with his small collection of clothes, a lamp and a director’s style chair.  He didn’t have a bed, any other furniture.  He didn’t have any dishes, or pots and pans.  Heck, he didn’t even have any tools.

I’m years younger than him and I had all of that.  Maybe it wasn’t the finest quality, but I had made a home right after college.

Forget when we first moved in together. Now.  Now he’s an almost 50 year old man.  Shouldn’t some one that age have something?  Wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – a woman be at least a little leery of starting a relationship with an almost-50 year old man who doesn’t own ANYTHING?

Maybe she didn’t know.  After all, she lived 3,000 miles away.  Maybe he told her he’d just sell his furniture and car and move down to her.  Or (I’m leaning towards this one) maybe he’s telling her that his ex-wife and then his next girlfriend took EVERYTHING he had.  They were so mean and treated him so bad.  Maybe with a little bit of “I moved in my elderly father to take care of him” thrown in.

I guess I really can’t fault her for falling for it when I did.  I made excuses for him, too.  Different ones, but they weren’t any truer than whatever it is that she might be  believing.  It’s a habit of his, apparently.  He owns nothing.  And pretty much never has.  He relies on the women he dates to give him everything: a roof over his head, a couch under his backside, cable TV to watch and bed to crash in.  Throw in some clothes and a mode of transportation and he’s got it made without putting too much work into it.

OK.  No fault on the has-nothing-to-his-name front.  But he’s an abusive alcoholic.  Why would a woman move that into her life, especially when she has kids and grandkids?

It’s true that he’s an abusive alcoholic.  But he can be so charming.  He didn’t start out our relationship with threats and intimidation.  I wouldn’t have stayed if he had.  But… there was drama.  Quite naively, I chalked that up to passion.  Love.

OK.  Naive.  Young.  Passion.  But she’s almost as old as Mom.  OK… not really, but she is quite a bit older than me and she’s a grandmother.  At her age, shouldn’t she know better than to move a strange man 3000 miles into her home?

Maybe.  Maybe she should know better, but Ingrid didn’t.  She moved Sam in with her AND her two kids the same month she met him.  Sam can be quite charming, remember?

And maybe Mary just really likes taking care of some one.  Sam loves the idea of his significant other devoting all her attention and energy on him.  In fact, he kind of expects it.  Maybe she’s one who can do that.  It doesn’t mean he’s any less controlling.  It doesn’t mean you have to like her.  It doesn’t mean you have to put up with her trying to ‘fix’ the relationship between Sam and Max.  It doesn’t have to mean anything to you.  It certainly doesn’t change the fact that he hurt you and Max.

So I’ll try to drop the “Why?” for now.  I get that him being nice to her and playing the poor-me-I-can’t-see-my-son card doesn’t change the fact that he’s an abusive alcoholic.  I don’t know why she does the stuff she does, just like I don’t know why he does what he does.  I just have to protect Max.  And it’s easier with 3000 miles between us.

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