Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Florida Trip 2021—Journal Entry Part 2

So as I said in my last one of these entries ... my trip was very enlightening and interesting.

Today I want to take the time to talk about what happened with my son Phillip. He's my 2nd born, and unfortunately, the one with whom I've had the worst relationship with throughout his life.

There is so much to say that I frankly am not sure where to start. I guess it's best to start at the beginning.

My son's nickname is Pipo (pronounced Pea-poe). If you see me refer to him as such it's because that is what I always call him.

Our dysfunction started even before he was born. I hate to say it, but it's the truth. My pregnancy of him was unexpected.

It wasn't that I didn't want him, I just wasn't ready for another child at that time. The life of turmoil that I was living scarred me profusely so I was in such a horrific place that I had nothing left to give emotionally. Especially to another child. I was barely able to give love, attention and nurturing to the one I already had.

Nonetheless, I am not the one to abort my children (I am not against abortion, I just don't abort my own) so I pushed forward with the pregnancy.

My  husband at the time had abandoned my daughter and I (whilst I was pregnant) so I was thrust into single motherhood at the ripe age of 18. This caused a cyclone of bedlam inside and around me.

When a child is born everyone expects this picture perfect union between mother and child.

There is the supposition that there will be an instant connection and all things will be beautiful.

But what happens when the situation is just the opposite?

I had Postpartum Depression.

But at the time no one really knew what that was and much less how to address it or help a woman going through it. Thus, unfortunately, a true bond never formed between Pipo and I. I loved and love him ... of course I did/do! But we lacked the bond/connection that a mother and son should have.

To make matters worse, time served only to hinder an already tenuous situation. Pipo had dyslexia and ADHD. Which in the Hispanic community at that time was just a way to say that the child was a misbehaved child and just needed more discipline. The more out of pocket Pipo got, the more rigid I became. I didn't know any better. No one pointed me in the right direction. No one told me that there was a better way.

When I asked for advice all I got was "Whoop his ass, that'll fix him." And I was already spanking the life out of him, how much more spanking could I do? The more mutinous he became, the more angry I got. The angrier I got the worse I punished him. The more I punished him, the more I begrudged him. The more I begrudged him, the more he begrudged me. And the cycle just kept compiling into an avalanche of unaddressed dysfunction.

Soon an already splintered mother/son relationship became altogether fractured. I couldn't stand the sight of him, and vice-versa.

One day, amidst myriad tribulations, I opted out! I needed to save myself from the drowning ship known as my family unit. I had no choice. It was either leave or die. I left. Pipo didn't want to go so he stayed behind. 6 years later, he is still in the drowning ship.

I'd been working on myself for some time. One thing that I knew that I need to fix was my relationship with Pipo. I needed to make amends some how. I needed to tell him some things that he needed to hear.

Upon my visit to Florida this past week I took advantage of that time to do just that.

I hadn't seen a proper picture of him or video chatted him or anything like that in nearly 6 years. We only ever spoke on holidays or special days and we had essentially no communication between us.

When I saw him for the very first time my heart broke into a million pieces. He looked terrible. Just totally and absolutely abandoned. He looked like ... well, I won't go into details. Let's just say that no mother wants to see their child in that condition.

The one day that I had time for just he and I to speak, I did so.

At first he seemed apprehensive. I imagine it was because he expected me to come at him with harsh words and judgement. That was never my plan.

As a matter of fact, it was just the opposite. I wanted to apologize for not understanding him. I wanted to apologize for not being a good mom to him. I wanted him to know that I love him. I wanted to tell him that I take all the responsibility for the damage that was caused to him. I wanted Pipo to know that I took all of the accountability for the part I played in ruining his life and I wanted nothing more than to be able to establish a better relationship with him. I told him ... I want to be your mom, the mom you deserve. I want you to let me be that.

Immediately, the flood gates opened. He opened up to me in a way that he had never done before. All of the pain and angst he had against me, it was all let out in tears and words of disappointment. He told me how he felt growing up and how what I had just said to him meant everything to him.

The entire event was life changing.

The look in his eyes, I will never forget it. I get choked up right now just remembering it. I saw his soul ... every bit of his soul in his eyes that day. All of it. I saw MY SON. My Pipo.

I would like to think that that day the bond we lacked in his 26 years began to repair itself. In the days that followed we saw so many similarities in one another. There were so many things about him that I didn't know were just like me. I saw me in him, I saw him in me. I saw us. The way Spirit intended.

My heart was full that day in that aspect. If any good came out of that trip, it was the fact that I regained my Pipo. For that, I am eternally grateful.

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