Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Caught

I don’t remember the day but I believe it was my junior year of high school, so that would be roughly 2002. If memory serves it was toward the evening and I was up in my room sitting at my computer. AIM was hugely popular then. I was perusing my logged chats with various people and I came across my mother’s screen name.

From time to time my mother would use my laptop for, well I didn’t know what at the time, but I would shortly find out. So, with my curiosity raging, I clicked on my mother’s logged chat files and started looking through her chats.

Perhaps I was snooping a little too much, but every time my mother asked to use my computer, I found it very strange, as we had a family desktop computer downstairs. I didn't press her on the matter - why would I -- I was an obedient Little Boy.

I’m not sure how I found it, but I remember clicking onto a particular screen name and instantly felt my face drain of color. It was so very apparent that what I had stumbled upon was my mother participating in an affair with another married man. She was using sexual lingo with this slime. She was talking about how weird it was for her to meet his children. She was talking about how she was going to have to hide the bruises and marks left from their meetings encounters rendezvous DESPICABLE ACTS OF SEXUAL DEVIANCE.

Both of them abhorrent, ugly buckets of slimy garbage.

There was enough information in her chats that I was able to narrow down who she was sleeping with. I believe I narrowed it down to someone that I had even met before. This man came to our house. And I spoke with him. As I dive into these memories now, I can see this despicable creature in his blue tee shirt and khaki shorts. This large being couldn’t look at me for more than a few seconds, then he averted his eyes from me, focusing on some distant part of the house. I didn’t think this odd at the time nor did I think anything of this person at all.

Little did I know…

The memory gets fuzzy now: I’m not sure how it happened, but the very next memory in this timeline of being caught is that my mother opened to the door to my room and I was standing there, frozen. I don’t remember much of the beginning part of the conversation, but I do remember one thing clearly: she was attempting to explain away and excuse her behaviors by referencing a movie – some sort of romantic comedy sucktacular garbage.

I was crying almost immediately (which would be the first of several cries) and to end the discussion my mother said that "we could talk about this again when you’re ready".  As if it was now my responsibility to “make it right”.  I do believe that was the last we spoke of it for seven years. I believe she meant for us to not talk about it ever again.

I immediately told my best friend at the time what I had found and what had happened. He said he came right over that night and we played video games. I don’t remember that.

I was over my girlfriend’s house at the time shortly after this incident. I was standing in her room as she was … I have no idea what she was doing. I was at her dresser and just broke down, out of nowhere. I couldn’t stand up. I didn’t want to stand up. I think my girlfriend panicked – she ran to get her mother and explained what happened. I must have told my girlfriend because I remember her parents attempting to comfort me in their living room. I didn’t feel comforted.

Possibly a month or so after that – I remember it was cold outside and that same girlfriend and I were driving to my father’s – I broke down again. We sat in the car as I cried. She may have attempted to say something comforting. She may not have.  Either way, I cried myself out.  Gathered myself.  Walked in.  Memory ends.

After Caught, I did not cry about it again. I did not cry about anything. In fact I didn’t really cry until I met my wife and she was able to bring emotion back into my life.

After that cry in the car, I rarely thought about it again. I rarely thought about anything again. I buried it. Deep.

After Caught, I became a walking emotional corpse. I felt nothing. I wanted to feel nothing. I was fine (or so I thought) with nothingness. I had a nice façade of pseudo-emotion, but on the inside, it was dark. A barren emotional landscape. I had nothing, and wanted nothing – and therefore could give nothing.

After Caught, I began to mirror some of my mother’s behaviors: I lied, I cheated, I pretended. I could not and would not let another person betray me the way my mother did. I could not and would not let another person allow me to get that vulnerable. I could not and would not let another person get close to me.

Flash forward several years. My mother divorces her second husband (father to my sister), and only months later begins dating her current boyfriend. In 2009, there was a severe blowup between me, my then wife-to-be, and my family of origin. A family member, in order to get my wife-to-be on her side, divulged some information about my mother that may or may not be true: her current boyfriend was indeed married and had children of his own. She didn’t learn, and didn’t care to learn.

I attempted to find out more about this new boyfriend. I spoke with her on the phone. I don’t remember the conversation exactly, but I recall her dodging questions and never fully answering my inquiries if she answered at all.  She didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know.

A year later, I finally bring up again my mother’s infidelities.
She responds with “that was a very dark time in my life”.
I questioned her lack of apology.
She responded “I thought that was over with. I thought I had apologized already.”
No such apology was given, I said.
“Well, then LSV, I’m sorry”.
It doesn’t really mean anything when I have to ask for it, I said.

She still hasn’t truly apologized, and I’m sure she’s only “sorry” she got Caught.

2 comments:

  1. Gaaaah. What a painful, painful experience.

    She said, “that was a very dark time in my life.” Well, I'd say that you have much more right to that line than she does.

    I guess it never occurred to her to acknowledge to you that that must have been a very dark time in YOUR life, and that she was sorry to have exposed you to that. --quartz

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  2. Quartz, what an astute observation. I have to agree with you assessment!

    ReplyDelete