We recently just found out that BM's older brother and his wife are in the middle of a nasty divorce. BM's brother has been struggling with an addiction to prescription pills for a few years now. He refused counseling rehab or counseling and told his wife he would do it "cold turkey." She gave him the ultimatum that it was drugs or her kids and he simply told her he "couldn't quit." It saddens me, because the brother was the only decent person on that side of the family. He has also been very kind to me, DH, SD and SS.
SD was exactly 9 years old before she received a birthday card from BM. The last time was when she was 2. That was the last actual birthday BM had been around for - she has missed every one since because she was incarcerated, in rehab, or just MIA. I'll never forget SS showing me the message from BM where she literally said "I think SD's birthday is coming up soon." You THINK it's her birthday? How is that a date you would forget? I was even there and I remember it. She proceeded to say "It's around the 29th, isn't it?" (SD's birthday is the 31st).
I was picking SD up from her grandmother's house after work, as I usually did around that time. SD was around 9 at the time. Her grandmother called into the other room, "Go get your shoes on, *Bio Mom's name*." I froze for a second. She didn't even realize her mistake until SD walked in and said, "My name is ___, Grandma." The grandmother quickly apologized, said it was a "habit" and it was hard because SD looked so much like BM. I tried to not make it a big deal and drove SD home. The only thing she would say was that it didn't happen that often, but when it did, it kind of bothered her.
2017 was truly a whirlwind.
I remember it vividly. SS was in 7th grade and I was dropping him off at school in the morning. His English teacher walked up to my car window and said "Hello," introduced herself, and asked SS "Is this your Mom?" I held my breath and he answered, "Yeah, this is my Mom." The teacher proceeded to tell me how much better SS was doing in her class, his grades were improving, he was a real joy to have. I thanked her for letting me know and drove to work with a huge smile on my face. SS very easily could have said no. He could have corrected her, but he went along with it.
I truly don't understand it.
Mothers are constantly shamed if they choose to stay at home - why can't you get a job, why aren't you supporting your family?Then working mothers are shamed as well - You never see your children, who is taking care of things at home? It's such a lose-lose situation. When I wasn't working and taking care of my son full time, people were constantly pushing me to get a job. As soon as I started working full time, those same people were scolding me for not spending enough time with him. It's such a catch-22.
I remember we were sitting on the couch, watching TV one night. DH turned to me and said "I think it's time we get an attorney and file for custody of the kids." I agreed with him and the next day, I was calling all the family lawyers in town. We met with our attorney - she was highly recommended and very professional - we explained our situation. She asked us to gather everything we could - I printed out every single arrest record, made copies of the children's report cards (showing they were doing better in school), and printed out messages between her, DH and SS as proof.
So what's the hold up?
The art of enabling. It is something that I know first-hand. My younger brother sunk into drug addiction in his later teenage years. He had two major enablers - my grandmother and mother. Though she will deny it, my mother is just as guilty. My grandmother did it because she was in denial of his drug problem and figured she had the money to spare and it was HER money to do as she pleases. The money from my mother, however, was technically my father's (and he soon put a stop to this on both parts).
Broken people always tend to find each other, one way or another. DH and I are both what you would consider "broken" in different ways. And I notice that his children also tend to gravitate towards "broken people" as well.