Misplaced Trust – Part II

In my last post, Misplaced Trust – Part I, I moved from telling you about my father telling me to be careful who I trusted and to never give my complete trust to anyone, to how my brother, Tommy split from the family and how I trusted  things would work themselves out, but he died before we ever saw him again. Then, I  jumped right into Shantel started school and how I was introduced to the world of IEP’s which are Individual Educational Plans for children with special needs. I went on to tell you all about the lovely woman who was assigned to be Shantel’s one-on-one assistant, and how we could clearly see she had Shantel’s success at the center of her efforts. I trusted her and we became good friends.

Moving  from topic to topic like that created a disconnect in my story and that is what I want to show, because, that is exactly how things happened in our lives. We never had just one thing going on at a time. There was always two, three or more “major” issues happening all at the same time. As a result, our family unit became disconnected as we each tried to cope with the issue at hand individually, which left little time to connect as a family.

I didn’t get the full-time I needed  to grieve for my brother, Tommy, because my mother was so devastated by her grief she was almost despondent. I did everything I could to help her cope pushing my own grief aside. While that was happening, I also had to somehow find the strength to give my attention to learning all about the IEP’s to support Shantel.

In the middle of all that was already going on, my Katie, called me out of the blue crying and begging me to come and get her. She was in an abusive relationship with the father of her new baby and they had just had another violent fight. Bill and I left immediately to go to her apartment, across town, so we could take  her and the baby to a safe place. When we arrived, the place was a mess from things being thrown all over. Katie’s son, just a few months old, was crying. I told Katie to get him and let’s leave. The father of the baby was there and said we weren’t taking the baby. Katie said leave the baby mom, because he will kill me if I try to take him. I looked at her in shock, and said “that’s your son, Katie, you can’t just leave him here”. Katie said “mom, let’s just go, now”. We left and I told Katie we would go call the police to come and get the baby but she said no.

I told Katie she couldn’t come and stay with us because things were just to out of control at our house and mom and dad couldn’t take any more upsets. I said we would take her to a safe place and begged her not to go back to her baby’s father. Katie said she was never going back.  She asked us to take her to her grandfather’s house and we did. I told Katie again to call the police so she could get the baby, but she refused. Bill and I went home, but I was so upset I couldn’t think of anything but that baby left behind with his abusive father.

The next day, Saturday,  I called and called Katie but she didn’t answer. I kept trying to reach her all weekend. When she didn’t show up to work on Monday, I was worried sick that the father of her baby had come to find her. I continued to call her, until finally, she answered. I knew by the sound of her voice, she was back with the baby’s father. I questioned her about it and she said, “yes, mom, I’m back home“. My heart sank, I could feel myself becoming physically ill. I just hung up. My father’s words rang out over and over in my head, “be careful who you trust, be careful who you trust.” I trusted Katie to not go back into that abusive relationship, but she did.

All of this emotional stress in the house took a huge toll on all of us and our family unit began to break down. I was working in Corporate America and not working wasn’t an option because I carried the insurance for Bill, Shantel, Bill’s kids and myself. I had a very demanding job as a department manager of three large departments. Year-end was our busiest time of year and it wasn’t unusual to put in 12 hour days which I often had to do. One evening, when I came home from work, my mother asked me how long I was going to continue to work these kind of hours. I said until our year-end crunch is over. Then, she broke my heart, when she said I wasn’t being a very good mother to Shantel by not being home. She said my father, who was in the backyard at the time, felt this way too. She might as well have put a dagger through my heart! I went outside and asked dad about this. My father agreed with mom. My father, who I loved with all my heart, who was my hero growing up, who I stood beside and supported when Tommy left the family, who I thought got up thirty minutes earlier than me to put the sun out on my day, who I trusted completely,  said he didn’t think I was being a good mother to my precious, precious, Shantel! How do you move past that?

To be continued in: Part III

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gotham Girl
    Feb 20, 2012 @ 16:38:17

    Incredible, just incredible. With your first paragraph, you tied the previous post to this one just perfectly. I am so proud of you my dear!


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