In Parts 1, 2, and 3 , I shared the email exchange between Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-To and our youngest son, my Baby Number 3. When I could tolerate no more, I had to say something. I could not and would not sit on the sidelines without saying anything. So, Part 4 is me adding my two cents’ worth.
This brings us to his response:
I have read this at least three times as you asked. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course and the bell cannot be un-rung. Much of what you have said here is not untrue. I think the thing everyone forgets is nobody can see the room from the other side of the glass window. Nobody can understand my side without having lived it and I in the other direction.
I do love those unconditionally that I have had a relationship with. In my own head I cannot love someone unconditionally just based on principle or the fact a last name is shared. I’m binary, that makes no sense to me how that can happen. I need to have a relationship with someone to love them.
Being binary is not easy. I’ve discovered recently I have a gap in building strong relationships myself. It’s not my strength, it’s why I have so few friends. It’s why I don’t have many neighbors. My strength is systems, process, ones and zeros. I have embraced my strength to make it better and decided my weakness was less important.
That being said you have to understand the email was not coming from a hurtful place….it was coming from a binary place in my brain. I was truly thinking, “I should let him know what I’ve done the last 18 years, and the only thing I have done was numbers”. It was informational when I was looking at it through a set of binary glasses.
It’s hard to explain where my brain was at, the only way to explain it is the binary reference. the only thing I have to show him is numbers, was what was in my head. I know I will never be a leader because my brain does not think in a way to make people “feel good”. I give information good or bad, and then I move onto the next problem.
It’s not going to make much sense and people who don’t know how my brain is wired will never understand it. It’s just how my brain is wired to give information, in this case the only information I had was numbers. It is as I said at the beginning, nobody can understand the room looking through the pane of glass I am. They never will.
The rest of the email escalation……well I guess that was two people taking equal blows at each other and neither was going to back down. Hell I have taken classes on “Crucial Conversations” and rule #1 looking back is never do anything in E-Mail that is a crucial conversation.
As far as showing emails to other people, regardless of who see each other’s emails each of us has people that think the other side is horrible. I’ve shown his from a year ago telling me “we have no value to him” to others who agreed that was the words of someone who fully understood what they were saying. That’s the problem with the truth lying somewhere in the middle. It’s never going to be the truth.
So much has been said, so many hurtful things that neither party will ever forget and in some cases not forgive for saying them, but i cannot explain any better where my mind was at the time I wrote that. It may never change anything because people don’t know how other people are “wired” to see things.
You are right, saying nothing wold have been best but that’s not what I was thinking at the time. I was truly thinking all I can show him is what I’ve done, and all I’ve done has been a check in the mail. I’ve never been anything else but a piece of paper with numbers on it, so that’s the only way I could even explain it. Yes it sounds twisted as hell, but it made sense at the time.
We are not horrible people, we love the people that surround us and love us in return. I believe everyone has value no matter what they do. We live our lives in a way to help those around us as best we can. I am of good heart and soul, it’s just sometimes I’m in a mode of less human emotion and interaction with certain aspects of my day/life.
The only thing I can say is I am sort for how my brain was thinking at the time. In my head I truly was just giving what I thought was useful information.
I truly was – and still am – VERY disappointed in Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-To. Not one single time over the years did I ever think he would be like this.
Being the MoMma Bear I am, I could not let this pass by without addressing this latest response:
Dear Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-To,
Thank you for taking the time to read my email. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if you would – especially since it was more of a mini-novel than an email! I hope you will do the same for this one.
I would like to apologize in advance if I come across as bitchy. That is not my intent at all. I am hoping to help you see things from a little different perspective and maybe give a little clarity on a few things.
You are correct. Hindsight is 20/20 and once that bell has been rung, it can never be un-rung. I will say this about me; I can and do have the ability to see things from others’ perspectives. Will I always understand? No. However, I try very hard to see and understand things from “the other side.”
I totally get not being able to love someone on principle or because of a shared last name. When my father returned after his 23 year absence, he brought his then 17-year-old son with him – my half-brother. He may have the same father as my siblings and I, but what gave birth to him is different. We have built a relationship of sorts over the past 12 years. Even after all this time, I can honestly say I do not have sibling love for/toward him. So, I do get that.
You say you are binary and that you are sometimes in “a mode of less human emotion and interaction with certain aspects of my day/life.” Want to know something? Baby Number 3, your son, is just like you. He sees things from a non-emotional point of view. The difference lies in the stage he is at in his life.
He is in the angry phase. He has been angry for a very long time. He feels rejected by you. R and I have faced the brunt of that anger by virtue of being here with him every day. When whatever transpired between the two (three) of you took place, he was at that angry place. He still is. There are thoughts and feelings that he’s not going to understand for a few years. It definitely took me many years to finally understand and come to terms with my anger and other thoughts and feelings where my father is concerned.
Try to look at it like this: He sees you for the first time when he was eight. Then, he doesn’t see you again until he’s 15. That, in and of itself, is enough to make a normal person angry. At 15, he was full of raging hormones. He was re-intRuced to someone he had only seen twice before and only one time was memorable as the other was when he was one. Then, whether the person he was re-intRuced to realized it or not, the disappointment that he (Baby Number 3) was not this perfect child and was flawed came through loud and clear to Baby Number 3. Baby Number 3 reacted to that.
I realize you (and Julie) feel he used you. This is probably partially true – at least at the end. As I said in the other email, he was coming from the “have-nots” and you two were bringing him into the “haves” world faster than he could process it. The two of you were giving him things, taking him places and showing him things we could never hope to be able to do for him. Baby Number 3 realized this. In his mind, he was given a taste “of the good life” and he wanted more. I’m not sure if that makes sense to you. I can only hope it does.
I seriously doubt that Baby Number 3 realizes just how profoundly this ENTIRE situation has affected him and is going to affect him for years to come. He may be of legal age now, but that does not make him an adult. He has a LONG way to go for that. Speaking from a parent’s point of view, no matter how old any of my children get, they will always be considered a “child” by me. That is how it is for almost every parent who is a part of their children’s lives.
You talk of the email escalation. I am going to assume you are referring to the rapid fire exchanges between you and Baby Number 3. Please correct me if I am wrong on that. Your statement, “well I guess that was two people taking equal blows at each other and neither was going to back down” sort of made me smile because the two of you are like two peas in a pod. Both of you are fighting for dominance and are way too much alike – whether you wish to admit it or not. It sort of slapped me upside the head after I read your email – you and he see the world very similarly. I truly did not make the connection until you spelled it out in your reply.
Even though you say the emails were not coming from a hurtful place, I have to wonder if there was some part of you that was lashing out – subconsciously. You said, “I was truly thinking, “I should let him know what I’ve done the last 18 years, and the only thing I have done was numbers.” I just cannot seem to understand WHY your ‘binary’ brain felt the need to send that email ON his birthday. You could have waited until the day after. Trust me, Baby Number 3 is all too aware of the relationship – or rather lack thereof – the two of you had. He definitely did not need to have it pointed out yet again. It has been plain almost from the very beginning. In all honesty, the information was probably only “informational” to you and for you. You feeling compelled to send the email on his birthday is one of the things I am REALLY struggling with.
You said, “so many hurtful things that neither party will ever forget and in some cases not forgive for saying them, but i cannot explain any better where my mind was at the time I wrote that.” This statement speaks volumes. Think about your statement, please. What is the last part of the sentence saying? Is it saying you are unwilling to forgive and forget? Am I interpreting it wrong?
With regard to having “people think the other side is horrible,” well, I have to say the majority of the people I know call me out when I’m being an idiot or if they feel I am being unfair or whatever the case may be. As for Baby Number 3’s comment about you having no value to him, it accomplished what he wanted it to do – to hurt you. He wanted you to hurt as badly and as deeply as he has been hurt by you over the years of non-communication. He was caught between you and I and he wound up on the short end of the stick. When I saw what my selfishness was doing to our son, it about ripped my heart out. I realized the ONLY one truly being hurt was Baby Number 3.
I remember a conversation you and I had where you said you wanted to come out here and essentially confront me, yet you never did. Something stopped you. At any time, you could have shown up on the doorstep and gotten involved in his life. You had a right to be involved. Yet, you chose not to. It was always a choice. I could have been one of those mothers that shove their children down their father’s throat, but that is not my way. I wanted it to be of your own free will – to choose to be involved.
No, I do not know what you went through on your end. You have never shared that information. However, I do have a basic understanding of your family dynamics and how that may have influenced your choices.
Something else that I’m having trouble with is the “values and morals” you keep talking about. Would you be willing to explain what you mean? Do you feel Baby Number 3 has no morals and values? If you do, may you please explain how or why you feel that way?
Even though he puts on a “brave” front, Baby Number 3 is very hurt by what you have said and done. It is covered up by being aloof, indifferent, detached, unfriendly, and cold. Every one of those is a defense mechanism. They have been in place for MANY years. They were put in place to prevent more hurt. You and I both know that no matter how many walls we put up; no matter how we feel circumstances are not affecting us, they still do.
Sadly, you did not see that. The only thing you were seeing was a child being mean and nasty, playing all big and bad. The reality of it was Baby Number 3 was lashing out. He didn’t understand nor realize that’s what he was doing. Yes, when he said you have no value to him he knew exactly what he was saying. As I said a few minutes ago, the words received the desired affect – hurting you. I’m not saying it is right. It’s not – far from it. However, I am 99% positive that is where his headspace was at that particular time.
Even though he is 18 now, it does not mean it is the end of your connection. It may be the end of the financial part of your connection but it is far from the end. Baby Number 3 was, is and always will be your son. Whether either of you acknowledge that fact, is a different story. In my heart, I KNOW there will come a day when you will connect again. It will not be the “normal” father-son connection, but there will be a connection. It will not happen for a while, either.
In order for it to happen, whoever is not letting go of what was said needs to let go. I’m not saying to forget. Trust me, I am the last person to say that! What I am saying is it requires forgiveness.
I have never said you were a horrible person. I have never thought that. Well, let me rephrase that. When you and I first split, I did think that. However, those feelings did not last. Why? Because I KNEW deep in my heart and soul, what kind of person you were – and are. I know how intensely you feel and love. You are a passionate person. It reflects in almost everything you do.
Want to know something? Baby Number 3 is the exact same way. He is either on or off. He can be considered binary – ones and zeros. He is passionate about what and who he cares about. He is an intense person. Unfortunately for him, he is slammed from both sides on that. I just wish you could see that.
R has a request. He said, “Tell Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-To if he really wants to have a relationship with Baby Number 3 at some point down the road, to please send Baby Number 3 a card at Mr I-Do-Not-Have-Children-To-Pass-My-Legacy-On-Totmas or on his birthday or whenever just to say, ‘Hey. I’m here. I’m thinking of you.’ But to not expect anything in return. This way, it shows Baby Number 3 that he really does want a relationship and that the door really was left open. This will put the ball back into Baby Number 3’s court.” This comes from his first-hand experience of dealing with his own son, R*****.
Anyway, I apologize for the length. I did not mean to run on. I had so many things running through my head and I needed to share them with you.
As always, I wish you well. I wish you peace. I wish you happiness.
I REALLY wanted to rip the head off of his shoulders. However, the rational side of my brain-housing group won out. He never did respond to this. The one thing he knows about me is when I lock in on something, there is no getting me to back off. So, rather than continuing the dialogue, he chose not to respond to my last letter.
I hope Part 6 brings closure . . .