Friday, August 28, 2015

Negative Space

But if there's one thing in my life
That these years have taught
It's that you can always see it coming
But you can never stop it.

You sit at my table, you live in my house, you learn in my classroom, you ride in my car, you live on my street, whatever it is--I don't let people go all the way. I just don't. Even if they let go of me. I still think and pray and hope.

A text tonight: Sally, they took my son. From Troy. One of my people. Even though all the "even thoughs".

I called him and we talked, but he's bad at maintaining a personal narrative of his life. Details and timelines are not his strength. But there was a visit from a social worker last night that must not have gone well. He didn't even know there was an investigation. The state came to school today and placed his son in foster care. Troy said a social worker told him he may be charged with child abuse. And that there were three open cases about their family. I don't even know enough to know what any of that means. But I think it means he's fucked. I hope that child lands softly.

Thinking about that summer, sitting on my porch with him, with a lot of success under his belt. It had been a great summer. He and his son were great together. He was saving money. He was starting to fix things. There was hope when he moved on.

But dysfunctional, toxic, dangerous relationships involving children and mutual dependency are hard to walk away from. And when you have nightmares all the time and can't read people and have no boundaries and are filled with grief and rage from your own history of abuse, well, you have so many needs and so few skills you wind up caught up in a cycle that cannot be broken on your own. You have no bootstraps to pull yourself up by.

And then you wind up turning into the sort of person who gave you the nightmares in the first place.

I lay back on my porch floor, my phone resting on my chest, staring up at the negative space between the leaves of the oak tree in my front yard.


  1. Sucks, but those kind of investigations don't materialize out of thin air. Not to generalize, but so called victims usually find a way to be a victim, leaving out huge facts. And the dominoes that are created from the wreckage of one's past fall in all directions, and fall on their time, not yours.

    1. Oh, you better believe it. No, I'm not trying to sit here and say he's innocent (I'm trying to not say too much here) This was a long time in coming. And here it is. Lo.

    2. [If there is any justice in the world, which there probably isn't, but if there is, this will not magically go away]

  2. Oh, that's so sad to hear. For everyone, but especially that little boy. Even when people have good intentions and want to break free from those cycles of abuse, they don't have the ability to do so and get dragged back in. And so it continues.

  3. Which is sad but true--he never handled his own trauma and now he's inflicting it. And since hes the adult, it's his problem and his fault. Good news: the girl packed her bags and left.Best scenario, in my mind? A great foster situation and he gets visitation. And she disappears into a hole.

  4. I'm so sad to read this. But all of what you've said. Sigh.

  5. I'm so sad to read this. But all of what you've said. Sigh.

  6. I'm so sorry for the whole situation that has been building for so long and that it has come to this. I hope the little guy is in a loving, caring foster environment. And, like you, I would hope that visitation may be possible at some point. I am SO glad "the girl" packed up and left. The best thing for everybody is if she stays gone! Sad.