It’s coming up to the one year anniversary of me leaving JC and I decided this weekend to organize the house and clean out closets etc. It’s amazing how quickly a person acquires “stuff” and I tend to put things away; you know out of sight out of mind, but it’s not where it should be and consequently why I can never find anything!
I found my old camera that I thought was broken; put new batteries in it and although it won’t take pictures I was able to view the ones on it and of course there were pics of JC. Funny thing is, (I mean funny as in strange not funny as in haha) he must have taken the pictures. He was forever taking pictures of himself, on the phone, playing guitar or taking his shirt off (so you could see his 6 pack) for his personal ads on the internet.
It hurt a bit, but not so much.
There was one without his glasses. I never liked his looks without his glasses; there was something about his eyes, they always gave me the creeps. He usually wore tinted glasses but whenever he took them off there was something there, something that made me very uneasy, something behind those eyes. Now I know it was evil.
When my brother first met him, they got along very well, they both had the same quick wit and could play off each other but my brother said, “there is something dark inside the man”.
I was cleaning out an old storage chest, sorting through pictures and came across pictures of my house in Chilliwack. It was 3000 sq ft, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, 3 fireplaces, on 1/3 of an acre, with a beautiful back yard with a wrap around deck. We had a lot of fun in that house, for awhile I was married to a guy with 4 kids and times like Christmas were wonderful. One year we had a clown for the kids in the basement, I always had 2 trees, one for the kids and then mine, (mine had to be perfect of course and every year got bigger and bigger). For 12 years Kris and I went to the same place to cut our christmas tree. The place would have a big bon fire burning, vats of hot cocoa, and a horse drawn sleigh that would take you out to find a tree. If it happened to snow it was magical!
Anyway, when it was just my son and I we basically lived in the family room and kitchen and it was silly to kill myself trying to keep it.
I sold it at a loss when the economy in our town crashed around 2000. They had closed the army base and my rental, a town house, backed onto the base which was a real selling feature when I bought it but with the base closing the government compensated all the army personnel for any loss they took when they sold their town house which drove prices down to $40,000 less than what I had paid. My renters were able to afford to buy their own town house and mine sat empty I sold at a loss. Then 2 years later I ended up having to sell my house for what I paid for it so with real estate fees, bank penalty and home improvement loan I broke even.
Then my ex claimed bankruptcy and foolish me; I had co-signed his charge cards and they came after me; it destroyed my credit rating. (The reason we split was because he didn’t want to work once we got together and I was making good money with the day care, but he was paying child support for 4 kids and I was working 14-16 hrs a day. I let it go in way too long, getting further in debt the whole time)
My son had always been a challenging kid. He was highly intelligent and bored in school. He was scheduled to be the youngest ever to graduate from his high school and had done grade 10 and 1/2 of 11 in one year and still finished early. He was go back the following year and complete 11 & 12 in one year but after having so much time off from school (he was really bullied in school also) he wouldn’t go back. My rules were, you’re not in school you work or get out. But enforcing that was not easy for me.
I was struggling to keep the house and running a very busy day care. When I finally decided to sell the house and close the day care my son was 16. He had never had to do without and was not happy about our lowered lifestyle or the fact that we moved into a small rental.
We both took it hard, I wasn’t there for him emotionally like I should have been. I was drowning my sorrows with wine and internet chat rooms. He’d started hanging around with kids I didn’t approve of but he was taller than me and weighed more and if I said you aren’t going out he’d say watch me.
Finally he got a job with a traveling carnival.
Strangely enough through out Kris’s whole childhood I had a nagging fear of being homeless. I used to pray; God, just let me keep a roof over kris’s head. I don’t care what happens once he’s old enough to take care of himself but please make it possible for me to keep my home until he’s on his own.
Be careful what you pray for! I should have made it clear to not take me literally; I DID care what happened once he moved out, being homeless was NOT ok whether he was with me or not!!
I got a job managing an office locally.
I met JC.
To make a long story a little bit shorter; my son continued to get deeper into the drug culture and criminal element. I had quit drinking basically within the first few months of meeting JC, I knew I had a problem and wasn’t liking myself.
When my son was about 17 I didn’t know where he was(on the streets somewhere) I couldn’t function; my grief quite literally brought me to my knees in the living room. A girl from work suggested I pray. I actually got angry with her. She didn’t have kids, how could she understand how consumed I was with fear and sadness and I told her, “you obviously don’t understand the severity of the situation!”.
She said to just try it and to appease her I let her help me do up a “prayer” that became my “mantra” for a year. I typed it up and made copies, I had one at work, one in my purse, on the fridge, in my car, in the bathroom, and bedroom. Any time I felt overwhelmed and panicked with concern I’d read it, sometimes that was all I did in a day.
It was a full page but the jest of it was:
God, please help Kris know in all certainty he deserves to be happy
Help him choose the right path that leads to a healthy and happy life
Please bring people into his life that will help him stay on that path
And let him know and feel my love for him where ever he is.
Make him know in all certainty that he deserves to be loved, happy and healthy.
Please keep him safe and sound until I can see him again..
Thank you God.
Then I loaded up my vehicle with blankets and food so if I saw anyone homeless I could offer them help. I hoped that there was someone where ever my son was giving him the help he needed. That if I couldn’t help him myself maybe by helping someone else I was sending out that positive energy into the universe, you know what I mean?
After a few weeks my son called, would I come pick him up in a local town, he wanted to go into rehab. We agreed on a meeting place and I went to pick him up. He was strung out from doing drugs and not sleeping but he was with me and safe. Thank you God for answered prayers. We were 1/2 way home in my Honda Prelude when a gravel truck pulling a pup trailer passed us. I checked my speed and I was doing exactly 110 km. I turned to say something to my son and all of a sudden there was a huge bang and we were spinning out of control down the freeway. My son yelled, “the son of a bitch hit us!” All I kept thinking was| “Not now God! I just got him back, not now!”
We must have done 5 360’s then we went into the median. The mud was hitting the windshield but I managed to get the wipers on and was able to get the car stopped before we went into the oncoming traffic.
Once we were stopped my son jumped out of the car, ripped his shirt off and pulled out a knife. The gravel truck driver had stopped and was coming to see if we were ok but kris was screaming he was going to kill him and I told him to go back to his truck. I was trying to get Kris to calm down but to no avail. He started running up to cars in the oncoming screaming like a madman, waving that knife, arms flailing. Cars were swerving around him, honking and he was yelling, “Come on! Come on, you want a piece of me?”
I could barely dial 911 but they had been called already and were on the way anyway. When the police got there they put my son in the cop car. I told them I had just picked him up and he was strung out on drugs, I pleaded with them to take him to rehab, the hospital, somewhere, anywhere that he could get help. They said they couldn’t because he was the age of consent and if he didn’t want to go there was nothing they could do.
The cop said the car looked ok to drive, put Kris back in the car with me, handed me the knife and told me to drive safe and have a good night.
Can you believe it?? It took me hours to get home, I didn’t know if it was me shaking or the car. When we got home JC couldn’t have been more unconcerned if he’d tried. I was a basket case. The car had to be taken to the body shop on a tow hook it was so badly damaged.
My son got into Union Gospel Mission rehab on Cordova in East Vancouver; the absolutely worse area for drugs in all of Canada.
He quit smoking, drinking, drugs and took a vow of celibacy. I was so proud of him, it wasn’t easy but he put 100% into his recovery. He found a church, Coastal Church and the people loved him and he flourished. He got his GED, did a year of discipleship, he went to third world country doing missionary work. One of the congregation was a tattoo artist who covered up some ugly tattoos he’d given himself, another was a dentist who fixed a crooked front tooth, he was given furniture. It was hard on me in a way, I was broke, in a bad relationship, and felt I had let him down. A lot of the people at the church thought Kris had been raised in a loveless home and nothing was further from the truth. It broke my heart but I could see they were giving him things I never could. My prayers had been answered. He was on the right path with people who were encouraging him to continue on a healthy path.
I had to step back, be there in the shadows and let him be loved by these other people, a mother can tell her child they are wonderful and deserve better but it doesn’t have as much impact as someone you aren’t related to.
I am grateful every day for the gift of my son, I didn’t think I would ever have a child because I had cancer of the cervix before I was 20 luckily I didn’t have to have a hysterectomy until 2 yrs after Kris was born. Then I almost lost him again and he was given back to me.
In the 10 yrs I was with JC, I lost more and more “stuff” every time I thought I couldn’t survive, I was heart broken. I had 3 cars stolen in 3 years and more vehicles than I can count that either broke down and never worked again, or was impounded and I couldn’t pay the bill and lost it to the towing company.
JC always said I owed him money even though we lived together and I contributed the whole time except for a few months. Even if I wasn’t working I was on unemployment insurance or student funding; but he refused to acknowledge that and would present me with invoices showing what I owed him for every pack if smokes, every meal, every bottle of wine, even the .40 he gave me because I was short that much for a pop.
In order to get him off my case I gave him my big TV and computer and eventually sold my Prelude. I asked him at that time, “Now are you paid in full?”. And he had said “Yes”. But a few weeks later he was saying I owed him thousands again.
Even when we got back together 3 years ago, I made sure I kept detailed records of where my money went, if I got money from him and where it went. I also made sure I always either paid for the whole dinner if we went out or at least my share. Yet he still harped about me owing him money.
He refused to work on my truck so I could work.
Anyway in 10 years I had:
-3 cars stolen in 3 years
-3 vehicles that just stopped working.
-4 computers, and 2 laptops were broken
-2 cell phones
-lost all my furniture 5 times
-had all my clothes stolen twice within a year. Once everything was in my car that got stolen and the other time we were moving and my clothes were in a huge sports bag that was taken off the truck while it was parked outside where we were staying.
We were homeless at times, lived in places no one should live, my stuff was run over in the mud with a bobcat because JC was mad at me. Another time all my stuff was thrown out into a muddy field and hosed down. My photos had antifreeze poured on them and I lost everything of sentimental value to me; my first teddy, Kris’s baby teeth and lock of hair, a gold bootie charm my mom gave me when Kris was born, two family rings I had made for Kris and I disappeared.
I was stripped of everything and I survived, it didn’t kill me.
The only thing that means anything to me I have, my son. Everything else I have managed to replace a lot of it for free.
I have a closet full of clothes (my old ones would be out of style and not fit me any more any way). I have so many dishes, every style of glasses for any drink you could imagine wanting to make. Pots, griddles, silver serving pieces, art, aquarium, more tools than I can count, antique dining table, even my outside xmas lights, none of which I paid a dime for.
When I left JC one year ago I was destitute and this weekend I had to sort through stuff and throw stuff away because I have too much.
I’d say I am pretty lucky, it all depends how you look at it.