When I dreamed about parenting I thought my life would be like Little Women - yes there would be hard times and life might not be easy but as a family we work together and grow through the hard parts together. There would be fond memories of our lives as the children grew and eventually had families of their own. We would sing and crack jokes and they would move into the world knowing that they were loved and wanted by parents who chose to create a family from a group of people who they came to love with their whole hearts.
I did not get Little Women but instead got Flowers in the Attic because we had a child who systematically divided our family and created such pain and trauma for all of us that we will always all be affected by the choices that he made. He pushed down his pain and trauma and then recreated what had happened to him time and time again as he hurt others because it seemed to be the only response that he could make sense of and so he clung to it. There were secrets and lies for so many years and when they finally came to light our world was shattered into so many pieces that there was just no way to gather them all up again.
Now we are beginning to share the secrets with each other as we all try to heal, to pick up as many of the pieces as we can knowing that we will never be the same as we once were. We speak of our trauma and share our pain with everyone but him because the system is trying to keep us safe by keeping him away from us but that only makes things worse. When we can't be in relationship with one another we can't heal and move forward, we can't speak of the pain that his actions have caused and trauma that he created. We can't work towards him making amends and being accountable for the choices that he made and how they have affected so many lives.
We are trapped and so is he as we all await a court to hear our stories and to pass judgement on young man who really is just a product of the brokenness of a system that was meant to protect him. As we wait I will hope and pray that he gets help to process his trauma because if that had happened we would not all be living the life we currently are.
He will always be my child.