Today my dear friend Ethel is being interviewed by her state's equivalant of Children's Services. I am so frustrated and angry for her.
We met too many years ago - on a tennis court in Puerto Rico - and neither of us play. Her son falls neatly between our sons chronologically. I frequently added him to the collection when we went places.
I fondly remember making last minute trips with Ethel to San Juan because that was the closest place to find what we were craving. "Yo quiero Taco Bell!". Ethel accompanied me on a crazed scavenger hunt for a stuffed animal the year our 6 year old daughter announced the only gift she wanted was a reindeer for Christmas (in the Caribbean).
Even stateside we managed to get together. When her daughter was born we were chosen to be Godparents. They made trips to Wisconsin and we met in Indianapolis for a Labor Day weekend of Indy tours, Zoo visits and the Discovery Museum with all the kids. Our long distance friendship remained steadfast.
I held her hand and hugged long distance when Earl proudly bragged of his affairs. I calmed her when police were called to her home. I prayed for her during her nasty divorce. I was relieved when she finally said enough was enough - and got away from a very controlling, bitter man who if he admitted his instabilities could perhaps be a decent person on medication. I say this because I truly believe Ethel saw something in this man when she fell in love.
Today she has to defend herself. I wish I were there to remind her how much she is loved. I'm praying she feels the guidance and self confidence she needs to be strong.
I'm angry at you, Earl and your 20-something wife for putting Ethel in this position. Why did you make these allegations? Isn't enough to dangle expensive gifts in front of a 17 year old girl? Isn't enough to take her on vacations her mother cannot afford? Instead Ethel is home working two jobs to pay for a band trip or a prom dress and you make her life difficult. Have you no shame? You took your daughter away for Thanksgiving. Was it too much for Ethel's parents to hope to see her for Christmas? Instead you tell your daughter if she wants her gifts she must come with you ON Christmas day! Always the one everyone must work around. Never relenting. Must you feed on the immature comments of a teenager who only wants your love and will say or do anything for your approval. You've gone too far!
Earl, you prey on weakness. You aren't happy unless you can have complete control of everyone around you. RSB, there will come a day... be prepared. Be scared. Take care of yourself. You are not immune from his irrational behavior.
In the meantime, RSB, if you want to be someone's friend try their daughter. She's not your daughter. Be her friend. Stand back and stop interfering. It's not your place to make her plans. It's not your place to contact Ethel's family or friends. No, you don't know me well nor will we ever be good friends. PS. Your husband doesn't care for me because I encouraged Ethel to be strong against him.
Remember Earl, you also have a son. Stop using money and gifts to say you love him. Shunning him and then saying "oh I had money for you if you'd stopped to talk to me", doesn't make you a good parent. Spend some time with him. Acknowledge how hard he works - to win your approval.
These children should know unconditional love. Instead you use emotional teenage drama to cut the heart out of their mother because you refuse to let her live her life without still having control.
Please Earl, for once in your life, be a man! Despite my anger and hostility towards you I will pray you one day find it in your heart to be the person you could be if you tried.
In the meantime, Ethel, know you have my love, my thoughts and prayers.
Your friend always,