My Almost Son

Artist – Stefan Pabst

Nine years ago I was in an abusive relationship and I was pregnant. At the time I had a problem with my wisdom tooth that went severely misdiagnosed. All the doctors did was give me pills. “J”, my boyfriend at the time filled me with a mixture of whiskey and morphine trying to make the pain stop. What he knew and what I didn’t know however is that I was also pregnant.

Since none of the doctors I’d seen at Surrey Memorial felt a need to take a blood test I had no way of knowing that I was pregnant. I also had no way of knowing that he was slowly killing our child. After many years of self discovery and reliving every moment of my time with J over and over I realized that not only did he know I was pregnant, he had gotten someone else pregnant at the same time. He in those moments made a conscious choice to end the life of our child without talking to me. It wasn’t just pills – there were beatings, “accidents” falls down the stairs, “wrestling around” and of course rape. Life with J was neither easy nor soft.

I will never as long as I live forget the night we lay in bed, his arms tenderly (for a change) wrapped around me when he asked how I’d feel if I got pregnant. I remember being surprised at the question – we had not been together long and I wasn’t ready to have a kid. At the time I guess I thought it was sweet – that he was thinking of a future with us.

He was adamant that our child would be named Connor.

After we broke up I saw J and his new girlfriend – she’d just given birth to her son. We were at the local mall and I was feeling particularly shitty when he ran across the floor more than excited to see me. “Come, look at my son.” He said as he laid the tiny bundle in my arms. “This could have been our child.” He said, he was smiling as he said it. I told him if he didn’t remove the baby from my arms I would throw him to the ground. I don’t know if I would have – but in that moment, I never wanted anything to die, more than I did that man and his child.

Yesterday I saw the woman who is now J’s long ex girlfriend and her son. This time however he’s 9 years old and the spitting image of his father. It was a surreal movie moment. I saw her at Wal-mart and jokingly asked if she wanted to play smash carts. As I was speaking I turned slowly to my left and out of the corner of my eye I could see the tiny clone of my once abusive ex boyfriend. The young man that would have been the brother to my child. It shocked me, and if I am able to admit it, it broke my heart as well. I couldn’t help but imagine what my son would have looked like standing next to this young man. Would he have pale skin like his brother? Or would his skin have been darker like mine? Would they share the same oval face and blue eyes?

It was strange looking at this young man, I wondered if his mother and father had told him he had a brother. I wondered how much he knew, but I didn’t ask. It was neither my place, nor was I about to put the child through that.

His mother and I talked for a little while. We shared our detest of the man, our love for the boy. I genuinely adore her, she’s not a bad person…what we share is not of her making or mine. She did say something that I found odd however.

All these years I’ve been jealous of her; wondering how old my son would be, would he like baseball or soccer? Would he be an artist like me? Or an athlete like my brother?

I was both shocked and saddened when she told me “You’re so lucky. I wish I was in your shoes. I’ve moved on and forgiven him, let go and moved on…but honestly this kid is not easy.”

She told me that her son had severe anger issues. I can understand that…I remember realizing my father was a piece of garbage too. At nine years old she says that he’s already called his father an asshole.

Kid’s smart. However as soon as I saw him reach into his mother’ s purse I realized he’s exactly like his father.

Maybe she’s right. Maybe to a certain extent I am lucky – I don’t have to spend the rest of my life attached to this horrible awful man. I don’t have to raise a child with anger issues, who is well aware his father is an abusive asshole with absolutely no impulse control.

Two mothers, one man…two children, one alive one dead. Both wishing they were in the other’s shoes. We’re never going to be best friends she and I, but maybe, I can start the process of letting go. Of healing. Of trying to move on and remember that not all men hit and hurt, abuse and break women for their pleasure.

I still admit that I am afraid to see him – afraid to see what he’d say or do to hurt me just because he likes to hit and hurt, but now maybe I know that I can handle seeing him if I have to. It might hurt, but it’s not going to kill me.

The Universe is talking to me and I am listening.

All my love,

Devon

 

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