On the heals of leaving the boy in my story and trying to make sense of what happened, I spoke of and wrote about how much I believed his mother was just as sick and equally responsible. Now I understand she really had no choice but to enable her “unreachable” son.
The boy’s mother learned how to “take” her son’s abuse, which more than likely began at a very, very young age. One story the boy seemed especially proud to tell was of a time when he was 5 or 6, and his mother sought help from a psychiatrist. His mother was baffled by the boy’s behavior and needed to know what she could do about it and if there was hope for it to change.
The boy described that visit to the psychiatrist with enthusiasm and glee. He told the story in expressive soliloquy-style, bubbling with great animation accompanied by a chuckle here and a smirk there.
(I can’t deny that I was mesmerized by his presentation. It was flippin’ Oscar-worthy! He came to life when he told it—much like he did any time he reminisced about his past diabolical behavior).
During that visit to the doctor, the boy destroyed the psychiatrist’s office. He claims the doctor sat there stoically talking to his mother as the boy transformed the once neat and orderly room into a sea of tossed books, papers and chairs. Nothing was left untouched or unmoved. The boy described the aftermath as an absolute mess and disaster.
And he received zero punishment or consequences.
For the boy, this remains one of his proudest pieces of personal history. To him, he had accomplished something noteworthy that day.
That day IS noteworthy. I agree. It was the day he and everyone else in his life set the stage for the boy’s life journey. It’s the day he realized he could do any f*cking thing he wanted to do and get away with it.
According to the boy, the psychiatrist told his mother that he was just a boy and his behavior was normal. He’d grow out of it.
Normal, huh? Grow out of it, huh? I highly doubt that’s what the doctor said. I think that’s what his mother wanted to believe, because the truth was too much to bare—her son had a serious behavioral issue and a lot of time, counseling and resources were needed to fix it.
After that incident, his mother pretty much gave up fighting him. Instead, she allowed his behavior. Why?
I suspect for the same reason any of us would: Who wants to believe there is anything seriously wrong with their child? Who wants to accept some negative, mental-health label? How much guilt is connected in doing that? How much social stigma is attached to that?
How, then, was she able to allow the behavior?
Again, I can only speculate, but based on how detached she was from him as an adult, I suspect she began detaching herself from him when he was just 5 or 6.
She worked a lot. Traveled solo a lot. Helped her husband with his business a lot. Bottom line, she kept busy with menial tasks, so she didn’t have time to mother her son beyond providing him with shelter, food and other basics.
And so the boy’s shitty behavior was free to grow, prosper and escalate. He had no reason to change or better himself (not that it would have happened even if she had decided to mother and nurture him more).
To this day, his mother remains detached and enabling. She still keeps busy, busy busy doing absolutely, f*cking nothing.
But she is always there to bail him out. From financial pinches to relationship disasters. She’s the one who took in his ex-fiancée when he kicked her out as he tried moving me in. She was his buffer. His saving grace. His mother defuses his shittiness and allows him to go about his life “business as usual.”
The guy is a loser but looks like a success because his mother, whom he lacks total respect for, chose a long time ago not to challenge him or his behavior. If she had, she probably would have ended up on the other side of one of his rages, the rages reserved for his girlfriends, fiancées and any future, unfortunate wives he might fool.
I can’t say that I blame his mother for saving herself from being on the receiving end of his rages. It’s not a pleasant place to be. I’m sorry I ever blamed her.
So peace to his mother. May she one day find the courage to finally stand up to him and maybe run away, too.