When you do not have the will to be firm

Bridget’s comment on being a stepson stirred anew some thoughts in my head about my current situation here.  The frustration keeps brewing inside me. 

During one of our previous arguments, Alan told me I should not make him choose.  What he doesn’t seem to see is that his son is the one making him choose — in continuing to act the way he’s acting towards all of us, and in refusing to work with his father, he is actually boxing his father into making the choice of accepting his errant ways or be continually subjected to his abuse.  In a sense, he is asking his father to choose between him and me.

It puts me in a difficult situation because it’s an “external” thorn on our relationship.  I feel it eating at me — like tonight when Mom and I had to take care of preparing dinner by ourselves, with the stepson not setting the table again.  No, I will not make Alan choose.  If we ever get to that point, then making a choice is no longer necessary.  For then it means we would’ve lost “us”. 

We continue to struggle together to resolve this situation.  Don’t get me wrong, I feel very lucky to have Alan as a husband and I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be the father of my son.  But the dynamic of him, Angel and me is totally different from the dynamic of our family with the stepson in the picture.  So am I simply supposed to count the months to the time when he is free to leave the house?  My Mom doesn’t think he will ever leave his Dad’s home, only because his Mom won’t take him in anymore, and because he will never be able to stand on his own if he goes on living his life the way he’s living it.  Worse, I feel his father will not let him go even if he says otherwise… he says he will, but I have a sense his will is not firm on this.

That’s a scary thought.  It makes me want to make contingency plans in the event he “lingers” on.  So I’m not pinning my hopes on that one.  I don’t quite know yet how I will get from tomorrow to that day anyway.  This quandary is the very reason I advise my friends strongly against marrying a man or a woman who has a child from a previous relationship.  Now that I am a mother, the feeling has all the more been reinforced.  How true it is that iba pa rin ang anak.  And yet it doesn’t make it any easier to take.  So I grit my teeth when I feel like saying something, and I hold it in. 

It makes me feel as though I don’t matter in my own home.  I wait for the weekends not just because it’s a chance to spend more time with Angel, but also because it is usually the only time the stepson is elsewhere but with us.  It’s a respite from the disrespect and hostility..  Just one more night and I get my wish.  Big sigh of relief on that one.

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An evening writing longhand

It wasn’t until I was walking to the bus yesterday when I realized I had left my laptop in the office.  I was THAT out of it.  No wonder my tote felt lighter — much lighter — than it usually did.  Not having the tote actually allowed me to spend some time writing longhand and continuing to read THE CONFESSION.  It’s pretty easy on the heart and mind, and although it is a frank account of his sexual awakening, it is far from a gaudy account of his promiscuity.  I suppose writing was cathartic for McGreevey — you can actually feel it as layer upon layer of his burden peeled away.

Thank you, Jerome, for the kudos on writing longhand.  It is something I enjoy very much if only I had enough time to indulge in it.  I only write long letters, though, to those who I know have the patience to read it.  Technology has a way of diminishing the emotion of the written word.  Holding the letter in your hands is so different from actually reading something onscreen.  Sometimes I find it more helpful to actually print out an e-mail and read it.

During Alan’s and my courtship, we exchanged a ton of e-mails which I printed out for the benefit of the US Embassy.  We also continually exchanged cards and I have more than a shoebox full of them to show for it after I arrived here.  I left the e-mail print outs in Manila and threw them away, but hotmail got one over me when it deleted them when my account lay dormant for a while the first few months I was here. =(  Gone.  But I have my cards from those early days.. and I have a lot.  I would love for Angel to see them when he is older so he can see how our love story unfolded, just as we hope the postcards will be an abbreviated diary of how we felt at certain points in time during his early life.

Although e-mailing is much faster, letters written longhand are more enduring.  That’s why I still believe in Christmas cards as opposed to e-cards or Christmas greetings.  Mas feel.

Posted belatedly: Thoughts on a Tuesday morning

I’m running seriously late this morning. I was already at the bus stop when I realized I had left the phone in my room. Under orders from Alan, the stepson is not allowed to use the phone which he usually hogs from 10-PM to midnight and beyond so I am supposed to sequester the phone at night. So I walked back and gave the phone to my Mom and went back to the bus stop. Apparently, I did not lose any time because the same people I had left were still there waiting for a bus.

I am not running at my full element today. But I have to go to work and there are things I need to do. The world doesn’t stop turning just because I’m not feeling 100% a-okay. No crisis. One sometimes has those days when you want to play hookie from your responsibilities and just chill. And the bus is so agonizingly slow this morning. Not that it’s moving any faster matters — I’m late whether it does or not. But it doesn’t help my state of mind. Oops, I’m here.. time to hit the subway.