As usual, I'm WAY behind on posting. And as usual, it's been a rollercoaster. So, where do I start....
I'll take it a chunk at a time, updating work and private life, and what's going on with the people who are important in my life, too.
Spring break last year, Son went to visit my sister and fell in love with San Diego. So, after the semester was over, he went out there to look into work and school. He decided to stay. He hasn't had luck finding work, but he's enrolled in school and doing fairly well. He's also discovered surfing.
I recently learned that he had another reason for going out there. He spent his last semester here getting pretty deep into the drug scene. He experimented a lot, dangerously so. I'd had my suspicions, but I just don't have the experience to really know the signs. He apparently had what can only be described as a religious experience (seriously) that told him he had to put distance between himself and what was happening, and the people connected to it. California gave him that.
Son and I have had a strained relationship since he beat the crap out of me a couple of years ago. I wanted to give him a peace offering for Christmas. Something that would actually mean something. So, I sorted through all of the photos I had of him. Every one. Made me cry a lot. I made a photo album for him, with notes on the pictures of the memories I had. It apparently meant a lot to him. He'd been afraid our relationship was shot, but that told him more than words could. He even called my mom about it, saying how he wanted to fix things between us. He told me that, too. Made me cry more.
My mom is bugged that he's so far away. She wants me to be bugged, too. I'm not, although I do miss him. But I want him to be happy. I want him to find what makes him get up in the morning, what makes the world go around for him. If he finds that, then I'm happy with anything he has to do to get there.
I also found out some things about his experience with our church that were upsetting. For awhile, he'd been visiting with our bishop each week, for conversations that were supposed to be helping him get back on track. He didn't talk much about what they visited about, but that was okay. I figured it was his private conversations, and if he had something to say, he'd say it. I also trusted that our bishop would let me know if something was happening that we needed to watch. Neither said anything. Then, Son just didn't want to go anymore.
Turns out that those visits were nothing more than disciplinary action. They centered on Son being brought before a church council and stripped of what's called his "priesthood" in the church. No counseling. No help. Just discipline. And this was done behind my father's back, who should have been included in such a council.
No wonder Son didn't want to go back. The man was supposed to be helping him figure things out, not using it all against him.
I got a taste of this myself, unfortunately. I got a call from the bishop's secretary, wanting me to meet with him. This always raises a red flag with me. Finally, the bishop emailed me, to ask for the same thing. I asked what it was about. He said he wanted to see me because I'd moved myself and my young daughter in with a man to whom I'm not married, and that's a violation of the covenants I made when I joined the church. And if I didn't want to visit with him, then he'd turn me over to the bishop who was in charge of the area I'd moved into, and he could take disciplinary action himself.
I wrote back and gave him my address. I gave him Jacob's address. Pointed out that they are separate houses. Then I thanked him for believing the rumor mill instead of asking me for the truth. And I haven't spoken to him since.
My daughter still loves the church. It gives her a good foundation for making good decisions in her life. She's happy with it. I won't step all over that, but I can't look at those people without getting angry.
What breaks my heart is that I truly feel that God just likes to fuck with me. When things are happy, he gives me the smackdown. I can't take that anymore.
Speaking of Daughter, she's doing quite well. I sure wish I'd had a level head like that when I was a kid. She's the ultimate smart-kid-band-geek-kpop-loving-talented-confident-creative-person I've ever seen. More on that in the next post!