Archive for the ‘Lessons Learned. Bridges Burned (Ch 6)’ Category

Karma.. it's not your average every day punctuation mark

“Karma is a Female Dog”

“Lesson’s learned.  Bridges burned.  (Chapter 6)”

The very, VERY next day, Sunday, he has dinner at his old childhood home with his bizarre mother and step-dad/new & improved dad back in Elko.

The very, VERY next day after that, Monday morning, I’m just settling into work to begin my long shift (not easy supporting three households on a single income).  I log into Facebook and see an email… from my son… saying he doesn’t mean to start any beef with me… but why did I lie to him about the reason his mom and I divorced?

I see he’s online and open a chat window to ask him what the hell he’s talking about.  He replies that he went to their house for dinner and began talking about me.  I can envision in my mind the conversation they had :  ”So, Doug/Dad says you guys divorced because of this… he also says this happened… and this happened… and what about this?”  Of course no two versions of any given situation will be repeated the same way twice.  A lot of time and hugely varying circumstances have come and past through the years.  Let’s not forget to mention this is none of his concern in the first place.  It’s so far into the past; it shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion.

Regardless, I’m a liar and he isn’t afraid to call me out (well, as brave as you can be over a chat session from 250 miles away).  No matter what I say, he’s got a snarky string of scathing sarcasm to reply with.  He concludes with: Oh, and remember how I said that Mike doesn’t hate you anymore?  Yeah, I lied about that.  He’ll hate you until the day you die. “Neat”, I say and sign out of chat to leave work for the next two days, grappling with how I should feel now that everything I believed to be true has flipped on its ear.

I’m non-plussed beyond belief.  Suddenly it dawns on me.  This has zero to do with Karma or anything I could’ve done to ward off being betrayed to such a degree.  I paid my stupid debt to the Gods long ago; three times over!  The bad Karma should be shifting sides if anything.  Sarah feels the same.  We discuss in great length how it’s time to cut ties if this is how we’re going to be treated.  Meanwhile, he goes through the week updating his status constantly about how much more fun Elko has been.  It was obvious the intentions were never to come back to our house… we were simply a temporary resting point while he secretly put together an escape route.  He’d tell us anything we’d need to hear just to make it last until there was a ride back to Elko.  Even if it meant telling us how much we were loved.  Mike had obviously been telling him to keep it cool so we wouldn’t kick him out before he had a chance to make it back to Nevada.

Take that bridge and douse it in napalm!

Three months of downright deceit is more than anyone should have to put up with, regardless of blood relation.  For roughly fifteen years I’d been trying to make things right.  None of this mattered to anyone on his side of the world.  It didn’t even matter to the son who I reunited with and took in as a full-fledged member of our already bulging family.

I put together a delicate email worded with diplomatic civility that congratulated him on being able to find peace with his family and reunite with old friends.  Judging by his Facebook posts, he was having a wonderful time.  I offered the easy-out of, “Hey there. Looks like things have going better than expected in Elko for you. Good to see you’re happier. Glad you’re back around friends and people who care about you.  With that said, we feel it’s best that we continue our relationship on an occasional weekend visit basis from here on out. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding someone to stay with down there. 🙂
Have a good weekend (sounds like you’re already planning that) and hopefully we can get on Skype soon. I’m also hoping to make a trip to Elko within the next month or two. Perhaps we can get some lunch or something when I’m in town.”

Love,
Sarah & I

There will not be Skype. I will give you a forwarding address so you can send me my check, is the reply.  Moments later he updates his status again to say, “Well I was just informed I’m no longer welcome in Boise, Idaho.  🙂  That’s okay, I wasn’t planning on coming back anyway.”

I shouldn’t have expected anything more than that.  I send back the response:  “I’ll let you know if/when it shows, for sure.  Also, never said you weren’t welcome here, so no need for the victimization. You’re welcome anytime, actually. And your snarky comment about not planning on coming back anyway… yes, we sorta assumed that, too. That’s partially why I didn’t think it’d be a big deal for you.  Easy out, n all.


We did everything we could to help you and show that we care. We would’ve been glad to do more. Someday hopefully you’ll see that. However, it’s a huge slap in the face for you to go back to Elko and have zero loyalty towards us and essentially bite the hand that fed you. It isn’t really a feeling that one wants to seek out much further. Doesn’t mean we don’t love you, or that we can’t visit again, just means living together probably isn’t the best thing for us right now.


Search your feelings, Luke, and put yourself in our shoes for a bit. You know us well enough to know we are good people and will typically do anything for anyone.
Anyhoo. Crossing my fingers your check arrives quickly. I’ll let ya know ASAP.”

This is the point when his true intentions and colors explode from under the masks he wore during the three month stay with us.  He takes a small snippet of my second email (“However, it’s a huge slap in the face for you to go back to Elko and have zero loyalty towards us and essentially bite the hand that fed you. It isn’t really a feeling that one wants to seek out much further.”), tags me, and posts it as a Facebook status as if that’s somehow going to make us look worse than he’s making himself look.

Sarah climbs aboard her own Facebook account, sees him online, and asks what the hell is deal is.  Damn, dude, harbor all of the feelings in the world that you want for me, but Sarah has done nothing but try to be a good friend.  It doesn’t matter, though.  He laughs at her and says, Yeah, thanks, but you don’t know me at all.  Doug will never be even half the father as Mike. On and on the incredible amount of hateful words spewed out of the chat window… and then he deleted her before she could reply.

I logged into my own account, saw that he was still adding ridiculously insulting comments to the original thread, and deleting him as well.  A minute later and a text from him comes through to the phone, Well, I’m glad that’s over and done with.  So, are you going to send me that money when you get it?

I replied with, “Maybe.  Maybe not.  *shrug*.  So, the people who you’ve done nothing but bad mouth during your stay in Idaho are suddenly awesome again?  Nothing I’ve done for you made a dick of difference?”

Nope.  You’ll never be the father Mike is.  Now, this is your last chance… Will you honestly send me that money?

I didn’t reply.

Let’s see… room & board for two months, microphone, clothes, toiletries, unlimited access to the fridge, concerts, plane ride to Boise on a moment’s notice?  Yeah, I’d say that comes pretty close to the $2,500 he probably won’t be seeing from the military anyway.  But, if it does come, I’ll certainly hold it ransom until there’s some restitution paid back.  And, who knows, maybe I’ll light it on fire before stuffing it into the garbage disposal.

Throughout the weeks since then, he has managed to completely insult my mother (no easy feat), brothers, cousins, and friends via ignorant and unjustifiably indignant emails basically stating that he couldn’t care less about our family.  And, that’s just fine.  Our last name may just be “a name” to others, but it’s a badge of pride for us.  I’ve received texts about how sad he is that Ashley has moved on, Merry Christmas, where’s my check?, and ‘how is life’, but not one iota of regret for what he did.  Also, the excuse of “he’s just being a teenager” is ridiculous.  This transcends any level of derangement I’ve seen in a 6 year old, let alone a 19 year old.   Nope… the responsibility for these results falls squarely in the laps of the parental figures who raised the child; not the man who wasn’t even part of the equation.

Typically I shy away from confrontation.  Not this time.  Busting my ass to defeat the tangled and subjective rules of Karma have proven to me that Karma simply doesn’t exist beyond throwing rocks in the water and watching the ripple reach the far shores.  Once the ripple hits the sand, it’s absorbed and forgotten (unless it’s a tsunami).  Make each day better than the last, learn from your poor choices, and be good to the people who reach out to you because it’s the right thing to do… not because you’ll end up rewarded in the end…  otherwise you’ll always be sorely disappointed.

But, Karma, you filthy bitch, you better make right on this atrocity.