He also has a girlfriend, but Robby has had lots of girlfriends in the years since he left, perhaps dozens, and they are mostly young and are often young girls who live in other cities. This is also the case with this latest girlfriend who I feel so old around, which is not an easy thing for my wounded ego to deal with. I hope he can make a lasting commitment to this one. I want him to be happy, to be able to give and receive love, but I want it to be with someone wonderful, someone with a big heart, and a generous spirit -- someone kind. I hope she is a good woman. She seems to care for him, and again this is hard for me because I have successfully avoided having to see him being intimate with anyone else for all these many years. Now it is being thrust in my face while his Mother pointedly comments on how wonderful she is right in front of me. "Did you see that? He got so upset when he saw Beau, but then when Elizabeth started talking to him he calmed right down. She has such a wonderfully calming affect on him." I just hope that this new girlfriend can find it in her heart to allow for the connection we have without feeling threatened by it the way his Mother has always been. I have done everything I can to treat her kindly and respectfully.
The truth is that I will always love him. That's just the way it is. We grew up together. We were together for fifteen years. We created another human being together. And so much of who we are is as a counterpart to the other; our sense of humour, taste, compassion towards animals, being vegetarian, kindness to strangers, so many things are things we formed as a team. We were entwined and then sadly we grew apart.
I still love him, but I do not want to be his lover. I have a partner. I have a mate. I just want to be allowed to stand beside him for a moment, to hold his hand and look in his eyes and tell him that I care, but so far since he has regained consciousness his Mother, and his sister, and his girlfriend, have prevented me from being able to do that, because for some weird reason, they think I'm going to upset him, that I want to "process" old hurt with him, but the truth is that I think his Mother and his girlfriend are being territorial and I think his sister doesn't understand this, and in loving her brother, and loving them, is stuck in the middle. It's just a mess, and even though I said I didn't want to get into it, it looks like I have.
When I took Beau to see him yesterday, his sister came out and warned me, as gently as she could, not to upset him. At the time I went into people pleasing mode as I always do. I understood that her Mother, or Robby's girlfriend, had somehow persuaded her to do this. She said she felt uncomfortable being in the middle so there was obviously someone on the other side. I was easy going and compassionate. I want to be there for him and not for me, to support his needs and not mine, so naturally I wanted to err on the side of caution. If seeing me might upset him then his health and his needs were certainly more important than my desire to see him and communicate with him. But now I'm so sad because I haven't even had the opportunity to tell one of my oldest friends on earth that I love him and that I have been thinking of him nonstop, and that I was there for him while he was unconscious, there by his side praying for him, and so so grateful that he will live and walk and be well again in time.
I am grateful that he is better and grateful that he has three women who want to sit by his side every night. But as the woman who was his partner for far longer than anyone else in his life I think I have the right to see him, if only for a minute, but I don't want to press this, and as long as he is on the mend I know there will be time for me to see him. I just feel really hurt and pushed away and sad that his Mother still feels so threatened by me. God only knows what she has told his girlfriend or what the girlfriend has told her. I made the mistake of generously spending an hour on the phone with her (the girlfriend) one night this week pretty much trying to put her mind at ease about my relationship with Robby, answering her questions about us, while she gave away nothing. She told me that she felt surprised and threatened by how deep our connection was when she had overheard a conversation we had. She also wanted to know why Robby's Mother doesn't get along with anyone, or why she seems so estranged from members of her family. God only knows what I said. I just hope it wasn't awful. It's true that I have piles and piles of unresolved hurt and anger, old broken heartedness, and the need to communicate and heal, but it's so sad to me that my son's family, the people who used to be my family, don't even know me any more, don't know me well enough to know that I would never, ever, do anything to hurt Robby, to jeopardize his recovery in any way. I would never selfishly lay the burden of my old feelings on him in his delicate state. All I want to do is have a moment of conscious contact with the man who was my husband, and who almost died this week.
The other thing that was upsetting is that when Robby was first told that Beau had been to see him he started to cry, and then when we came to see him yesterday, when he saw Beau he did get upset, he tried to lift up a bit from the bed, and his heart rate and blood pressure went up and his machines started to beep. It was very frightening for poor Beau. When he mentioned this later to his Grandmother, who he never sees, she tapped him sternly in the middle of his chest and with a big frozen smile that hid her real intent she said, "This isn't about you. This is about Robby!" I think that the things people say to each other, the accusations or judgments they have, are more often indicative of what they are experiencing, reflections of how they are behaving, projections of themselves outward. And in this case, who in their right mind could begrudge a somewhat emotionally fragile and delayed sixteen year old boy the need to express the feelings he is having about seeing his Father in this terrible state? The Father who has never been able to make any kind of commitment to him. If seeing Beau sends his blood pressure sky rocketing it's because of the emotion he feels. It's because he needs to tell Beau that he loves him and that he is sorry he hasn't been a better Father, and I think this is important. And if he can handle seeing Beau, he can certainly handle seeing me.
Esther said something smart to me today. She said that this over protectiveness on the part of his Mother is the reason why he has never grown up. The more things change the more they stay the same. This is how she was throughout our marriage, always interfering and undermining. Hating me with a smile on her face. She feels threatened by anyone who gets too close to her children. Sadly, this new girlfriend will learn this soon enough. I haven't seen or spoken to my ex Mother-In-Law in ten years. She hurt me that badly when she betrayed me during our break up, and then later she turned on me, but this was to be expected. I'd seen her do this to so many others, seen her cut people out of her life as easily as she cut their faces out of photographs. And yet, for the sake of love and Robby and forgiveness, I forced myself to face ten years of carefully avoided contact when I walked into what felt like a living nightmare. I hugged her. I apologized to her. I told her I loved her. And then in the space of little more than a day, while I was waiting for my doctor to determine whether I had anything infectious that could in any way harm Robby, (He woke up and no one even thought to let me know), she turned back into the fake smiling woman who still sees me as the interloper who stole her son from her.
See, this is the stuff I felt too small and ashamed to get into. I don't really want anyone to know I am feeling and thinking these things and yet for the sake of honesty I kind of do. Even though he is recovering from a terrible trauma and is fragile, he is also strong. He is an athlete. Even in his confused state he has the right to see whomever he wants to see, and I have the right to see him. Seeing me isn't going to distress him, I'm sure of it, but I backed down, and now I'm living my nightmare, on the outside looking in, standing by the bottom of the bed of my oldest friend, instead of by his side, then being pushed out the door, and down the hall, and into the elevator, being told to come back in a couple of days by people who really don't have the right to make that decision. I guess this is why hospitals have social workers.
And as if this weren't bad enough, we had to put Harry to sleep this morning. After two weeks of giving him subcutaneous fluids and feeding him baby food and pureed meats, bandaging his arm, giving him medicines, holding and rocking him to sleep, and changing his soiled towels, it was clear that he wasn't going to recover and was in pain. Beau is beyond distressed over all of this. My heart is breaking for him.