GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a head cold from hell and I’m alternating between being sweltering hot and fffffffflippin’ freezing on a moment by moment basis. I went to Mass, but i think i should probably have just stayed home…..i tried not to take anyones hand at the sign of the peace, but hey, I couldn’t do a Monk and ask my capable assistants, erm…children, for a wipe before doing so.

Okay, now bear with me while i explain something seemingly unconnected with the state of my physical health. There’s point to this…kind of.

As many of my regular readers know, a couple of years after my daughters father died (we weren’t married, I wasn’t even a Christian when we met and i had zero morals when it came to living ‘in sin’) I met and later married the man who would become the father of my son….the relationship was volatile and abusive and after 6 years, I left the family home with the children and the dog. I won’t bore you with the details but we left with nothing…because we needed to be free of the nightmare we were living in.

It took a lot of time for my ex husband and I to be able to communicate after I left him, at first our son had to have contact with his Dad through a ‘contact centre’, this was arranged through the courts because of the acidity of our relationship…and the injunction against him.

Eventually, over the first couple of years of having left him, we managed to work out arrangements that were mutually suitable so that our son had regular contact with his father. Now years later, we are both able to discuss our sons needs to some extent, though I have full parental responsibility for our son.

In truth it’s still difficult to communicate sometimes, and he can be difficult when it suits him to be. For the past couple of years he had our son a couple of times a week, one sleep over is included in that. We’ve fallen in to some kind of routine and our son is happy with that, as happy as a kid from a split family can be.

Today the ex asked if we could change things around. Actually, he didn’t ask…he wrote a note and handed it to me when I dropped our son off with him today.

Letters are the way we deal with awkward issues.

Like when he forgot to give our son his asthma medications one weekend and made light of or sons need for it….i wrote a letter…or when our boy was 8 years old he let him shoot at a target in the garden with a loaded air rifle (despite the obvious injury our son could have done to himself…we don’t live in a rural area, but in a heavily populated area)…he got a letter from me about it…(oh yeah and phone calls…i even called the police).

I get letters from him too, usually they explain why the ex can’t have our son on this or that day of the week.

So.

This letter I got today….he wanted to talk on the doorstep but we’d been to Mass and I felt like crud and just wanted to get home. So i said i’d read the letter at home.

I was actually driving when I tossed the letter to my daughter and asked her to read it….

I am so mad right now. All i can think is what a stupid man he is. I won’t relay it all but here’s a line from the letter….

“our son doesn’t seem interested in going to Mass with you on Sundays anymore so what do you think if i have him on Sundays now? When we were lads (he’s referring to himself and his brothers here) we were all altar boys, but we stopped going to church at about 12 or 13….it’s a lad-thing”

Give me strength.

I am sorely tempted to write a letter back thanking him for not practicing his Catholic faith because when i converted to Catholicism, the lack of form in our marriage (we were married outside the catholic church) enabled me to get a decree of nullity which means i am free to marry again.

I am fuming.

He’s an italian Catholic from a large Catholic family and none of them practice their faith (thought they have their weddings and kids baptised at my parish!)….now he wants to have our son think that it is acceptable not to go to Mass.

Attending Sunday Mass is not a choice, it is an obligation.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…..

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23 Responses to GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Rosemary says:

    Thanks be to God that you have full responsibility for your son.!

  2. John Bowden says:

    I truly love to hear someone say “I was an altar boy” and then proceeed to reveal how little credence in or respect for their faith they hold. A famous TV talking head here once proclaimed he “went to seminary and studied Latin” as though that made his Catholicism somehow more genuine.

    Stick to your guns, always teach your children as you believe they must be taught. Only you will answer for them when the day comes that we parents must give answers. It is your responsibility, don’t let the “lad thing” get its foot in the door!

    May God keep you all and by the intercession of Our Lady and St. Michael may you be protected from all evil … somewhere in there in would be nice if your cold from hell could be sent straight away back there! +JMJ+ John

  3. Holly says:

    That’s a very difficult situation because no matter what you do it could have negative effects. If you stick to your guns then you are raising your son within your belief system but you risk creating a tug-of-war with your former husband. The teen years are a time of rebellion and your son might be influenced by his Dad to see the church as just another institution. It may be a dangerous precedent if your son starts to see church as something he is forced into doing. If you relent then your son may move through this phase and then come back to the church on his own, but you would feel derelict in your duties and would be very concerned for his spiritual health.
    If I were you I would sit your son down and ask him how he feels. If his Dad’s letter is in anyway representative of your son’s actual feelings then find a way to compromise. If weekly Mass is non-negotiable, be upfront about that but find something to compromise on. Maybe that he no longer serves as an alter boy if he wants to shirk that duty.
    Good luck!

  4. Tom says:

    You have custody of your son, so you raise him as you see fit.

    Children – because they’re children – don’t realize what is good for them. That is why we have responsible, caring parents like yourself to guide them in areas that require knowledge, experience, and maturity. I think you want your son to go to mass. If that is the case, the ex will simply have to live with your decision, and NOT act as as instigator and incite a rebellious attitude in your son.

    When your son is a grown man, he can decide for himself whether he wants to go to mass or not. Until then, YOU are in charge and what you say goes. The same policy can be applied towards the ex. You have parental custody, so he MUST abide by your decision.

    On a lighter note, THANK YOU for the e-card you sent us. How nice and thoughtful of you!! And, yes, I will eventually post a picture of myself for you to see! I have not forgotten the first time you asked:0)

    Again, thank you for the card and I will keep you and your son in my prayers. Please let us all know how he is doing as well.

    God bless!

  5. Carol says:

    You’re still intimidated by him. Don’t be. Look him square in the eye and tell him it’s out of the question, and also have your son’s godparents to the ready — this is something they can help with, if need be. Bottomline, tho’, tell him NO. That’s all you need to say. Anything else can be said in court.

  6. Rita says:

    I can’t help feeling that quote you gave us was deliberately put in the letter to wind you up rather than be a practical suggestion. This is about him trying to sabotage the things that are precious to you and make you happy, probably because he doesn’t know of any other way to behave because he is a miserable person himself. Continue to show your son (and his father) that it is you who loves life the most, who smiles the most and who is the most content!

    You are in my prayers,

    God Bless.
    xxxx

  7. Scott says:

    your son is lucky to have you… If kids didn’t need parents to keep them pointed in the right direction, there wouldn’t be parents. Hello, we can’t just let our kids do what they do or don’t feel like doing, just because they don’t feel like it lol. That’s what we’re here for and I applaud you for continuing to do the right thing.

    Not everyone gets that. Many parents over here in the colonies (he he) let the TV the Gov’t and the school raise their kids,a nd so you see the mess we’re in.

    Good for you! We’re not here to be our kids friends!

  8. Suzanne says:

    Deb,
    As long as you have your son in your care you know that you long to take him
    to Mass. The alternative is not good. Let your son speak for himself about
    things like this. Be praying for the Holy Spirit to guide you when it does come
    up. The only discussion that is given here when it comes up, which it doesn’t
    often, is that there is an entire week that we do not give to the Lord much time
    if any…there is one hour or so that He asks. If it sounds like I put on a guilt
    trip, well, so it is. I cannot be concerned with what it may “sound” like.
    Having said that, after Mass a special time with a treat is still a good thing
    for young people. They know we care and that our Faith truly means something to us
    when we go to Mass with love and have that little extra special time afterwards
    for a bit. There is the rest of the week that we all tend to be a little selfish or have to be in the world. One day at a time, Deb…take a deep breath and hold Wonderboy close and give him a loving motherly smile and look. I pray he’ll know in his heart of hearts. It is so good that both of your parents have now entered the Church. He also has that to look upon. It may not mean alot right now,
    but perhaps enough that he won’t bug you to let him stop going. We need to continue to pray for one another. There is alot going on here with our oldest
    and her situation, so I feel for you. We must hold on. God bless you all. Suzanne

  9. ukok says:

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone!

    I have just hastily scribbled a response to him as he will be here within the hour…i hope it doesn’t sound too condescending or arrogant….

    ***

    About your letter yesterday, as far as i am aware our son is pretty happy with the arrangements and it suits me pretty well too. To be completely honest, as you are aware, we converted to Catholicism as a family and the Catholic faith is a part of our lives that is simply not optional.

    As you should know, Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, it’s not a choice.

    When we became Catholic, we knew that. It’s my responsibility to raise our son in the faith until he is 18…then he can choose whether or not to attend Mass, that will be up to him.

    I work for the church as a catechist as well as a parish secretary. I can’t teach people about Catholicism and be a hypocrite at home, it’s simply not an option, so while I understand that you choose not to continue on with your Catholic faith journey, i’d appreciate it if you could support our son’s journey of faith.

    You may not have had a choice about becoming Catholic, but our son did. No one forced him to become Catholic. When I became Catholic he pleaded with me to teach him about the faith and to allow him to become Catholic.

    Since mine, my daughter and our son’s conversion, my parents have also become Catholic. It’s a very important part of all our lives…i hope you will appreciate that.

    I could have said a lot more but wanted to keep it simple. It’s too late to change it but what do you think ?

  10. ukok says:

    Rita, thanks!

    ………………………….

    To no one in particular…but in general i just wanted to add….

    I just want to clarify a few things. My boy has never said that he didn’t want to go to Mass and when we went to the Saturday Mass (to fulfill the Sunday obligation)yesterday he didn’t like it at all. Said it wasn’t the same ‘family’ kind of environment and that it was rushed….it took half the time of the Sunday morning Mass. I know that he is reaching an age of questioning and rebellion….that he is more inclined to want to play on his PS3 than to go to Mass, but when we spoke this evening, and after he gave me chance to tell him why I have a duty to care for his spiritual needs until he can make decisions about that as a young adult…he said that he understood.

    His dad phoned to say he’d read the letter….i saw it as an opportunity to catechise him a little. I said i didn’t want to sound preachy, but that i had a duty of care not only towards our son’s physical needs but his spiritual needs…i also said that i iunderstood his position and that i’d catechised people who had been baptised Catholic and not been raised to practice their faith…but that once you were Catholic, there was no going back… (I might have been pushing it a bit but i threw in)….so if a Catholic has been away from their faith, even though they may no longer consider themselves Catholic…all they have to do to recieve to come back to the fold and to recieve Holy Communion is to make their confession to a priest.

    I hope he absorbs that, for the good of his own soul.

  11. Rosemary says:

    Deb, I hope you’re feeling better.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Good going and God blessed that in some way because you said “Yes!” to doing it.
    It can’t hurt a bit, lady. 🙂
    God blessings,
    Suzanne

  13. mum6kids says:

    I hope you are feeling better. I’ll have a word with St Monica for you.
    Your reply was very good-very clear.
    Children are not daft (well, most…)and I am sure your children see where true loves is.
    God bless.

  14. Alexa says:

    I think your response was very clear and very well written…

    For the record – “18” isn’t a magic number of adulthood, Deb. Keep that in mind – ’cause it’ll creep up on you and if he isn’t on his own and wants to quit going to Mass at 18 – well, you’ll have an issue.

    I told George that as long as he lives with us, he goes to Mass – be it 18 when he moves out or 35. Confession too – we’d go once a month as a family and have pizza afterwards. He came.

    And he didn’t move out until he was 23, I think.

    He doesn’t go to Mass now – but he doesn’t drive. He works nightshift too – and his store is within walking distance from his apartment… it’s not a priority, but he’ll still come with us to Confession once in a blue moon – and says he intends on staying Catholic.

    For what that’s worth.

  15. Mimi says:

    Grrrrr indeed.

    Hugs and prayers – I lit a candle for your Wonderboy at church on both Friday and Sunday.

  16. ukok says:

    Gosh I have some awesome blog buddies! Thank you so much for your support on this.

    Mimi, that means a lot to me that you did that for Wonderboy. I really appreciate that, truly i do. Thank you (((hugs)))

  17. ??? says:

    I don’t think you should be leaving comments about your ex-husband on your web site, and could be deemed to be slanderous.
    I think you and your ex are putting your children at risk, and I wonder if your local chidrens services department are aware?
    You should remove all these comments from your web site.

  18. ukok says:

    Anon, if you are going to accuse me of putting my child at risk (and please tell me how you deduce that from the post above)….at least have the guts to let me know who you are.

    As for social services…i kind of imagine that they have their hands full with parents who endanger their childrens lives as a matter of course, not with one incident which occurred in one family 5 years ago (i presume you refer to the air-rifle incident – i involved the police who assured me that it was not a prosecutable offence)…they said it should go no further and on their advice, i let the matter drop when i was reassured that it would not happen again.

    Though why i am explaining this to a faceless, nameless drive – by commenter, is beyond me. I think you have some explaining to do.

  19. ??? says:

    I’m surprised that you have got time to sit on the computer all day, why don’t you spend the time with your children, and these incidents would not occur?
    Why do you think you have to put your daily life on your computer, there are thousands of people out there with lives, why don’t you get one?

    You must remove all the slanderous comments from this web site. Your son does not need to see comments about his father, which are only one sided.

  20. ukok says:

    My, my, your an antagonistic little troll aren’t you!

  21. Jennifer says:

    OK Ukok…I am in a horrible bad mood and need to let go of my anger so forgive me…but your troll is an ass. A little pushy and obviously doesn’t have much of a life themselves…otherwise they wouldn’t be doing such inane childish things.

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