Estranged.

For some time in early 2013, the only way I could contact my son Stuart was through his paternal grandmother, Donna. He’d gone to visit her for a day or two on numerous occasions. When he’d left home in October 2012, I never imagined he would not return.

The day before he left, I’d driven him to a special tournament event out of state. He had a disappointing day, some words I spoke to him were misunderstood, and he became angry. The next morning I was driving him to school and tried to talk to him again, but he sat in the back seat and ignored most of what I had to say.

I’m hesitant to share the pages and pages of messages between us before he blocked me. He was a minor at the time they started.

Back to early 2013, and what I believed were joint efforts toward getting him to return home before graduation.

Aside from a high school football game and band performance, I’d not seen Stuart since he left home, except for when I took Coraline to a rock concert out of town. The band performing was one that both Stuart and Coraline had followed for years. I had taken them both to many performances, and they were friends with the young performers in the group.

The only edits to the text messages below are names.

January 19, 2013 

Nicole: Stuart needs mental help. He got in a fight with Coraline at the show. Lots of witnesses. He screamed in her face “get the fuck away from me” and kept pushing her. She ran away crying.

Donna: Sorry about that, I’ll talk to him. Maybe he’s not the only one who needs help.

Nicole: Right. Well at least get Coraline’s side. 

Donna: I didn’t mean Coraline. 

Nicole: Ask him, if I set up family counseling, would he go? 

Donna: He said no. I told him I thought it would be a chance to air some issues. He said you gave up on him a long time ago, so no thanks. 

Nicole: I have asked him a dozen times to tell me why he left. He won’t. Just says I know. I don’t. I’m sure I have made mistakes, but I can’t fix anything if he won’t communicate. 

Donna: I just got him to talk about it for the first time. He said he feels like he has to tiptoe around you all the time trying to avoid an explosion, but the explosions happen. Lately they are more frequent and unpredictable. 

Nicole: That’s interesting because I often feel the same, that if I am not careful with my words, he will blow up. I said the wrong things that morning, I was very hurt by things he said. I’m sorry for that, and told him so. 

Donna: The sad thing about words is they can’t be unsaid. Sometimes the sting of words linger. I have always asked him to try to look at each issue from both sides. he might not agree with the other side but it could give him an understanding of how the other side felt. I have always asked him to keep an open mind and with family, an open heart. I sense he has grown weary of the battle. 

Nicole: I will never give up on him. He means the world to me, tho he may not see that when we don’t see eye to eye. 

Donna: I hope you mean that! Right now he feels like every move you make is pushing him farther away. 

Nicole: I have been trying to give him space, not avoid him. When I approach him he goes the other way. It has been hell without him here. I just want him to come home so we can work things out. He is not the only one hurting. Coraline was devastated last night. His CA friends love him and me, and want to see us work it out. They’ve seen my pain. Tell him to talk to NG’s mom. She is a lovely lady. 

Donna: Have they not seen his pain and rejection? Maybe not he is more private with his feelings. Not always a good thing either. I have to work at getting him to open up. sometimes it’s right there to see, if you’re looking. I have always told him that a mother’s love is unconditional. Even when they don’t like something you did, they still love you. Right now he’s not feeling it. He feels like you couldn’t get rid of him quick enough. 

Nicole: Well the SS paperwork was not in response to him, it came to the house because he’s almost 18. I let him go to cool off for a few days thinking that was all it would be, like before. Never thought he would be gone more than a week.

Donna: He found the timing rather suspicious, looked like retaliation. After last night, he sent them this morning. He is deeply hurt, this is not going to be a quick fix. I will do what I can to steer him toward resolution, but I will not push him. 

Donna: Just wondering, why did you cut off Netflix? 

Nicole: I had to change the password because they changed how many different devices could use the account at once and we could not access it on the Wii 

Donna: Can his 3DS be on it? 

Nicole: Not at the same time. I contacted Netflix about paying extra for a third connection, and they said the only thing you can do at this time is set up a second account with another email address. 

Donna: ok 

January 21, 2013

Nicole: Tell him I cry every day. That I know I can’t unsay what’s been said, and that I’m sorry. That I’m proud of him, and worried about him. But mostly that I just love and miss him. 

Donna: I showed Stuart your message and asked him to respond. He said to tell you actions speak louder than words and your actions aren’t saying the same things as your words right now. 

Donna: I am urging him to keep the window of communication open. I told him even shattered relationships can be repaired. I am trying to stress the importance of family without being pushy 

Donna: I do want to tell you that sending Westley out to talk to me when I picked Stuart up was a BIG mistake. It made me angry and Stuart furious. It set your cause back several weeks. 

Nicole: As far as actions, I don’t know what he wants me to do. He avoids and ignores me. I don’t control Westley’s words, but he has been very upset with how Stuart was treating me and Coraline for some time. He was calling her “fat” and “whore” and told me if his dad was here she wouldn’t be that way. He can be very cruel and I have felt rejected by him for many years, but did my best to please him. It just never seemed to be enough. If he will not see me or speak to me I don’t see a way for us to mend. 

Donna: I can only ask that you be patient, I am trying to steer him toward you. I don’t think you understand how deeply hurt he is. He feels like it’s the 3 of you against him every time he has a dispute with you. I have cautioned him about remarks, however that goes both ways. I did ask him to let you walk on Sr if you asked, and he did. I asked him to say hi to you Fri night if he had an opportunity. He was going to for me until he saw Westley there, he thought it would just turn ugly. It did. Did you think some of the things he hears said to and about him might contribute to the problem? Just asking. I would like to see you get back to where you can sit down and talk face to face. This is what I’m working toward 

Nicole: It didn’t turn ugly because Westley was there. I have talked to Coraline about her fault in their quarrel. They were both pushing. It was childish on both of their parts. But she is afraid of him now. He was in her face screaming, out of control. People saw this. He cannot treat anyone that way, least of all his little sister. KM is his friend, but also very protective of Coraline. He owes him an apology too.

Nicole: I stepped between them because if the owners saw them, they would both be thrown out. I was ashamed of them both at that point. Stuart feels ganged up on, but sometimes it is because he doesn’t admit when he is wrong and feels like the world is against him, when it isn’t. People care about him, but he doesn’t see it. We’ve tried to tell him but he just gets defensive. He remembers things differently than they happened, puts hidden meanings into words that were never implied. I have never been able to get him to talk about his depression, just asked that he talk to someone if not me. 

Donna: I wasn’t saying it turned ugly because of Westley. He stayed away from you because he didn’t want to risk confrontation with Westley. we have had long talks about how to avoid confrontations and the necessity of avoiding them. I told him sometimes it’s best to just step away. I don’t see the signs of depression in him. Coraline makes her share of sarcastic remarks too. I love her with all my heart, nothing will ever change that. I would like them to get along. 

Donna: I read your message again, what happened between Stuart and KM? Who did you step between? I thought Coraline ran away and KM was on, I don’t understand. 

Nicole: I saw them pushing and stepped up. Coraline always stands in front of KM. I was telling them both to quit, neither wanted to leave their place. Stuart screamed at her so loud KM heard it while playing. Between songs he said something to Stuart. I was in the bathroom with Coraline. Westley and ST were there, I think CG also talked to him after. When Coraline and I came out of the bathroom he was gone from the spot and she went back where she was for the last song. Then stayed away from him the rest of the night. I only saw him a couple times after that. 

Donna: I know Stuart values his friendship with KM and all of the band. 

Nicole: And no one hates Stuart, they all understand that siblings have their differences. 

Nicole: KM is about the most easygoing person ever. For him to speak up says volumes. I know Stuart apologized to Coraline, but it would be a good thing for him to apologize to KM as well. Everyone loves Stuart. It has been hard for them to see things this way. GG kept hoping that CA could bring us back together. But then he didn’t need me to take him to shows anymore. 

Donna: I didn’t suggest that anyone hated him. 

Nicole: No but he could be hurt by things they said to him Friday. I don’t know exactly what was said. He looked upset. 

Donna: So are you saying I shouldn’t have taken him? I thought he would be among friends and maybe there a chance for the two of you to connect. 

Nicole: It wouldn’t be the same without him there. He is CA family. And there is only one more show. 

Donna: And you are making it sound like he’s not really welcome. 

Nicole: That is not what I am saying at all. 

Donna: What are you saying? 

Nicole: That as a mom, I think he should apologize to KM. 

Nicole: I will leave him alone if that’s what he wants, and keep Coraline away from him, but he shouldn’t miss their final show. 

Donna: You said Coraline was pushing and shoving too, Stuart apologized to her for his behavior, did she apologize for hers? According to you he owes everyone an apology and only imagines he might deserve one ever. Is that what you’re saying?

Nicole: I didn’t say that. 

Donna: Exactly what are you saying? What I’m reading Stuart is the only one who’s wrong. Makes me wonder what I have been trying to guide him back to. 

Nicole: I talked to her about what she did wrong. I said earlier they were both in the wrong. 

Donna: But did SHE apologize to anyone? I talked to Stuart too, he chose to apologize. Because he loves his sister. 

Nicole: I told her she should apologize to Stuart for her part in it. 

January 22, 2013 

Nicole: If Stuart will see me, meet us at [restaurant] at 3. 

Donna: He said no 

January 23, 2013 

Donna: Stuart is not ready yet for a face to face meeting. I was heading him that way until Monday evening when you finally admitted Coraline had a part what happened Friday night. It took 3 days to admit it, even then while Stuart is supposed to apologize to everyone the fact that you talked to Coraline is enough. He saw it as the same old routine. You finally said Coraline should apologize, she wouldn’t even speak to him. I asked him to keep the door open, you can’t rush him. 

Nicole: I told her she was as much at fault for the pushing that night. I told them both to stop up at the stage, and I told her again in the bathroom as she was crying. I told her after she showed me the text “from Stuart” that she should also apologize to him for her part in the fight. She said she would if he apologizes in person, but that she has seen him and he didn’t talk to her. She doesn’t think the text is from him. 

Donna: The text absolutely was from Stuart. It was my phone. It was his idea and his words, I typed it for him. 

Nicole: He should talk to her. If not at school, he can always call her. 

Donna: He said he said hi to her today, she didn’t answer. I asked if he was sure she heard, he said she looked away. So he assumed she heard and didn’t want to speak. I had told him not to approach her, to speak from a distance until he saw if she wanted to talk. 

Donna: Stuart said he’s sorry Coraline doesn’t accept his apology or believe it’s from him. He said he is not going to approach her if she won’t speak, nod or wave from a distance. He doesn’t want a scene. 

Nicole: He can call her. She’s just finishing up homework. 

Donna: She can also call him, my cell or the landline. 

February 4, 2013 

Nicole: I have not heard anything from Stuart. Wanted to make sure he is coming to the show Friday. Westley is staying home. 

Donna: Yes he is coming.

February 6, 2013 

Nicole: I have an email that Stuart was late/absent from [school] yesterday and need to reply with the reason. 

Donna: He missed the bus from [school] by seconds for a field trip. He ran inside to get directions, he got there a little late. Only time since he has been here. 

Nicole: The [school] field trip? So it was a tardy and not an absence? 

Donna: Yes. 

February 8, 2013 

Nicole: I am just leaving town. I can give Stuart a ride to the show tonight, and he can go back over tomorrow, if he wants. Save a lot of driving. 

Donna: That’s ok he has a ride. But thanks for asking. 

Nicole: I’ve told him I could give him a ride before. didn’t get an answer. He could also ride back to the house with Coraline after the show. and call you in the morning. I’m not drinking. 

February 12, 2013 

Nicole: I have not received an answer from Stuart about what specific tax info he needs from me to fill out his FAFSA, but I know it has to be done before March 1. 

Donna: He said he’s not sure but will have the info tomorrow. 

February 18, 2013 

Nicole: Please ask Stuart if he will meet with me after I get out of work today. 

Nicole: Have you once asked him why he moved out? He refuses to answer that question. 

Donna: He said he moved out because he was unhappy there. He was tired of the way he was treated and he was sick of your holiday moods that seem to get worse and last longer. 

Nicole: I have 10 pages of messages over the past 4 months that don’t address those reasons at all. 

Nicole: I need to know if he will attend an open house if I set one up for my side of the family. I have to reserve a hall soon. 

Donna: I don’t know what your pages of messages say. I do think you should see a pattern, every year your drive him away as the holidays approach, starts earlier each year. Seems you have to have one person to blame so nothing is ever your fault. 

Donna: Stuart said he will invite your family to his open house. 

Nicole: You realize there are two sides? That not everything is exactly as Stuart conveys it? You should really get Coraline’s side sometime. 

Donna: I have enough experience of my own, you sucked the life out of nearly Christmas since I met you 

Nicole: Interesting.

Donna: Maybe for you but not for others 

Nicole: I’m sorry I made your holidays as bad as you made mine. I have never had an issue with Westley’s family at the holidays or any other time. They truly seem fond of me. 

Donna: I was fond of you too, I loved you very much. I wanted you to be happy. You have issues that have nothing tn do with me or your son 

February 21, 2013 

Nicole: FYI Stuart has a D in [class] due to missing homework and failing quizzes. 

Nicole: But, I would like to commend him for his [class] grade. 100% on his rough draft.

Donna: Will talk to him, the turmoil you are causing isn’t helping him. 

Nicole: What did I do now? I stayed away from him. 

Donna: You keep pushing. I get him to take a step toward you and you can’t let him approach, you rush him. A perfect example is the last concert. You couldn’t wait for him to come to you, you. You started texting about him riding with you and spending the night at your house. I was talking to him about letting you take part in planning his open house for both sides of his family, your approach was one for your family alone. He said he gets tired of having to think about you and what you are going to next. 

Nicole: Truly I can do nothing right in his/your eyes, for if I don’t contact him from time to time, you’ll say I’ve abandoned him, given up on him, or don’t care. I love and miss him immensely. 

Donna: He didn’t feel the love, I guess. When I told you he was going to speak to you why couldn’t you wait a couple of hours instead of trying to take control? 

Donna: He wanted to hug Coraline last night, she made an ugly face and kept saying no. He shrugged and walked away. 

Nicole: You didn’t say he was going to speak to me that night. I was offering a ride to save you the long drive and for a chance to talk. 

Nicole: Coraline is really upset. They need to talk. 

Donna: I did tell you. If you didn’t think he was going to speak what made you think he would get in a car with you? Or spend the night at your house? As for Coraline, Stuart reached out to her last night. She looked at him like she was looking at some horrible “thing”. He asked 3 times for a hug and got that contemptuos sneer. Gee maybe he isn’t feeling the love! It was his idea to approach her and reach out, way to go! 

Nicole: I have all of the texts. You only said he was going to say hi the night Westley was there. After I offered the ride, he messaged me to stay away from him and I did. He only tries to hug Coraline in front of people, if he wants to talk to her he should talk to her. She is really very upset and didn’t want to be hugged. And what you said after, made her feel like he was doing it because you told him to. 

Donna: I have no idea of what I supposedly said after that made Coraline think I told Stuart to speak to her. He was pleading for a hug, she was sneering and saying no, I told him to let it go. I said it a couple of times, I felt bad for him. but then she said I sent a text apologizing for Stuart too. Gee wonder where she gets ideas like that? Are you telling her what to say? Like I am supposedly telling Stuart what to say.

Nicole: He can talk to her. She speaks her own mind. 

Donna: Sorry was in the car. had to wait to answer. Glad to know Coraline can speak for herself, Stuart does too! I have never had to tell him to speak to Coraline. I have never told him to talk to you. I did urge him to at least say Hi. Thinking that might start a conversation. won’t do that again! 

February 25, 2013 

Donna: Thanks for the senior pics. They are very nice. 

February 26, 2013 

Nicole: Did you or Stuart apply for the free or reduced price lunch program? 

Donna: No 

Nicole: That is certainly strange. His approval went to the wrong school so I got a call about it. Has he legally changed his address? 

Donna: I have no idea what you are talking about. I’ll check into it the school knows he has been heresince October 

Nicole: Has he filed a FAFSA yet? 

Nicole: I’m sure the school also knows that legally he must live in-district. I don’t want anything to jeopardize his final months at [school]. 

Donna: I have talked to several people at the school as has Stuart. They know where he is living and why. The school has his address, they are the ones who did the free lunch. I told them he doesn’t need free lunches. 

Nicole: What about FAFSA? 

Donna: Done 

Nicole: How? It requires my tax info. 

Donna: Because of his age he file for himself as an independant 

Nicole: It’s not on file under his SSN at FAFSA and he’s not 18. I will contact [school].

Donna: Couldyou stop trying to make things difficult for him? What is wrong with you? 

Nicole: Where do you get the idea that I am trying to make things difficult? I have valid concerns about his future. He is my son. 

Nicole: If you truly cared about what is best for Stuart, you would do everything in your power to convince him that I had nothing to do with his father’s death. Period. 

March 1, 2013 

Donna: I waited to respond to your last text because I couldn’t believe what I was reading. No one said you had anything to do with my son’s death. You have really sunk to a new low. Please seek help for yourself, stop blaming others. Please leave my deceased son out of the sick plans. Shame on you.

Nicole: Stuart has said as much to me. He has called me a murderer. Along with accusing me of trying to kill him with bees. That came up in the last conversation we had before he left. 

Donna: You are a sick, sick person. Please for your sake and those who love those who used to love you, accept that you need help. 

Nicole: Accept that if it wasn’t you, then Tyrone told our son horrible untrue things about me to sabotage my relationship with him. My conscience is clear. 

Donna: You are sick! No made any statements like that. How can your concience be clear when you are trying make Stuart’s life? Accept that you have a problem, seek help. 

Donna: The sentence about Stuart should have ended with theword miserable 

Donna: I can not believe you could attack Tyrone now. But then he’s not here to defend himself. He NEVER talked against you to the kids, even when youwere being hateful. Neither have I. I have defended you and made excuses for you so did Tyrone, only because you are their mother. I will not let you attack Tyrone now. 

Donna: You are a sick, dispicable person, it’s not that your concience is clear, it is that you have no concience! 

March 15, 2013 

Nicole: Dr. [Psych] would very much like Stuart to attend our next session, Thursday at 4:30 in E.R. 

Donna: He said heck no! He said he would like to hear when you intend to reimburse him for the social security money you kept. As you well know that money is intended for his care, you used it for yourself. He can prove his case. He would prefer not have to make the claim with SS. unless you make that the necessary option. 

Nicole: I spoke with an attorney, and although the money was used for acceptable purposes such as lodging, for I believed he would be returning; as recently as January he said he wanted to reconcile. But I have been making weekly payments to Stuart. I also told him we really need to sit down and discuss things in a neutral environment. Saying he left because I have seasonal depression is a copout. That is not what he told me. If he truly believes what he said to me, he needs counseling more than I do. I didn’t bring Tyrone into this, he did. 

Donna: First NO ONE needs counseling more than YOU! ! Second, you knew in Oct he wasn’t going back there. He never once said he wanted to reconcile and go back, he wanted to get to a point when he could stand to speak to you. When he asked for some of the SS money, you said you didn’t care if he was living here, you had bills to pay. You were paying for your shelter not his. What weekly payments have you made he certainly hasn’t seen any money from you. You knew the SS money was his, you kept it because you are greedy. 

Nicole: I don’t know how you are getting false information about the messages between me and Stuart, but I have them on the screen in front of me, and what you are saying is untrue. I will continue to make weekly payments to Stuart. He can address the details with me. 

Donna: You sent texts to my phone. I showed them to Stuart and relayed his response. I have no control over how you interpret messages. He says the fact remains you knew he was living here and kept his money for your own use. 

Nicole: He never petitioned SS to change his representative payee to you. He did not move his belongings until a week ago. His messages reflect that he was planning to return. Regardless, I’m paying him.

Donna: I didn’t know you would keep the money for yourself. As for his belongings everything was boxed There was very little left. He took video when he got there and when he left. Didn’t look like you expected or wanted him back. Just his money. 

Nicole: January 6, 12:55 PM, message from Stuart: “the longer you continue this lie, the longer it will be before I come back.” His exact words. Not the first or only time he mentioned returning. 

Nicole: I had JUST cleaned his room the week prior, everything was covered in dust and I boxed stuff up at that point. Before that his room had been exactly as he’d left it. 

Nicole: You can ask Coraline. 

Donna: So say you. I don’t know of anyone who cleans the room of one they believe is returning and boxes everything! 

Nicole: I cleaned his room Feb. 27 after a message from Stuart on Feb. 26. The longer he stayed with you, the less civil his messages became. He will always be welcome here. [older toys] were already boxed. [newer toys] were just getting dusty. Yes I boxed up most not all of his stuff after spending hours sorting and organizing. 

Donna: Wow! That must put you right up there in line for sainthod! At least mother of the year!

Nicole: You are twisting everything I’ve said and done. 

Donna: Boo Hoo! You’re so misunderstood! 

Donna: If you had all the comtact with Stuart that you claim, why do I have so many texts from you for him? 

Nicole: Well, he has been telling you one thing and me another, that much is clear. 

Donna: Don’t know about that. I do know you hear what you want to hear Donna see what you want to see. The world moves according to Nicole! 

Nicole: Dr. [Psych] would very much like Stuart to attend our next session, Thursday at 4:30 in E.R. 

Donna: Are you recycling your messages now? Stuart gave you his answer once, he says his answer is still NO! 

Nicole: Thank you for relaying my message. 

Donna: You’re welcome. I give them to read and he gives me his response. I still question why you need to go through me if you are in contact with himas you say. 

March 15, 2013 

Donna: I want to respond to a comment in one of your texts today. You said the longer Stuart was here the nastier his responses became. I had been encouraging him to start speaking to you. The day you accused Tyrone and me of sabotaging you relationship with Stuart, I was done trying to help. I left everything upto him. As for your relationship with Stuart, you never had one, he’s been asking to live here since he was 3. 

March 18, 2013

Nicole: I am at work, on deadline. I don’t have the privacy for a voice call. I will continue making weekly payments as I told him. I will also be able to send a check when I get paid next, on March 28, for $942.

Donna: You say you are making weekly pmnts Who are you making them to? Stuart hasn’t received a penny from you. Tell me another creditor you can pay in that way. The money isn’t helping him if he doesn’t have possession of it. Try making your house payment that way and see how well that works. 

Nicole: It is in HIS acct that HE used in December. This has been explained to him. If I go to jail and lose my job, we lose the house, his sister would be homeless, all 5 of us would lose health insurance. I am paying him back as quickly as I possibly can. I am selling personal property I have had for years to come up with the money, trying to refinance the house. He will need to be patient, he has waited this long. Court won’t make money appear. 

Donna: The reasons you cite are the reasons he has not pressed charges. It should not have come this far, you knew the money wasn’t yours. To say you kept it because he didn’t force it away from you was pathetic. It spoke volumes about character! 

Nicole: It speaks a lot that he never went in to have payments sent to you back in October. I BELIEVED he would be coming back home. I am ordering a duplicate health insurance card for him, which I will put with his things still at home, or forward with his other mail. 

Donna: He didn’t have any experience with anything like SS. He didn’t know he could change it, I didn’t know he would need to! If you cannot trust your own mother it is a pretty sad situation! But you keep on blaming him for your greed, what ever gets you through the day! Because in Nicoleville lala land you are always right! 

March 20, 2013 

Donna: When you see Dr [Psych], try something different. Tell the TRUTH! Don’t blame Stuart for your problems, you had problems before you had him! You used to blame others, your mother, your sister, I’m not sure how your sister being a biker caused your problems but that was your story. It was easier to blame Stuart. You have always been a user and a taker! But your own child? You stole his money, you have lied about him and in your sick world you think you are right! You are a pathetic piece of CRAP! That you can feel good about how you have treated him says it all! You’re a liar and a thief! Are you proud? 

Nicole: I don’t know what your problem is, but the harassment needs to stop, Donna. Only contact me if there is a medical emergency. 

Donna: Grow up! Youknow what the problem is! It’s you!

Welcome to my nightmare. Eight years and counting.

I have no idea what she meant about my sister being a biker and causing my problems. Makes zero sense. She made up things about my mother. That’s a topic for a separate post. Planted false memories, and told me I told her these things and just didn’t remember doing it. Gaslighting.

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