Ok, I have to get this poison out of my system. I can’t let it fester, and I can’t tell the person who deserves to hear it, so I am going to out this here and address it to who it needs to go to.

“You sick fuck. Tears? Really? OOOhhhh, you’re so upset, so hurt, that Will is moving in with me. Well, let me tell you this, buddy. Jilleta keeps asking me what the reasons Will is leaving are, and I can’t tell her because if I start to tell her, I am not going to stop. I am not going to stop until I run out of breath and scream and scream and scream. No one will stop me then. So in the interest of preserving civility, I won’t tell her to her face.

“But I’ll put it here.

“You have some nerve to cry after the way you’ve treated Will. I know that you have also gone out of your way to call me names and vilify me, but buddy, there ain’t nothing I’ve done that holds a candle to what you’ve pulled on Will. Oh, I know I screwed up some, what with Craig and then with Rob. Craig was a mistake from the get go, but Rob was salvation. But I’ll tell you: neither of them ever laid a finger on me. Craig was a twisted mess in his own right; his parents saw to that, just like yours. But Rob has been good in so many ways in which you failed.

“Kindness, for one. Empathy. All the qualities you lack or have had driven out of you by Fran the manipulative and Att the drunk. Both of them are such sterling examples of people to live up to. Your father muttering about bastards under his breath in front of Justin so he could hear it, and your mother calling you a ‘sicko’ when you finally got a new job and had to work over New Years to support your family. I know you have repressed that memory, but I heard echoes of that event in what Will has told me you called him over the last few days.

“‘Shithead,’ ‘useless,’ ‘betrayer’

“Sound familiar?

“Sound like Fran calling you ‘sicko’ all those years ago when you had to make a choice about your family’s security or kow towing to the almighty yearly pilgrimage? You learned your lesson well. You were sick for days trying to tell your mother no. Will has been sick for days trying to talk to you. Maybe, just maybe, there is a pattern.

“But what do I know? I am just that no good slut who left you for another man and abandoned her kids. I am the one who had to deal with leaving, fight you for every chance to see them, work my way through grad school, become a teacher, move back to Salem, and get a job. I am the one who took you to court to fight for more time with my kids when you didn’t want to let me see them more. I am the one who held my tongue as you requested so as not to ruin your chances at a good relationship with Jilleta. And I am the one who had to put up with abuse from you both for years.

“I have sought to have peace for years. And I get to be called liar, and slut. Rob gets to be called homewrecker. Rob saved my life, you ass. From you.

“For years, I have fought with irrational fears when dealing with you. I have suffered from a form of PTSD from having my head slammed into cabinets, and my arms punched. I have recognized the symptoms on the back of the bathroom stalls in the women’s room at West Parish Church. Yes, you did threaten my pets, yes you did threaten me, yes you did call all of my friends losers. Yes, yes, yes. PTSD from abuse has a lot of symptoms. I recognized a lot of them. But I was crazy. I needed therapy. The idea of you going to a counselor was laughable. Nothing was wrong with you!

“You have the audacity to suggest that Will needs therapy (which he might, because of you), and that he is autistic because he zones out on you and can’t recall what you are saying. Will is also suffering from abusive PTSD. He freezes when he talks to you because he has ceased to be able to answer for fear that no matter what he says, you will yell at him. He’s had that experience his whole life. It isn’t autism; it’s self-preservation. He can’t recall what you or Jilleta have said because he is literally shutting down. I saw him do it this afternoon while talking. He could not talk about it. He literally stopped hearing me. Later, at dinner, he shook and could not stop shaking because his body was reacting to all of the adrenaline he was pumping.

“I think you need to take a long look in the mirror. Your son loves you desperately, but because he decided to leave, as I did, you attacked him because it is all about you. It is going to take him years before he is able to fully cope with the fact that his father was part of an abusive cycle that probably went back before his grandfather. Abuse often begets abuse, but it DOESN’T HAVE TO. I plan to instill that idea into Will’s brain before he becomes a parent.

“Let me be VERY clear. If I hear ONE word from Rose that your treatment of her is less than sterling, I am going to report you. I have kept the peace for years, mostly out of respect of the children’s wishes, but somewhat out of fear. From here on out, however, I am going to act in the role of mandatory reporter as I am supposed to, and go after you. One word. You better keep your goddamned nose clean.

“Honestly, I don’t care what you say about me. I know the truth. I know who I am, and I have friends and family who love me. I have colleagues who respect me. I am worth ten of you because I do not wound with words or threaten the people I love to get them to do what I want. And I don’t lash out at them because they don’t do what I want. I am not having temper tantrums and seeking to hurt someone else because of my own pain

“Get some fucking counseling. You have three children who love you. One has already fled. If you don’t want them all to be driven away from you by your madness, get some help before you do something unredeemable. Rose and Quinn deserve better than to suffer from the mistakes your parents made and your inability to see when you need help.”

That is all. I am spent. It is midnight and I am very tired now. I hope that somehow, the essence of this post reaches you. Don’t let the kids lose their Dad when you can do something to fix it.

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