Tonight, my son actually opened up: Hail hail hurrah, a boy who talks, let’s have a merry dance! The poor thing somehow felt responsible for his step-dad and I splitting up. A classic child-response to separation we thought we had pre-empted by saying that our separation had nothing to do with the children, that we would always be there for them and all the standard crap you get from “help your children through divorce” blurbs.
Then of course, things get quite a bit more complicated when the man your mother is separating from is not your actual dad. And the current situation has thrown my little boy into existential turmoil revolving around: Why did his own daddy leave, and what is going to happen with the man he had adopted to bring him up, now that the link that brought them together no longer exists? And the thing is that up until now, T had always said he loved my son like his own, and even mentioned adopting him a few months ago. Since our separation, he has seen both children together and so far, I had not really thought about them being treated separately. But the scary truth is that I no longer really know or understand T, and I no longer know if I can trust him not to dump my little boy much the way he dumped me, because the going gets tough and he feels like fleeing his responsibilities rather than facing them. (Sigh and reach out for the triple strength ibuprofen)