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37. The Dude and Patchwork Families

Updated: Feb 1

Image by Gerd Altmann

So, right.  A strange thing happened to me about two years ago.

I was parked in a shopping center (mall) and my girlfriend was taking her daughter to buy something and left her son in the car with me.  He was watching something on his mobile in the back.


I then happened to see my son (5 years old) walking with his older brother (8 years), each holding the hand of the boyfriend of my ex as they went to a store.


And it was the first time that I had seen my son with someone who was quite a stranger to me.  And it felt strange.  My hand instinctively went to open the car door so that I could run and see my son and hug him.  But then I stopped.  I pulled back, and thought, is doing that going to make things more difficult for the boyfriend of my ex?  Will my son want to come home with me?

A Strange Situation That Got Stranger Still

Because it got me thinking...


If I had a wish it would be that I was spending time with my son.  And I know that his older half-brother would wish that he could be having time with his father.  And I also knew that the boyfriend of my ex was missing his young daughter and was no doubt wishing to be with her.


And my girlfriend's son, would no doubt rather be in a car with his father than with me.  Each of us intertwined in each others' lives probably wanting it to be different.



Getting Some Deep Abiding Vibes Going On

Patchwork families sound okay on paper but in practice, they hit you in ways you don't expect.


As my current partner has children from the past with different guys, I thought she would be at ease with patchwork families, but she struggled with it.  And here, right now, I had such a wave of sadness overwhelm me.  I couldn't go out to my son.  And I didn't feel that I could talk about it to my partner.


That's a lot to deal with, right?


How must a parent feel when their ex denies them access to their child?  And what if they regularly see that child with another?  A person that they don't really know so well.  Their treasure, the most important thing in their life in the hands of another who probably doesn't care for them in the same way.


It's tricky.


And I Had to Let that Shit Go

You have to trust, man. You can't be worrying about the what-ifs.  And if your child has found their way into the life of a square-head then you need to dig deep into the silence of your being until an answer comes.  And it will be an answer that feels at peace.  It won't sound rushed or angry.  And it will come from a place of deep knowing.  And it will probably not be a ground-breaking voice in the head but just a quiet knowing.  A wisdom of something not drawing attention to itself.


Something that is more than us.


And that's where trust comes in.

And I Have to Trust

And as I write this, my current girlfriend, the one I mentioned above who was taking her daughter shopping, has moved out.  Taking with her my baby daughter.  And I had to abide by this.  Because it changed.  It wasn't an "I'm leaving you" thing, it was, "I need a little space sometimes during the week".  So, we got a nearby apartment for her, but she spends every day there.  And why?  Well, because of patterns that have been caused by previous relationships where abusive behaviour has caused lots of pain.


And although I have been quite Dude about everything it's damned hard at times to remain completely calm in the face of aggression.  And I hold my hands up and say, frustration's my thing.  That's what raises my voice from out of the calm.  Not being understood.  Not being heard.  Having to say the same things over and over but not being believed.


And the Dude would see "hey man, frustration arose there, but that's cool.  It's not who I am and I see that."


And the same for those who are arguing against us.  "It's cool, it's not who they are.  Their opinions are rooted in partial information, biased thoughts, and patterned behaviours that come from the depths of their subconscious."


We're just guys and gals doing our thing.  As best as we can.  All want an easy life.


Gonna drink a beer to that.


Thanks Dudes.


Rev. Thomo


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