Saturday David was expecting company and Robert's houseand yet needed something from home, so he sent Robert to Our Small Town to get it. Robert and I talked for a little while. Over the course of the conversation I told Robert that David's strategies were deeply ingrained and not likely to change easily if at all. I also told him that it is easy for me to love David because I am his mother and he is not supposed to take care of me; but I could never be in a romantic relationship with someone like him. Robert said that he knew all this, but he really loves David and hopes that David will go to counseling with him and then they could work through these issues. Monday Robert called me to ask me what David's middle name was -- he needed it in order to deposit money into David's account. (Can you say co-dependent?) When we were finished with our conversation on Saturday I spent about 60 seconds showing Robert David's fish and asking him about his job. Then I said, "Okay...we talked about the fish and your job. Now you can tell David that and it will be the truth." "Thank you!" Robert was genuinely relieved to have an explanation for being gone so long.
I have thought before about what I need to do to protect my children from being abused or taken advantage of. I have never given serious thought to how to be the responsible parent of an abuser. Of course David is not physically abusive -- just manipulative and demanding.
I have developed a degree of emotional detachment that seems to be helping. I feel like I am watching a bad movie and wondering how it will end.
David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 55: Relationship Troubles