This isn’t something that happened recently, but it’s something I regret to this day.
This incident was the very first of all the troubles I ever experienced with my family between both sides and while it’s possible some of them still may have happened, I feel if this particular one hadn’t, my family would’ve been a little less hectic for a few more years.
It happened in late 2006, nearly ten years ago. Besides browsing my computer, I can’t remember what else was going on. I may have had a cell phone at the time and had it with me, but I’m not certain if I was using it. I wanted to check my email and I had a message from my father. Email was how we spoke to each other at that time, so messages from him were expected. The difference that time was he sent me a picture of my mom he had.
An indecent picture of my mom that showed her nude from the waist-up.
I’m sure there’s no one who will argue that’s an inappropriate image to show to your child, especially your underage child. I remember being surprised and not knowing how to react, so I told my mom. This is where the regret begins.
In one of the few instances where it was justified for her to do so, my mom flew off the handle. She called the police over the matter and officers did come to our house to discuss what happened. Of this, I only remember one of the officers pulling me into the hallway to ask me in privacy if my father had ever been abusive to me. My answer was no. At the time, I didn’t know why he would ask that question, but now, I assume it was to know if this was an isolated incident.
After the officers left, I assumed that was the end of the matter. I was wrong. I got called from school one day because an officer had come to take me to the police station to talk about what happened. I don’t think I need to detail how embarrassed and awkward I felt because of this. The bright side is this happened during classes instead of in between, so only a few of the school staff saw me leave and I was fortunate to have the same luck when I came back. I was not fortunate enough to avoid it being spread around school, however. Some of my schoolmates knew I’d been taken to go to the police station and why I had to go. I never spoke about it to anyone, not even my guidance counselor (who I was fond of and told everything because I felt so comfortable around him), so I was mortified other students knew what was going on. I don’t recall ever learning how they found out, but thankfully, they left me alone about it after a day.
After that, I was never asked about the matter again, but it was far from over. That incident let to a court battle, presumably because my mother tried to press charges, and it somehow went from the incident about the image to a custody fight. In the end, it was ordered by the court I was to visit my father every two weeks for the weekend and I was to be picked up from and dropped off at the precinct. Later on, that was changed to allow me to be picked up from and dropped at my house, but my mother asked for the change to be reverted.
There are a lot of things I regret doing in the past, but this is the one that tops the list. There is no other time I can think of where I’d do and give anything to travel back in time and keep my mouth shut. I know it was the right thing to do because what my father did was inappropriate, but with everything that happened afterward, it’s difficult to look at it from that perspective. Had I kept quiet and deleted the image without any mention to my mother, no more tension and problems would’ve happened between my family for the time being. Literally all I had to do, at the very least, was be quiet.
I’m uncertain if I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, but in the back of my mind, I do place myself at fault for my family’s dysfunction. I know it’s not my fault because I did not ask to be born or brought into this family, but I don’t feel it’s not my fault. I am unarguably the connection between my mom’s side and my dad’s side of the family. If I didn’t exist, they would’ve had no reason to ever interact with each other and could’ve had one less trouble in their lives.
To their credit, they would tell me I’m not to blame, but how could I believe that when every problem they have with each other revolves around me? All of their fighting and hatred between each other started because of something to do with me. At one point, my mere existence was up for debate. My father and paternal grandparents didn’t believe I was real and when they learned I was, they didn’t believe I was my father’s child. They’ve hated my mother ever since and vice versa. They were amicable with each other for a few years, presumably to keep me ignorant of their problems, but after the above incident, all bets were off. There was no amity between them anymore and I don’t believe there ever will be.
I don’t know why I wanted to write about this. I suppose for the purpose of getting some feelings out, although it still feels arbitrary. It’s not an incident that’s ever been held over my head. In fact, I doubt any of them remember it or if they do, I probably have the clearest memories of it.