“Maybe he gets better. Look at Mary. She’s getting better!”
These are words I didn’t expect to hear from Carl. We were, of course, watching Once Upon a Time. It is rife with both redeemable villains and impossibly terrible adoption stories. Thank you, ABC! I was making some comment about a villain not being worth all the trouble. This was Carl’s reply to me.
After everything he’s been through with Mary I am so thankful his heart is still open. I often wonder how we will ever put Humpty Dunpty back together again. How can we transition her home from residential?
We all suffered a great deal of trauma from Mary’s instability. This past year that she’s been gone is the safest we’ve had in awhile. No more bruises. No more blood.
Yesterday Carl chose to come with us to visit Mary. We took her off grounds and we had lunch followed by some window shopping. She was making a Herculean effort to include Luke and Carl in conversation.
For the most part Mary only wants to talk to me. Her love twists into something possessive and controlling. She feels she needs to have a female figure (any female) to belong to her alone. Any gap in attention from this female figure can spark rage and dramatic violence.
However, she’s been open to talking about this a bit. The last few months have seen an increase in this Mary-Mommy only dynamic. She was only calling me on the phone unless she couldn’t get an answer. Then she’d call Luke and ask “Where’s Mommy?”
During a meltdown at school she mentioned missing me and Sean as the reason. After that we had a tough conversation where I told her in no uncertain terms that it will never be just the two of us. She needs to accept the entire family. It’s an all or nothing kind of deal. Mary didn’t like the conversation but I could tell it got her thinking.
Fast forward to yesterday’s visit. She would start a sentence with, “Mommy guess what?” Then she would quickly add, “and also Daddy and Carl. Guess what?”
The four of us really did have a great time. It’s been over a year-and-a-half since we’ve all gone out somewhere together. The best part for me was that Carl seemed more relaxed. He didn’t have his guard up. I didn’t notice any flinching or defensive body posture from him. Mary also made an effort to let me talk to Carl which is something I told her she would need to accept.
I am so hopeful that this continues. After all, like Carl says, she’s getting better.
**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.