Cold Feet

Today’s the day my son, Marco gets married. . . again. For both their sakes I pray it is for the last time. I believe they are both fully committed, not just emotionally, but also mentally and spiritually.

I’m trying not to hyperventilate and be anxious about a myriad of things, mostly to do with interactions between Keith, myself and any number of other people who will be there.

I have these stories in my head about what they think and feel about me and Keith. Keith does too. I have been told outright that the only reason Keith was invited is because my son wanted his youngest sister to participate in the ceremony. Keith assumes that everyone has been told all the bad stuff about him and none of the good. I’m sure a few key people may have been, but the majority won’t have (I hope and pray).

There is at least one person who has “disowned” me and shut me out of her life who will be there. One of the ones who believes I sold my kids out for Keith. I miss her and feel intimidated by her. I resent her and feel defensive just thinking about her. Then there is my friend who has gone through so much, who was in discussion about adopting LaLa. We wounded each other and the rift is still there, though it is slowly healing.

Let’s not forget Bridgette, the bride, who I managed to alienate and put myself on the wrong side of when we got together to shop for the flower girl outfits. There’s her dad and mom who knew me briefly during a period when I was separated from Keith and seemingly doing well, before I dropped out of sight and went back to Keith. Her four older brothers and their families will be there too.

There is also the matter of Marco’s new, legal parents. Their adoption of my adult son was legalized in August 2012. His mom takes care of herself in healthy and constructive ways. She is physically active and engaged in living her life. His dad is also his pastor and has blessed the union and is officiating the ceremony. They have two special needs daughters. Their home is clean, organized, and relatively clutter free.

Theirs was the only home he ever had that had the stability, structure and consistently supportive love he’d ever experienced. They took him in during his last year and a half of high school, then again when he got out of military prison last year, after his release plans derailed around the same time Keith moved in, LaLa was moving out, and my depression was taking a deep dive.

As much as he tells me he loves me and that he wants me there, I have a hard time believing it. I feel like I don’t belong and have no right to be there. I feel less than, inferior, inadequate, and completely out of place.

I feel him pulling away again and even though I know that he is focusing on his wedding, getting ready to move into the apartment she already moved into, and transitioning into a new work location, with new responsibilities, co-workers, and customers, there is a very close to the surface part of me that knows my mistakes in interacting with his beloved set back some of the progress we had made. That and the fact he believes I am continuing to choose Keith over him.

When Keith first found out I was to be seated at the head table and he was going to be seated somewhere else, he had decided not to go. That was a challenging conversation, but it turned out okay, for that moment at least. Honestly, I was a little relieved.

Monday, Keith informed me he was going to go to the ceremony and would just take Luna and spend time with her somewhere else during the reception. I notified Marco of that on Tuesday and he called later to tell me the venue is at least a 15 – 20 minute drive from anywhere Keith could take Luna.

He explained he really just wanted pictures with his sisters (he may have included me) between the ceremony and reception and that he wouldn’t be offended if I left with Keith and Luna instead of staying for the reception. The conversation was brief and he cut me off a couple of times, then abruptly ended the call. I was really feeling like the reason no one, including he, wouldn’t be offended was because I had managed to get demoted back to persona non grata status.

We actually had an opportunity to see each other on Thursday evening and he asked me what our plans were about the reception. LaLa was there during the conversation too (another story for another time). He reiterated that no one would be offended if we didn’t stay for the reception and I just couldn’t help that I started getting teary eyed. LaLa tuned in on it first and said something. I just tried to let him finish speaking. His eyes got a little watery too and he reassured me that he wants me there but understood and wouldn’t be hurt or offended if I didn’t stay. I’m grateful for that.

Keith started getting himself agitated again as we were on our way to get the wedding gift. He said how he didn’t really want to go. I understand that, I really do. He can’t see how his apparent lack of remorse and ability to accept responsibility and change his impulse/anger responses and how his words and actions have wounded us all tend to cause others, especially my son, to discount the good he has done.

This is part of the symptomology of Axis II diagnoses – personality disorders, specifically BPD, and one of the many reasons I believe Keith has it, though it’s never been diagnosed. He doesn’t understand or accept why my son rejects him, doesn’t want anything to do with him more than he has to, and refuses to make an effort to see the good things. He harbors anger and resentment that he hasn’t been appreciated/valued for the good he has done, just ostracized and rejected for the bad.

My son has been diagnosed PTSD, and told it was likely he was already that way prior to joining the military 7.5 years ago. He has gone through too much trauma and drama in his short 26 years of life. He’s still young enough to be certain he is always right, and he usually is, which reinforces his ego and youthful arrogance. I remember being almost exactly like him in attitude, intellect, and verbal acerbity. He’ll figure it out when he figures it out.

I have no control over any of it. It’s their wedding, their special day. My personal insecurities and dysfunctions have no place in it. Neither do Keith’s. I just pray things go smoothly, that everyone keeps any negativity about myself and/or Keith to themselves, that Keith is able to rein in his hypersensitivity and hair trigger anger attitude, and that I can just get through it all without a nervous breakdown.

God, PLEASE make this day one of joy, happiness, peace, forgiveness, acceptance, and compassion, for all of us.



  1. Congratulations to your son and his new wife!
    I hope you, and all the other guests get swept up in the joy of the moment and happiness for Marco, and all else falls away (at least for the event…)


  2. Your day will be what you choose to make it. One of fear and regret or one filled with Love for the people and occasion, That is the same choice we have day in and day out. Choose wisely 🙂


    1. Mark,
      I appreciate and understand what you are saying. However, I was less concerned about MY day and more concerned that every single person in attendance could set aside all the enmity and negativity.

      I am well aware I get to choose my responses, my attitudes, and the degree to which I allow the negativity of others affect me, personally. Thank you for the reminder.



    1. Ms. Purple,
      I just realized I somehow overlooked this comment. I apologize.

      Thank you so much for reading and offering your encouragement and support. I agree, I do think everyone is recovering or needs to be from something.



  3. I experienced similar feelings when my daughter married. It’s been more than 18 years since that day, and while I felt she was too young to tie the knot, she is still happily married to the same man. (I once thought he wasn’t right for her; she could do better – but I’ve been proven wrong and big enough to admit it.)

    I am sure the day will go off without a hitch, but if it doesn’t. Walk away and don’t allow others to ruin this wonderful moment for you or Keith.


    1. Bonnie Gean,
      I honestly doubt anyone can do more to ruin it than we ourselves are capable up. My biggest fear has been that our own internal demons won’t behave and stay subdued and suppressed. Keith went to sleep angry and I’ve barely slept.

      Thank you so much for sharing about your daughter and her husband.

      I think of the bride as a modern, slightly snarky, quite intelligent, and quietly confident version of Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way.” I’m less secure in how she sees me.



  4. Fingers’ crossed all goes well for you and Keith today and that your son’s wedding goes smoothly.


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