Through the conversations we’ve had and letters we’ve exchanged, I’ve noticed that Eliza has chosen to ignore the fact that she had help creating her children with the aid of another person–namely my husband. She has worked rather hard to make herself the center of Ethan and Evan’s life by cutting out their father. She seems unconcerned about how damaging this practice is. By constantly telling Ethan and Evan”our family consists of me and your brothers,” eliminates my husband, myself, and our son from their lives. It also sends the message that she is the only one who cares for them. She is not completely off the mark in her train of thought because she is their family. But we are also their family. What is wrong with loving your children enough to allow others to love them?
Eliza has never referred to them as “their” sons, but always “my boys.” She never even mentions their dad. I know these might sound like trite examples, but there has been a lot of subtle brainwashing over the years that have helped her achieve this effect. Loving your children is totally instinctive–this I know. But it is possible to blur the line of sMothering them with love so much that they can’t function without the one who smothers. This is a twisted, tainted, dangerous love. Think Sante and Kenny Kimes.
The last two therapists working with Evan have commented on this phenomenon, going so far as to inquire if Eliza has ever been inappropriate with them. In fact, last week Evan’s residential treatment therapist posed this very question, noting some of the troubling behavior that Evan displays that is consistent with children who have been molested by an adult.
That makes three licensed mental health professionals who have wondered about the appropriateness of Eliza’s love for her children. This leaves a sour taste in my mouth. For all of the opinions that I have about Eliza and her parenting skills, and I have plenty, I just can’t accept this. I know it is possible, but I just don’t want to believe it. However, I do think that she sMothers her children with love. I sense that she is afraid of losing them and views them as all that she has. In a way she treats them like she would a boyfriend, without the sexual relationship. She even calls them “Mommy’s Little Men.” When she has a real man in her life, she tends not to sMother them as much–to the point where they are often left to their own devices.
The social worker assigned to the CPS case felt that Eliza had an unhealthy attachment to all three of her children. In fact, she described it as “emotional incest.” I found this interesting considering that Eliza is an incest survivor. S he is may be emulating what she knows. Eliza’s main problem is that she does not know how to love in a healthy manner. Her father obviously “loved” her inappropriately, which could explain why she feels that it is not important for her children to know the love of their father. She has serious trust issues and in her mind she probably thinks that she is keeping her children safe from any potential danger, as imaginary and unwarranted as it may be. Her father sent her the wrong message about men which has caused her to parent in a paranoid, possessive, obsessive manner.
There are two novels that I have read in which the mom reminds me of Eliza. The first one is called Loverboy by Victoria Redel. The second, which I have posted about before, is Mother’s Boys by Bernard Taylor. In fact, she is so similar to the character Judith Farrell that it chilled me to the bone when I read it.
Last month when Ethan and I went to visit her, she greeted him with the usual kiss on the lips. This always makes me uncomfortable. Ethan will be thirteen in less than two weeks and I feel that a new location for a kiss would be more appropriate. Next she had him get her a piece of Kleenex and proceeded to give his nose a thorough, deep cleaning. Call me prudish, but I was really mortified for Ethan. After the intensive cleaning, she explained that it was her job as his mommy to get the “friends” out of his nose. I remained silent and worked on keeping the look of disbelief off my face. On the ride home I asked Ethan if he was embarrassed by her cleaning out his nose. Much to my surprise, he said no! Nicholas at age 9 doesn’t even like it when I kiss him in front of his friends.
Or maybe this is just one small way that she exercises her right to mother her boys under the situation she is in. Sometimes it’s just so hard to tell…