Abandoned or Just Rewards?
Adele was heartbroken and angry. She felt like she had done so much for her daughters and she did not understand why they had stopped talking to her.
She called them often, trying to reconnect and figure out what the problem was, refusing to really look at herself as the possible problem. Her calls always went to voicemail. After months and months of calling, texting and email, she found herself blocked from their numbers and their emails. Desperately, she began asking people for help. She had her sister call the girls to try to reconnect with them but after a few calls from her, Adele’s sister began to grow distant from her.
She managed to get a few other people from her prayer group to call them or email them but there were no responses. So, Adele began reading over the few emails that her daughters had sent before they cut ties. She read them over and over, not really believing what they said. She kept getting her friends from church to call her daughters until one day Melissa, a friend from her bible study, called her.
Time To Face The Truth
Adele had been so expressive about the pain she felt from losing her daughters that Melissa felt awful for her and was happy to try to make contact with Missy and Lily for her. She had told Adele that she was going to call them that morning and then call her after to tell her what they had said. So Adele was waiting by her phone.
“Hello?” she answered as soon as it rang. She knew it was Melissa.
“Adele…” she started. But Adele interrupted her.
“Did you talk to them? What did they say? Will they talk to me?” she blurted. There was a long pause.
“Adele… what are you doing?” she asked. Adele was confused.
“What do you mean?” she asked, getting frustrated.
“I just talked to Missy. I told her that you were so sad that she was not talking to you and I asked her how you guys could make up. I told her that no matter what had happened between you guys that it could be fixed.” Melissa said then she paused.
“Yeah?” Adele said in great anticipation.
“And then she asked me a question. She asked me if I knew why they weren’t talking to you. If I knew what you had done? And it occurred to me, for the first time, that I do not. I told her no and she told me that I needed to ask you or read their emails to you before I get involved.”
“They also told me that they have had a lot of your friends calling them asking the same questions. None of them knew why your daughters are not speaking to you. So I am asking you as a friend, why aren’t they speaking to you?”
Adele paused. “I… I don’t know….” she whined.
“Well they seem to think they have made it clear to you. And they made it clear to me to,” Melissa said, her tone changing.
“Now, I take responsibility for foolishly getting involved when I did not know the whole story. That is my fault. But how could you not tell me that you were abusive to them?” she said almost yelling.
An Unexamined Life…
Adele was shocked. Hearing that word out loud sounded so foreign. It surely could not describe her actions… could it? She pushed the thought deep down and became defensive.
“I wasn’t!” she shrieked. Her voice giving away how insecure she was with what she said.
“Adele, you beat them, called them names, now you have everyone you know harassing them. Do you really not see it?” Melissa asked in a tone that was full of concern and shock.
“I… I…” Adele stuttered.
“Adele, if you would lie to me about something like this, I cannot trust you. Please stay away from me. I am going to transfer to another bible study.” Then she hung up.
Get The Help Needed
Adele sat back in her chair. She was shaking. She could not quite figure out what she was feeling but it was not good. She decided to read over the emails her daughters had sent her once more. With each line, she had a flash of a memory when she hit her daughters or pushed them. When she called them stupid or cursed at them. When she broke things and when she cut them with her belittling tirades. By the time she finished reading them, she was in tears.
How could she have not seen it? Well the truth was, that she did. She knew what she was doing the whole time but she had twisted it all so far in her head that it all seemed justified. She sat horrified as reality set in. She had no idea what to do.
She needed help.
Alexis Ali lives in New York and has a Master’s degree in Linguistics. She is a freelance writer of short stories and uses her skills to help others. “Adele’s Pattern” is her second short story series for us. Read her first, “The Unfortunate Life of an Interesting Woman,” and her most recent non-fictional post, “The 2 Dreaded Questions Single Women Still Face,” here.
Did you read our morning post? Mondays – Thursdays, we publish two posts and this morning’s we highlighted the issues of assault by and against women. Check it out here.