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Shadow Mother?

by Rhyana Fisher

It was my fault,
I know better than to feed the trolls.

Regardless, people who blanket post
(insert type of offender here) MUST BE SHOT
irk me mightily.

In this particular case,
it's not that I'm okay with child molesters running free,
I am a fan of repeat offenders getting the death penalty,
but the conversation never got that far

since it derailed on the fact
I will not blanket condemn every alleged child molester to vigilante justice
and in Judgmental Judy's world it's okay to kill the innocent along with the guilty
if it will "protect" children.

Yeah, I'm unfortunately related to guilty ones I wish had been shot
but I also know a few stupid teens who developed a brain after being read their rights.
Then there was the completely innocent stepdad victimized out of his ex's malice
later exonerated by the alleged victims when they grew old enough to escape her.

So who's the all seeing eye who is going to know the difference?

Reasoning with the unreasonable is always a losing battle.
I should've known better when Judy claimed she was okay
with killing her own son-- /if/ he was guilty.
Tho I snickered since she totally sidestepped my actual question of
'How would you feel if it were your falsely accused
innocent son who ended up shot?'

The misreading was annoying but par for the course.
It's the internet, people don't think before typing nine out of ten times anyway.
(Thus how I ended up here.)
Her follow up of 'I hope you never have kids
and I feel sorry for any kids you might have because you are obviously a bad mother'
is what had me fighting the urge to reach through the phone line and bitch slap her.

That comment stung a bit, lucky hit on her part.
It's been five years and I still don't feel comfortable claiming to be a mother.
The death of an only son at his premature birth wedges a woman
securely between the proverbial rock and hard place in the half land of limbo.
Can't claim to be a mother without explaining the lack of a toddler
and strangers haven't earned the trust falling to pieces in public takes.

***

For all the grief propaganda
pointedly warning folks against
using terms like "real", it's all too true.
I don't feel like a real mother.

Real mothers get real memories.

A case could be made for calling myself a ghost mother.
Alas, my son does not haunt me.
I might feel better if he did.
It's the memories of the possibilities
that are constantly catching me off guard:
the first dandelion of spring smushed in pudgy hands,
the flash of what if while playing with my brother's same age son,
the inability to answer my sister's new mother questions.
But those aren't ghosts - they're shadows...

...so perhaps that makes me a shadow mother.
It's an apt analogy-- plenty can lurk in the dark and dim corners of the past.
More importantly, people rarely notice the shadows
unless attention is directly called to them.
The bright joy of parenthood most eventually feel blinds them to those corners.
Can't blame them for not wanting to see or be reminded,
it's scary when you still have something to lose.

***

As for Judgmental Judy, well, it's difficult to take a chick
who just claimed she was okay with her own son being killed seriously.
Everyone should have a chance to learn from mistakes and atone,
allowing they haven't murdered.

There is time enough to kill molesters if they prove they can't learn.
I know what having a dead son feels like,
I will not wish it on any mother without necessity.

Mothers are supposed to believe in their kids.
Not that their perfect angel could do no wrong, but that they CAN change.
Call them to account, don't let them escape the consequences,
but believe in them all the same even when they don't believe in themselves.
Society will punish them indiscriminately enough.

My son is dead, I cannot fail him again.
Given most of my co-workers miscarried,
I should've known better than to believe the doctor
when he claimed I could keep working.
I did not protect him and that basic truth is why Judy's words impacted.
All the same, I rather do pity her son.
It's going to be a harsh trip, growing up with an inflexible, unforgiving mother.

12/31/2012

Author's Note: I've been dealing with the fallout from molestation for my entire life. Do not think I write this without some understanding. But dead is dead and vigilante killings do not unhappen it.

Posted on 12/31/2012
Copyright © 2020 Rhyana Fisher

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