Monday, July 2, 2007

Guadalupe Fragments

Wife thought it would be a good thing to feed our two sons insecticide if I decided to leave her. She decided to take some herself so that she might avoid the consequences. She decided to use her money to purchase curses from black magicians so that I would be haunted in the death of my family, cursed to the end of my days. She did not succeed in her attempt to wipe out my family with mosqito poison, but I contemplate often about the curses and their impact on me and the boys.

After over a decade of trying to find spirituality, career success and marital bliss, I thought it would be a good idea to pursue happiness without her, by seeking financial freedom and young women as a single dad, rather than persist in a household full of hate, resentment and child abuse. My thinking was that I would be a better dad if I truly pursued my dreams, than to stay bound to a woman who hated me, and everything about me, yet would not let go as she relished controlling what she hated. My thinking was that with the money we were about to make, she could take half, and go find happiness - as she clearly wasn’t happy with me. I thought wrong. Happiness was not her thing. Controlling her world was. She found satisfaction in owning what she hated, and she hated a lot.

Still, I did not want my two sons to grow up seeing me become less and less of a man under a mother who loved to control what she despised, and she indeed despised me, and motherhood, and resented her half breed sons. Decades of deceiving the outer world that things were OK in our household came to an end. Paying lawyers to conceal her shoplifting arrests from her employers, hearing of her constant distain for westerners whom she pretended to like in public, constant reminders that no matter how successful I became, I was a looser, a dirty American, just like the rest, not worthy to be associated with her pristine Indian heritage.

It became like a bad smell in the house. You don’t notice it if you live in it - but I started to travel on business for days on end. The smell became obvious upon returning. On one such trip my oldest son,  4 years old at the time, ran out of the house and jumped into the trunk of the airport taxi. “Take me with you, I won’t be any trouble, don’t leave me here”, he said. Somehow, the truth of this was lost by my stupidity.

I then spent a summer working in the attic on my next big project, that would ultimately buy the freedom of myself and my sons. I heard the abuse in the house below me - was shocked to see her mother standing idly as it all happened, even participating. Evening dinners were not complete without one or the other of them stuffing food in the boys mouths while restrained in a chair with a belt. Vomit was a common occurrence at dinner. I once tried to show mother and daughter that children must find eating enjoyable. I made a plate of carrots, tomatoes and cheese in the shape of happy faces. The boys ate happily. I was never allowed to try that again.

Freedom for me and the boys came at a cost. My accountant would say that after taxes, legal costs for divorce and her criminal defense, lost income, the financial cost was in excess of $2 million dollars. By my accounts, it cost us the entire $1.8M that we earned in 2000, but I happily paid this for our freedom and future happiness. The real costs were far more insidious, however. Mom lost her freedom and rights to being a mother. A corrupt court system willingly exposed the boys to death, blindly fixated on extracting our wealth and putting it in the hands of the lawyers that got the judges their jobs. The boys and I lost any sense of trust for mother hood or women in spite of our love for all that they represent.

We lost our privacy, as witch doctors cursed us, money was spent on a smear campaign. Big black ex-military meat head lawyer stalked and threatened me regularly in court and on the street. Feeding the press whatever information he could make up to make me look like shit - going so far as to strangle me in the elevator in my office building when I caught him inquiring as to how he might get access to the trash so he could dig for some dirt on me.

Guadalupe fragments were the saddest symbol of our tragedy. I bought our freedom in the form of a house that we could restart our lives in without bad memories. The boys and their nanny started finding pieces of a clay relief of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They were scattered through out our yard.

While in recovery, their ex-mom called her black magician from her hospital room, out of ear shot from the police stationed outside her room, but within earshot of the suicide watch volunteer. Her inquiry about how the curse was proceeding, managed to get into the court testimony. The press left that one out of the newspapers, instead, focusing on a man who decided to leave his allegedly devoted wife for younger women. Clearly a rich, spoiled ass like myself needed to be flogged in the public square of bad Texas journalism.

How symbolic this curse was! The Mother of God, shattered in pieces and strewn about our yard. Mixed in with rocks and earth, treated like dirt itself. All but one piece was recovered. Surely this one piece sits in the workshop of a black magician, like a voodoo doll, they can burn and torment this piece of clay to torture our motherless family.

Putting the pieces together, she lay in the garden with her missing piece for years as we languished in our loss and pain and I was drawn closer to the Christianity I experienced in my youth.

One sad afternoon, I was reading on the internet. Somehow something about broken statues being considered “the abode of demons” came to me. I realized the curse sat right there at my feet in the garden. I picked up the pieces and glued them together, making a cement replacement part for the missing piece. We painted the relief, had it blessed by a priest and hung it over our doorway.

This didn’t end the suffering, but the healing was able to start. I suspect that even curses have their place in God's creation. I am what I am because of these events. I am grateful for the lessons they taught me. I am stronger and believe that the boys are stronger as a result of what did not kill them.


Nubian Queen said...

Wow!! such a brave person you are to have endured all that and still think life is worth living and the children!!!
Going through a spiritual journey myself that led me to return back home in Africa to find peace and get away from the hustles and bustles of American city life which i didnt feel were the right environment to find myself. Im going through something they call the kundalini(never understand what it is) and meeting of my twin soul and being rejected by him so i was just searching through spiritual journeys and i have to say this story is an inspiration for me...if you were able to come up from this experience then i shall too find myself.

Michael said...

Dear Nubian Queen,

Thanks so much for your kind words. The physical and psychological health challenges my children faced in the aftermath of this sad and violent betrayal was indeed hell on earth for all three of us. What kept me going was my children's love of life and resiliency in the face of trauma and adversity. Years later, there are scars, but we all have an appreciation for life that cannot be shaken by adversity.

I'm certain in your difficult time, you too are discovering this place inside you that cannot be shaken or disturbed by the ill-intentions of those around you. It exists within all of us, but reveals itself during times of trauma and suffering.