By the time Kyle turned ten, he had undergone quite a few changes in his life. His father had moved out, and returned a few months later, only to leave again after eight months. Kyle was six then, and that time it was forever. He had moved out twice before Kyle was born, and I figured that four times, once around the medicine wheel, were enough chances for anyone. I knew I had to stop the pattern Mike had developed. Hard decisions can sometimes be made more easily by letting go of our own investment and looking at the outcome from another perspective. What I didn’t want was for Kyle to grow up thinking that this kind of dysfunction was good, or that a good relationship meant that the daddy quietly walked out of the room every time the mommy came in. Somewhere, during the agony of soul-searching and through the ceremonies in Arizona, I came to the realization that to continue on would mean that I would teach the wrong lessons to Kyle, and it would also mean my own spiritual death. I came to the emotional place where having him see that people can change their situation; can explore different possibilities; can stop the repetitive pain cycle; can break free of chains that bind and prevent growth; can heal and move on; was much better than having parents who were not divorced.
My teachers helped me learn to accept what I have been gifted and to not fear it because of someone else’s misuse or misunderstanding. For that, they have my complete respect and my unconditional love. They have my gratitude for helping Kyle; they had become his godparents when he was four, and they gave me a lot of instruction over the years in how best to allow Kyle to grow in to himself.
The most important time of this allowing to discern and to choose came in my changing relationship with his father. It was extremely difficult to watch Kyle move through his confusion and his pain because of our divorce. Overall, I felt more pain on Kyle’s behalf than on my own. For me, it had been a decision years in the making and one that had only become definite when I felt my spirit suffering to a degree that I questioned whether or not it could recover. When I came to the place where I was so adversely affected by being in the relationship that I was losing my groundedness and my clarity—and therefore my ability to parent Kyle to the best of my ability—then, I knew it would be better for Kyle if I ended what was bringing all of us pain. This was my decision, not Kyle’s. I had the advantage of adult perspective and inner strength. He did not.
Kyle also did not have the perspective on his father’s behavior that I had. I cannot say that I ever thought that Mike held Kyle’s highest good as the basis or the goal for how he treated him. It became the negative side of my “first rule of child-rearing”: his father did everything that I would not have done, and did not do anything that I did. For me, it was my parents come back to haunt me; for Kyle, it was confusing.
Kyle learned to draw a line in his life: this way of being for this parent, and that way for the other one. I had no choice but to watch the process unfold. I supported Kyle where and how I could and closed my eyes and prayed when I couldn’t. Throughout this long period, Kyle’s godparents supported me by teaching me ceremonies to do in support of Kyle. I did daily ceremony on Kyle’s behalf. As I meditated each morning and evening, I began to feel something pulling at me: something drawing me somewhere, though I didn’t know where. It started as a little tug and a whisper of a feeling that I should make a change; move on. I immediately assumed it was an inner move. I had to shift things within myself. I did a lot of work. Night after night, I would search deep within myself and in my past. I worked both on my own past and my ancestral past, going through each generation for seven generations. I searched and I cleared; and then, I worked some more.