As someone gets to know my son and me, the inevitable question surfaces, “So what’s the story with Kyoto’s father?” There is no story, only stories…hundreds of them. The most honest thing I could tell myself to tell you is, to this day I still don’t know what that man told me was truth and what was a lie. Often I settle upon answering the above question with, “Have you ever seen, ‘Catch Me If You Can’? Well, that’s Kyoto’s father.”
I’ve never admitted publically that, for almost 5 years, I chose to be a victim to a man who cheated, lied and stole from me. And then I carried his child. But I did.
Most who know me know that I do not regret it. Life is to be lived. And in that living comes loving, comes losing and comes birth. I’ve experienced all, fervently.
The love was the white hot kind, born of pure passion and rooted in a deep magnetism, seemingly too powerful to reject. It felt as if we belonged together. But that was just the pull, the physical aspect. Spiritually and psychologically he terrified me.
I knew I couldn’t trust him from the moment I laid eyes on him, across that street. But I was drawn to him. I was 24, had just moved to Los Angeles and was just out of a 7 year relationship. I had begun dating for the first time in my life and thought I would just be entertained by him. He was tall, dark and handsome. At his best, he was one of the most animated and humorous individuals I’ve ever met. He lit up rooms with his personality and charm. This man had never met a stranger and was given the gift of communication, as if he himself was one of Mercury’s messengers of the gods. Additionally, he was thoughtful. Years later I would understand his gestures as a way to cover his tracks. He was clever, crafty, & outspoken with a large personality…So much of what I was not.
Little did I know the depth of darkness contained behind his shadows. And that my involvement with him would end in me losing everything and gaining the biggest responsibility of my life. Receiving his repercussions and all that he hid behind, I wore his irreverence like a chain around my neck.
Every day associated with Kyoto’s father, was one ensconced in lies and betrayal. There is the obvious declaration that he lied to me and betrayed me. But the distortion and betrayal that hurt the most was that imparted on myself.
In order to pull off so much deception to myself, I had to shut off feeling, intuition and my relational life lines. I had to impart so much confusion and immediate pain that I didn’t have time or clarity to change my path. I was surviving and I was doing it alone.
I will never know loss as great as that which I knew with him. For my loss was voluntary from gambling…on love and on his words (which held about as much weight as the air they were born in).
Through my time with him, turmoil replaced love and Chaos lived in my home (not for nothing, his nickname was just that). I lost my best friend and respect of family members. I lost every material belonging and fragment of money I had. I lost apartments and both of my cars. I lost respect, I lost dignity…I lost my dreams in his. But all of this loss cannot compare to the loss of my own boundaries and breaking the unspoken promise that I would always take care of myself.
And just for the overview: I cried, sometimes for days. I screamed and slobbered on bathroom floors. I hid in closets, afraid. I slept on cold, concrete building staircases, pregnant. I hunted and watched him from cars, from windows. Unwilling to let go of his beautifully creative lies – lies I tried to make stay as truth. I locked myself inside doors for hours, until he attempted to break them down. I chased him with a knife (once) and lied to cops who were called to rescue me (many times). I became cold, defensive, hard, and aggressive. I stayed combative and suspicious.
I learned the true power of karma by my association with him. Over years of observing his scandalous ways, I warned that his, “karma would get him.” And ultimately the universal law (and governmental) did. He ended up in jail and my son and I left Los Angeles…never to return to him. I still don’t know why I thought this man was my cross to bear. And it doesn’t matter, because he was and I did.
And now I hold the only truth I KNOW he gave me…our son.
In the interim, I took on the name of “Karma,” replacing my birth name of “Karen;” Never to forget how acutely our choices shape our experiences.
He has never sent money, he rarely calls and we have not seen him since we left, almost 5 years ago. And as he says he’s making attempts to reenter the picture, there are only a few things I want to say:
He is truly prodigious, our son. Like you, he’s never met a stranger and his smile lights up rooms and brightens faces everywhere he goes. The light in his eyes shines brightly and shows his good heart. He is loved, cared for and in exceptional hands. But like me, he’s trusting and his heart is tender…
You may never know the levels of pain and sacrifice permitted to raise your child. Nor will you be familiar with the strength cultivated by waking up, after a night of struggle & disquiet, to do what must be done to feed him. The selflessness that is required to care for him, when there are urgent matters within you that need to be attended to, is lost on you.
While you talk about what you plan to do in the future I am here providing for and guiding him.
Your ignorance of what it takes to raise your son spans lifetimes. You are unaware of the delicacy of his life pledged only to you, unconscious about the soul that receives directional depth & guidance from you. You know nothing about how your choices get shaped by that little body seeking protection beside yours.
Small developmental victories don’t wear your name. Thank you, we’re glad you came but…then you left and no amount of words describing what you plan to do can overcome that.