Monday, January 16, 2012

Can a Villain change?

Once upon a time in a kingdom not so far away there lived a peasant woman.  She had, by the age of 30 endured much more pain and suffering than joy.  Most of the pain and suffering was all by her own decisions, though, and she bore it as if it were a badge.  For the first time, she was free of abuse and tyranny, as her ex husband was no longer in the picture, and she was trying to get out on her own.  By early June of 2009, she had been divorced for nearly a year, and was in process of purchasing a cottage of her own.  She was very happy, and very proud of herself for scraping herself together enough to accomplish something like this.  She moved into her parents home and was waiting patiently on a closing date, so that she could move back out on her own.

She was childless.  And for the second time in her life (a brief stint at University), she was free.  The little two bedroom cottage was a great starter home for her and her dog and cat.  Life was looking up. 

At this same point in time, the peasant woman's sister was struggling.  No one really knew the heart of her struggles, but because of her history, they assumed a drug addiction.  The sister had been struggling for a long time.  She had help, as the peasant woman would take the kids now and then and go do fun things with them, and their parents helped her in every way they possibly could.  Yet she still struggled.  She just couldn't seem to get her head on right.  Then one day near the end of June 2009, she did something that no mother should ever do, and abandoned her three children to the car of the peasant woman, and her mother. 

The peasant woman was able to report the abandonment to Child Protective Services only because she knew that the life these three young children had been drug through.  They never had a stable home.  They were always exposed to men who didn't love them, or take the time with them as they should.  Their toys were sold or traded for drugs and alcohol.  They were neglected, and left to fend for themselves quite a bit at the young ages of 6, 4, and 2.  There had also been instances of abuse.  Life was not good for them.  This was a chance to change all of that. 

Because the peasant woman's sister had been such a monster to her children, it was easy to cut ties, and to do what was right by the kids.  It was easy to view her as the villain in this story.  For two years, the peasant woman raised the two younger children, both girls, aged 4 and 2 when she gained custody of them.  The older boy went to live with the peasant woman's mother and father, and they all worked together caring for the children.  The peasant woman's small cottage was soon full of the sound of laughter of children, a music so sweet, that it has no comparison.  She poured her life into these children and made all the necessary changes to make them a home. 

The peasant woman's boyfriend made it clear that he wanted to be a permanent fixture in their lives, and he also helped to raise the children.  Sometimes doing more for them than the peasant woman - due to her work schedule.  They stood as a family, on shaky legs.  The girls began calling the peasant woman and her boyfriend mom and dad.  Life seemed somewhat normal.  The peasant woman was afraid to trust in this, as life was never really normal for very long.  She kept waiting for the rug to be yanked out from under their feet.  Always timid about trusting strangers and family members who weren't close, and always on guard with the children.  She never knew who was on the side of her sister, the villain. 

The years passed by slowly.  They were full of ups and downs, but the peasant woman wouldn't change things for any amount of money or promises.  She had fallen in love with being a parent to these children, and they seemed to love being her kids.  There was little to no contact with the peasant woman's sister.  She wrote a few letters in the beginning - professing how sorry she was for having left her children.  Asking for forgiveness.  The peasant woman left the letters unanswered.  Uncertain that she should fraternize with the villain in this story. 

Then one day the villain came back.  She seemed to no longer be the villain.  While the villain was away, she had another child.  A handsome little boy who looked quite a bit like the youngest girl that the peasant woman was raising as her own.  The peasant woman felt outraged when first learning of this new child.  Wondering how she could possible break the news to the children "left behind".  The villain made contact with the peasant woman in April 2011, saying that she would like to maybe do shared parenting with the girls, and have them 1/2 of the year, while the peasant woman had them the other half of the year.  To the peasant woman, this was unacceptable.  The children could NOT be bounced around like that.  She told the villain that there was no way this could work, and let her know that she had been gone nearly two years, and that the children now called her mommy, and were happy.  The villain was very upset upon hearing this, and promptly hung up on the peasant woman.  Leaving the peasant woman crying.

The days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, until Christmas was upon the whole town.  The villain sent a message to the peasant woman, that was full of love, and again asking forgiveness.  Stating how sorry she was for everything.  The peasant woman was scared.  She didn't know what to think about this.  She feared this was a ploy to get her to relinquish the children.  The peasant woman told her sister that she loved her, and that she didn't want to continue to hold a grudge, that life was just too short, but she had to do what was in the best interest of the children.  The villain told the peasant woman that she understood, and would wait however long it would take.

The peasant woman's parents went to visit their other daughter, the villain, and came back to the peasant woman with a good report.  Saying that it seems like she is trying to get herself together.  To learn from her mistakes.  The peasant woman could hardly believe her ears.  Searching their words for something that would keep her sister the villain.  She wanted desperately to know that her sister was not a capable and fit mother, and that she was doing the right and true thing by raising these children.  But her parents assured her that she was taking good care of the youngest child, that she was trying to learn how to embroider and sew, that she was a stay at home mom, and seemed very devoted to the little boy, and that she learned from her old ways, and didn't smoke around the child. 

The peasant woman sat there.  At a loss for words.  She couldn't believe that the villain.... was no longer the villain.  Or maybe she was.  Maybe this was just a guise.  Maybe it wasn't.  Who knows.  The peasant woman had clung to one thing these past two years, and that was she was doing what was just and right by these two little girls... but now she questioned if she was.  Frantically she went over and over the situation in her mind.

How would she let her sister back in her life... knowing that she was now mother to the children her sister gave birth to? 
How would her sister handle it?
Most importnantly... how would the children handle it? 
Would they want to go back to their biological mother? 
Would they grow to hate the peasant woman because they felt she kept them from their bio mother?
Would they ever be able to understand what happened, when the peasant woman didn't really even understand it?
Would talking to the villain help clear up some of these issues, or would it all become lies and deceit, as it had been in the past?
Could the peasant woman truly ever forgive the villain for all of the heartache?  Especially since the peasant woman still hadn't any children of her own yet. 
How could a villain stop being a villain? 

The peasant woman knew that she should talk to her sister, maybe even meet her to discuss things, but grew petrified before she could pick up the phone and make arrangements for such a meeting.  The gash in her heart snagged open a little deeper, being pitted between the sister she once loved so deeply, and still held love for, and the two little girls that were now her world.  She didn't know how to mesh the two together into a workable happy situation for everyone involved.  And the peasant woman never did well with the unknown. 

From personal experience, the peasant woman clung to the theory that a leopard doesn't change it's spots.  She feared that her sister would always be the villain.  There was a nagging spark of hope deep inside, though.  Hope that things had changed.  That one day, she wouldn't feel so bad about stepping up into the shoes she wore.  That she could go forward with the adoption that everyone seemed to feel she needed to do, and make the girls hers... forever.  She hoped that after that adoption, she would no longer fear her sister taking the children back, and that her sister would be satisfied with seeing them every now and then.  She wondered if she could share the limelight with the girls' biological mom, or if her heart would break, when they ran to hug the bio mom after a dance recital... instead of her.  Could the peasant woman bear it if the girls stopped calling her mom, because their mom had re-surfaced?  Could this situation ever be... "normal"?  All of these wonders hinged on one question.  Can a villain really change?  Can someone see the error of their ways, and really truly let go of something so dear to them?  Just to give that something a better chance at life?  Or will it all be the same?  Lies... deceit... pain...   There is only one way to know... but is the peasant woman brave enough to take that step..  Can a villain really change?

Aunt TT

1 comment:

  1. Oh my........I feel your pain. I will never know what I would actually do in your situation, but I would like to think that I would continue on with the adoption before getting the kids and bio mom together. You have been V's mom thorough the most important years of her life, and I wouldn't think that she'd actually have any real memories of her bio mom. As for DQ, I'm sure you've already proven that you're stable and loving and forever. I think if this decision can be made without the kids knowing, that would probably be best....sure, there will be times when you may hear, "you're not my real mom!" or "I hate you..." but we also know that they won't mean it. It's ammunition for hurt feelings. I remember telling my mom a few times growing up that I hated her, and I absolutely do NOT!! Also told my step dad that he wasn't my real dad and that I hated him...that I wished he'd go away. That was because I didn't like his rules. He has been more of a dad to me than my bio dad. So just know that when these girls grow up, and look back on their childhood, they will THANK YOU for stepping up and being their mommy.

    Good luck!