Friday, October 08, 2010

He Exists in Pictures and My Mind

I have never ever seen a video of Elijah since he died.
Not once.

I have photos of him; they are flat and one dimensional, but they definitely look like Elijah. When I look at those pictures, he is as beautiful as I remember him.
And my arms have a memory of holding him; that memory is in my body forever.
If I imagine holding him, I can also just as easily remember how he preferred my left shoulder, and my neck will crook just a tiny bit to the left, and I can remember how he leaned in to touch my head, and the feel of his breath on my ear.
I remember these things, and they are gifts.

And, although I remember him using his voice, I cannot remember his voice. I know that he sang, but I cannot recall his song.

For years the videos were packed away, the thought of viewing them too painful to pursue to fruition. Two years ago, I asked Xdude to please tell me where they were; I was finally ready to view them and I wanted to make digital copies of the videotapes. I had waited so long, I was sure I was ready. I was achingly desperate to see, hear, watch, and yes, probably cry.
He wouldn't get them out, he wouldn't tell me where they had been hidden. He claimed it was because I was going to 'take them somewhere unsafe' to get digital copies. He said he would do it himself. I knew he wouldn't because he wasn't ready to see the videos of our dead child when he was alive. Which was fine. I didn't ask him to watch them.
I wanted to watch them.

Last Spring, about a month before I moved from the house we had shared for eight years, I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to look for when moving out - anything he particularly wanted. It was a peaceful gesture, and I volunteered it. It was reasonable to assume that there were probably some things he missed when moving out in a one day rush that previous Summer.
I really would have just given him anything important if he needed it.
He responded that he would like a hard drive, promised a copy to me, and said he would give me 'some of the videos of Elijah in return'.

My eyes slid out of their sockets and landed in a pile of mush in front of screen. Had he just offered to give me 'some of the videos' of our dead son, IF I gave him what he wanted?
Did he really imply that he would be holding those videos hostage until I handed over the correct ransom?

I couldn't believe it. I had just offered to give him something, and he gave me instead, a glimpse into how entitled he feels to play games with me. Still.
Which I guess isn't a complete shock.
But to use our dead son as the prizewinning carrot?

It took me this many months to write about it, because I thought nothing could surprise me anymore, and because it makes me ill. Which is what I am feeling right now.


MFA Mama said...

Doesn't surprise me. You know what my ex did with my pictures. But damn, still, ouch. Bastard!

The Hunter's Prize said...

My dad is as crazy as your ex, but somehow he must have forgotten to take the videos of my sister when he moved out. My mom still has them and I am happy that we will always have them. Of course, if he wanted to see them, we would be happy to make a copy for him. But I have no doubt that he would not give my mom the same if it was reversed. I am very sorry that you do not have those videos and I hope he sees the error in that decision and gives them to you.

Pamela said...

this hurts my heart. i am so sorry.

Another Suburban Mom said...

Your ex must have had an alien probe put where his heart was supposed to be. Its the only reason I can think of for this behavior.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see you back, to see you unsilenced. I used to be passive when it came to the subject of domestic violence but after reading your blog I say something, anything, if the topic is mentioned in something even as simple as a joke. It is not funny, not something to be made light of. When I was 12, we would pick my nephew up from his bruised mother to stay with us while she and the boyfriend of the week stood in the doorway. Not my brother, never my close family, but still so close to me at a young age. Thank you for coming back.

Melissa said...

They say Karma is a bitch.
What comes around, goes around.
Let's pray he gets it back in spades.
Evil, evil man.

Sophie said...

Just when you think the man is at his lowest, he lowers the bar. I am so sorry.

Samantha said...

I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

What. An. Ass! As disgusted as I am by XDude, I am equally impressed by your fortitude, perserverance, and committment to motherhood. And I'm so, so glad you're back. I was worried.


Skytimes said...

Can't tell you how glad I am to see you back up. But what I read about the X made me oh-so mad. I'm going to save all cusswords and agree with Sophie: she nailed it.

That photo of Elijah... priceless. Glad you have these memories of him. I only wish he could be in your arms.

Best wishes! xo

Sabrina said...

He was cruel and probably rotting inside, sorry about that. Elijah will always be with you.

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