Over the next few months, I wrote letters and telephoned Tommy, trying to break the impasse between us. At one point, I agreed to drive to Greeley to join him and his father in seeing a therapist that Micah had chosen—Mrs. Gillespie. We desperately needed professional guidance to help all three of us resolve the situation in which we found ourselves. I hoped that this would lead to Micah and me being able to successfully tell Tommy the truth about why he and I were apart for so long.
I felt blindsided and trapped by her approach.
As we walked up to the door of Mrs. Gillespie’s office, I felt anxious but also hopeful. I wanted the three of us to better understand what had happened, and I hoped that Tommy would one day choose to come live with me. I believed that he needed both of his parents in his life. But I also believed that I was the one who could provide a more stable, nurturing home for him. I was convinced that once Tommy heard both our points of view, he would be allowed to benefit from the best that both of us had to give him. He could live with me, but still see his dad.
The therapy session did not turn out well. A disaster was a better description. It seemed Mrs. Gillespie had made up her mind about me before she even met me, without waiting to hear my perspective. There was no opportunity for me to tell her my point of view, which needed to happen without Tommy being present to talk about the death threat. I felt blindsided and trapped by her approach. Too late I realized that Micah’s charm and adeptness at manipulation of facts had pulled the wool over her eyes and that I should have insisted on having a voice in selecting a therapist he could not influence ahead of time.
During the session, Tommy shut me out, barely speaking to me at all. When our time was up, he would not even say good-bye. I do not have the words to describe my despair after this failed attempt at reconciliation. The ancient Greek poem, quoted by Robert Kennedy upon the death of his brother John, expresses the grief I felt that day.
“In our sleep, pain which cannot forgetFalls drop by drop upon the heartUntil, in our own despair, against our will,Comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”
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