A Mother’s Love

Kaiden sat on the couch with his hands on his head.
“It’s okay, Kaiden. Take your time,” the therapist spoke. Kaiden took a deep breath. “What are you thinking?” she asked.
“All I do is work, work, work,” he chuckled. “And I have a lot to show for it, I’m not complaining about that. But, it’s just that — work.”
The therapist nodded her head.
“And now John has been coming around and showing his head. Talking about he wants to meet Kailyn and Samuel but I’ll be damned if I let him into their lives after what he did to me and my mom.”

“Would you like to share more about his involvement in your childhood? Or,” she uttered, “share the impact that he had.”

Kaiden chuckled lightly and rose to his feet. “His involvement is an exaggeration,” he paced the floor. “I was too young to even remember seeing the man. So, for him to come around now is bold as hell. Now, it makes perfect sense why she didn’t want to talk about him.” Kaiden looked at the time on his phone. “I can’t and won’t have my family or my business around that fraud. He was a damn cop; he knew the law and if he wanted to be involved in my upbringing, he would have.”

“Kaiden, when you’re feeling like this, have you been practicing the exercises we’ve discussed?” she watched Kaiden’s movements. “How does Samantha feel about it?”
Kaiden released a sigh. “I haven’t spoken to her, if I’m being honest.”
“Why haven’t you spoken to her about it?”
Kaiden looked at his phone once again. A text from Christina had come through.
He shook his head and chuckled. “It’s because of her,” he held his phone up and showed it to the therapist. She read Christina’s name.
“Your ex– how so?”
“I know we’re practicing not blaming others for our problems, but after Christina, I have so many fucked up ways of dealing with things. It’s a lot to unlearn.”

The therapist didn’t mind him swearing. In her office, she strived to make it a place where Kaiden could freely express what he was feeling with no regrets.
“Such as…”
“Case in point,” Kaiden walked over to the couch and sat. “In the relationship with Christina, I couldn’t freely express how something bothered me. If I began to tell her, she would half-way listen, make it about her, or she would dismiss what was bothering me.”
“What do you mean by that?” she questioned.
“She’d have her phone and would be texting or scrolling as I spoke. Not showing any genuine interest in what I had to say. Or, she’d quickly say ‘well, you’ve done this’ or ‘you did that’. It’s tiring.”
“Has Samantha done that?”
Kaiden smiled. “No, she hasn’t.”
“Has she ever shown you signs of doing this Kaiden?”
“Truthfully, no,” Kaiden answered. “I’m just traumatized and taking precautions with my heart. I don’t want to get knee deep into my feelings, only to look up and see Sam on her phone or not paying much attention.”

The therapist switched topics.
“Do you feel that your work is a reflection of who you are?”
Kaiden was a little confused at the topic switch.
“Wait, weren’t we just discussing me feeling unheard and dismissed,” he chuckled awkwardly as he felt she was doing this.
“I’m trying to get a full understanding Kaiden. In here, you know you’re being heard.”
Kaiden nodded his head. “I work hard, Doc. I do it for the love of the music, to be honest.”
Kaiden’s phone vibrated again.
“Ari, Smoove, Lester, The Kingz — I know they’re all appreciative of what I do. I’m certain Sam is beyond satisfied,” Kaiden chuckled.
“Why do you feel that way about Sam?”

Kaiden shrugged his shoulders.
“I knew Sam before the success truly took off. She’s stuck by my side through everything; crazy to say it but even while I was dating Christina, Samantha supported me.”
“Kaiden,” the therapist spoke slowly, “you’ve told me in the past that when your mom passed, something left with her. This is obviously something that you received almost exclusively from her.” She cleared her throat. “What do you think that is?”
A few tears formed in Kaiden’s eyes.
“My mom was truly there through everything,” Kaiden uttered. “She was my biggest fan and she only wanted the best for me — even when I went against what she wanted for me. And since she left, I don’t know,” Kaiden admitted, “I’m not sure that I have that unconditional love and support anymore.”
“Not even from Samantha?”
“She loves me, this I know,” Kaiden spoke dejectedly, “but I know without a doubt that my mom loved me regardless. I had her back and she had mine.”
The therapist jotted a few notes down on her notepad and continued speaking.
“She was genuinely proud of me. I don’t think I’m going to find that again…”


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