At 16, my son was a full-fledged member of the “religion” of positive thinking and success. He started working summers for his dad on the construction sites. His dad expected and received hard work and responsible behavior. His father gave my son a car (it was a “company car” for justification), and that allowed my son to travel more freely and regularly to his dad’s. He outfitted my son in the best clothes, helped him win the election for student body president, and helped him achieve “outstanding teen” of our County. “You can do anything you put your mind to,” his father always said. My son started getting college applications for top East Coast schools.
During this period, I attended a great deal of counseling with my second husband. We separated for a year. Only after his classic car business failed, did he return to the home. My son had issues with his stepfather’s return, but dealt with him as a “younger brother,” saying that he now had a father image and he didn’t need another.
I was staring down the barrel of a second failed marriage. As a Christian, I was looking at repeating my biggest failure in life. In addition to Christian support, I looked for emotional support in the form of positive thinking and expression. I attended John Robert Powers and Dale Carnegie courses. I was just trying to cope.