There are times when I fleetingly, briefly, feel sorry for Crow. Ever watch a low-budget movie with horrible actors, a laughable script, and inwardly cringe and feel embarrassed for everyone involved in making it? That’s how I feel about Crow sometimes.
It’s hard not to feel embarrassed for her. She lacks the integrity, pride, or ambition to be ashamed of her own actions and choices, and that just adds to it: does she honestly not know how pathetic she appears to everyone else, including her own children?
She is holed up in a town best known for incest and a raging drug problem; mooching off her father, who is in abject denial of her blatant psychiatric issues; working a meaningless, nothing job where she lies about her job title to feel more important than she is; and married to a blob-man with no spine (or neck) who only stays with her because he was ordered to, and because, let’s get real, no one else would want either of them.
Her life revolves around grilling the kids, peppering them with questions about their father and me: what did he say about this, did they talk about me, any tiny scrap of information she can cling to in order to feel closer to Gary.
No one is this obsessed with her ex-husband, eleven years later, unless there are still feelings there. Period.
That is when I feel this*close to feeling sorry for Crow. It’s pathetic and sad. Her life will always revolve around her ex-husband, who just doesn’t care about her anymore. She refuses to accept that. Her existence alternates between desperately trying to get her ex-husband’s attention, and lashing out when he doesn’t respond, punishing him for not wanting her anymore…then trying yet again to make him look at her, talk to her, be near her, whether he wants to or not.
Maybe sometimes she has a moment of sanity, of clarity, when it comes into painful focus how pathetic she is. Those are the moments she has the choice to do better, be better, move on with whatever meager scraps of life she has. But she doesn’t. She chooses to stay trapped in the past, clinging to her ex-husband, pretending she hates me instead of being unbearably jealous of me.
She chooses to force the kids to listen to her rant about us, then ask questions about us, text them endlessly when they are with us, demanding to know what we have said, what we are doing, like she is trying to force herself into our lives, a place even she must know she will never be welcomed. She shoves her insanity, pettiness, and jealousy onto them to bear the brunt and the weight and the scars.
And that is why I ultimately can’t bring myself to feel sorry for her. Knowing she is hurting the kids, and choosing to continue to do so, doesn’t make her a victim, someone to pity. It makes her a horrifyingly atrocious parent. Refusing to admit she desperately needs a therapist, at the very least, and forcing the kids to pay the price for her endless shortcomings and failures, is nothing short of hateful. Abhorrent. Contemptible.
In the end, the only ones I find myself feeling sorry for are the kids. They deserve a hell of a lot better than this…than her.