Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wah wah wah, Cry me a river.

I hate hate hate my ex husband. I usually don't use the word hate, but right now I am so steamed it is the only word I can think of that even begins to describe what I am feeling.
I can deal with my own feelings. I have been over him and our relationship for years. What I cannot tolerate though, is the shit he puts my duaghter through. She has been a crying mess this weekend because she is feeling that she is not good enough for him.

She is an amazing kid, the best thing that ever happened to me, without question. The ex, however, seems to think that she was something that he could throw out when our marriage ended.

He was supposed to see her every other weekend and every other holiday. That was the divorce agreement. That NEVER happened. He started out seeing her once a month or so. Then he got big nasty snakes as pets and she was afraid of them, so she stopped spending the night there. She was 4 the last time she spent a night with him. Then he got married, without even asking Ashley to be present at the wedding. The new wife's kid was there though.
We ammended the custody agreement to once a month, no overnight visits. It made sense to adjust the agreement to fit what was actually happening in our lives. Since then, she has seen him anywhere from 2-4 times a year. He has only called her once for her birthday came to one soccer game, when she was 5. He has never heard her play piano and has never asked about her grades or her hobbies. In the last 2 years, the only times she has seen him (a total of 4 times) has been when she has called him to ask if she could see him.

There had been some recent issues going on at Ashley's school with girls cutting themselves. Some of the girls were Ashley's close friends and we panicked a bit. We were at a loss at how to deal with these complex pre teen issues, so we decided to take advantage of our great health insurance and made an appointment for our family to see a therapist. We figured there would be nothing to lose. The appointment went well. It was affirming to hear that we are doing many things right, and encouraging to get some advise for how to handle future stresses.
The therapist has seen Ashley on her own a few times since then and at the last appointment, told Ashley that she needs to realize that Jason is not willing to be a part of her life and Ashley needs to stop hoping for him to change and deal with the reality of the sitation. I have been wanting to say this for years, but have always held my tongue and made excuses for him. I decided that the therapist was right, and that this unrealistic hope that he will change and suddenly welcome her into his life needs to end. We can't let this stunt her emotional growth.

Well, Ashley has not taken that news well. It is not easy for her to realize that she hasn't done anything wrong. It is hard for Christopher and I to see her this upset over such a jerk. It is also hard because Christopher and I have spent every day of our lives trying to make a good life for our family. We have sacrificed so much and Ashley's well being and security has played a part of every decision that we have made. Jason has gotten to live his life as he wanted, without regard for Ashley. I do not wish that things were different for Christopher and me. We made choices out of love and because of that love, things couldn't have gone any other way. And I really don't expect a 12 year old to understand all of that, I don't expect her to thank us for the sacrifices, or even know that we have made sacrifices. That doesn't make it hurt any less when she cries for days over him and we are left to pick up the pieces. She can't know just how hard it is for us, because as parents, our job is to make her secure and happy and not ever let her think that anything other than unconditional love and support would be acceptable.

So, now she is up in bed, probably crying herself to sleep, my husband is out in the kitchen reading his book and holding back tears because he has been a real father to her for 9 1/2 years and yet she cries over the asshole. He is too good a parent to ever let her see his pain, for fear of making her feel bad. I am sitting here trying to get these feelings out so I can move on and get through another day as a parent. I know that my daughter is mad at me for divorcing him, and I can never tell her all the reasons why I had to leave. I know that my husband is mad at me for getting so stressed out and taking it out on him and he doesn't think that I am dealing with Ashley in the best way possible. He won't say this to me though, because he knows that I am doing the best that I can and he doesn't want me to feel worse.

I want to curl up into a ball and cry, or drink myself into a stupor or run away from home. I want to do anything but stay here and get through it all day by day, which is really the only choice I have.

1 comment:

Erica said...

Sorry you're going through such a rough time right now, Sarah. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it is to raise a child who is separated from one biological parent, even though she has a step parent who has been more of a parent to her the majority of her life. Ben is from a separated family and it affected him in ways I can't begin to understand. Before we were married he always told me that divorce wasn't a word in his vocabulary because he couldn't do that to his kids, if he had any. Coming from a family of two parents I again can't imagine what it would be like to grow up without one of them. My heart aches for Ashley right now. Poor thing has a void inside of her that can only be filled by the affection of one person. I'm sure that she does understand what Chris has done for her and appreciates it, even if she doesn't verbalize it until she's 21; I really think she knows. It's hard being a preteen. Especially now. She unfortunately has more to deal with than most little girls and I'll pray that maybe "He" will smarten up and spend some time with her. Maybe if she has the chance she will find out for herself the kind of person he is; but I'll pray that he's not that person any more. I know it's hard for you, harder than I could ever in my wildest imagine, but the poor thing needs him even if he is a jerk. Hang in there, Sarah. I'll be thinking about you.