MY tribe, not yours
A divorce is like an open grave. First you are at that point where you never, ever want to see that person again, but you have kids, and have to try to remain sane and reasonable while he waves his new to the world, (old news to me) girlfriend around for the world and his kids to see, and the divorced stamp ink is still wet on the papers.
He lives in a different country so my kids are lucky to see him a weekend per month if at all. But all his profile status pictures have her in it. After a quick check i saw none of hers had him in. Midlife crisis infatuation.
My kids and I, we are like a little tribe. I’m the parent who holds council over decisions that affect them, with them. We decide together. They don’t have that with dad, he’s not around enough.
THEN he tries to take them on holiday with her AND her kids to the same spot on the same coastal resort we have gone with our kids three times before. My son refuses, and tells him to his face he will go to court if the dad tries to force him. He was eight years old at the time and not about to be bullied back there.
There goes my first December holiday, i have not been alone for longer than 6 hours since i was 31 years old. Now, the Kids are growing up and we chat about holiday destinations and past trips 3 years later and i hear this horror story from my 15 (then 12year old) daughter.
She was given a two way radio, and left in the play-park with some other kids from the resort. Later when it’s dark and she wants to go to the tent she tries and tries to call her dad on the radio. Unfortunately when he dropped her off, he set off straight to the bar with his buddies and promptly forgot about her and her radio.
Without a flashlight, alone and scared she stumbled in the direction, she thought the stand was in, tripping over tent wires and trash in the dark. When eventually finding the stand she finds nobody there. Daddy still doesn’t answer his radio. Too scared to stay by herself she walked on the lighted streets and followed the directions to the adult recreation area, where she finally found him.
THREE YEARS LATER, she tells me this. Then daddy looses my son ( now her age when he lost her). He looses him in one of the biggest shopping centers in the region with no phone, and nowhere to go. Fortunately my boy knows my number so he found himself the nearest security guard, went to the management offices and called me. I called his dad to get him, and the asshole has the audacity to shout at my child asking why he left the play-park early, with no means of checking the time on a watch my son didn’t have, not specifying a meeting point, and without any means of communication. I almost blew a vein.
By now we start to be civil and work together while i thank myself for raising strong independent children (mine to raise since they were 8 and 4). And planning evil ways for him to suffer. For eternity if something bad happened to my kids. Many other mistakes are made and off to children’s court we go. The judge agrees with me and empowers my kids with the blessing of choice. She shoots down his complaint of parental alienation.
He is the picture of irresponsible parent, and a poster child for emotional unavailability.
I make mistakes too, i know i am far from perfect with faults of my own, and kids bounce while they are still young. But seriously, and i mean it in the kindest sincerest of ways, i wish i did not have to deal with him, at all. Ever.
He pays his maintenance for which i am very thankful for but only because he could never embarrass himself or his very rich family by not doing so.
He pays when we have no money for food when the kids told him, but keeps this as a special kind of axe over my head. See, while raising the kids alone i also underwent several dangerous neck and shoulder operations and fusions leaving me unable to maintain my company and outliving my savings, but most of all unable to keep a job. I started a new venture from home, and it’s starting to take flight, but i am 47 years old, working worrying and raising two ADD blessed kids by myself.
I wish my tribe didn’t have to deal with his tribe, but most of all i wish he turned out to be the dad my kids deserved.