So I already had a bit of an idea of what I wanted to vent about on my next blog...especially after some of the BS that went on yesterday. Then I heard this on The Bert Show on my way to work this morning. I have never so badly wanted to call into a radio station in my life. I wanted to tell this mom to be thankful. If you're only concern is that she goes out for a few drinks every now and then, be grateful. You have no idea just how bad it could be. As a single mom with sole custody, I think I can relate to her situation.
I must warn you now. If you're part of my previous family or a friend of my ex, this post is a direct vent towards him. I've always tried to be diplomatic in my public posts relating to him and the stupid shit he does, but this post is not in the slightest bit sugar coated. Read at your own risk of being offended or at least having your eyes opened about his true character. In all reality, I doubt any of it will really come as a shock to any of you. He's a funny guy. People like him...hell, I even loved him!! But he is not a good dad nor is a responsible adult. That being said, happy reading.
One of the hardest things for me to learn when I got divorced was that I had ZERO control over who he brought around my children when they were with him. Maybe if I had that money tree that endlessly bloomed legal fees, I could've done something about it legally. I have been known to cut off visitation from time to time when things were at their worst...and then my children grew to the age where I let them decide on their own. They both know what could and has happened while they've been at their dad's. Beelay has chosen not to go to his house since last June. SLou still goes, but typically only for one night at a time...because she worries about her daddy and she doesn't want to hurt his feelings by not coming to see him.
Let me give you the most recent example of the jealous and distrust that goes on at that house. Yesterday SLou got a call from her daddy wanting to confirm for his Lady Lunatic that she had in fact forgotten a pair of earrings in the cup holder of his truck. Seriously? They were little dangly hearts...obviously little girl earrings!! She hangs up the phone and says "I bet you $5 Lady Lunatic is accusing him of cheating on her and that my earrings are his other girlfriend's." "Yep, I bet you're right.". Again I say, SERIOUSLY?!?! A 10 year shouldn't even have those scenarios in her realm of understanding.
Rewind back to the first time I cut off visitation...roughly 7 years ago. I get a call from Ex Dumb Dumb saying "I need you to come get the girls. I don't have enough gas to bring them to you and I think the cops are looking for me." Set all the logical responses aside, my first and foremost concern is the safety of my children...so of course I go get them!! I pull up at his friends house and Ex Dumb Dumb walks out and has blood running down the back of his head. Lady Lunatic had hit him in the head with a pair of pliers. I cut him off for close to 8 weeks (I think). And only gave in because the girls both missed their daddy and his mom begged me to give him another chance. And so the cycle has gone for the past 7 years.
There have been towel bars ripped off walls and used as weapons. There have been times when my kids have ended up in hotel rooms or his parents house in the middle of the night. There have been weeks of not knowing if their daddy was dead or alive. There have been jail stints that I was forced to lie to my kids about. There was even the time that he and my girls were left at the beach 6 hours away, for his dad to come pick them up...because a "situation" resulted in Lady Lunatic and her family being asked to leave and my kids refusing to get in the car with them (for good reasons). That would be the needle that broke Beelay from giving him anymore chances. I haven't forced her to go to his house or even to spend any time with him other than at Christmas, when I made her go to his parents house...with the promise that if it got too uncomfortable for her, I'd come get her right away. I've encouraged her to spend time with him. I've even given him some advice on how to go about trying to mend things, but they've all been ignored.
I can't even pin point the worst part of this whole situation. There have been so many promises made and broken. When they've been promised this is the last time and it's never gonna happen again and he's NEVER going back to her again...20 times (no exaggeration), they've learned that it's only a matter of time. Last time they stayed broken up for maybe 2 weeks. He was a good dad for those 2 weeks. He called multiple times a day. He showed up for their swim meets. He came and took them to ride their bikes...and watched them swim. He was actually a dad for those 2 weeks...and then he disappeared. He quit calling. He quit showing up for their swim meets. It only took a couple of days for SLou to see the writing on the wall. She was so hurt and disappointed, but by the time she heard from him again...she missed him so much, she was just happy to hear from him. A child's love and forgiveness is so innocent, but constant hurt and heartache will ruin them. They are both going to have so many "daddy" issues in their adult lives. SLou gets so defensive of him still. She knows he's a dumb dumb, but he's her dumb dumb daddy.
Here's an example. He owes me over $40k. I'm lucky if I get $200 a month for our 2 kids. I provide EVERYTHING for them from health insurance, to clothes, to school supplies, to sports, etc....EVERYTHING!!! He's done nothing to improve his life. He's done nothing to try to make more money to help provide for his children, yet Lady Lunatic doesn't work (granted she's sick and on some sort of disability, I think). Don't get me wrong, they're not living a charmed life by any means. But when I hear that he has a broken leg from falling out of his boat, sympathy is NOT my first emotion. My first thought is "GREAT!! Now he has one more excuse for why he isn't working and why he doesn't have any money." My second thought is "if you're broke and can't pay your child support, what the HELL are you doing fishing...on a boat?" I don't care if the boat was given to you. I don't care if someone else paid for the gas and bait. On that same note, if you're broke...you shouldn't have a 4-wheeler. The fact that you traded a truck for it is beside the point. SELL ALL OF IT!!! You have children that you're not helping to support!! In my opinion, if you're behind on your child support; you shouldn't have cable tv, or a bag of pot, beer in your fridge or ANYTHING beyond the basic necessities of life...food, shelter, power, running water and a safe reliable vehicle to transport your children in and to get back and forth from WORK in.
I'm sure to some, I sound like a bitter ex-wife. I'm not. I walked away from that train wreck on my own two feet. I've come to terms with the fact that he's never going to change. I've wished nothing but happiness and great things for him. All I can do is try my best to raise my kids to overcome the shitty hand they were dealt when it comes to their dad...and hope that one day he sees the error of his ways and apologizes to them and that it won't be too late for them to have some sort of decent father/daughter relationship when they're grown.