I made a baby with a sociopath.
You know, because you can diagnose something like that with nine college credits of armchair psych.
My ex-husband says things but doesn't follow through. He knows you well enough to say what you want to hear, but never intends on delivering. He is out for himself... to do whatever will benefit him in the now. There is no future. There is only now.
He lines up another chick, who has something he wants or needs, before he sabotages his current relationship. It is a well-established pattern spanning over twenty years. Knocks girl up, marries her, cheats on her, marries mistress, cheats on her, cheats on girlfriend, knocks another girl up, marries her, cheats on her... Follow the bouncing ball.
And now that I'm three years out, I will admit that the way my marriage ended... I saw it coming. I recognized the red flags long before they came to fruition. I firmly believe it was my relationship karma of cheating on all of my high school and college boyfriends catching up with me.
Because I was an asshole to Andy, and Chris, and Luke (especially Luke), I deserved every ounce of agony I received.
But you want to know who did not deserve that pain? Our kids.
Not only did David, Laura, and Jacob have to live through it once with their mom, but they had to relive it as teenagers when they watched him do it to me and Addy. It isn't fair. That's a hurt that a parent cannot shield.
Addy had just turned four a few weeks before I caught her dad cheating on me and I chose to leave him. And she was incredibly resilient during our cross-country move, being placed in full-time preschool/daycare while I worked 50+ hour weeks for the first time in her short life. We had a couple weeks of growing pains, but we finally carved out a niche here in Kansas.
No one gets married expecting to divorce, and I was no exception. I truly believed him when he told me that he would not get married for a third time if he wasn't absolutely certain that this was it.
And even as I caught him red-fucking-handed, I just couldn't tolerate the continued lies to my face when I begged him for the truth.
It was the hardest and easiest decision of my life.
And as much as I want to protect Addy from the toxicity that is her father, he's still a part of her life. That's her dad.
Even though I want to cringe when I hear the sound of his voice, I plaster a smile on my face. For her sake.
But as the years of single parenthood and sole custody wear on, that smile is getting harder and harder to fake as I watch my daughter's heart break at the absence of her father, at the lack of quality attention by her father, at the disappointment she feels by her father's inactions.
All this past week, her dad has been in Nashville, Tennessee to attend a work seminar. By work seminar, I mean wining and dining country music record executives, getting his picture taken with semi-famous country singers, and updating his Facebook account in real time to keep his radio groupies in the loop as if to say, "Look how fucking awesome I am."
He hasn't called his youngest daughter.
Thursday evening, after not speaking with her dad for four days, she requested that I text him a picture of her new haircut. He replied and asked me to have Addy call him, to which I obliged.
The four minute phone conversation consisted of Addy repeating everything she had to say at least five times. She didn't tell him "I love you" like she normally does, she just said, "Okay," at the end of the conversation, handed me the phone and told me to "just hang up, Mom."
When asked what her dad had to say about her new haircut, she said, "Nothing important. He had to go because he was going to a concert." She paused for a moment and then asked, "Why does he always go to concerts, Mom? He always goes to concerts, ever since I was a baby. Doesn't he know that concerts aren't important, Mom?"
What do you say to that?
My heart, which has healed after that man personally skewered it, broke into pieces for her. That innocent little face crumpled when she was trying to tell him about the most exciting news in her six year old life... because whacking a good 10 inches off your hair will do that to you... Well, I just almost couldn't bear to watch the recognition in her face, that she may not ever measure up to her daddy's love of going to concerts. That love of concerts and country music, of advancing his career, it has always come before his family.
But your six year old shouldn't know that. She shouldn't have to feel that disappointment first hand.
And I know the content of this particular blog post will make its way back to him, thanks to the "research" done by his mistress-turned-girlfriend. Hopefully it will serve as a painful reminder that his actions, and lack thereof, are more powerful than his words. That it takes more than a five minute phone call every few days in order to cultivate a relationship.
Sure, this little public vent session done by me in the middle of the night because I can't fall asleep will cause some changes on his part. He'll put forth a better effort. But it'll only be temporary. The phone calls will get a little longer, a little bit more in depth in the short run. He'll play the part of the concerned father only because he was publicly called out on his shortcomings.
And as soon as other things start popping up - summer concert season, his time-suck of an entrepreneurial side job, he'll fall right off the bandwagon.
But she'll have me. As her father's interest and time waxes and wanes throughout her life, she will always be able to count on me.
|Yes, we do.|