Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ex Communication

My ex talked to the girls on a daily basis when we first moved out here. He talked to me, too. As I mentioned before, he knew how to find my vulnerable spots, and he was trying to get me agree to a reconciliation.

I finally presented a put up or shut up solution. If he wanted us back, then he had 6 months to get it together. I knew I couldn't file for divorce until I had been a CA resident for at least 6 months, so in that time, he had to pay child support, get a job, get out to L.A., and find a place to live before I would consider it.

I knew, in the back of my mind that this would never happen. I also knew that, if by some miracle it happened, I would go back because it would show he had changed and grown and was ready to be a husband and father. But it never did happen.

I got a call that he was in jail. Underneath the thoughts of, "well, what the heck am I supposed to do about that?" and "whatever" was the question, "what do I tell the girls?"

At 3 & 6, I knew I couldn't tell them their dad wasn't calling because he was in jail. But what could I say? What excuse could I make for him? I told him he was on tour (something he'd done before) and wouldn't be able to call for a while. A few days later, he was out and he called. And told them he'd been sick. Sylvia tells me, "you were wrong, Mommy." At that moment, I vowed I would never lie for him again. And I never have.

The phone calls came more intermittently after that. At one point, I asked him to just call on the weekends because Sylvia was back in school and needed her weeknights for homework, but he'd call whenever he felt like it, and I let him talk to them whenever it was for Sylvia.

He moved to Denver (probably running from the law, but who knows), where his parents were living at the time . He still couldn't call on a regular schedule.

His not calling would cause Sylvia to be emotional. His calling would put her emotions in overdrive.

I was so angry at him for putting me in this position. She saw me as the bad guy who took her nice daddy away, and I was still protecting him for her! It sucked.

But I knew I couldn't badmouth him, as it would just drive a wedge further between me and Sylvia. I knew I just had to suck it up and deal. My friends and family reassured me that in time, she would get it. The problem with that is I relate too much to Carrie Fisher's line: instant gratification takes too long. Still, I knew they were probably right. I just had to hang in there and keep going.

And then things really got interesting. My ex came to live in Los Angeles.

To be continued...


Suzie said...

Wow this is some story. You are one strong gal

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS! I am in desperate need of a story! Thank God for you single mamas out there!

Anonymous said...

It sucks being the bad guy. It happens even in the most amicable of divorce situations.

Kori said...

Yep, yep, yep. you are so brave, April, in SO many ways!

David said...

Your strength and determination comes through in spades in your post.
I am enjoying your writing, you seem to have found the right voice, and this will help so many others.
Nice job!


Jen said...

April, if you're ever having a bad, self-doubting day, please remember everything you've led the girls (and yourself) through.

You ROCK. Period.

Meg said...

I agree. You've found your voice. You seem strong and talented in so many ways.

OHmommy said...

This is an incredible story, April. I am so glad you are telling it.

You are a wonderful mother, my friend.