Monday, March 22, 2010

Another X post

My X was supposed to get out of jail today, but they re-scheduled it until Friday. Which is good because I really didn't want to deal with it/him on a Monday - especially since the girls were on Spring Break last week. Still, it/he has been on my mind.

I sat up straight when I realized I've known X almost 15 years. I've known him longer than I've known some of my closest friends.

Somehow, even though I've known for a while that divorce doesn't get an ex out of your life when you have kids, I always thought of it as their life. I sat up straight because it means he's actually in my life, too.

Because of his impending release, he's been on my mind. I've been wondering what it'll be like when he's out. I know what's most likely. He'll start calling again on the weekends for a while. He'll apologize to the girls, tell them it's never going to happen again. Sylvia will want to know if she can see him over the summer. It's been a year and a half since she's last seen him. It's been the most normal year and a half of their lives.

I'll wrestle with whether or not to plan a trip. I'll probably plan it. And it's anyone's guess whether or not he'll still be free by the time it's all planned. And then the re-planning will begin. I know that I can't be the one to keep him from them. I know that will only register to Sylvia as I'm withholding him from them. (I say Sylvia because Riley generally takes a backseat when it comes to their dad. I know she has her own issues, but she keeps them to herself. Now that she's in therapy, I hope that she'll at least talk about it there.)

They're old enough now that they know the rules; they know that someone else has to be in charge. They know that sometimes their dad hangs out with bad people.

X may talk a good game right after he's released, but he usually hangs out with "new friends" after he's out, and finds himself in trouble again soon enough.

My biggest concern, however, is not about a trip/a visit that may or may not happen. My biggest concern is that he'll be bound and determined to move down here and attempt to be a dad.

After knowing him for 15 years, I don't think my disbelief in those abilities are unfounded.

I can only hope that he has no resources left down here; no friends that will take him in, no money for transportation to get down here and attempt a new start.

I love our lives right now. It's not perfect, and we've got our own set of problems, but it's all manageable. I can handle this.

It's been so long, it's been such a relief to know he had no chance of hurting them anew, to just keep on working on what we're already working on. I don't know if I can handle all that again.

Letting him in their can I be expected to do that when I have absolutely no faith, no ability to trust him not to hurt them?

And that hurt? Just brings it all back again for me. And that just means I have to squeeze out another few hundred dollars a month in my budget for my own therapy. I don't mind going, I just don't know how to pay for it.

I want to believe that I'm stronger now than I was two years ago. Truth be told, he's only been in since November, so there was a year there where he was free and still never got under my skin. But I always wondered if he will attempt to return. And once he gets released, I get to start wondering about that all over again.

And then there's that part of me that feels guilty. How could a mother not want a father to be a part of their lives? Aren't we supposed to encourage that? But that's a small part, because I really do know that he's toxic. Of course, then I get to feel guilty for giving them a toxic dad in the first place.

At this point, all I can hope is his release date gets re-scheduled again. I don't know why it happened this time so anything's possible.



Anonymous said...
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Tara R. said...

I really hope that at some point X makes good on his determination/promises to change, especially for the girls.

MindyMom said...

I know this feeling well. And it's true that some men SHOULD NOT be in their children's lives. When it causes them more harm than good it IS NOT in the child's best interests. period. But unfortunately *we* are not allowed to make that call and must put up with endless crap because they share DNA with our children. I know my life, and my children's lives, would be much better and healthier without their fathers - as they ARE. If they were decent human being I would think differently.

Danielle said...

This is why my I am thankful for my situation. It is not ideal, but I don't have to worry about this kind of stuff. You do an amazing job at keeping your girls life healthy and normal. They are going to be so thankful to have had you as their mom when they look back!

Pippi said...

Don't feel guilty. Lots of women stay with men their kids would be better off without, lots of women callously throw away their kid's other half because they are selfish assholes. You have done neither. Your situation is just unfortunate.

I wish all three of you the best this summer.

Kristine said...

Re: spending money on your therapy - have you looked into Al-Anon? I try to go every week and it costs about $2 a meeting.

Best wishes!

Julie Pippert said...

I can imagine all of that made you sit up. I'll echo your wish that he has no means to come there. And as for the guilt, understand you feel it but (a) it's not on you that he's toxic, it's on him, and (b) it's not on you that he's toxic. Whether it's from the point of view of wanting to keep him away from your kids or the point of view of how could you let him in the first place...same applies. Hang in there and good wishes.

Cat said...

I know exactly how you feel. I hope he follows through, but at the same time he keeps a distance until he proves himself one way or another.

My ex is a psychopath- and I'm not throwing the word around. He stays in institutions. But his parents push for his involvement. I would be fine with just their involvement, but I don't see why they want to expose my son to a guy who's either so medicated he falls asleep every 10 minutes or isn't taking his medication and is having violent delusions. And of course they'll pay for his lawyers but not a dime for diapers. I'm a touch bitter.

Knowing that the worst mistake I ever made was choosing my child's father will always haunt me.

Anonymous said...

I have so much I could say about this post...Lady H's dad is much the same way except he hasn't been incarcerated long term...YET. It's only a matter of time.

Everytime he gets his shit straight he falls back w/ the same old crowd. He's entitled to everything the rest of us have to work for. Having a trust fund from when his dad died of cancer made everything so much worse.

Still, I let him be involved w/ Lady H. Because I believe kids need to know where they come from. In time she will make her own judgments, in fact she's already starting to. But at least she's making informed decisions, and nothing spoon-fed by me. Even if you only said glowing praises of the Ex, if you kept them from him, they would put all the blame back on you.

We do what we have to, and I would be making the exact same plans w/ the same reservations.

I hope for your sake, for the sake of the girls and normalcy, that he remains a long distance father.

jenn said...

I know our situations are a bit different, because my ex has never been in Shiloh's life - well, not since she was an infant, and even then he was already in jail. But I know how you feel. I could let Shiloh talk to my ex on the phone. I could send pictures or updates. Or take her to visit him in prison. But instead I pretend he doesn't exist. I'm sure someday this will backfire (but legally he has no rights as a father anymore), but I feel it's the only way to protect Shiloh. I feel guilty at times, but I honestly feel that our lives are easier and happier (not just mine, but Shiloh's as well) without her knowing him at all.

Again, I know your situation is different because your girls are older and know their dad, but I do understand wishing he would stay away. Sometimes it's just better. Hope things work out for you, no matter what happens.

(Sorry for babbling.)

Anonymous said...

Just reading and knowing I have no wise words to add...

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