Choosing To Drink It All In

When you left us, I was so sad.  And after I was done being sad I got mad.  And when the anger left me, I decided to drink in everything you walked away from.  Everything you decided wasn’t worth hanging around for, I embraced it, loved it… I hung around for it.

I was looking through the archives over on Chump Lady, trying to find her scathing post on remarriage between affair partners when I came across this: This is What You Missed, You Idiot. If you really want to cry some tears head on over to HuffPo and read the actual article by the terrific Jennifer Ball who writes the fabulous blog, Happy Hausfrau.

I have a friend who is in much the same boat as I. We moved across the country at roughly the same time. She announced she and her husband were divorcing in June and two months later I discovered my husband was once again lying and cheating.

She has family in our former state so she ended up moving back with her four kids. The husband stayed behind with his mistress and her kids. In my case I moved back in with my mom after the husband moved to another state to work with his best friend and be closer to the mistress and her kids.

Folks, this woman is incredible. She’s raising four kids essentially on her own. Their father is over 2000 miles away, living a brand new life which doesn’t include his own children. She hired a nanny, she found kickass employment (she’s a programmer), she participates in community theater, she takes her kids to Disneyland, and she goes to Vegas on fun vacations. She’s doing it ALL and she does it alone.

She’s there for every tear and every laugh. She’s there for parent-teacher conferences and performances. She’s there for game night and ice cream and when everybody is melting down. She’s there to help her oldest daughter navigate this incredibly hard journey of discovering she’s been abandoned by her adored father. She is drinking it all in and doing a fabulous job, all while beating herself up because she can’t do the same things she used to be able to do when she was a stay-at-home mom. I told her one time that we weren’t the same moms we used to be. Our husbands made sure of that. Instead we are kickass survivors raising some great kids.

She is the friend who sent me a gift basket last year for Valentine’s Day because she knew I probably needed to be cheered up. For long time readers you might recall that last year, the day after Valentine’s Day was the day I learned that CF had quit his job of 15 years and moved out of state.

She’s stayed in touch and we check up on each other and compare stories. She told me that right after she took her own kids to Disney, their father took the new family to DisneyWorld. Schmuck! Putz! Tool! Evil sonofabitch! Piss poor excuse for a father!

I’m sure the knife in her heart was as sharp as the one that stabbed me when I realized that CF could sport a t-shirt with the fake kid’s high school on it and attend her cheer competition because “he wanted to support her”, despite the fact that he never once came to support his own damn daughter at any of her high school activities, much less wear a t-shirt to demonstrate his pride. EVER!

Strangely enough I had just attended a track meet for Rock Star the other night. My mom and I left after she finished competing and I sent her a text letting her know we were stopping for dinner if she wanted to join us.

I’ve always thought Picasso was the funny kid. He was always saying off the wall stuff, generally because he is so damn literal. But over the years I’ve discovered that Rock Star is a riot.

The other night was no exception. She had me in stitches. She does this thing where she gives names to everyone around her. People she doesn’t even know. And then she has this one-sided conversation with them. She’s so deadpan in her delivery. She apparently had taken over the restaurant as the manager and she was giving everyone tips on how to improve their service. The comments never ended and I was laughing so hard I couldn’t eat.

He’s missing that. He’s missing this incredible person she has become. He misses her attitude (okay, how much can anyone really miss that, right?) and her grit and determination. He is missing her as she transitions from this kid who lived and breathed for gymnastics into an athlete who is cheering and doing track. He completely missed her new life back in the last state, where she was the star on the gymnastics and cheer teams. He never once saw her compete or cheered her on. She was incredible. Fantastic. He never attended Sectionals her freshman year, where she was the only kid in our area to advance to Regionals. And he wasn’t there her sophomore year when she not only advanced to Regionals, but was the first kid from our high school in years to advance to States. He chose to miss that because he was too busy living his new life with a whore and her kids.

But I was there. I watched our daughter compete against Level 9s and 10s, girls who practice every day, every day of the year, to earn her spot and advance. I was there for her final meet, cheering her on and taking pictures.

I was there at every cheerleading competition, screaming her name and cheering for her and her teammates. I’m going to be honest. I didn’t attend every home football game, but I was at most of them, watching her as opposed to the actual game most of the time. And I definitely was there to pick her up! I usually took her and her friends out to eat afterwards and then would take the kids home.

And I’m there now- watching her cheer. Watching her run hurdles for the first time. Watching her sprint. Watching her pole vault. I get to see all of that. He is missing out.

He missed out on meeting the three guys she dated. He missed out on seeing her dressed up for Homecoming last year. He missed out on teaching her to drive and to parallel park. He missed out on the tears that were shed when she realized she wasn’t getting her license on time. Wouldn’t want to see that, though, huh? Especially since it was his fault. He missed seeing the smile on her face when she got her permit the first time, and the huge smile on her face when she passed her driver’s test. He missed out on seeing her get her first car.

She has no desire to take him out for breakfast when it’s been a few days since she’s seen him. She doesn’t tell him, “You need to spend some quality time with me,” like she does me. She doesn’t tell him about her day, or her life. She hasn’t filled him in on everything that is going on with track. She doesn’t tell him she loves him every time she leaves him. I get all of those things.

He has no idea who her teachers are, who her friends are, or what she’s up to. None.

He wasn’t there when she got her first job and he has no idea she has excelled at it, or that her bosses love her. He has no idea she is part of the so-called “dream team”.

He has no idea that Picasso is planning on going out for football this fall. He missed seeing his band performances last year. He missed going on field trips with him. He missed taking him to the store so that he could get what he needed in order to make his costume last year and the year before. He has no idea the hard work he put into either of those costumes. As with Rock Star he has no idea who his friends are, who his teachers are, what kind of grades he’s getting or how he spends his days. He doesn’t know how his son always seems to have a huge group of female friends.

He’s missed the orchestra concerts and the choir concerts. He’s missed the new drawings. He’s missed his funny commentary. He has no idea that Picasso has been growing his hair out or that it’s long enough for me to mess with him (my kid) and put it up in a ponytail and a man bun. He hated that one, btw! He’ll never understand why I laugh when I think of picking out the wooded background for school pictures because ultimately, Picasso decided to wear a suit for picture day this year. He has no idea how tall his son has gotten in the last two years.

He’s not the one who drops Picasso off at the roller skating rink or a friend’s house so he can hang out.

Picasso doesn’t walk into a room and hug him. He doesn’t tell him that he loves him. Picasso doesn’t want Deadpool to be “their thing”; he wants it to be our thing. He didn’t get to take him to see the first Star Wars in the new trilogy, or Rogue One. I’m going to be the one taking him to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. CF hasn’t taken him out for dinner or to a movie or spent any time with him in almost two years. He has missed all of his son’s incredibleness. He doesn’t get to hear his son tell him things like, “You’re the best dad ever!” or “Hug!” or “I love you.” No, his son says about him, “My dad is dead to me,” and “He’s a douche.” He mocks him and says in a tearful voice, imitating his father, “I was in a war! I fought in the soccer squadron.”

He’s missed all of the holidays with his kids since August of 2015. He hasn’t attended a single sporting event or school event since that time. He hasn’t had a single in person conversation with either of his kids since that time. He hasn’t seen either of his kids since he walked out the door on February 3rd, 2016 without saying a single word.

I had forgotten Rock Star was home when he left for the last time. Maybe Picasso was, too. I don’t know where I was. I just know I returned in the morning and my mom told me he had left. I have no idea what I was doing or where I had been. So when I asked Rock Star why she was taking this so hard when she hadn’t been all that close to her dad before she told me, “Mom, I was sitting there in the other room. He walked out the door without saying anything to me. Not, ‘I love you’, or ‘Goodbye,’ or anything. He just left.” That explains so much of why she’s had a hard time with this.

I’m going to take the advice in that article. I’m going to be there for them. I have been there for them. I will continue to embrace them, their lives, their quirks, the laughter and tears they create. I will drink it all in. While he’s cheering on the fake daughter that he’s “not that close” to, I’ll be cheering on our daughter. While he’s attending show and tell with one of his new fake sons I’ll be attending our son’s concerts and taking him to the movies. When our daughter graduates next year I’ll be there, watching her walk across that stage and planning her graduation party. He won’t be anywhere around. Same for Picasso a few years later. When it’s time to make decisions regarding colleges he will have no idea what they are considering, or where they end up attending. I will. When they get married and when grandchildren make their appearances (should any of that actually happen) I will be there. I’ll be the one that can reminisce with them throughout the years.  He’s missing out on all of this for a whore and her four kids. His loss.

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6 thoughts on “Choosing To Drink It All In

    1. You know, I’d like to believe that’s true; however, I don’t think people like that have any regrets or remorse. He’s too busy feeling sorry for himself and painting himself as the victim.

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    1. I don’t think he will. He’s been told by far too many people that he deserves whatever he wants. His children are a small price to pay for his gold digging whore. Besides, he can start over fresh with her four kids and they will never know how awful he is.

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  1. There will be sparks of regret, but he will just run from them. Feeling emotions is too difficult. This is my in laws: 2 emotions allowed, rage and manic happiness. Anything else is perceived as weak. No empathy, nothing. “When something is hard, jump to the next pretty flower and focus on that! Nothing bad ever happens and I’m always hap hap happy! Which proves how I’m superior, special and more evolved than the folks below me! And if you call me out, I will incredulously gasp that you don’t want me to be happy, then I will cry! I will call you overly dramatic, unstable and clearly you don’t have the spine if a strong person, you’re so sensitive and delusional! I’ve been practising this skill for almost 70 years!”

    Trust me, it makes for a very empty life on the inside regardless of what the outside presents. Because they will present as the most stable, happy, tight family but they’re not. It’s all for show, and in order to have a successful show you have to be “on” and performing all the time. It’s exhausting, but the terror of having to take a hard look at themselves is too terrifying. It’s why my mother in law is a therapist – she “saves” people all day, and can talk about it until all the air is sucked out if the room. No one can get a word in edgewise because no one can have a chance to call bullshit on her contradictions. There’s no changing her, but trust me – she is far from happy.

    Simple example: mil takes grandkids out to a show then lunch. Spends the entire lunch telling waitress what an amazing grandma she is, giving them culture, etc. Never speaks to the grandkids. Has no idea what’s going on in their lives. But she impressed a waitress she’ll never see again so she can focus on that win. There – she just spent the day being an amazing grandma, and she has a waitress who can back her up.

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