Bitter is just one of those catch all words they use to make you shut up.
I read that one time by a commenter over on Chump Lady. I paraphrased a bit but the message is the same. I think it’s very true. I’ve also pointed out before that people are uncomfortable with people being angry. You can be sad. For an appointed amount of time. You can be upset or distraught. Also for a pre-determined length of time. But anger is a no-no. People don’t know how to react and they get uncomfortable. Then they try to shut you down.
I won’t be shut down. I’m righteously angry and I’ll get over it when I’m damn well ready to. I’m in the fight of my life right now. I don’t have time to pretend that everything is sunshine and rainbows and unicorns eating fairy dust mixed with golden nuggets.
With that out of the way I have to say I’m amused at how many of the “new” commenters on my blog the other day referred to me as “bitter”, “filled with rage”, and “angry”. Honestly, I felt kinda like I did that night when I read Cousinfucker’s texts to Jezebel, telling her that I wrote horrible things about him and said he was annoying me and wasting my time. I couldn’t believe I had written such vile things about him; when I looked back it turned out I hadn’t. It was a figment of his imagination. Completely. I had written nothing during this time he said I was maligning him. I did the same thing this time; I had to go back and re-read because I thought I had gone kind of easy on the original author. I thought, “Maybe I’m crazy and I really did do a hatchet job.” But no. It was pretty tame compared to some of what I write. I did concede to one commenter that I probably could have picked a better title. Perhaps, “Another Option” or “A Different Path” might have been a better title than “More Bad Advice”. It would have suited it better seeing as how I didn’t think his advice was totally off the wall insane and horrible.
I mean, I dared to tell people that might not have the fuzziest of feelings towards their ex that it wasn’t the end of the world. That it was normal and they shouldn’t beat themselves up. I even made a joke about it not being as if they actually had the power to do something by simply thinking about it and if they could then to please think about me buying the winning Powerball ticket. Funny stuff. Not angry. Not bitter. Not raging.
I did take issue with this idea that somehow I was to blame for picking an asshole to father my children. He wasn’t an asshole when I married him. Or at least he hid it well. I never in a million years would have pegged him as a guy who would cheat on me. I thought maybe he would leave me one day but I never thought he’d cheat. Jeez freakin’ Louise, I had one of his friends tell me CF would never cheat. He was supposedly too loyal. I also never thought he would abandon his children or flat out refuse to pay child and spousal support. Joke’s on me because he’s done all three of those things.
I dared to suggest that planning events on your own time, or finding a support system that doesn’t include your ex, or buying another whatever item is needed is a perfectly legitimate way to navigate this divorced parenting situation. How horrible! I didn’t say DON’T cooperate with one another. I said, “Hey, don’t feel guilty if that doesn’t work for you. Instead of kissing your ex’s ass, especially if the ex is an ass, think about these alternatives.” But apparently that is talking out of both sides of your mouth. You know, you agree that something can be good or at least not harmful and then suggest an alternative.
I also said I had no problem with parents sharing information and that I think it’s a shitty thing to do to your kid when you won’t let them contact their other parent. But apparently the fact that I no longer consider myself CF’s personal secretary is an affront to everyone who loves being buddy-buddy with their ex.
I will say again it’s not a side effect of treating your ex well that should insure you know about doctor’s appointments and school happenings and athletic events. In some cases, your ex should be telling you regardless. Kinda like what I did when I let CF know about Rock Star’s injuries over the summer. I told him despite the fact that he hasn’t seen her in over a year. Not because we’re best buds, not because he treats me well, but because he is her father and as the default custodial parent I have an obligation to share.
I also ventured forth with this radical idea of actually talking to your child to get information. That, apparently, is bitterness speaking because anyone with an ounce of common sense knows you can’t ask your own child what they are up to. <<< BTW, that was sarcasm in case you couldn’t catch it.
I said repeatedly that most of the things he views as a perk for treating your ex well could very easily be seen as treating your child well. It hurts your child when they are prevented from talking to the other parent. It hurts your child when they’d like to see their favorite cousin who is in town for the weekend but can’t because the parents won’t switch weekends or give extra time- just because.
I dared to speculate that some of those kids who aren’t healthy and happy aren’t healthy and happy because of the other parent’s behavior and not because their parents aren’t acting like they’re best friends despite the divorce. I’m sure any issues my friend’s daughters may have is not due to the fact that their mom doesn’t want to sit next to their father at a school or sporting event. More than likely it’s due to the fact that he is an out of control alcoholic who attempted to strangle one of them. But I could be wrong and maybe everything would be fine if only Mommy and Daddy would be best friends. <<< more sarcasm
I also suggested that maybe you need new friends if you have to continue to act like everything your ex does is wonderful, even when it’s not wonderful. I guess that’s the bitterness talking. Or maybe the rage. I tend to think it’s practical. They’re not really your friends if they’re fine with someone gutting you. I prefer my friends be loyal to me, not my spouse who left me. Your mileage might vary. But what do I know? I’m the person that has pretty much cut off everyone in CF’s circle if they support him and the whore. Self-preservation and sanity are such frowned upon commodities!
I stand by my suggestion that even if you can’t stand your ex that you can still show up at child related functions and support your kid. You don’t need to sit next to the ex. No one needs to be fooled into thinking the two of you are still married. Why is that so freaking important if you wanted a divorce anyway? You put on your big boy or big girl panties and you go and support your child. I’ll put forth an even more radical notion. If you simply cannot bear to be around the ex it’s fine to skip an event or two, or to even take turns going. Your kid is not going to die or suffer some sort of self-esteem issue if both Mommy and Daddy are not at every single function the kid has. My first choice, of course, would be to just go and deal. It’s usually a pretty big space so you shouldn’t have to see or interact with the ex anyway. But if it is that unbearable don’t go. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible parent if you don’t go. It doesn’t mean you’re a horrible person if you don’t go and hang out with your ex.
I will vehemently oppose this idea I need to accept the fact that I loved, or still love him in some way in order to feel better about myself. And the idea that we now have a new kind of love along with a brand new family model.
No, I don’t love him. I don’t even like him. The fact that I loved him at one point in time is irrelevant. At one point in my life I wanted to be a veterinarian. That does not mean I am one now. At one point, not that long ago, CF was depositing his entire paycheck into our joint checking account. That’s not happening anymore either. The fact that it used to doesn’t mean shit; it certainly isn’t paying my bills.
I’m not rejecting any sort of reality by realizing that the marriage we once had is now over. I’m not rejecting any sort of reality by recognizing that the person I thought my husband was does not exist; in fact, he may never have existed. I’m sure as hell not rejecting reality by not wanting to be best of friends with the disordered, lying, cheating sonofabitch. He’s not a good person. I like to hang around good people.
We do not have a new kind of love and we do not have a brand new family model. Divorce ends families. It does not create a new, better kind of family. It reminds me of that crap he tried to pull shortly after I discovered his affair. He was all, “Let’s build a new relationship built on happiness for one another; let’s show our kids that happiness is vital for our well being.” Fuck you, Cousinfucker! That’s easy enough for you to say. You’ve got your new life all mapped out. You did it before you ever left. You’ve got a new whore, new kids; you’re looking for a new job and are planning on moving to a new state. And what do I have? I’m destitute, being left to raise two kids who have lived a life of privilege. I don’t have a new man. I don’t have a fucking job. And I’m the one being left to pick up all of the pieces of the family you’ve broken while you go along your merry little way without taking a second glance back. If that’s rage or bitterness talking, well, I’m okay with that.
Once again, I think it’s being practical. I think you end up being a hell of a lot better off not thinking that your ex owes you anything. I’ll go so far as saying you end up faring a hell of a lot better when you don’t rely upon them. You never know when the new family will take precedence, when the new girlfriend or current mistress will get upset with something you’ve tried to work out together, when it will simply no longer be convenient for your ex to assist you. Stepkids or new babies can easily become the priority. What happens if the ex moves with the new family and now he or she is no longer there to help out with your shared child? You’re kinda screwed; instead of cultivating a new support system, one that doesn’t include the person who made vows to you and then called, “Take back!” at best, who lied and cheated and has attempted to destroy you at worst, you’ve relied upon your ex. You relied upon the very person you shouldn’t have because they’ve already shown you that they don’t keep their word. Why?
Because the Internet is full of people who will tell you to stuff down shit sandwich after shit sandwich for the good of the children. It’s full of people who will tell you that if you’re not “friends” with your ex then obviously you are bitter and angry and can’t move on. And that makes the children sad.
I was also amazed at all the concern over my children finding my blog and being hurt by what they read, and this idea that there was no way I could keep my feelings from my kids.
First, as I already pointed out, the Internet is a very big place. I highly doubt they will stumble upon it. Second, if they did come across it I’m not writing about anything they haven’t already lived through. They are fully aware that their father deserted them. They are fully aware of the fact that he’s having an affair with his cousin. They are fully aware that everyone in his immediate family is perfectly fine with his affair and that they think it is wonderful. They are also fully aware of the fact that we had to move out of our home and out of the state because he lost his job and made absolutely no attempt to pay support. My daughter is fully aware of the fact that she had to switch high schools right before her junior year and that she didn’t get her license until she was almost 17 because she had to start all over with a learner’s permit a month before she was due to get her license.
I chose not to lie to my kids. They were 13 and 15 when this happened. When they asked where their dad was after yet another disappearing act on his behalf I answered honestly. He’s in his home state with his girlfriend. Remember, this is the same man who couldn’t go out to dinner with us. He couldn’t go out to dinner with his own kids for their birthdays because he was “afraid” of breaking down. He stayed secluded in the bedroom and couldn’t go out. Naturally they are curious as to how it is that he is suddenly taking off for the weekend every time they turn around. I was honest. I wasn’t going to try to gaslight them or fall on my sword for the lying jackass. When they asked me if everyone down there knew about the affair I replied simply, “Yes.” When her voice got higher and she asked, “And they’re okay with it?” My answer once again was a simple yes.
I’m also perfectly capable of not talking to my kids about everything I might talk to another adult about. There are so many awful things that he has done that my kids have no idea about because I didn’t share it with them. $30k blown on the whore and her kids on such important things as sporting equipment, eye care, Vera Bradley, and numerous restaurants? Didn’t tell them. Him accompanying her youngest to show and tell? Never said a word. Him donning a t-shirt with her daughter’s school mascot and going to her cheerleading competition? Didn’t mention it. Spending just as much, if not more, on her kids for Christmas? They have no idea because I never told them. The engagement ring he bought the whore? The puppies (yes, plural) he bought her kids? The promises of a car to her oldest? They know nothing about any of that. Talking about how much the whore misses having him in her bed when he returns home after a long weekend? Again, not me talking about it. Him moving into a new house that looks almost exactly like our old home? Have not clued them in. Would you like to take a guess as to who it is that posts all that kind of crap over Facebook? Harley and CF!
Harley loves Facebook. She loves tagging her brand new love in all of her posts. She loves letting everyone know how blissfully happy she is now that she has cheated on her husband and is fucking mine! Why wouldn’t she? She gets major kibbles from all the sycophants around her, telling her how happy she looks and how she deserves it. I think she deserves a quick roundhouse kick to the head but that’s neither here nor there and we’re getting off track. The main point is it’s pretty silly to clutch your pearls and moan in despair that one day the children might read your blog when dear old Dad and his whore of a cousin post about that crap on a public Facebook page! Um, CF has sent a friend request to his daughter numerous times; I think she’s actually accepted it. So… maybe if knowing that her dad couldn’t be bothered to attend many of her sporting events while he hightails it to the whore’s kid’s events proudly wearing her high school colors might cause his own daughter pain then might I suggest he and the whore not post about that shit where she can read it? I can goddamn guarantee she can find her dad’s Facebook page (especially considering they are friends) a hell of a lot easier than she can find my blog.
I think my favorite part though was when it was suggested that my kids could sniff out fake-ness, suggesting that there was no way I could rage against Cousinfucker and call him “unsavory names” on my blog and yet still remind them of the (few) good things he had done, or try to recall the (few) good memories we had. Because again it’s almost impossible to vent in an anonymous blog and not say the exact same words verbatim to your kids… I have to wonder though, how authentic is it to force yourself to be friendly with someone who has walked all over you, humiliated you, lied to you, broken your heart, and shattered your life? Isn’t pretending that everything is just awesome and you love this new life that has been forced upon you fake?