No Thank You

I am doing my best to raise polite children. I remember one year at Halloween I was coaching Picasso on what to do and say at the houses when he stopped for candy. I stressed the importance of saying, “Thank you,” and using his manners. I thought we were all set.

When he went up to one of the houses the occupant was apparently offering up something he did not wish to have. I heard, “No, thank you. I don’t like that,” before he turned around and walked back to me.

He was polite about it. I must give him points for that. And assertive. Definitely not afraid to speak up.

Now, maybe a good 10 years later he has received a birthday card and a check from his father. My mom took him to cash it last week and I believe he has spent the majority, if not all, of the money.

I know I write a lot about not propping up the other parent, validating your kid’s feelings about said parent, and not bullshitting them. I try very hard to walk that line between letting him vent and allowing him to have the relationship he wants with his dad.

The other night I texted him his dad’s contact information. I told him he needed to at least acknowledge the fact he had received the card, and thank him for the check.

First he asked why. I told him it was because I was raising him to be a polite young man with impeccable manners and not a flaming asshole.

He flat out refused. He said, and I quote, “I refuse to talk to him.”

At that point I told him I was not arguing about this with him. I told him to send him a thank you and to get on with his night. I told him it wasn’t about his dad. It was about him and showing that he had manners and that I wasn’t dropping the ball in raising him.

That’s probably not the best reason to give, is it?

He compromised. He agreed to tell him he received the card and check, but warned that was as far as he would go.

Later he came out and talked to me. I again told him it wasn’t about his dad; it was about being polite and doing the right thing. I told him his dad had sent him a check and he should thank him for that.

His counterpoint was that if he started acting like a father maybe he would be more willing to thank him. I believe he referred to his dad sending him a card and a check as the bare minimum. Personally, I think sending a card would have been a bare minimum, but I digress.

He followed up his counterpoint with: Yeah, he sent me $100. And how much does he still owe you?

Fair enough, although I do think the two things are separate issues.

The other issue for him is he does not want his dad having his phone number. I guess I could have him write a note.

I’m torn. On one hand I still believe in thanking a person when they’ve given a gift. I really think you should send a hand written note, but if nothing else, send a damn text acknowledging it. On the other hand I think Picasso makes some good points.

His dad has not behaved as a dad. He calls him by his name instead of referring to him as “Dad”. His card and gift were late. He’s failed to even acknowledge his birthday before. Picasso feels as though his dad spent almost a year gas lighting all of us so he could claim PTSD and get out of paying child and spousal support. He doesn’t trust him. He doesn’t believe anything he says.

I don’t remember if I shared this, but shortly before Father’s Day he was out buying a birthday gift for his sister when he happened upon a bunch of Father’s Day shirts. He had my mom take a picture of one that said, “This Is What a Cool Dad Looks Like” and told her he should get that for the mobster. Then a devious thought occurred and instead he said, “No! I should give that to the mobster and take a picture of the two of us together and then send that picture to CF.”

I’m thinking that if he had done that he probably wouldn’t have received a birthday gift. Then this whole, “Should he send a thank you note/text or not?” saga would not exist.

On a lighter note, Picasso didn’t seem to notice his dad got new checks. New checks that make it quite obvious he and the cousin whore are married now. They are cutesy country style checks and read CF & Harley Buttwipe.

Wow- he must feel super special. She hyphenated her name when she married her first husband. I don’t know if she just loves CF so much she only wants the world to acknowledge her married name, or if he threw the same little tantrum he threw when I suggested hyphenating my nam. Hey, Romeo, it’s not going to stop her from fucking other men. It’s what she does.

To my knowledge he still has not told either of the kids he married her so I was a little worried about how Picasso would react upon realizing his dad had gotten married and never bothered to tell him or Rock Star. He’s Father of the Fucking Year material, I tell ya!

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Picasso Turns 17

Did I ever tell you that CF wished Rock Star a happy birthday via Venmo? He didn’t send a card. Didn’t text her. Didn’t call her. Certainly didn’t arrange to come see her. I suppose I shouldn’t mock his efforts, though. He did at least wish his daughter a happy birthday and more importantly, at least to her, he sent her $100. Yet another reason why I think he has a job.

Today his son turns 17. Picasso doesn’t have a Venmo account. His father continues to sell the story that he doesn’t have his phone number, so texting or a phone call is out. That leaves sending a birthday card or coming up. I think we can all agree he won’t be making that trip. We are now down to our final option- sending a birthday card.

Sad to say there was no mail today. No acknowledgement of his son’s birthday. Perhaps it is still in transit. Perhaps. I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

For the life of me I don’t see how he justifies attempting to have a relationship with one child while conveniently ignoring the fact that he has another one. Out of all the horrible, selfish things that man has done ignoring his son is the thing that hurts me the most.

Fortunately for Picasso he has a kick ass mom. I love that boy with all of my heart, even when I’m tearing my hair out over his grades.

Also fortunately for Picasso he had a good day despite his father’s absence. I worked, of course, but his sister bought him a gift and on top of that took him out to lunch and even gave him a brief driving lesson. She said she could only endure 15 minutes. Hey- we’re up to 45 minutes. She said he told her he wants to get his license before school begins.

Tomorrow we are going out to dinner with the family and Wednesday night he’s having a get together with his friends at the bowling alley before heading back to the house for ice cream cake.

Now we wait to see whether or not his dad will choose to acknowledge him.

I’d Take a Bullet For You

Oh, the interesting conversations I have with my kids.

Conversation #1

A few weeks ago my daughter called me to thank me for raising her to be a strong, independent woman. Apparently a bunch of people she knows have chosen to return home instead of remaining at college. The reason cited for the return? Homesickness.

She went on to say that in almost every single case the person returning home didn’t get involved at school. That was my moment to jump in and take credit. “What did I tell you?” She agreed that I had indeed begged her to get involved, to go out and participate in everything she possibly could at least that first week. As I wisely pontificated, “ Please give it a chance. Take advantage of every outing, every get together, every event planned for the first week. After that first week if you decide you just want to hang out in your room and watch Netflix, fine. But get out there that first week.”

She decided to go through recruitment (what was once known as “rush”) and has never once looked back since.

Conversation #2

I have come to the conclusion that I am a very bad driver. I didn’t used to think this but it is becoming more and more apparent.

I picked up Picasso from one of his after school events. There are a lot of stop signs with cross streets that don’t stop. I was at one such stop sign and began crossing when halfway across the road I realized there was a car coming towards me. I put the pedal to the metal and made it across.

Now, keep in mind the driver didn’t have to slam on their brakes. The driver didn’t have to swerve to miss me. I cut it close but we were in no danger of almost crashing. Even so the driver was not pleased and laid on the horn.

As we continue down these narrow streets, stopping every block for the stop signs I’m pointing out to my son how all of these houses look newly refurbished, which is something I was talking about with him recently. I was almost at the end of the block and ready to turn and, of course, coming upon another stop sign when I hear a car honking furiously behind me. I’m thinking there’s no way I have taken too long so what the hell is wrong?

That’s when the driver of the car from earlier pulls up beside me! She’s yelling and gesturing to me to roll down my window. I’m thinking, “No.” I’m not getting into it with some stranger that is obviously crazy enough that she’s willing to chase me down on a residential street.

I pull on up to the next stop sign and she’s still behind me, honking. I think it was at this point Picasso told me I should have a gun. I told him I had mace and he told me that wasn’t going to help if she pulled a gun. “Well, no, but if she doesn’t have a gun then my mace will be just fine,” I replied.

I turn right with the crazy bitch behind me. She begins to pass me on the right, trying to come up alongside me.

Again, I remind you, she did not have to slam on her brakes. She did not have to swerve to miss me. It wasn’t like we almost crashed and died.

As she’s pulling up beside me I decided I had had enough. I punched it once again and she was either going to have to slow down or run up onto the sidewalk or into the cars. I really didn’t care which one she chose. I did blow through a stop sign after I sped up.

Maybe she figured I was crazy at that point, or she felt she had completed her mission. At any rate she gave up the chase.

Once home Picasso told me that’s why I needed a gun. Eh. Probably not the best idea under the circumstances. Nonetheless, he told me he was getting into a defensive posture in case she did pull a weapon. “I was ready to take a bullet for you, Mom.”

I was touched. I also let him know that it was my job as the parent to take a bullet for him, not the other way around.

It’s sad, though. He can’t stand his father, refers to him by name, and wants nothing to do with him. He’d take a bullet for me, though. And he wasn’t just spewing shit. He really thought it was possible the situation could escalate to that point and he was getting prepared.

CF doesn’t have that with his kids. I tell myself all the time I am the real winner in all of this, no matter what, because my kids love me; they think the world of me. Yet, I also realize CF doesn’t care about stuff like that. Those are my values. That’s what is important to me. Harley and money is what is important to him.

Conversation #3

Picasso spends a lot of time in his room playing games on the XBox with his friends. Sometimes I feel like I’m failing him because I don’t drag him out of his room. There have been times when I’ve asked him if he wants to go get something to eat and he’ll reply, “Nah, I don’t really want to go anywhere.” There have been times when I’ve asked him if he wants to go see a movie and he’ll tell me there’s nothing out he really wants to see.

I know he’s much more of an introvert than his sister so I don’t push. Plus, it gives me a chance to decompress as well. But I do end up feeling guilty some days.

We had a rare day when he was out at the table and we were talking so I asked him how he felt I was doing as a parent. He’s a very literal kid so I find him very funny most of the time.

“On what kind of a scale?”

“What kind of a grade would you give me? A, B, C, D, or F?”

“Oh. Well, an A. You’ve kept me alive.”

“I would think the standards would be a little higher than just simply, ‘I kept you alive.’ Do you feel like I’m around enough? Give you enough attention? Am I engaged enough with you?”

Everyone should be pleased to know that I passed with flying colors. He feels I’m doing a bang up job of parenting him. I’m around plenty and he knows he can talk to me. He also assured me that he’s not barricading himself into his room and being a hermit. He’s playing with friends. He’s laughing and having a good time, which makes me feel a lot better.

We’ve been to two movies since that conversation and get this! He’s agreed to go see “Gone With the Wind” with me!

My Mamaw loved that movie. My mom used to say she believed she was Scarlett O’Hara. Close to twenty years ago she was visiting me down in Olive Branch. The local theater was playing “Gone With the Wind” on the big screen so I took her, knowing how much she loved the movie. It was the first time I ever saw it at the theater.

I never thought I would be carrying on the tradition with my son but hot damn, I’ll take it!

Conversation #4

The day Rock Star returned to school after winter break was rapidly turning into a disaster. She was picking on her brother and he was almost in tears. I was upset because we were out to breakfast before heading to take her back. All I wanted was a nice meal with my two children.

I barely said a word for the first 2 1/2 hours of our 2 hour and 45 minute trip. After I pulled over at the rest area to go to the bathroom and came back to the car I decided to break the ice.

She immediately burst into tears. “I miss you! I miss you so much! It’s not fair. I only get you for this one day and he gets you for the next two years!”

I was gobsmacked. She is loving college life. She loves her sorority. She loves the girls she’s met through AOPi. She is beaming and thriving. I reminded her of all of this.

“I know. And I do love it. But I still miss you!”

Maybe I shouldn’t be pleased that she misses me still. Perhaps it is a very bad sign that she will never launch because I have created such a dependence in her on me.

I don’t care, though. I know she’s having an amazing time at college. I’m still pleased to hear she loves me and misses me and wishes I were around more. When you hear all the negative stories going around about kids who can’t stand their parents I’m glad mine adore me.

Conversation #5

You may find this one a little sad. It is another conversation between me and Picasso involving his father.

I know I have written about not forcing a relationship on your kids and to not try to smooth things over between them and the other parent. It’s not your job to spackle. I don’t but I also don’t want my kids to feel like they will be betraying me by having a relationship with their dad.

On yet another chatty night we were talking about CF. Picasso was holding a small box and he remarked that the only thing CF had taught him was how to fold a box. At that moment I decided it needed to be said. I would suck it up if either of my kids wanted to see their father and there are times I worry that they feel I’ll be angry if they ever did choose to have a relationship with him. I very seriously told Picasso: You know, I won’t be upset if you want to have a relationship with him. You don’t have to worry that I will feel like you are betraying me.

“Oh, I wouldn’t feel like I was betraying you. I would feel like I was betraying myself,” he replied. “I abhor him.”

He went on to explain that he once felt sorry for his dad because he seemed so sad and so broken. He bought into the PTSD explanation his dad was selling the last few months before DDay. But, once he realized his dad was faking he became very angry. He said it was sick to do something like that, to pretend you have a very serious mental health diagnosis and to use that to justify your behavior. He also said he didn’t appreciate his dad cheating on me or him leaving the state and not saying a word to them. He ended his explanation by saying, “It all culminated in a perfect maelstrom.”

I was as impressed with his explanation as I was with his vocabulary.

“Wow, nice use of the word maelstrom.”

“You like that? I like that word but it’s hard to find an occasion to use it in a sentence. I’m surprised you didn’t say anything about me using abhor.”

“Eh. Not that big of a word. Maelstrom impressed me, though.”

Like I said, I have some interesting conversations with my kids.

Stop Feeding Your Kids Shit Sundaes, Part 2

I treat it the way I do because I’ve seen enough from the other board where I used to read that I know it does more harm than good to try to convince a kid that a neglectful and/or abusive parent loves and cares about them. I’m not accusing Cousinfucker of being abusive. I guess he is neglectful in the sense that he hasn’t seen his own son in almost 3 years now. He’s neglectful in the sense that he walked away from his two kids and that he didn’t give a shit when we were barely keeping our heads above water. He’s neglectful in the sense that he doesn’t communicate with them regularly and he makes up bullshit stories about not knowing how to get in contact with his son. Really, I think he’s just self-centered. It’s all about him and what he wants. No one else matters and he’s always the poor picked upon victim. Not exactly the kind of person you would want in your life, huh?

I don’t even care for: He/she loves you in the only way he/she knows how (or the best that they can). What kind of bullshit is that? Seriously? We’re really going to try to justify an adult walking away from their kids and then playing the pouty brat because those kids are upset with them? Or try to convince a kid that the best their parent has to offer is subpar and they should embrace that?

I believe kids can sometimes see with a clarity that escapes adults. It was my 13 year old nephew that saw something in Cousinfucker’s eyes when we came back from our family vacation in Florida. CF had opted out of the family vacation, choosing instead to go first to Tennessee and then to Kentucky so that he could participate in a mini family reunion that excluded his actual immediate family, and then turn around and fuck his cousin. I do believe he said he could see evil in his eyes.

I still remember the mom who was realizing as her son turned 16 that he would have been so much better off if she had never pushed for a relationship between father and son.

The story was this: They had been friends with benefits (maybe had even dated at one point). She got pregnant, kept the baby. They didn’t marry. He paid support but didn’t have much of a relationship with his son although he did have visitation and she supported them having a relationship. He went on to marry another woman a few years later, had two kids with her. He was supposedly a great dad to the two kids he had with his wife, but remained a largely disinterested father to his eldest. He basically went through the motions and did the bare minimum. I remember a story about the father giving him a special dice set for his 16th birthday. I think that was it. Nothing else. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back was a family trip that was planned for DisneyLand. It was to be Dad, his wife, their two kids, and this boy. He broke his ankle so wouldn’t be able to get around easily. Instead of trying to reschedule (and I believe the younger kids were not yet in school) Dad was practically giddy at the thought of going on this “family trip” with his wife and two kids, leaving the oldest son behind. It was quite obvious to the boy that his father really didn’t care about him. In the end he (the son) chose to cut off all contact.

I recall the mom who eagerly advocated 50/50 custody. She had offered it to her ex and constantly talked it up as the gold standard. Her daughter had both parents in her life and there weren’t too many transitions compared to a child seeing a parent every other weekend. Her daughter had no problems with it. She had four parents. She would never force her ex to be a peripheral part of his daughter’s life. Life’s a funny thing. Stepmom had a child of her own and no longer had time for her stepchild. The daughter got older, had her own teenage life, and wanted to spend more time with friends. Despite the 50/50 custody Dad was not willing to accommodate her. The relationship broke down because Dad was more concerned with his own needs than his daughter’s. That child is now 18, hates her father and has an eating disorder. There is some suspicion of sexual abuse and stepmom definitely contributed to the eating disorder. The mom now says if she knew then what she knows now she never would have agreed to 50/50 custody and she would have fought to end 50/50 custody long before she did, which was when her daughter was somewhere between 14 and 16.

Yet another mom dealt with an alcoholic ex who, by her description, makes CF seem absolutely delightful. He was entitled, rude, weird, and unreasonable. Mom worried about what a judge would say if it got to court so she was always, as she said, busy keeping her halo shiny for court. She didn’t think she could support her daughter in not visiting her father because that might cause him to take her back to court. She went along, hoping for the best. Yet another situation where the mom now says if she could she would do things completely different, because the father was extremely toxic to her child, once again to the point that there was some abuse involved. I think it was mainly emotional abuse; I don’t think he beat his daughter. But she was asked to keep a lot of secrets and he laid a lot of guilt trips on her. That poor girl ended up with severe mental health issues and has no relationship with her father.

Another mom worked hard to support her son’s relationship with his dad only to watch it disintegrate once the son turned 18. Once her son became an adult Mom left them alone to manage their own relationship. Left to their own devices and without having her there to guide them, the relationship crumbled.

So many of these women look back as their children grow up and are only now realizing the damage that was done.

It wasn’t always a case of telling the kid Daddy loved them when he didn’t. Many of the situations came down to them either believing having a dad in their life was very important, or not knowing how to keep a kid from a toxic parent.

I prefer Chump Lady’s motto: You only need one sane parent. That parent can be a mom or a dad (hello, Mobster!), and while it’s always nice to have both parents be sane, you can raise a perfectly functional and fabulous human being with only one sane parent.

I will never forget the woman from the first story saying that her son’s therapist had told her to stop telling him that his father loved him/cared about him whenever he would say his dad didn’t. As the therapist explained every time she told him that she was reinforcing this idea that he couldn’t trust his own feelings. She was basically telling him that he didn’t know the truth. The therapist went on to say that he was eventually going to be pissed at her because she kept lying to him. He was also relying on her to be a safe space. That safe space should be helping you navigate painful truths and validating your feelings, not encouraging you to believe lies.

With that in mind I don’t tell my kids their father loves them. Truthfully I don’t think he’s capable of it. Perhaps I should say I don’t excuse his behavior by assuring them that he loves them very much or that he loves them but he’s just broken and can’t express it very well. I do, however, share stories with them. They’re usually sappy stories which paint him in a good light. I may not think he’s capable of putting them first but at one point in time he did do nice things. Plus, I have always said I will give him credit when it is due. Like the time he came home from work and Picasso asked him to take him to the new Star Wars animated movie on opening day. Mama doesn’t do opening day crowds; however, I suggested he ask his dad and his dad did indeed put his stuff up and take him directly to the movies.

I do admit I don’t know why he does the things he does. I have offered to pay for counseling. Rock Star went for a few weeks. Picasso has no desire to ever go. As he says, he has nothing to discuss. He’s fine with his father’s disappearance. It’s just the way it is. No use crying over something you don’t have; it’s not going to change it. I don’t push. I’ve heard that’s not a good thing to do.

In a similar vein I don’t push a relationship between the kids and their father. He’s their father; if they wish to have a relationship I can accept that. I don’t find it odd to think that they may want that at some point. But I’m also not forcing it down their throats. We don’t have conversations that revolve around me telling them they need to call their dad or give him a chance. I have told them both they need to text him and thank him for the Christmas money. I’ve also asked if they’re interested in seeing him again. On a few occasions I’ve asked some “What if” questions. One time I did ask Picasso if he would see his dad if he showed up on our doorstep (I was curious because CF says one of the reasons he doesn’t drive to see his kids is because they would refuse to see him). I may have even asked once what it would take for them to develop a relationship with him again. But that’s as far as it goes. I let them lead. If they say, “No,” then no it is.

I do my best to validate their feelings. When Rock Star says that her dad is always playing the victim I sympathize and usually agree. When Picasso says his dad is scum I don’t admonish him; I listen and sympathize. Hell, sometimes I even say, “Do better than what he did.”

I think we do our kids a disservice when we push an unwanted relationship on them. Look, we ate a shit sundae for years in our quest to keep a relationship going. Shouldn’t that stop with our kids? Why lie to them and tell them someone who is actively hurting them loves them and cares about them? Again, I’m not saying that you vomit up all of your ex’s bad behavior. But I am saying that you reinforce this fucked up version of love when you try to convince your kids that someone who does such shitty things really, really loves them. Stop it! I think kids tend to have better boundaries and better instincts when it comes to things like this, and we as parents are doing them no favors when we teach them to ignore their guts.

That goes for the stupid affair partner as well. I believe in naming them and letting your kids set boundaries. Hell, I believe in telling your kids that they can have boundaries when it comes to their parent’s affair partner.

Why do some people insist upon torturing themselves by insisting that the kids get along with or meet the AP? I realize that when you’re dealing with very young children they don’t have much of a choice. But as teens or older? They absolutely have free agency. I have no problem admitting that I told both of my kids that they didn’t have to meet Harley if they didn’t want to. They are both at ages where they can decide that for themselves. I’m not going to lie to them and tell them they have to!

I also most certainly told them her name. I was not going to let him pass her off as some new love when the reality was he had been cheating on me and draining our bank accounts to do so. His kids did without so that she and her kids could have even more. He more than likely moved us across the damn country and took us away from everything and everyone we loved to get closer to her. I think they have a right to know all of that. I think they deserve to know what kind of a person she is.

I remember a relative telling me I couldn’t expect my kids to not have anything to do with Harley but think they would develop a relationship with the mobster. I assured her that I certainly could because the mobster had not been the reason my marriage ended. He had absolutely nothing to do with it. I met him almost two years later. She, on the other hand, had stepped right into the middle of it. She was perfectly aware of what she was doing and she didn’t care.

My kids like the mobster. He is good to them. He cares about them. Harley has never done a single thing to show my kids she even realizes they exist. Unless you count when she blocked Rock Star on Facebook because Rock Star saw her idiotic post whining about missing the comfort of her married lover in her bed, and confronted her father over it.

I have even gone so far as to tell both of my kids that they are perfectly within their rights to insist that if they see their dad that he meet them alone. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with your parent and not have the person who directly contributed to your life imploding tag along.

I find the argument that they can’t have a relationship with the parent unless they have a relationship with the AP to be ridiculous. Of course they can! If the parent is any kind of parent at all they will meet their kid at their comfort level. And if the parent says, “Love me, love my AP,”? Well, then your kid has all the information they need about pursuing a relationship with that parent. You as the sane parent are doing them a disservice by teaching them to accept such shitty treatment.

Admittedly most of my research comes from my circle of friends and commenters on Chump Lady, but those commenters on Chump Lady are a chatty bunch. It seems that the majority of the time these cheating parents weren’t very good parents when they were married to the child’s other parent. Usually they are painted in a very selfish, unflattering light. A lot of times the cheating parent abandons the kids, or they just don’t put the kids first. It’s all about them and what they want, what makes them happy. The kids are given any leftover scraps. My question then is why on earth are we painting them as these amazing parents, half saint/half god, that are going to leave deep, festering wounds if they are not around to dote on the children? Chances are they haven’t been around much anyway! Stop rewriting history! Stop shoving the shit sundae laden spoon down their throats!

If the kid’s boundary is, “I don’t want to meet that whore,” or “I will not be around that whore so if you want to have a relationship with me leave it at home,” then respect that. Stop teaching your kids to make their needs smaller to keep somebody that doesn’t give a shit about them in their lives. Stop teaching them that their boundaries aren’t important.

We got into our situations by telling ourselves that our needs didn’t matter. We were taught that the only thing that mattered was that lying cheater. Keep him or her happy at all times and at any expense. Look where that got us.

Help your kids break that cycle.

 

Finally! Christmas Comes For Picasso

It’s only two weeks after Christmas. My son finally got a card from his dear old dad. At least he didn’t neglect entirely, I suppose. Thank goodness for small favors.

Is it me? Am I really expecting too much to think that a person might send Christmas cards to both of his children at the same time instead of sending one card and then waiting another two weeks to send the other? He did this at least once before. I find it bizarre.

I can understand the Easter thing. You go online and order something for one kid from one site; then you order something different from a different site for the other kid. You have no control over how quickly each package reaches the child. But this isn’t something purchased online. This is a Christmas card with a Visa gift card tucked inside. How difficult is it to put a stamp on both of them and drop them off at the mail box together? I will never understand it.

I asked him if his dad wrote anything to him. He said that he did. He mentioned something about him writing that he would like to see him or talk to him again. I asked Picasso if he ever thought about doing so. He quickly replied, “Nope.”

There was no anger. No bitterness. No hesitation. Just, “Nope.”

A Tale of Two Christmases, Part 1

Another Christmas has come and gone. Another chance for the ex to do something nice for his kids. Another fail on his part.

He managed to get a card and a gift card in the mail. For Rock Star only. Apparently, he doesn’t have his son’s address either. Hmmm….

It was a sappy card; there was a handwritten message inside where he tells her he adores her and that he hopes only for the best for her.

My son doesn’t know his dad sent something to his sister and nothing to him. I’m not planning on telling him either.

There is a part of me that says this is the hand he was dealt and he’ll just have to deal. I can protect him as much as possible but aside from that there’s nothing that can be done. His father’s an ass and he’s the one missing out. It’s his loss. End of story.

There is another part of me that is so fucking angry at him. How dare he treat my precious son like he doesn’t exist? That boy is amazing. He is sweet, thoughtful, funny, and smart. He’s quirky and so very literal. He’s an amazing musician and artist. He still loves hockey although he isn’t able to play anymore. He likes classical music and music from the 80s. He likes quirky t-shirts that mean something in his life. He’s a big Bob Ross fan.  Anyone who knows him is lucky to be included in his life.

For the last three years he’s gone hunting with my brother; he never got anything. In fact, last year they didn’t even see a deer. This year he finally shot a 17 point buck. My brother has been bragging about it to everyone he sees. The people at the processing plant were oh’ing and ah’ing over the size of it. Guys that had paid thousands of dollars to hunt in other areas were impressed with the size of it. The mobster showed it off to people who hunt and they commented on how it was “a kill of a lifetime”. They even went on to tell others about it. He showed it to his son who also hunts; he said it was a beast and was also quite impressed with it. My brother has warned him that he probably won’t get another deer like that again.

His father has no idea. He wasn’t there to take him hunting. He wasn’t there to hear about it afterwards. He wasn’t there to congratulate him.

For whatever reason he has completely disowned his son. Picasso no longer exists for him. I have no idea why; I only know it breaks my heart.

Another Round Of Parental Alienation

Yet another OW’s blog. Yet another accusation of parental alienation. By now everyone knows if the kids don’t come around it’s not because the other parent is an insensitive, selfish asshole; it’s because the custodial parent is alienating them.

I don’t know. Maybe most of these cheaters think they are so wonderful they can’t conceive of a situation where someone would choose not to spend time with them. Their insipid little cohorts are sipping the same Kool-Aid. “My bae is so amazing that, of course, his kids can overlook all of the selfish, shitty things he has done in the name of love. If they aren’t talking to him it’s because the horrible, mentally abusive wife has manipulated them. No, alienated them!”

Perhaps I take these articles personally because I know Cousinfucker has told people I’ve turned the kids against him. I saw the Facebook post where he was lamenting the fact his children “probably wouldn’t see this” (his post) but wishing them a happy Thanksgiving nonetheless and telling them how much he loved them. I saw the responses to that.

Hang in there!

One day they’ll be old enough to make up their own minds!

Just keep telling them you love them!

They’ll know the truth one day.

It fries my fritters when I hear that crap! My kids already know the truth. They know that their dad cheated on me. They know that while he lived with us for the next six months he didn’t bother talking to them. They know he walked out the door without saying a word to either of them. He didn’t bother to tell them he was moving out of the house, much less out of the state. They know he could drive to see his cousin/mistress every single weekend before he moved, and that he couldn’t be bothered to visit them even one weekend in more than two years. They know all of this because they lived it. And those are just the big things.

They have experienced the joy of leaving behind lifelong friends where they grew up. My daughter had the pleasure of giving up her dream of being a Level 10 gymnast, and my son gave up playing the only sport he ever liked- hockey- because their dad was unhappy in Utah and wanted this “dream job”.

We promised them a better life. We sweetened the pot, so to speak, with promises of a pool, a hot tub, a game room, a theater room. My son looked forward to working side by side with his dad, helping him build it.

Instead, they got a father who once again shut himself off in his room. They got a father who ended up in the psych ward. A father who couldn’t go outside supposedly. A father who couldn’t celebrate their birthdays with them.

And then they got to watch as this helpless father who couldn’t go anywhere could suddenly play the devoted daddy to children that weren’t his. He could attend their birthday dinners. He could walk the mall with their whore of a mother on Christmas Eve, shopping for gifts. He could make pancakes for them, and buy them puppies and phones and expensive dresses. He could even go on family vacations.

It didn’t stop there, however! They got the pleasure of moving out of their home, watching all their furniture be sold off, saying goodbye to new friends, and moving yet again- this time more than 600 miles away.

My son had a fairly seamless transition, but my daughter was miserable the first six months or so. She lost her place in the Sports Hall of Fame. She lost future Homecomings (my alma mater does not have a Homecoming dance). She lost gymnastics for good. She had been counting down the days until she could get her license and now she was told nothing she did back in Virginia counted; she would have to start all over and wouldn’t be eligible to get her license for another 6 months. She was devastated. She lost any desire to gain a new set of friends. My beautiful, vivacious girl who was surrounded by friends and a social butterfly, became withdrawn, anxious, and depressed. As she told me once, she went from being everything to being nothing.

My son hasn’t seen or spoken to his father since February of 2016. Cousinfucker was creeping around in the shadows at her graduation and didn’t show himself until we had all left. My wonderful, talented, soft hearted son was with my mom on his way to the restaurant so CF never spent a single second with him. He didn’t bother to make it a priority to say a word to his son. This year he sent Rock Star a birthday and graduation gift, but sent nothing for Picasso- not even a card. I doubt very much that he will attempt to reach out to ask for a ticket to his graduation in 2 1/2 years.

THAT is my children’s reality. THAT is their truth. And that is why my son has no relationship with his father and my daughter has a very superficial one. It is nothing I did or said. He did a much better job at alienating them than I could have ever attempted.