I have been a bit quiet with my posts lately, I just can’t seem to find enough time in the day lately. As much as I love posting, and getting my thoughts out, this is the first thing that falls to the wayside when I get busy. Baby steps on self care right there.
Yesterday, my oldest graduated, I was so excited for him and so extremely nervous for me and my younger kids as this would be the first time we had seen my ex in about six months. It was stressful leading up to the grad. The grad was parent planned due to COVID, so just a bit more work than normal. Also, I was working with my child’s counsellor to help her through this day, work has been hectic AF and my father just received a pacemaker about a week ago. All in all, the juggling act was not going well and I was praying for the grad to be uneventful. In my mind, I felt like there was a possibility of him not showing up at all.
The day before the grad, my ex showed up to a ball game my youngest was supposed to be at but was cancelled due to rain. He sent her a snap, just saying that he missed it and wanted to see her. She was instantly furious that he would dare to show up unannounced, and she didn’t want him there. She quickly texted him back I don’t want you there. His response was, “love you, cutie.” Her response was what kind of answer is that? I think she felt dismissed and it made everything worse, she blocked him. Then turned to me and asked how would he even know, I said I gave him the schedule. I never thought he would come during the week, and I made it clear that you didn’t like the idea of him coming there so he should let me know if he planned to show up. She was so mad at me and took off to her room. I had spent weeks working with her counsellor on preparing her to see her dad at graduation, not expecting him to pop into her life the day before and send her spiraling into a fit. So that evening became us clarifying our plan to keep her feeling safe. Regrettably, I had messaged him and said why didn’t you let us know? Very quickly his response turned to how everything was my fault, and that he is the parent and it doesn’t matter that they don’t like or feel comfortable with his girlfriend, basically it is what it is and they have to deal with it. It doesn’t matter that they feel unsafe and have been in unsafe situations, he is the parent and they are fine. Then it was my fault that I didn’t want my 17 year old to drive the younger ones almost 4 hours away, mid winter, when the youngest was having anger outbursts, but I offered to meet him. He cancelled the visitation. One of my children has had health issues for months, on one of his planned visitations was to take them to a city that was shut down due to COVID, I asked if that could be changed and they just go to his apartment. Our daughter isn’t strong enough to catch a cold, let alone COVID. He decided to cancel the visitation. The list went on and on, but the items he listed were legit unsafe at the time with the circumstances, I never said they couldn’t go, I just asked for me to drive and meet him halfway and to chose a different location, not my problem if he cancels. At that point, I knew nothing had changed with him and my worry began to grow. My daughters and I went to bed exhausted and stressing about how the next day would go.
The next morning, I received more messages from him, upset I had not invited his parents. But the thing is, I had received a very rude text message from his mom basically telling me to F off and they would be doing their own grad thing. Not only that, but his dad had told my son that he would just find it too awkward to come and he didn’t want to. When it came time to make the guest list, I asked my son who was on it and they didn’t make the list. I did question it, but he understood the comments in the same way as me, they wouldn’t be coming anyways. Regardless, I saved 2 extra seats incase there was a straggler that came along. After those messages, I was thinking here we go, just going to be a train wreck.
I could see the stress in my daughter’s face all day, but we assured her that we would not leave her alone. Her plan was to hang off my boyfriend, who has become very close to her and she would feel safe. Wherever he went, she was holding his hand right there beside him. Grandmas were asked to stick around her if I couldn’t be close to help her through, and like a trooper she did great. She felt she needed those people in place to help be a buffer for her and keep her feeling safe. Not once did she even look at or say anything to her dad. Not a hi, not a hello, nothing. It was like he was invisible to her, if he started walking towards her she turned the other way. It was heartbreaking to watch, but it was necessary for her. I can’t push her, she needs to work through this at her pace, with help and guidance but I will not force her to communicate before she is ready. However, I do several things to help her get to a better place and hopefully one day there may be a chance at healing that relationship or even general communication, but for her that time is not now. We have a long road ahead of us to get to the point that she will even talk to him. I am taking her being in the same physical space as him, and not losing it as a huge win.
At times, we would look up and he would be staring at us, but never said a thing. Sometimes it looked like he had regret written all over his face as he looked at us. Sometimes you could see the emotion in his eyes, not sure if it was the graduation, or how his daughters are so distant from him, or maybe both. As sad as it is, I know he will continue to blame me for the failed/failing relationship with his daughters. I accept that, it is easier to blame than look in the mirror.
I did my best to be polite and civil. It was so hard for me to not comment on the suit. He wore the suit to the grad that he wore the night of the affair he admitted to having. I hadn’t seen him in that suit before, but it felt like a bit of a slap in the face. I so badly wanted to laugh and crack a joke, but I said nothing and happily left knowing that it was a blessing in disguise.