There have been a few themes running through my head, like hamsters on never-ending wheels, like a tape replaying in a loop.
One is the whole concept of the tide always changes. What goes up must come down, and vice versa. The yin and yang of life. What everyone has said is true: things will shift in time. And sometimes the greatest blessings are disguised as horrible life events.
Another is how freaking weird my life is. The duality of two types of lifestyles that somehow seem to coexist in some sick way. On one side we have the world of private schools, country clubs, education and family values like eating dinner together, talking about our days, bedtime routines. On the other side of the coin we have supervised visits with a deranged alcoholic father, court dates, and doing things like dropping off emergency custody orders at said private schools.
Finally…what keeps ringing loud and clear, in my conscious and my subconscious…I am so fucking tired of my life being dictated by PC’s bad choices. For three years its been a constant battle, both with him and internally. Drama, anxiety, toxic arguments. Harassment, threats, abuse. Astronomical amounts of money spent. Lies…so many lies. Therapy. Court. And most detrimentally: watching his bad choices infiltrate upon my children’s hearts and souls and minds.
I’m over it. And like the tide changing, I now find myself in a role of control. In a place of having the upper hand and in a place that, no matter how this plays out, PC is unlikely to regain the control he had when it comes to our children. And although this a huge win for me, its a loss for these kids. Its an admission that their Dad fucking sucks and has disappointed them and let them down and ways they can’t even understand.
So what has PC done? In the course of a month, to summarize: he became so drunk he terrorized the kids, his wife, and his stepchild to the point that they had to leave. He promised to quit drinking and pretended to be sober. He appealed for supervised visits and won it, and then proceeded to make demands, legal problems, and ridiculous proclamations such as that having a supervisor was “against his civil rights”.
He has continued to be nasty to me. He made supervised visits highly uncomfortable for everyone. He refuses to attend either of his children’s events. He got out of the hearing by agreeing to his mother becoming supervisor, then in a plot twist, fought his OWN proposal in court, stating that he didn’t understand why the Trollup couldn’t be the one to “supervise”.
For this entire month, my mantra to Trollup has been he’s still drinking. Every nasty text, the absence of any type of detox or withdrawal was a red flag, to me, that he’s still drinking. When I dropped my kids off for their supervised visit, my thought was he’s still drinking. His cocky attitude, arrogant body language, puffy squinty eyes, and my gut all told the dog-eared classic story: He’s Still Drinking.
And on Monday, I found out from my 8 year old child, who found out from her 8 year old stepsister, that yes, Dad is still drinking. He came home drunk the day before the supervised visit and Trollup and her child had to leave, again. Some sleuthing determined that his mother, the supervisor, was well aware and chose not to tell me. She may have done this in act of protection for her child, but in doing so it put my children at risk. And her child is a 41 year old grown-up where as mine are impressionable children.
So now, the duality plays in again. PC is polishing off his own grave, sharpening the corners and smoothing out the dirt. Trollup is reaping what she sowed…you slept with a married man, you broke up a family, and you had the audacity to be judgmental and condescending of me. My control over my kids keeping them safe and well-cared for, becomes more solid the longer this goes on. But yet…
The other side of the coin is tragic. PC digging his own grave also means he’s not getting help. He’s not trying to get help. He’s probably not going to and even if he does he will fail. Trollup made a lot of bad choices but man is she paying for it. No one deserves PC’s wrath. And now…she goes back and she might as well bend over permanently or she stays away and PC will turn on her just as he did to me. And my kids?
Here is where it gets deep and disturbing. They are better off without his influence, surely. They are safer. But that tiny little dad-shaped hole in their hearts has increased in size. Nothing will ever fill that. Nothing will ever replace him in their eyes, no matter how big of a shitbag he is. Surely my son is well aware that all of the events at his new school are generally attended by both parents. I’m sure he sees the other dads who are carpooling and joining in when the kids all get together for a massive backyard slip-n-slide. I’m sure it resonates that he will likely never have that. I’m sure it hurts.
My daughter, in particular, is a little girl without a father. No wonder she gravitates towards men, cries alone in her room, and hangs on to every word PC says to her. While the other little girls have dads who are tying their shoes and staring at them with stars in their eyes, hers is drinking poison and thinking only of himself. Even if I were to someday give these kids a really awesome stepdad, that doesn’t totally replace it (and really, now that they are with me 24/7, when am I supposed to find this mythical man?)
But this is where things are. Everything is out of my control, except for myself. Except for my influence on my children. I can’t sit and bemoan the unjustness of it all. I can’t sit and cry for them and–since this bears repeating–I can. not. waste. any. more. of. my. life. being negatively affected by PC. I am not 100% sure how to completely do this, but I have a feeling that patience and a lack of engagement will be a good start.
Its time to shift. Its time to flip to the other side of the coin where things are light and good. Its time to get out of my head and its time to remind my kids of all of the people they are blessed with who love them, fiercely, and while that doesn’t replace a parent, it certainly holds a gravitating weight.
All of PC’s bad choices, this time, are not my problem. They’re Trollup’s problem. I was several steps removed from the drama this time, in fact, none of it had anything to do with me (even though, always creative, PC found ways to blame his behavior on me.)
This shifting had already started before PC’s latest debacle. Because in actuality, it has nothing to do with him.