These Divorced Parents’ Secret Regrets Are Utterly Heartbreaking

Very rarely do things hit home for me, but some of these did. My daughter was very young when I left her father, so that initial phase was a bit easier. It didn’t prepare me for the dissolution of my next relationship.

There’s not much a one year old can vocalize or comprehend.
There’s a lot a three year old can vocalize.
Even still occasionally, there’s a whole hell of a lot a 4 and a half year old can vocalize.
There’s not much a 3 or 4 year old can understand. Even when it’s happened twice.

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“Daddy is the fun one. You’re just mean.” Is a fairly constant phrase in my household.

“Well daddy let’s me do this.”

“Why won’t you just let me see my daddy already?”

My response is usually the same, something along the lines of “Well, I’m not daddy and daddy is being silly if he does that. You’ll see him after your time to spend with mommy is over.”

I remember the nights of her waking up screaming for **** (not her father), then getting mad at me because he wasn’t there. “I don’t want to be with you anymore. I want to go be with my daddy until “ex” comes back.” And “ITS YOUR FAULT HE DOESNT WANT TO SEE ME ANYMORE!” Followed by her throwing a toy at me and then sobbing on the floor, are the two I remember most vividly. The later of the two has happened again surprisingly recently for the breakup happening over a year ago.

Having her resent me for situations that I can’t explain the details of is excruciating.
Yes, I left your daddy “because we didn’t get along”.
Yes, my ex left me “because we didn’t get along like we used to.”

It’s easy enough to leave out the “well daddy had his ex-girlfriend in his phone labeled as “mom”, smoked pot 24/7, was emotionally abusive and controlling, and didn’t get a job for 4 years so I left. “

“I was too violently depressed to function for months because my brain chemicals don’t balance properly and despite the fact he was aware of that from the start, it was too much to handle for ****.”

“No, you can’t go stay with daddy all the time because daddy is moderately incompetent and can’t seem to keep a job or bathe you or brush your teeth and for some reason has like 5 cats, a dog, a fish, still smokes pot, is having ANOTHER child even though he exists off welfare as it is, and god knows what else.”

The hard part is being the bad guy in all situations. I left one, the second left me and it was my fault.
Little one gets away with a lot when it comes to both. Less so now when it comes to her father since she’s learned to manipulate me with it, but she still gets away with yelling and screaming.
She gets away with throwing things at me when it comes to ****. She used to get away with hitting when she got really worked up about it in the beginning. Normally, that sort of behavior would send her to time out for the next 3000 light years, she would receive a long lecture from me when she was freed and her probation would include writing weekly 10 page papers in MLA format explaining how she had bettered herself since the occurrence.
Do I really have to put up with her fits at all? No.
I know this.
To her, it’s all my fault. I’m the guilty party in her eyes and I can’t and won’t explain any differently. I’d be “badmouthing” the ex’s…even if one of them deserves it.

I haven’t written in this blog for a while.
This week my former little makeshift family got back together for a few hours and just like that it’s gone again.
I thought I was fine. I thought I was ready. I’d been good to go for months. He didn’t cross my mind much anymore. I didn’t really miss him.

I saw him Thursday night and Friday morning.

The look on Four Year Old’s face when she saw him melted my heart. She was so happy. She loves him still. He’s her knight and shining armor.

I didn’t really think about it much, but it was the first time we’d seen him since he left.
That realization sunk in when he hugged me and I reflexively cringed away.
It’s been over a year and that wound tore wide open the second he touched me.

He’s caused both Four Year Old and I so much pain. She still loves him with all her heart. Watching them play together was the most beautiful and heartwarming thing I had seen in the past year.

And as much as I’d like it to be a daily occurrence, it won’t happen. It doesn’t matter how much I cross my fingers and pray.

But I had to tell him that if she didn’t handle this visit well, this was it. No more. No more visits. Momma bear must protect baby bear.

I nearly threw up the second I sent that message because I don’t want to take away something that makes us both so happy.
But when the happy times parted by year-long periods of anguish, I have to step up.
He doesn’t love me. He probably never did. That hurts just enough on it’s own. But having to hurt and keep her away from him because, at the root of it, he doesn’t love me, hurts in a way I didn’t know was possible.

I guess it didn’t die for me like I thought it had.

Day 268

3 year old asked for you again today.
I didn’t let her call you.
I didn’t even ask you if she could call.
“Sorry baby girl, he’s working.”
This might seem mean, at first. “Lying to your own child?” Like, how dare I, right?
Wrong.
We both know this can’t go on forever. It’s really my fault for letting this go on as long as it did, but I’d rather her hurt a tiny bit now and forget you later.
You chose this, and I don’t want anything to do with a person that could willingly put a child through this sort of pain.
Stay out of her life.

Day 247

They said it was going to thunderstorm today. Instead, it just rained.

I miss the thunderstorms every afternoon, like clockwork. Thunderstorms didn’t happen much where I was from and they scared me.
You’d hold me and tell me that it was okay, that the thunder couldn’t hurt me

Eventually, I wasn’t scared anymore and grew to love watching the lightning.
Eventually, the storms got annoying and all they meant was wet roads and loud noises.
Not long before I left, we stood on the porch in the pouring rain, smoking a cigarette, and watching the lightning. Our friends were there too but all I can remember was you standing behind me and holding onto my waist and telling me I should put my coat on.

I didn’t want to. I liked the feel of the rain on my skin and the feel of my hair getting more and more damp by the minute. It had been so long since I had taken the time to enjoy this.

“You’ll get sick.” You said.

I finished my cigarette, got my coat, and came back outside.

I can’t help but remember this was the last Spirit I smoked. It was the last thunderstorm I was in. It was the last time I relaxed and let go of everything. Looking back, this is the last time I was really happy.

When I heard that it was supposed to thunderstorm tonight on the radio this morning, I was so excited. I wanted to go back to that night, even if it hurt later on.

But it didn’t.

I can’t help but see the irony in this.

I was always hoping so much for us.

We were beautiful and frightening at first, like the daily storms.
Then we were beautiful, the fear had gone.
Then we were just a daily nuisance, nothing but a loud, messy drain on the days of others.

For one night, just before the storms stopped for me, we were beautiful again.

Now there’s no storms.
Just rain and sometimes a glimmer of hope for a storm.
But it doesn’t storm.

Even if it did, it could never be the same, because I’ve learned that the thunder can hurt me.

Day 244 -

I came close to dying today.

I was sitting in my car in the ditch trying to comprehend what just happened. I knew I was okay but I grabbed my phone and I called you. I hung up before the call even connected. The second I realized what I was doing I hated myself for it. You didn’t care.

I found other people to help me through the blizzard of snow and panic, but I still texted you from the side of the highway. I could hardly see my phone screen and I was cold and scared and sad and I needed you.

You made sure I was ok. You made sure three year old was okay.

That was it.

Literally everyone else I talked to about it was more concerned with it than you were.

Someday I hope you won’t be a reflex.

I didn’t write this but holy shit I could have. If anyone knows the author please let me know!!

“1. When I was little, my mother told me that my ribs are there to protect my heart. It turns out you can break ribs pretty easily. They shatter the second you press too hard or meet a boy with pretty eyes who leaves your skin burning and kisses your neck. My heart is not in very good condition.

2. My freshman year of high school I read this book over and over again. I remember one line talked about how love can save you. The author forgot to mention that it can also tear you apart and fuck you up beyond repair.

3. I broke my fingers trying to pick the lock to your heart.

4. Apparently vodka isn’t the solution to everything because after the fifth shot, the only word I managed to slur was your name.

5. You know those dumb depression commercials where they show some women and there’s a black cloud following her around and it gets bigger and bigger and swallows her whole until she finally takes some fucking medication? You’re my cloud. You’re hanging over my head and swallowing me whole but pills won’t make you go away, trust me, I’ve tried.

6. It turns out words can physically hurt. They can leave you clutching at your chest and shaking. They can leave you empty. They can twist around your body and cut off your blood circulation. I learned that when you told me you didn’t love me anymore.

7. I’m not yours anymore but God I wish I was.

8. Things fall apart. Things get messy. Most of the time you can put them back together but sometimes pieces get lost and you sit there puncturing your chest with little bits of yourself but nothing fits right and suddenly there’s blood everywhere.

9. Nervous breakdowns aren’t cute.

10. Boys don’t kiss you because they love you. They kiss you because they want to taste you. I hope I’m still on the tip of your tongue. I’d do anything to get you off of mine.

11. Heartbreak is not beautiful. It’s not tasting him in your cigarettes or empty beds in lovely little hotels. It’s not rainy afternoons where the air wraps around you the way he did or cups of coffee the color of his eyes. It’s just a lot of shaking and crying and hyperventilating and blood.

12. When the fuck does it stop hurting?”

I keep saying that I’m sad for no reason today.

That’s a lie…sort of.

I’m upset because one year ago today I was throwing a fit about wanting to do something besides go see Die Hard for Valentine’s Day. We got in a proper fight about it.

The truth is I only slightly cared.
I realized later that night that I didn’t care, that I just wanted to spend the time with you.

I’m still okay.
I’m still over it.

So why the fuck am I sad?

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