I realized that perhaps 7 days was too long to wait to address the questions at hand in the comments. The internet being what it is, in seven days no one would care what my answers to the questions asked (or not asked). Many Thanks to Cuzzo for giving me her day to address some of the issues that arose in the post.
Jara asked an particularly necessary question:
“Why is it so easy for men to leave their own biological kids to then take care of the next woman’s kids (bio or not)?”
The easiest thing to do is to feed the children in the house. They are there. The needs are evident. There is no need to navigate out of state banks and money orders and blah blah blah. Hell, they just eat what you eat. You don’t even have to LIKE those kids. All you are is a border who happens to sleep in the room with their mother. (eww…THAT sounded horrible…Let me go shower). Of all the decisions that I made, moving away to Texas isn’t it. Moving away to Texas into a dysfunctional situation that impacted my ability to make decisions that were best for MY children is far and away the biggest mistake I made.
Cuzzo Comments further: My dad was not around but maybe in the past 2 years or so (since I’ve had my son) he’s been very supportive and more like a parent now. Granted I’m all grown up but I still like that connection of being daddy’s little girl. He never expressed remorse though, not to me anyway. He has congratulated my mother, in those or maybe more words, on a job well done.
My children are still years away from that part of life, but I can see the allure from here. When I got married the first time, my father ruined the marriage he had just started (his SIXTH, which is a WHOLE OTHER POST) to make sure he got to MD from CA to see his namesake grow up. He passed away suddenly and rather unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm days before he was to make a trip back east with wife #7 (!) to see the first born child of his only son. (that’s right for those of you scoring at home. My father’s line at death read the following: Wives: 7, Children: 1, Grand-children: 1)
Sunnydelyte21 said: My dad is a deadbeat.. he tried giving me excuses as to why he wasn’t there..but I shut him down. When I tried to open up to him at age 24..he tried to treat me as if I was 2 or 3 years old. We don’t get along because we are too much alike. Which is crazy cuz he has been around since I was 2 or 3.
One of the great unavoidable errors absentee fathers make is that children get frozen in time. Whether absent in the physical, or in the mental and emotional…your children become suspended in whatever space they were left in. This is the magic of nostalgia. If your father unplugged from you at 2-3, you will always be 2-3.
Harry Chapin Says it best
Athena Nike: Not knowing the whole story I am quite concerned that you were comfortable leaving your children to your all but sexually capable ex wife. That is a strong component to the marital relationship, but would you have separated if she was screwing you crazy but your kids went to school everyday looking like who shot john?
Whenever Folks delve into the demons in their life in a futile attempt to grasp onto whys and wherefores, invariably details get lost. I made the mistake of choosing a latent thought I have been pondering and highlighting it as though it was the final straw. It wasn’t. It was a straw I was pondering for reasons that a blog post could never do justice. I will simply say this:
People break up. People fall out of love. People wake up and find out the person they committed their lives to is a figment of their imagination and that the person next to them may be a hell of a person but will likely drive them to a life of misdemeanors and felonies of varying stripes if they remain this close to each other.
I don’t associate intimately with people who lack the necessities to be good parents. at all. Men or Women. I just don’t. There is no prospect for me to conceive a child with a woman who has a proclivity for being a wack mother. I’m just not wired that way. I got 99 problems, being a poor judge of parenting skills ain’t one.
LP: Personal responsibility is so very important and you’ve clearly taken that path. But in all of your essay, I’ve not really seen mentionned the impact/effect you think being an absentee father might have had on your children. It seemed that the importance was placed on whether or not the mother and ex-wife was able to do it. While she might be excellent at being a single parent, it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of the missing parent from the child’s perspective.
If my own history is any indication, the jury is out on the net effect of our divorce vis-a-vis the children. I didn’t really grasp what was happening to me until I was damn near thirty and in the midst of repeating the mistakes. Part of that is a result of not having closure with my own father as the result of extended period (six years) where he pretty much completely abdicated the lion’s share of his responsibility. by the time I got a sense of what he was feeling and dealt with my own feelings I was balancing those feelings with my own fatherhood and marital situation. My sons are eleven and eight. When we spend time together, we focus on cementing our relationship and building trust, because the time is precious. I am in tune enough with my sons to know that they are unique individuals and their effects are different because of who they are and how I relate to them. I am conscious to deal withthem in away that enhances our relationship. Only time will ultimately tell the tale. I don’t think they even know yet.
R4P had more of a comment than a question: You already know you’re trifling so I guess there’s no need for me to point it out. You took a coward’s way out and your children’s mother and your children will suffer for it. The only person you made the right/easy decision for was yourself.
Trifling. Cowardice. Right/easy.
In light of such a certain feeling, there is no need for me to attempt to persuade or inform. You have confined me to a box that men in such situations belong in and that is your right.
However frank and unflinching you think your assessment is, it is a teaspoon of water I can add to the buckets of frank and unflinching assessments handed down by those who lived this story…
as opposed to the 600 words you read.
And THOSE assessments are merely buckets of water on the head of a drowning man who spends the rest of his parenting experience attempting to keep his head above water in the ocean of self-doubt and self-hatred that he created when he was separated from his Family.
Your teaspoon is but the cherry on top of a very Unpleasant and very large sundae, but thank you for your contribution. I am sure it appears more appetizing now.
And a few words on your choice of words.
Trifling: This is one my mother’s favorite words. I know it well. I’ve lived it a time or two. I will probably live it again before long. I don’t embody it. If I did, this shit wouldn’t be so fucking hard.
Right/Easy: There is NOTHING easy about Writing this, to say nothing about LIVING this. But those who toss about words like right and easy don’t have time to see if the object of their scorn actually feels what they claim.
Cowardice: Cowards live a life ruled by fear. They let fear make their choices for them. If I was a coward I would let my bi-weekly check handle my business and go on about my own. Or I would just keep my head down and KIM in peace. I damn sure wouldn’t be explaining myself and my decisions to someone who has already condemned me to trifling cowardly niggadom after 600 words.
I will take any more questions on this subject at my email address, david.inkognegroATgmailDOTcom
See y’all on Thanksgiving.