I didn’t want this.
I didn’t want to raise children who had to be strong first before vulnerable.
It wasn’t what I signed up for when I let them call him dad. It wasn’t part of the deal I thought we had made when I spent almost 9 years building a home where they felt safe and loved. They never knew the day to day hurt that I carried being in an emotionally abusive relationship. I didn’t want them to have a dark sense of humor about it all. I didn’t want them to hate him.
I signed them up for a forever parent and they got a few memories and unhealthy coping mechanisms out of it. I can see how someone could hurt me. FUCK until recently my life mainly consisted of hurt. But them? No, I can’t fathom how someone could intentionally and knowingly hurt them. A monster of immeasurable portions.
And today I had to look him in the face and not scream, not cry. Worse so Cheyenne was with me. Without an acknowledgement or even a Hi for her. An “oh Shannon” with hazy recognition that the person he almost rammed his cart into was me.
How? Even after all I have read about narcissism, and I still can't “understand”. I didn’t want to raise a child who can laugh off seeing a man who once went to the father daughter dance with her, who helped paint her room Pepto pink. A man who came to face to face with that beautifully grown up woman and didn’t say a word.
I hurt for her, For all of them. I guess that’s what we do as parents, take on the hurt for them. Shelter them from the real darkness of the world. All 3 of them have let me know that I don’t have to carry that burden for them.
They have come to terms, that man is no longer their father. That he is just a man that their mother was once married to. I want to let go of this hurt I carry for them. It’s easier on days when I don’t have to see it face to face. Today wasn’t one of those days. Tomorrow will be. Most days are.
I spent years after leaving hoping one day they would have a relationship outside of our marriage.
The reality is that it isn’t what he wants, and it is no longer something they want. They remind me often that I am all they have ever needed. They deserved better than what they got, I know that, they know that, but he will never know. And that is the reality that I have to live with.
I am fortunate to now live in a happy healthy world where love means so much more than a man of his character can ever understand.