Sunday, January 18, 2015
We Know You're a Jerk...Did You Really Have to Reinforce It?
It's funny, with most people that show their assholian tendencies, you just stop hanging out with them, talking to them, associating with them, or whatever. A perk of being human is free will, and in general you can avoid people that are truly horrible.
Unless they're family. Or co-workers. However, both of those situations are usually short-term (as in, I guess I can handle the occasional get-together with totally miserable family members or sit in a meeting an hour a week or so where highly immature and rude co-workers think it's okay to make jokes about a rather structured colleague water boarding peers for stepping out of a meeting), and we all have our crosses to bear.
My ex-husband seems to enjoy being a cruel and emotionally manipulative force in my daughter's life, though. It is utterly unnecessary, and I will never understand why he (and others like him) can't just accept the terrible damage that they've done to others and walk the hell away. Reopening the wounds over and over again, for six years now, just drives home the fact of your douchebaggedness over and over...
He's playing this "I've found God" game lately, so I'd like to put this into language that goes along with that: a true and just God will make you burn in hell for eternity. No matter how many Facebook posts you make about the greatness of God and how amazing life is since you've found Him, I'm pretty sure that He hears actions louder than words, so really you should be quaking with fear if your religious claims are true. Douchebag.
My children are the most important thing in the world to me, and I'm especially protective of my middle daughter, Ari, because of the emotional torture she's had to endure (and the physical torture she's had to observe) at the hands of her biological father. Nobody needs to hear the saga beyond the fact that court paperwork is explicit that he is not allowed to be alone with her because of his "issues". That, I assume, speaks volumes.
If you aren't equipped to be a parent, if your presence is going to damage your child, nobody would blame you for walking away. In some cases, this would be the greatest gift you could give your child.
If you make the choice not to do this, however, then there is an implied expectation that you will do your best to make up for six years' worth of cruelty and mind games.
One very small way to do this would be to answer the phone when your daughter calls (at the time you've requested, on the number you've requested) on her birthday. Seriously, picking up the phone and saying, "Happy birthday" is a very simple thing to do; it's a seemingly small gesture that nonetheless shows a degree of care, no matter how small.
Yet you couldn't be bothered.
And not because you were on a bender (which Ari understands because it's happened so many times) or were in jail/rehab/et cetera (been there, done that, many times, so she gets that as well).
Even though Ari primarily hates you due directly to your own actions six years ago and your constant emotional manipulation in the years since, there is still a part of her that hopes. Your daughter has a beautiful and giving heart, something you will never understand, and so she still wants you to answer the phone when she calls.
I am not going to tell her that you didn't answer the phone because you were too busy with your girlfriend's grandson that you somehow have custody of (you aren't allowed to see your own child unsupervised, yet you are allowed to raise a baby...what a sick world).
I would never show her this post your girlfriend made last night:
This was Ari's birthday:
She had a wonderful day, and she was surrounded by people that loved her--aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, sisters--but you taking twelve seconds to answer the phone and say happy birthday (or call back, or text, or whatever) could have been a positive addition to the day.
Instead, you chose to reinforce what a loser you are.