**Disclaimer: This started out a nice li'l blog about life decisions and whatnot. Then my fingers started typing and I let it happen. Enter at your own risk.
So here we are. Another rainy Southern September. School is in full swing for The Girl and me. I've got studio classes and she's kicking ass and taking names in her honors courses and trying to maintain a social life. Things are trucking on with ease.
No. No crash, no "BUT"....things are going as well as they can in a troubled market. I'm grateful that the Honey is resourceful and works as much and as hard as he does every week. Having to work for yourself is not easy by any stretch but he makes the best of it. The oil field tanked early this year and it's made things harder than we are accustomed to but it's nothing we can't handle. I made the comment to her father a month or so ago that he had a lot of faith in our situation and the man I married. Yeah I told him that. Child support had been sketchy at best and lack of insurance had become a problem. His response to my comment was, "what?". I simply asked what part didn't he understand. Never got a response. Step parents who step up are a commodity. They are fairly plentiful, but there are some who don't do more than they have to for the children they obtain through relationships. And there simply some situations that are not ideal and perhaps when a particular market crashes, all the good intentions in the world can't buy new clothes or put more than basic food on a table. Honey and both maintain multiple incomes. I'm glad we do, those cushions are what keep us afloat during the rough months. Honestly, if I had to rely on my support like some people do, I'd starve while my child ate. Oh wait, we did that for a year....
With the new school year upon both of us, conveniently Ex was between jobs. This was a rare year in that we had to buy new school pants just after we bought a whole set of uniforms last fall. We found good sales and thankfully she had plenty shirts. Honey's generosity and my school book money served us well. If he were any other kind of man...we would be in trouble. If he was the type that didn't want someone else's burden, I'd be begging, bitching, or simply accepting anything I could get from the other side. There are rare months that we actually *need* his contribution...but those months do exist. Typically the beginning of the school year is the main time. There are classroom fees, lab fees, ID costs, clothing, extra curriculars, dances, all this... on top of the typical maintenance costs of raising a girl child. Oh and yeah, all those fees....that's just public high school.
I know, most of this needs no explanation. Anyone with half a brain knows what it takes financially to raise even one child in this economy. Even in the previous years when we had another in and out of the house, we made things work. That's what you do. You'd think that someone who lives with a woman with a teenage girl would know these things.
I asked Honey tonight if he and his ex didn't have the level of communication and co-parenting they had/have...would he have had the forethought to go to his son or even her and ASK what was going on. Did he need clothes for something, was it time for homecoming, were there things he was into...
He said yes, he would have. Even though he and his ex have a much more open line of communication, it wouldn't have affected his relationship with his son had they not. He would have made the effort to call or text and find out what was going on. I know my ex thinks that I grabbed the first man who would pay attention to me and that I spend allllll my child support on whiskey and beer and stay in the bar when I'm not home. I know this. He truly believes that the little he does is an honest and concerted effort. Kind of like the C student who is capable or B's or A's but thinks that C's are acceptable simply because it's considered "passing". In the past I'd taken videos of her concerts or bough school pictures and sent them to him. She stopped asking me to record her performances after a while, so I simply took videos for myself. He never asked where his were...or mentioned that he'd like to have one. I stopped sending pictures, he was more content to take a few of his own, he never said anything when they stopped coming. I posted pictures and videos on social media on her pages so he could see them and have copies at his will. He blocked me on all channels. Let me reiterate that: HE. Blocked. Me. I've never blocked him from seeing anything of her. I asked the question because I wanted to make sure the way I felt is valid. I don't believe I should have to ask for something that anyone who's ever gone to a public school should anticipate.
|Courtesy of Divorce Drama Diary|
This is a dead horse for some. For that I apologize, y'all listen to me bitch and whine on the regular, you shouldn't have to read it too. This has a purpose, I promise.
You see, he has systematically alienated many of his people over the last few years. Some stepped back because they had a hard time understanding why he left his only child behind. Others have seen the lack of concern or involvement and it's bothered them to a point that they lost respect. Still others have called him out on ill behaviors (or the impression of) and been rewarded with their own connections being shut down. I know there have been remarks to the effect of, "she doesn't allow me to do; doesn't ask me for X; keeps me from The Girl; limits my time/communication; etc". All who know me, know...I've never told her she can't see him. She's had her own personal cell phone since right after he moved out. I have never confiscated it, even for punishment. I bought her a video game that allows her to play online with him (they never do). The first couple times I asked him for something, he was so wary...it was 20 questions. So the last time I asked I gave him the ability to pay what he wanted on his own...no money exchange between us. Still...no question as to how she is. No question as to what she needs, when the need is actually valid. Still telling those who will listen that he pays his fair share and that I want too much. I guess I shouldn't expect him to shower his only child with everything he's got.
Why would it be assumed that I am doing everything I can...when I was just a harlot and a drunk in the past? Surely a woman of poor morals and addiction can't be trusted to care for a girl child on her own....right? Surely he shouldn't be able to blindly trust a man she chose...to maintain a life for this kid that's not even his...right? I really have a hard time understanding that one. So many former and still mutual friends have mentioned the light in which I was painted while chatting them up. (Yes, we allll know I cheated) The irony of my ultimate self sacrifice and his ultimate self devotion is not lost on me. There are still plenty who believe I shouldn't raise a pet much less a child without strict supervision. True irony: a happy, cared for woman is neither a harlot or a drunk.
I suppose if this has to have a purpose...it's this.
I don't have it in me to be that clingy ex. Or the bitchy demanding ex. The ex that asks for things that should be second nature to someone who doesn't have a passel o'kids. You had one job. And that job has been enveloped in your own self pride. The folly of that pride precedes you. You are damn lucky that the man in her life is gracious and kind and giving...any other would have called you himself and said, "take care of your own, I don't have the time or the money".
Honey gets the good night hugs, the performances, the shopping trips and the first date. His son gets a little one to protect and watch out for. You get the life you always wanted. School. Degrees. Books. Movies. Fancy elbow padded sweater vests. And a woman who is content with a substandard father to his own child.