Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday.
They moved a few years ago – she, her brother, and her father – without giving me the new address. So where I used to send cards every year on either child’s birthday I send nothing. And I have lines now: walls that protect me from being abused through them (and by them) so things have stayed this way for a while now.
This makes me the villain, of course, that I am not going through hell and high-water to hunt them down just to deliver a paltry birthday or Christmas card. Society and the media did that: stripped parents from the right to live well and without harm in these circumstances.
I ask you. Was it okay for the ex to scream obscenities at me over the phone, hang up, and then apologize to my daughter for “losing his temper” at me for not being able to drop everything at his convenience – when I was the one that *should* have been apologized to in front of the child? And now I answer. It was wrong. It was wrong that the children grew up thinking that I was not allowed an ounce of happiness. It was wrong that when I married, the shit figuratively hit the fan and I was treated badly repeatedly as if …. oh hell I’ll say it… as if the other party were infernally jealous that I could move on. It was wrong, the day my daughter was honestly offended that I was smiling in love. It was wrong the times she complained – and I mean outright complained – that my husband dotes on me and worked to give she and I both good lives. It was wrong the lies that were spread. And it was wrong cutting me completely off when I never did anything to invade: I only sent cards on occasions and waited for them to contact me when they felt they could spare me a hello in their busy, busy lives playing video games and whatever else I was told they did all day.
So let me be the villain. Whatever. I also play one in the media, and I like it.
I think of them on their birthdays now but I do nothing to get too close and be treated like mud again. A parent should *never* be treated that way, not when they’re the ones that sacrificed literally everything to do right by them. Never. Ever. I made sure they didn’t treat their father that way. In fact I used to bend over backwards for their relationship with that man.
I deserved the same in return.
I deserve happiness too.
And this is why I am not going through hell and high-water to find them just to deliver a paltry birthday card. Hate me if you like.
But. Happy birthday to them both. And may wisdom open their eyes someday.
P.S. Those not in the know are invited to look into the growing problem of parental estrangement, and how many parents are abusing their own children to further abuse ex’s they can no longer abuse first hand… or worse. Some of the tales are far far worse than mine; quite heart-breaking.
P.P.S. I am living well. This is why villains are so hated by the other side. :-p