It’s amazing how there are some people in the world who have to believe the worst of people around them in order to ignore that they are the root of the problem. You know those people. They accuse you of being selfish because you won’t loan them money again. They say you think you’re better than everyone else because you refuse to go along with someone’s lies.
It’s hard not to respond to these accusations and try to prove everyone wrong. Deep down we all want people to know that we are good people with good intentions.
I have avoided writing about my ex for a while now. He reads my blog—I’m not sure why. I know I wouldn’t read his. I grew tired of his accusations that my blog was a tool to bring him down and lie about him, so I quit talking about him in any way. I guess it was my way to prove him wrong—to show him that my blog is truly about me and what I find important.
He’s one of those people who will never admit that he is the problem. It was like that throughout most of our marriage. He was always right and I was always wrong. Our marriage was a big competition. If I did something, he would do it better. If I liked something, he liked it more. If I was tired, he was more tired. It never ended. I never won.
Perhaps that is why he is so frustrated now. I don’t care about being right or proving him wrong any more. He can win all day long as far as I’m concerned because I’m not in competition with him any longer. We don’t play on the same team anymore. I don’t even play on the team against him any longer.
He thinks I despise him and I do the things out of hatred toward him. He has used that ploy on me for a very long time now. And for a very long time, I tried to prove him wrong. I tried to show that I didn’t hate him and that I was just trying to be a good mother to my children. If he showed up in town unexpectedly (which is the only way he ever shows up) I would let him come by and see the kids or take them to dinner even though we already had plans.
I was always afraid we would end up back in court and the judge would believe my ex and accuse me of trying to keep the children away from him. I didn’t want anyone to believe the worst about me—especially my children. I never wanted the kids to ever believe I tried to keep them away from their father.
These are the same children I have cared for pretty much on my own until Robby came into the picture. These are the children that I take to doctor appointments, school, play dates, family counseling sessions, movies, ear doctor visits, dinner, horseback riding lessons, karate lessons, Girl Scouts, dentist appointments, art camp, theater camp, festivals, funerals, family reunions, and the emergency room.
These are the children that I cook dinner for every night after I sit down and do homework with them every day after school. These are the same children that I tuck into bed every night after they have showered with the shampoo and soap I bought them and dried off with the clean towels I washed for them and brush their teeth with the toothbrushes and toothpaste I bought for them.
These are the children that I get up for every morning and make their breakfast and pack their lunches and make sure their homework is neatly placed in their folder and put into their backpacks. These are the children who are never late to school and always picked up on time. Their uniforms are clean and hanging on hangers in their closet every morning so they can get up and dress themselves and feel good about how they look that day—these are uniforms I purchased and keep washed and pressed.
Don’t forget about their clean socks and shoes—one of those children has special leg braces that I taught her how to put on herself and special shoes that I purchased and taught her how to put on by herself, too. She is one of the few children at her camp, which I took her to, who can fully dress herself and care for herself. I have driven over 4 hours in each direction to pick up her leg braces from her doctor because he is the best orthotics doctor in South Georgia. I never even asked you to help pay for gas for those trips because you always try to pick a fight with me. The other child grows like a weed and requires new shoes often, but I keep up with that too.
These are the same children that I taught them how to spell, read, write, swim, ride a bike, throw a ball, swing a bat, bake a cake, draw a perfect cube, body surf, dance, and how to play Scrabble. These are the same children that make good grades, have great friends, are loved by their teachers, and excel at sports and academics because their step-father and I provide them with a loving home and ensure they are surrounded by love.
These are the same children that call me and have me pick them up from school when they are sick or hurt. It doesn’t matter what is going on with me that day, I have to stop everything for them. I have missed classes, work, dates, and fun events because I was at home with a sick or hurt child. I’m the one who is friends with the pharmacists and doctors who care for my children—do you even know the names of their doctors? They have had the same ones for over 4 years now so I would think you would.
Do you even know what kind of health insurance they have or how much it costs each month? I do because I have to fill out the paperwork and pay the bills every month.
Of course this is all my fault because I didn’t write it all down and email it to you…because I was too busy being filled with hate and despising you.
So, my ex-husband, I am sorry that you feel I am a person filled with hatred because I don’t see it that way. You’ll have to excuse the fact that I feel that the reason I said, “no” yesterday is because the children and I were already out doing things that they had planned for several weeks—perhaps in your world a simple text message on a Saturday morning entitles you to whatever you want, but our lives don’t work that way. We had made promises to help with an important fundraiser and then I promised my little boy a trip to the Greek Festival because he is obsessed with Greek culture at the moment.
I also promised to buy him new shoes because the other ones are so old the soles have holes in them. I also promised to buy the children pants for school because all they have are shorts because I couldn’t afford to buy all of their school uniforms at one time and I have to buy a few things as I can afford them. And we have plans for Sunday as well—plans which cannot be changed because you decided to send me a text message on Saturday morning. And while we are enjoying those things, my phone rings in my purse and I don’t hear it but I have several messages from you claiming that I am ignoring you and keeping the children from you. I was enjoying Greek music and didn’t hear your call. I asked the kids if they want to call you back and they said, “not right now.” I don’t sit around thinking of ways to piss you off. I’m really not that complicated.
You say the children can skip those things. You say that having a relationship with you is more important than their activities and friends. I disagree, because to me, nothing is more important than trying to provide them with a loving and happy existence.
I’m sorry that this new family you have wants to meet your other children. Maybe you should plan ahead better. Maybe you should make good on your promise you made in court almost 2 years ago so we can quit having this conversation.
You see, I tried it your way for the past several years. I’ve tried to be accommodating and let you just pop in and out of the picture at your leisure. The only thing that bothers me about that is that it seems to really fuck up the children. But when I bring that up you say it’s my fault.
I’m glad I married you all those years ago. I’m glad that we are now divorced. I needed to be married to you and to divorce you to get me to where I am now. I like where I am now. And maybe that is where the problem lies.
We separated in 2009. Our divorce was finalized in October 2010. That was two years ago—as a matter of fact, tomorrow will mark the 2-year anniversary. I thought that day marked the last time I would have to have these conversations with you. I thought that was the end of it, but yet, I’m still having to deal with this.
You’ve put me in a terrible position and you don’t appreciate a thing I do for the children. You have never thanked me or shown any appreciation for what I do on a daily basis for these children. All you do is complain about how unfair I am and I just want to make your life miserable.
I’m not worried any more about whether you like what I do or if you convince other people that I am the typical mean ex-wife who keeps the children away from their father because I am angry that you cheated on me. I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else because my life is the example of the type of person I am.
I know I make mistakes and I know everyone will not understand why I do the things that I do. That’s okay with me. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I just need to know that my children are happy, and they are—just in case you wanted to know.