Heal Me

J Kahele

 

My youngest and I talk openly about everything. I had her come in to work with me the day after the awful rant via email with her father. I was tired, sad and worn down. I had one of those days, where you wished it was over. I had mostly wished that morning, I would wake up to an announcement that my ex had taken a job in China, and would be leaving the next day. If only I could be so lucky!

You try to get on with life, you really do. But when you have to still deal with your child visiting back and forth and listen to things she said, it was hard not to feel despondent, especially, when the things he was teaching her were all wrong and she knew it.

We never really talked much about the woman that was now in his life, because she refused to accept it or her. All of my girls stood strong on not wanting to know her. I had deep anger issues with this woman, as she went against any moral value I had. I feel like if a man was still married, there was a reason, and it wasn't good. If he had children, there were deeper issues and you needed to walk away. With all the men in this world, there was no reason for a woman to take up with a man who was still married. I had my own personal issues with her, because she invaded my life, at a time where me and my children should have had the space to heal, instead of dealing with another problem. She would forever be another dysfunctional scar to add the mess he created and the saddest part of it, it was unnecessary, he should have had more control and thought his children and the long term affect it had on their lives, but with everything this man had shown, it was becoming a common practice for him to show, that noone else mattered to him, but himself.

When my daughter spoke sometimes it hurt me, because she would often shake and get that hurtful look in her eyes, that made me feel helpless. You want so bad to heal the pain of your child, but how do you help a child when their father, lived for himself, without any conscience or regret for what he was doing. You couldn’t, you had to take in and do your best to comfort her through it.

I took in her conversation feelings she had towards her fathers choice to bring another person into out lives and it sat in my head. All I wanted through all of this, was for my girls to come out okay. Be it guilt, a mothers concern, I took on their emotions, along with my own. Even when I tried to sleep, I tossed and turn as our conversation replayed over and over. The following day, it was stronger in my head, the look in her eyes, the pain I saw. And without warning, the mama wolf reared her ugly head...again.

I began emailing him, nonstop. Calling him everything but nice. He ignored it and that was what he did when he was with her.

I should have let it go.

I should have minded my own business. But instead, I texted my daughter and asked her if she had heard from her dad. The answer was simply, "no." 

I knew it would be. Because it was only me he ignored, he ignored his own children. As a parent, you should never ignore your children under any circumstances. 

I started emailing him like crazy, but this time my target was this woman. How dare he feel she was more important than my daughter? Even though he wanted me to believe he was ignoring my emails, by not responding, I knew he was reading them. Because I waited one minute, then texted my daughter and asked if she heard from her father and she said, "yes he texted me." See this was how life was with him, out of sight, out of mind. He was so self-indulged he never thought about anyone unless they were standing in front of them. Sad but true. When he traveled, I would have to remind him to contact his children. In what I learned over the two years apart, was that I made him a good parent, because the man clearly had no idea what it took to take care of a child, more or less to look out for their best interest. Clearly. After my hours of hateful rants, I sat down and thought deeply about my next step. I felt that he dictated my life, my children's lives. I was tired of him taking noteriety as this loving father, when all he did was exist, make messes and leave them for me to clean up. Never did he go out of his way, to help heal, support or be there for my girls. If it wasn't scheduled he didn't do it.

I was still angry about him keeping her out too late on his scheduled dinner visit, causing her not only to be late, but also to fail a mid-term in one of her classes. My mind streamed back to the week before, where he failed to properly care for her was she was ill, leaving me to worry and direct her on her medication via text. I was tired of being the only parent who was responsible. I was tired of having to take what he dished out and be afraid of his actions causing harm to my children's future. 

And then it hit me. 

What was I doing? I was not married to this man in a mental state, why was I still covering up and worrying over what he did. I didn't have to.

I didn't have to be afraid, I didn't have to follow some protocol he concocted from the first birth of my child. I was independent, a hard worker and a great mom, I owed him nothing. I had gone about this all wrong, I had been programmed for so many years, that this was my life, that it was natural for me to do it. But I didn't have to. What I needed to do was stop thinking with my heart and start thinking with my head. I needed to protect my daughter, not worry and I needed to look out for her best interest. I needed to seperate this final piece, the parenting. I needed to be my own parent and demand he be his. 

Two years of putting my daughter in adult situations, of ignoring her aches and pains, of bringing more into her life than she needed. Showing her hate instead of love. Not caring about her future. Screw him. I was done. From this day on, my intentions were only to look out for the best interest of my daughter and that was what I intended to do.

 

The one thing this situation did, was make me a realist. I had no problem speaking my mind to anyone.  I would want others to do the same and this was the big difference between me and my ex and at times an issue.

He grew up, accepting the bad things in his family and smiled as if nothing happy. Loyalty to him was devised only for show, with no real understanding of the word. Let me give you an example. Say your brother extorts a million dollars out of your father's account and it caused your father to lose everything. Would you welcome that man to your family events with open arms? I would hope not. Most people would not. But in his family, all wrongs done to each other was excused. 

Your children should always be first in your life. From day one, you should protect them from any emotional or physical harm. To this day, I stand by that, no one, absolutely no one is allowed to hurt my children. But with my ex, that was never his outlook. It became a huge issue with me.

I lived within a mile of most of his family, his parents lived at the end of my street and his sibling lived a two-minute drive away. In a person's mind, you would think when your husband travels and his family was close you would have a lot of help with your children. In my case, that wasn't true. I was always the one who had to care for my children, always the one who had the worries of a babysitter, of their school events, I had absolutely no help.

I married into a family of pretend. They all wanted the recognition of being doting family members, at my kids events, at holidays, but in real life they were non existent in my kids lives. So much, my children were ignored, by his family members when seen outside of the house. When you have to defend your children's from your husbands family, and he ignored it, it was exhausting. What made it worst was when we fought over him wanting to take my children around the very people who bullied them and made their life miserable. Who purposely scars their children, to play pretenda family, surely not me. When you have a child, as a parent your first priority should be to protect their emotions, not throw them right into the Lions den. It made my life even more difficult, because I would hover over my daughters, to make sure no one messed with them. I was like a wolf, protecting her young. Not a the family fun time, I looked forward to.

When my ex walked out. I felt so alone. My sister would call me all the time. But she was out of the country, serving in the military. I wanted someone to just vent to. Let me state for the record. I was the black sheep, the bad seed in my husbands family, because I didn't just ignore bad treatment to me or my children, I recognized it, spoke my mind and that was just who I was.  I never had a close relationship with my exes mother, however, I felt she of all people, would understand what I was going through. You see, his father had done the exact same thing to her, ten years earlier. Even though they reconciled since, as a woman she had to know what it felt like. I called her up and we talked. Her advice was to put it onto my ex, that this wasn't on me. Pretty simple you would think.

But I didn't want her advice on me and him, in my mind that was not the issue. I wanted support for my children, I wanted for once them to stand up and show my children, how important they were. I knew, by the way he walked out, it there would be a long road ahead and I would experience ups and downs and I wanted my daughters to have as much family around them as possible. I threw my heart on the table, and let any pride I had before that moment dissipate. I apologized to her and said please don't take out on my children, your feelings for me. I sent a message to his sister, saying the exact same thing. It made me feel better doing this, when they told me they would be there. I felt this was a breaking moment, that maybe the break-up of the marriage, would open up newfound relationships for my children.

So I thought.

It never happened.

Even now, almost two years later, not one of his family members have gone out of their way to help my children out, whatsoever.

It solidified everything. The twisted life I had lived with him and the pretenda family. I was done, in my mind they were not good enough, to call my girls family.  For over twenty years, they all had a chance to establish a bond with my children, to be there for them and they chose not to. I even gave them an opportunity, a second chance and their actions were to ignore it. They would never get that chance again from me, the door was closed.

Everything made sense now. None of them knew truly what family was. So how could I expect my ex to? I took it on for years, all of the ups and downs of my children. I was the chameleon of my family, switching hats, to be mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandmother and grandfather. 

Yet, they still expected to have their holidays, to attend events. Surreal and they said I was a mental case? It's surprising I came out of this situation sane, dealing with the narcissistic ways of not one person, but a whole family.

No matter what they showed, my girls knew the truth and their actions showed as they grew older. They didn't put them as a priority in their life and never talked about them as you would about close family members. They took on my beliefs and morals. Family was being there for the good and bad. It was being in a person's life everyday, not when it fit a time schedule. In my family, there was no pretend, in my family there was real.

It showed one day, when my daughter came back from her father's weekend visit. I had asked her to keep me out of any conversations regarding him or his family. I wanted complete separation and to give my daughter an opportunity to establish relationships with her dad and his family, on her own. Afterall, I was the vindictive mental case, what would they care if I lived or died? As with any pretenda family, they would often ask my daughter how I was, it was part of who they were, ask, but not really care to know the answer. They called this mature consideration, I called it being fake. I would never ask about someone, I didn't care about.  That's being mature and that's being a real person. And that was how I wanted to raise my girls. There was a difference between being courteous than being foolish. It was foolish to ask about a woman who you constantly degraded. My exes sister had the nerve to call me vindictive, in the last conversation we had. Vindictive? Because I was truthful? Or because I completely unveiled your world of pretend. When I called her out on some truth, she seemed to suffer temporary memory loss.I remember being mature through that conversation and hanging up, shaking my head. I left that conversation, feeling less intelligent, listening to her cover ups, concocted from lies.  This was my twisted life and this was the dysfunctional family my daughters were brought into and I was vindictive. A mental case? Why because I was real? I didn't fall into the pretenda life, because I wanted a real family? Because I wasn't afraid to admit to the ups and downs that a family goes through. That I wasn't afraid to speak my mind when I felt my children were being treated unfair. Well, hell, if that made me this vindictive, mental case, I will take on that title. Because in the end, I had my daughters and they didn't. So who truly won the best prize?

And so I carry on and hope for the best everyday. I positive that there will be more bumps, more drama and more hurt. But when you have the love of three daughters, the care for their future, it made all of it so much better. Because the ending will be afterall, them and me and it was all I ever wanted.

 

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