Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Oh, Simple Thing, Where Have You Gone?

Here are some stairs heading down.

All this recent talk of Father's Day and dad's and blah, blah, blah, got me thinking about my own history with dad type figures...Well, that and the fact that Stinky is having HUGE issues with her father right now.

If you couldn't tell by my sad, sorry dating past, I haven't had the best male role models growing up. My dad disappeared when I was four and the few memories I do have, were of him being on the emotionally distant side. Then at ten, my uncle became my legal guardian and he was violent and abusive, and mean in general. Not surprisingly, my relationships have been with men who were either controlling and angry or EXTREMELY emotionally unavailable.

I started dating the girls' dad when I was 22 and he was 35. At the time, it didn't occur to me how odd it was that a 35 year old man was still living the life of people my own age, or that I didn't deserve all the name calling and drama he was so fond of. Of course, I finally figured that out by the time I hit my thirties and had two very young kids.

I wouldn't change a thing, because it gave me my girls. I just feel bad that they have to deal with the bad decision in a partner I made when I was too young to know better, for the rest of their lives.

When the girls were younger, Coadster told me that even though she wanted to stay at her dad's house, she sometimes felt abandoned by me when her dad was on a tear. We solved that problem, by me calling during their dad's night and if he was behaving badly, Coadster would tell me she didn't feel well. He'd rather not have to deal with them when there was a possibility of them being difficult, so I would tell him one of them were sick and I'd pick them up and take care of them.

Lately, Stinky has been having real issues with her dad. She doesn't feel like she should have to put up with his swearing at her, calling her names and "borrowing" her babysitting and birthday money and not paying her back. I agree. She has decided not to go to his house for the rest of the Summer and reevaluate in the Fall. I tried a couple of times to get them to talk things out, but he got even more upset and sent her some horrible texts that would be appalling from a high school boy, let alone a man in his fifties. All I can do at this point, is support her in her decision. I try really hard not to trash their dad, because they love him and they are after all, half him. But I do want to make sure they know that all of that bad stuff he lays on them are his issues and he says those mean things to them because he is messed-up and unhappy. It's just a tricky, icky, sticky situation.

15 comments:

aliencg said...

Behavior like this out of guys gives the rest of us a bad name. You're right, the girls shouldn't have to put up with their father's issues. I do hope that maybe he sees the error of his ways, but from what you've said, I doubt it.

Tara said...

That's good that you and your girls have kind of a "code" when they're at their dad's. I would not want to hang out with my dad if he treated me like crap and made visits unbearable.

NoRegrets said...

Well, it's great they have a mom like you.
And I love the stairs.

Ananda girl said...

That's a strong girl who is willing to stand up and say no to that at her age! Well done Churlita! You have given her that skill and she obviously feels good about herself.

On the flip side. I hate it when crap like that happens to kids (and their moms). I wish it was otherwise.

mighty jo said...

yikes. how can guys like that rationalize that behavior??? good job being there for your girls without compromising their relationship with their dad. i know how tricky that can be! once my kids learn pig latin i'll have to learn to keep my mouth shut (i should go ahead & learn that--im sure finian can pick up on intonation...uck fay...)

crazy4coens said...

Thank you for sharing Churlita. The honesty going around these days is humbling. I am sorry that your girls have a selfish and immature dad. I am very glad, though, that they have a smart, strong and loving mom. :) As for rationalizing - these types of folks rationalize all their behavior by blaming it on other people. Yeah other people!

laura b. said...

I can relate to every single word you wrote here. Very well said.

Sebastien said...

Just saying 'hello,' I stop by every so often :)

That is sad about the girl's father, some people never grow up, and never realize that their negative attitude or energy is what makes things more difficult for everyone!

MrManuel said...

Wow, he "borrows" his child's money and doesn't repay it?!?!?! What a prick...

Churlita said...

AlienCg,

He's 56 years old. He's been that way a long long time. It's too bad, but I doubt he's going to change anytime soon.

Tara,

I know. That's why I left him. My girls do love their dad and many times he can be okay. But when he isn't, he can be really scary.

Ananda,

Thanks. She is pretty strong. She's been sad and frustrated by it too. But it's better than going through the same self-esteem lowering crap all the time.

Mighty Jo,

They rationalize it by blaming everyone else. it's a really thin line to walk, and I doubt I'm always perfect at it, but all I can do is try.

Crazy4Coens,

That's it exactly. it's always someone else's fault and he's just a victim.

lauraB.,

It sounds like we have fairly similar situations.

Sebastien,

Yeah. It's definitely his loss. He probably just doesn't see it that way.

Mr manuel,

Exactly. He doesn't have a very good job but he does have expensive hobbies, so he takes the girls' money to help himself out. I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

eskaysea said...

Geez Churlita,
Who would have guessed we would have married such similar types. I have read the book you recommended "Why does he DO that" and think it should be required reading for all girls in Junior High! What a great resource. My spouse is on a waiting list for group therapy. We'll see how that goes. Since JC has become scared of him at times, the necessity to act is obvious. Wish I had more free-time to visit your blog.

booda baby said...

It's the BEST BEST thing in the whole world that your girls are experiencing real options and choices. Girls still see plenty of examples of what you have to surrender, how you have to pretend etc. to 'get a man's love' so imo, it's one of the greatest gifts you can give them, this love with boundaries.

Johnny Yen said...

We've had issues with my stepdaughter's birth father, who married a really horrible person. He finally my stepdaughter she didn't have to come over the one day a week she was over there. She's exercised this option frequently. We encourage her to maintain a relationship with him, but he doesn't seem to be interested in doing his part. I guess he's too busy being a C-list celebrity.

My son's mother is horrible-- prone to rages about inconsequential things (that's why I left her when my son was 2). Unfortunately, in Illinois, the deck is stacked for the mother. The mother pretty much has had to have tried to kill the kid before the court gives custody to the father. I bankrupted myself trying to get custody anyway, to no avail (we was able to get partial joint custody)

It's funny how things are now that he's physically much bigger than her. We've had discussions about choosing your battles. She rages about minor things, and so when there were major issues-- such as his grades plummetting, temporarily, a couple of years ago, she'd used up her ammunition. That left me to take care of it-- in the quiet, but firm manner I handle things. In any event, he increasingly ignores her. He'll turn 18 before high school is over, and has discussed moving out of her house that day.

In any event, good for you being the bigger person and giving your kids a great parenting role model for their own future.

Johnny Yen said...

Okay, and now for the typos:

"He finally told my stepdaughter...."

and

"I was able to get partial....."

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

At least their crappy issues aren't passed along via sperm, so we can still get awesome kids from unawesome men.

I'm so sorry your girls have to get exposed to such bad experiences with him to enjoy any of the good parts. You are an awesome mother to have raised her well enough to stand up for herself like that. For me, this is inspirational.