I have that hot, feverish anger just getting ready to tell you what happened to my girl.
First, she helped me set up the yard sale at 7 am. Then she charmed the pants off several customers, including a guy of dating age, and a little girl who became the guardian of some of my girl’s old toys.
Then at 10:30 she happily went off to Alumni Day at the advanced studies program she attended between her junior and senior year of high school. She thought she’d be home around 8.
Then she called me in tears. Shit. That’s the second time in a month.
We have to get all my stuff out of the house this weekend. I’m never going back there.
Where are you?
Driving to your house. How do I get there, again?
Where are you?
Coming from Dad’s.
Pull over. What happened?
No, Dad’s. If he calls, don’t talk to him. Just don’t. I’m never going to talk to him again. I’m done.
Did you go there for dinner?
Yeah, but we didn’t get to it. He asked me to leave!
He kept asking me. Badgering me. So, finally I just told him. I’m not ok with it. I don’t like her. I don’t want to be friends with her kids. He told me to keep my voice down, and I said I didn’t care if they heard me.
Where were the kids?
She was putting them to bed upstairs so we could have dinner.
He said, So you’ve just been taking my generosity all this time and lying to me? I said I didn’t have to interact with them. I don’t want to. And he said — he said it was a choice — If I wanted a relationship with him, it came with her and her kids. If I didn’t want a relationship with her and her kids, I can’t have one with him. He will still pay for college, but that’s it. The relationship will just be financial. He said, You’re 20! Get over it. I said, Wow, Dad. I’m 19. I stared to cry. He said he thought I should leave now.
I think he’s just surprised. He’ll change his mind. Has he reached out to you yet?
Yes, he texted, I’m sorry you feel so bad. I hope you feel better soon.
That’s not an apology.
You can’t talk to him. Don’t talk to him. You always say you won’t, but you do, and then I suffer for it.
I won’t. I know I always say that, but starting with this, I won’t get in the middle. Get yourself together and drive here.
There were mutual tears, hurts, the realization that she just had just leapt out of the starting block I leapt out of 16 months ago. She said she snapped because she’s been trying to keep it inside. When she knew that she couldn’t keep her room, things just got more real. They were actually going to move into our old house. He was actually going to give her old room to his step-daughters to live in. He couldn’t compromise, even one year, on that.
He doesn’t love her unconditionally. He loves her conditionally.
She is sad that he won’t text her every day. She is worried that she won’t hear from him on her birthday, get to go see his side of her relatives, etc.
We laid on the bed together and I stroked her hair as she cried. I told her that none of this was her fault. She said her friends told her she was allowed to be upset. She thought she had breezed through that part, not that it hadn’t even started yet. He told her he didn’t cheat, and he got robbed of the job he loved for something he didn’t do.
Dude! You are moving back into the family house, and giving your daughter’s room to kids of the woman you didn’t cheat with from work, scorching the Earth behind you.
She has been resisting therapy because she had one bout of depression that she weathered. I told her depression is chronic, and she needed to have a relationship with a therapist, in case it reared it’s head again. She didn’t want to do that. I get it, but now look at the situation. She said she would find someone to talk to.
I wonder if she will.
I wonder if she’s already made amends with her dad.
I haven’t asked. Do I ask the child, or give the grown up space to work out her own issues?
I wanted her to understand the truth about this for so long — what I went through — how heinously selfish he is — and now all I wish is that she never had to know that about her dad so early in life. Or ever. She’s aware now that there’s a pecking order: her, her children, his children, the whole rest of the world, then me.
She comes off as a tough nut — not touchy-feely, not prone to emotion — so to see her need a touch, and need soothing, just about kills me. All at the hand of her parent. Please, god, don’t let me ever hurt her that much.
And, don’t get my started on how the bf said the right things, but didn’t do the right things.