Of course there's the usual parent way that we all do this, but something I've tried so hard and long to comprehend...and don't think I ever, ever will...is the abandonment of children that this man and others do.
As adults, we have such different ways to cope and reason than children do and it's simply altogether different thing, when a child is abandoned by a parent
When Nearly ExH made his decisions, he snuck out in the middle of the night, more than one time, as he was let back before we know what was really going on. (We thought MLC and were giving BOD (Benefit of Doubt), not OW!). Anyway...
I guess maybe it's part of what makes us such different people, in some ways, where I would simply not have been able to do things in the way he did and involving DD...a lot of this I am starting to put away and move on, but as I said, the kid things haunt me.
Almost two years later, I still hear her screams sometimes in my head. I can see her in my mind's eye, running to each window...searching for him and he was many hours away.
Now she has PTSD besides some other FOO issues that he made happen because of the A that are part of her life now.
(ETA:) P.S. I've had lots of counseling for this and she has, too. We are getting better, it's a lot of the memories now to flush out of our heads...sights and sounds from when he did it.
And it is something that floats in and out of my head from time to time now, like when I'm tired or down.
She no longer lives it every day, but when he is around, there are various steps in saying goodbye until next time we each have to do now, that we didn't before.
[This message edited by Ashland13 at 7:37 PM, August 24th (Saturday)]
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
It's been 4 years, and my older son is now 21. Last weekend I got to see him trigger, because of the anti-versary. Yet again, I'm working damage control and cleaning up messes ex left behind. I'm just glad my kids have one parent they can count on, kwim?
We're going on two years that he's gone but half a year knowing the truth, so it's pretty mixed up.
I'm sorry for your son's trigger...I have that same thing coming up very soon and am trying to work on it, but know it will hit me hard, too.
I'm trying to make nothing out of they day, but it was 18 years.
I could imagine he and OW will go and celebrate it.
Often I have the sentiment that I wish he simply could have cheated and let us be....go on his separate way, send money and just ...let us be.
Abandoning DD was the ONE thing I thought he would never do...until he did. Most of the reason he stays away is because he knows he fucked up and he does not want to feel the guilt nor does he want to do the hard work to repair his relationship with her. Instead he takes the easy way out which is to not see her at all and thus not have to face the reality of what a shit "father" he is.
There are many significaant days in her future that I dread because even though they are supposed to be happy days for her, the stress of "will he be there? Will he try to bring OW? Will his family show up and cause drama?" make me crazy even now. Things like her HS graduation and college graduation, her wedding (who is going to walk her down the aisle?? Will she just elope to avoid the issue? etc).
But I try to focus on today and how *I* am going to support her today and tomorrow and next week and next month. I try not to think too much beyond that and try to let go of future events that I cannot control anyway.
anyway, (((HUGE HUGS))) to everyone who is facing this. It is not fair to the kids, but thankfully WE are there for the kids and WE will make sure they are ok.
Worries for her still haunt and threaten me, such as OW and his ticking clock to bring OW into the universe that DD is part of.
I don't know how to face that day or how any of you do it, but I hear that the panic attacks I have are not unheard of when this kind of thing may be upon us? I have fear for the kind of person OW could be, because she knew of us and kept up with Nearly Exh anyway-even with a suffering child, she allowed him back into her home, life, bed...so this kind of person I do not want near my child(ren), yet am also told that it's only so long that I can keep her away-and in fact, she may have already been with DD.
He comes around periodically, and I find lately that I can't be in the same room for very long. I can't stand to hear him being "happy" and I can't stand his false persona around me. Lately I want to lash out about all that he did (denied he had a wife to OW and online) and so I find I also don't feel well looking at his face or hearing the voice that hurt me so endlessly...and sometimes still does.
My son has been diagnosed with an attachment disorder because of this.
2 things stand out in my mind:
1. when ex was leaving I begged him to stay in the area to be near his son. He scoffed at me, "DS wants a happy Daddy." No, he wants a dad that lives near him and sees him on a regular basis. He could care less if you are happy!
2. My son was 4 years old and he looked at me and said, "When I grow up and become a daddy, I'm never gonna leave my kids." He was four years old! My heart broke for him that day.
All I can say is keep doing the best you can and therapy, therapy, therapy! I hope that with extensive therapy my son will turn out ok and his wounds can heal.
That's what Nearly Exh did-four times. Two times were overnight and two were before DD came home from school.
There is a relative on his side who won't speak to him a long while later and he asked me "why?" I told him, "because this is the first person DD and I saw when you abandoned us. She helped me tell DD her father was not coming home."
Other things hit me from this as well. After false R, I remember him looking me straight in the eye and stomping out that door...after saying he never, ever would again. So he manipulated the conversation and made it so that he would never sneak out at night ever again.
This is one of the things that led me to file...because he apparently can get so caught up in his own drama that his own child doesn't matter enough to stay-or the home he built-changing those words just put nails in a coffin that was our marriage.
The defiance on the face, I will never forget. The last word he ever said was, "I don't know where I'm sleeping tonight." I replied, "I do."
He went into hiding for several weeks after this and we were not "allowed" to know where he was. His own family thought he was dead.