Before we start this, I need to give the kids’ dad (technically my ex) a name. I don’t call him my ex in real life. I don’t lay any claim to his craziness anymore; I simply call him the kids’ dad. For writing purposes though, let’s call him The Deacon. He’s deeply religious so it seems appropriate.
So this past week The Deacon has been acting strange. Funny right? His behavior is never normal. Monday night my daughter said, “Mom, I hate it when Dad’s nice like this. It just means we are waiting for the shit to hit the fan and I hate the waiting. Why can’t he be his normal horrid self all the time?”
Really, he isn’t horrid all the time but her comment is very profound. If he is being nice or even reasonably polite to us (our children and me) it means a melt-down is coming. Keep your guard up because you are going to be hit with both barrels as my great grandma used to say.
Well the shit hit the fan last night. Kind of. My 13 year old son let me know The Deacon (TD) is trying to arrange an intimate dinner with another couple and asked the other couple to trick me into attending. There is an entire level of crazy here that I am skipping right over. What matters for this discussion is TD wants to get back together and he has involved our kids. Why am I surprised?
Of course he chooses to involve our children. It is the only method he has to try and force my hand any more. What he sadly doesn’t realize is that we are over. Dead. Buried. Turned into “Walkers,” shot in the head. DEAD! It scares me that he thinks he could have a chance to reunite with me. This shows the level of his mental illness. What concerns me most is his choice to involve our children in his madness.
My skin crawled (literally), my stomach churned when our son told me TD wanted to get back together. I could not show that reaction to our children. My responsibility always, first and foremost, always (yes I said always twice on purpose) is to my children. My past with TD is not their past with their dad nor do I want our past to be their present or future. Does that even make sense to anyone else?
Our past is our business. I want our children to view their father in as positive a light as possible. His relationship with them is his responsibility. They can develop and learn about him as they mature. I do not need to point out his faults. All three of my teenage children have struggled as they came to terms with his emotional issues. I refuse to project our drama onto our children.
Soooo…when our son told me the news I asked him what he thought about it. He was quiet for a moment and said, well remember grandma tried this last thanksgiving and we reminded her how dad tried to kill you. I’m not ever going to forget that mom. Things went very quiet for a few moments. He didn’t say anything else.
I told him I wouldn’t forget it either, that I wanted him to know that I had grown stronger and I would never put us in that situation again. I am strong enough to protect us now. I explained that things may not be working out in TD’s life the way he thought they would, maybe he and his girlfriend are fighting, maybe he is broke, and whatever is going on in TD’s life it seems to be making him miss what he had. To remember WE are a family NOW. A strong healthy family. His dad loves him. maybe he misses seeing you every day, maybe he misses home cooked food; I don’t know what it is. Whatever it is, we don’t have to worry about it.
I said to my son…
“I do know the important things you need to remember are both parents love you. Both parents want you to be happy. Your family is right here with me and your siblings. Your mom is smarter and stronger now.”
We have grown as a family. My personal growth has allowed us to become a family. As revolting as the thought of reuniting with TD is, I was able to react like an adult (yeah me) and put our children first. They need to know we will not ever be a couple again, however I do not hate TD.
I thanked my son for telling me about TD’s plan and told him if TD asked him about it (as he often does) to ignore him or say he didn’t discuss it much with me. I will handle it when the time comes. I don’t want my son in the middle. It’s not where he belongs. He belongs right here in the center of my heart where you are safe.
Has your ex wanted to reunite? Did he involve your children? How did you handle it?