My Recovery: My Children
I have two grown sons who won’t speak to me. Nicholas is 24 and Matthew is 22. The last time I spoke to them or saw them was the day after Thanksgiving, 10 years ago.
They lived with their mother at the time and over that previous 9 months I noticed a serious turn for the worse in their demeanor towards coming with me on visitation.
Never mind that the ex-wife would schedule every possible sporting event so that I couldn’t really schedule my own events, as I was essentially a cab driver. So Nick, who wasn’t that athletically inclined, pretty much checked out on us. Add to that that her father would show up to all the sporting events–he hated my guts–and make things very awkward. She would often do the same.
As the ostracized parent, hated by anyone and everyone having to do with my kids (my ex lived with her parents who hated me and told those kids any chance they got, as did her sister and their aunts, etc) Nick and Matt were getting a steady stream of poison relative to me. As they got older I could just see the resentment growing. This was more the case with Nick than with Matt. I think it as because Matt was younger.
Anyway, long story short. It was after one of Matt’s hockey games that he, my ex’s father, and my son Nick were standing around together and I heard them making fun of me. It was two days after Thanksgiving, which the ex had not bothered to drop them off to me for.
I finally realized that pulling them apart between two homes was NOT doing them any good. And here is where you will judge me, but oh well. I told the boys that I wanted them to stay full time with their mother.
That I wouldn’t be picking them up anymore. Nick was unfazed, Matt seemed to be slightly emotional. That’s right, I made the decision to allow my kids to stay with their mother and have no contact with them.
I saw that they hated coming to me. They hated being with me and my then long-term girlfriend Maria. She tortured those kids any time they would get things from us they weren’t even allowed to bring it home with them. Anyway, I felt that I was doing the right thing. I wrestled with my decision for a few years.
I tried to reach out to them over and over and over again. They told me where to go on Facebook and blocked me. I have missed almost half their lives. It is time for me to contact the ex and bury the hatchet. I am not going to second guess my decision. I did what I did for what I thought were the right reasons. Right or wrong, I’ve lived with my decision and now it’s time to get my boys back into my life.
When I brought up in my small 6 man relapse prevention group, the fact that I would be writing a letter to my ex-wife–and she is a separate post completely, soon I promise–something unexpected happened: I started crying! WTF! I don’t think I’ve ever cried in front of a man before. I was horrified. Yes, I understand it’s ok to cry, blah blah blah.
However, NOT in front of relative strangers! Anyway, I’m over that. I was just completely taken aback that I just lost it. So, obviously, this is HIGHLY IMPORTANT to my recovery that I write this letter. But it will be very difficult. She did hurtful things and could have fostered a mutual parenting agreement. Instead, she was contentious, evil, ruthless once she found out I had moved on with a girlfriend.
The venom lasted for at least 7 years. There is also some suspicion she may have faked her first pregnancy (with a child we supposedly later lost while I was waiting for her to come to Germany, where I was serving). Anyway, in spite of all that, I am the one with guilt and remorse over how I treated her. She is the only relationship I had in which I truly feel this way. I have had fairly decent relationships since then (except, of course, with the infamous recent ex).
So, dear readers, my emotions are raw on this. I do feel guilt over my decision to leave my children with just my ex, but I hope that you might possibly see why I did it at the time. I do feel trepidation at contacting her; however, I have to get to her to get to them. I am just not sure if I will be prepared for their response or not. I am not even sure if now is the right time, but I think I am going to do it anyway. Sorry, I don’t usually write such long posts, but this one just wrote itself.