What you are doing is not fair. I know - life is not fair - but what you are doing is just offensive to me as a mother and as a woman and it’s plain wrong.
I married you when I was a silly little girl - just doing what I was told - but divorcing you filled me with a furious need to never be ’silly’ again. To never be disregarded or ignored or insignificant again. I have long since nullified my resentment of you because I am not sure I would like a person that hadn’t learned all those lessons you taught me. All the strength that leaving you brought me - the bull-headed determination that still stamps itself on my face when someone tells me that I can’t do something, or raises a hand to me, or dares to act as if I am ‘insignificant’.
But your absence from our son was never excused. Make no mistake; I have never, and will never, speak ill of you to him, but I will never lie to him, either. I waited and waited for you to start being his father. I knew that Washington had nothing left for me - but I stayed - just in case you would decide to be in his life. I put my world on hold and I did not move on or do anything for myself because I never ever wanted to give you another excuse for why you just couldn’t make him significant enough. I waited for 8 years for you to make just one move closer to him. One. And you didn’t. I all but begged you - no, I did beg you to be in his life - and you simply said ‘no’.
So I left. I left because while I was busy trying to force you to not make my son feel insignificant and unimportant - your behavior began to highlight that fact and make it throb. So I took him and we left to find a better life. And we did. We found a wonderful life filled with love and compassion and family and no one ever feels left out or small. He has brothers and sisters and a man in his life that would never hurt him or his mom. And he was healing. I know that no amount of a mothers love can ever fill up the hole that being abandoned by a father leaves - but he was healing, and the wounds that you left became only bruises and they didn’t bleed like they did when you simply said ‘no’.
And then, lo and behold, because you just can’t just let people heal, you showed back up. Talking about video games and cars and all the things that a boys his age think dads talk about. With no explanation of why your face was not familiar to him or why your voice did not sound like home to him. With no reasoning or apology or anything to explain why you refused to exist for so long - nothing but expensive electronics and promises of a car when he turns 16 and BAM! You are a hero - you can do no wrong.
My son is caring and loving and considerate - but when he comes home from your house, he is mean. My son would never hurt his mom’s feelings - he knows what struggles we went through -he remembers . But when he comes home from your house he makes fun or our life - he belittles our home and he tries to makes it seem insignificant. That is not ok.
And now - you think he belongs to you. Now you think that all if takes is your money and your lawyer and you big words and you can just take him away. You think that it’s ‘your turn’. You think that you can just make demands on me and my family and we have to just lie down -like before- and that you’ll get whatever you want because you are ‘the man’ and what you say goes but you are wrong in so many ways.
I will fight with you. I will play your stupid game. I will go to court and I will break your ‘rules’. I say whatever I need to say and I won’t smile pretty this time. Did your brother ever find out all those things you told his wife? Did your mom ever find out why you really spent that time in jail when we were married? How about your wife - is she aware of your how you feel about other men? Or does she just ignore that - like I wouldn’t?
I will fight you for my son and he will stay with me. And no, I will not be covering ‘all the costs’ you incurred because I moved out-of-state. I simply say ‘no’. And if you want to play dirty and remind me that life is not fair - then I will do that too. I am not above hitting below the belt - and you should know that, going in.
My son will not be insignificant or unimportant- and you are not allowed to use him to try to alleviate your insignificance and unimportance. I raised him. I cried for him when he hurt and held him when he cried for you. I answered the hard questions and none of them ever had anything to do when an X-Box or an IPod. I built my whole world around him not hurting - so you are not allowed to come in and try to push it all over.
You are not important. You are not significant. You are not a dad- you are just another struggle that he will remember having to go through - I know that, because I know you - and I know you can’t endure anything that is real - and you will disappear again. And I know that you will blame it on me for fighting with you- and that’s ok too.
Just go - I’ll play your stupid game, and I’ll pick up all the pieces and put him back together, I always do, just go.