why am I always surprised?

I’m always surprised. You’d think after 26 years I would have figured it out…but no, every single time, I’m surprised.

My former husband called me Friday and said: happy Easter. (Aww, that was kind…did I mention I should have known better than to think is was sincere?)
After a brief time of catching up, he asks if I know what Thing 1 did.
Uh…no.
Well it seems she went to the emergency room and the bill showed up at his house as that’s the one listed on her driver’s license. So he wants to know what I’m going to do about the bill.
Pardon?

I suggest we have a mini discussion about it with Thing 1, see if we can come up with a plan all together. (I mean if she’s off shacked up with this guy, why are we still financially responsible for her?)

Then he begins to talk about Thing 2 and how bad her anxiety has become.
I suggest he take her to the doctor. He has no idea what that means…no idea where to start. I suggest he take her to the family practitioner and go from there…and when he hems and haws I remind him that he’s the parent and he has to be responsible for her. Which kind of turns into a bigger discussion than he’s interested in so he hustles off the phone but not before he says he’ll call me back. (He doesn’t.)

Saturday morning I get a call from Thing 1, guns a’ blazing. She’s all bent because, “Daddy told me you said send the bill to me. How am I supposed to pay it?”
Whoa there sister.
I do a little damage control and move on.

I call her father (who conveniently doesn’t answer) and leave a message.
When he finally calls me back, I’m like, what’s your deal?
He says: Well I was mad at you so I called Thing 1. (You stupid, passive aggressive, manipulative jackass!)
I stop him right there and say, “You have got to get it together! Be a grown up, be a man! If you are angry with me, you talk to ME! Not our children! You’re up my ass about money but can’t be bothered to discuss what’s going on with Thing 2. You’ve made a huge mess down there and you are going to have to clean it up.”
He is quiet, then he makes excuses, then he apologizes. (The apology is meaningless, he just says it out of habit, to end the conversation.)

I honestly don’t understand. Any of it really. Starting with the fact I thought he was a grown up all those long years ago and ending with how I continue to ask myself, why did I choose to remain blind for so long?

I made a promise to remain hands off in the fall when he and Thing 2 decided she didn’t need a mommy in her life.
I made that promise to myself. I vowed not to clean up whatever mess they made. It has made for some harrowing moments for me…but I am sticking to it.
The problem is they’ve made a bigger mess than I could have ever imagined. Thing 2 will suffer for it, but she is choosing to…
He has no idea how to be a parent other than to provide food and shelter…that’s all he’s ever done.
The thing that frustrates me the most is the fact he won’t admit he’s cocked it up. He would rather let it all burn than admit he’s made a mess and try and figure out how to clean it up…or ask for help cleaning it up.

He called me under the guise of happy Easter, my beloved Easter. And I was surprised when it went down the rabbit hole. (Shame on me.)
When will I stop being surprised? Why do I continue to give the benefit of the doubt?

I am so much better off away from that toxicity.
I’ve thrown my baby a life raft, she’s choosing not to take it.
It’s time to sink or swim.
My friend and mentor has told me I built her foundation and she’ll be successful in spite of all this…I trust that.

I’m so disappointed in myself for believing so long that he is something he’s not…I believed the facade I helped create.

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Categories: divorce, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “why am I always surprised?

  1. Yes, it is sometimes hard to comprehend just how far the illusion was/ is from the truth.
    and we still get to do the fixing up.

  2. Women have a few faults, one of which is believing that their man will change for the better some day. Trust me on this, nine out of ten men never grow up at all. Nine out of ten men always need a mother-figure to clear up after them. Nine out of ten men will never admit they were wrong and 99/100 men will never accept good advice from a woman. That’s just the way it is. I know, because I’m a bloke myself.

  3. Thanks, Elizabeth and Jack, I know better than to believe in the change, but do blame myself for perpetuating the myth for so long.
    I’m growing, Elizabeth! Because I’m NOT cleaning up the mess.
    Jack, I appreciate your bloke point of view. I would love to think I’m without fault…or that this is my “big” fault…alas no. I drank the kool aid for so long, I forgot I was the one who was making it.

    Mostly I’m still amazed that nobody puts those girls first but me. Not even those girls!
    That is what is holding me fast to my “hands off” promise, the fact that nobody is willing to do anything to make it better. Watching my baby sink is excruciating, but I honestly believe we’ll be better off for it.
    It’s easy for him to blame me and twist them to make me hurt, but I know one day they will see the reality and know I was the one who did what was best for them.

  4. Every woman with an ex-husband is nodding in sympathy. My own ex has a habit I’ve never been able to get my head around. When he’s in conflict with someone, he make ridiculous accusations against them. He did this to me for 30 years, accusing me of gazing lustily after other men, accusing me of being untruthful, of putting him last. I don’t even argue, there’s no point and anyone who knows me, knows immediately that he’s not saying the truth.

    So a couple of weeks ago, he tells me he visited his mother with our eldest son John. He says John disrespected his grandmother, and turned away rudely from her as she was offering him something. And there is NFW that polite, gentle soul would do that. No way in the world. I have been on the receiving end of my ex’s accusations, so I give our son the full benefit of any doubt.

    I’m glad you are not being too hard on yourself, though Robynbird. It reflects well on your that you expect better of him. And you absolutely are doing the right thing for your girls, as well as being a good role model to them. They do see that, but it’s hard for a kid to admit their father is a schmuck.

  5. “When will I stop being surprised? Why do I continue to give the benefit of the doubt?”

    Because you’re you, and not him. It’s a good thing.

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