Because the economy sucks and the housing market sucks and life sucks, I'm not going to be able to sell my house since I owe more than what it will sell for. Not to mention the fact that houses are on the market for a good year or more around here. My options are limited now and it just sucks.
While cleaning out and decluttering, I found a box of Joe's stuff (high school yearbooks, photo albums of his baby pictures, etc.) According to the divorce agreement, everything left here is mine. He took what was his and made no accommodations to retrieve anything else. I considering having a bonfire, and burning him in effigy. I also thought about writing up stories with all the details of his horribleness and listing the items on eBay. In the end, I opted to text him and let him know I had a box of his stuff if he wanted to come pick it up. That was my good deed for the year.
He stopped by on Saturday, handed me some papers because he's apparently taking me to court, trying to get his obligation to pay child support modified instead of being responsible, getting a job and paying more than $0 a month to help support his six children. Then, he took his box of stuff, yelled at me for throwing out one of the kids' broken old toys that he suddenly wanted to give his niece, and left without a word to the kids. He didn't say a single word to any of them. He didn't ask to see any of them. Nothing. Later, he texted me that it just never occurred to him to say hi.
What kind of parent does this?! What kind of parent goes months (years, in some cases) without seeing the kids and then doesn't even bother to say hello? I'm just floored by his selfishness. I can't fathom any parent acting like this. I just can't wrap my brain around such behavior.
Then today, he texts and out of nowhere, asks me if I can drop the kids off to see him later this week. Well, we already have plans then, and honestly, Brooklyn is the only one willing to see him now. Lexi and Brooklyn have been the only ones who don't hate him, but after leaving without a word to Lexi, he just alienated her. The rest of the kids have had enough of his behavior. They see how he's left them. They're not stupid. They're done with him. It's only a matter of time until Brooklyn sees through his bs, as well. There's no more of me making excuses for him and trying to convince the kids that he loves them. I don't talk about what a deadbeat he is, but no longer do I try to cover up what he's doing to them. He's made his choices and has pushed the kids as far away as he can. Only time will tell if they'll ever have any kind of relationship at all.
When I told him that I didn't think we'd be around for me to drop the kids off and that Brooklyn was the only one who would even want to go, he blamed it on me. He said that "my opinions of him made it difficult for him to focus on the kids". Oh sure, because I think he's a deadbeat loser, he can't focus on the kids. The fact that the reason I think he's a deadbeat loser is BECAUSE he abandoned the kids, doesn't matter in his little world. Of course, he's always blamed everything on me. It was my fault he got his third DUI this summer because if I hadn't divorced him, he wouldn't have had to go out drinking. It was my fault he spent thousands of dollars a month at strip clubs because I drove him to do it. It's my fault he lied to me constantly for 20 years.
So now I'm considering my limited options as far as my house is concerned while trying to ignore the insanity that is my ex-husband. And, of course, most importantly, trusting God to get us through this, and showing my kids every day just how much they're loved. Most days, I get up and keep on going, without any problems. I know that even the most stressful, hopeless-seeming situations are only a drop in the bucket. While in their midst, it's easy to get discouraged and give up hope. It's easy to be overcome with fear. But I know, in the end, one day, when the tough times have passed, I'll look back and see that it was just that - a small section of my life that had tough times. Nothing more.
Of course, other days, I want to lie in bed and cry. Thankfully, those days are few and far between!
When I first got a copy of the book, Pearl Girls (it's a great book compiled by Margaret McSweeney, filled with essays by some of the most awesome Christian women writers AND with all proceeds going to charity), I read through the stories. Many of them brought me to tears. I thought, Wow, these women have really been through some trials in their lives! Then I got to my silly essay and I thought, Nothing bad has ever happened to me. I admit I was a little sad that I had nothing profound to write because nothing bad had happened. Now, I'm pleased to know that I'll have a great story of triumph because I am going through some really rough times now. Okay, no I'm not. I'm not pleased at all. I'm kicking my butt because, clearly, I jinxed myself by saying that nothing bad had ever happened to me! What the heck was I thinking?!!! In the future, if I ever get the notion that nothing bad has happened to me, I'm simply going to say, "Praise the Lord! Thank you!" and be done with it!