Benign Neglect

I am sitting here having my coffee this morning a little tired and cranky. I could easily pass it off onto the cats who were doing the chase around the house at 3:23 a.m. using myself as a part of their obstacle course but this is not the sole reason.

For those who don’t know the whole story let me give you a bit of history. It has been 2.5 years since the Ex and me split. He fought me tooth and nail that we would share custody of T.  Sharing is different from joint custody. Shared is a straight 50/50 split. One week T is with me, one week with his dad. Not always perfect but it has worked.

This passed January, the Ex’s girlfriend began going to school during the day and had to work nights. As does he. So I agreed that T could come and spend the nights here while they were working. It was going to be for six months. She is done next month.

Beginning of April when I returned to work I explained to the Ex that he would need to stop here and pick T up on his way home from work Saturday a.m. as I began at 9. This is when I learned that for the previous month and a half, he has not been working Friday nights. Yet he not only did not tell me, he also did not pick T up until mid-Saturday afternoons. Well I guess you would think that shock would be my most prominent feeling. It wasn’t. I was more resigned.

T has been mentioning to me that his dad spends little time with him. Always in the shop working. Or on the weekends drinking. Hanging out with his friends. And T is suppose to stay until Monday mornings but has been coming home on Sunday for the last several weeks.

I received a text in the middle of the night. Well, 1:40 a.m. I woke up realizing that I had heard my phone go off. Before everyone is like wth is her phone on for I have two reasons. 1) T was at a sleepover at M’s. And despite her being a nurse and my inability to do anything were something to happen given that we live an hour apart, I leave my phone on just in case. 2) Mom. Again, I know that I can do nothing if something happens to her, but I don’t want to be waking up to a call from my bro about it.

I had been lead to believe that the Ex would not be home until today from his fishing weekend. That he works tonight so T would be staying with me. The working part is correct however he came home yesterday. The text was from his girlfriend. Or rather should I say ex-girlfriend. They had just broken up.

She was messaging me to ask that I keep T today until she was done moving out. That she did not want him to see that. I messaged her back and than shot a text to the Ex asking WTF? I have yet to hear from him. I don’t expect to because he is going to be hung over and dealing with a bitchy ex-wife is probably not at the top of his to do list.

We, she and I messaged for about an hour. His drinking is getting worse. He is not acting like himself. Refusing to change. Refusing responsibility except to himself. And it was never clearer to me that I had married a man so like my dad I am disgusted with myself.

Drink. Wreck lives. Pass out. Contrition. Rinse. And Repeat.

He is charming I will give him that. When he wants to be. But as a companion he sucks shit. She said to me last night that she hoped he would learn to love again. Now that could be a shot a me for destroying his ability but it wasn’t. The truth of the matter is that the Ex, he loves himself first and foremost. T, the ex-girlfriend, me we are/were pulled into his orbit. I have been able to pull myself out but T he is still there.

I am sad really. Sad because I believe that beneath the infantile man who puts his needs and wants before everyone else, is someone who could be a really great dad. Who could teach his son how to be a kind and decent man. Sad because I stand on the sidelines watching my child hurt and can only ease the pain so much. Sad because I am watching history repeat itself.

Benign neglect is more disheartening than straight up neglect.

There is always that hope that the other person with change. It is a futile wish.

**Photo is mine taken at Matlock Beach, Manitoba last summer**

 

 

Author: Jay-lyn Doerksen

I am a single hard working mom in her 40's. I have always written poetry and I love words. I live with depression and its ups downs. This is a space where I can create and write all that I need to.

16 thoughts on “Benign Neglect”

  1. Stay strong. You may not see it now but your actions and response will ultimately shape T. He needs to see the focused, resilient woman who is his mom, and see that men, even charming ones, don’t stand a chance against a strong woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I needed to read that. There are times when I feel like I cannot compete and realize that I should not have to. T is growing and you are right, he will make his own judgement calls when he is older and I have to have faith in my ability to be the strong confident mom he needs. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It isn’t that he has really changed, it was that my belief was that when we split up and he was responsible for T on his own that he would change. My bad. And yet, I still hope that for T, because I see how much he adores and admires his dad. 😦

      Like

  2. Good morning. Well this was bound to come up. Wishful thinking and hope springs eternal are phrases that come to mind and most of us are guilty of feeling both. The only one you can change is yourself. Maybe you need to look at a self-help group for people dealing with alcohol abuse in your sphere of influence. It just might you help T with his issues with his dad. I love you and please take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Unfortunately you’re right….It’s unlikely he will change. As T gets older things may get easier….But T may also start acting out to get his dad’s attention so maybe not. Coparenting when one parent behaves badly is very rough. Hang in there and just do the best you can for T! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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