It’s been a super fun week. (no, not really). My son’s father informed me earlier this week that he no longer wants to co-parent our 7 year old son together via a very LENGTHY email. It’s starts with, “It’s with great regret and sorrow…” #truestory
His version goes something like this – let’s use bullets for fun – since it’s the closest I’ll get to them – even if it is figuratively.
- He believes that I’m instilling hate in my child towards his step-sister and half-sister. His one data point to support this theory is a fight that took place where the kids hit each other and for some bizarre reason, his father thinks I told our son to hit his step-sister. Meanwhile, with every breath I’ve ever taken in raising this kid, I’ve always taught him to respect women and never, ever hit a girl. It’s called being a kid and being siblings. Siblings fight. That doesn’t mean one parent tells their kid to hit another sibling back. (eye-roll)
- He believes that I’m not raising our child to be a good Muslim boy because I’m not strict with his diet. I let him eat Wendy’s chicken nuggets which is not Islamically allowed because it’s not halal meat. This concept is similar to kosher meat for the Jews. He somehow has conveniently forgotten, that our child goes to Sunday School at a mosque and is taking classes to learn how to read Arabic – not once, but TWICE a week. Ok, and can we also talk about how my son doesn’t lie and believes in God and thanks him every night for all of his blessings. So really, you’re just stuck on the fact that our child eats non-halal chicken? Yes, this is a great reason to abandon your son.
- Furthermore, I’m apparently using him as a babysitter every other weekend so that I’m able to get a break and have some fun. (cue song – Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun). He’s SO furious because has no control over how our son is being raised. The irony of all this is that he’s never made it down to any doctors appointments, dentist visits, parent-teacher conferences, nor has even requested a copy of his report card. And yet, this is MY fault? Mother Fucker, you left the State. You CHOSE and continue to CHOOSE not to be involved. He’s had ample opportunities to be an active father. It’s always easy to just blame someone else than to take full accountability.
- He disapproves of my lifestyle which entails dating a non-Muslim man, being spiritual rather than a strict Muslim, and speaking my mind. This man that I’ve been dating for over two years now is in LOVE with my child. He adores my son and helps me in ways that my ex-husband never did.
Because I’ve repeatedly denied my ex-husband full custody, he feels that it is in our son’s best interest that he no longer be present in our child’s life. Somehow abandonment and emotional scarring for our son is better than my ex-husband going to a family counselor to figure out how to co-parent and handle a blended family. Good job guy. Great fucking job.
I got this email on the last day of my group therapy. I had just graduated the program and received all of these amazing affirmations which included strong, kind, and tenacious. Those were my favorite ones. After crying for my son, I re-assessed the entire situation and here’s where I’m at….
It’s time to take out the trash. Literally. And my ex-husband is the trash.
This entire situation is my worst nightmare coming true. I’ve done everything in my power for the last five years to ensure my child has a relationship with his father. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on gas, tolls, and car maintenance and drove well beyond the half way point so that my son can see his dad. And here we are today, five years later, where his dad is ready to throw in the towel and I’m here saying, Fuck You.
Here’s what I’ve learned about life so far thanks to this experience:
- Sometimes you just gotta take out the trash. There’s no point in holding onto bad relationships if all they do is hurt you and make your life miserable. Life is too short for that and we all deserve to be happy. My son deserves a loving and caring father. If my baby daddy can’t handle disciplining a blended family, how is he going to handle stuff when shit really gets bad, bc it will.
- Although family can suck, they will always be there, especially when it pertains to their grandchild. My family and I don’t always get along since we don’t see eye to eye on pretty much everything including the color of the sky. But when it comes to their grandchildren, they will give up an organ if they had to. My family has been so supportive during this tumultuous time. My father even called to say that my son could spend weekends with them so I can get some down time.
- Sacrifice the short term gain for the long term goal. I met with a lawyer today to go over my legal rights and child support stuff. Let me tell you, this shit is overwhelming and super complicated. Here’s what she helped me understand, if I go for more child support now, my ex-husband can challenge the motion and ultimately hurt my chances for getting full legal custody of my son. It’s like that time you really want to eat that chocolate chip cookie but know you need to fit into that bridesmaid dress.
- Be grateful even when shit hits the fan. It’s hard to feel gratitude when you think the Universe is against you. Those are your cognitive distortion at work. I’ve re-framed this entire situation in my mind as God is looking out for me and my son. It’s obvious that his father is not stable and the environment that my son visits every other weekend isn’t the healthiest. With that as my backdrop, I’d much rather remove my son from this madness before it completely destroys his mental/emotional psyche. Kinda like cancer, you gotta cut that shit out before it spreads. Better to do it at Stage 1 than Stage 3 or 4.
- We are stronger than we realize. Like I said earlier, this is my worst nightmare coming true. And this is coming to actualization right after I finished my treatment for depression. I can choose to easily relapse. Trust me, I’ve thought about it. But instead, I chose to be strong, for my son’s sake. He’s already losing one parent, he doesn’t need to lose another. So I’m fighting through the emotional and mental rape every day so that I can give my son the love and support he needs now, more than ever.
I hope through this struggle, you can find the courage to smile, and believe in yourself. You’ve got this! Go take out the trash!!!