formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fat Bastard...

And no, I don't mean Santa Claus. This time.

So, you guys know I have a pretty terrific kid, right? There are moments when I'd like to trade her in for a puppy, but most days? She's pretty fabulous...


That's my girl!

In some ways, she's very much like me, which is understandable, as we spend a LOT of time together. I have full custody of her and though her father has liberal visitation, he chooses not to take advantage of it. He hasn't seen her in nearly a year. I'd like to say this is unusual, but it's not. Since we split up six years ago, I can count on both hands the number of times he's seen her. This once-a-year thing has been the norm for the past three years. He makes all sorts of excuses for his absence, but that's what they are -- excuses.

Luckily, Ryan was never used to him being there. Even when we were married, he was working away from home and only (barely) there on the weekends. So when we split up, not seeing him was just par for the course. She didn't really miss him. And when she did, I'd make excuses for him, on top of his excuses. I stopped doing that, though, when she got older and wiser, as I try not to ever lie to her. But I work hard to make sure she understands that his absence is not about her. That her father's lack of attention is about his deficiencies; that he loves her more than he loves anyone... he's simply not capable of love or expressing love the way most people are. And that is not her fault.

She's been willing to forgive him a lot. I do a pretty good job of being Mom and Dad, so not seeing him isn't the end of the world. And for a long time, he still called her a few times a week to check in, and that seemed to be enough for her.

But things changed this past year. He did a few things that were pretty unforgivable... things even I couldn't spin. He let her down. He broke her heart. And then he pretty much abandoned her. Since her birthday at the beginning of August, with the exception of a one-line email on the first day of school, he has made no attempt to contact her.

I look at her and see the amazing person she is growing into and I simply cannot imagine how he doesn't want to know her; how he can go 12 months without seeing her; how he doesn't have any interest in her life. I don't get it.

She doesn't get it either. But even though it would be understandable if she acted out or got depressed or put me through Hell because of the heartache he has caused, she doesn't do any of that. As I say, she's like me in some ways and, thankfully, she inherited my sense of humor. I love this, except when she uses it against me (which is more often than I care to note here)... then it's not quite so funny. But it serves her well, in general. She chooses to laugh at this awful situation with her dad rather than wallow in it. She has dubbed her father, "The Donor." It makes me chuckle, as that's how I think of him (though she didn't get the name from me!). She makes a lot of jokes at his expense now and though I don't (usually) allow her to be disrespectful or ugly, I let her get out how she feels, grateful she's able to deal with her pain in some way and wind up laughing about it.

A couple of weeks ago, we were in the grocery store, picking up a bottle of wine to take to a friend's house for dinner. I was looking for my favorite Merlot when Ryan started to laugh. She nudged me and pointed to a bottle of wine called, 'Fat Bastard'. Then she said, "Look, Mom, they named a bottle of wine after Daddy!"

I tried not to laugh. I tried to look stern. I failed. Miserably. Then I hugged her, kissed her head, and said, "I'm so glad I'm the parent you like!"

21 comments:

SSP said...

mwahahahahhaaaaa - I love that...what a happy well adjusted kid - but we knew that.....thanks for the giggle...

Pauline said...

It's hard for those of us who love our children to understand the parent that doesn't. Ryan has her head (and her heart) straight. Good thing you laughed though - there's actually and Australian wine called Bitch!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Superb! Like mother, like... Complete the well known phrase.

Seriously, you are an awesome mum who deserves the love (and occasional cheek!) that Ryan returns to you...

With love xxx

McGillicutty said...

I can relate... in the fact that I was and still am the abandoned child, it doesn't get easier but humor is definitely the best way to deal with it. Hopefully the long term effect will be that she looks for loyalty and stability in her husband and the father of her own kids. You in the mean time are obviously doing a fabulous job... pat yourself on the back.xxxx

Jason, as himself said...

My oldest daughter's biofather has dealt with her much the same way. Even though she considers me to be her dad, she has still had a very tough time dealing with his rejection. It is just heartbreaking. We spent some dark years chasing that issue around.

Zuzana said...

She is so beautiful, she has that exotic look about her.;))
And considering the words she uttered she is also smart and witty.;))
How strange that her father wants so little to do with her, that I can never comprehend...
xoxo

dianne said...

You are a great Mom Diane and I am so happy that you and Ryan have such a great Mother, Daughter friendship, she is a beautiful, well adjusted girl, she has you as her role model.

If your ex cannot see what a wonderful young woman she is and cannot spare the time for her, his own daughter, well who really needs him?

xoxoxoxo ♡

slommler said...

That is a shame!!! Definitely his loss!! And a very apt name for sure!
Hugs
SueAnn

swenglishexpat said...

Yeah, bastard! Unforgivable, says I who now have grandchildren in another country, doing my very best to keep up with their development. "Fat Bastard", the girl's got humour!

Hope your job situation improves so you will have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas with your girl.

Stu Pidasso said...

Part of the reason I like coming here to read your blog, is for the perspective that you and Ryan give me into my own situation of being an estranged dad. Over the last two or three years, I have empathized with your situation form "his" perspective. Is this how I am perceived by my ex and our kids? Am I a "fat bastard? What do I possibly gain from not communicating with my kids?

to be continued.....

Stu Pidasso said...

...continuation.

Nothing. That is what I figured out after 6 years of seeing my kids only when it could be done without HER involvement. Now, approaching the 11th anniversary of the finalization, I regret not having put my attitude aside and embracing being their dad every single weekend I could get them.

That is why, I am trying to encourage Ryan to not hold a grudge. I am trying to encourage Ryan to love, even when she feels like she is not loved. I am trying to encourage Ryan to forget trying to understand what he is thinking and why he is doing these things, but to just forgive and remember that at some point down the line, he will realize that he has lost a chunk of the most preciious thing he has.....time with her. I wonder if, like myself, he is so focused on the relationship with the mother of his child, that he has lost sight of the fact that he has something just as wonderful as a wife....a daughter. Would he be willing to trade all he has at a chance to undo what he has done? Only time will tell and it is said that time does heal all wounds.

Chin up ladies, as bad as life can be; it is still pretty darn good.

Now, I have to go because it is time for my turn with my kids.

Diane said...

Stu, I replied to your comment on your blog. You don't know much of this situation... if you did, you'd know you were defending the indefensible.

Anne said...

Yep, she's a great kid! Just like her mama.

You pretty much know my feelings about the Fat Bastard, so I won't repeat it all here, except the part where I want to drive to his house, beat the hell out of him, and then toss him in the wood chipper feet first.

Mr. Witherspoon said...

She is awesome. It's sad he'll never know how awesome, too. Even after seeing it firsthand myself I don't know how someone can not be involved with their own flesh and blood, but I do know a great mom can help make up for the other side's shortcomings. And Ryan's got a terrific one :)

Mr. Witherspoon said...

Seeing it firsthand with my own dad, of course.

Stu Pidasso said...

I read it and replied, Diane.

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

you are an amazing mother..with an amazing kid! Neither one of you deserve the heart ache...cause I know watching your childs heart hurt, breaks yours! Glad she can smile...but GRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

boneman said...

I guess then I'm the "fat bastard" at my ex-wife's house.
That's where my daughter lives.

She said I could visit, but only under condition that she was there, too.
Which caught me as strange at first.
Perhaps my ex is jealous...I dunno.
My baby was choking one morning, and I had read the med manual to death on infants.
I rolled her over and struck her with a soft upward open hand on her back. turned her over, face starting to go bl;ue (she was choking on a breath in)
Over, a little bit harder, she coughed up damned milk powder i hadn't gotten stirred well, the nipple had been cut to large, dang!
But she started breathing and crying simultaneously, and I was exceedingly happy.
Until I looked in and saw my ex laying in bed, fire in her eyes, jumping up and snatching the baby out of my arms.
(her contention was that the manual was WRONG!...even though it was current to 1988. Later I would realize I should have chanced my child's brain damage and taken her to the wife. For my mistake, whatever it was, I've gotten to see my daughter only a handful of times before she turned 18, and about that many and as many after.
My ex had promised to break any bond between us, and, she succeeded.)

It's funny. The human spirit can be broken so easily. Without concern or even any trying.
A true love...lost.

And I become a "fat bastard", too, I suspect.
Even though I do love my daughter, still. Very much.
And always will.


What if beneath his exterior, Ryan's dad does, too?

Diane said...

Boneman, as I've said, he does love her. As much as he's capable. He's just not capable. Unlike your ex, I have not tried to keep them apart. I have done everything in my power to foster a relationship between them. But it's not my job - it's his. And he is CHOOSING not to do it. He is CHOOSING to hurt his child... CHOOSING to abandon her... CHOOSING to make her feel as if she doesn't exist. I've begged him over and over and over again to do SOMETHING - ANYTHING - to make her understand he loves her and wants her to be a part of his life. HE CHOOSES NOT TO. He will regret it one day - of this I'm sure. But it will likely be too late then.

boneman said...

yes mam. I never meant that you were creating the situation.

I pretty much dug my own grave, here.
Like I say...I'm the fat bastard.

Then again, aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them...


at funerals.

Live More Now said...

What a sweet girl. Sounds like you got yourself a kid as wonderful as you. :) Even if she did come with the triple S gene as well. (I loved that).

A good sense of humor will take us farther in life, especially through tough times, than most other things! Way to go.