I don't want to see my father ever again
By Anne Morand on April 12, 2010
Since the day I decided to get a divorce, my ex and I could't stand eachother anymore. Not that we could before the divorce either. But I have tried to keep things civil for my girl. I defended her father when she was pissed at him and ignored his call for a fight. For her.
When my best-friend's son learned that the reason his parents got a divorce, was because of his father infidelity (this is why you have to be careful about what you say around children), he took it badly and refused to see his father for MONTHS. It's then that I learned that you have to be careful about how you acted around your children. Because they remember. And one day, they will become teenager, adult and there is a chance that they will demand an explication for your actions. I don't want to be ashamed of my life and of my choices and I decided a long time ago that by doing the RIGHT thing, I would show my daughter how to do it.
When my daughter wanted to try and live with her father (after he bought her a dog, a cat and a hamster) and his girlfriend, she was ten, I let her go. Only because I think, I am convince, that children should NOT choose between their mom and dad. I think that sometimes, a child is closer to her/his mom and other times, a child is closer to her/his dad.
Of course, if one of the parent is unfit, there should be no choice. Children need to be in a stable environnement.
So I let my daughter go, with a hefty child support paiement.
I felt torn to not to be with my girl anymore. And I felt that life was unfair because when I had my girl, I had no money to ask the court for a child support ajustment and I barely had 100$ a month.
Not even two months after Ellie left, she came back home crying, asking that I let her come back home. I couldn't. She had to understand that she couldn't change her mind about important stuff like that as if she was choosing between pasta or hamburger for dinner.
It didn't take long before she started changing. She became introvert, scared, tired and she didn't talk anymore. Her, my little chatterbox, was quiet. I knew something was wrong. She started to talk about how things were at her father and my heart started to bleed. He never hit her (at least, I don't think so) but I know he pushed her once, after she told him that she didn't have to be yelled at by him. No, what he did was another time of abuse.
He was manipulating her and he was destroying that part of her that was her. I remember that when Ellie was born, I got into a fight with his parents about how to raise a child. They said that I had to ``break`` Ellie's character in order to reconstruct her the way I wanted. Grrr... What is the use to have children then ? Get a dog !
The day that my girl decided she had enough, about five months later, she send an email to her father saying : Dad, thank you for the nice experiences, but I am not coming back.
That day was October 19, 2009. She is fourteen now, and to this date, she refuses to see him. He tried once to see her by sending her an email (the email was a nice exemple of manipulation : Thank you for showing me you love me) but it didn't work, she still didn't want to see him.
And when we went in court to change the custody, he proved to everybody that the reason he had offered Ellie to live with him had nothing to do with her : he offered to sign off all the papers necessary for the custody change in exchange of me renoncing to child support. Which I did.
Now is the time to shower my girl with love and attention. To show her that it's okay to have an opinion, that there is a way to say what we want and when you master that way, you are free because now, you can vocalize your needs, your likes and dislikes. And that there is nothing wrong in saying no. Or yes. Or even I don't know.
I am grateful for PC (Prince Charming) because althought Ellie is not his daughter, he is giving her all the love she needs and he lets her look up at him for a masculine point of view of life. He knows he is not her father and she knows she has a father (I am teaching her that love comes with acceptance of others differences). I know she will talk to him again, when she will feels she is well equipped enough to face him. It may be in a few weeks, a few months or a few years.
But now, she doesn't want to see her father. And as the parent of a teenager, I feel I need to show her that I do respect her opinion and that even if life is not fair, life is life. And when it throws you lemon, you got to make something positive out of it. Like lemonade.
Do you know of any other child that took a decision like mine ? And how the parent reacted ?
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