I voiced my truth.
Our household had sickness the past couple weeks. It ran its course through all of us in some fashion. Even the ex.
I started it all before the holiday. But once the holiday was over, my littlest one came down with it…so that means time off work. I arranged the schedules so I would be home with her by lunch (I had to go in and do the morning routine with my littles at school) She’s old enough to sleep in her bed a couple hours until I can get home. She was okay with it. So while getting ready to leave that morning I was a bit surprised by the call from the ex asking if I wanted him to stay with her…
He had already cancelled/rescheduled his visitation for that evening with them. Now he wants to stay home from work to babysit our sick daughter? Ok. Whatever. Apparently my little called him to seek some comfort while she lay in bed feeling icky.
Sure. If that’s what you want to do. I don’t feel comfortable with you in my personal space, but today is about my little, not me. So I will be home at lunchtime as I already arranged with my daughter and my employer.
She went to the doctor that afternoon. Positive strep. Text sent to inform the ex. Antibiotics. Home to rest…
The ex texts “whats the dealio with being infectious? Meaning us (you and I) getting it? My head is kinda hurting…but don’t know if I’m imagining symptoms now.”
I’m not your nursemaid.
I’m not your wife.
I’m not your mother.
I ALREADY had it! I dealt with it. I didn’t call you up and expect you to rescue me. I don’t want to rescue you.
Obviously she stayed home another day. Again he asked if I wanted him to stay with her in the morning. I repeated it was up to him and I had the same plan as the day before. He declined sitting with her another day. His choice.
Over the course of the week the oldest started feeling ill and ended up home as well. Apparently I didn’t report in a timely manner what was occurring regarding the kids’ health and their absences from school. I received this text a few days later (after HE was diagnosed and home from work because of strep) “you need to keep me advised of the health of our children. Especially when they are not attending school. Completely unacceptable and the third day in a row. The second day in a row since I said something to you on Tuesday.”
Mind you, he knew each day that the kids were not feeling well. He knew the previous two days when the little was home (whether that morning or by midday or early evening). I wasn’t keeping any information from him.
He doesn’t understand that he is not my first contact. He is not my go to. He has expectations set that deem him to be that person.
In what I consider an act of “in your face”ness, he ended up taking my oldest to the doctor while he was home from school the final day. Unbeknownst to me.
He ended up spending two days hanging out at my home with sick kids. He then asked for extra special time with them this weekend (my weekend) to make up for the night he couldn’t get them because they were sick and wanted to stay home and rest. On top of a previous request asking my son to hunt with him for the third weekend in a row (during my time).
We had to have “the talk” again. You know, the one where I repeat that we don’t have THAT kind of relationship. The one where he needs to respect my time with the kids as I respect his time. We are NOT friends. I am NOT his secretary. He is NOT respectful of me or my wishes and boundaries. I don’t owe him anything. I do not feel safe and comfortable communicating with him. He attacks and condescends. He has expectations that, if not met to his satisfaction, cause him to blame me for his own shortcomings and failings. (ie. he didn’t attend “X” event because I didn’t inform him of the event – that was communicated to him via email already by the originating source of the event)
I finally had to say “No, I do not wish to ‘co-parent’ with you in the way you would like”. And I had to stand strong on my feet to remember that it isn’t ME being wrong to have that desire. It is my own personal self preservation.
He doesn’t have a paramour right now…so he felt bad. He apologized in his usual vague way “for everything” and I almost felt sorry.
Instead I said, “you’ve said that about three times now, ‘I’m sorry for everything I’ve done‘, and honestly I don’t really know what that means. I don’t know what you’re sorry for. In my opinion I think you are sorry that your life didn’t work out the way you wanted and you thought you had a second chance with your paramour and I think you blame me for that not working out too. Because I didn’t accept it readily and make things easy for the two of you because I didn’t agree with the choices you made.”
He immediately went to “well, you haven’t really opened the door for me to…”
There is a way to make EVERYTHING my horrible fault.
Yep. It’s my fault he hasn’t come to me with a heartfelt apology on bended knee asking for forgiveness for the things he’s done.
I stopped talking.
I was done there.
There was really nothing else left to say.
He decided to start listing his “I’m sorry”s
…for not being strong enough to weather the storms.
…for not standing up to me when more.
…for not putting me first.
…for changing his job.
Silent tears streamed slowly down my face. But as he said the words, I felt very little.
And truly, does he even know what he means?
There is little truth felt within the hollow words when actions speak so loudly.
I responded that I appreciated and accepted his apology. I also said I appreciated him hearing me out.
I’m starting to feel the indifference.