Yes, this is my second time writing today. Had to get this off my chest and see if anyone can help me understand, “Why?”. Why is it so difficult for some – not going to say most or all – men to dissociate their child from the child’s mother? Here’s my story:
After several attempts at watching Christopher Nolen’s A Christmas Wish, I finally finished it. For me, it was unbelievably difficult to watch because I felt like I was the mom in the story having to provide for a child without conditional financial assistance from the father. You see, the father (ex-husband) in the story refused to pay child support, but said he would provide everything the child needed if and when she asked. This was the first issue I had. The next was the father’s plea to the mom – “Why don’t you let me take care of you? You know I still love you.” Which brings me back to my original question, why is it so difficult for men to see the mother and child as two separate individuals? Why couldn’t he take care of the child without associating it with his love for the mom?
After I had my daughter, I refused to ask her father for child support. I was not going to beg him to take care of his child. Plus, just like the father in the movie, he kept saying he wanted to take care of both of us. He wanted us to be together. But he was already with someone else. And when I refused, he decided not to provide for her. He told me if I needed anything, to just ask. Well, I didn’t. I believed if he wanted to take care of her he would do it on his own. I mean, mothers don’t have a choice. We do it whether the father is around or not. Well, after a couple of years of my mom telling me I needed to put my pride aside and seek support for my daughter, I did. I filed for child support before I left for Turkey. The agency reported that they were not able to locate him. Then a few months after arriving in Turkey, I received a letter from him stating if I wanted support, he was going to seek joint custody. My daughter was three years old and had never laid eyes on him nor spoken to him. Not because I would not allow it, but because I chose not to be with him. Y’all, he never even spoke to my baby! From birth, I kept him and his parents informed about her progress. I sent pictures. I wrote letters and neither him nor his family made an effort to have a relationship with her. So there was no way I was going to give him joint custody just to receive a check. So, I chose to raise her on my own.
Fast forward to today and my now ex. Almost the exact same scenario. I’m not going to lie, it hurts. Never in a million years did I expect it from him because he knew what I went through with my daughter’s father. So yeah, watching the movie was very difficult. The pain is still very fresh. In the movie, the little girl’s wish was for them to be a family again on Christmas Day, and of course it happened. Well, up until two years ago, I did the family Christmas thing, but ended it because it only gave my ex false hope of us getting back together. Before the next Christmas rolled around, I informed my son that we were no longer going to spend Christmases together. This was also after finally being granted the divorce after over four years of waiting. And guess what? My son was actually okay with it.
Even though it took me several attempts to get through the movie, I did it. It may seem insignificant to you, but it’s an accomplishment for me. Y’all, I really didn’t think I could do it. It hurt too badly. At times I found myself yelling at the television begging the mom not to take him back. Yeah, it was painful to watch.
Here is my takeaway from the movie, or what I needed to come to terms with. Yes, some people settle for package deal because that is what works for them. And guess what? It’s okay. Me, I did not accept the package deal so I must accept the consequences of my actions. Lastly, I have to let it go. My son is 18 and my daughter is 26. There has never been a time in their lives that I was not able to provide for them or did not ask for help when I really needed it. I can no longer beat myself up over the relationship/lack of relationship they have with their fathers because I chose not to accept the package deal. Yes, it’s time for me to let it go.
After I had my daughter, I would often ask her father why he could not take care of her without taking care of me. He said because he loved me and all of us should be together. I’m still bewildered.
If anyone has the answer, please let me know.