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Didn't See This Coming...

Old 05-03-2011, 04:33 AM
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Didn't See This Coming...

though after telling AH that he would not be able to attend a wedding this summer with the girls and I, I ought to have been on high alert.

He called and told D5 and D3 he'd see them in the morning when they woke up. The plan was he'd come by early to see them, have breakfast and drive them to school.

Around 11pm he called last night sounding drunk, I told him I would not talk (he wanted to "explain" to me why he HAD to lie so I'd understand) and hung up

I am sure you all can guess what happened this morning.

D5 and D3 woke up and in the course of about 30 min asked me 4 times where Daddy was. I said I didn't know (true). They wanted me to assure them he'd come. I said I hoped he would and I knew he'd said he would but I didn't know what Daddy's plan was.

Most heartbreaking... D5 ran to the front window a couple times when she heard a car pass by, thinking it was Daddy. I could see she was on the verge of tears and I told her it was okay to be upset and confused. She started crying and I hugged her and then she seemed better, helped make D3 breakfast and got along well with her sister the rest of the time until we went to school.

As I was dropping her off AH called my cell. I called him back after I dropped D5 off at Kindergarten and asked what was up. He was backpedaling and told me I must have left really early bc he just missed us at the house. I told him that D5 and D3 were both upset, sad, anxious and that the person I was most upset with was me for letting them believe a promise from him. Lots of excuses and then sorry it'll never happen again and I said nothing more except that I needed to go and I hung up.

NOTHING AH has done to me hurts me as much as seeing my daughters worried, and hurt bc of him. I hate him right now and need to get this out somewhere so that I can let it out, let go and hopefully move on....
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:14 AM
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so sorry. unfortunately, this is so typical a scene when the character the expectation is resting on is an active addict.

i don't know if you can really manage the phone calls, but my children weren't rushing to the phone an answering it when they were five and under. perhaps you try to avoid them planning on this guy until his car pulls up?
perhaps after keeping a brief log of his no shows or unfulfilled promises, you email him with "this is why i need to put a fence in front of my children. i want you to see them, but you schedule that through me" ??
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:21 AM
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Ugh! It sucks to start your day with disappointment.

Please remember the three C's, especially "You did not CAUSE this"

His lack of parental responsibility, blame-shifting, and failures are his. He made these choices.

You are a good mom in noticing your daughter's disappointment and discussing it with her. You are letting her know that it is okay to talk about the 'ugly' emotions of sad and lonely. Letting her know that all of her emotions, even anger, are normal is a good way to teach her healthy thoughts.

Her feelings are real and they matter!

(((Hugs))) to everyone today as you continue to grow and learn.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:26 AM
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I am so sorry for your children and you.

You say you didn't see this coming. I was complaining in therapy one day about AH and his mother and how they wouldn't respect my schedules and timelines for visitation...

and therapist said this: What do you know about XH and his mom?

me: they are erratic.

T: that's right. erratic and unreliable. Now you know. Expect that.

When my son had the surgery we talked about and he woke up asking for his dad, I said to myself (seething, btw), this is THE LAST time I will be sitting around wondering where he is and when he is going to show up.

I was NOT going to have my children jerked around like that anymore. It was awful to see them at the mercy of the stormy, unreliable being that was my AXH.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:50 AM
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I don't expect AH to show up for me or keep a single promise to me anymore-- and I guess I ought not expect or hope for it for my kids...

It is just heartbreaking to see young kids who have no way to understand why he is doing this, hurting bc he lets them down. And even if there's no promise, their wondering why he's awol is something that I grew up with as a kid and I blamed myself for it.

I don't know how to stop my D's from doing this. I don't want them feeling it is bc of them that he's not doing what he's promised or what they assume he will.

There really ought to be al-a-toddler meetings...

I hate to see them hurting and know that other than comfort them there is not a damn thing I can do to stop the cause of that hurt.

In no other circumstance would I continue to let the thing/person that causes them pain, be a part of their lives, but I have no choice until a judge says otherwise.

Journal has already been written for today. That was #1 task.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:00 AM
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I know exactly what you mean. I hate it when my daughter receives the short end of the stick because her dad has other priorities.

My only hope is that I can be healthy enough to give her the skills to deal with her life in a healthy manner.

In the moment of the disappointment, I am not sure what to do. I don't make excuses for him, but I often say that he is "busy". I don't want my daughter to think that his behavior is in any way her fault. I really want her to feel like she is important to him, but I cannot make him show her that. So, I am trying to give my daughter a lot of contact with the people in my family and life who do show her she is important.

Keep up the great work, your progress will definitely positively affect your girls.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:02 AM
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I'm so sorry. Believe me, I know what you are saying.

It is still incomprehensible to me how people can be like that. There are no easy solutions. I know that I personally do not ever tell them what he says he's going to do. I'd rather it be unexpected but 9 times out of 10 it doesn't happen at all. Sometimes he tells them himself and then I just have to deal with the fall out as best I can. I've learned to make plans in my head so that I can offer another distracting activity instead of being at home at loose ends. They don't know what to do with all of those emotions and boys don't talk it out right away - they act - and ugly emotions come out in ugly actions. :sigh:

ETA: I do talk with them. I try to explain it on levels that they understand and impress that it has nothing to do with them etc. No easy answers because despite what I say - they are being ditched by a parent that they love very much and that hurts.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:44 AM
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I have taken to not telling my girls things too far in advance.......like basically waiting until he is on his way. Too many disappointments for them. It's better to just be surprised when he DOES show.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:45 AM
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I think what sucks the most is that I grew up with a parent like AH. My mom wasn't an A but her behavior was identical.

She broke promises with wild abandon and I grew up having learned the following beliefs from a very young age:

- I wasn't worthy or her keeping her promise
- Hide hurt and disappointment
- If I couldn't hide it (I never was good at faking it) I'd be told what I already believed: that it was my fault
- I felt afraid, unloved, didn't know why she didn't love me, I clung to her even though she was abusive bc I thought she'd change and thought if I changed enough it would change her.
- I'd stand at the window worried sick that she might be in an accident or dead or hurt... I think now that I thought those things when she disappeared bc that allowed me to feel "compassion" for her instead of anger and fear at being left.

And all of this from broken promises, being let down constantly, unpredictability...

I have no magic solution to keep my kids from developing these beliefs and I am distraught that I can't protect them fully from being hurt by him.

I have decided to be very honest with them and let them know that the confusion confuses me too and let them know that their feelings about being let down are normal.

For a long time I tried to distract or make up a nice sounding reason for his absence and I think that is unwise so I'm done.

I won't vilify him but I won't protect him anymore either. The only people who deserve protection are my kids, and myself.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:29 PM
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That sucks!
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
If I couldn't hide it (I never was good at faking it) I'd be told what I already believed: that it was my fault
You are head and shoulders above where the sober adults in your young life were!!

This is what you can combat.

You already are allowing discussions of things that many families keep under wraps -- good for you!

You can send your children the message that it ISN'T their fault, every time you think it's appropriate.

(I wouldn't want to constantly be bringing it up and talking about it; they'll get sick of it, but during those times you do...)

They will believe you.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:32 PM
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and...

they are few and far between, but there such an invention as

ALA-TOT
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:54 PM
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I think I remember seeing at an al-anon meeting recently, that al-anon has produced some publications for children, to educate them about alcoholism. I'm not sure what age groups they are targeted to, but you might want to look into that.

It seems like it's never to early to educate your children when the potential ramifications of being a child of an alcoholic can be huge. I don't have kids but I did see my nieces and nephews struggle because 2 of my sisters married alcoholics or addicts.

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I don't expect AH to show up for me or keep a single promise to me anymore-- and I guess I ought not expect or hope for it for my kids...

It is just heartbreaking to see young kids who have no way to understand why he is doing this, hurting bc he lets them down. And even if there's no promise, their wondering why he's awol is something that I grew up with as a kid and I blamed myself for it.

I don't know how to stop my D's from doing this. I don't want them feeling it is bc of them that he's not doing what he's promised or what they assume he will.

There really ought to be al-a-toddler meetings...

I hate to see them hurting and know that other than comfort them there is not a damn thing I can do to stop the cause of that hurt.

In no other circumstance would I continue to let the thing/person that causes them pain, be a part of their lives, but I have no choice until a judge says otherwise.

Journal has already been written for today. That was #1 task.
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:55 PM
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Sounds like you have your priorities straight.

It's amazing isn't it, how so many of us replicate what we knew from childhood in our romantic relationships?

Originally Posted by wanttobehealthy View Post
I think what sucks the most is that I grew up with a parent like AH. My mom wasn't an A but her behavior was identical.

She broke promises with wild abandon and I grew up having learned the following beliefs from a very young age:

- I wasn't worthy or her keeping her promise
- Hide hurt and disappointment
- If I couldn't hide it (I never was good at faking it) I'd be told what I already believed: that it was my fault
- I felt afraid, unloved, didn't know why she didn't love me, I clung to her even though she was abusive bc I thought she'd change and thought if I changed enough it would change her.
- I'd stand at the window worried sick that she might be in an accident or dead or hurt... I think now that I thought those things when she disappeared bc that allowed me to feel "compassion" for her instead of anger and fear at being left.

And all of this from broken promises, being let down constantly, unpredictability...

I have no magic solution to keep my kids from developing these beliefs and I am distraught that I can't protect them fully from being hurt by him.

I have decided to be very honest with them and let them know that the confusion confuses me too and let them know that their feelings about being let down are normal.

For a long time I tried to distract or make up a nice sounding reason for his absence and I think that is unwise so I'm done.

I won't vilify him but I won't protect him anymore either. The only people who deserve protection are my kids, and myself.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:46 PM
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sandrawg- yes it is amazing isn't it-- sadly so true. my therapist told me when i first started seeing him last year (and i could not see this at all at the time though i believed him that it was true) that we tend to marry people who we think or want can fulfill some need that wasn't met as a kid... we want a 2nd chance to get that missing "stuff" for ourselves so many people choose someone with the same characteristics as the parent who didn't give us what we needed bc we hope this time around the experience will be different...

of course none of this is conscious at the time but it does make so much sense...

i strove to be a perfect kid and hoped if i could "figure out" how to be whatever my mother wanted that she'd love me. of course, she never did. and then i married someone who i wanted to "save" to prove my worth to him and i have spent 8 yrs trying to turn myself into what he wanted hoping once more that that would be the "key" to him loving me...

better late than never that i finally figured out the only one i need to care about loving me is me. it sure would be nice if AH did and my mother had in the way a mother ought to love her kids, but i can't force either of them to be anything other than what they are. it's sad and i still long for that love that i searched for for so long from others, but i'm thinking more and more lately that it's not love from others that should make me feel good-- it should enhance what i already feel good about and filling the "feeling good about myself" void is where i needed to start all along..
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