Thursday, January 2, 2014

What Does He Have To Do?

I was speaking to a friend last night who was sharing the story of a woman in a similar position as myself, single mom with an uninvolved dad.  My friend was telling of how the mom will jump at the dad's call and turn herself inside out trying to get him involved in the child's life when in fact the father offered to pay her $50 extra a month if she would stop asking him to visit the baby. 

My friend said to me "What else does he have to do to show her that he is not interested in being part of this child's life?"

And I thought to myself.....well, dammit if that is not a question for me as well. 

Since I last wrote, there has been virtually no correspondence between B's father and me.  After he asked about my address at Thanksgiving, he was totally silent.  I texted him a photo on Christmas.  I know.....I could have and probably should have just left it alone.  But I felt like he was putting her out of his mind and I didn't want him to get through Christmas without a reminder that there is one he turned his back on.  As my friend so rightfully pointed out, this likely didn't have the desired effect.  If he can come this far without getting involved in her life, he's more likely to see that beautiful smiling face and believe that all is well with her, that there is no need for him to disrupt anything for anyone.  He texted me on New Years, just wishing a happy. 

My original plan was to give him through January to make some sort of move to see her.  I have to be honest with myself.....I have given this man every opportunity.  I all but delivered her to his doorstep and he backed out.  He never brought it up again.  He doesn't want to see her.  He doesn't care about being involved.  How many ways does he need to tell me this?  His words said differently but I know better than to listen to words.  His actions are doing all the talking. 

This is not the outcome I hoped for. But I can put this to rest and feel good in that I accomplished what I set out to do.  My only true goal was to open that door.  I was the one who shut it 2 years ago and that was not something I wanted on my conscience.  It was not something I was prepared to have to explain to my daughter.  I opened the door.  I was sincere and honest.  I can look B in the face and say "Baby, I tried.  I did everything in my power to make it happen."  But I can't control his actions, that is on him.  Someday he will have to answer to her.  We both will.  But I will be able to say I did the right thing.  I will be able to show her, through my blog and journal, that I acted in her best interest. 

At the end of the day, if he is able to walk away from her, if he is more interested in getting back into my bed than establishing a relationship with his child, then maybe HE is not in her best interest.  It's easy for me to see and say that but I know, from experience, she will want the opposite of what she has.  I had a crappy abusive dad and I say I would have been better off without him.  But if I didn't have him, I would have longed for a father.  So I know this is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" thing.  All I can do is follow through on what I think is right and know that in one way or another, I may be picking up the pieces of his damage for years to come.  In the meantime, I've gotten her into therapy and I hope that it will teach her valuable tools for navigating this situation and others in her life. 

Onward and Upward.  Happy 2014.