I’m trying to let go of the anger and bitterness that’s seeped into my heart for the last three years, but it’s not easy. My friend, Dagan, knows what I mean when I say that my sense of self was taken from me, not because I necessarily did anything wrong, but because the woman I married and had children with decided that her personal needs came before the family’s. I was a decent husband and a great father, and I worked my ass off to provide for them. My reward for that was to be betrayed on Christmas morning.
That’s a damn hard thing to let go of.
I’m not a Christian, so the sacredness of the holiday doesn’t mean much to me, but I loved the magic and excitement of children leading up to the arrival of Santa. That was special, and it will never again be the same for me. That’s hard to forgive.
Until you’ve had to leave your children at someone else’s house, knowing that they were about to get in another man’s vehicle and drive 500 miles away from you, you cannot fathom that level of pain and anxiety. Every paternal instinct in every cell of your body is screaming at you not to do it, but you have no choice or say so in the matter. That kills a part of you that will never grow back.
Until you’ve heard the deafening silence of an empty backseat where five minutes before your children had been laughing and singing with you and then had to drive five hours with that silence pressing down on you like an Atlas stone, you can’t fathom the emptiness of being the part-time parent.
Until you’ve had your ex allow your children to use the word daddy for another man, you have not felt true hate and venom for another human being. No role has ever suited me better than that of daddy, and that title should have never been given to anyone else. You better believe that that wound cut deep and wide, and the well of hatred it tapped is not easily capped.
So I’m trying to let go those things, but it’s not easy. Nothing can replace what was taken from me, those moments and experiences with my sons that I’ll never get to share. It’s hard not to be bitter about that, but I’m trying.