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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Father's Responsibility....or Not

On Saturday, I saw my ex husband briefly while I "handed over" our daughters. When the mood suits him he will txt me asking to see them. It is always the same thing, lunch and a film, or sometimes just one and not both. In general he sees his daughters for 2-4 hours approximately every 6-8 weeks. He never visited with our son, until he became 18 and then meeting up for a pint was a novelty that soon wore off when reality started to become involved in their conversations while sipping their pints. Now they don't see each other again, it has been about 3 months since our my saw his father. Toying with our son's emotions is obviously not a big concern to him.

Tara had already said to me that she is tired of always going to the movies with Daddy, it is boring sometimes. Well, I am thinking that the movies is such an easy option for their father because no contact or communication is necessary for almost two hours. However, she will not tell him, because she finds him scary to talk to. No one wanted to bring this topic up, so it was just left since my words fall on deaf ears.

After all these years of separation and eventual divorce, I still become so anxious before hand and nearly always feel shaken afterwards. This last Saturday was no different and in fact I was quite upset.

As always when we meet in the car park of our local park (he refuses to come to the house), and then he tends to give the girls some small tokens, usually free samples he has picked up in conferences etc. for me to take home.  I am always uncomfortable in my awareness that he has nothing for our son, except the occasionally chocolate bar and usually a type of bar our son does not like! I wonder if this differentiation is intentional or not?

My ex then tells the girls to go wait by the park gates and I am surprised how quickly they obey him without muttering a word.

Then starts the very unpleasant conversation or more like "inquiry" regarding the recent letters from the bank, solicitors and court office regarding our house.

My ex husband and I are both on the mortgage and part of the divorce settlement was that we will share the proceeds from the house once sold after our youngest child is 18, and the split is 70% 30% in my favour. The house was not signed over to me because my ex would not agree to it but also because the bank would not agree since I would would have to re-mortgage it in my name and I am unemployed whereas my ex husband earns a pretty good living. The irony of it all is that my husband is not legally required to pay for any of the mortgage, so he stopped doing so nearly two years ago!

Well enough of that, the point is that my ex husband questioned me as to what am I intending to do about this situation. I quickly explained to him the intensity of our problems at home which are largely due to our son's drug and emotional problems and the vast amount of professionals involved, how time consuming and draining it is. I explained that my priority has been our children and their well being. I said that I am trying my best to help our son and convince him that rehab is the way forward or I will have no choice but to put him out and he will be homeless.

His father's reaction.....are you ready???? Nothing! Nada! Zilch! Didn't even flinch a muscle, did not change his expression, did not display any body language other than his intimidating stance. His words:  "You will ALL be homeless soon"!!!!

I was nearly in tears at this moment but I was trying desperately to maintain my composure. I explained that surely we can come to an agreement, an arrangement of sort that he pays in some money into the arrears to stop the court proceeding? He has a good job as well as two parents who are in a position to help. Nope! He can not. OM MY GOD, but I  can??? He then has the audacity to ask if our son knows and what is he doing about it " Is he looking for work? Is he signed on to unemployment benefits? Hel-lo? YOU ARE THE FATHER OF THESE CHILDREN, YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY!

So it is left in my hands. My daughters knew something was up and my older daughter txted me later to ask if I am ok. When I tried to talk to my son about it he refused and wanted to hide away from the truths about his father and the truths of our situation.

OK, not exactly about the addiction which is the main element of this blog, but the fact that that this "man" (I have to put man in quotations because in my mind he is not a man if he can be so cruel to his own children) is willing to see his children made homeless is mind boggling. The fact that it is somewhat connected to his first born child's, his only son's severe drug addiction brought on no doubt by serious emotional pain is just indecent to the highest degree! If I were in his shoes, I would have been so upset and feel such heartache and knowing that I may not have the power to help our son, he most certainly does have the power to help keep his children housed in their family home! Unbelievable!

I am reminded how much emotional damage has been done and is still being done. Our son has suffered a lot because of this man and all of his children continue to suffer because he can not stop his control game over me and he is relishing in watching "super mom" fall and take their three offspring down as well in the process.

When I went to pick up the girls, he walks over to the car after our daughters get in and he puts his head through our daughter's window and glared at me and slowly shook his head.....I felt sick and I could not get home fast enough!