Just as of late, I find myself wanting to ask several others the question:
Was It Worth It?
One, for instance, is the Infamous Mr. Anderson.
Is it really worth the high?
To juggle several women’s feelings, personalities, wants and needs all at the same time just so you can tell yourself at the end of the day that you did it?
Does it make you feel Big?
Or Strong and Superior in some way?
The irony of that situation is that in the first go-around, I had pushed and pushed and finally shoved for what some might call an “open” relationship, which was why he deemed me untrustworthy. In reality, I was being as honest as I could—these days I am committed wholly to no one but my children—I try very hard to keep the rest of it separate in order to protect them. This led to the demise of the relationship.
He became convinced and INSISTENT that I was cheating on him.
He tried over and over and OVER again to prove it.
And then I guess HE tried it on for size—The Cheater Hat. It’s big and full of bling and sparkles, but when it comes down to it, it’s really just an obnoxious plaything that would better belong in a child’s pretend box than a grown man’s closet….
In any case, the other people I’ve been wanting to ask if it was worth it are my parents.
And my ex-husband, father to my daughter.
And speaking of Assholes, the father of my twins too.
To my parents, Who Believed that my boys were in danger because I was on some kind of drugs and so kept them from me for four months:
Was it worth it?
The tears, from them and me every time you took them away?
The pain, at night, when they couldn’t sleep because you ripped apart everything that was normal and stable to them?
All of the nastiness, the accusations, the name-calling that you kept up even though you NEVER caught me in a lie? Or high? Or drunk?
All the court proceedings, all the money you spent trying to prove what was never there in the first place, was it worth it?
And to Dubya, father to my Lilly, who jumped right on my parent’s bandwagon and ripped my custody of my daughter right out from under me (that I had fought Tooth And Nail for THREE YEARS to get).
Was it worth her tears?
Her trouble in school, her behavior problems, her mental instability and insecure feelings?
She’s six and you’ve set her up to fail.
Last week Lilly had to go to the ER in the middle of the night for intractable vomiting, and so I called Dubya so that he could be there if he wanted. He accused me of being over-reactive and drunk and demanded a drug test of me.
Which I did. Because he’s allowed to do that. Once per month. It’s in our custody agreement.
It was negative.
Is it all worth it to you people? When you look into my children’s eyes and seen what you’ve done to them, was it worth it?
To try SO HARD to prove something of someone that just isn’t true just because you’ve lied about it for so long that you have to keep up the lie?
When I told the Judge that he didn’t understand, that this would never end, he scoffed and said that if I passed all of the drug tests and complied with all of the recommendations of the Court, then it Would Be The End, Because He Said So.
Not so, as my father would say. Not so.
And lastly, Prynot, the father of my twins. I had the unfortunate necessity of speaking to him recently regarding child support. He has never paid a penny, and I’ve not asked, for fear that he and his family would go after custody of my boys.
However, the Potter County Assistance Office has required it of me in order to receive the menial ninety-ish dollars per week that I am entitled to in Cash Assistance. So I called him to inquire if he had gotten a job yet and what his living situation was like and such. Of course he told me that the dog and three cats we had together had all “disappeared,” which was not surprising, but horrible to hear. He told me that he was still working with his father under the table (and collecting benefits from the state, I presume), and still barely surviving, and same old, same old, basically.
I asked if he wanted to come to Coudersport to see his boys. At first he said no, that he had no way to get here, and when I pointed out that his father had a perfectly good vehicle (or two) at his disposal, he changed his story and said that he “couldn’t just be running to Coudersport any time I wanted him to.” I could hear his father’s voice in the background, guiding him in what to say…the man hates women and says that kids were the worst thing that ever happened to him…but Prynot still tags after him like an abused puppy, and adopts his every thought as his own.
I knew that he wouldn’t take me up on it. I only invited him because I know what it’s like to have an absent biological father, and the story that I always got (from both sides) was that my mother kept him from us on purpose, not letting us have the chance to choose whether or not we wanted him in our lives.
When my boys are grown enough to ask about their father, I at least want to be able to look them in the face and tell them that I gave him every opportunity to be a part of their lives, and it was his choice, not mine, that was the reason that he was absent.
So, once a year, I give him the opportunity.
I’ll offer again next year, although I know as well as you do what the answer will be.
But having been on the other end of the spectrum—I won’t be the one who keeps a parent from their child who wants to be there.
That, to me, is the lowest, most vile, vicious, punitive, and unjust thing one can do to another, and I know how that feels.