Friday, November 8, 2019

To Say Or Not To Say

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 7 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My subject is: Tell us about a recent time you said something then wished you could take those words back. Were you able to make it right?

It was submitted by:

This is a long rant, and it's something I have discussed on Facebook at certain points, so it may be repeat info, but it's something I needed to get down like this.


Back in May I had a call from a Florida number I didn't recognize, so of course I let it go to voicemail. My entire generation thrives on screening calls and texting, so why would I ever answer the phone for a random? Imagine my surprise when I checked the message left to hear it was family and children services wanting to ask me questions about how my ex husband's wife parents in her home. Just let that sink in. Not how my ex parents. How his wife parents. And why were they calling exactly? What kind of question is that?

I didn't even know why I would be a person for children's services to call. I've never set one foot inside their home and never intended to. The most I'd seen of her parenting was at birthday parties and the few occasions they all came in when it was time to pick up my kid for his every other weekend visits. That's certainly not enough to formulate any kind of real opinion on the matter. I knew how she treated my child, but that's a good bit differently than she treats her own on a daily basis unfortunately, so any opinion I did have wouldn't have been a good one. Why would these people have given children's services MY number as a reference? The whole thing was ludicrous.

So I did what any reasonable person would do I'm that situation or what I would assume is reasonable. I asked my child's father.

I shouldn't have.

I got my answer. That part was fine. Apparently his wife's daughter, my son's stepsister, told her teacher her mom punched her in the stomach. It wasn't the first time she had said such a thing. The last couple times it turned out to be a lie, though, and she had to get state mandated therapy. Her parents opted not to continue it, but apparently she should have because here we were again. Last time she lied she tried to involve my son, and until her therapy was over I didn't let him go to their house. I had hoped this was all over even though I worried every time he was down there that she would end up telling the kind of lie that could ruin his life. It was her thing when she got angry.

So I get the story from my ex, and I also let him know that recently she logged into my son's PlayStation account and told all his friends he is a lazy, gay douchebag. He saw the messages when he logged on, and I wanted to make sure it was addressed. That kind of thing should never happen. None of this should have happened.

That was my second mistake.

The stepmom told my son he was the liar and started aggressively questioning him, and even when his dad proved her wrong, she refused to apologize and dug her heels in. Her kid lied supposedly to children's services about abuse because she was mad at her mom, but it's my son who is the problem? He wasn't happy with the whole situation and how his stepmom talked to him and told his dad he wouldn't be coming down to his house for visits until something changed. His dad said he understood.

He did not.

For 3 months, his dad saw him 3 times for about an hour each time. That's not the limit anyone put on him. That's all the time he would give. It's not surprising. He's barely been an every other weekend father for a few years, and for most of the time we have been separated/divorced, he was barely around at all much less giving financial support until he absolutely had to. Every single time he saw his son during this 3 month period, he fussed at him about making things right (I didn't know this until later). He put all the responsibility of repairing a long damaged relationship between all of them on a 13 year old and yelled at him in restaurants about it. Is it the child who didn't lie who should really be fixing things here?

But then I said another thing.

His dad text me a couple months ago letting me know the child support payment would be late and I would need to have some patience for once.

For once.

I had put up with all this going on for months without saying much, but I couldn't anymore. The child support didn't come at all for years and years, and now that he has to, now that it finally does, it is ALWAYS LATE. Not 2 days late or 4...2 to 3 weeks late every single month without fail, and I never say a word besides asking at the 3 week mark when he will be able to pay because I have to wait on that money to pay my mortgage on a house I didn't want, in a place I didn't want to live, that I got left with in the dissolution of our marriage. I'm never rude. Never demand it. I simply ask what day so I can fill out a promise to pay for the mortgage company, and that doesn't happen every month--only if it was 3 weeks late already with no word from him.

So for 3 months a couple of adults who should be examples in his life who needed to apologize--his stepmom for calling him a liar and belittling him and his dad for not standing up for him and just saying he didn't want to get into it with her--failed him. They failed to apologize. Failed to work it out. Failed to be good parents. Again. They failed his siblings by yet again putting them ahead of him and making that kind of example. They failed in every way imaginable. And it wasn't just those three months. It had been years of it. Years of my kid being treated like a burden. Years of his dad not showing up, not coming through with promises, and not being an actual father. Years of my child being called names like "princess" and his sexuality questioned BECAUSE OF HIS HAIR and then when he did come out even more months of name-calling and added gay jokes. "I thought I had my straight son back for a minute" is NEVER something your child should hear you say. This kid didn't even have a toothbrush of his own at his dad's. No clothes, no shoes, no offer to help pay for clothes, no toys of his own, no space of his own, no privacy, and no respect. For literally nearly a decade during their entire relationship the wife ruled their time together which isn't to say his dad would have put him first on his own either. There has never been a single instance I can recall where he did something with his own kid after our divorce because that's what his kid wanted to do instead of dragging his kid along to things HE wanted to do and calling it quality time. Listen, no kid wants to go on your motorcycle that you repeatedly promised you wouldn't take him on in the fucking freezing ass cold early in the morning to do a poker run you promised your friends you would do without regard to when he would be there. No 3 year old wants to see gory horror movies with you because you don't want to have to watch a baby movie. It's always been awful.

And I get a text asking me to have patience for once.

For once.

So I said no. I said I have our kid full time now and have never had any help outside child support that was always late anyway and no I would not "be patient for once" because I am always patient and I am finally, FINALLY, not going to be anymore. And that he could pay it or we could go to court. I was done with him putting the kid and his needs last.

And then--of course I did--I got a sob story.

"I wish I could see him more."

"What do you mean? You could have seen him anytime you wanted his whole life. And for the last 3 months the only thing he wanted was an apology which he expressed to you multiple times--that he was going to stand his ground and wasn't coming until things changed and yall apologize."

This was my biggest mistake. Because me saying it so clearly and not saying the nice, placating things this man wanted to hear gave him the one opportunity he needed (wanted) to be able to twist this into me wanting to cause drama and not his son having legitimate concerns. All he could say to any of it was "can't we talk this out like adults" which is exactly what I was doing. His definition just doesn't include anything that might make him feel bad. It if isn't praise, it's drama. If it isn't awarding him Dad of the Year or World's Best Dad then it's not being an adult. If it is any kind of criticism at all whatsoever in any shape or form, it's me being "a crazy bitch." And I knew that. I knew that when I said it. I lived with that for 5 years of my life before I couldn't do it anymore. I knew what was coming, and I was just too fucking exhausted to stop myself.

So here we are another couple months later, and he has told his kid he's done with him more than once because all the things his kid said to them about being treated differently was how he felt and not something I made up.

When he pops in to say "haven't heard from you" even though he ended the last conversation with "I'm done with you," nothing has changed. When he pops in to say Happy Birthday, nothing has changed. It wasn't "drama" that can be swept under the rug. And he can't accept that's how his kid feels, and when that is expressed, he's gone again with another tantrum and "I'm done."

So no I can't fix it. There's never going to be a time when I know if it's right to let my 13--now 14--year old stand up for himself with his dad or get involved, but every time I do it makes things worse. Does he need me to back him up? He's in pain over it all. Doesn't he need one parent always in his corner? If I hadn't I don't think the end result would be different. I know his dad. But does he wonder if it would be different? Does he wonder if I made it worse or does he feel proud that I stood up for him?

He doesn't want to talk about his dad just yet.

I can't make his dad be a good parent, and I guess that's the thing. Whether I say anything or not, I still can't ever fix this. I made a bad choice in a partner that I thought would grow with me but never did, and I can't take it back. I wouldn't want to if it meant not having my son. But I wish there was something, anything, I can do to make it right even if it means keeping my mouth shut even when I feel like doing so will make me explode.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

Spatulas on Parade

Our Prime Years

Sarah Nolan

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. I'm glad you got that all out. And, honestly, your son will too when he's good and ready. He knows his mom will be by his side no matter what and that's all you can do. You cannot change your ex-husband, you can let your son know that you too loved him once but had to make an adjustment in your circumstances that was a reflection of your strength, of knowing you deserve better. That wasn't your fault and this isn't your son's fault.

  2. Boy that's a hard spot to be in. I remember my step daughter's mother and I had so many issues because she was such a horrible mom. I often said things that I shouldn't but come one. You don't give your 14 year old daughter a fake id so she can go drinking with you or you don't buy her sexy thongs at 12. It was horrible and led to some massively bad decisions by my stepdaughter. Some parents just don't get it and it's such a shame for the kids because they didn't do any thing to deserve it. I'm sorry that you married a douche bag ( I did too with my first husband) and I'm sorry he couldn't' grow up and be the man your son needs him to be. If you want I'll go with you to kick his ass lol! (Rena)

  3. That is so sad. I am so sorry. All I can think is "four more years and Evan is 18". In the meantime continue to be his wonderful Mom. Nothing more you can do. Hang in there!

  4. So sad on so many counts... Karen said it all... Not your fault & not your son's.

  5. It's so sad that his dad can't "man up" to his wife and take care of his children. Treating him poorly and talking to him in that manner, then not paying his support and blaming his son for issues. It's a damn shame. I feel for you and your son. It really is a no win situation. But you can bet your sweet candy ass it would be when hell froze over before he'd get to visit my child without supervision. NO way I'd give him opportunity to belittle my child or make him feel bad. This guy has issues and is passing them on. Stand your ground. Protect your son. And turn the dead beat dad over for not paying or paying late all the time. That burns my biscuits!!

  6. You said what he needs to hear. The fact that he is not mature enough to hear it is on him, not you.

    1. I never realized this is exactly what I needed to hear until I read it, and I can't thank you enough. Just venting really helped, but this comment really put things into perspective.