Here's a great quote I just read on Single Mom Seeking's blog:
"Calling a man a deadbeat dad, if in fact he is one, is not badmouthing."
The quote came from a posting called Blogging about your ex. It struck quite a chord with me. For one, I've never been one to badmouth my kid's dad. And I don't think I've ever called him a deadbeat dad. In fact, I try my hardest not to talk about him at all. When I do talk about him, it's to tell a cute story about him, one that will bring a smile to Anevay's face. That's the stuff that is most important to talk about.
But the quote above got me thinking... My kid's dad is a deadbeat dad. Since Anevay and I moved to NY (going on six years ago), he hasn't paid a dime in child support. And this isn't because he's a destitute loser. The man makes a a nice salary, he has beautiful health benefits (one starts calling health benefits beautiful when one no longer has them), he can afford weekend trips and a car, and, most recently, he bought a house with his girlfriend.
No, he's not a destitute loser... only a loser.
I never wanted to be seen as one of those women. You know, the type who brings her man to the cleaners. The one who takes advantage of him.
I think that this is a common feeling that women who have been abused share. The idea that the men we've been with are sick... that they need to be taken care of... that we're stronger than they are... that it is only fair that we let it go... to let them go... to let them shirk their responsibilities and their pasts...
Hey, no one's perfect... I've been mean and manipulative, too. But I like to think that I grew up after the birth of my daughter.
Unfortunately, my desire to take care of this man emotionally (even though he was a mean, manipulative jerk who made me feel just about the size of a pea) meant that when it came to paying for hefty doctor bills from a couple of hospital visits when Anevay was an infant, I got stuck with the tab (stuck isn't the right word... I would give my life for my kid... it's just too bad that in the richest country in the world people can be driven into the hole by hospital bills).
Oh, Anevay's dad tried to make it up to me. In fact, soon after Anevay and I moved from Wisconsin to New York (before Anevay turned two... she's now going on eight), her dad "helped us out" (his words) with a check for $200. Unfortunately, he quickly emailed me and asked that I not cash the check. I still have the check in a folder (right in front of all the terrible, abusive emails and notes he wrote to me). He never gave me a check again. Said that I had stolen his daughter from him, and that since he didn't see her, he wasn't paying for her. Poor guy... he never knew what he had in her, did he?
A couple of years ago, friends convinced me to take A to court for child support. What an emotional nightmare. After the preliminary steps, I decided not to proceed. When it came down to it, I didn't want a dime from that man. After all the heartache and the abuse, I realized that I have an amazing kid who doesn't need a thing from her dad. We were in NY, where I was following a dream, living amongst friends... My parents, sweet souls that they are, have, at various times, picked up the financial pieces that he ought to have. They do it out of love. Love for me, love for their granddaughter.
Would I have fought harder for child support had Anevay's dad had her wellbeing in mind? Yep. And you know, I hope that someday he figures out how to be a man... or, better yet, I hope that he learns how to be a loving human being. Perhaps someday, when Anevay is older, she might be able to teach him?
No, I don't bad talk Anevay's dad (even though he's a deadbeat, through and through). I don't say anything that isn't true, and I also don't say most of the things about him that are.
A strange thing, writing these things on a blog. 'Blogging about your ex', indeed! Make sure to go to the full posting on Single Mom Seeking and then let me know your thoughts on Internet etiquette!
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