Parent-child relationship… can it be repaired?

Once a parent-child relationship is damaged, can it be repaired? Does time truly heal all wounds?

I have my doubts. My relationship with my mom is horrible. Damage was done when I was a child and there was no recovering the relationship after that. People have told me that I need to forgive and forget. A daughter needs her mom. Honestly, I try to keep a relationship with my mom – only because I want my daughter to have a relationship with her grandparents. But usually something happens and I realize that I am giving myself false hope of having a good relationship with my mom. I guess I will just have to settle for an okay relationship.

So, I wonder if the relationship between my daughter and ex is already to the point where the damage is done. I have tried for years to tell him he is seriously fucking up as a father to her. He disagrees. I have spent years taking his side telling my daughter that he loves her after he breaks a promise or chooses girlfriend and her kids over my daughter.

I have stopped teaching my daughter that is “love.” I apologize that her father acts that way. I listen to her. I provide a safe place, and a shoulder for her to cry on. I save my breath instead of telling my ex how much he is messing up their relationship.

Yesterday was the first full day back from his deployment. He kept girlfriend’s kids while she was at work. Apparently he also took them shopping. My daughter told me about this with tears in her eyes. Apparently he “found” more clothes for them than her.

They were supposed to go out of state for a “family vacation” this weekend. Apparently, ex only choose that location because one of girlfriend’s kids had a basketball camp in that city. He was taking her kids but not girlfriend. Now, the camp is cancelled and he told me that he probably isn’t going to take my daughter there now. Sad thing is, she was really looking forward to going to a rock climbing/ropes course gym and seeing the Ripely’s Believe or Not museum.

Next disappointment, apparently my ex thought he was getting our daughter from the day he returned until she has to go back to school. Umm… negative ghost rider (Plus, my daughter returns to me with attitude after spending time with all of them). He wasn’t even going to talk to me about this!! I was the one that started the conversation. I was the one trying to figure out the schedule. So, I am supposed to get my daughter later today until tomorrow evening then ex keeps her until next week – I think that arrangement is extremely nice for him so he better be nice. Anyway, apparently today he was taking all of them to rock climbing gym and out to eat. When my daughter heard she was going to miss that she started to cry, again. I told her to see if he will take her on Friday. He told her that they (him, girlfriend, and her kids) were just going to go ahead and go without her because girlfriend had a car appointment in that town anyway.

Even when he is there with our daughter, he is not actually there. For example, last night she had tumbling practice – which exciting news, she moved up to the next level class!! During the two hours of practice, he kept messaging “Beautiful,” as she is saved in his phone. Then he left for almost an hour to go grocery shopping for girlfriend’s house. Today, my daughter has a 4-H activity. I wonder how “present” he will be today…

I wish ex would still just spend some time with our daughter. She is almost a teenager. Pretty soon she is going to be completely grown up. I fear the damage is done.

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He is never going to change

I have known my ex-husband since ninth grade. Actually, turns out in eighth grade I let him copy off my classwork, and in band he was the student always picked by the teacher to take names if anyone talked when the teacher left the room.

We were friends throughout high school. We didn’t start dating until the summer before our senior year. While we were friends there were red flags/ signs of what type of person he was. I ignored them. He was emotionally abusive even then. During my junior year I was engaged to someone, he was a horrible person. He had a temper. Apparently a rumor started going around that we had sex. My ex-husband took that rumor and played with it to hurt me. He would write “condom queen” in my jacket or on my notebooks. He told other guys to call me that. Even the cheating, in high school he always let different girls hang on him. He loved the attention.

I ignored the red flags. I thought he would change. He didn’t. During our marriage he continued to be emotionally abusive and a cheater. He bad mouthed me because of my weight. After one deployment he came back and the first thing he said to me was how fat I was, and that I should have lost some weight while he was gone.

I stayed married to him out of fear. I truly believed I did not deserve better. Abuse was all I knew, so I thought that was true love. I hoped he would change. After our divorce, a new fear appeared – being on my own, being single, and not having the father of my child there. So, again I told myself he would change. We actually had more sex after our marriage than the majority of our entire marriage. I thought if I gave him whatever he wanted he would change. He didn’t.

Three years ago, when he was still seeing me, he started seeing another woman. She had three kids. I thought he would change and realize how important his daughter was. Instead he became his “father of the year” to girlfriend’s kids and continued to put mine in second place. And he tells me often that he is a great father to her children.

I used to beat myself up with thoughts of what was wrong with me? Why was I not good enough? Why does girlfriend get the family man and the great boyfriend that I always hoped for? Actually, things are not always as they appear. He didn’t change.

He returned from his deployment yesterday. I did not hear from him, but I told my daughter to see if he was at his house since we were in town – he lives in town – and I would take her by to see him. He said that he just got back and that he would come by later to see her. I stopped at his house so my daughter could see him. First off, my divorce decree states I am not required to give him additional days to make up for missed visitations due to military. Yesterday was technically my day. He automatically assumed he would get her, which was fine but he did not ask nor did he even talk to me about it. That drives me crazy. He has told our daughter that we are divorced so he does not have to talk to me. I have told him we have a child together so he has to talk to me about her in order to co-parent. Honestly, if girlfriend wasn’t in the picture I think ex would do a better job communicating, but girlfriend has two ex-husbands and does not have a good relationship with either of them. So, I think there is a little jealousy and maybe fear that I will steal him back. He will never change. Really I wasn’t surprised that he did not ask me about having our daughter.

We got to his house and girlfriend was there, but not her car. So, he had time to run by her house and get her. My daughter was hurt. Girlfriend got to see him first. Really? What a lousy move. I know why he said he was going to come by my house later to see my daughter – because he was going to leave girlfriend at his house. I know I’m naive thinking he should have wanted to see his child first. I know if I had been away for three months, my daughter would be the first person I would want to see. Relationships come and go, but that is your child forever. My daughter rolled her eyes when she seen he’d picked up girlfriend. I know she was hurt. I was hurt for her. He is never going to change.

I know how today is going to go, girlfriend is going to go to work and ex is going to babysit her kids. I wish he would spend some time with his daughter. He barley talked to her during the entire deployment. He is never going to change.

Just like this weekend, apparently he is taking a trip out of state. Lucky for him our decree doesn’t outline a time frame that he has to run by me before taking her out of state – it should. I find out that girlfriend is not going on this weekend trip. Instead, he is taking her children. What?!? Then I am hurt for my child again. She wants to go to a rock climbing gym and the Ripley’s Believe or Not museum. I really don’t see girlfriend’s children voting on that – they would rather go to water parks or go to the mall. He is never going to change.

I guess my life would be a lot easier if I would just except the fact that he is never going to change. He is going to be a selfish ass. He is going to put girlfriend and her kids first. He is going to continue to be emotionally abusive.

Even though he is never going to change, I really want my daughter to learn that all men are not like that.

Deployment is coming to a close.

This is the first deployment my ex-husband has had since our divorce. Ironically, this deployment sent him to the exact same location and base as his last deployment, which was the final nail in the coffin of our marriage.

After he returned from that deployment, I knew my marriage was over.

I hated talking to him online while he was deployed because it always led to a fight. It always felt like there was another person just off camera that he would look at and whisper to. If we messaged instead of video chatted, his messages always were aggressive and looking for a fight. I felt like I was being used in a sick game – how much shit could I take before I break.

When he returned from that deployment, I was sitting at my daughter’s school – she had cheer that day. I was reading a book because her group was in another location practicing for a few minutes. Ex came in and kicked the chair I was sitting in. That was how I was greeted. It wasn’t a playful and loving – kind of flirting – type of kick. This kick had force behind it. I really think he wanted to knock me onto the floor. He asked where our daughter was; I told him. That was all he said to me. That was on a Wednesday.

That Saturday, we took our daughter to a rodeo. Ex had not spoken to me since he’d been back. Tension was horrible. After we got home, he went to bed. I stayed up. I decided to get on his computer. He was still signed into everything. (To this day, I regret not looking). I logged him out of his Facebook, e-mail, and messenger. I was about to log out of his Skype, and something in me said I needed to look. So, I did. I opened the first conversation. It was to a female. I could only see his responses, but that was enough. Long story short: He told her he was going to divorce me to be with her. He’d bought her gifts – including sexy underwear.

I logged out. I couldn’t read any more. I ended up shutting down the computer without even bothering to surf the web – or whatever my original intention was to kill the time before heading to bed.

The next day – Sunday, I told ex what I knew. He claimed they never had sex, but he wanted to and she’d turned him down. He said that he’d planned on telling me that he wanted a divorce on Monday because he didn’t want to ruin my weekend.

I filed for divorce the next day.

Fast forward five years. I don’t want my ex back. However, I was concerned about him being deployed. With deployments there is always the risk of him not returning – how would that effect my daughter? It’s hard enough for her to have divorced parents, but to have a decease parent?

Since we are not married, in the case of his death, who is on his will? Our daughter? His parents? His girlfriend and her kids? I did talk to him a little about it before his deployment. Our daughter was listed for his life insurance.

I was concerned about being able to juggle my schedule and my daughter’s schedule, but even when ex is in the states he is over four hours away. So, I juggle schedules all the time without him.

Actually, I haven’t thought much about him during this deployment. I don’t message him unless it is about our kid. If video chats with her on her phone.

Honestly, I have really enjoyed getting to have my daughter full-time. I am not ready to go back to having her only part-time. I know she needs time with ex. I am not going to keep his kid from him. But it is still going to be an adjustment for me, and I think for her too. She is used to living with me. Now she will have to go back to sharing a room with ex’s girlfriend’s kids; and spending most of her time with her dad actually with girlfriend at her house.

I know I’m being selfish.

Maybe I’ll actually find someone worth dating again to occupy my “kid free” time. Doubt it. I haven’t been even asked out on a date since April, which was the serial cheater. No one actually makes it through chatting more than a day, if that.

I am concerned about ex’s return. Will I have any emotions? Will there be drama? I know he is planning on a vacation when he gets back. Apparently he has mentioned taking my kid to the beach – awesome! Bitter sweet thought – I would love for her to see the beach, but to miss that experience with her makes me sad.

The other day, ex messaged my kid saying they were not going to the beach. Instead, he was thinking about going to the Great Lakes. Okay. Not as exciting as the beach, but cool. I just want my kid to be safe and to have a great time.

Honestly, I would love if ex would take only her – our daughter – on vacation. I think that time would be great for the two of them. However, I know my ex. He is going to take girlfriend and her kids too.

I know what you are thinking, he’s in a relationship. That’s how relationships work. True. But, he knows more about what is going on in girlfriend’s kids’ lives than his own daughter. He is damaging their relationship because he chooses girlfriend and her kids over his daughter. I think he should spend some time with his daughter then take everyone somewhere (My daughter said I should come too). Hell, I will come and watch the kids – haha.

Now, he apparently is planning just to stay in state for the trip. He wants to go to a water park. My kid wants to go to a science museum. I am not sure how this situation will play out, but I hope she gets to do something fun and enjoyable.

I’m not ready for his deployment to be over only because I worry about what drama may occur.

Where does my loyalty remain after the divorce?

When I was married, I was loyal to my husband – 100%. I don’t mean just being with him and no one else (sexually and romantically); I mean during issues with family. I took my husband’s side every time. I stood up for him. I protected him.

Who gets my loyalty now that I am divorced? Obviously my child gets my loyalty 100%.

But who comes next? My family or my ex?

Yesterday, my child went to camp for a few days. My car isn’t the greatest vehicle out there. I’d asked my parents if they would like to come with us and give us a ride. Of course they could have said “no.” Honestly, I was surprised when they did not decline the request! Even yesterday when they were supposed to arrive, I was surprised they came. There have been many times we have planned something or I needed help with something and they refused or back out at the last minute. I was happy when they showed up. The car trip was pleasant. They got to see and visit with my daughter on the way to camp. The trip back wasn’t too bad either. They plan on coming back up and making the trip to pick up my child, too.

So, where’s the issue? Where does the question of loyalty come into play?

Hours later, I was scrolling on social media. I seen a post my mom made about taking her granddaughter to camp that day. My mom still has my ex as a friend on social media. I knew what drama was going to happen. I prepared myself.

My ex makes the comment on social media about how if he’d known my parents were the ones “having” to take my daughter to camp he would have found someone else. My mom said, Why? I’m her grandmother. I didn’t mind doing it. He says if they had been busy or had to go out of their way, he could have done something by finding someone else because he knew it was a long trip. This continues back and forth for a bit before I decide I better step in. I make the comment telling him if there is an issue then he can talk to ME about it, and not on social media.

First let me say, ex has never drove my daughter to camp. He has never offered to give me money for gas to take her to camp. The “someone else” would had either been his girlfriend or his mother. So, what is the difference between me asking – and going with – my parents, and him asking his girlfriend or parents? His opportunity to make me look bad? To look like a bad mother? A lazy person?

Second, I do not think I was in the wrong to ask MY parents for a ride. It is my family. It is my business. My ex is not even in the country; he is deployed. If my parents had been busy or didn’t want to – trust me – they would have said something – my parents are NOT shy. They speak their mind, no matter if its what I want to hear or not.

Then I get a message from my mom saying she’d sent ex a private message. She copied and pasted the message to him for me to see. I was so irritate. She talked about her disappointment in him. He is spending money on others instead of his own child. It’s been months since he’d sent a child support check.

I called her. I asked her why? Why send that? Why cause more drama for me?

She said she is entitled to her own opinion, and I cannot tell her what she can and cannot say to my ex.

True. She is an adult. But what is it going to accomplish by sending that message?

She thinks that message is going to be a wake up call for ex. She thinks it is going to make him want to give us more in child support.

Here’s the question of loyalty coming into play.

I told my mom that ex is deployed, he will send a check sometime. He sends a few weeks at a time about every six to eight weeks. It works. Should I get more child support? Absolutely. BUT, I make it work. I know if I seriously need something for my daughter, ex will give me money. He pays for her sports. He pays for her school clothes.

My mom’s response? She told me to stop defending him. She told me to stop being a pushover. Stop being so nice. Don’t be scared of him.

I’m not scared of my ex-husband.

Am I too nice? Am I a pushover? Perhaps. My reason? My daughter.

There is no reason to have hate toward ex. There is no reason to fight and have drama. If I ask for money for her, he will probably give it to me. He may complain, but he will give it to me – most of the time. Yes, more child support each week would help so much. But, I make it work. I keep my bills paid. I make sure my child has food and shelter. She is loved and cared for.

I want to be the bigger person. I don’t care about the money. I want to be a role model for my child. I don’t want her to have to choose between parents. I don’t want her to feel like she has to hate either of us. She knows ex has money, and I struggle with money. I don’t want her to feel like it is her fault or anything.

My conversation with my mom continued on. I gave her my reasoning. I told her why I was upset about the message, but also told her I get why she sent it. I said if getting my daughter from camp is going to be an issue, then don’t worry about it. She then told me I was acting just like my ex.

Ouch. Name calling? Eh. I do online dating. I’ve been called worse, and spoken to a lot worse than that.

So, who gets my loyalty? My family or my ex? I still don’t know.

I just know, I’m too old for drama. I just want to be a great mom for my daughter, and for people not to present obstacles in my everyday life.

Turning negative into positive.

Hope everyone had a happy and safe July 4th for my American followers.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day with a horrible migraine. I still feel horrible today, but still have to go to work to make money and pay the bills. Since I didn’t feel great yesterday, I had no plans of doing anything for the holiday.

My daughter was on her phone, and she started crying. I asked her what was going on. She said her dad had texted her. So, of course since she was upset I wanted to know what was said. Apparently, he’d sent her a text telling her that he had gave his girlfriend some money to buy fireworks – he is deployed and he loves shooting off fireworks. I thought my daughter was upset that we did not have any fireworks to shoot off too. I told her we could go to town and buy a few fireworks – granted buying fireworks was not in the budget, but I could make it work. She said she wasn’t upset about the fireworks. She was upset that ex gives girlfriend and her kids money for fun stuff, but not us.

We then went to town. I asked her again if she would like to buy some fireworks; she still said no. I found a place in town and contacted them about my daughter and I volunteering at – she is very excited to do some more community service. Then we went to the park and went rock hunting – my community does the kindness rocks. We didn’t find any, but at least we had fun and kept up with our exercising.

Life is busy these days.

Weight Loss Journey Update: First off, I am sticking with the weight loss journey. I have to admit, Sunday I really wanted to say forget it, and skip a day. I was sore and stiff. I didn’t skip the day. I felt like I was successful after that workout. Yesterday, I wanted to work out. The bad thing is, yesterday’s work out consisted of a lot of floor exercises. My lower back is screaming in pain today. Luckily, today is a rest day. However, I am seeing improvement. Small accomplishments; such as, being able to plank for 3 more seconds longer than the day before. It’s not much, but have to start some where. I have not gotten onto the scale yet. Honestly, the numbers do not matter. What matters is how my clothes fit, and how I look at myself in the mirror. I am using an app, it is pretty cool. It has an exercise routine planned out for the day. It keeps track of time of work out, and estimated amount of calories burned. It includes a reminder to work out that day. It includes a meal plan, which I am not doing the meal plan – yet. I want to go slow to stick with this new lifestyle.

CPR Training: I am so proud of my child, she completed CPR and First Aid training yesterday! She actually read through the entire manual. I quizzed her on her knowledge and understanding before the class. She told me when she got to class she was the only one who knew how to correctly remove soiled gloves. She said she got complimented on her wrapping skills for wounds. I hope that is the fire she needed to stay motivated with 4-H. She is now looking forward to turning fourteen, when she can join the vet science 4-H club – she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up (she has wanted to be a veterinarian since she was four).

Summer Camp: Had to take her to the store yesterday to buy some supplies for her to go to summer camp this weekend. She is so excited. It is a 4-H craft camp. I remember a few years ago, the only way I got her to stay at camp was I had to volunteer to go too. It was fun, great memories. But, she is 12, she is old enough to go to camp without me, and she has been for a couple of years now. I am glad she is excited to go. I cannot wait to hear about her experience and see all of the crafts!

Disneyland Co-parent: I used to hate – and I mean HATE – having a Disneyland co-parent to work with. I felt like a failure. I felt like he was rubbing it in my face all of the time. Even now, money is tight. I work. I pay my bills. My daughter has a roof over her head, and food in her tummy. I don’t have the money to spend randomly. Right now, I am saving and looking for deals for Christmas and birthday gifts. My ex transferred money for me to take our daughter to buy a Nintendo Switch and three games. A few years ago, I would have been so angry! Now, I’m glad he has money and is spending it on his child. I hate that I cannot do the same, but I know that is not what is important. It was fun watching her play her Just Dance game on the Nintendo Switch though. Hearing her laugh and watching her have fun was great.