My parents got divorced when I was six and my brother was four. Before that, there were many separations and reconciliations. We never knew when Dad was going to be living with us and when he wasn't and we certainly didn't know why. When it finally happened, it was shocking, because we had, unfortunately, grown used to the norm that was our lives in flux. Such was our life.
He got remarried and when he got a new family, his old family fell by the wayside. I now have three half-sisters who I adore. I don't blame them in any way. I don't really even blame my step-mother, though, my dad once told me she didn't like the fact that he had kids, because she didn't like being "second banana." (Why he would tell me that, I'll never know.) No, my dad's actions are squarely on my dad's shoulders.
Over the years, I've been told by myriad family members that I have to cut him a break, because it was "hard" to see us. Evidently, my mother made it "too difficult" for him to keep up his end of the parenting bargain. Let me be clear, I would bet my mom did make it hard. I know her well. Aside from her good qualities, she's also vengeful, spiteful, and downright mean sometimes. So what? They both used us over and over again through the years to hurt one another. (Divorcing couples - word of advice - do NOT use your children as pawns. It will come back to bite you in the butt and your relationships will suffer, though it may take time to feel those consequences.) I don't care if she built a moat around our house to keep us from him, he should've built a bridge, ridden across on the back of a crocodile, or rented SCUBA gear to get to us. The message we got loud and clear by him giving up - we're not worth the fight.
I've felt that for the rest of my life. I'm not worth it. It has colored every aspect of my life. If even your parent doesn't think you're worth the effort and inconvenience, why should anyone else?
And what the heck, folks? Why is everyone in his life defending him for abandoning us? Because they know my mom did make it hard? SO WHAT? I know it, too. She was wrong. So was he. Let me say it again, his actions are his responsibility. He bailed on us because it got hard. We weren't worth the hard. And that feels shitty. Really shitty.
Why am I writing this? In part, I'm venting. After years of therapy, I'm still not over it, because my feelings on the matter are still being dismissed. I hurt and I still struggle with not being worth it. In larger part, I want my son, who will someday read my blog entries, to know that no matter what - he's worth it. There is not a set of circumstances in the world that could keep me from you. There just isn't. You're worth the fight. You're worth everything to me. And if there is anyone out there who doesn't feel that way about you, they're not worth the heartache, sweet boy. You're worth it to me.