Today is my youngest daughter’s 17th birthday. If you have kids, you realize how quickly the years fly by. It dawned on me this morning as she was getting ready for school that her father, my ex-husband’s birthday was 4 weeks ago. I’ve always been one to help remind her of his birthday and Father’s day, even when he and I weren’t on good terms. My ex-husband is one who gets his feelings hurt easily. He’s always been one to get down on himself, he doesn’t have any self-esteem, absolutely no self-respect. Even when he was with SHB for all those years, I would remind Tater of those specific dates. Ironic that he gets his feelings hurt when he’s never had any regard for mine or how bad he’s hurt me during our marriage and after. And then, this morning I remembered his birthday. Oh darn, this year it completely slipped my mind. I’m sure he spent his day at his best friend’s house drinking beer and feeling sorry for himself.

Those of you that are new to my blog are wondering, I’m sure, how I can be so cold-hearted when it comes to him. You’re probably thinking I’m just another woman scorned. I was years ago, but I got over that long ago. I’ll give you a quick recap on my ex-husband. I met him when I was just 24, very inexperienced in life and especially dating. I was blown away by him. He had a child from a previous long-term relationship, his high school sweetheart. He portrayed himself as the dedicated, doting father and I fell for it. I fell for everything. He seemed like such a sweet, caring guy. Until I married him, he completely changed the day after we married. It was like he has a complete personality change and I married a stranger. It didn’t take me long to realize that he wasn’t a good parent at all. When it was his weekend, he would drop his daughter off at his parents house and never spend time with her, ever. He was and is very controlling, very jealous and very hurtful towards me with his words. He constantly put me down, very verbally abusive. He told me I would never find anyone else to love me. He was also sexually abusive – he made it a goal (no, seriously) to hurt me during sex so I could tell I’d had sex with him.

After we were married 2 years I got pregnant, he told me he wanted me to have an abortion. He said we weren’t ready, even though I already had 2 kids and he had 1. He said that we could have one in 5 years and if I didn’t want to have a baby with him, he’d find someone else to have it with. When I had our daughter, he wouldn’t call my family to let them know that I was in labor. In my family, we never missed being at the hospital for anyone in our family. He said it was late so we could call them in the morning. He said there wasn’t anything they could do anyway. His parents weren’t there, they hated me. I knew I was having a girl, but I didn’t tell him because I couldn’t handle the disappointed look on his face because he wanted a boy so badly. But I had to see that look anyway when she was born when my doctor announced that we had a girl. Once they took me to a room, my ex only complained about the room so I told him to go home, he did but I doubt that he actually went home. I spent the night in the hospital by myself, I should have taken that opportunity to call my family. The next morning my doctor told me that I was so anaemic that if it didn’t improve, he would have to do a blood transfusion on me. Luckily, it improved. When I got home from the hospital I was so weak for 3 weeks that I could barely walk or get out of bed. My ex told me that I needed to clean the house, that I wasn’t crippled. He took every opportunity to make fun of me, but that was all the time.

He cheated on me many times during those 4 years and didn’t really try to hide it from me. He was cruel. Even when I was pregnant with Tater. Our marriage, by law, lasted 5 years but I only stayed with him for 4. I left a week before Christmas, we’d just hit the 4 year mark 2 months earlier and it took me a year to pay off the attorney before the divorce could be finalized. There’s more to the story, but I won’t go on.

I will say that I must have fallen and hit my head or something when I took him back 3 years ago. I guess I suppressed all the bad memories, or maybe it was as simple as needing closure. What a nightmare. Anyway, I found over the on-and-off 2 years that we were together that he was still verbally abusive, only more subtle than before. He was also still sexually abusive. I ended up having to see a doctor after one of his…having to prove to himself what a ‘man’ he was and I had to lie to the doctor about how I got hurt. He would help his friends out financially or any other way he could no matter what it cost him. But, he would never do that for his wife and kids. Funny how that works out. His bff has borrowed thousands of dollars from him and has never paid him a penny back. But he keeps on helping while his bff spends his money on weed and whatever else he does. My ex keeps helping though.

For my daughter’s sake, I remained friends with him. Something to the effect of I didn’t want to kick someone while they were already down. Why? Because he had a drinking problem, and a pretty serious one. He may still have one but I’m not sure. A couple of months ago, I had a near-meltdown. I’ve had to help my two oldest kids out financially. One in college and the other with a young family. Needless to say, it put me in a big financial bind. I was desperate, which is not a good way to be. I turned to my ex, we were friends and he always said he’d do anything for me so I took him up on it. What he never told me is that there are stipulations when it comes to me, even though I’ve always been there for him no matter the circumstance. I was facing losing my home and I turned to him. He began getting ugly with me and took that opportunity to start putting me down. I got angry and told him I was sorry I turned to him. He apologized and said he would help. He also suggested I just quit paying on my house altogether because he thinks it’s a piece of junk, even though he lives in a trailer and I live in a very nice 100k home that only needs repainting. He told me that I got in over my head and suggested I file for bankruptcy. Something I didn’t feel comfortable doing, but I didn’t tell him that. Again, desperate. That was the stipulation, I do what he says or he wouldn’t help. He never came out and said that, but he didn’t have to. I’ve known him 20 years, enough said.

Tater’s prom night, he came over to take pictures of her. He called me about an hour after he left and asked if I did any research on bankruptcy. I told him I hadn’t. Hello, daughter…prom night? I haven’t heard from him since. I regret turning to him, not because he didn’t help, but because I sunk that low to turn to the person that didn’t want our daughter in the first place. The same person that resents me because the state takes child support out of his check because he wasn’t paying it on his own. The same person that, despite what our divorce papers say that were signed by a JUDGE, has never payed his half of all of our daughter’s medical bills. I am, however, proud to say that I pulled myself out of my hole and got caught up on everything without having to depend on anyone, especially him. And when I sell my house and I WILL sell my house, despite my ex telling me that no one will ever buy it, I’m going to shove it in his selfish, jerky face.

Oh, and so sorry that I forgot to remind our daughter that it was your birthday asshole. I guess you should have taken the time to be an actual father to her instead of just texting her ‘good morning’ every morning and never actually seeing her except for no more than an hour once a year even though you live 20 miles away. I hope your birthday was swell.