I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that my anxiety had been through the roof this past week. My nails, that I polish on purpose so they’ll grow long, have been bitten down so far that some of my fingers are bleeding. I bit through the nail and that polish and I really didn’t care about how awful the taste was. Typing on this computer is actually hurting my fingers because they’re so sore. I just repolished them in hopes that they’ll grow quickly and it’ll take attention off the cuticle wounds.
My face, only the right side, has been breaking out. I’ve had the past couple of days off so I haven’t put any makeup on hoping my face will clear up. I’ve got mountains on the side of my face, I can’t handle it. I don’t want to mess with them. It’ll just make my face worse.
I’m sure at some point I let you guys know that my girls’ biological father was put in jail. That took place on this past Black Friday. Possession of a controlled substance, theft, criminal trespassing, and credit card abuse. About a month ago, he was released. He was given time served, from what I had been told, and was moving in with his father so he would be able to travel with him to work. I received this message from him at the beginning of the week:
I’m writing verbatim, so please excuse the typos and/or lack of punctuation.
“I wanted to apologize for our past I don’t expect the same from u but I want u to know I don’t like the person I was nor would I ever want my daughters to know me as that person or follow in those footsteps. I did a lot of thinking in jail this last time n I want you to know that the things I did were wrong very wrong n even though I’ve said sorry before I think u deserve a genuine sober apology for once”
I was taken aback. I responded as politely and as honestly as I could.
I appreciate that. Never thought I’d ever actually get a sober apology honestly. It probably comes as no surprise that I have to keep my guard way up for now.
And then I asked him what his plans were. I figured now that he has had some time to actually be sober and clear headed, he might actually have a vision for his future.
“I actually really enjoy how I feel sober I have my confidence back I’m in the best shape of my life. I actually have ambitions n goals n not just that but they’re clear as day. N I really want to be the right influence to my girls they are getting old enough now to know. N I don’t ever want them to see the evils I have seen. I’m living with my parents right now so I can save my money n pay my child support down. I heard about u n P. I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sorta going through something similar but I’m leavin it in God’s hands. But I hope your ok?”
I told him I’m fine but I really didn’t want to get in to it.
Then I got invited to a mutual friend’s daughter’s birthday party. I asked if he was going to be there, because I didn’t think I was ready to actually be in the same vicinity as him. Having my first somewhat civil conversation with him was one thing but actually being face to face with him after everything we went through would take some preparing for. She told me no, he was out on the oil field for work, and that I better be there. Her daughter was turning four and our girls get along well, I just try to keep my distance because I never knew if he was going to pop up.
Anyway, I get to the party and the girls immediately go out in the backyard to play. I see two kids that belonged to other mutual friends we had back before everything went to shit. Let’s just say, at one point they were my friends, but drugs change everything. Towards the end, they weren’t the people I had known, and I wanted nothing to do with them. So when I saw their kids, I felt my heart drop.
“Oh yeah, S & C are going to be here in a little bit. They said they’re running late. I hope that’s alright. I meant to tell you earlier but I was so busy trying to get everything ready for the party.”
I just nodded. What was I supposed to do? I always already here. Just suck it up for a couple hours of discomfort. I was here for a sweet, innocent child’s birthday. I just had to remind myself of that. The girls were having so much fun, it’s not like I could leave.
They actually showed up way later. They looked much better than the last time I saw them. I could see that they had cleaned up, but it was also apparent that the drug abuse had done some damage to his face before he had quit. Can it be permanently sunken in after consuming so much meth? That’s what it looked like.
They hugged me, said it was good to see me. Wanted to talk up the girls’ father. Talked about how great it was to see him in this mindset. Something none of us thought we would see. They told me about how much better their lives have been. How they’re finally finished dealing with CPS and how she’s got her dream job and he’s loving life as a stay-at-home dad.
My trust with these people has been gone for almost five years. But they did look much better and so much happier. I’m aware that people can change, it’s just hard to see that during your first encounter with someone following traumatic events. I saw them and I flashed back to being in my old apartment surrounded by so much pain and addiction.
After we left the party, I cried softly in the car on the way home. I made sure the girls couldn’t tell that I was crying, but I had to let something out. It was a lot for my heart and my mind to process. A lot to happen in less than a week. People from your dark past showing up all at once can take a toll on you.
I am still hoping for the best for all of them. Hoping they stay clean and out of trouble. Hoping that the girls never have to ask questions about where their dad is or what he’s doing. Hoping they never ask me why he doesn’t want to see them. Hoping he’ll be there for them. Finally.
Better late than never, right?