Deadbeats.

My oldest child is one I knew I would be raising on my own the minute there were two lines on that pregnancy test. Her biological dad is three years older than me, but definitely way less mature.  He urged me to get an abortion at first and when I told him I didn’t want to, he left. By left I mean the very next day got on a greyhound bus and moved back to his home state. That fast. A few days later he said he had made a mistake and wanted to be in the baby’s life so I said okay and just let him move back in. I thought that it wasn’t my place to be in the way of their relationship and/or if they have one. That was really up to him, although I did encourage it for a very long time. Anyways, right around halfway through my pregnancy he asked if we could do adoption because he just wasn’t ready for the responsibility but he still wanted to be with me. Once again, I insisted on keeping the baby and I told him if he didn’t want to that was his decision and he could leave but I was keeping it. When he left the very next day again I was actually surprised. I guess I had a lot more faith that things would work out than I should have. I found out I was having a girl while he was gone and a couple weeks after that he asked to come back again and I agreed again. Do you see the cycle we were in? I didn’t realize it then, but looking back it’s clear he didn’t want to be there. I just wanted her to have a family so bad, but if you really listen to what people say they tell you who they are and that doesn’t usually change. He came back and stayed throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. When she was born he and my mom were in the room with me. I was nineteen and terrified and I felt so alone because I knew he didn’t want her and my mom thought I was ruining my life and that I would be a terrible mother. My mom had to wake him up when it was time for her to be born and then I had to offer to let him hold her and then he said he was tired and left the hospital. All of the sudden in a whirlwind I was there with this beautiful baby girl, but still very alone.  The relationship between her biological dad and I was so toxic and awful. We fought all the time and really didn’t like each other. After my daughter was born that only got worse because he didn’t step up and be a dad. He let her down and that made me angry. I looked at this innocent, perfect, helpless child, and cursed him for not having the compassion to feel about her the way that I did. So, I made it my mission to make it as easy as possible for him to be a positive in her life by taking on all the hard stuff. By the time she was nine months old and they had no relationship I knew he and I had no relationship anymore either. How could I love him if he didn’t love her? How could he not love her? We broke up and he stayed in town this time for a few months and I thought he would see her occasionally. He came by the house once or twice a week, but it was to see me. He had no interest in her and I began getting more and more frustrated. I told him in no uncertain terms that we were not going to get back together. So, he became suicidal and unstable. After all that I was still more than willing for them to have a relationship, just not an unsupervised one at the time.  Then, I got word from the people he was staying with that he was using cocaine. I told him I wanted full custody of her at that point and he agreed. There were no lawyers or arguing or anything. He just signed over sole legal and physical custody to me and that was that. He moved back to his home state before the papers were complete and they were finished after he was there. He would skype with her once in a while, but she was so little and she didn’t have an attachment to him so she was uninterested and he gave up.  When I got married, he signed a paper letting me change her last name from my maiden name to my married name.  My husband is her daddy. He is the one who has been helping me raise her and who has taught her to tie her shoes and cheer her on at soccer games and tuck her in at night. All the while in my head my heart is broken for her because I just cannot wrap my mind around anyone not loving their child, but there are SO MANY like him.  He had another child later on and fought for that one. He told me having that one made him realize how it felt to want and love your child and he would never feel that way about her so my husband could adopt her because she deserves that. I mean, never mind that negates him paying child support. When I can save that much money up that’s what we’ll do because she does deserve better. Every now and again she will mention him and ask me things that kill me inside like “Why doesn’t he want to be my dad?” and “Why did he leave me?” and I just want to call and scream at him. Instead I try not to cry and I gently tell her that I don’t have an answer for why he does the things he does, but to look at the amazing life she has and all the people who love her. So I guess in a way he did her a favor. He left and gave her a clean slate for a good dad to come in to her life and fill that spot, but  I don’t think I will ever forgive him.  So, until next time…

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