Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Missing Your Kids II

It's October 14. I've noticed the readership has grown a little since the end of summer. It happens that way every year. I think sometimes it's the impending Holidays and the knowledge that we'll be so limited in seeing our kids...if we see them at all.
I remember it well, men. My daughter has lived with me since May. We moved to Virginia and I took a job with my alma mater and her mom saw the wisdom in letting her come with me. It was literally a matter of survival for her. But I remember too well the 14 years before this. The endless pain of Thursday morning after she'd been with me for Wednesday afternoon. The way every-other Monday felt after we had a weekend together. I remember thinking more about the time I'd missed than the time I had with her because it was so tilted in one direction. Once a week for a few hours and every other weekend. That was supposed to be a decent substitute for the fatherhood I was missing and the hole in my heart it left every single day.
But she's with me now. She's sixteen and I have about a year and a half to squeeze as much as I can from everyday fatherhood before she leaves again to go to college. She plans on going here so she'll be in town at least, but it won't be the same. She'll live on campus and be her own person, as she already is, to be honest. So I have about 18 months. This past Saturday morning I made her strawberry pancakes for the first time in six years. It was a tradition we had when she was little and we kept running until 2008 when I lost my home. It's nice to do it again, but it made me think about the six years we lost. It made me think about the 8 years before that, when I had a nice home and a good job and pretty much anything I wanted except the time I wanted with my daughter.
Divorce is cruel. It's evil. It's vicious and it's repulsive and devastating to all the people involved. Even the party who wanted it and who believes themselves happier now...their soul was damaged too. They just don't know it yet. The bitterness will steal a part of their soul eventually. It always does.
It's hard being a dad who loves his kids and who walks through this life with a giant hole in his heart where they are supposed to be. I can tell you without question that I could not have made it without my Faith. Jesus did not make my pain go away. He walked with me through the worst of it and he felt it along with me. That's what He does. he gave me enough strength to live just one more day after the devastation of my divorce. And one more day after that...and one after that.
I don;t have a story of roses and honey and happiness all the time. I have a story of tears, and hurt, and longing. But I also have a story of making it through this barren wasteland and living again. 
That is what Faith does.
I encourage you men to reach out to the only One who can really help you feel again. You may hate Him right now...to be honest, I did for a long time. He's okay with that. Take your pain to Him and let him deal with it.
Becoming His son is the best way to endure as a father.

God bless you men for continuing to love your kids as you do. Do not quit. Ever.

Craig

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Only just discovered your blog and will read it properly tonight.
The pain of alienation can feel too much often... I am fighting with all my worth but it's a losing battle. Found myself on the brink of homelessness, jobless and rather alone too. Tough but hoping I can find the strength.
Regards Mark. UK dad.

Paternity Lawyer in Chicago said...

Thanks for sharing your story. This is a very vulnerable post and it takes a real man to share it.

Anonymous said...

I can relate 100%. Met my now ex in my hometown, followed her off to her own country Germany. After 10 years of marriage and 2 kids it was over. I hate it. Stuck out here, utterly alone. Can't go home, because want to be here for the kids. She was always the social one, I just worked like an idiot to provide...now left with just my Wednesday afternoon and every other weekend. Struggling now at work...can't motivate myself to do anything. Have a girlfriend now who is by all accounts fantastic but at the same time I'm plagued with the knowledge that I'm not good enough. I'll I bring to the relationship are problems. My only real purpose is to keep going to earn money to provide for my kids and be able to see them the next time, but at the same time it rips me to bits every time I have to then give them back. This is my new life? It sucks. How long can I do this for? A few years maybe, but I'm running fumes. I don't have the courage to talk to people - british upbringing: keep your problems to yourself, always be cheerful and positive. I have friends but they don't want to hear my issues - they can't relate. My "purpose" is just so empty.

Anonymous said...

I miss my kids so bad. A question to all you fathers. Would you go back into a bad relationship just to be with your kids again each day?

Loren Martin said...

My ex wife and I split a year and half ago. I'm in the military and am stationed in Japan so for the last year and half I've been doing the FaceTime thing as often as I can. My daughter is now 5 and I get to spend 2 weeks a year with her in the summer.

I have to be honest, I've considered many times giving up an awesome career to be closer to her in the states. The pain of facing 3 (possilbly 4) more years here in Japan before that option is available is frighting.

Tonight I tried calling her and she told my ex "I don't want to talk to daddy." The words cut like a million knives into the depths of my soul. She is the light of my life and everything I live for. I'm so afraid I'm losing her because of the distance and the inability to be there for her. I'm dating an awesome young lady now, but to be honest sometimes I would take my cheating, now super religious, independent exwife back just to be with my daughter even if it meant I would be unhappy and would never be able to trust my exwife.

Am I the only one crazy enough to think things like this? Are there any suggestions on how to keep my daughter from losing interest in me as her dad until I can move back to the States?

Anonymous said...

I am selling my home bc I want to build a new home. My plan is to sell and move in with my brother and sister n law while it's being built. My ex just told me my daughter can't stay with me. Can she stop me from keeping my daughter on sched nights per custody judgement? My brother and wife are great people. He is probation officer and she is school teacher. My daughter also would have her own room there.

Unknown said...

No. My ex wife took my kids and ran with them to another state. The judge in our divorce sided with her and allowed her to stay where she is. The alimony he awarded her is so high I can't afford to travel to see my kids. I feel like a corpse with no soul, I miss my kids so much I am dying slowly every day, but I will never go back with her, for 10 years I treated her like a queen and she trashed me...I can't even look at her