I can’t believe the baby is going to have her first birthday in a couple days! I just can’t believe how fast this year has gone by. It has been one helluva year. Fuck. I think back to where I was last year at this time. Dida was here and cooking her fabulous food. Chance was on his way here and would be arriving in a matter of hours. I remember when he arrived the feeling was so immense –I was filled with such joy to have him and his mom under my roof; all of us together, I remember commenting on how happy my house was –that it felt like a Home. I wanted it to last forever. But then Chance flipped out. He started causing trouble. He became mean. Said really nasty stuff to me. He broke up with me and my sobbing was so intense it actually broke my water. I went into labor. He went to sleep and woke up twenty minutes before the baby was born. He continued to abandon me, reject me and cause more trouble. He got me flowers on Valentine’s Day, only to yell at me a short while later. All the drama affected my relationship with Dida and she left prematurely. Then began my intense efforts to win him back. To try everything and do everything –anything– to try it all to make it work. I wrote a 20 page letter to him to which his response was cold, mean and ungrateful. I printed pictures for him and his mom. I bought gifts for them. I called. I flew up there with the baby. I talked him into giving our family a shot. Just one try. He obliged and it lasted less than a week. I was relentless and got him to give it another shot. So he did, but that again was short-lived. I kept trying. Patience. Humor. Shelving my feelings and my emotions for the “bigger picture” that I believed in. It almost worked. But ultimately he did not want me. His divorce was finalizing. He became even crueler and more resentful of me. He projected all his negative traits and actions onto me and blamed me for everything. Then, he got hit by a car while crossing the street one night and hit his head. For a short time it seemed to have knocked some sense into him. He came around and our family blossomed. We were skyping for hours every day and again in the evenings. We talked constantly and grew closer. We made big plans to see each other for the holidays, first we would fly to him for Thanksgiving, and then he would fly to us for Christmas. We’d have 5 weeks total together. I was beyond exuberant. I’d wanted him for the holidays every year, and especially the year before when he was in Colorado with his soon-to-be-ex and he was utterly miserable, yet he still stayed thereon the couch with her literally locking herself alone in her bedroom every night for those few weeks. And then, mere days before the kids and I were to fly out, he breaks up with me again. Tells me not to come. Says very nasty things to me. Yells at me. And then I’m the one who has to tell our daughter the trip is cancelled. I’m the one who has to see her eyes well up with tears while she tries so hard to be big and shoulder the huge disappointment on her tiny 3 year old shoulders. “I’m not going to see my father??” she finally weeps as the tears fall freely from both eyes.
That became the moment I knew I had to stop. I had been holding out hope and fighting so relentlessly for the dysfunctional volatile unstable and unhealthy relationship that was now the cause for my innocent daughter’s first heartbreak. Something inside me broke that day too. And something inside me also became stronger. I started to snap out of it.
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy for me to give up on a Dream. But my dream was becoming my daughter’s nightmare. I was being selfish. He wanted me to let him go. So I did.
I started working out at the gym. Riding my bike more. Focusing on improving my parenting skills. And I went on a date. And I had asked him out! I really just wanted an opportunity to get to know him better. I didn’t expect anything out of it. I was a bit desperate for the distraction, to be honest. Thoughts of Chance occupied every minute of my mind and my heart ached and yearned for him in ways I had never imagined. I’d wanted to just hop a flight there and show up at his door. But I knew whatever passion and peace would manifest would be a temporary elixir. And I would get my hopes up, only to be dashed yet again, and it would come back to hurt my daughter. So I called up this guy at his work, because that’s the only place I’d ever seen him. I asked if he had a girlfriend and he seemed stunned and confused. He said no, not understanding what this had to do with anything I might need from his place of work. I think I started to stammer at this point. Then it clicked for him. He suddenly realized I was asking him out. “I just want an opportunity to get to know you better,” I said genuinely. I thought maybe we’d become friends or hangout buddies. The social distraction would be good for me.
One date turned into two. And then 3. And then more. And after awhile we became romantically involved. We’d both been through some bad EXperiences and we each had kid(s) so it was important to both of us that we put all our cards on the table right away. Something between us just works. I kept waiting for a fight. For the shoe to drop, so to speak. I was so conditioned and sensitized to things going really well with Chance, only to have him subconsciously –or purposely, sabotage it. But the shoe never dropped. We never fought. We just work. He’s an amazing dad. He’s an amazing partner. He’s an amazing man. Family comes first for him. Then again, he is an Italian from Long Island! Family is everything! We have become quite serious. We’ve met each other’s family. Everyone loves everyone. Every healthy and amazing thing about our relationship only highlights how unhealthy and toxic my relationship was with Chance. I had been willing to settle and sacrifice being treated with common decency and common respect for a dream.
So, yeah. I’ve been reflecting a lot on everything that’s happened this past year. It’s been a crazy year. In a few days we’ll be celebrating my youngest daughter’s first birthday and I’m so blessed and grateful for these beautiful children Chance gave me.