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To the Man my Children Call ‘Dad’

It’s Father’s Day again. Another year you missed being a part of. What’s your excuse? I’m sure it’s my fault, somehow and some way. It always is. I kept them from you, I poisoned them against you, and I asked for a life that means I have to play both parts. In your mind, that’s the picture you paint.

Again, it’s Father’s Day and this year you actually saw all three kids and took them to the park then the mall. I even bought a card for them to sign. It wasn’t much, but I figured they wouldn’t want to see you empty handed. I’m glad they got to spend the day with you. After all, they don’t get to spend much time with you even though they had hoped things would be better and not worse.

I was seething with anger last year, but this Father’s Day, I am just sad for them. I am sad for my threefold who have spent a year begging you to be the dad they hoped for and the one they deserve. Yet, that’s not the father they got.

Instead, they have you as an example of what happens when you flush everything down the toilet, when you lie, cheat, use and steal. They get their father as an example of what happens when you excuse your faults and blame others for your mistakes. It’s truly sad, but it’s a lesson I will hope that they will learn from. A hard one.

You have lost everything. What’s it going to take? I wonder. You’ve stopped trying. First, you lost me, which should’ve just been a stepping stone to figuring out where you wanted to go in life, but it wasn’t. Next the kids, they stopped calling and visiting. Next, your job. Then girlfriend #1, and then all visitation ceased. Later, you lost the one person who loved you and supported you unconditionally. I think that’s what broke you.

Losing your grandmother was the one thing that broke your heart the most. Ever since it’s been another lost job, and another. You lost our old apartment and then your car. Just when you thought it would get better you bought a motorcycle instead of helping with your kids. You lost more visitation and then you lost your mind supposedly.

It didn’t take long for girlfriend #2 to see the manipulation and abuse you had put on those around you. You sold everything worth anything and then lost that too. The motorcycle, the car, the rent free living situation. Now another job. Finally, you’ve hit what I can only assume as rock bottom. You are homeless. You live in your car. You make no money and are barely scraping by day to day.

This Father’s Day is one where the sadness hits a low. I don’t know anymore if you’ll be here next Father’s Day and to even have that thought is sad. It’s true though, I’m not sure how you’ve managed to lose everyone around you, but there are three girls still hoping that you will become the dad they wanted and the dad they deserve. I’m hoping you find some peace in your path. This Father’s Day is here to show you that children give second chances, and third, and hope even when there is little proof that it will change. ☮️❤️😊~M

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To the Man that Stepped Up

To the Man that Stepped Up

To the Man that Stepped Up

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To the Man that Stepped Up

To the man that has become the center of my universe and the man that stepped up and stepped in when we needed an anchor in the sea of life. You are cherished, you are loved, and you are appreciated. Thank you for being a person who radiates positivity, who supports us in every way, who believes in us, who cheers for us. Your generosity to not just me, but to my threefold is beyond astounding to me. For everything you are we thank you.

If I’m being honest I didn’t think men like you existed. I know you probably are rolling your eyes and thinking I am over exaggerating your greatness. I’m not. You’re what every person wishes they had in a partner. I’m still not sure how I got so lucky and I definitely don’t know what I did to deserve you. Your magnetic energy pulls at the people around you. Your positivity is contagious. You see the good in people and situations, but not to a fault. You believe in that our perspective shapes our reality and you choose to have an optimistic perspective on the world. You’re a giver. You give so much of yourself to everything you do and to every person in your life without expectations. You love big, you work hard, and you play harder. You make life more fun. You make it brighter and more special. You’re not scared to be silly. You don’t care what anyone thinks of you. You’re confident and self assured. You’re the definition of amazing and I couldn’t dream of a man that would love me better than you do. Thank you for showing me that happily ever after isn’t just a fairytale or a love song.

I’m not good at vulnerability or communication or conflict or being positivity patty. You’ve helped me grow in each of these areas. I am better equipped to show my weakness and accept your help even when I haven’t admitted I needed it. You know how stressful the past few weeks have been. I’ve pushed myself beyond all my limits and completely broken down on more than one occasion. You stepped to the plate. You helped with anything and everything you could to make it easier for me. You supported the girls through it and allowed us all a safe place to vent our fears and feelings. Even on the worst days you were there to help me pick up the pieces and be a rock for me amidst the chaos. Today when I could feel the anxiety of stress creeping into my head space because the dryer broke and it was just another thing on the list of to do’s that has been piling so high lately. You took charge and completely stunned me by purchasing a new one. Like no big deal. Then happily went on to install a locking knob on the garage door. I was speechless. That’s a big thing but all the little things that you do I see those too. Helping clean up when you know I’ve run myself ragged and I’m completely out of gas. Taking care of the yard without complaining. Helping with everyday things and making my life easier and my stress level come down a notch. You’ve saved my sanity on numerous occasions. Telling me everything will be ok and holding me while I cry. Allowing me to be mad, frustrated, upset, sad, confused and not making feel like I have to be the perfect picture of a partner and a mother. You are a breath of fresh air when I am drowning in it all. You’re everything I will ever need or want, and I don’t tell you that enough my love.

Your relationship with my threefold is where I get emotional. They call you “bestie” and they love you fiercely. In you they find a man that encompasses the definition of dad. They’ve lacked a male figure that loves them without conditions, without holding them to impossible standards, freely without expectations. You allow them to be kids, have faults, be irritable, have opinions, and validate their feelings. These are all things that seem trivial, but when you don’t have that it’s so much more. They find your healthy love and support of them “weird”. It’s “weird” because it’s not something we have had the experience of knowing. When you are fun and playful and have a good attitude, it’s different. When you help with household chores and don’t complain, it’s different. When you speak with love and approach situations with understanding, it’s a weird approach for them. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t have a relationship that fostered healthy communication and love. Thank you for being the first person to show them that all men aren’t the same, there are good ones and that they deserve and are worthy of love and respect. It is something that money can’t buy and that takes a special person to do.

You’re the man that stepped up and stepped in when no one asked you to. Not for the credit or the titles, not because you wanted to be the dad, but because you saw three little girls that needed consistency, nurturing, and security. I will never begin to be able to repay you for the love and patience you’ve shown them and I. I can only hope that you feel loved and appreciated for the role you have played in our lives. You’ve earned our love and respect. Thanks for being you, boo. We know you aren’t perfect and we don’t need you to be. We just want you perfectly imperfect for us. I’d be stupid not to marry you. I want forever with you and the girls, J included. I thank J for being the amazing person she is and sharing you with my threefold and I. She is a lucky girl to have such an amazing dad. We are lucky that you stepped up and stepped in when you didn’t have to. I love you E. Xoxo. M

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To the Father of my Children on Father’s Day:

I am not going to wish you a Happy Father’s Day this year, buy presents from the kids, make them sign a card or do a craft in your honor. I’m not going to praise you for your parenting skills and be thankful for your presence in our lives. It’s not my job to show you that appreciation. There will be no accolades, no applause, no admiration. You can ask your children why they didn’t show you the affection and attention you feel you deserve to receive on this day.

When I think of a father, I think of my own. A man who will do whatever it takes to make sure his children know that his love and support is unconditionally theirs. A man who works hard to provide for his family and never asks for anything in return. A dad who calls and texts, who visits, who never lets a day go by letting their child think they are anything other than cherished. I think of a man that would walk through fire to take his child’s pain away and go to ends of the earth to seek forgiveness if they were to blame for it. I think of effort, stepping up and I think of the hour long phone calls that allowed me to unleash my demons and struggles. I think of the man who has always been available to me and never put anyone above me and what I needed. I think of my daddy. My life raft in the storm of life. My person who I will always be able to count on no matter what the situation is. The man who drives eight hours just to give his daughter a hug when she is struggling. The man who is never more than a phone call away no matter where he is or what he is doing will drop everything to make sure she is ok. It’s a love and relationship like no other.

There is deep rooted disappointment and resentment that my threefold does not have that. It hurts me to see them struggle with wondering why they aren’t enough and seeking the love and attention they should receive from you in others. I’m here picking up the pieces of the children you helped create and helping them put themselves back together. When they fall apart they look for me to help them. When they breakdown in panic and overwhelming anxiety because of an interaction between you I am here hugging them, loving them telling them that you didn’t mean it and that you love them. When you are spiteful and punish them for not seeing you I sit through the therapy session holding their hand as we try to work through the trauma. When they report you for abuse I am the one who tells them that their experiences and feelings are valid and that they need to stand firm in their truth. When they are frightened to speak out against you in fear of retaliation I am the one that tells them that it will be ok. You need to hear this last part. When they slice their legs open with razor blades trying to release their pent up feelings of anger, rejection, animosity, pain, and sadness I am the one cleaning up the blood and I am the one helping them to see they are deserving of love and they are enough.

I watch my girls suffer because of your words and actions everyday. They try to quiet it but the silence is deafening sometimes. I regret coming to your defense. I regret making excuses for your behavior. I regret allowing them to suffer for many years because I was too scared to stand up and fight for them and for myself. I am to blame as well. I take my share of the burden of responsibility for this insurmountable pain they endured. The difference is I chose to be better. I chose to get them help. I chose to acknowledge their experiences and their truths. I apologized sincerely and work to show them everyday that I will never allow their feelings to go invalidated again.

Now that they are older they have chosen not to subject themselves to your continued abuse. They feel guilty for cutting you off. They want to see you fight for them, yet you sulk blaming them for their feelings and experiences. You complain that they won’t see you or speak to you and make yourself out to be the victim. You aren’t the father they deserve. You aren’t the person they can lean on when times get hard or when they want to feel heard, respected or valued. This isn’t a personal attack from me, this isn’t my spite, my anger, my own unresolved issues, or feelings. This isn’t because I want you to be the bad dad. I’ve given you every opportunity to be better for them. I’ve tried to get you involved in therapy with them, you canceled the appointments. I tried having them speak to you directly about how they feel you gaslight them. I’ve tried to speak to you regarding their feelings and you’ve blamed me, verbally assaulted me, and played the victim card. I’ve asked you to step up. I haven’t retaliated against you. I haven’t brain washed the kids. I haven’t disregarded their need for their father. You have managed to turn them against you. You have made them feel like they shouldn’t be around you to safeguard their well-being. You’ve forced them to choose. It’s sad and I’m deeply disappointed that they don’t have the opportunities to build a healthy relationship with you.

I don’t question that you care for them or that you want the best for them. I just wonder if you can ever be a parent and put their interest above your own selfish need to be right and your need to be in control. This Father’s Day I truly hope that you can find the error of your ways. That you can do some self reflection and see how much you’re hurting them. That you can begin to work to heal these relationships with your children before it’s too late. Today I hope you see their pain. Today you won’t be receiving the calls, texts, cards, presents. They have chosen not see you today and I’m sure that is cutting. Before you get angry, retaliate, make them feel bad, or say something you can’t take back I hope you will see that their lack of presence is their way of telling you to do more and to be better. I hope you come to the realization that your actions and words have a high price and it’s not just you paying it, it’s them. I hope that you have the ability to see past your own feelings and make a change. They need you too.