Archive | September 2014

Father’s Day can go to hell

Today is Father’s Day in Australia.

I have struggled for the past fortnight, in the lead up to this day. Everywhere I’ve looked there have been stark reminders of what my life has failed to become.

Posters depicting happy families sit in the window of every store, advertisements on TV show dads laughing and carefree as they swing their beautiful children into the air, and my friends have been posting tributes to their husbands and fathers on my Facebook feed.

Every night this week I have cried myself to sleep because I’ve been so depressed and anxious about this day. I have felt so torn and conflicted. I have felt more anguish than I normally do on Mother’s Day.

I have been so angry at Doug. Desperately angry at him for leaving me alone. I’ve felt this pain like the stab of a knife straight through my heart.

See those lovely families on the posters in the shop windows? I will never have that. He has taken that possibility from me. He has torn that smiling baby from my grasp, erased that proud husband from the image of my future. What kind of a man would do that to a woman he claimed to love?

I have felt bad, too, for my children. The ones I carry with me in my heart. Because I honestly believe that they deserve better. They deserve a father who loves them, and loves their mother, and did everything he could to take care of his family instead of abandoning us when times got tough.

I really believe they watch over us both, and I have felt so awful because I know he can’t be making them proud right now. They must be so ashamed of him and his disgraceful behaviour toward me.

And then, simmering somewhere in the melting pot of my emotions, is empathy. I have worried about Doug. Worried about how he is handling this day. This day that will always be a reminder of the children he has lost. I worried that he had not surrounded himself with strong people, and that perhaps he was suffering in silence today. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want anyone to feel this bitter turmoil that I feel.

In spite of the way he has scorned me, I love him still. I miss him and I worry about him and I don’t want him to hurt in the same way that I hurt.

So this morning, after much deliberation, I decided to text him. I spent a long time trying to craft a message that took exactly the right tone. My first draft was way too sweet and needy:

Doug, I just wanted to wish you a happy father’s day. You are in my thoughts today and every day. Love you and miss you always, Sadie.

My second draft started off quite neutral, then quickly descended into petty bitchiness:

Hi Doug. It’s Fathers Day. You can stop caring about me and pretend I never existed, but please don’t do the same to our children. Please spare a thought for them today. Just one. They didn’t ask to have you for a father, but they’re stuck with you for eternity now. Sadie.

Finally, I found a quote online that I think summed up the message I was trying to convey better than my own words could manage. So I copied it into a text message, had a little cry, and then sent it off to him:  

Photo: Sending love to all the Dads out there this Fathers day, especially those who haven't got their babies to hold close <3 Jodes & Mel

And then I waited.

I held the phone in my hand, and I waited.

I wondered where he was when he received the message, whether he thought fondly of me and our angel babies, and what his response would be. After all, this was the first scrap of emotion I had thrown his way in two months. A peace offering if you like, even though I was not the one who had wanted the conflict between us.

I spent most of the morning checking my phone every ten minutes, hoping he had responded. Even just a simple “thank you” would have sufficed. Even “fuck off and mind your own business Sadie” would have let me know that he had read my message and reacted to it. But I heard nothing.

I logged into Facebook several times and could see he was also active on the site. The little green light next to his name on Facebook Messenger alerted me to the fact he was both online, and using his phone to access the app. So he had definitely received the message.

At about 5pm this afternoon it finally occurred to me that he was actually never going to reply to my message. I broke down in the bathroom while I was flossing my teeth. I was just so…hurt. 

Why does he treat me like I am nothing? Like I am less than nothing?

The night he left me, he told me that he would always love me. He told me that he would try to take care of me, even though we were no longer going to be together. Did he deliberately tell me those lies so that I would let him go? 

I have done nothing wrong to this man. I have done nothing but love him the best way I knew how.

And I spent three years of my life putting myself through physical and emotional hell for him. Eight cycles of IVF so that I could have a family with him. Because I was so convinced that he was the most amazing man I had ever come across, and he was my soul mate, and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him and our perfect little family.

Whether he likes it or not I am the mother of those children that he lost. Those children that he clearly doesn’t care about, or think about. It makes my chest physically ache to realise that he doesn’t care about anybody in his family. Not me, not our dog, not our children. None of us. 

I keep thinking about that scene in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett slaps Ashley and screams “I’ll hate you until I die! I can’t think of anything bad enough to call you!” then throws the vase at the wall in a fit of anger. But of course she doesn’t hate him and instead spends the duration of her next three marriages desperately in love with him. That’s the conflict I feel over Doug.

I am crying again now. I am crying so much I can hardly read what I am typing. I am just so broken. I am confused. I am sick to my stomach. I just want to understand why he hates me so much.

Why when he read my message did he not care enough to even respond? Why couldn’t he understand how much thought and feeling had gone into that message? I was offering him love and support that he was not offering me. It was not a spiteful message, it was a message of understanding and empathy. What was so wrong with that? Is my entire life just a silly game to him? 

I can’t write anymore now. I need to go and calm down. All I can say is…

Happy Father’s Day, Doug. 

Thanks for letting your family down yet again. 

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Goodbye Poppy

After crying most of the day at work yesterday, for reasons which I’ll tell you about sometime soon, I ended up staying back late to calm down and finish off a report that I’d neglected whilst I was too busy sobbing.

When I looked up from my computer screen, I realised that it was almost dark and that I should be headed home. Finally feeling like my eyes were dry, I walked to the carpark, hopped into my car and was about to turn the key in the engine when my phone pinged to let me know I’d received a text message. I reached over and snatched it out of my handbag, glanced quickly at the screen and my stomach immediately dropped.

One new text message from Will

Will is my father-in-law. Was my father-in-law. Often over the past years I’ve felt closer to him than I have to my own father. He and his wife Mary (Doug’s stepmother) have always provided Doug and I with unconditonal support and always made me feel so welcome in the family.

Will was always my favourite in Doug’s family, and maybe one of my favourite people in the whole world.  We call him Poppy Will because he is grandfather to Doug’s nieces. I’d been so heartbroken that he hadn’t been in contact with me these past two months, and even went as far as to unfriend him on Facebook because I felt so rejected.

But suddenly there was this text. Finally, the contact I had been craving. But I had no idea what Will was going to say to me. I was worried he was going to say horrible things. My hands were trembling as I swiped to unlock my phone and click on the message.

Hi Sadie. Mary and I would just like to say we are sorry for the way things have turned out, and we apologise for not getting in contact sooner. It’s so hard as a parent to accept this kind of situation, especially when you become fond of your child’s partner. Please know that we will always wish you well. Love Will and Mary.

And that was all it took for the waterworks to start again. You’d think I’d eventually run out of tears, but apparently my body is extremely efficient at producing them. I cried non stop the whole way home from work. Huge, noisy crying. Shrieky crying. The kind of crying you hear from an overtired four year old at the end of the day when they’re told they can’t have ice cream for dinner.

At one stage I pulled up at a red light and glanced over at the car stopped next to me. The guy driving was gawking at me with his mouth hanging right open. How horrifically embarrassing. I must have looked awful.

When I arrived home I went straight up to my bedroom and collapsed on the bed in a fit of hysterical tears. I couldn’t even think straight. I was crying so much I was dry heaving.

My brother, who was getting ready to leave for his shift at the hospital, came upstairs and looked honestly shocked at the state of me. He asked me what was wrong, but I was too hysterical to even respond. Not knowing what else to do, he started dancing in my bedroom. Really stupid dance moves like the running man and sprinkler. Then he grabbed my dog and started dancing around the room with him, making him do the YMCA with his front paws. He was trying very hard to make me laugh, but I was just so upset.

Eventually I stopped crying and just lay there, staring at the ceiling. My brother went to work soon afterwards, but he must have contacted my mother because she knocked on the door a few minutes later.

While she was downstairs cleaning up the kitchen, I sent a response to Will. I wanted to express my emotions to him in a way that he would understand, without resorting to anything petty like telling him that Doug has cut me off financially or not offered to help around the house.

Hi Will. Thank you for your message, you will never know how much I truly appreciate it. I have really wanted to reach out to you but wasn’t sure if I was able to. I want to thank you and Mary so much for always making me feel welcome and like I was part of your family. I just want you to know that I am completely devastated by Doug’s choice and never wanted this to happen. I will always love him very much just as I will always love our children. I carry them in my heart always. My only dream in life was to have a family with Doug that we could hold in our arms and watch grow up as we grew old together. I am beside myself with grief because my dream will never be a reality now. I think of you guys all the time and miss Layla and Amy every single day. I will always cherish the few years I got to be an aunty to those beautiful girls. I wish you and everyone in the family so much happiness and I count myself lucky that I was given the opportunity to know you. I couldn’t have asked for a better father-in-law. Love always, Sadie xx.

After I sent it, I finally felt composed enough to go downstairs to see my mother. We made some dinner together, I ate a little, and then we watched some television. I didn’t receive another text message from Will and I honestly didn’t expect to.

I felt torn emotionally. On the one hand, I was glad that I’d finally been given an opportunity to say my piece. I was able to tell someone in Doug’s family that this whole mess had nothing to do with me. And I really wanted them to understand that I am a victim, and I miss my nieces, and I have had so much taken from me. I have no idea what awful lies he has told them and I’m glad I was finally given a chance to have any kind of input.

But on the other hand I was so very sad. When Will had texted me, I felt like he’d opened up an old door and now I was having to close it again. That lovely man is not going to be in my life anymore. I will no longer have a father-in-law. I felt so crushed and lost again. That was it. That was my opportunity. And now it was gone, and over. Finished.

After my mother left I didn’t want to be alone in the house so I took myself to the gym. I’d been running on the treadmill for maybe five minutes when my nose started bleeding and I had to rush to the bathrooms to clean myself up. I don’t really think my body is physically coping very well with the rollercoaster of emotions in my life. I felt so crap about myself because I couldn’t even finish my work-out.

This morning, unexpectedly, I received another message from Will.

All I can say darling is thank you for your kind words. Life deals us shit sometimes, but I know you will find happiness in the future. I did when I thought it was impossible, and as you know Mary is beautiful. What you guys have been through in your short lives is so unfair, but you have amazing strength. More than I. Lean on your family for support Sadie, for I can tell that they will always be there for you. Take it from an old man – time heals. I know you don’t want to hear that but it does. At the same time I want you to know that I feel your pain. Take care beautiful strong Sadie.

It was such a sweet and caring message. I didn’t cry but my stomach has been in knots all day because I’ve felt so emotional about it all.

I didn’t respond to the message and I’m not going to either. I don’t think there’s anything left to say. It’s not like Will and I can maintain any sort of real relationship without him feeling like he has betrayed his son. So I’m just going to leave it as it is.

I love that man so much and I will miss him so greatly. My world will be a darker place because he is no longer part of it. He really would have made an amazing grandfather to my children.

I wish, I wish, I wish that things had turned out differently. I wish, I wish, I wish that I could go back in time and magic away these past months. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am living inside a nightmare and I can never wake up from it.

Goodbye Poppy Will.

It must be Wednesday

I’ve been sitting at my desk at work, quietly sobbing for about three hours now.

I can’t believe nobody has even noticed. Maybe I’m just really good at masking my pain now.

I received more bad news today. News I’m not even really ready to talk about yet.

I am so completely broken.

How am I ever going to be a whole person again?

I keep waiting for this miraculous day people keep talking about, where I wake up in the morning and I feel okay about my life.

I don’t believe in that day. I don’t believe it will ever come.

Why did this have to happen to me?

Why do other people get to have children but all my babies had to die?

Why do other wives feel loved and supported by their husbands in times of trouble, but mine couldn’t bail out fast enough?

I must be a terrible, horrible person. You have to be really really bad for your entire family to not want to be with you.

I just…I can’t. 

I can’t keep going but I can’t stop. I’m like a shark – if I stop swimming I’ll sink to the ocean floor and suffocate.

What did I do to deserve this life?

My husband is lucky he is escaped from me.

There is no goodness here.