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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39 thoughts on “Father’s Day can go to hell

  1. I was in church this morning praying and you randomly came to my mind. I really felt God wanted me to tell you that you ARE valuable. You are not discarded. You are loved. Your husband may have left you and abandoned you but God has not. He is right beside you and is holding out his hand to you. Your identity doesn’t come from what your husband or your former friends have done to you. You are beautiful and one of the best of Gods creation. You are worth so much to so many others. I love ya sugars. Xo

  2. That is a beautiful message that you sent him. I’m confused as to why he would not reply to something as important as that. He must be feeling a tremendous amount of guilt at the moment. I know I would be if I were him…

  3. Most people would have sent one of the other two messages. The fact that you didn’t is one example of you being strong and in control. You are going to be OK, eventually. You are clearly the bigger person and have a huge heart.

  4. Dear Sadie.
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and have to get this out. In defense of Doug. I honestly don’t think that he didn’t reply because he doesn’t care. Let’s follow this through: he replies (something short and sweet) and opens the door to dialogue. That gives you hope. Hope that he still cares and holds you dear in his heart. Hope that he will reply again if only you word the message well. This sucks you right back in to wanting to be in his arms. And he can’t have that. He left you because the pain of being unable to start a family was unbearable. He stood by you for years. But in the end, he wasn’t strong enough. You can fault him for that. It’s irrelevant to him now. He made an effort to cut it off clean for a reason. He will probably carry the guild of it for the rest of his life. Do you really think that he ignored your message or laughed it off and forgot about it? He is probably going through an emotional roller coaster of his own. But in the end, he wants a clean break. And that’s that.
    I know it hurts to hear. I know that the impact of these events is much more difficult for you to bear than him. But that doesn’t change a thing. No amount of tears or anguish will change where you are right now. So why not just let them all go. I hope you find peace, for the other way lies insanity. Time will heal these wounds, I promise. Especially if you find the strength and resources to move away from where you shared a life with him. Quit Facebook. Change your number. That way you cut all the strings that tie you down & remind you daily of your old life. You won’t believe the relief you’ll feel.
    My heart breaks a bit every time I read your blog. And I’m sorry if some of this stuff is hard to hear. But I think you can use a change from “honey, I don’t know either why he’d do that” and ” he is such a bastard”. He has suffered right along with you. And in the end, he wasn’t strong enough to go on. He had an out & he took it. Understand him and let him go. Even if forgiveness doesn’t come for a time (or ever).

    Hugs.

  5. Sadie honey, I wish you would be able to get back on your feet soon and heal soon. We all wish you to get better and stronger and I think that you are getting there slowly. There will be days where we advanced 5 steps but then moved back 6 steps. It is fine as long as you keep moving, you’ll get there. Scars, they heal but they will always be there.If thats the case, let’s live with pride together with the scars. Wishing you well.

  6. Sadie regardless of Doug’s actions you are doing all the right things. You can go forward in your life with your head held high. Unfortunately we can not control the actions of others, and you may never know exactly what Doug is thinking or feeling. And that just plain sucks. Even so, you keep moving forward. You are a strong lady with so much compassion in your heard. Focus on yourself and be kind to yourself. I am thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts.

  7. Hi Sadie,

    Been following your blog and in all honesty, while I have been rather sympathetic towards you through your whole ordeal esp your heartbreaking loss with both your unborn children and marriage, yet recently, I am starting to feel that it’s time that someone tells you that you need to readjust your thinking and stop wallowing in your plight.

    You blame Doug for being cruel or deafening silence over not replying to your text, I actually applaud him for not. U may think it is his self protection mechanism to shut you out but if blogging is your way to cope with your unfortunate reality, why can’t he afford to keep his distance for his own sanity. The way he walked out on you is indeed callous and I would call him out as a jerk for that, BUT, he cannot be faulted for being honest that he wants out and no longer wants to carry on trying or living in the past with you when he sees no future with you. Selfish? yes he is. But I would rather he be honest and make a clean break than mislead you with a lie and end up with a resentful and loveless marriage that does neither of you any good.

    Back to his silence and why I applaud him, Like what another commenter Maya said, he has his reasons and you are in no position to judge him for that, Just like you can seek comfort to expose his doing on the internet, he is entitled to his ways of self recovery from the failed marriage as well. My ex did the same, by cutting complete contacts and our common frens all stop calling me. UNLIKE you, I dont blame the friends, and their distance actually allowed me to make new ones and move on with my life with absolutely nothing from the past to taint my new future.

    My ex called me 3 years later out of the blue after we went separate ways. I had already moved on by then. I had stop obsessing about him and his new love who stole him from me, I stopped stalking him on his internet pages to see photos of him and his new love, Yes, unlike you, I even left him a voice message 6 months after we broke up to scream at him for being so cruel to take his new love to London, taking couple shot at the same spot we once did and swore our eternal love. So hearing his voice after 3 years, after he had avoided me all those years, came as a huge surprise though I will never forget that voice. He called to ask how i was. He called to apologise. To say sorry for having been a arse in how he treated me so callously in our breakup and walking out like that. He told me he struggled whether to drop messages to check how i was, but in the end, he didnt because he felt it will be more cruel to be kind to me, because it will make it harder for me to move on from his point of view. He would rather I hate him, and with that hatred gain new energy to move on from denial and grief. I told him I didnt hate him all these years because what we had shared, the love had been real. I was just so heartbroken he could be so heartless and cruel to never look back and move on happily with his life while i was left stranded, running on the same spot.Again he apologise and he said he knew he could never undo what he did but he explained he really thought that it was the best option for us, with agreement from his frens.

    We hung up after 15mins. Towards the end of the call, I asked him, did you ever love me? He said he did and I will always be that part of him. I hung up and cried for the longest time.

    I looked back and indeed, I was thankful he was never kind to me and gave me the strength to eliminate him from my life too. If he had not been cruel, I could never have Photos stashed away and everything he had given me was thrown or boxed away. I even sent him back my ring. To hell with it.

    I blamed him for being cruel because I was only thinking of how I felt, the betrayal, the hurt, the silence that i thought was undeserving. However, now that its a decade behind me, I realise that his silence and cold treatment was the best thing he could have done for me. So Sadie, I hope one day soon, you can find a new hobby, hang out with friends, and slowly weed Doug out of your life as I had.

    Good luck

  8. Sadie,
    You are allowed to feel terrible. This is your process, filled with grief on many levels. Your feelings are valid, and you will get through this because you are incredibly strong and resilient, even if you have a hard time believing that right now.

  9. I’ve been reading you for a while now and I hope you’re OK (since you’re not writing anymore) despite the turmoil you’ve been going through. Hugs from France!

  10. Sadie,
    I dont know you in real life, but have been reading your blog for a while. I am an intuitive, which means I can intuit things that are going to happen. This is usually in the form of vivid dreams. If you think this is already crazy please stop reading, I know how it sounds! I dreamed last night that you were in a relationship with another man, and you had an infant son. He was very very happy, with blue eyes and blonde hair and a big tummy. I got the sense you had given birth to him, but that it didnt matter because he was here and he was your son. There was an older child too that was somehow connected to your new partner. And you were talking about how you were surprised to be grateful for not having had children with Doug because your life now was so perfect.
    I hope this doesnt put you off, but it felt important to share, especially since I have never been wrong, yet.
    I wish you the absolute best, and feel you will have it, or maybe already do.

  11. it’s been a long time and not sure if you get notifications or check this blog anymore but i just wanted to say i think of you all the time and i hope you are doing well!

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