So the strangest thing has happened in the last few weeks to our little family. On my birthday I received a text from Ruby’s biological Father saying Happy Birthday, and can I have some pictures of Rubes. Now that’s not so strange……. since he left when she was one, and moved to Sydney to get away from our tumultuous relationship (and to be honest the responsibility of raising her….) I have always sent yearly, sometimes six monthly photos of Rubes to him, knowing full well that they’d one day reunite and it would be strange if he’d not known what she looked like. And of course I guess I wanted him to know what he was missing…. I met Trent when Rubes was 18 months old, so she really never knew any different, apart from the fact that she knew she had another Dad somewhere, called Rob. Anyway, around ten months ago when I was in the depths of my despair about losing him, Rob emailed me to see how we were going and to offer some support…… I tore through him like you cannot imagine as he’d never stood up to the plate, and the one time he did three years ago (at Ruby’s persistent request) he had screwed up royally and let her down via email……. nice. Anyway, there’s been a long, long bitter hatred towards him via the people that saw me go through a hell break up with him when Rubes was a baby, and that hatred only grew after he screwed up yet again, but when Rubes was eight, and certainly old enough to remember. But ten months again, when I tried to get an answer out of him via email as to why he left her again, he couldn’t explain it to me, and it felt like he wouldn’t. So let’s just say we ended up in an email war about all the years of drug abuse, and many other choices that he had made that I was pretty sure was the reason for his demise in the first place…… and then Ruby read them. All 20 odd abusive emails with all the things I’d kept from her to save her from knowing the truth, Trent and I had been particularly careful not to bad mouth him to her, even though there was hatred…… And the less she knew growing up, the more she wanted to know….. of course. The week before the emails, I changed Trenton’s iPad so that his emails did not keep coming in as I thought it might be upsetting for Rubes who was on it all the time. However I couldn’t delete it all together, so I logged in as me. She received every abusive email as they arrived. And slowly read them all. How devastating……… it took me a long time to reassure Ruby that I had not been lying to her all these years…. but rather didn’t want her to know that he had been an addict of any kind until she was old enough to understand. Over the last couple of years I had heard he was doing really well, was clean and in a relationship for the first time since we separated more than ten years ago….. and I was quietly hopeful that he would be okay next time she was desperate to meet him again. I was right…. after my birthday text, she started talking to him via email, and a meet up date was set, and surprisingly I wasn’t so angry anymore. I was prepared for the back lashing I would get from Trent’s family….. as they only knew horrendous things about him, and it took a bit to get their heads around how it would affect Poppy (Ruby suddenly having a Dad again) and how it would affect Ruby (suddenly having this person back in her life that had let her down up until then.) It’s not so easy to to reassure anyone that a life time of bad is now okay. And let’s be honest, I was taking a stab at it in the hope that it was good again. She met him last weekend after we drove the hour to his place where he lives with his partner Ange, and her two kids that have shared custody with their Dad. Her anxiety leading up to this day was horrendous, there was many a panic attack…. and she tried to pull out of it twice (the second time when we were literally pulled up in his driveway!) It was tough to watch, especially not knowing how it would go….. it was a chance we were taking, that’s for sure. It went amazingly. After an horrendous emotional week (I’d blued with both my sister in law and mother in law in the week leading up…. and was a mess myself) and I can honestly say I never thought I’d think the best thing that had happened to us in any week, was Rob related! Ruby took an hour to talk, but Ange was warm and accommodating….. Rob and I talked like old mates catching up, which I know only helped Rubes feel comfortable. Ruby slowly played with Ange’s staffy, who is adorable and helped us all have something to talk about when we felt lacking in conversation. Rubes enjoyed herself so much in the end, she didn’t want to come home with me! I didn’t know what to do with that, as I certainly wasn’t prepared for her to stay over just yet….. but she begged and begged me, and after the anxiety she’d had leading up, I felt like I should run with it. I drove away knowing that one baby was in Port Albert three hours away with my father and sister in law, and one was with her biological father….. and I was going home to my sausage dog. As you can imagine I cried all night…. and all the next morning…… this was a new phase in my life that I hadn’t thought I’d have to face for a lot of years. After all Trent had lost his right to see his beautiful kids, why should this man we barley knew have it? But I also knew for Ruby who had always felt abandoned by this man, that she was ready to get to know him. In the week leading up to the meet, she had emailed him the most heart breaking letter asking him to not screw it up this time, how much he had hurt her last time, and that if he ever spoke to me like she had read in those emails again, it would be over. She also said that if he buggered up this time, she would keep his family in her life no matter what…… so she was smart enough to set it up as a bit of a fail safe scenario. I was most impressed! He apologized about hurting her, and the “elephant in the room” was addressed. So a new phase for Rubes, a new dimension to our already pretty challenging world, but perhaps (lets hope that it’s a positive one…….. Rubes asked Rob to drive home via his Mum’s and she got to meet her Nonno, Nonna and Aunties/Uncle and cousins……. it was love at first sight apparently. I’m so proud of how she’s handing it, and I am only wishing positive things for my girls from here on in. They have seen hell now, surely it can only look up from here. xxxxx
It clearly doesn’t need to be a special occasion….. a birthday, anniversary, Easter of Chrissy to feel the loss of someone that was once your whole world. It doesn’t go away, and yes there might be longer patches of the day that you smile, or laugh, but every day at least once you feel like you’ve been punched in the guts again, and you relive that moment all over when you first realised they were not going to make it. Unlike some of my new friends through my online support group, I didn’t get time to say goodbye. Unless you count saying goodbye to his almost yellow, bloated body after it had been operated on multiple times and prodded and poked within an inch if it’s life….. which I don’t, because there was nothing of his soul still there at that point. But just like a bad relationship when its ending, you need closure on these things. And I can’t have it. There are many things I would have told him if there had been time. I certainly would have begged him not to go, and probably even prayed to a God I never believed in before in my life to save him. I would have loved for him to write birthday cards for the girls for the next ten years, including special messages to get them through, and keep his memory alive for them. For him to tell me anything and everything that would cross your mind if you knew you were about to die. I obviously don’t know what these things would be….. I hope I never do…. unless I’m in my eighties and I can at least feel like I wasn’t cheated out of this one life that we are all given. We all take for granted that our kids will outlive us, that our parents will die of old age, and that we will at least have retired and become a grey nomad or whatever it is you wish to do to celebrate the life you provided yourself and your family for the last 65+ years…….. don’t be so damn sure. It’s easy for everyone else to become complacent six months after losing a mate….. but when you were that persons wife, and you bore children with them…. and your future plans were always guided by the light at the end of the tunnel…. in our case travelling the world together, then it’s not such an easy task. I have seen some people make changes in their lives since Trenton died. And it can be wonderful to watch. Maybe they are more involved in their kids lives now, or dote on their partner a little more….. maybe they take that trip that they can’t afford, because time is so precious…… Maybe they’ll stop waiting for fuck knows what and marry the love of their life and give them children! Whatever it is, and whatever I’ve seen…. I’m happy to know that my loss is someone I love’s gain in some small way. Anyways…. there’s my piece for the day/week/month. Love your life, it’s the only one you’re getting. x
Yup…… seems to me the only numbness I really dig these days is Vodka and Valium. Now don’t get all worried….. I’m not an addict, a pill popper or an over abuser, it’s just that a couple of Val and a couple a Smirnoff’s seem to make me feel…… less. I can get the kids down, do the dishes, prepare the uniforms/lunches for the following day, tidy the house and fold the washing…… then the dreaded “couch time” sneaks up and I feel like my internal organs have been removed…. again. So in come’s my V&V and all is well in the world again. Of course Valium doesn’t grow on tree’s…. so I save this pleasure for once a week or so……. (Yup, not enough to worry your little cotton socks over.) Now don’t get me wrong people, I love my little bubble, the kids, the dog, the house, my job…. my incredible mates and family. I am blessed in this department and there is no denying it. I wouldn’t change any of this stuff, because it hasn’t changed as such since I lost the big man, besides the dying off of a couple of friendships or so…… most of it has stayed the same. A least on the outside anyway. I can’t do big crowds anymore…… I get so anxious I can feel my heart beating so fast I think the blood will explode out of my arteries and through my chest. There’s that….. I don’t want to venture out of my bubble so much anymore, small gatherings… dinner and a movie…. the occasional pub with an “escape plan” firmly in place… that kind of thing. But this is all normal right? Fifteen months and 17 days down….. this is perfectly acceptable I’m sure my psych would agree…. perfectly fine. Apart from the fact that I wish it wasn’t! I’d love to pee on my own again, or have three nights in a row without a visitor in my bed with nightmares, I’d love a day with no mediating between my daughters, on top of baring the brunt of their emotions….. I want my one night out a week to be smooth sailing instead of a day or more of guilt tripping first because my 7 year old can’t believe I’m leaving her yet again… to socialise of all things. I want to join in on those conversations people have where they lovingly bag out their partners for being so lazy, or silly…. or join in when they talk about their little idiosyncrasies that make them more loveable…… I want to cope with work and retain new and old information, even though five days in a row has sucked my brain and energy clean out of my body…… seeing as I have the girls in therapy of some sort every other waking moment…… I’d love my incredibly written out white board to work and not just look amazing….. the rules are clear, the rewards are clear…. yet nothing works for two days in a row in this mad house. Including me following my swear chart. Fuck. Fuckety Fuck. I guess what I’m getting at is if this is my new “normal”…. a new normal is not what I want. I want my old normal, that sometimes seemed too good to be true, and sometimes felt as boring as shit. I sometimes felt like an incredible Mum, but mostly just felt supported in my flailing role. I rocked it as a wife, my proudest role as of yet……. and now I am not one. Well not to an actual human being anyway. It is true, I have not killed the plants off in Trenton’s memorial garden yet….. he wouldn’t believe this fact if he saw it!! I am succeeding at keeping his resting place looking “alright…..” and I am proud of myself for this….. but I never wanted to look after his ashes… I wanted to look after him. Life has a ridiculously fucking shit sense of humour. I can almost always find the bright side of any situation….. but this is clearly not one of them. I felt so calm hanging out with the widows/widowers today….. because my normal seems really normal next to them. Vodka and Valium…… Hmmmmm…… it takes away the emotions, and makes me feel like I can survive this monstrosity of a bump in my road. Even if I can’t. Over and Out.