While he abused me, he protected me from everyone else. A contradictory of terms to be sure, while I wasn't "safe" with him due to his abuse of me, I was safe from all others.
He and his girlfriend came out here for 4 days, a week or so ago. He is no longer the man I loved and hated, ran to and ran from. I saw a glimpse of the "good" man he was when we were together, but only when the girlfriend wasn't around. Now, don't get me wrong.. I like her, I like her a lot. Her and I spent some alone time together on Saturday, while my daughter and her father spent alone time. Her and I talked, laughed, shopped and ate lunch. I like her, I enjoyed her company... but and she will admit it, as she did, she is very controlling and dominating, while I am more submissive and prefer to make decisions together, instead of for. He was always in control, though we did make decisions together... She goes as far as to order his food for him. It was rather odd and difficult to watch. He made no decision for himself when she was there, hardly smiled, hardly spoke, though when taking pictures with our girl you could tell he was very very happy to have her in his arms and be with her, but other than that, he was just so docile and quiet - and hardly looked at me even while talking to me - when his girlfriend was there. Not sure if that was because he was uncomfortable around me (I don't really think that was the case though) or if he was nervous should he pay much attention to me it would upset his girlfriend...honestly though, to me, she seemed secure enough in their relationship to not be one to get upset should he have paid attention to me - she was the one who insisted we take pictures of just him and I - so I'm rather lost on why he was like that...
Saturday evening, before my daughter and I went to pick them up for dinner and karaoke, she told me of one of the conversations she had had with him earlier that day. She asked him why his girlfriend and he were not married. His response was "we aren't sure that is the direction we want to go in" though they both wear wedding rings. She than asked him "Did you ever want to marry mom" and he responded with "Yes, very much. I asked her many times to marry me, but she wouldn't because of my drug use, my cheating and my physical abuse of her" further to explain that he loved me as best he knew how with what he knew back then, that I was the normal life he wanted so bad, but he wasn't sure what normal really was. Something he'd told me already but his words came to me when I asked him why he didn't just leave me and leave me alone for good (even before I was pregnant with my daughter) He told me that I represented sanity in what was an insane time in his life. He also told me that he wished I was the only mother of his children. (he has 2 from the girl he cheated on me with and 2 from another woman he was with long after I was gone).
My daughter than asked me, after all these years pining after him (yes, she knows that I have loved him all these years) would I go back to him now, if he wanted that. At the time of this question we'd only spent a few hours with them and I'd only seen the man that was controlled by this woman who I really liked a lot. I told her, no, I would not. I do not want to be with a man who would allow me total control in the relationship, who I could walk all over and that is what I was seeing... But..
Saturday night, we snuck my daughter into a bar, to play pool and for me to sing karaoke. When his girlfriend was not right there, in the bathroom or up at the bar ordering their drinks, he became a bit more animated, more talkative, more like I remember him from when we first met and became a couple. This happened on the Monday they were leaving while we were having breakfast as well. When she got up to use the bathroom, he became "him" again. Not the scary one, not the one who abused me, but the man I fell in love with the moment I met him and my daughter asked me again if I would go back to him - and I had to point out those moments to her and be honest... if he was that man, the one he was when his girlfriend was not there, yes, I would allow him back into my life in a m0re than just friends capacity...making sure she understood though, that I would never interfere in his relationship with his girlfriend, I would never disclose to him what I had said to her, I would not be that kind of woman who broke up someones relationship or even tried to break it up. It wasn't the kind of woman I'd ever been and I wouldn't begin that now.
The weekend was nice really. I tire easily, so by Sunday I was pretty much exhausted and rather than join them that day, I stayed home.. plus I wanted her to bond with him without me right there. They all, including her cousin, went to the lake and rented a boat and from what I saw of the pictures on her camera (the girlfriend hasn't sent them to me yet) had a great time. I found myself slightly jealous, jealous of the time my daughter got to spend with him/them, jealous of the commitment he has made to his girlfriend, just jealous or maybe the right word is longing... to be with them together, as a family, the three of us.
I wanted to spend some time alone with him. Not much just a half hour or so, but I didn't want his girlfriend to be uncomfortable or feel in anyway threatened by me or cause any drama with them, so I didn't ask for the time alone. See, even though he hasn't been with the woman he cheated on me with, in 15 years or so, she still causes trouble, between him and his other 2 daughters (they are 16 and 17), she also causes drama between his girlfriend and him, at one point a few years ago they even broke up because of it. Him and the mother of those 2 girls do not get along at all and I don't want that type 0f relationship with him...I DO want to be friends, even if that's all we will ever be now. I've also told both him and my daughter that even though the other girls are her half sisters, I don't want her around them. They smoke pot and drink, the mother allows this in her home - they take very provocative pictures of themselves, posting them on myspace, showing themselves half nude, in bra's, their thongs, smoking dope getting high etc... He has tried to intervene, to have some control over that but, neither the girls nor the mother listen to him. He's expressed frustration with that - claiming that they are a product of their environment and don't listen to him. I'm sure, as he is, that the other mother talks much shit about me and quite possibly our daughter as well as about him. Sure he wasn't the best father, not a great example, lost in his own world of drugs and hell, but he is certainly trying now to be a better example and I do believe in second chances, as long as it's obvious that someone is attempting to be a better person and make things right in their lives. He blames the mother for most of how the girls are (though he does take responsibility for his part in the way they are too) and says that he is not happy with the way they represent themselves on their websites, but then he says that he can tell I've done a good job raising our daughter, that it's apparent by the way she represents herself on her page and in person. That made me feel good, since there are many times I beat myself up, thinking that I've failed my children... to have others tell me I am a good mother, helps me get out of that type of thinking.
He doesn't work, he is essentially a house husband. He takes care of the house, while she works at her high level high security job with the government. He is a felon and she has access to top security stuff, which explains to me why they haven't married...she would probably lose that or not be able to advance. He's 42, she's 49. And she helps keep him sober, so he told my daughter, though I think if he loved any woman who was clean, now that he's been away from the meth for 5 years, he would probably remain sober.. so who knows. He's applied for disability and has a court date in March. He should receive something like 3 years retro, should he win his disability case (he has PTSD, high anxieties and other various mental stuff going on and takes some of the same meds I take, but more)... oh, should he win this case, my daughter and I both were thinking that we should get some of the retro... as he owes me upwards of 16 grand in back child support. The only way I think we will get any of that and should it not cover all the back child support, any of his monthly check is if they (the DA for collecting child support) catch it. My daughter (without me saying anything) also expressed some anger, over the fact that we had to get her car repaired after a hit and run, he was told of this yet didn't even offer to send us any money to help pay for those repairs. We both understand he really hasn't any money - but neither do we and I've supported her all her life without any help financially from him and it bothers her. I'm torn on whether to report to the child support office about his possibly coming into money and the back support he owes or not. I did tell him at one point to be prepared, that they may take a good portion of his checks for child support for the three older girls, mine and the 2 with that other woman. He understood and seemed okay with that. (he is currently raising his two youngest children - a girl 13 and boy 11)
So I guess we will see what happens with that... Before they came out, him and I spoke on the phone a bit, as well as in emails. I mentioned to him that none of the children looked like him, except our daughter and he acknowledged that, yet also said, "I'm afraid of getting tested" He loves all 5 of his children, even though he's had no contact with ours since she was 8 weeks old and I suppose he is afraid of losing that love or something, should indeed the others turn out not to be his. Even his baby pictures, put next to our daughter look alike. Not the others though. Personally, I'd want to know, but then if I'd been loving them all their lives and they turned out not to be mine, I'd still love them - that's just me though.
I'm not sure that this chapter is completely closed just yet. I haven't spoken to him since they left and I need to. I need more questions answered, which he has been very accommodating answering me when I've asked others. I need to stop pining after him, but doing this may take some time - after all I've been doing it for 18 years now, I don't think I could have it happen over night, I am learning, but I still get those feelings within me, when I think of him. Like a little girl with her first crush - it's so frustrating at times.
Oh and something that happened that only my daughter, him and I noticed... Monday at breakfast I arrived a bit late and they had already ordered, so I ordered french toast, from the kids menu (the main menu came with 6 pieces, the kids had only 2 and I can really eat only one piece without getting sick), without knowing that he had ordered the same but from the main menu...our food came at the same time and he and I both looked at each other, looked at our food, looked at each other again, then looked at our daughter who had this huge grin on her face, looked again at our food and then each other... we smiled at each other and I believe we were thinking the same thing - we still did some of the same things as we use to, we still had some part of us that were alike, if that makes sense... and I know we still knew what the other was thinking most of the time, as we did those 3 years we were together. Our daughter saw it, but his girlfriend didn't - I asked my daughter later on if he'd ordered his own food, or if his girlfriend had, like she'd done at the other meals we'd shared... I was told, he ordered his own breakfast that morning. It trips me out... but I've always believed we were soul mates and soul mates, do those kind of things.
All in all, I enjoyed my time spent with him and his girlfriend. I am glad our daughter finally gets to know her father. She is the only one of his kids that never had him in her life. I asked his girlfriend how she felt when he first found us, cause of the problems with the other mothers (though she has supported him in his search of the last few years for our daughter), she said that at first she was concerned that I would be like the others, causing trouble, trying to break them up, making drama for them and even go as far as keeping my daughter from him just to be a bitch like the woman that has the two older girls. She then said, after reading my first email to him, a response actually to an email he sent me (I'd given my daughter permission to give him my email address, because he told her in his second email to her, that he had things he needed to tell me.. those things were apologies for how he had treated me back then.. and more, but I prefer not to go into detail about the letters) she could see I wasn't like the others. She then volunteered that after my 3rd or 4th email to him, she saw that I had class, that I was intelligent and thoughtful, kind and compassionate. She also told me how much it meant to her, that when I invited him out to "meet" our daughter, I included her in that invitation - whereas, the older girls mother tells him that he has to go where they live to see those girls (I said the same thing, but for only the first time meeting, our daughter will be going out there in March I think - I'll take her but I won't stay, hopefully I'll be able to go and see my granddaughter for the weekend, as it is only about an hour from them) and won't let his girlfriend come with.. and it's worse now that he has found us, she won't let the girls even go to his house for a few days. His girlfriend expressed gratitude to me for including her in the invitation. He can't afford to always get a hotel room or motel rooms and the other mother wants him to stay at her house, without his girlfriend. Drama drama drama... I'd probably hit the woman if I ever saw her again, that's how much I loathe her - I told the girlfriend that if/when they came out again, to bring an airmattress and they could use my daughters room, so they wouldn't have to worry about paying for hotels and we could also save on eating out - she was so grateful that I included her, that I didn't insist the only way he could see our daughter was if he came here alone. I was sincere with my invitation and have no problem with them both staying with me after meeting them now. Perhaps the other woman still loves him too (though he admitted to me in an email that he never loved her, it was all about the drugs with her, the same with the other mother of the two youngest children...) but even if she does, it's not right to exclude the woman in his life now or not allow his children to see him just because he is in a relationship with someone - it's just not okay in my world and his girlfriend was happy that I wasn't like the others.
So, with all that said, below are pictures of the three of us and a couple of pictures of the two of them as well as one with me and my boyfriend Toby Keith... shut up, I know he is married and it's only a cardboard cutout of him - but jeez let an old woman dream would you! Directly under that one is one of him and I about a year into our relationship (me at 25 I think, him at 22 or 23) and then one of us while he was out here. What a difference 20 years makes... BUT I am at the same weight I was at, right AFTER I had our daughter (close actually to where I was before I had her even).... while he is much heavier now and no longer the buff muscled man I was with, he's put on some weight himself! I will say this.. we always fit comfortably in each others arms, next to each other.. we always displayed affection for each other in public as well as in private, holding hands, hugging, kissing all that jazz.. and we still fit comfortably together, while the pictures were being taken.. but not once did I see him and his girlfriend hold hands, hug, kiss none of that, other than when we took pictures - I've included one of him and her below as well. It just seemed odd to me that they didn't show affection for each other in front of us. I would not have been bothered by it - I'm actually more bothered that they didn't, than had they!
I hadn't intended on writing this much, though I really have a lot more to say... not unusual for me! But, I'll stop now.