I had to talk about it - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-23-2010, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay so all the research says that both parents should be present when you have the "big convo" with your child. Well nobody told the kiddo that! Dc came to me so pensive, serious, sad, questioning, and with thoughts about dh being gone and wanting to know if divorce was coming. She was totally in the moment, and I knew it. So somehow I calmed myself and talked to her on her level, not adding more than she needed to know, not badmouthing, none of that. But I knew it was hurting her to hear it, my heart broke, I cried later, held it together at the time. Poor thing first said she wish she never knew, she got angry at me for verbalizing it (I guess that made it for real), she told me to get a new dh, she went through alot in the span of 15 minutes. She cried, I just held her, let her breathe, let her say what she wanted, held her again. She slept with me that evening and work up in the night and told me, she loved me and that she knows it is not her fault or my fault and that we would get through it and be okay. So now I guess the reality and the healing can begin with her. I knew right then that I will always continue to be honest with her because she trust me and knows I will take care of her and her emotions.
Now....I am bit angry that I got to bear the wrath that dh is causing and he escaped it. But maybe that is what needed to happen, because who knows what he would have said, and she needed the freedom to feel everything she need to feel and say and to bounce all over the place at will without being talked down to or having it explained away. Now of course he will get the "tempered" reaction when she sees him again. She will of course ask and maybe even get caught in that "maybe I can say something" to "fix it" trap. She may even rage at him or dismiss him. I think she will be saddened again but I think she will rebound. One thing I know for sure I will be here to hold her and tell her I love her and we will be okay.
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#2 of 6 Old 08-23-2010, 11:30 PM
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a lot of this stuff doesn't go the way it's "supposed" to but we do our best, and you may be right - in this case, having a conversation with just you maybe was the right way for your dd. it sounds like you handled things really well. it's better that you answered honestly rather than try to put it off, don't you think? hugs to you both.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 01:39 PM
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There is not perfect one size fits all solution to single parents. Sounds like you did what was right for your child and I deeply respect that.

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 01:58 PM
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how old is your dd. you did a fantastic job.

as your dd deals with this you will see these little moments happen over and over. even though we separated when dd was 18 months old and she remembers nothing of us living together she is still upset somedays. some days she is not. she is happy daddy is not there.

what my dd has discovered is life is bitter sweet. something your dd will discover too. sometimes she will like how things are, sometimes not.

i would totally continue to empathise with her when she is sad or happy. not with the idea of fixing it or cannot fix it, but with the idea that 'i understand' or rather i am there for you. you dont have to do this alone.

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#5 of 6 Old 08-24-2010, 02:12 PM
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Dear kindred spirit--I've got news for you, no matter what you might have done--it would have still turned out just the way it did.
What I mean is this: stbx was INSISTING that we tell the kids together and at the same insisting that I make a counseling appt. for them (with me at the helm). So, I did what he suggested. At this point--no need to fight and maybe he was right.
So, I made the appt. for a Tuesday morning and then I said to him: well, if I'm taking them to counseling, they kind of need to know what the topic is--don't you think? Duh, he hadn't thought of that.
So Tuesday morning right before he goes to work--I said we need to tell them now (since he was gone the whole weekend before and Monday night) and so we did. No reaction from the kids at all. They were like: can we go watch TV now?
And then I said: well, I'm taking you to talk to someone about this this morning.
So off stbx went to work...I go to counseling. The kids are like: we have no clue why we are here (they are 6 and 8)--and smart--my dd goes to a gifted magnet elementary school where only 1.5% of the public school elementary kids in the entire gigantic population are "invited" to go (one of the largest school divisions in the state)--my point here is only that I am saying: she's bright enough to understand and verbalize what is going on...
the counselor then says: OK kids, go in the next room and color--I'm going to talk to mommy. So they did and she and I talked and she said: they don't need to be here. Which they didn't.
But then the following weekend, stbx moved out and did not come back. And several nights went by--and then--the kids got it. My dd (8) was most effected by it...my ds (6) not as much. She cries at night sometimes but I think it's mostly because she sees me really struggling with trying to get rid of our belongings and prepare for a move of some sort because we will not stay here (and I don't want to)...
So that's our story.
I don't know if I will ever understand why he left. My friends say it is because he is passive-agressive and blaming his life on me and not taking responsibility for his own happiness. I must admit, even when he wasn't the best husband he could be (which was most of the time--through neglect only, never mean, never hostile, never abusive--but very very neglectful), I could always look at my life and say that I was pretty happy because I had my kids and friends and worked hard and enjoyed living each moment.
I will find that again. But right now I am totally RAW and in terrible pain and angry for what I feel is his neglect, once again--and destroying our entire lives. I've had to give up everything because of this. And it's hard.
But this about you, not me, I just wanted to share. After 20 years, I feel I am owed more than this. But we all know, life sometimes is just not fair.
Keep posting, it helps.
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#6 of 6 Old 08-27-2010, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Dd is in 3rd grade and pretty verbal. So far so good with her sharing with me, initially she is always sad and then ponders, brings it up and then moves on, she doesn't like to talk long about it though. She will respond if I ask how is she feeling. Right now I know she is dealing with it the best she can. She does not want us to divorce but she has been using the word which makes me think she knows it is a possibility. I am dealing with this and trying not to let her see me sad or upset. I make sure I am there for her and interacting with her. I am concerned when she sees stx, he may have a different approach and be on defense and try to "explain" it away or not take responsibility etc. I tried to get him to prediscuss it with me so we could try to get on the same plan, but it did not really pan out. So I better get ready for the apple cart to upend again I think.
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