Tuesday, December 3, 2013
A blended family is an interesting dynamic. There are always different rules, views, and beliefs at each household. Without parental alienation, arguing and refusing to work together it can work. If the families agree to disagree and just try to get along it can turn out to be a loving situation for the child. You have to bury feelings of dislike or awkwardness for that child. For 6 years I have been doing that. I have set aside personal feelings because I love Jace so much.
Jace's dad was never out right mean to me while we were dating. He did some questionable things, had some personality traits that were questionable, and did one very messed up thing that should have made me run for the hills. I realized "I need to get out now or else I will be miserable" but he was never physically abusive. We just would not work and I KNOW we would all be miserable if we tried to stay together. After he found out I was pregnant he cut me off. I remember we celebrated Valentines Day but it was so awkward because I was in the stages of being nauseous. After that soon he just didn't talk to me. So I dumped him in a myspace message. He didn't show up for any of my appointments...he didn't even try to communicate with me. He pretended baby and I didn't exist up until the December after our son was born. And even then all I got was a lousy phone call and an explanation that he would not be involved until he was proven to be the dad. Jace was about 2 months.
Fast forward to him being involved. Paternity proved Jace to be his...Jace was about a year or very close to turning a year old. Apparently the courts told him that they sent me notice after notice for months to come and do a paternity test and that is why it took a year. With his history of blaming everyone but himself or making up crap to make himself look better something tells me that isn't true. So Jace's dad and nana came to meet him. After our first meet we came up with our own visitation schedule until we could make everything legal.
In either December or January of that same year (which isn't long after they met) we went to court and made everything legal...joint custody with Jace living with me. Everything my husband and I hoped for was gone. We were all supposed to move because of the navy. We had to jump through some major hoops to make sure my husband wasn't transferred across the country. He was already a major role model in Jace's life and needed to be with us as a family. Luckily everything worked out in the end.
Bio dad seemed to be in it for the long haul. He had an awesome girlfriend and even married her. She is an amazing woman who actually made me a bit jealous. She was one of those people who just got kids and was amazing with Jace. I kind of stewed in my own jealousy. In fact I don't even think I told my husband! You would never know how I felt by my actions. I wanted Jace to have a loving relationship with her. A loving couple in both house holds is a good thing..why try and fight that? He paid support, was extremely involved, hardly missed a visitation, and if he did it was for a very good reason and we would make up for it. We worked as a team and never argued. Though oddly enough a lot of communication also involved the girlfriend.
Over the years I have realized my situation may not be 100 percent horrible...but it isn't perfect like I thought. A lot of things people warned me about ended up happening. Without diving into too much detail bio dad and his wife were no longer together. After that he was known for bouncing from home to home with women taking Jace along and bouncing from girlfriend to girlfriend without even thinking about how Jace might feel and the girlfriends would even sometimes pay support. Jace grew close with two of the women bio dad dated and he was upset when he no longer got to see them. Bio dad never owed me an answer...but I definitely feel like because of Jace being my son what affected him affected me. Usually it was me comforting him over situations like that. Soon enough I had to hear from my toddler-preschool aged son that his daddy's girlfriend would no longer come around and he missed them. A toddler had better communications skills then a grown man...go figure. My issue is he would change while single. He would be super dad while with a girlfriend or living with his mom..but then as soon as they would break up Jace would see him less.
After a bit I am frustrated and pissed because bio dad is no longer being a dad. He thinks it's perfectly fine to bounce in and out of Jace's life. He isn't paying support, he isn't calling Jace, and he isn't seeing him. For awhile there he would go a month without seeing Jace because of work. Now he hasn't seen Jace since May 2013. Hasn't paid since April 2013. Jace never received a call for his birthday and bio dad ignores any attempts of me getting a hold of him. The most recent was I invited him to my moms house to come see Jace for Thanksgiving. He did not show. He didn't even give me a call saying he won't make it. This led to yet another heavily worded email. To top it off...he is living with another woman who he introduced Jace to. This time around this one is smart. She stays out of things and doesn't coddle bio dad by paying me. I liked the others but they didn't have any business paying me or discussing parental issues.
These past couple of years all of this made me wonder...did he ever want to be involved? Or did all of those women try to make him be involved?
Despite all of this I have a lot to be thankful for even in this shitty situation. Jace is an amazing little guy. I am so lucky to have him and raise him. Not only has my son built an awesome relationship with his nana and extended family but they have come to know that I am truly trying to do what is best for Jace.
And Jace is so smart. I can tell he is hurt by how is dad is acting...but he still knows he has plenty of people who love him and he focuses more on the love that people show him. Bio dad is missing out.