There is a moment lately that I hate.
It happens on Sunday nights. I come home to my children (after being gone for the weekend so they may have time with their dad without being shuttled around), in time to love on them a bit and help get them to bed, They get to have both of their parents read to them, snuggle them into their covers and then leave them to slumber. However, on Sunday nights they wail. They know their daddy is leaving after he closes their door. My six year old pouts at me, accusingly, "Why does daddy only get to see us two days a week and you get us five days?". Her look is volatile, angry, wounded. I tell her I agree, it isn't fair. She flails back into her pillow, sobbing.
I hate him so much on these nights. I am called back to comfort the casualties. They are inconsolable. And there is nothing I can do to make it better. This is the part that makes me insane. This is the part that leaves me silently crying along side them in the dark. I'm helpless. I can hold hands, rub backs, provide squishy, comfy stuffed animals, but I can't fix it. I send him angry texts, imploring him to think about what he has done to his perfect, amazing children. I regret it almost immediately.
Eventually their melt down exhausts them to sleep. It's quiet and the rage I felt is lessening, but a punching bag would be ideal right now. I realize it's a futile effort, and I try to see his side. Every time I come up short. I just couldn't leave my children, my family, my life for another person (this scenario, of course, doesn't involve abuse). I would fight and fight and fight to see my children more than just on the weekends. As a matter of fact I did. I fought and fought and took on new, uncomfortable shapes and agreed to awful, unthinkable solutions and became a shadow. I disappeared into an ugly dark place that had me unable to eat or smile or sometimes even get out of bed.
While it is undoubtedly the one thing I knew would never be a part of my story- I am getting a divorce. The paperwork is cold, impersonal and daunting. Seeing my precious children's names on a legal form makes me want to vomit. Sitting for an hour and a half to hand over a pile of papers to a clerk who then questions why I would fill out such-and-such form (well, because that legal help desk over yonder told me to) has the tears that were welling up begin to spill over. She doesn't care much. I finally leave and take time to ugly-cry in my car before I can drive away.
This process sucks and has repercussions beyond oneself, we all know this. He is learning the round about way, experiential learning is what I believe it's called. I just never expected to have to protect my children from their father's "learning process".