Last month when I filed for child support, my husband asked that he can pay me directly. I agreed because I was trying to keep the peace. I thought paying directly would mean he would stop by at least once a week. For me it ensured he'd at least see the kids that often. Every Friday since then, this has been the routine. He sneaks over after dark. Leaves the money in the glove box of my car. It wasn't ideal, but now I can understand it. The girlfriend... Well this past Friday it was pouring rain, and I was curious as to how he was to get to the house since last I knew his only source of transportation is a motorcycle. I expected it to be late, especially since I just found out about the other woman, and I thought he might be afraid I'd :come outside. But he's not stupid. He came at 8:30 because he knew my daughter would still be awake, and he knew I wouldn't come outside. So he drove his girlfriends car, and I am assumeing, though not absolutely sure that she was in the passenger seat. I wathced him get back in the car after leaving the money and the interier lights did not turn on when he opened the door. I stood in the window because I wanted her to see me. Standing there with snot all over me because I've been dealing with two sick babies for a week. I wanted her to see what he walked away from without looking back. The mom of his children, who is struggling and holding on by a thread. In my attempt to look intimidating, because believe me, I can be intimidating, I hadn't notice that my daughter had wondered over to see what mommy was looking at. Before I could pull the shade down she caught a glimpse of her father as he got back in the car. "It's Daddy mom, it's daddy." And in her voice was so much excitement that I wanted to scream. "Where's he going, why won't he come visit me?" That was the beginning of a long night. She spent another hour or so argueing with me, crying for daddy. She told me that she didn't need me, she needed daddy. She told me to move out so daddy can come live with her. She told me she wanted to live in daddy's house not mommy's house. And I struggled to hold back tears as she ripped into me and blamed me for her father leaving. Everyone else blames me, I couldn't handle it if my own child blamed me too. I know she's only three, I know she doesn't know or really mean what she is saying, but when you hear it from everywhere, from everyone, you really start to wonder if maybe you are this horrible person he has made you out to be. Maybe I did deserve to be left. He is out there partying, and being with this other woman, doing things that I can't begin to think about because I will start vomiting again. And I am here, at home. Watching my money fly away. Wondering what I am going to do when that cushion runs out and I am living paycheck to paycheck. I am the one here, watching the roof leak and the bucket below it fill up. I am the one wiping the snotty noses, rocking the sick baby who refused to be put down. I am the one holding my three year old in my arms as she cries for her father and there is nothing I can do to make him even see her. somedays it is all I can do to just drag myself out of bed. I am emotionaly and physically exhausted but I can't sleep at night to save my own life. I stare into the darkness and my mind goes in a million directions at once. What will I do when I can't afford the mortgage payments anymore. Could me and the kids really move back in with my dad. Would there be enough room for us. Could I stand the thought of my children being in the city school district as opposed to the rural schoil district they would be in if we kept our house. I have worked for my entire adult life to get where I am, to have what I have. I gave up my career to spend more quality time with my children. Now I'll have to find a second job and see them even less. Who will raise them if not me? My daycare, my dad, my brothers. Everyone but their own father. Once it had been our dream. Once we struggled for three years just to conceive and all we wanted was a family. Once we shared that dream. What happened? What the hell happened?
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