Monday, March 3, 2014

A Thirteen Year Reunion

Three words to make my stomach roll....

"This is Roy."

And an instant to recognize the voice. Thirteen years come rushing back, bringing with them a slew of emotions I thought I'd buried, memories I thought I'd forgotten, and anger I didn't expect.

It's been thirteen years since I spoke to my first husband, Marc's dad. I haven't seen him or spoken with him. At first, I wondered what he was doing or how his life was but thirteen years later and I rarely think of him. He only crosses my mind when Marc makes a face that he'd make or says something he'd say.

As you might remember, Marc asked me a few months ago to find him. I did some internet research, called a buddy at the Police Department there, and found him still mostly in and out of jail for petty things. I was disappointed at that time that his life hadn't turned out better. In my fairy tale, he'd cleaned up, made great decisions, re-married with wonderful kids, and was the great guy he had the potential to be.

I have prepared myself for years for this day and here it was.

It's been an emotional roller coaster since Friday.

I sat down for the ride as I recognized his voice. Fell to the floor in tears to be exact. Unable to breathe. Catching my breath.

As he explained that he only wanted to see Marc if I thought timing was okay, I felt some optimism. I was excited for Marc. Marc has such great memories of him and maybe this is what Marc needs. He told me about his life in a nutshell. He says he's been clean two years and has a great job. He sent me photos. He looks older but much the same. He'd say the same about me, I'm sure.

I won't lie...I held my breath as the photos came through. I loved Roy, something I don't admit readily. I'd prefer people to think it was pure lust and stupid decisions. I don't want to admit I'm capable of falling in love with someone like him. Truth be told, I've never given my heart like I gave it to him. He broke it and it's just never been the same. Oh I've loved, I love still, but not like that. It happens to each of us...our first heartbreak changes us. But that's another story for another time.

I decided to let him and Marc talk. Truth be told, I wasn't sure he wouldn't try to reach Marc on facebook and I figured letting them talk allowed me a bit of control.

So on the way to Portland, while Marc was stuck in the car with me, I broke the news. Marc cried and my heart broke just a bit more. I gave Marc the number and they quickly began texting. It KILLED me not knowing what was being said. Thankfully, Marc shared the conversation with me. I was feeling pretty good at this point.

I was embarrassed as I found myself wondering if he'd missed me or thought about me. Or were his thoughts reserved for Marc? It doesn't even matter and now I was mad at myself for caring.

By Saturday, I was getting irritated, again something I don't want to admit to Marc.

Why is he worthy of being called dad? He hasn't cleaned up puke, had to ground Marc when he misbehaves, argued with Marc over doing homework, been there when he broke a bone, or held him while he cried.

He told Marc he misses him. He doesn't even know him. He didn't want to pay child support so signed away his rights. He hasn't had to figure out how to help Marc buy a truck. Or what about those times I ate ramen noodles so that Marc could eat healthy meals because I didn't have enough money to feed us both. Of course he misses him. His parenting experience amounts to taking a cute little 1, 2 or three year old fishing, to Chuck E. Cheese, or to the park to feed ducks. I miss that too.

And then I get irritated they're on the phone. My brain reminds me that they've got thirteen years of catching up to do but my heart is a little jealous that Marc's not talking to me during that time (yes, I acknowledge that he'd probably be playing video games and not talking to me either). It boils down to a certain amount of insecurity. I'm second fiddle right now and I'm not liking it.

And dammit, I'm not in this for recognition but c'mon....who's been by your side kid since the moment you were born? Who's never left? Who's provided? Who's pinched pennies, scraped change, and made sure you have everything you need? I can tell you it wasn't Roy.

So by Sunday I was just a little angry.

And this morning, I'm angry, irritated, happy.....and insecure about my looks. Really?? WTF? It started last night as he made plans to come visit and all of a sudden I was thinking of the times he cheated and told me I'd let myself go. Now I'm going to worry about how much I weigh and my gray hair and now I'm doubly irritated. All that really matters is I raised an amazing son but I'm worried I'm not attractive.

So, now I'm torn between feeling justified in my feelings and feeling a little selfish (I've managed to make this all about me now haven't I??). I'm hopeful that this is the right thing to do but I also worry about Marc's heart. I'm just praying that this works out. In the meantime, I'll retreat inside my head and work through all these emotions and most importantly, support Marc during this time. 

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