I awoke at 5am this morning because I couldn’t sleep. I put the gifts under the tree, watered it and turned on the Christmas lights as I sat in the dark. There aren’t a lot of presents under the tree, but with older kids, the gifts are more expensive so it doesn’t feel as festive to me. At least I know the kids got me something because they showed me the package last night. My eyes filled up. It will be the only present that I receive. My life has certainly changed a lot.
I’m trying to find the silver lining this morning as I prepare for the day. I have my brother and his family coming over which I don’t really want to deal with, but they’re the only family I have. I bought his kids presents too even though I’m on a strict budget. He told me we are not exchanging this year (the adults). I’m just not really in the Christmas spirit this morning. Maybe it has to do with the hangover of emotions from all that my kids are dealing with from last night.
They went to their dad’s family’s party and emotions were running high. The anger and resentment the kids have for him and his family is palpable and they were venting a lot before they left and when they returned last night. My heart hurts for them. I am unable to change anything so I feel like I’m holding their sadness because they’re my kids and they have every right to feel the way they do. It’s warranted. The bullsh*t they are dealing with is tremendous and the emotional manipulation that the narcissists are exuding is sickening. Older kid said it was the worst Christmas Eve on record and he hates them. Even the younger one agreed. I am just thankful they have each other.
I listened to them last night, so thankful that I am not a part of ex’s family anymore. It’s really bad. Ex’s mom is throwing a huge wedge between herself and my kids and driving a separation between them and their father as well. Yet, she can’t see what she’s doing because she’s so myopically driven to be her son’s biggest fan. Ex was angry with the kids yesterday because they didn’t want to spend time with him. Apparently he threw a fit when they got to his mom’s house. What he doesn’t realize is that if you don’t connect with your kids, or talk with them or they find out you’re lying most of the time, it doesn’t endear you to them and they are hurt.
Because they love him so much, they are so hurt by him. That’s the messed up way it is. They still want to believe in him and with every time he doesn’t answer them or doesn’t talk with them about how they’re feeling or explain how he’s feeling, or talk about the whole girlfriend situation, the separation grows bigger. Funny that I can see it easily now. Ex is shut down and selfish. It’s the way he treated me as well, but back then I was too dumb to understand it. By far, my kids are healthier than I was at that point. But it makes it no easier when they want him to be a father and he is more like a pet rock. And yet, his mommy dotes on her son (their father) and praises him and makes the kids feel guilty that they don’t want to put him on that same pedestal she has him on.
The kids are supposed to spend Christmas Day with me as always. But ex’s mom refused to give them their presents last night and is making them wait until the 26th unless they go over there today. The kids see the manipulation and the older one even challenged her on it, but she said that’s what she’s decided and that’s it. She wants them there and so she’s holding their gifts hostage. Because part of my gift and hers work together, the kids want to get their gifts today. I don’t blame them. Ex’s family is loaded and their manipulation is in giving extravagant gifts. Funny thing is, the kids know it and take advantage of it because they feel entitled if they have to deal with ex’s family. It makes me laugh on one hand that they are using it to their advantage. I wish I could provide more than I do, but my ex is already in arrears, and owes me even more money, so I’m not in a good financial position. Bottom line is I can’t compete and I don’t. If love and support were a dollar amount, I’d be a millionaire several times over with my kids. The precious healthy love wins in my head (and in theirs), but they’re kids who used to have parents who were in a good place financially and now they have a mom who is scraping by. That’s the hard part.
I will tell you honestly that my heart hurts that the kids told me last night that if it’s ok, when I go to take a shower, they are going to run over to Ex’s parents’ home to get their gifts and then come right back. I can’t deny them, but it hurts me. It’s my day and yet Ex’s mom wins again. I know her. This is her plan every year and she does the same thing to manipulate so that she sees the kids on Christmas Day and I am left alone again. I can turn it around that I get an hour to myself on Christmas morning, but I’m just soooo hurt.
I’m hurt because the whole situation isn’t right. I’m trying to take the high road yet again in my head so that when they wake up, I’m happy mommy. But my heart is heavy and sadness and frustration are filling me up, tinged with hatred for the injustice of the whole situation. But I think this Christmas will be a pivotal turning point as the kids are fed up with his family. Part of me is sad for them because the mask has been lifted and they can see the unhealthy manipulation. Part of me is happy that they can see them for who they are and that the kids are standing up for themselves. Part of me just wants this day to be over already.
I’m sorry to be such a downer this morning. I wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a lovely day filled with delicious food, love, happiness and peace.