My ex talked to the girls on a daily basis when we first moved out here. He talked to me, too. As I mentioned before, he knew how to find my vulnerable spots, and he was trying to get me agree to a reconciliation.
I finally presented a put up or shut up solution. If he wanted us back, then he had 6 months to get it together. I knew I couldn't file for divorce until I had been a CA resident for at least 6 months, so in that time, he had to pay child support, get a job, get out to L.A., and find a place to live before I would consider it.
I knew, in the back of my mind that this would never happen. I also knew that, if by some miracle it happened, I would go back because it would show he had changed and grown and was ready to be a husband and father. But it never did happen.
I got a call that he was in jail. Underneath the thoughts of, "well, what the heck am I supposed to do about that?" and "whatever" was the question, "what do I tell the girls?"
At 3 & 6, I knew I couldn't tell them their dad wasn't calling because he was in jail. But what could I say? What excuse could I make for him? I told him he was on tour (something he'd done before) and wouldn't be able to call for a while. A few days later, he was out and he called. And told them he'd been sick. Sylvia tells me, "you were wrong, Mommy." At that moment, I vowed I would never lie for him again. And I never have.
The phone calls came more intermittently after that. At one point, I asked him to just call on the weekends because Sylvia was back in school and needed her weeknights for homework, but he'd call whenever he felt like it, and I let him talk to them whenever it was for Sylvia.
He moved to Denver (probably running from the law, but who knows), where his parents were living at the time . He still couldn't call on a regular schedule.
His not calling would cause Sylvia to be emotional. His calling would put her emotions in overdrive.
I was so angry at him for putting me in this position. She saw me as the bad guy who took her nice daddy away, and I was still protecting him for her! It sucked.
But I knew I couldn't badmouth him, as it would just drive a wedge further between me and Sylvia. I knew I just had to suck it up and deal. My friends and family reassured me that in time, she would get it. The problem with that is I relate too much to Carrie Fisher's line: instant gratification takes too long. Still, I knew they were probably right. I just had to hang in there and keep going.
And then things really got interesting. My ex came to live in Los Angeles.
To be continued...