X isn't out of jail yet, and I don't know when he will be, but my perspective on all of it has completely changed.
In case it wasn't abundantly clear from my previous posts, I was quite anxious about what it would be like, having X in the same city as us, and free. Since I haven't had any contact with him in the last 6 months, I had no idea where his mind was, what he could possibly be thinking.
I finally asked one of his family members if they knew his plans after release. They told me of their own frustration that every time they've tried to speak to X about it, X can't give a clear answer. In typical X fashion, he's full of big ideas for the future, but can't answer what happens when he steps out on the sidewalk. He can't answer where he will stay, how he will get from point A to point B.
Circumstances vary, but he stays the same. And, having gone through this time and again, I know I don't have to worry about a thing.
He may say when he gets out that he wants to see the girls, that he wants to be a real dad, but I know that when I respond that he has to earn that right, that he has to prove it, he will come up empty. All I have to do is guide my girls through this journey. I may not know the specifics of it, but I know the sentiments. And I know the end game. I will continue to manage their expectations, and keep their weekly therapy appointment, and ensure that they are aware that I am always here for them.
He just can't get to me anymore. I hear some of the "big ideas" he has for the future, and I just laugh! He simply does not live in the real world, and it's no wonder that some of these ideas are nowhere near grounded in reality. They're big, lofty ideals, but with no plan of grounded, concrete action.
Sure, I take time out to escape reality; to imagine a Sideways world, to disappear into a good musical, but I don't live there. I live in the real world. If there's something I want or need, I know I have to figure out what steps to take to get there.
For instance, I was guide-surfing the other night (because who channel surfs anymore?), and turned to the Suze Orman show. I am now motivated to pay down my credit card debt once and for all. I am starting with the small steps. First, I have to figure out how to pay for their summer child care. In two weeks, I've saved $60 to put towards it. That pays for one week for one child, but it's a start. It's the first step in my goal to not live off of the credit card over the summer months. While it's not actually paying off the debt I have, the first step is to not add more debt, right? It's grounded. It's reality. It's a lofty goal but one that can't be met without taking that first step.
X doesn't know how to do that. As he's approaching fifty, I don't think he ever will.
So no, I am no longer fretting about what to do when he calls and says he wants to see the girls. I will tell him calmly, "figure it out. Come up with a plan, and I'll let you know if it works or not." If he figures it out, great. If not, it's a mere few minutes out of my life to have that conversation.
And if you're not sick of me yet, stop by the LA Moms blog, where I choose between a week in Paris or a week alone. Go ahead and guess which I'd rather have!