Recently my ex disappeared for a month, although he doesn’t live nearby nor see our kids regularly he usually calls them fairly regularly and responds when they call him. But for over a month there was no contact, no returned messages, texts, emails, nothing. When we tried to contact him through his family we were told that they couldn’t tell me where he was. Now I have several theories about this but the bottom line is I cannot understand how anyone could ignore their children.
I have plenty of experience with this however, I have not had contact with my own father for over 30 years. Although I tried many times before I finally had to walk away, I always felt that as the parent it was his responsibility to maintain our relationship. We had many issues for which I tried to work out to no avail, he made the decision that it just wasn’t worth it at one point and there wasn’t much more I could do. I had to let it go. If he had ever come to me and apologized at any time and acknowledged his mistakes and taken responsibility for his actions, I would probably have a dad right now. As it is he chose his pride over his kids. He could not admit his mistakes nor take responsibility for them and upon information and belief he has been waiting for his children to once again try to make amends with him.
I cannot imagine as a parent not seeing or talking to my children for any period of time. It would tear me apart and I would do anything to repair our relationship. These are our children, our most precious gifts. We have them in our homes for such a short time and then they move on with their own lives. To not take advantage of every second we have with them is selfish and sad. I have less than two years left before my oldest goes off to college and even though she spends more time in her room then with me, when I do get those few precious moments with her I try to use them wisely and not give her anymore reason to retreat any further into her cave. I truly miss her even when she’s right under my own roof. I am not looking forward to the day she is gone.
I am working with a client right now going through this same issue but she has an infant. You can never get this time back, they grow very very fast. No matter what your issues with your ex or even your children, it’s not worth the time lost watching them grow and hopefully become the adults that we wish them to be. They can only do this with nurturing, love and support from both parents. I understand that is not always possible but if you are avoiding facing your children because you cannot even face yourself, then it’s time to grow up, be a parent and stop depriving your kids of the relationship they deserve.
“We’re taught to expect unconditional love from our parents, but I think it is more the gift our children give us. It’s they who love us helplessly, no matter what or who we are.”
― Kathryn Harrison, The Kiss