In about two weeks I will be heading back home to spend some time with my two oldest children. I have three children total. My youngest, who is four, lives with me and my wife. My oldest two (my 14-yr-old boy & 11-yr-old girl) live with my ex-wife full-time. Because I live so far from them (more than a continent away) I see them about once a year. Since I am moving back to the States I hope to see them more. The last time I saw them was thirteen months ago.
My children are blessed to have a stepfather. He seems to be a good man. I am glad for their sakes that they live in a "nuclear family unit" even if it's not the one they were born in. Yesterday, while scanning the web for info on my kids, my wife found a photo of my son (her stepson) in his local newspaper which referred to him as his mother's and stepfather's son. Only a small slight to me. However, added up, the slights do tend to hurt.
For a long time after the dissolution of my first family, I mourned the loss of my kids especially because their 3 and 5-yr-old hearts had to endure not only a once secure world suddenly turned insecure without explanation, but also because they began to see their daddy negatively. The pain and suffering they have had to endure has been the hardest for me to bear. What parent likes it when his or her child suffers innocently?
But for today--just today--I am allowing myself to be sad for MY loss. I, too, have lost much. I, too, have suffered the loss of my children's affection through no fault of theirs or mine (I'm not dismissing my responsible part in the break-up of my first marriage. I'm blaming parental alienation). I miss not being able to have a normal conversation with them because I may say something which is misconstrued and passed along and brings about harm. I miss hearing my kids tell me they love me. They used to tell me. They don't anymore. It's one thing to have suffered through a divorce. It's another thing altogether to then lose the affections of innocent children who know no better. For the loss of these two once loving relationships I mourn. I am sad.
Don't get me wrong; I know how lucky I am compared to many other targeted moms and dads. At least I get to talk to my kids once a week. At least I get to visit them on rare occasions. I am very very blessed because I have so very much. But still I am sad for the loss. I am sad for the hollow carved out of my soul which renders me hypersensitive as I pass the toy section in a department store. I am sad for the homework I've never had the opportunity to help with--even when I shared almost weekly visitation with my kids. I am sad for my wife--who had so much to gain as stepmom, but never has. There are many blessings I have in my life. I do not deny them. Nor where they come from. For right now though, I am simply sad at the loss of what were two of my greatest blessings.