DISCLAIMER: Mentioning Will in Cocktails With Hemingway exacerbates an already precarious situation. How do I tread that fine line? Appearing ‘too soft’ on him sends the message that I’m making excuses for his deplorable behavior or leaving the door open for a reconciliation of some sorts. Both of these are completely false. Conversely, if I drag his name through the mud, I am no better than him. My refusal to lower myself to that sort of behavior speaks volumes about my integrity. Not only is it counterproductive to launch a character assassination on him but it detracts focus from what is most important– bringing Adam home. I work diligently to keep Will from dominating my posts.. Let me be the first to tell you how difficult that is. I could easily create a blog devoted solely to my estranged husband– there’s no shortage of overwhelmingly negative emotions– yet I can no longer suppress my feelings.
One of our few family photos: Adam's 3rd birthday.
Last week I discovered Will took a one-way Greyhound to San Diego where he is now living with ‘friends.’ He blew off a visit with Adam, gave the Salvation Army some sob story to obtain his ticket, and told the CPS worker he was turning himself into jail. Nobody’s heard from him since.
Thanks to Facebook, the entire world can see that Will did indeed arrive safely in San Diego. His default picture shows him highly intoxicated and the images and statuses he post reference alcohol and partying. I’m not surprised. Not even the brazen nature of his virtual display shocks me. What I wasn’t expecting was for him to leave the county to engage in such debauchery. By doing so he effectively threw in the towel when it comes to the court battle for Adam, abandoning him completely with his decision to leave. And I doubt he’ll ever come back.
My heart’s not broken, at least not in the traditional sense. It is our precious children who have the broken hearts. I attempt to absorb their pain fully so they never have to feel it. These are not my tears I cry, they are Adam’s and Tatum’s. The thought of our innocent kids being hurt– by their own parent nonetheless– fills me with an overwhelming despair.
My cousin's wedding in spring '11
How can anyone abandon their children? These past few weeks I’ve spent away from Adam– sacrificing one child to save another– have been hell on earth without my baby boy. Despite all the joy surrounding Tatum’s birth and first three weeks of life, I was acutely aware of every second of Adam’s very conspicuous absence. Abandoning a traumatized, sad, confused, angry, child to travel 200 miles north to pursue partying? Deplorable doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Knowing that my son’s not being visited by either of his parents during this time is heartbreaking. My rage towards Will is completely justifiable but I won’t allow it to consume me. How dare he? After this awful nightmare he created, he suddenly jumps ship leaving me in the wake of his destruction. Adam and Tatum are not pawns and this is not a game.
He didn’t even bother to call his Aunt regarding Tatum’s birth. That’s one memory I’ll never share with her. Does he somehow cope by pretending she doesn’t exist?
Gone are the days of ‘justifying’ his poor parenting behavior with his addiction to drugs and alcohol because I don’t feel sorry for him anymore. He is an addict who needs serious, long-term rehabilitation yet refuses it. What more can anyone do? People on both sides of the family have done everything in their power to get him into treatment. We can only do so much. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.
My first pregnancy was filled with glee.
Never again will I make the mistake that cost me my son: no third chance exists for Will. He’s a con artist who weaseled his way back into our lives and I was foolish enough to believe his empty promises. As if opening the door to the chaos that is Will wasn’t enough….I stupidly followed him across the county upon discovering I was pregnant….leaving behind everything I knew and everyone I loved. Even worse, I let a two week window where I could have left California with Adam lapse because Will begged and pleaded for the chance to “be civil adults who are close friends and co-parents.” I have no one to blame except myself for these egregious errors and I profoundly regret them every day.
Monumental are the ways in which this entire family– and especially Adam– have been ruined by Will. Past damage is irreversible yet the future lies in my hands. I will not allow him to infiltrate our lives again. Will and I will never ‘co-parent;’ there’s no possible way for us to be friends or even communicate; I’m renewing the order of protection after December 2014; our divorce is pending; child support will be paid for Tatum, eventually, Adam too; he doesn’t deserve my forgiveness; I don’t have an ounce of pity for him; I’ve stopped trying to understand him; and I finally understand that the father of my children will never be Daddy or my loving husband. Case closed. Time to pick up the pieces and rebuild our lives. We deserve better.
Earlier I spoke of my overwhelming despair. Now I must make it my mission to seek its antithesis– hope. Three words best define my little family: love, strength, and resiliency. The Reeds are surrounded by love. My faith is unshakable and my own strength never ceases to amaze me. Even my children, with less than five years between them, consistently demonstrate how strong they are too. Our resilience ensures not only our capacity to survive, but to thrive. It is an honor to be Mommy, Daddy, and everything in between to Adam and Tatum.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,