So even though Ex-Husband and I are no longer together, and we no longer see each other at all ... even though we have zero contact and he hasn't bothered to try and see Teenybop in over a year ...
I still hear the rare tidbit of information about what he's doing ... what he's up to. Not too long after Teenybop and I left him at the end of 2004, I heard that he had a girlfriend already. It hadn't even been a few weeks. It was such a slap to see him with someone new (although I never have actually seen her) ... it was so fast. Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure she was there in some capacity even before I left.
I remember one time when he came over to my house "to see Teenybop" (without the girlfriend, of course) ... and all he did was sit on the floor and let the baby crawl on him, while he talked to me about his family issues. He didn't talk to her or play with her at all. Finally I got annoyed and told him that if he hadn't come to see the baby, he needed to go. I told him that I'd left because I didn't care anymore, not about him or his family, and that if he wanted to see her, he could come. But that I wasn't interested. So he looked at me for a minute, I think he was surprised that I had it in me to be mean to him after all I'd been through with him ... but then ... he got up and left. I remember crying over her; I couldn't believe he could just look at her like that and leave, just walk out on her. Then again, I shouldn't have been surprised, it's not like it was news.
But I digress ...
Maybe a month or two after I heard about the the new girlfriend, I heard that she was pregnant, and I remember praying that it was a boy that she carried. It seemed that Ex-Husband was the proud papa while I was pregnant ... until we found out that I was carrying a girl child. Then it was like someone flipped a switch and simply turned him off. He totally backed off. So I prayed that this second child would be more fortunate than mine had been, prayed that it would be a boy, that it would know a father who loved it instead of walking out on it. And for a while (according to what I heard), that's what happened. The girlfriend had a boy, a son for Ex-Husband. And everything was great.
But I guess having the baby made her grow up some, perhaps more than she had been. Maybe motherhood made her settle down a bit. Next thing I knew, I heard that she was living with her father, and Ex-Husband was elsewhere. Then it was months before I heard anything ...
But the next bit of news, and thus far the most recent, was that the girlfriend is pregnant again. And that's not so bad. What makes it totally heart-wrenching for me is that HE LEFT HER. He's got another girlfriend already ... and another ex getting the replacement-slap. And this will be his third child.
I feel so bad for her ... for Sam. Now she's got a son and another baby on the way, and I'm sure she'll be just as totally alone as I was. Only now ... well now she's ruined in a lot a ways for something big to ever come her way in matters of the heart. She's got two kids, not too mention the legendary weight that I've heard of. Apparently this is a very big girl.
Even that makes me feel sad for her. When I left him, I took a lot of verbal abuse. Stuff about the way I kept our house, about the way I'd been a stay-home wife to him instead of working (even though when I was offerred jobs he'd ask me to turn them down), our sex life ... my weight. He managed to take everything he had praised and loved in me, nearly everything about me that I was proud of, and turn it into a list of faults.
So I can only imagine what she must be feeling, what he's probably putting her through. And on top of that, even more trouble than I can imagine. I was alone when I left, just me and Teenybop. But this girl? She's got two kids to raise. And if his history with me is any indication, she'll raise her kids alone, and without any kind of help from him or his family.
But what makes it so hard for me? Not the idea that she got something I didn't have or anything little like that because I love my life right now. It's stressful, yes, and there's always something going on. But it's peaceful, Boyfriend and I are mostly happy again, Teenybop is doing great and she's doing well in school ... things are good. But the thing that makes this kind of stuff hard for me is the empathy that I can't just turn off.
I want to call her up. Offer to go with her to doctor appointments. Offer to help her with her son, my daughter's brother. Offer to walk her through the process, what she'll have to do to make sure he takes care of the children they made together. But in the end? I don't know how much I can trust her, or the people she hangs out with that were once people I called friends. In the end, I can't trust her enough to help her, not at the risk of my own safety, or that of my own child. All I can do is pray, for the son who is barely born and already abandoned, and for the child in this girl's womb which is not even old enough yet to be sexually identified. Two more little children in this world who will most likely suffer the life that a single mother lives without choice. Two more little children shuttled from one caregiver to another, when all they want is their mother, and she can't be there because she'll work herself to the bone to be able to feed them.
A part of me wishes that I were braver, that I could reach out to this girl without fear. But another part? Well there's a little immature part of me that thinks she's getting what's coming to her for playing with what was mine before I had fully let it go. For being into drugs, for getting herself involved with a married man, for making all the choices that women hate other women for making. And for being silly enough to come up pregnant the first time even though she didn't want kids with him, not to mention this second time.
But that second part of me truly is very small, and mostly I just wish I could help her.
What a sad world we live in, huh?