A month after I moved in with Jackie, I finally got the chance to set up my computer on a corner of her desk in the spare room. After time consuming gymnastics, where we moved the desk around and tried to get the wiring in some semblance of order I was faced with the reality that my computer had turned into an electronic brick. My hard drive has completely crashed and I fear that I lost my whole history of work and life in the past two years. Unfortunately this came at a very critical point of my existence. I am just battling to keep my head over water personally and financially. I am trying hard not to get the resentment against my boy’s father get the better of me, but today I lost the battle and I experienced a complete meltdown. I am ashamed to say that I called Ron to dump my misery on him.
Ron told me that he has his own blog. I am sure he will have plenty of time and space to spin the story of his victimhood online, but I do not have this luxury. I don’t have the time to keep dwelling on his negative personality traits and the ways he ruined my life with his stingy and self-centered approach to life.
In the end I only got myself to blame. The realities of the person stared me in the face for seven years, until I could take it no more. Three years ago I left him and came to Cape Town with nothing but a suitcase and a few crates of books. But even then he still had the power over me. He spun a tale that my heart believed and I could not break free, not completely. My mind wanted to, but my heart couldn’t. To be honest I wanted to believe, I made excuses for him, to explain why he left his first wife and two children. I turned a blind eye when he complained about the few cents of child support he paid them. I pray for forgiveness every day, because I was indirectly party to this. I never told anyone that when I went ahead with marrying him, he was still technically married to his first wife. I briefly met the woman once, and it wasn’t pleasant. She gave him a piece of her mind, calling him a coward, because he was uncomfortable visiting his children. At the time I just brushed the outburst aside as the ramblings of a foul-mouthed, bitter and jealous female. Now I am thinking otherwise.
Financially perhaps, the first wife had a better deal than me. She had the support of her family, she made a home for her children in a first world country and I do not think she needed to work to make ends meet. For me, things are hard at the moment; I rent a room at a friend’s house and my salary from part-time work just pays for babysitting. Ron’s “generous” maintenance does not cover my other expenses. My computer was my livelihood, it earned me some very good money in the past two years. I invested most of it good naturedly in what I thought was my “reborn” marriage. I will get some of it back later. But whatever I invested in the first seven years is water under the bridge, of course. That includes the salaries I earned working at the garage, which went into my husband’s personal account. He says they paid for the house that I will end up getting, but I doubt that this is the way things work in a divorce. A wife who does not financially contribute ANYTHING is still entitled to half a share. But now I came at leaner times, when the stingy man’s wealth has diminished, and he doesn’t have the promise of a cushy expat retirement in his future anymore. I have to bear the consequences. In time things will improve, I will get money out of the divorce settlement and the sale of our assets. Financially, I will never be rich or even comfortable, but my life as a mom is so much richer and more rewarding.
Ron bargained with me long on the settlement of our divorce. Almost everyone I know tells me that I let him off easy, but I have no desire to waste my time, and sue him for every cent he owes me. I can walk away from the bitter feud, and spend my energies on my little one. Robert made me touch my deepest resources of love and commitment, while the demands of raising him exposed the critical flaws in his father’s soul. He simply isn’t father material. My own fortunate childhood has brought me here, I suppose. Because I was unable to understand that some parents have no qualms in putting their needs first. I did not think for one moment that Ron will turn his back on the chance to be a parent for a second time, because I believed that he regretted doing so in his first marriage.
My life has fallen apart completely, but I can still find strength and purpose in my son. Although at the moment I don’t know how this will be possible, I will turn my life around, for my son. I will give him the life and the childhood he deserves.
His dad can go on with his social life, live for the sole purpose of finding his solitary happiness. He was never happy, and I won’t be surprised if he never gets there. He may go on into a new relationship, but he will keep his egocentric priorities. I will teach myself to stop hurting, and stop caring for his fate. The only part of him that I care about resides in the same room with me.
One day I will re-read the early entries of this blog, where I never stopped singing the praises of a transformed and changed Ron, and I will forgive my gullible stupidity. As I write this I question the wisdom of keeping myself open to him and his family through this blog, when as early as January he started to close up on me, confide with close family and hang out with a constellation of “friends” I know nothing about. Then again I tell myself, I have nothing to hide.
I only ever had one face to show to the world, it is my true face, and my true colours. He is the one who keeps trying to play a part, convince himself that he is somebody brilliant, somebody misunderstood, and just a little bit down on his luck. Some other poor soul will take pity on him, as I did, and this person will be blinded into believing that he hasn’t diserved to reap what he had sown. He can go on doing this, indefinetely if he wants. As for me, I will keep my wounds open to the wind. Better for them to heal, and for the bleeding to stop. In fact, it already has.