Is The Hurt Worth It?

wallThe Teenager found out that his dad has spent the New Year in America.

Today. Two days later.

I only heard this from The Teenager through texts. His dad has yet to call me to explain his change in circumstances – which, if social media is to believed, goes back months and may involve a permanent move.

It takes two parents to raise a child, no matter what the circumstances. Right?

Our house is furnished entirely from Gumtree bargains and cast-offs. The goodwill of friends have enabled me to paint my kitchen and given me my bed. And The Teenager’s.

For the last 17 years, planning my working day has taken on Herculean proportions; lists, more lists and bagfuls of stuff. Even working in a low-paid, dead-end job meant endless mornings of rousing The Teenager at 5.30 am and taking him to my mum’s house, handing over his school uniform and a sleepy child.

Working with a child meant low paid jobs and always being available for the latest crisis – nits, bullying, Parents Evening as the perennial lone parent. This is precisely why I took on low paid work. There was no alternative.

Meanwhile, The Teenager’s father, unencumbered with childcare, or indeed raising a child, rose swiftly through his chosen profession. The Teenager’s room at his house in London wasn’t his room, it was a spare room, his toys pushed away under the bed in plastic boxes between visits.

And now, while I have been renting a cottage for 12 years (after spending the first four years of The Teenager’s life in penury at my mother’s house) and hoping for continuity for The Teenager, I┬álearn that not only does his father own a flat in London, and has built a house in the Carribean, he has also made plans to move to America.

I used to ignore the blinding obvious. We both stood up in court – me having fled with our son, aged 10 months. I left the house. Big mistake. He had a brilliant barrister. But it was only later I found out just how big a mistake this was.

What can I say to The Teenager? Simply, the truth, no matter how much money, no matter which exotic locations, the absolute joy of bringing him up will always usurp that. I am blessed. Me and The Teenager have been through turbulent times, but we have always got through them with love and support.

For me, that is priceless and beyond compare. I remember telling The Teenager’s father I had been diagnosed with MS, four years ago. He swore he would help out more, be there through the hard Campath times.

You guessed it, it didn’t happen, if anything, contact has became even more sporadic, until it’s petered out to nothing.

Despite it all. The upset. The rage. My focus is upon The Teenager.

It has always been and always will be.

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6 thoughts on “Is The Hurt Worth It?

  1. This sounds ghastly for both of you and The Teenager

    If you are unable to get him to see reason then I rhink your only avenue is through the courts. As they say it takes two to tango.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Those days have gone – I’m just glad I’ve brought up The Teenager as well as I could. He’s been part of this post and read it before it was posted – sometimes it is good to bring things out into the open.

  2. You are a good parent. He seems not to be. Your son will remember this. The pain is always worth it, I think.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I think you’re absolutely right. He’s a wonderful kid and I’m so proud of him. We’ve just had a chat about the post and both agree that all this will make him stronger.

  3. Annie says:

    Wow, incredible, he will never know what he’s missed out on … i always try to make my girls see that a big house and fancy holidays mean nothing. It’s the other stuff that really matters, like what you and your son have! Here’s to a great 2017. So far I’ve avoided wine and crappy food lol!! 2 days, let’s see how long these good intentions last?

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Very true – it really is the day to day stuff that builds a parent-child relationship.
      I’ve also tried to be healthy for the last week as feeling the effects of Christmas! Can’t see it working out …

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