I don’t speak to the man who is responsible for 50% of my being, and haven’t since I was 15, so that’s 8 years. I found that bloody hard at the time- inexplicably so, but it was 100% for the best and I don’t miss him or question my decision anymore.
The only thing that does play on my mind occasionally is that, in theory I’m denying Ottilie a grandfather… and occasionally, a tiny little bit, that I’m denying him a granddaughter. That thought soon extinguishes itself though.
As people we definitely have a tendency to project our emotions onto others, so sometimes I picture him (‘him’ because it feels unnatural and wrong to refer to him as dad, or even father) as a sad, lonely man who wants nothing more than to be with his family and is drowning in remorse… rationally, I know that’s absolutely not the case.
We haven’t had any correspondence since my pregnancy. In fact, he found out through his niece who saw something on Facebook. In a nasty way I actually feel smug that he would’ve felt a little stab, finding out that way. He sent a card 1 month after she was born congratulating Freddie and I, saying how beautiful she is and signing off as ‘dad’ which is seems to arbitrary and empty. He said ‘I know we don’t speak but I think about you every day’. Obviously I cried when I read it, but I soon shook off this sudden influx of emotion (and partially put it down to recent childbirth related hormones!) He has asked for O’s bank details through my brother (who still sees him), and has pledged to send her some money (we’ll see).
Part of my responsibility as a parent is to protect Ottie from upset, so much of which he caused me. I do wonder whether he would spoil her, protect her and love her fiercely- he probably would, and I can’t deny that I had the most perfect childhood before the shit hit the fan; but I just cant take the risk and I’m not prepared for the status quo to change, not just for her, but for my sake too.
Sometimes I think about how I’ll explain to O why she has two grandmas and only 1 grandfather. I think I’ll just tell her how lucky she is to have the 3 best grandparents (and great grandparents!) in the world, that she has all she needs, and that many aren’t as fortunate. As she gets older I’ll tell her the whole story, and that it’s up to her whether she wants to speak to him or not. Maybe time and old-age will soften him, the ghosts of his past having chipped away his specious veneer. Hopefully not the opposite- who knows. You’ve got to accept your decisions and live peacefully with them. To quote Khloe Kardashian, ‘let me live!’