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Father's Day Despair

Father's Day 2012 has come and gone, and I feel like shit.

It's mostly of my own doing, but that doesn't change the fact that I had a major depression attack this weekend.

You see, I'm in Idaho.  I wasn't able to make it down this year for Father's Day, and it really didn't hit me until I was on the phone with my kids.

My youngest says "Happy Father's Day, daddy."  I thank him, and tell him I love him.  A few seconds later, he asks:  "It's Father's Day.  Why aren't you here with us for Father's Day?"

And just like that.

Hit by a truck.

I'm still struggling to recover.

Compared to Father's Day last year, I feel I am in a better place.  I have a stable, decent-paying job.  I can pay child support now, and (slowly) catch up from the better-part-of-a-year where I couldn't pay. However, I'm car-less.  I'm struggling to count my pennies (do I save up for a new car or see my kids?  I can't really do both...) and things just feel like they aren't getting better.  I'm still 900+ miles away, and don't see them as often as I need to.

I'm better off than I was, but the label 'deadbeat dad' still looms over me...

I moved to Idaho because of crippling finances.  I've been with my current 'day job' for a year now (Thursday is the 1-year mark), and have been looking at the light at the end of the tunnel for pretty much a year.

I keep walking, keep plodding along... and the light never gets closer.  Always in sight, always a lure to keep pressing on, but never close enough to break through and bask in the light again.

I need to get back on my own two feet.  I need to get financially stable where I can rebuild my life AND see my children.  Phone calls are nice and keep me in their mind, but I need to see them.  Hug them.  Kiss them.  Be present for them.

That, and my ex has a shitty phone.  I can barely understand them when I call her (and she doesn't have internet at home, so Skype isn't an option).

I need to get out of this darkness before it consumes me.  I refuse to succumb, I refuse to stop fighting, but with every day, fatigue builds.

Are there any other dads out there that have gone through a similar situation?

What did you do?

How did you manage?

How did you keep conjuring up the strength to keep pushing, keep fighting, keep from just giving up?

...I could really use an 'ah-ha' moment right now...
Please Share it! :)

17 witty retorts:

Mynx said...

Oh I am so sorry and my heart is aching for you.
I can't give you an ah-ha but I am sending a hug.
You will get to the end of that tunnel and your kids will understand.
I am sure they know just how much you love them

Lady Estrogen said...

My heart aches for you. I cannot imagine how hard that is for you. I've been sitting here trying to think of something to help you but everything costs money. Booo.

Like both having a Tablet or iPad with a minimal plan - at least they can log on & see you all the time.


Sweety Darlin said...

I am sorry to hear that you had a bad father's day! I would like to thank you for at least caring about trying to do better. My ex blames my children for not calling him. He is the adult he knows how to ring a phone and call them. He was a deadbeat for years then took a job as a stocker at Wal-mart to get his child support adjudicated. THEN joined the military and even though he was making more didn't think he should pay more than $250 a month for 2 kids. I never forced the issue because it wasn't about the money it was about stepping up and being a man.

Now my girls are 14 and 17 and he still blames them for his failures. Just remember that even little steps are better than none. Hang in there and it will all get better I have faith for you!

Zombie said...

Hey man, don't take it too hard. Most dads dont even get calls from their kids so look at it that way.

squatlo said...

Brandon, you do what you have to do. During the period where I finally gave up on our marriage and left my wife, I always kept an apartment close enough to be there for my kids if and when they needed a "daddy figure". Stayed involved in their sports and other activities, and can't imagine what it must be like for you to be separated by that kind of distance.
They need to know you, need you in their lives. So whatever you have to do to tighten that gap, do it.
In the meantime, keep your chin up because a lot of us know how much those boys mean to you and know you'll be back in their lives before they know it.
Save what you've written, because it will mean the world to them one of these days.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I'm sorry to hear this, and while I can't relate, I have to second what Zombie said. At least you care, and at least you called. That phone call means more than you could imagine. Just think if you didn't try to talk to them at all. THAT'S a deadbeat dad.

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

It's so awesome to hear how much you care and how hard you are trying. Keep reminding your kids of that when you talk to them and they will understand.

The Management said...

I don't have much to say other than thank you for sharing and that you sound like a truly amazing dad.

Melanie said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom to offer, but I do not. That situation really sucks, especially since there are so many fathers who could give a crap what their kids are doing. It seems like they know you love them and that is huge. Hang in will all work out - hopefully soon!

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Situations like these are so often terrible, I hate to know you're dealing with one! Just keep fighting Idaho. I know, that's not anything worth a shit in regards to advice, but whatever. Things will brighten up, if you want them to and keep trying! I'd say definitely save for the car, I know you miss and love your kids, but seeing them may be easier with a car...

Annabelle Archer said...

I've been a stepmom for the better part of ten years. For the majority of that time Hubs has paid his money and been able to make the twelve hour round trip to bring the kids up to us, doing it again at the end of the weekend.

In the last year we have both lost our jobs. We are stuggling every day and frankly the child support is one of the last things to get handled and more recently not handled in full compliance. Additionally, we can't afford the gas to make that trip and back every other weekend. It eats my husband up. He feels terrible, but at the end of the day he knows his children are fed, clothed, and in good care witht their mom and stepdad. He calls when he can and we have them now for a week, but this is the first time they've been here in almost two months or so.

His children (now teens) know who he is as father and they know he's flawed but they know he loves them very much. They do not doubt that because he makes sure he tells them every chance he gets how much he loves them.

I know you can find ways to let those boys know how much you care, and that will get you all through until there are more opprotunities to be together. You are a caring dad who loves his children and wants to do right by them and they know it.

Karen Ballard said...

Kids love mail, send them a letter today telling them how great it was to hear their voices. You will be gifting them with the power of words. You are a wonderful writer-but even if you weren't they wouldn't care.

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

This is good advice for all parents, not just me.

I send them postcards from the road on a (semi) regular basis, with interesting facts about Montana, Wyoming, Idaho etc. My oldest is 6 and I try to make the writing simple enough where he can use my letters as reading practice. :)

Karen Ballard said...

Kids love getting mail. Send them each a letter today and tell them how great it was to hear their voices. Your gift of the written word has great impact. You do it for us, be sure to do it for them. Caring and gratitude for and about your kids will resonate and make all the difference for when you cannot be there.

Autumnforest said...

This is a process, sweets. Here's what I would tell you - when someone dies, the worth of their life is shown in how much they are missed and what an influence they left behind. That your children want to see you says that you have lived the role of father admirably. If they were indifferent, you should worry. You keep the communication going, you let that desire to be with them fuel your endeavors. To get through very tough times, we often times have to cut off the feelings to get the deeds done that we must do--and then we feel something when we finally arrive at our destination. You can do it. I have never known anyone with more initiative and heart. Your children live your example and they apparently love your example.

Thank, Q said...

My heart dropped when I read what your son said, too. However, you can only do what you can do. They know that you love them and some day, you'll get the chance to be with them often. But, for now, allow how you felt to fuel you into doing even more.

Anonymous said...

How can I find a larger version pic of the man with his head down

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