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Xerxes

Loss of Child, Girlfriend & Father

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Xerxes   

I'm struggling to deal with a series of losses, and what I can't articulate to anybody face to face I'll just leave here. 

As the title alludes, I have been tasked with accepting the loss of major people in my life over the last 6 months. Every loss has its own complexities, but ironically they are all intertwined. Grieving has monopolized most of my time the last 6 months, and I've hit a breaking point in my ability to keep myself together any longer. 

 To begin, I grew up with an absent father. My parents were divorced by the time I was 6, and he moved out of state and never looked back. I can recall him calling once when I was in middle school and how disturbing that was. Of course I was excited, but the realization that I was actually "missing out" on having a father in my life sat on me like a ton of bricks. It made me realize what I was lacking by not having him in my life, but my age allowed me to be excited about the possibilities. That was short-lived because he never called again until I was a Junior in college. By that point I had given up the ideology that he would ever be "dad" to me in the traditional sense, but I left the door open for a potential relationship. Again, a short-lived moment because he proved quickly that he wasn't willing to be forthright (even after all these years) and the pain of him just pacifying me with lies was harder to endure than not having him at all. The last conversation we had, in anger I told him " F*ck You, I don't ever want to talk to you again." 

Growing up as a male without a father, you have curate your ideology of manhood from different segments of society because there is no clear blueprint on "how to be a man." And unfortunately most of what you collect are ideologies of masculine stereotypes and what men are "supposed" to be. I've adopted plenty of the stereotypical " Im a grow A** man" stereotypes at one time or another, but more often I created a blueprint of what I didn't want to be, in order to try to become who I wanted to be...as a man. Most of which was the exact opposite of my father...Be a good husband and be a great father. Simple enough, but a monumental task when you have no examples.

Fast forward, at 29 I find myself in a serious relationship with a woman that was much different from most of the women I had dated up until this point. I'll admit, I'm attracted to sweet, innocent, religious women. However, this woman was none of those things. She was thoroughly "experienced" in sex, she was cut-throat and had no interest in organized religion. It was different, but I enjoyed her for her differences (at first) and was curious enough about her to play it out. As time went on I felt as if I was falling deeper and deeper in love, but she never followed suit? About 5 months in we had a disagreement about something that had been troubling me, and she offended me by making light of my circumstance. Now rather its wrong or right, when I'm hurt I can often retreat. So I remember telling her I didn't feel like talking about it anymore and stated I was going to hang up, and I did. What followed was no contact for 3 weeks...I didn't want to break up, but I wanted her to realize that what she said was low and I felt as if I deserved an apology. I wanted her to take initiative for once and show she cared enough to go out of her way and pick up the phone to call and say "Sorry." It eventually took me reaching out to her about something trivial to open a dialogue about what happened 3 weeks prior. Long story short, we miscommunicated and decided that the misunderstanding wasn't a cause to end our relationship. So as most reconciling couples we met, made up and confirmed the deal with make-up sex the following evening.  Here's where things get complicated...during the 3 week break she lived life as though she were single. She slept with a long-time friend with benefits, she went on a date arranged by the local newspaper and for the grand finale, the night after we slept together she was en route to puerto rico with a 4th guy she was involved with. Mind you, she told me none of this prior to sleeping together and I didn't think to ask as it had only been three weeks. When I text her the next day ( Valentines Day 2014) just to have general conversation I realized my text wasn't being delivered. Hours later I got a text reply that said " Im out of town this wknd, I just need to clear my head." Moments after I see beach photos from puerto rico via her instagram.

Upon her return is when the narrative of everything that happened the last few weeks came to the forefront. She explained away everything with " we were broken up" though I never officially said I wanted to break up, I just wanted to get off the phone for the night. She didn't have any remorse for any of her actions, even when I tried to highlight that her activities were a bit excessive in 3 weeks time. The puerto rico trip was justified as needing to get away and the guy she went with was just a "friend." I didn't believe it, but I loved her more than accepting what I thought was true.

Eventually we got to some sense of normalcy, but I would often question her about the guy from Puerto Rico. Where did he come from, how do you know him, you swear you didn't sleep with him? I often convinced myself I was being paranoid but there were occasions where they'd interact via social media and he had "passed through" town on his way to another destination and they had breakfast. A breakfast in which he gifted her a hammock (puerto rico memorabilia) and she documented the moment with a sappy quote on instagram about how she regretted to see him go. When I confronted her about how disrespectful that was to me, and how it seemed more than a friendship she hesitated for multiple seconds and unconvincingly said "no"- I never believed it...but again, I loved her more than the pain of the truth. As a the next year passed, we found ourselves in the Bahamas for my best friend's wedding- Valentines Day 2015. I thought we finally had gotten over the baggage of the past, and the next few months were bliss. That April, we found out she was pregnant.

I was immediately terrified, but I was also secretly excited. I finally had a chance to become a father with a woman I was in love with....we created life together and we were going to be great parents. The only problem is, she always said she was never 100% sure that she wanted to have kids. Well, that less than 100 turned to 0% moments after 3 positive pregnancy test. Without hesitation she got up, went to her room, called planned parenthood to schedule an abortion for the next day. No emotion, no remorse for what she was about to do our child and me. I begged and pleaded with her to change her mind. I stayed up crying all night at the guilt that she was going to murder the very thing I had worked so hard to get a chance at- Fatherhood. No the situation wasn't ideal- We weren't married, she hated her job and we weren't living together, However, I never doubted that we could figure it out. But my confidence meant nothing and the next day as much as I disagreed, I went to the abortion with her. She never cried, she never showed emotion- she simply said " I know you probably hate me and I'm ok with that." - What an odd thing to say...Later she blamed the abortion on her lack of confidence in our relationship, my abilities as a man and the fact that I should've known she didn't want to have kids.So i took it...the guilt, the pain and the disappointment. I blamed myself and wallowed in not being good enough. Instead of walking away, I was determined to prove to her I was good enough.

2 months later she took a job out of state, and over the next year I would unselfishly support her in her endeavors, and bury the grief and anger that she killed our unborn child. I drove hundreds of miles, multiple times in the middle of the night to comfort her when she was lonely. I stayed in on weekends to have facetime dates, and every single day she was the first person i talked to in the morning and last person before I went to sleep. I didn't like the situation, especially on the heels of needing to heal from the abortion, but I sacrificed my personal feelings to support her goals and not to hinder her in anyway. After all that, she planned her exit strategy. At the end of march on a visit with her, she supposedly became suspicious of an email exchange between my ex and I. Quick context- my Ex was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and the exchange was getting her health updates and exchanging prayers. On my visit, she hacked my email via my phone as well as retrieved my Ex's number while I was asleep on my last night there. The following morning we made-love, spent the day in bed and had a serious conversation about her moving in in June when she returned- Totally oblivious to what had happened while I was asleep. 2 hours after leaving i received multiple back to back calls from my Ex until I finally answered based on the apparent urgency. Once I answered, I found out my girlfriend had called my Ex to clarify the status of our relationship and interrogate her about my fidelity. My Ex shut the conversation down and explained nothing was going on and she needed to talk to me. Once I finally talked to my girlfriend I was livid..but just as confused as to what was happening. She was attempting to craft a narrative that I was unfaithful but the allegations weren't adding up, but she seemed to be settled on the exit. Mid conversation she hung up, blocked me and I haven't heard from her since. 

Shes now in a new relationship- remember the guy from the Puerto Rico trip...yep!

Now for the finale...in August i received a call notifying me that my father passed. I had often entertained what that day would be like and how I would feel, but it wasn't until the funeral that actually experienced how I would actually feel...Sadness and self-hate. I guess I always thought before he died I'd have my moment of justice. My look at me, I'm a better man, father and husband than you...and I did it all without you. Instead I judged myself and resolved I had nothing to show for the man I said I would be. The person I had tried so hard not to be like, I felt that we were exactly the same. Although he had many mourners at his funeral, he died unmarried and with 5 estranged kids (im the oldest). It was in that moment that i became terrified. Im only 30 but had the tough realization that the woman I loved didn't deem me worthy enough to be her husband or the father of her child.- I am no better of man than him.

The culmination of these 3 situations has completely emasculated me. My idea of manhood has been completely debunked and I'm having serious trouble letting go of these people...not only for who they are, but for the potential that was never realized. I know that I have to move on from grieving them, but it makes it hard when you feel like you got short-changed and never got your return on investment. 

I understand that life & people owe us nothing, but that doesn't make it any easier. Thanks for reading

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Xerxes,

I am so very sorry about the struggles you have been through. I am no expert, but I think perhaps some professional help would be a good idea for you because it will help you sort out what you are feeling and how to move forward from all the devastation. 

Lots of us got short changed on things and never got a return on investment. It does make it tough and admittedly does create some bitterness, but, well, I've found that when I let the "what ifs and wish I'ds" go, I can be happier. 

You sound like a fine person, and it's so rotten that you had to meet a woman who sounds very selfish and self-serving. I hope you meet a real woman one day who cherishes the thought of having your child and growing old with you. 

We will be here for you,

ModKonnie

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