Denial is like poison. I hate it. The worst part of denial is that searing pain you feel when you realize that you have been in it for some time. And denial is like a turd in the punchbowl at the prom. This should be the happiest time in my life. And yet I feel like I have been poked with a sharp stick as I sobered up today and had to face reality.
OK, so I am divorced and have been for almost nine years. During that whole time I was in denial about my children. I thought they were doing fine. I thought they saw at least one small positive about the whole ordeal. They are very much like me in one aspect: they can BS with the skill of an academy award winning actor. I guess they inherited that from me. I spent most of my life never being completely honest with anyone, much less myself.
So I am getting married in less than two weeks. I tried to make myself believe that this new blended family would work. That way I could feel happy about the collaboration of some very wounded and dysfunctional people.
Granted, I can deal with the fact that my soon to be stepson hates my guts. And I can even deal with the fact that my soon to be stepdaughter is being ruined by my soon to be wife. My lady love has yet to learn how to be a parent first and a friend second. And that type of relationship is scarring her daughter for life. But that is another story.
Today I had to come to terms today with the fact that my own children are shunning me. Maybe I am a bad father. Maybe they just don’t know how to process the fact that their dad is getting remarried. Maybe they have never really been able to communicate with me. If that is the case, the problem lies with me. I am the man, like Nathan the prophet said to King David.
I love my son more than any man on this planet. He is in another state doing an extremely amazing thing today. And I had to hear about it second hand through my daughter. I called him last night but he never returned the call. My daughter reached him successfully. Thank God for caller ID. That way we can let anyone we don’t particularly like go straight to voice mail. I asked him to be my best man at the wedding. He has yet to even call me to discuss the wedding. I hope he makes it. Because I’ll rent a best man or have my future step son (see above) be my best man. And that would be the saddest thing of all.
My daughter is my pride and joy. But she hasn’t been happy in a very long time. I had lunch with her today and I actually cried as I drove back to work. When did I lose her? Where did my little girl go? Did I ever have her, or am I completely full of crap? She shows so much tension towards my soon to be wife that I guess we will just see each other twice a year, Christmas and her birthday. I am between a rock and a hard place. I was told once that women try to pick someone who is just like her father. Will she end up with someone with whom she can have a true, honest, intimate relationship? Because if she picks someone like me, she will be screwed.
A new chapter in my life will begin soon. As I look back, I see a house that has been left in ruin and once connected inhabitants who have gone various ways in the winds of this world. And it hurts to see an empire in dilapidation. And now I take to myself new members and begin again. I feel old and tired. My wife will need strong leadership and a committed superhero husband. But I feel like she will get a false smile and rehearsed lines in order to keep a happy household. I love her, a lot! And if loving her means that I lose my children, then I briefly frown at God and yet still trust Him that He has this whole thing carefully thought out. I rely on God to take care of my children. I miss them so much, even though they are always within earshot. And I feel like I am watching them slip though my fingers. But the truth of the matter is that they haven't been in my palms in a very long time. I have been in denial. And I hate that realization.
Let the wedding come and let the new chapter in this already amazing life begin!