Disappointment.It appears that I'm going to use this group as an outlet. Hopefully I'm not making a pest of myself by doing so..
Today, I received paperwork from the Child Support office in my ex's state assuring me that my case against him had been approved. I don't know exactly what that entails but it prompted me to go check out what he's been up to on the social networking site he frequents. It doesn't bother me anymore to see him going on about his life as if he doesn't have a child, but it's never a good feeling either. I guess I wondered if he had already been contacted and admitted to paternity, so I scouted him out there to look for hints, but I didn't find anything.
The odd thing that struck me though, was that he seemed so normal. So kind. Not unlike some of the people I've met here on EP. Just a regular, average person. And it's hard to reconcile that image with the reality of the situation. But it is what it is. I don't think he's actively "pretending" to be something he isn't. I guess that's just his escape and he uses it effectively. You wouldn't think a negative thing about him if you met him there and if I didn't know better myself, I would likely assume that he would be a wonderful, doting dad if he ever let on that he had children.
I guess you never really do know about a person online. His duplicity used to make me so angry, but now, I guess I'm beginning to see it as a self defense mechanism. He knows the truth but he isn't ready to face it for better or for worse. It's easier to bury it and exist in a fantasy, virtual world where he isn't a deadbeat dad.. just a "good guy" who's down on his luck. And I realized today how fortunate I am that he is no longer in my life.
Facing facts, he'll probably never pay child support without the state having to choke it out of him. She may be halfway through her life before he decides to get his act together and try to make amends for a lifetime of lost memories and neglect. I've no doubt that she'll wonder about him but it may be better that she never see him as he is today, drug and alcohol dependent. And even though she'll miss out on having a father, it may be better that she never has to go through hearing the empty promises and knowing that she wasn't important to him on a regular, in-her-face basis like so many other children do.
It doesn't feel good.. and this is going to be an ongoing process for me of releasing my "right" to have a great dad for my little girl. Some days will be more difficult than others and I will never have all of the answers. But I at least I know the truth and I'm willing to face it despite it's ugliness.
I sincerely pray that someday, he can do the same..