...when you find the one - part 3: Voldemort's final appearance
Thomas moved out of his apartment and into mine, in August of 2014. He proposed with a beautiful vintage-style ring, on December 13th; and after realizing we both had the day off, and no desire to not be married, we had a courthouse ceremony on a Wednesday—March 11 2015—Thomas’ 29th birthday. My 30th birthday party, that following May 6, served as our rooftop Manhattan reception.
For my boy's 5th birthday, as per Thomas’ suggestion, I went on my first family vacation—to Disney World—since Las Vegas nearly a decade earlier. This time we included Jari’s husband, toddler, and unborn daughter; Josie’s fiancé and their unborn son; as well as Thomas, my son, and of course my parents. During that vacation, my father—whom had long since stopped being the angry man that I grew up with—thanked Thomas for coming into our lives.
On the following December 13th—while I hadn’t been running nearly as much—I completed my first half marathon: The Frozen Bonsai in Central Park.
We have not seen or heard from Voldemort—a man whom I constantly feared was repeating the same abuse I suffered through his hands, with our own child—since that summer of 2014. It was as if I paid him $3,000 to never hurt us again; and I would have gladly paid more. Thomas and I enrolled my son in the gifted and talented program for kindergarten and first grade. He is doing amazing at home and in school, and has a constant, loving father figure—which has been daddy since the very beginning. I have found the most wonderful man to call my husband; and we are raising our son in a loving home, not angry household.
My dearest son,
Thinking about the things I’d say—the things I’d want you to understand—makes me instantly want to cry. I want you to know that I love you so much—that your beautiful little face, with its bright and sleepy, morning smile, is the best thing I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with you immediately after conception, and even though you don’t see him very often anymore, your father felt the same way.
He is no longer in your life because you deserve better than what he offers you. I will strive to be better so that you never miss him. Yes, he made you with me, but that’s about all the contribution he’s had in your life. He provided for us for a brief period—then left us with the option of either never having enough, or forcing me to find work and leaving you in his care. I’m not sure that was the best choice, but at the time, I needed out of that house. I needed to take responsibility and work for our family. Your father was not the kind of person I would’ve liked to leave you with, but I was in denial and hoped that he was doing things right, while knowing he probably wasn’t.
He would ignore you, while he got stoned, watched porn, played games, ate shit, and let you pretty much do whatever you wanted. This led you to prefer him to me. You liked that you could eat potato chips and candy, and watch video games all day—starved for boundaries and discipline. You didn’t like it when I tried to get you to eat a balanced meal—or when I turned off the TV. You didn’t know I was doing it for your own good. You didn’t know that I was parenting all alone and struggling to do the right things.
Your father is not in your life anymore but you have daddy to take his place; and you’re better off without the relationship you would have had with the former. He loves you and I’m sure thinks of you often, but his influence over you is damaging; and I feel that instead of dragging this on for the rest of your adolescence, I’d rather just cut that cord now and do away with his existence completely.
It hurts me to think of how confused you must be. You loved your father and don’t know why he’s not around; and although a part of him probably relishes the fact that he can go back to being careless with his life, without the guilt of neglecting you—if he ever had any guilt—I know a small part also misses you; but he’s a sociopath, my darling. He’s a liar, and the worst of all liars, because he believes his own lies. He’s damaging to himself and to all of those around him.
I want you to grow up without wanting for anything, so you will have my attention and affection, and you will have daddy’s as well. You don’t need your father, because he will only ever take from you the way he tried to take everything from me. He will never give you anything, my sweet boy. Best thing he could’ve done for you is leave.