Fun with Skype!

Another super fun thing that I get to look forward to is these endless Skype calls. Twice a week. Forever. Being forced to hear the voice and see the face of the person my body responds to as ‘husband’. I hear his voice, and feel that terrible, wonderful recognition of a place that I ache for, but can never go back to.

It feels like home.

It feels as though somehow, his warm tones will wake me from this terrible, 11 month long nightmare, and the man and the home my heart have been aching for is right there in front of me.

My mind knows that no such place exists anymore. Not the man, not the building, and not the concept. There is no more safe haven. And thinking about it now, it occurs to me there never really was. But my heart is pierced through anyway by its  recognition of the cool, shadowy porch and the welcoming front door of a place that is no more.

It makes me feel like a person in the desert dying of thirst that sees a mirage of an endless oasis, replete with glimmering pools of cool, clear water. It’s another cruelty for the cruelty pile, I guess. I’m amassing quite a collection. Can I turn my cruelty chips in for, like, a dinner at the buffet at least? No? Damn.

It’s quite a thing to ponder the specter of love that lingers there without my permission.

It’s quite another to have to hold the camera so he can watch the babies he bailed on through a cold, lifeless plexiglass screen.

I don’t care what the modern wisdom is. I don’t care what anyone thinks. Skype is not something that should be seen as a replacement for a legitimate parenting relationship with children. He’s trying to normalize something that should never have to be normalized for them. This is nothing more than a lazy, weak man who just wants to have his cake and eat his stripper, too. There’s no easy button, Honey. LOVE SHOWS UP. And you’re nowhere to be found.

I’m ‘raising’ you via a couple Skype calls a week. You’re ok with that, right, Little Buddy? Oh, good! Thanks, little bro. I’m so glad you understand that this was so important for daddy. I mean, yah, you won’t have a dad present for, well, any part of your day to day life….or you know, have one of your parents ACTUALLY raising you, but this is cool, huh? It’s cool that I moved across the country to follow my desires, right? Because as a daddy, I know the most important thing is that my kids consider my feelings, and stuff their own needs down like adults are supposed to do. This is just what you do as a kid, buddy! You man up to be there in support of your daddy. Wait, I think I may have that backward…

When I feel like I’m losing my composure during a Skype, I try to talk myself through each minute of it until it’s over. I soothe myself with kind words, like a mother to a child. It’s all I can do to hang on through these torture sessions. So I tell myself…

It’s not real, babygirl.
That’s not your husband.
He’s a phony, ok?
Just don’t look over.
Try to tune out his voice.
Don’t cry.
Don’t you dare.
It’s for the kids, babygirl. They have the right to know their father.
Breathe.
I’m so sorry this is your father, babies. I’d never say that you, but I am just so deeply sorry that he is this person. I thought he was a different person. I thought he was a good person. I really did.
I’m so sorry that this is our life now, my loves.
Just a few more minutes now.
Take a deep breath.
Try to just focus on the kids and act like you don’t give a good goddamn about his existence. Ok?
You’re doing great.
I’m sure it’ll be over soon, and then you have 5 more days before you have to do this again, ok sweety?
You can make it 5 more minutes, can’t you?
Make a fist.
Dig your nails into your palms.
Don’t. Bleed.
Just get through one more painful humiliation of holding the camera in servitude to this imposter…

And this is how I get through each and every Skype call without calmly delivering a series of expletives about the kind of man he is into the camera and throwing it against the wall to shatter into a million shards of sweet relief. I’ve come close. Very close. But the babies, they see everything. And I cannot show them this. So I take a ball of pain and rage the size of a 747 and I fold and bend it and stuff it down until it fits inside my torso, and I hold the damn camera, and I silently pray for life to stop hurting so much that I can’t see straight.

3 thoughts on “Fun with Skype!

  1. You should have done more research on the prospective mate BEFORE you married him or her. There are always signs that the other person will turn out to be a poor mate. It can be Pride, Fickle, will not tolerate others opinions, has no christian principles, without compassion, a “me first” person not ready to share. does not like to work, etc. When I said “I DO” over 55 years ago, I never thought that at 82 I would have to be my wife’s caretaker because she is practically disabled with short gut syndrome and the children with their own families spread all over the country. That is PRINCIPLE, to stick to your promise for better or worse!

    Like

    • When I first read this comment, I became immediately defensive. But then I realized that a) I do blame myself for being blind to his character defects, b) I will blame myself for the harm that will come to these children as a result of that blindness, and c) I now know I am emotionally incapable of another romantic relationship because I was incapable of seeing any of this coming and so the trauma of the total blindside wrecked me for good.

      There’s nothing you or anyone else could say to alleviate that guilt, so why should I be bothered that you’re simply in agreement with me?

      Here’s the problem with your logic.

      You presuppose that people can be evaluated and researched in advance of being married, as though these defects will simply show up and we can say ‘Aha! I’m outta here’. Problem is, in every new relationship, people are on their best behavior. Present themselves in the best light possible. And, I liked what I saw. I LOVED what I saw. Once we were married, I saw the laziness and selfishness, but I was MARRIED. I don’t believe in abandoning marriage. I was in it for life. I would have fed him with a spoon to his final days on earth, and shouldered unimaginable burdens out of a desire to please God and to honor my vows. I didn’t leave this marriage, he did.

      There are a lot of people like you out there, who are quick to coldly lay blame upon those who have been tricked and lied to by the people they loved and trusted the most in the world. I’ve seen it on other blogs, in the comments section of Huffpost articles, you name it. People in the throws of the worst agony conceivable are told ‘You’re an idiot! How could you not see this coming!’ It’s pretty infuriating and heartbreaking to say the least. And, while I fully understand that sharing my life with the world in this way opens me up to both positive and negative criticism that I must be ready for, I have to say…

      Walk a mile in someone’s shoes before you presume to know what it’s like to have your spouse look you square in the eye, smile, and say “I love you, Honey! You’re the best wife in the world!’ while they are secretly betraying you and preparing to abandon you and their own children.

      WALK. A. MILE.

      Liked by 2 people

      • This person above is applying their values to other people. The assumption that you can see this goes on the basis that terrifying sociopaths have no way of cloaking their inner crazy. But they do. Their insidious deception is part of their make up. Just as you think it’s unthinkable… they think it’s totally legit and normal to plan a double life. Great response. It’s easy to say every apple is an apple if you have never seen an orange.

        Liked by 1 person

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