They do not live with me

SkyThe guilt is the worst.

A momentary thought of joining the rest of the softball team for pizza and beer after the game turns into guilt. Noticing a man at the pool and thinking next weekend turns into guilt. Wondering if rock climbing still happens on Thursdays turns into guilt. Remembering the days of watching the news while reading blogs before showering and dressing for work turns into guilt. Considering the selection of frozen dinners turns into guilt. Thinking about where they are going? Off the charts.

There are four more breakfasts together before we load the car and make the drive to meet Donkey. We will hug and kiss, and then the kids will get in Donkey’s truck to finish the drive back to life with him.

There are four more lunches together before nap time is a single affair, and not a cuddled family snuggled under the blankets, hiding from the sun and giggling until yawns close eyes and sweet slumber blankets the room.

There are four more dinners together before I retire the stove and use the dining room table for storage. We will eat and laugh and talk of our days. We will set the table together and clean up together and decide together what to do together.

There are four more nights of mommy whispered twice by two kids standing bedside in the dark of night.

I got used to them being in my home again. They do not live with me. I must again get used to them being not in my home. I will not walk through the door to screaming joy. It will be dark, and quiet. As I fight the pain and the anger, I am pounded again and again with the horrific memories of my time with Donkey. I am remembering things I wish not to remember. I am under constant attack. This is a triggering week. This is our last week together. It hurts. Life will return, as will the quiet and the solitude.

It is what it is. I am no different from every other other parent out there. I absolutely fucking hate it.


  1. I don’t like that they’re leaving. I do like that you’ve had time to make memories with them and cuddle and kiss. I don’t like donkey and I don’t like how returning them to him makes you feel. I hate it too. But there’s been a cosmic shift. There must have been. Hang on to that. Feed off of that. Draw from it when needed. Reject donkey’s shitty vibe as much as possible. You have the upper hand even if not on paper because you’re better than he is. Keep moving forward, Melanie.

    1. You are right that there has been a shift. I feel it. Perhaps it’s simply time working its magic, or perhaps his grip is slipping. Either way, I feel it in my core. I am stronger, and I was able to give the kids a wonderful summer full of love, laughter, and dirt. That he can’t have.

      1. That’s the way to do it!

  2. denmother is right. You are better than he is. Unfortunately, its not much comfort being the better, bigger, nicer, kinder, more aware person when you have to let your kids go.
    Remember, we are all here for you – thinking of you – cheering for you – crying with you. Just keep your chin up. It won’t be like this forever.

    1. Thank you. It’s hard, really really hard, because I want them with me all the time every day, and that isn’t the way it is. I have to accept that while I work to change it. And I will change it, someday.

  3. merbear74 · · Reply

    I knew this was coming, and I am sick over it. So sorry.

    1. The closer it gets, the harder it gets.

  4. Le Clown · · Reply

    The guilt is the worst. I’m sorry. And I’ll be here of course.
    Le Clown

    1. Le Clown,
      I am ever so grateful to you for your support (my writing and my life). You are magnificent™.

  5. I can so relate. This is the first time my son won’t be coming back to my house to start school, after summer visitation with his dad. My heart is breaking, and I feel your pain. Hugs to you!!

    1. I’m sorry you can relate. There are so many of us in this position together, though, I think, probably fewer mothers than fathers. I hate being the “non-residential” parent and the end of summer just hits that home all that much harder.

      1. I just signed the papers today, to give residential custody to my son’s dad. I am a bit comforted in the fact, that he is a good dad. I know you are not so lucky, so I am sure it causes even more angst.

        1. I imagine that helps, knowing his father is a good father, but I doubt it makes it any easier.

  6. I think this, the chaos for you and your children, the feelings of guilt, the upset, the pain, are all cause for waking donkeys today. And by speaking out, you are alerting them to the fact that we. know. who. they. are. *hugs*

    1. Yes! Speak loudly and wake the sleeping donkeys. They cannot continue to rest on the laurels of silence.

      1. Yes! Amen, sister! 😉

  7. My heart is heavy for you and I hope beyond hope that donkey enjoyed his freedom so much he will ask you to keep your children. Always here if you need to chat. xo

    1. Zoe, thank you. It means so much to know I have people I can go to to talk.

  8. Don’t know the circumstances..Nor can I relate..But feel so awfully awful for you enduring this type of pain..As a very maternal Mom of now-grown sons; I just can’t imagine what you’re going through..Wasn’t part of my herstory..But I can assure you that your children will recall the MOST from this time? The LOVE you have & give to them…Time spent, quality time, matters more than all of the un-necessary material things. And that goes for all parents..As a woman & mother(Ma/Moms/Mama) I don’t have to have lived your experience to feel your pain as I read your words..Glad you’ve found a way to release by writing..Stay encouraged & blessed!

    1. Thank you kindly. It is the LOVE that I hope sticks in their memory the most.

      1. It will I’m sure of it..Hang on in there & surround yourself with a really good support system of people to give you love also. You’ve got a ton of people on W.P. supporting you also. Hugs!

  9. This really is heartbreaking. I can understand how you are feeling, if not entirely, but I can feel it. I have read most of your posts and believe me, you’ll get the better of donkey, no matter what. I’m here providing you with an attentive ear and understanding heart, Melanie. I am.

    1. Thank you Shreya. One day I do hope to be out from under Donkey’s thumb. It will happen. It is happening.

  10. I’m glad you had this time with them. The time may have been too brief, but I am sure its impact will be broad. They may not live with you but they know they reside in your heart.

    1. Thank you Lisa. They do have permanent residence in my heart. The summer was good for and to us and the memories and the love we shared, I hope, will carry us through until our next time together.

  11. Wring every last droplet of joy out of these last few days. I hope there are more months of bliss to come.

    1. We most certainly will, and have that to hold onto until next time.

  12. I feel your pain in your words. I am so sad for you. Lots of hugs and good wishes.

  13. The memories you and the children made this summer are forever. The ass will never be the wonderful parent you are to the children.

    1. Thank you Ivonne.

speak loudly, donkeys are sleeping

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