I am angry, really, really angry.
I visited daughter #2 today (mother of Zachary, Tanner & Sophie.) Chrissy is now on stress leave . She cried as she told me things were getting to be too much for her. The progression of Tanner’s disease and its inevitable outcome is beginning to take its toll.
Chrissy is a brave, strong woman, but today I saw an emotionally drawn, defenseless young woman. She has filled her life and Tanner’s with almost manic-like activity, but the reality of his disease is catching up with her and I am worried. Chrissy is crashing.
Tanner’s father and Chrissy have been separated for almost two years now and he is as useless as tits on a board. He can not now, nor has he ever been, able to deal with Tanner’s Muscular Dystrophy. He has not been paying his share of childcare expenses, he has not been paying child support regularly and he can’t cope with having the children for an extended period of time. Tanner’s father has had no part whatsoever in the house being refitted to wheelchair accessibility, the van being equipped with a lift, the bimonthly trips to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, the frequent meetings with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, school support staff and so on & so on! He is embarrassed that he has a visibly disabled child. I am surprised Chrissy has held on this long.
My husband and I take the kids when we can and when it works for Chrissy. The distance we live from each other sometimes interferes with visiting. We will have Tanner and Sophie this weekend, so that Chrissy can have some much needed respite.
I guess I am more angry at Tanner’s father than anything. I don’t get how a 45-year old man can be such an irresponsible prick. Why is it that women end up with the short end of the stick. I’ve had a few glasses of wine and I am rambling and I may sound bitter, but when I sit and watch my child weep because she’s had enough it rips my heart out and I want to corner my ex son-in-law and rip his balls off and stuff them in his mouth. I want to say “be a man, love this child, show him and the world that disabilities don’t matter – Tanner’s disabilities are not a reflection of your precious manhood!"
Tanner is the sweetest little man in the world and it tears both me and my husband apart when Tanner wants to play soccer (like his sister) and we have to say “Tanny, you can’t." When Tanner wants to go to the river to walk around and pick rocks (like we used to) and we have to say “Tanner, you can't." What makes it even worse is that Tanner understands what we are saying. Tanner has no friends, he doesn’t have play dates because he’s different and most parents are as cruel as their children. It is fucking killing me and it’s killing my daughter.
Chrissy deals with all of this, alone – yes, she has wonderful, supportive friends and family, but at the end of the day it’s just Chrissy at home, by herself.
I spent twenty years in a profession helping children and families. I advocated and fought for justice for those who could not advocate or fight for themselves. There is nothing in this world that I abhor more than injustice. I always felt that because I was so blessed and my daughters were so privileged that I had a responsibility to advocate for those families and children who were not as fortunate as we were.
But I can’t seem to do anything to alleviate or ameliorate the injustice that is occurring in my family.
I have said my piece, thank you for listening.