adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, divorce, ex spouse, family, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, infidelity, parenting after separation

Putting on a Show

I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning.  My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m.  She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.

My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley.  I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town.  Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.

We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m.  I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation.  My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family.  My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it.  He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others)  My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.

My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other.  My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family.  I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend.   She feels very duped by my ex.  She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie.  She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.

When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open.  Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing.  I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her.  My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot.  He wanted to know who from my family was there.  He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in.  My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.

We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad.  When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention.  He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece.  I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.

It was a proud and emotional evening.  A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada.  He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together.  He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc.  My ex was not a part of any of that.

It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission.  He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.

When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends.  The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance.  She said that he did but he left half way through.  Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.”    I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance.  She is going to remember that he left.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, anger, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, ex spouse, infidelity, Janice Andrews, marriage, separatiion, the other woman

Crappy Dance Dad

Dance competition season is here.

My 13-year old daughter competed on Friday performing her Jazz solo routine.  She came in second place and she won the Spirit Award.  Her dad was a no-show.

Tonight after her competition she asked me, “Was Janice there?”

I said, “I don’t know, was your dad there because I didn’t see him?”  She said, “I thought I saw Janice and it made me almost mess up my tap routine.”

While we were driving home her dad texted her and said, “Were you happy with your jazz routine?”

She texted back, “Did you see it?”

She then told him that if he had been there he would have heard the adjudicators give her individualized, very specific critiques about both of her tap and jazz solo routines. He would have heard that they only hand out 2 prizes, first and second place.  He would have seen her receive the second place award.  He would have seen her receive roses from the judges. He would have learned that first place and second place are now moving on to compete at Provincials.  He would have learned that his daughter achieved one of her goals and desires and is invited to Provincials for the first time in her life.

My daughter was congratulated by so many people.  People were taking her photo and photos of the first and second place winners. Her dad was not one of those people. He texted saying, “I didn’t stay because I just thought there were going to be comments and I didn’t know there were going to be awards.”

I was trying not to express how angry I was by his texts as she read them to me. I could hear her disappointment that her dad might have been there but couldn’t even be bothered to stay until the end. I thought, “I have been with her at dance from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. today and you couldn’t bother to sit through commentary by very prestigious and accomplished judges specifically about your daughter’s dancing ability during her solos?”

Of all the times to bring the other woman because it just makes her look too uninterested to stay and that her dad once again put this woman as priority over her.  My daughter tried to protect her dad and make excuses for him by saying, “He probably left so Janice didn’t have to see you.” I didn’t respond.  I’ve been going through this for 3 years.  I have so much compassion for my daughter right now. I felt her sadness and disappointment. The highest dance honour she has received will be another reminded of her dad’s absence. I don’t need to reason with my child.  She knows the truth. I just vent here instead and her dad just puts more distance in his relationship with her.

I really tried hard not to let her dad’s indifference overshadow her amazing experience.  I took her to get a treat to celebrate and we focused on talking about all the great things that happened today at the competition.  I am so proud of her.  I am so proud of how hard she has worked for this and didn’t give up when she was feeling discouraged about her routine. I am so grateful that I was able to be there to share in her joy and to be part of her life and that she knows that.

We are back at it tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. as my daughter competes in all 3 sessions, morning, afternoon and evening, with her group dances. I am so tired but I am so lucky!

 

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disappointment, divorce, parenting after separation, support

What’s his excuse this weekend?

It is my ex’s weekend to have our younger daughter. So far, he bailed on her Friday night and left her stranded at her dance studio. My older daughter told me he started drinking at the office before he went downtown for dinner (as is the Friday afternoon custom at their office) so he couldn’t have picked her up anyways.

On Saturday afternoon, my 2 daughters and my younger daughter’s friend and me drove up to Nanaimo. My younger daughter is in a dance festival competition. We have already drove up to Nanaimo twice this week for her performances. She didn’t place in her jazz solo but came in first in her musical theatre trio number.  The festival is during the week so I am sure her dad would say he couldn’t be there because he had to work.  Experience is that my ex can skip work for any reason he wants. He chooses what activities or situations he would like to use to not be available to work. This was not a worthy-in-his-eyes reason to not use work as an excuse to miss an important event for his daughter.

On Sunday she has to be there for 8:30 a.m. It is an hour and a half drive, rainy weather forecast, so we opt to get a hotel and go up the day before.  We have a lot of fun. We stop and pick up treat-type food for the trip. The hotel has a pool so we swim, have dinner out, go bowling and go swimming again before bed.

My younger daughter tells me that her dad mentions that he wants to come up and see her and asks when she performs.  She tells me she doesn’t want him there but she gave him all the information.  I am not sure if it is because she thinks he’ll bring his girlfriend, the fact that he left her stranded on Friday or the fact that she doesn’t want to hope he’ll show up because he disappoints her time and time again.

He didn’t show up.

She placed 3rd out of 12 amazing tappers.  I am so happy for her I cried.  It was a very emotional experience for me.  When we went shopping afterwards and for lunch, I would tell people who asked if she was part of the festival (hair and makeup gave it away) that they were talking to a 3rd place tapper.

She texted her dad to tell him the great news.  I am sure he said lots of nice things to her but I can’t help but be so angry at him for not being there for his daughter to celebrate her success or to be there for encouragement if she didn’t place.

I know that I cannot control his actions.  I can only control my response to his actions and this weekend was over-shadowed by my intense hatred for his behaviour. He is missing out on his kids’ life. I am the lucky one and the blessed one to be able to share in their experiences.  This week was really a week of celebration and learning and growth for my younger daughter in performing and adjudication.

A theme of the adjudicator this week was this:  It is only her opinion at this particular moment in time and it is so difficult to judge based on all the unique talent and routines that one is better than the other. However, it is a competition and she has to reward placements or not (some categories may have only received “participation” certificates if she didn’t award them a score deserving of any placement.)  Authenticity is important.  She does not like fake facial expressions and can see in the eyes if those expressions aren’t genuine. The piece of paper awarding you a placement is not the most important aspect of the experience. The adjudication sheet listing comments on how you can improve and the pointed out areas of strengths and weaknesses is the most important information to focus on.

My adjudication to my ex is similar. I have no dance experience or background. Yet, I was able to call the “first place” winner. Some things are just obvious. You, my ex, are a first place loser. Anyone who is aware of your priorities and lack of consciousness over your choices can call that one. You can say all the nice and supportive sounding things you want but authenticity is revealed by your actions. You don’t pay a dime towards her dance classes, her costumes, her festival fees, even though you signed a mediation agreement saying you would be paying for 50% of these fees until our house sells then it goes up to 70%; you don’t show up at her performances; you tell her she has to miss dance classes if it interferes with your schedule of hockey on days you are suppose to pick her up or drop her off and you don’t help with any fundraising or volunteering for her financial benefit. Just my opinion from my direct experience and witnessing over the past 2 1/2 years. But the most important opinion is that of your daughters.

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