Once upon a time, I dated someone who reminded me of a combination of past love interests. I guess that was somehow comforting. I was also drinking a lot of alcohol at the time. I mistakenly interpreted that familiarity as a good sign. Fast forward 12 years and I’m taking care of the child we conceived together…all by myself. I kicked him out when our son was 6 months old. By that time, it was already painfully apparent that he was going to be a terrible father.
I have yet to receive a penny of child support. He must owe me somewhere around $50,000 by now. One of the reasons I started this blog (and I have to remind myself every so often) was to share things I am ashamed of or things that are embarrassing. So, here goes. This is a story that I have not told many people and it is still a painful story to tell.
When Baby Bear was 4 or 5 months old, I left him with his father for a few hours while I went to see a girlfriend of mine who was in town. It was the first time I left him alone with his father for more than a brief time. When I came home later that evening, Baby Bear was sleeping. I knew Baby Bear’s eating and sleeping schedule like the back of my hand. I asked how long he had been sleeping. He had been sleeping for an unusually long time. I asked about his last feeding. Apparently he had not eaten much. I instantly knew something was wrong…there was no way he would sleep that long on anything less than a full stomach.
I rushed upstairs to check on him. He was asleep, but breathing. I quickly picked him up and immediately noticed the front of his outfit was wet. I brought his chest to my nose and took a deep breath. His shirt smelled like…beer. As it turns out, his father had given him “sips” of beer to get him to fall asleep. I had no idea he was capable of such unbelievable idiocy.
Baby Bear was sleepy, but otherwise he seemed okay. My first instinct was to take him to the Emergency Room to be evaluated for alcohol poisoning. But then child protective services would automatically get involved…and I could lose custody of Baby Bear…immediately. I’ve heard of people losing custody of their children over lesser things (like simple misunderstandings) for years at a time. Once children go in the system, it’s hard to get them out. Even though I didn’t do this to him, I was too scared to take him to the hospital. That was an unthinkable position to be in as a mother. I never left him alone with his father again and kicked him out soon after.