Home > Children, Work Schedule > Bit by bit, I’m losing them all over again

Bit by bit, I’m losing them all over again

I woke up with a start just a few moments ago.

I had shut off my waking alarm last night before going to bed. It was not making sense leaving my alarm on to get up for work when I’m suspended. It was the alarm for a scheduled calendar event that went off instead.

As I woke, I had the rushing thought that work was calling me because they needed me. I bolted up, came across the bedroom and picked up the phone that I use for alarms. Instead of it being the phone it was a reminder that I have my kids tonight – after work.

My thoughts shattered as a piece of glass falling from above. Reality enveloped me and here I am without work to go to, sitting in my underwear, smoking my second cigarette already. ‘Pathetic’ and ‘scared’ were the words that almost visibly came to me.

If I’m permanently out of work, the alternative schedule that I’ve set up to see my children regularly would be quickly dashed. I work 7-3 shifts. On alternate weeks, I’m lucky enough to see them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights, which lead into the weekends that I have them. On the opposite weeks I see them on Tuesday and Thursday night. Every week – Monday after work, Wednesday after work, Friday after work when they also sleep over until Sunday late afternoon. Then I wait until Tuesday after work and then Thursday after work and it’s the weekend that I don’t see them. Today begins the week where I see them Monday, Wednesday, Friday night leading into Sunday late afternoon.

The schedule may seem bizarre, but in my profession it works out fantastically! I set it up purposly in order to get to see them at least every other day. My thought is that I helped bring them into this world, why shouldn’t I see them as often as possible despite divorce? And the schedule works out perfectly for that! It’s been in effect for over two years and I can’t imagine not seeing them on any given scheduled day.

If I am forced into another job – believing that I can find another job, my schedule would be destroyed. And then, the utter embarrasment of telling the ex, and the kids, that my schedule needs to change. I would lose the opportunity of seeing them as often, and thus, another stone would be dislodged in the continuity of seeing them. Which, God help me, would be just fine with my oldest.

Seeing them less would only help to solidify the expanding physical gap between them and I. I pale over when I think of the countless times when I’m not there at the end of the day for them. For instance, when they’re sick and need to cling – even ever so lightly, for comfort and I’m not physically there for them. She’s become the only one they cling to for support because she’s always there. And, I’m not.

It’s a continual loosening and redefinition of our bond. It invariably happens each hour, each and every day that I’m not there with them, and they’re growing up, and getting used to, their Father not there as a daily presence. It tears at my heart no matter how I try to put it aside and tell myself that this is just the way it is.

Losing my job would ease the pressure of my oldest from seeing me as often.

Good morning. I’m struggling.

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