Hi, I am in a state of utter distress and have no one to turn to. I feel like I am about
to lose my mind... and I need advice from ANYONE willing to give it... here's my story...
I got my girlfriend pregnant when I was 16 and again when I was 18. Two children by the same girl. A boy and a girl. I was caught up in the haze of lust/love and didn't think much about the situation... At the time of the first child I had suggested adoption (being aware that neither of us were ready for children mentally nor finacially. We were still dependant upon our own parents) She however, was set in stone that she would not give her child up for adoption. When the second was conceived I suggested adoption again, only to have her say the same thing. I believe she said something like... "we already have one... what's one more?" I suppressed my personal feelings and wants out of love for her. I wanted her to be happy and so I said ok... lets try to make this work and raise these two kids.... When I turned 18, I began training to become a welder instead of going to college... worked over 40 hours a week making more money than I ever had... and was trying to make this family work, and I really believed it could. We began living together and had planned on getting married very soon and living our lives together raising these two children. Shortly after... just before my 19th birthday... She left one night, and slept with one of my "best friends". Absolutely broke my heart and sent me sprialing into severe depression which I have yet to overcome to this day. But if that wasnt enough.... She dissappeared for the following 9 months in a binge of drugs, sex, and thievery. During this time she had no contact with her children.... not once. She has been incarcerated several times. And I was left with both of the kids. (keep in mind I wanted to give them up for adoption in the first place.) I couldnt continue on with my training so I lost my job and went into severe depression. So much that I couldn't care for the children. They went into the hands of their grandmother (my mother).
After a period of wanting to kill myself, I came to terms SOMEWHAT... with what had happened. Enough that I could go out and work again and take care of the kids. I began to say to myself "these kids have no one else but me... their mother doesn't want them, so I have to do everything I can for them" (even though, being a father was never something i had planned for my life either and something i still do not enjoy) For the past two years (I am now 21) I have lived at home raising two kids with the help of my extremely supportive mother (god bless her soul). I have worked dead end minimum wage jobs and see my life going no where. I try to be the best father that I can... but inside of me... I am not a father. I have never wanted to be and never will be. I made a huge mistake. Realizing this about myself... I am beginning to feel guilty about keeping these children in this situation. I can't imagine how they will be effected by all of this. But the longer it goes on... the worse it will be...
I have residential custody of the two children. The mother pays a very small amount of child support... and its very rarely paid on time... She has gone to jail multiple times for non-payment. She also has been granted visitation with them on weekends... but more often than not, she simply doesnt show up.... with no phone call or reason why.... However, she still claims that she is the caring mother of these kids and that If I dont want them.... She does.
So I have begun to rethink my goals... and what I want out of my life. I still wake up every day cursing the fact that I am a 21 year old single father of two, but I HAVE bonded with these children in the time I have cared for them. It's impossible to spend day after day with any living thing, changing their diapers, teaching them abc's, etc... and not grow attached to them. I heard their first words.... witnessed their first steps.... I DO love them... and that is why I want better for them, better than I can provide. I am beginning to consider adoption again, if it is even possible at this point.
I have residential custody of the two children. The mother pays a very small amount of child support... and its very rarely paid on time... She has gone to jail multiple times for non-payment. She also has been granted visitation with them on weekends... but there has been many times she simply doesnt show up.... with no phone call or reason why....Yet, while she battles drug addiction and staying out of jail, she still claims that she is the caring mother of these kids, and that if I dont want them.... She wants to raise them. (I'm not saying I am a great father... cause I'm not.... but to take them out of my hands and put them in hers... Will make their lives much worse than they already are) And I fear that... with the way the court system seems to favor the mother REGARDLESS of how her conduct may be... that they would do just that. Give them to her and say no more....
I really think the best thing for these children would be to have two caring guardians that actually WANT to be parents.... and will spend every moment of their waking lives dedicated to the wellness of these two little ones... But I know there is NO WAY I would EVER be able to convince their delusional mother that it is the best thing for them. Therefore, they would just end up in her hands... and then I would be the one paying child support.
I am torn at a crossroads... and I don't know what to do... I have been on everything from prozac to zoloft... seen multiple counselors and therapists... And I still just cant seem to accept what I have done... and make it right.
I don't know what I'm trying to get out of posting on these forums.... It's basically an outlet of my frustrations, cause I have no where else to turn... If there is anyone out there who has any suggestions on how to begin picking up the broken pieces of my life and making something new.... I would greatly appreciate it.