Last week this email showed up in my inbox:
Long time, no speak. Are you concerned with this (a forwarded email from school saying that Elle missed a class and had two days to have it excused)? Not having daily communication with Elle, I am trusting you are on top of it.
I would very much like to begin new dialogue between you and I as a first step toward recovery of relationships. I am open to all feedback.
As a side note, I have completed all of the requirements that Elle requested of me. I stand humbled and saddened, but always proud of our girl.
I would love to have an update from you on things.
Thanks in advance.
This is what I would like to write back:
The first line of your email told me everything I needed to know; you're the same old Dick. You haven't been involved in Elle's life for almost two years and the first thing you want to say to me is "Hope your on top of this?' How about: How has Elle survived the damage from the physical and emotional abuse from me. The alcoholic father who blamed her for every problem in my household because I was to afraid to admit that I was the problem.
What exactly have you done, anyway? Why not share? The fact you don't share tells me you want to have us fill in the blanks. We'll think you've completed what Elle and the court asked only to find out later you haven't done anything. Then what? We'll confront you and you'll say what you have said for the past 3 years "i don't know what you are talking about." Remember how the court granted me full custody, after you made that same statement 10 times to the judge. And yet you told everyone including me that I lost custody. So you'll forgive me, until you offer some specifics I won't be jumping up and down for joy. Vagueness is what you use to get what you want, regardless of the cost to others.
Or how about a simple thanks - thanks Lisa for being there for Elle and picking up the pieces from the emotional disaster I left! Thanks to Raylan for covering my half of Elle's schooling that I dumped on your lap because Elle wasn't behaving how I wanted, covering for me. Thanks for providing a safe, loving home for Elle. But no, you can't do that because it would mean that you created this situation and you would rather label yourself as the victim.
Instead I won't say anything, I'll wait. Wait for him to submit what if anything he's done to the court and let Elle's attorney recommend a course of action. Dick still lacks the understanding of the devastation his actions have inflicted on Elle and how hard it has been for her to move past it during the past two years. He has no idea because he's never asked her or me. The day he does I will know that he actually sought out professional help and is interested in starting to build a healthy relationship with his daughter. I can't force him to change all I can do is pray for Elle's sake that some day he will make changes and they can create a healthy relationship somewhere down the line.