I met Rod through a dating website and we talked for a long time over the internet (about 3 or 4 years). We lived in the same town but our paths never crossed - I never wanted them to, I was scared of commitment. Then one night we were emailing and one thing led to another, I bit the bullet and invited him to my house and for a week he never left.
I had fallen for him in a bad way and I wanted to spend all my time with him. In that first week he told me he had a child and that he didn't live with the mother so I felt sorry for him, but within 3 months I found out a completely different story. He was in fact still with his partner and I was so deep into a relationship with Rod, that I didn't want to let him go, I tried but we ended up back together again. He swore to me that they never slept together and that the relationship was failing and I was there to listen to his problems that they had.
We became a couple, spent nights out with my friends and he was happy to flaunt me in public. I knew he had a drink problem but it was steadily getting worse and we booked one of our weekends away and I wouldn't let him drink. Until that day, I never understood a person's dependency on alcohol. We were in the hotel room and he was so ill, he was throwing up and lying on the floor in pain. I have never seen anyone in that much pain before, I knew then that he had a problem that I couldn't help with.
He lived a double life for 2 years before I got pregnant. We made plans with the baby and started to prepare for her. My pregnancy was troublesome and I nearly lost Tilly at 19 weeks. I phoned him to say I was miscarrying and he just told me he couldn't take me to hospital and I had to get another friend to take me and stay by my side whilst I was going through the scariest moment of my life. We were both responsible for this unborn child and he chose at that moment to walk away when we were losing her.
When I gave birth, Rod was there within an hour playing the devoted dad. I actually thought he was going to sort himself out and make an effort for his child - How wrong was I?
He came to see us everyday for 2 weeks and then the novelty wore off, he would come around about once a week and when Tilly was 5 weeks old he shouted at her for not looking at him. How the hell can someone shout at a tiny baby that is depending on them? I told my HV and made the older kids promise he would never be in the room alone with the baby. To see my older kids protect this baby was amazing, a real rush of love for their little sister. By now the atmosphere with the older kids and Rod was awful, they hated him and I was very quickly losing all respect for him.
When Tilly was 5 months old, I took an overdose due to my severe PND and what many people don't know is that he was there with me, He saw me take the pills and decided that he couldn't be caught up in this and walked out of my home, but it was ok for him as he had protected himself and his back was covered!
I slowly recovered and he was still allowed to visit Tilly as long as it was supervised until he came round one day, falling all over the place and insisting on seeing his child, I asked him to leave and he started throwing furniture about. From that moment I swore he would not come and see his child again. I needed to protect her from his violence.
Since that day, he has tried to threaten me that he will take Tilly when I am not looking and I had to get the police to serve him with a harassment order, He now officially hasn't been allowed any contact for over three years. Its sad because Tilly deserves a dad, but she deserves a good dad. Nobody should have to live with a father like him. He still see's her in town but he isn't allowed to talk to her, He is a pathetic figure of the man I fell in love with and i feel so sad that he won't be around when Tilly grows up. He turns away when he see's her in town and walks past without even looking at his child, as if to blame her for everything that has happened. I have asked him in the past to give up the alcohol for his child and he won't. I guess some people are so dependant on a drug, that they can't get out. Addiction is so hard to escape from.
|Tilly and her brother|
Tilly often tells me that she doesn't have a dad, but I correct her. She does have a dad, but he is sick. He cant see her because he is poorly and one day when he is better they will be able to do things together. That he does love her very much but cant see her. I mean it must be so hard to be denied access to a child due to an addiction you have. But I refuse to let my child grow up with a role model like this.
So instead of fathers day, its a normal day for us but instead we thank her big brother Zach for being the best brother EVER!