I write in my journal, in my blog posts, and share with my closest friends all the time how I truly feel about the father of my children. But I have never told him. I never had the opportunity to lay it all on the table for him to see. I had always tried my best to avoid him at all costs, which is very hard to do when you live in the same town. I have been angry with him, jealous even; seeing him live his life the way he wanted with no responsibilities. But there was so much I needed him to know. 

This past Saturday, I was given that opportunity. When seeing him in a local restaurant with a group of friends, he made a very smart comment about me under his breath. Immediately, old feelings of anger flared up within me and I couldn’t restrain it. I almost forgot where I was and who was in my immediate vicinity and I approached him armed and ready to fire my emotions right at him for all to see. 

I had never in my life acted the way I did. I felt ever tear that he caused me to cry, every night he left me alone, every lie he told me flood back into my mind and I poured it all on him. 

I yelled. 

I cried. 

He just sat there. Stunned. Shocked. This was not the Kristie he knew for the last 7 years. This is not the passive, soft spoken woman he had always known me to be. I was not push over Kristie, or door mat Kristie at this moment.

I was vocal, I was strong, I was finally expressing the pain that he had caused me so long ago that I still often felt. 

I shocked myself. I had never stood up to him for myself or for my children before that day. It was because of me that I allowed  him to walk around as if he had no care in the world. It was me that allowed him to not step up to the plate and truly take care of his responsibilities. I had simply not said anything. I had not put up a fight. I told myself that if he really wanted to be there for them, he would be. But the truth is, I should have made him. I should have did what was required of me as a mother to not just take it, but to make a way. It was at this moment, that I came face to face with the truth, my truth

A man will only do what you allow him to do; something my mother told me once before but I never understood. But now I do. He hasn’t been a father because I never required him to be one. 

I am not proud of the way my message was delivered in that restaurant, but I am definitely proud that I was able to get it all of my chest. After walking away, I felt like burden was lifted from shoulders and I could breathe. I even smiled a little once I got back in my car. I was glad that he knew how I really felt and I hoped that it would cause him to want to be and do better.

I am hopeful, and prayerful that from this day, we can learn to effectively co-parent for the sake of our children. I am hopeful that I can forgive him for what he did and put us through and we can move forward with the children’s best interest at the forefront of our communication and decision-making. 

Kristie McCollum

Kristie is a mom of 2 beautiful kiddos, a full time student, blogger, health coach, and lover of life! She loves all things pink and sparkly, decorating her planners, and spending hours on Pinterest. She enjoys writing, reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her family. She currently resides outside of Raleigh, North Carolina.