Learning to be a single dad. Trying to be a better man.
“Hi. I’m glad you stopped by. I’m gonna share a lot of stuff. And a bunch of it won’t be easy. But in the end we will make it through this. I did. You can too.”
“If you follow this story all the way back to the beginning you’ll see a man who was struggling with his identity post-divorce. All of the previous experiences and dreams had failed me. As you journey with me towards today you will see healing, recovery, gratitude, and rebirth. I’m not there yet, but the journey has become the blessing. As we leave our divorces behind, great things can happen. As we grow we can become better parents, better ex-partners, and better people overall. This is my journey. Welcome.”
2016 Note: I forgot to tell you, this is not a feel-good blog. This is not an apology. This is a rant, a rave, and a passion play to help ME survive this troubling time as a single parent. I do hope you get something from my writing, but that’s not my point. Sorry. In the same way, my arrows are not pointed at my ex-wife. She did her thing, she’s doing her thing, and she continues to have little regard for my health and wellbeing. How that translates into “doing what’s best for the kids” I will never understand. The good news, today I no longer have to understand her. I just have to manage my life in relationship to my kids. She can go fk herself.
The Off Parent is an honest self-discovering, self-revealing process for me. I am going through the toughest thing I’ve ever experienced and I’m not happy about it. My goal is not to be bitter or hurtful. If I can provide some ideas that will help others with their pain, or perhaps point them in the direction of recovery, that is great, but that is not my goal.
Let me be clear about this: This is not a self-help blog. I am not a daddy blogger.
I am not trying to create the historic record of my divorce. I am howling. I am singing a self-discovery song. It’s a grand tradition. My favorite forefathers are Walt Whitman, Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac, and Lawrence Durrell. While I am telling things as they come, please be aware (as I try to be) that these are MY perspectives and are in no way meant to represent an authoritative documentation of my divorce, nor an accurate picture of my ex-y’s actual thoughts or feelings. This is all about me and my feelings.
This writing covers the sweeping contrasts of pain and joy, written as I tumble through them. I know that I am on a rich vein here because the energy and passion are returning as I write. I am uncovering and unwinding parts of myself that have been hidden and twisted deep inside. I am singing the song of myself, as I travel through the experience of being a divorced dad.
I hope to gain insight through self-examination and self-revelation. I also hope to lessen the self-flagellation that can come with the failure of a marriage. I am not here to make you feel better. I am here to get it out. I am here to share my journey. To make me feel better. But mostly to FEEL THROUGH this bitter, enlightening, transformative experience. Feel, that’s the operative word here. You are welcome to come along.
MY FOUR YEAR ASSESSMENT OF THIS BLOG (July 20, 2014):
Today is a day of reflection. I am examining what I’m doing here on The Off Parent. Assessing the damage and progress of my self-observation, self-obsession, self-centered divorce blog. Let’s see if we can get to the heart of the matter.
- Strive to cut deep into the pain and healing of divorce recovery.
- Express anger and hurt without blaming the other person.
- Eliminate cynicism.
- Always go for the truth, my truth, the painful truth.
- Protect the innocent through anonymity and discretion.
- Write for my own personal journey and healing, if there is a reader that’s fine, but I am not writing for anyone but myself.
- Lift my psychology out of the hurt and sadness of depression and towards the healing and recovery for all the members of my family.
- Do no harm.
- Take on no more shame.
- Leave this discussion behind in favor of the next love and romance in my life.
I’m a mad, depressed, joyous, hyper, renewed, defeated, starting over, alone, homeless, single dad and this is my rant.
The Off Parent
Note for 2013: This blog is not written to my ex-y. While she knows about it, my guess is that she stays clear of reading it. So, I’m not writing TO her, or intentionally trying to communicate to her through the blog. It is only with this distinction that I feel I can write from the hot core, rather than skim over the surface so as not to hurt any feelings.
Sept. 30, 2013: The Off Parent is now publishing as part of The Good Men Project. Check us out there and get with the program of becoming a better man.
Excerpt from a recent post The Good Side of Divorce:
“My anger is my own. My kids are a shared resource and responsibility. My ex-y is a wonderful human being who is doing her best in the world. And it is my hope that The Off Parent is more about me and my struggles, joy, and recovery than it is a bitch-fest about her. Sure I can go there. But in the real world, I leave as much of it HERE as possible.”
You can reach out directly via email: theoffparent[at]gmail[dot]com
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Repurposing THE OFF PARENT Content: If you are going to excerpt part of an article for you divorce law site, please use proper attribution and include a link back to the source article. Don’t make it look like you wrote my story, that’s bad form, and it doesn’t do either of us any favors. I’m happy if my material helps you bolster and educate your clients about this awful and transformative divorce process, but please… Do the right thing. Give the story an author, and a link back here. If you do that we’re going to get along fabulously. Thanks.
I have listed my site as Creative Commons resource, so I’m into you sharing, but you must attribute the work.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.