In an entry I made a few days ago, I may have come across as comparing my situation with my ex-wife to that of the situation between Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. I emphatically state here that this was not my intention. I merely took a small quote from Alec Baldwin and presented it as the kind of feeling I have toward my situation. Our situations are as different as different could be.
One thing Alec Baldwin did that I never did, or ever would do, is that he degraded his child. Last Thursday, he left his 11-year old daughter an angry voicemail, because she didn’t answer his call at a pre-arranged time. In the voicemail, he said:
‘You are a rude, thoughtless little pig. You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being. I don’t give a damn that you’re 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you’re a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn’t care about what you do as far as I’m concerned. You have humiliated me for the last time with this phone.”
I have never felt animosity toward my son Cameron. My anger is toward his mother, not him. I don’t hold him blameless for the lack of communication we have now, but that is only a recent culpability. I believe, now that he is an adult he can make up his own mind and reach out and contact me, regardless of his mother’s action. However, I am not angry with him for not contacting me, because I have no idea to what extent his mother influenced him into his current feelings towards me.
It’s obvious that if a child hears only one side of the story as he grows up, he’s more apt to continuing to believe that as an adult. Cameron probably figures that his mother was always there, by his side, so that must mean that his father, me, didn’t want the same. Though that is entirely false, I can understand how he could feel that way.
If what Alec Baldwin says about Kim Basinger is true, that she alienated their daughter from him, then that is the same as I have been saying about Tara. However, the similarities probably end there.
I don’t condone calling one’s child names, as Alec Baldwin did in that phone recording. I never have done that to any of my three children and hope I never will do that. It is inexcusable to allow yourself to mistreat your child like that. It isn’t the worst thing you could do to your child, but it is a bad thing. Luckily, the thought of calling one of my children a name or verbally degrading them has never entered my mind.
With Tara that was a different story, however. She often berated Cameron as a child. I remember several occasions where she would yell at him, “I hate you! I wish you were never born!” This often occurred after he broke several of her rules. Her pattern was to let him get away with breaking a lot of rules before she would react. It was as if she was really frustrated with him and just couldn’t take it anymore and blew up at him. This is no way to raise a child. I hope that Tara learned this and changed her ways after we broke up.
I realize that my current wife, Shu Mei, acted a bit this way toward Billy just after Tyley was born, although it was at a much smaller extent. What Shu Mei did was get angry at me and then demand a divorce, saying that she would keep Tyley and I could have Billy. I don’t remember specifically what she said about why she wanted me to have Billy, but it wasn’t complimentary toward Billy. That happened just a few times and was something she said out of anger toward me, rather than Billy. With Tara, it was pure anger toward Cameron, as her blow-ups toward him didn’t coincide with her arguments with me. But, come on, what is up with these women? How could a parent ever say something like that toward their children, especially when they are as loving, kind, and uplifting as Cameron and Billy?
As I have said in other entries, Billy has always been a very happy boy. From birth, he was a smiling baby, seldom crying and only for the normal reasons that babies cry. Smiling and laughing is what Billy does a lot of. And it isn’t a goofy ignoramus laugh, like he has a mental disorder or something like that, but a genuine zest-for-life laugh. As far as brains goes, Billy has an abundance of them. He is a very intelligent boy. And I’m not saying that just because I’m his father. He truly is. You can trust me on that one.
Cameron was also a very positive and happy baby. For the three and a half years that I had the opportunity to be with him on a daily basis, I experienced a sheer joy that I had never known before. I hated going to work everyday, because I missed Cameron. I wanted to be with him 24/7.
Out of my three sons, Cameron was the most well-mannered. It was as if he knew what the appropriate thing to do was in almost every situation. He exuded warmth and charisma. I am certain his eclectic and vibrant nature can get him far in life, as it isn’t really what you know that is important in life, but who you know. That isn’t to say Cameron didn’t have a great ability learn new things. He quickly picked up things, far quicker than most children his age. He was my genuine good-hearted, good-natured son. I cherished every moment I spent with him.
For Tara to have treated Cameron with such disdain was horrible. She was obviously ill-equipped to have someone as special as he was to come into her life. I guess I keep forgetting that we were both young when Cameron was born and both of us made a lot of mistakes. It just irks me that many of her mistakes involved him, whereas all of my mistakes concerned her. Sad. Very very sad.
As far as the Alec Baldwin situation goes, I can understand what drove him to leaving that voicemail for his daughter, even though I don’t condone it on any level. He has tried to explain how Kim Basinger has kept his daughter from him for the past 6 years. That is something I can relate to. I mean, why should we assume that everything is black and white, that Alec is the bad guy and Kim is the victim here? We don’t know what’s been going on behind closed doors or to what extent his daughter might have been manipulated by her mother.
I know the kinds of stunts an ex-wife can pull in the visitation game: not being there with the child on time, changing schedules at the last second, not being there altogether, or, worst of all, supporting the child implicitly or explicitly when the child does not want to have court-ordered visitation for any trivial reason. That kind of behavior is more difficult to see than a hothead venting his anger at full volume, but it’s much more damaging.
The result is that even a supposedly little thing like missing a phone call becomes massively enraging when it’s part of a campaign to make you look bad in the eyes of your child. But people tend to see what is in front of them. So, I figure most people will probably side with Kim Basinger on this one and reach the quick deduction that Alec Baldwin is a terrible father.
Few people have time to dig deep into an issue and talk about the real cause of what they have just witnessed in front of them. They make a quick judgment and then move on. The truth is that I don’t know what kind of father Alec Baldwin is. That voicemail could have been a result of the years of emotional abuse Kim Basinger has put him through. That doesn’t excuse it, but it does give it a reason and goes toward calling it a mistake, rather than something that is of is normal character. If it was indeed a mistake, as he has recently said it was, then he isn’t a bad father.
I don’t call Tara a bad mother merely because she wished Cameron dead on several occasions. Nor do I call Shu Mei a bad mother because she chose to rid herself of Billy during a heated argument she had with me. In my mind, we need to see the whole picture before making judgments.
I had several reservations about Tara’s suitability for motherhood on several occasions. But, the positive things about how she treated Cameron seemed to outweigh the negative things. I made a decision then to allow her to have custody of him, with the belief that I would have liberal visitation and continue to be an active father to him. That didn’t happen and I blame Tara for that, obviously. What she has done to me over the past 15 years has been far worse than anything I did, or could have done, to her during the 3 years of our marriage. I know we’re supposed to forgive and forget, but it’s very difficult to do that. Tara took away a very special part of my life and I can never get it back.
Her life can go on, because she lost nothing. In fact, I’m pretty sure she isn’t as poverty stricken as she has claimed to be over the years. When you see a pattern like hers, of someone who will lie and cheat to get anything she wants, you have to believe that the brunt of what they say is not true.
Consequently, I have to believe that Tara has a pretty decent life now, as a single mother. I’m sure she found some sugar daddies to help her through the rough times and has continued to maintain her independence and think about “Tara” versus her family. She never was one to play the role of wife/mother too well. I’ll bet she is pursuing various personal desires which have little to do with her family’s welfare.
A woman like Tara will justify her actions by saying what she is doing is for the family, but it’s really not. It is out of personal desire and nothing more. I’m pretty certain that it is a misconstrued set of priorities which guide Tara’s actions. She’s just looking for the next thrill instead of prolonged happiness.
I’m not saying that my life is a bowl of cherries, far from it. I haven’t made a rush to judgment concerning my ex-wife, but rather an observation based on years of experience with her. Nothing she has done, as far as I have seen, has been for the betterment of Cameron. For the most part, she seems to have just gone through the actions of being a mother, rather than really jumping into the role and living it. I must encourage that kind of behavior, I guess, as I see it in Shu Mei to a small extent.
It is a mystery to me why the two women I have been married to in my life have not enjoyed their roles as mothers. How on earth could I have found two women like that, out of all the women in the world? There must be women out there that really enjoy being mothers, mustn’t there? I mean, I thoroughly enjoy my role as a father and try my best to fulfill that role. So, there must be women on the other side of the spectrum who just dive into motherhood with the same enthusiasm, right? Actually, I’m not sure at this point. I have only to go with what I have experienced and I have yet to be married to someone who loves being a mother.
I know that Tara has read the entries on this weblog about her and has chosen not to respond. If you think that’s taking the high road, then think again. You see, Tara has nothing to gain from commenting on these entries and everything to lose. As long as she is silent, there is the possibility that she will be thought of as the victim and my posts regarding her are just another way of me trying to continue to emotionally abuse her. I guess through silence Tara feels she becomes the angel and I the devil. However, there is a little something that I hold higher than petty game playing. It’s called the truth.
That is the reason I write this stuff. I’m not trying to hurt anyone by my words. I am the one who has been hurt and it is because of lies, something that is inherently evil. “The truth shall set you free” isn’t a shallow credo for me. I thoroughly believe it. I only wish the best for people. I wish no ill-feelings, but I won’t go to the extent of presenting lies and half-truths to get that. If people take umbrage with what I have to say, then they can’t face the truth – plain and simple. I invite anyone to comment on my entries, positively or negatively, as it only adds to the depth of what I have to say. Tara doesn’t want “depth” because that would bring out too much truth. Sadly, I guess she would rather continue living in a world of deceit.
Tara’s not the only one doing this, though. In fact, she’s not even in the minority. Most people are living lives of lies. To a certain extent, even I am doing this. It is called “tact”, and it does serve a purpose. The problem is that many people call pretending to be someone you aren’t “tact”. And that is where they’re wrong. At that point, we have a lot of people running around pretending to be someone they are not; reacting to facades of other people who are pretending to be someone they are not. It is much like what we seen on the internet, with online fantasy role-playing games, and is part Tara’s nature. I believe that progression is slowed down considerably when we are dealing with fantasy, rather than reality. Consequently, I am striving to be more open and honest everyday. It is in direct contrast to most of the world and has (and will) cause me much-heartache, but it is a higher power I must answer to, rather than the world.