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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Separation Anxiety

My husband is leaving and the kids are not happy.  Not one bit.  Doesn’t matter that he’s going for all of ONE DAY, me, I could be gone one year and it wouldn’t be a blip on the radar screen.

In their history, mothers have been found to be unreliable and unsavory characters.  Fathers, though, not too much experience with them.  They seem to be fun… hey!  They ARE fun.  And if he dares to leave for ONE SECOND, you can be sure it was all just a dream and he might be gone for good.

Would he leave me?  Would he disappear? they wonder.

I thought we were over this.  The three younger kids have been home almost three and four years.  That means days, weeks, months, and YEARS of stability.  They count for nothing.  Let him be gone from 4:00 am till 11:00 pm and something terrible is bound to happen.

The air of foreboding permeated yesterday.  Never mind that we all did something fun later in the afternoon.  They had the ugly, sullen looks that told us, “Don’t mess with me!”

“Well, I’m glad that you’re making this dinner together such a lovely time for your father.  You know, he IS coming back,” I informed them when I quite frankly could not take it any longer.

He and Petya were flying cross-country to appear in a promotional video for an organization in which they’re both involved.  Fly in.  Fly out.  Not necessarily sunning themselves on the Riviera.  They were taking work, and schoolbooks, and computers with them.

The fact that they would be gone for all of one day was not easy on me, either.  I had double the work in many ways, taking over some responsibilities for Benedetto.  And these were the two in the family (other than the dogs) that I could count on to help me if I needed it.  Instead, I had three kids determined to make all of our lives miserable.

It was separation anxiety and abandonment issues, pure and simple.  The more they missed their dear papa, the more their behavior screamed, “Stay away!”  I let them know that they might want to take the opposite approach, whereby they would act nice, and their papa might actually miss them, rather than feel relieved to get away.

This made me rethink all sorts of things I had planned for the future.  Nice things.  Things for all of them, minus their father.  Maybe they just wanted same-old, same-old?  Things with my daughters and I.  Maybe they really disliked me, and preferred twisting their hair, smiling up into their father’s face, while whining about some kind of nonsense of moment which he would basically ignore, while absentmindedly responding, “Um-hmm….”

The more they threw their little “I-don’t-like-you, I-really-prefer-him” tantrums and fits, the less I wanted anything to do with them.  Which perpetuated the cycle.  Trying to get out of the downward spiral on the other hand made me feel like a patsy, like I was rewarding bad behavior:  “Oh, so you hate me?  Good!  Let’s go out for ice cream!”

Maybe I’ll try that.  It can’t get any worse, right?



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4 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Shelley says:

    I hope you have a lovely day! To be able to understand what they’re going through should give you hope. At least you discuss it with them and help them over the missing part.

  2. avatar Linda says:

    Hope the day went ok.
    My husband AND son are going to go to see my parent-in-laws in a Months time, and they are going to be away form home for 6days…
    Not sure how that’s going to work out… =/
    Then again, I’ve been gone for 2 days/3nights and that wasn’t a problem so… And last summer we stayed on our island for 4days and papa wasn’t with us, that went ok as well… Maybe I’m just worrying too much…
    One things for sure, once I hear that they are ok, I’ll enjoy the time apart from BOTH of them… Need some me time so badly… And we can skype daily…

    • avatar admin says:

      Thanks, Linda, it was a looong, but good day. I’ll have to write Part II…. 🙂 I know all about the “me” time, but it seems to have disappeared from my life-!

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