I feel sick to my stomach.  I just dropped my daughters off for their Saturday visit.  10am to 4pm today and the same time again tomorrow.

This is the first visit he’s had since the beginning of January when he hit my daughter and we discovered his recent DUI.  As suspected, he arrived and put on a big show in the parking lot of the Starbucks where we meet.  Brought the girls each a gift and then promptly paraded them into Starbucks so he could continue his “show” with an audience.

I know him.  The Starbucks Baristas don’t.  I know what he is up to and they are clueless.

He likes an audience so that he can play “Super Dad” to impress anyone who will watch.  He loves the attention from people and he is setting up witnesses for future court dates.  I’ve been down this road with him before– it was advice that his Aunt gave him in 2009.   Her advice almost word for word was to, “cultivate a person who can regularly see you interact with the girls and who will testify about your parenting”.

I see through him and I know him all too well.  Each visit, he parades them into the coffee shop and buys them hot chocolate and pastries because he knows that I limit their sweet intake.  He is buying them with gifts and sugar so that he can put on his show– about how great and loving he is.  He wouldn’t let my daughter open her gift in the parking lot– he insisted that she wait until they got inside the coffee shop.  That way, people will see the delight in the girls’ faces.

At one point, I was that naive girl who bought into his games.

Now I see through him.

Now I have a voice.

Now I am my daughters’ voice.

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