Looking Forward

Making a better life for me and my kids

About Me

I was married for 13 years. He was abusive. Like many people, I didn’t realize it until I was out.

I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t make any decision that wouldn’t be questioned. I couldn’t have an opinion that wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t go visit my friends or family without him – if I did, I put up with days of him sulking and would inevitably be coming home to our house more of a mess than it’d ever been.

He never wanted to do anything with our boys. He’d always say “I can’t wait until they’re older so I can do stuff with them.” When they got older, it didn’t seem to matter too much. Sometimes he’d favor our younger son, taking him fishing or hunting. He couldn’t be bothered with the older boy. “If he wants to spend time with me, he’ll figure out something for us to do.”

After our divorce was over with he decided to move to South Dakota to go to law school. During the 2.5 years he was there, he stopped contacting the children with any regularity. Anytime I had to have contact with him he was blaming me. Screaming at me. Belittling me. Telling me I was a whore. Saying I ruined our family. That I am the reason the kids won’t call him…over and over and over. I also found out that when he would talk to the kids, he would tell them “Mom made me move to South Dakota.”

I first realized he likely has some sort of personality disorder when he took my older son during a visit and refused to return him. Saying I’d locked my son out, I was a terrible person, my son didn’t want to see me ever again.
There were resources in the books “Divorce Poison” and Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder where I started being able to narrow down what exactly the symptoms were that my ex was exhibiting. After reading a LOT about what seemed to be happening here, I became aware that I had apparently married someone with a narcissistic personality disorder. This article could have been written about me: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201102/help-im-divorcing-narcissist As much as it hurt to realize that I’d been fooled all along, it was a relief to realize that I wasn’t the crazy one.

I endured many, many years of feeling crazy. Inadequate. Sad. Lost. Confused. Hopeless. Trapped. It turns out, that’s what he was trying to do. I was relieved to understand what was happening, what HAD been happening all along, but no where have I found any concrete strategies for dealing with a person like that, other than to eliminate ALL contact. With kids, that’s impossible to do.

We are currently awaiting a trial date. He wants the kids the majority of the time. He doesn’t want to pay child support. He doesn’t think he should have to. I am, after all, the one who wanted the divorce. He also doesn’t think our youngest son should be medicated for his ADHD.

Writing helps. Getting it out of my head helps. Getting feedback from perfect strangers that remind me that I am NOT the crazy one helps. Knowing I’m not alone helps. To who ever is reading this, I hope knowing you’re not alone helps you too.

PSA

On August 18th there was a story in our local paper about a pregnant woman was beaten by her boyfriend. It happened in a house that I drive by every day on my way to and from work. The original article is here:  https://bangordailynews.com/2014/08/18/news/bangor/report-woman-badly-injured-man-in-custody-after-early-morning-assault-in-bangor/

The follow up story indicated that her injuries were too severe to handle at the hospital here, so she was sent to Boston.  http://bangordailynews.com/2014/08/19/news/bangor/pregnant-woman-attacked-in-bangor-undergoes-3-surgeries-according-to-police/

During the attack, neighbors tried to help her. They were attacked as well.  https://bangordailynews.com/2014/08/20/news/bangor/he-was-possessed-says-neighbor-of-bangor-man-charged-with-beating-pregnant-woman/?ref=moreInbangorThumb

Today the article indicates that she’ll survive her injuries. However, she is blind now. She’ll never get to see her new baby. She’ll need relearn her every day living skills without the aid of sight. http://bangordailynews.com/2014/09/04/news/bangor/support-network-emerges-for-pregnant-woman-blinded-in-bangor-attack/

Her church and her employer and looking for donations to help with her care now. If you can give, you should. The gofundme.com page is here:  http://www.gofundme.com/dg1fzk

 

August is almost over

Man, that was a quick month!

Today was freshman orientation at the boy’s high school. Today D went to school while A slept in. D was very excited and nervous. He ended up having a great day. I noticed on the paper work when he got home that he’d started to fill some of it out himself. 

“Who do you live with?  ____Mom   _____Dad   ______Both” 

D checked “mom”

Legal Guardian: D wrote in husband’s name, then my name.

School paper work always brings up a lot of shit. Every year this happens. I end up debating about whether or not to put asshats phone number or address on any of the paperwork. What would be the point? To make him feel included? He won’t know if I do it or not, and do I really want to take the chance that the school will ever call him for anything either of the kids need? Not really. Apparently, D feels the same way.

A has been at football practices most of the afternoons this week. With the delay of school starting (the renovations weren’t done in time for school to start on the 28th as planned, so they kept orientation day on the 27th and officially school will start on 9/2) Husband and I have been carpooling in order to leave A my car so that he can get himself to practices and I don’t have to miss work to play taxi. It’s worked out very well so far. I like having a teenager who is useful in some way, even if it’s something as simple as getting himself to where he needs to be and I don’t need to be involved. Also the football team mom sent out an email looking for donations of food to pack the kids all lunches for their ‘away game’ on Friday. I replied with what I’d be donating. Then, I put money on A’s debit card and told him to go to the grocery store, pick this stuff up, then deliver it to the team mom’s house. Magically, it all just worked out without me needing to do anything other than transfer money. There may be hope for that boy yet! 

In asshat land, his world is closing in, slowly but surely. He went 105 days past due on the HELOC, then made a $440.00 payment, bringing him current. The banks collection department actually called me looking for a payment. I told them that I’d already spoken to a number of people at the bank, this isn’t my loan, and I’m sorry he’s 102 days past due, but you’re not getting any money from me. She was sure to point out that the bank did not care what my divorce decree states. I told her I was aware of the banks position and their refusal to assist me in this situation. And don’t call me again. I’m not responsible for this debt.
I’m just going to believe that it hurts my credit less for these late payments to continue to occur as opposed to a default (which I hear will happen after being past due 120 days). 

Also, A informed me today that asshat is out of oil AND propane now. Which means he has no hot water AND no stove or oven. Everything he cooks needs to be in the microwave. Seriously. 

Child support told me that they are trying to collect the balance due from week I was short on support because of his National Lampoon’s European Vacation. No word on arrears though.  I’m trying not to get too frustrated.

Classes for me start next week. I always do fine, I don’t know why I get so nervous that I’m going to completely fail. Oh, by the way, I got a letter that I made the Dean’s List last semester. Yay! 

Otherwise all is well here, everyone is happy and healthy!

Trash

There has been no contact between Asshat and I since the email exchange where he gave me dates for his trip to Europe. So, imagine my surprise when I got this email (from his old email address that he told me not to use anymore) this evening, with the subject line being “Trash”.

Trash

From: Asshat

To: Me

Today at 7:05 PM

You are some kind of piece of trailer park trash to tell A your going to give him only 125 for school clothes.   Maybe you should get your priorities straight and use some of the money you mooch off of me each week and put your child ahead of your own personal interests.   I know this is not the same thing as drugging up your own child cause you two can’t handle kids without a drink,  so please feel free this one time to pretend to be a responsible parent.  PS try letting him shop somewhere other than target or Wal-Mart too as I think he would prefer that. 

 

I’m not sure the projection could be any more evident if he labeled each sentence “this is projection”.

Not that it really matters, but I’ll just point out a few things:

  1. While it’s a rental, I live in a huge and beautiful house, not a trailer. Not in a trailer park. Also, unlike Asshat, we do have cold AND hot running water here.
  2. I budgeted $500.00 for each kid for back to school shopping. I only gave A $125.00 over the weekend so he could do a little shopping on his own while he is in Boston with his friend.
  3. ADHD meds are not “drugging up your kid” when they are serving the intended purpose of treating the ADHD symptoms so that your kid can actually function effectively.
  4. I only ever drank to deal with my abusive asshole husband, never to deal with my kids. Needless to say, I don’t drink anymore. Not even a little.
  5. The only time the kids buy clothes at Walmart is when they need an orange sweatshirt for tomorrow, or a dress shirt and a tie for the concert tonight. Walmart is awful and as a general rule, we avoid it at all costs. I do love Target though.
  6. I have not had any ‘personal interests’ that have come before my children’s interests for the last 17 years. A texted me tonight to say “dad doesn’t have any money to pitch in for school clothes”. So, if I wanted to know what it was like to put my own interests first, I could ask the asshole that just got back from a month in Europe and now has no money to buy any clothes for the kids.

Another Monday.

I’m frustrated. I know I shouldn’t be…but I am.

I know I’m supposed to wait patiently for the universe to balance out asshats bullshit with some sort of consequence, but seriously, how long is this going to take? I know, I know, I’m supposed to be so involved with my own life and the kids that I’m not supposed to have time to worry about him and the chaos he leaves in his wake. However, today that is not the case. He has been running all over Europe with the GF, which, I purposefully went to her page to take screen shots to show the Child Support Enforcement people in the event he tries to tell them that “No no, I was never in Europe.”

I can’t tell if they’re having fun – the pictures don’t show that much. It’s more pictures of where they are and what they’re doing…which, is exactly what I need for evidence. The thing that’s getting me is the comments people are making: “Enjoy this once in a life time trip!” I guess they don’t realize that this is the 3rd time he’s traveled in that direction, twice to Europe, once to China. “I’m so glad you guys found each other!” Right, two people who share the same indifference towards their children that they can just leave for a month – nbd. The obliviousness people have towards this situation is mind-boggling. Again. I know. Not my deal. While its likely he’s duped them all into thinking he’s soooo fortunate to have a GF who has paid for the entire trip, its more likely, they’re just as sick of him and her as I am….they’re just being polite and would gag if they realized that he wanders around on all these trips while he also continues to attempt to wiggle out of paying child support.

Meanwhile, both kids birthdays have come and gone. A got a whole $20.00 from his father. He left it taped underneath the coffee table at his house. D got nothing. But, I’m sure the kids totally understand that this thrice in a lifetime trip is super important to their dad and his gf and they would be be selfish to expect him to be thinking of them during such an important trip like this.

Digging a hole

When we last left off on the child support / arrears story, asshat was doomed to meet with a process server in order to be served with a notice of debt…

Since I hadn’t heard anything lately, I filled out the form online to find out what was happening with the arrears last week. A woman named Michelle called me today to talk to me about the status.

She told me that asshat had spoken with an agent and they had come to the agreement and they would not be collecting any more money from him due to his severe financial hardship. She told me that the agent had made this decision, and  that she was just relaying the information to me. She said that asshat had talked about filing for bankruptcy, and has another small child he’s supporting.

I said, “another child? He doesn’t have any other children.”
Michelle said, “He doesn’t have another child with another woman?”
I said, “No, he doesn’t. His girlfriend has a daughter….”
Michelle interjected and said, “Well that must be the child he’s supporting.”
I said, “The girlfriend, her ex-husband and their daughter all live together. That’s how she’s being supported, by both her parents living together.”
Michelle said “The girlfriend and her ex husband live together? That’s weird.”
I agreed and pointed out the asshat had a vasectomy 13 years ago, there’s no way he has other children.

MIchelle asked twice more, “he doesn’t have any other children?” then she took this information down with a surprising amount of disbelief. “I’ll be sure to get this information to the agent to see if he’d like to reconsider the decision. This isn’t right.”

I agreed that it wasn’t right and then mentioned that he and the girlfriend were currently in Europe, and would be there for 3-4 weeks. “Europe?! how is he able to do that?” I said I didn’t know. She asked what they were doing there, I said I didn’t know, but the email he sent me said they would be traveling around Europe. “Well that doesn’t sound like financial hardship to me.”
I agreed. Michelle wanted to know when they left. I told her on Sunday. “He emailed you this?” she asked, her disbelief was becoming comical.
I said, “Yes he did.” I opened the email and read it to her.
“I don’t normally give people my email address, but can you send that email to me?”
I said, “of course.” and forwarded it along.
“Oh! i got it!” she said. “I’ll send all of this information along to the agent and we’ll see about getting him to reconsider this agreement. We’ll see what we can do to get him to pay you that five thousand dollars.”
I told her that I really appreciated her help.

She asked about his legal studies, as asshat had given that sob story about needing to study for the bar exam to the agent. I told her that he’d graduated a few Januarys ago – and had taken the bar exam twice and failed it twice. “So he’s been graduated for more than a year?” Oh yes, he has.

She clarified with me where he worked and what he did there. She seemed quite flustered by the end of the phone call. I don’t know if it was the first time a State of Maine employee realized they’d been duped by a deadbeat trying to get out of paying child support – but that is what it seemed like. She was clearly angry and frustrated, but hopefully that will work to my benefit.

 

almost summertime!

Its been a long time since I’ve posted here…lets see what there is to catch up on.

1. things with asshat remain the same. He’s not spoken to or contacted D since February when D tried to call and arrange to visit. I have been getting regular child support payments (yay!). However, he is now 60 days past due with the HELOC. With his trip to europe in a couple of weeks, we’re not sure what will happen with support payments. 

2. A: The schedule that A has been sticking to is 10 days with me, 4 days with asshat. Baseball will start for him today. He’s looking forward to it, which makes me happy. A will be wrapping up his Jr year in a few days and will officially be a senior. Unbelievable.

We’re still college hunting. We (husband and I) had a talk with A on Sunday about it. The previous Wednesday A texted me out of the blue and said he wanted to do Early Decision at the University of Miami. I have no idea where that came from. After our talk on Sunday, it became clear. Asshat has an opinion. The school A had chosen as his first choice, Coastal Carolina in South Carolina, was now a “terrible idea”. Thats what his father told him. A terrible idea. Asshat has never been to SC, he’s never attended coastal carolina, and its more than likely he’s never even MET anyone who went there. Asshat’s idea for A is that he should apply to Texas A&M, Harvard and California Polytech. Asshat believes that it is very important that A be attempting to attend a “nationally ranked school”. He told A that a nationally ranked school has more actual professors and not as many regular teachers. It is very clear to me that asshat is putting as much effort into research about A’s secondary education as he did his own. A isn’t even close to being considered for acceptance to any of those schools. He is a B and sometimes C, sometimes A student. He’ll only have 3 years of high school science. He does not have a job. He does not volunteer. He is not a qualified candidate for these schools. I hate to say it, but he’s just not. Asshat told him that if he graduates from Harvard that he’ll make 50k a year to start. I guess asshat knows this because he also graduated from harvard and now makes 50k a year? or knows someone who has? No, and No. A’s other school choice was West Virginia University. Asshat told him that this was also a terrible idea. There was also mention that asshat told A that he gets an extra 5k for claiming him on his taxes, and thats good because he only make 25k a year compared to my 90k a year. That guy is on crack. He makes more money than I do, which is why HE pays ME support! Sometimes I wish I could live in such delusion. 

I told A that we would help him with application costs for up to 5 schools, but we would like them to be schools that he actually could be accepted at, even if its a long shot, and that they be schools he actually would want to attend. He doesn’t want to live in New England. He wants the weather to be warm. He wants the school to have a decent football team. He wants to be within a few hours of the coast. And he’d like to major in business. I’ve asked A to look at Virginia Tech. He said he’d look into it. 

3. D: His birthday is on Thursday. He’ll be 14. I have no idea how that happened. We had an appointment with is primary doctor last week. He’s 120 lbs and 5 foot 7 inches tall. Again, I don’t know how that happened. For his birthday we’re going to take him to the Boston Comic Con in August. He wants to go as a ringwraith. If anyone has any ideas about how to make a ringwraith costume, please let me know! 

There is a computer camp for a week in July that D is excited about. He’s never done anything like this before. Its nice to see him get excited about going out into the world and trying new stuff. He’ll be starting high school in the fall. He now has glasses in addition to braces, and he could not be happier about it. He’s continuing to dive on Saturday mornings. He’s recently asked that we not go and watch. He believes he does better when we’re not there. Husband said this was the same thing he felt like when he was 13 and played baseball. 

4. Meanwhile, I still hate my job. So. Much. We’ve tossed around the idea of just packing up and moving to VA or NC or FL. D is on board with that idea, but he’ll likely be singing a different song after his first year of high school, since we couldn’t go until after A was graduated. I guess we’ll see how things look in a year or so. The job market is not good here (slightly worse than other places) so even though I look for other opportunities, there really isn’t much available….which tends to just add to the ongoing frustration. 

Husband and I will be celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary in 10 days. I can’t believe its only been 3 years. It feels like a lot longer…but in a good way!

No hot water

Asshat has not spoken to D since February 22nd. 

D’s counselor informed us last week that asshat had called him the week before. Asshat wanted to see how D has been doing. Counselor reported that D is doing well. D will occasionally talk about his father, but normally only when the counselor is the one to bring it up. He also reported to asshat that D currently has no motivation for reunification with his father. This seemed to anger asshat as while the counselor was telling us about it, his voice changed. It became that voice we all use when retelling words from someone we have no respect for. The counselor used his ‘asshat voice’ and said the response was: “I’ll have to send you an email about this! I’ll have to email you later!” The counselor said “Go for it.” However asshat did not ever send an email. The counselor asked me, “has dad made any attempts to contact? Phone calls? Emails? Text messages? Anything?” I shook my head and said, “Nope, nothing.” He raised his eyebrows and made a face. It made me wonder what asshat had told him.

A was with us last week and this weekend. He said that asshat still does not have any hot water. “If you want hot water, you need to boil it” he said. I asked A if that what he’d been doing. He said, “No, I don’t have time for that in the morning before school.” He said that he’s been showering at my house. Every day after school A gets off the bus at my house and takes a shower. I didn’t realize this was the ONLY shower he’s taking. I asked, “does dad have a plan to GET hot water?” A said that dad says he doesn’t need it. When he was in china a lot of places didn’t have hot water. A said, “I told him, well I’ve never been to China soooo…..” I said, “But when it gets to be winter, the pipes will freeze….” A said he was under the impression that dad would be selling the house before then. 

Lets hope he does and gets my name off that damn loan! He’s 30 days past due with the payment….again.

Husband and I are off on Thursday to Philadelphia for a few days. Husband turned 40 this year so I thought we’d take a nice little kid-free trip to celebrate. I’m really looking forward to getting out of here for a few days!

Kids.

Asshat managed, poor grammar and all, to inform me of the dates he and GF are going to Europe. June 22-July 17. 

Tentatively speaking, me and Nicole will be traveling throughout Europe from June 22nd through July 17th. A has told me he will be staying at my house for a portion of that time and since he will be 17 at that time I am perfectly fine with him doing so. “

UGH! NICOLE AND I! Genius. 

According to A, rather than board his dog for that whole time, he’ll have A stay out in the woods to make sure she gets fed one time per day for the first week. In exchange A can have the house to himself and “a lot of food”. A’s other grand plan is to have his (less than responsible) side kick stay with him for that week. With no adult supervision. Which, A is close to 17 (his birthday isn’t until July), his side kick has just turned 18, but I think its sort of irresponsible to let them both be out there, alone, with no adult at least checking in on them. 

A seems to think this is a fine idea. After the first week, apparently, Asshat has arranged for someone to pick the dog up and take her to be boarded. When I asked A, “why not just board her the entire time?” He said, “boarding a dog for 3 weeks is expensive.” Yeah, no kidding, But if you’re going to already board her for 2 weeks, is 1 more week that big of a difference?” A just shrugged. 

Then D said, “Where is dad going?” I said, “Europe, with Nicole for 3 weeks.” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen D look so disgusted, “god.” he said. 

A then went on to talk about how he wanted to go to Massachusetts with Michael when he goes – that he was going to go right after school was out, but A thinks he can get him to stay with him for the dog watching week…then they’ll go to Mass. together and hang out….”Two, Three weeks, a month at the most” (Micheal has family down there). I told him he might want to start saving up some money for that. I asked about the concerts I’ve bought him tickets for this summer for his birthday. “Are you going to be here for that?” He just looked at me…”when is it?”

Seriously? 

Deep Breath…..

I asked about baseball and if he was planning on playing. He said he didn’t know, then said if he had rides he would. I told him I thought baseball the next two seasons was important so I’d be willing to give him rides. Then he mumbled something and the conversation was over.

I’m so frustrated and irritated with him not able to think shit through. Obviously if you’re in Massachusetts for a month, you won’t be able to play baseball! If you don’t have a job, you won’t be able to save up any money! If you don’t bother to practice driving, you’re not ever going to pass your license test! If you think you’re going to college 1000 miles away, you might want a way to get there that isn’t a bus! Staying in the woods at your dad’s for a full week with no way to go anywhere is a bad idea! Your dad thinking you can be responsible for another living thing is also a bad idea! This is evidenced by his comment “I only need to really go there one time per day to feed her.” Good lord. He thinks he’s “tried to find a job”…he’s filled out and turned in ONE application. One. That does not constitute ‘trying to find a job’! I get he wants to have a ‘super fun summer hanging out with his friends’ and all …. who wouldn’t? But we’re getting down to the end of this ‘fun time’ and real life is creeping in. A little more than a year from now he’s going to start having bills, expenses, responsibilities. People are going to have expectations of him and require him to show up and do what he’s told – even if its not what he wants to do. Its called being an adult. Its coming whether or not he likes it….and I’m afraid he’s going to be SO unprepared. 

Child support and the bar exam.

Three years and 10 months since I’ve been divorced and I received my first child support payment today.

Finally the state and court have worked in tandem and support payments will be direct deposited into my bank account as long as he continues to work. Considering the bills and loans he has, he really has no choice but to continue to work. 

I inquired about arrears that are owed to me. They explained the process and he needs to be served this notice of debt. However, if he chooses to ignore the two certified letters, which he has done, the state will employ the services of a process server to hand him this notice of debt. It’s like he thinks if he can just avoid it, it’ll go away. 

In other news, the bar examiners office has released the names of those who have successfully passed the exam that happened in February. Asshat’s name, shockingly, is absent from the list. 

The kids are on break this week from school. A should be with his dad, but he’s opted to be with me instead. “I’m not going to sit around out there with nothing to do for an entire week!” is what A said. Plus, A’s new girlfriend lives 2 minutes from our house…so there’s that. 

 

 

 

Junior prom clusterfuck

Last weekend my son, a junior in high school, attempted to go to his junior prom with his girlfriend. He hadn’t realized that tickets would not be sold at the door, so they were turned away, as he didn’t buy his tickets in advance. 

There’s a 100 different things wrong with this, but the main thing is that he was turned away from his own junior prom because he didn’t have a piece of paper saying he could go. He had the money. The tux. The date. 

I emailed the principal on Monday. I got a snotty reply saying that its A’s fault, he should have gotten tickets in advance. Everyone else managed to get tickets in advance. And, sorry for the inconvenience.

A had told me that the asst principal, who had turned them away, said others were turned away as well. The principal said, no. A was the ONLY one turned away. I replied wondering about why an exception couldn’t have been made. I wondered about what the policy actually states. I got no response. I emailed the superintendent Tuesday afternoon. He was sure that the principal would want to address my concerns himself and referred me back to him. He cc’d the principal on this email as well. I waited 2 days. No response from the principal. I emailed the principal yesterday afternoon and said that this could be all be resolved by him and the asst principal sitting down with my son and his date, apologizing for the miscommunication and being clear about what transpired; why they weren’t allowed in, what the policy states, or if them being turned away was at the discretion of the staff on site (the asst principal). I thought it would be a fine idea for the school to allow A to be invited to the Sr. prom with his date so the 600 dollars her family spent on her dress wasn’t a total waste. My thought is that clearly there was a problem here of some kind – and the adults should take the time to explain to the kids why things worked out like they did. You know – take some responsibility. Model appropriate behavior. Blah blah blah. 

The reply I got was that the principal thinks tones can be misinterpreted in emails, so a face to face talk would be best in his opinion. I should email him or call his office to set up a time. So, I emailed him at 6am this morning saying I have time at 3:30 this afternoon. I have heard nothing back from him. 

I am pretty sick of being jerked around here. If the thinks he’s misinterpreting my tone he’s wrong. I’m pissed. I’m pissed in email, and I’m pissed in person. I’m pissed that this issue is taking effort and time on my part when this is really between A and the school. Which, by the way, A emailed the asst principal on Monday asking for a meeting with him about this – and he is also being ignored. I’m not misinterpreting the principal’s tone either. He doesn’t give a shit about this. He’s ignoring me, hoping I go away. 

The girlfriend’s parents were pissed too. The father met with the principal on Monday about this. He was offered no consolation. He was told A should have been responsible for getting tickets in advance. End of story. 

Is there no end to the number of assholes I’ll get to deal with in my life?

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