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.

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?

Consent To Treat. Or Not.

Any one who has to co-parent with a bitter and unstable person will know what’s coming when I start this post with the sentence: “I emailed Asshat regarding the orthodontists repeated attempts to get him to sign a consent to treat for D to get braces” That’s right, ladies and gentlemen….He no longer consents.

From Asshat over the last year regarding braces for D. 

March 13, 2013
Additionally, D will need braces and this will need to be verified as happening as soon as possible.  Let me know with whom this is to be done. If you have a preference for a Dental provider to keep your costs down I will be more than happy to discuss that with you.  He needs braces and you are responsible for payment of them.

May 20, 2013
I have looked at his teeth and they seem to be getting worse.  If it is easier for you to have me schedule the appointments and get the ball rolling I have no problem doing so.  If you have separate insurance to cover this I will be more than happy to once again work within your network.  Regardless, this needs to happen soon.  I gave you the green light to get him braces almost three years ago with whomever you found and you have not done so – I don’t care who does the work, but the child needs it done as soon as possible.   

October 4, 2013
I have also not heard back from you regarding a scheduled appointment for D to get his braces.  It has been a month.  Should I need to go through the Court to make this happen I will do so.  D should not have to wait any longer to recieve proper dental care, care that is long overdue.

Twice now the orthodontist has called me to let me know that they don’t have a signed ‘consent to treat’ for D for his appointment to get braces put on, which is scheduled for Aprll 1st. The first phone call with them I explained that now, due to an order from the court making him half responsible for this cost, he would likely not sign the form. She told me that she found that odd as she recalled him making the initial evaluation appt for D. She said he was VERY persistent in making the appointment as soon as possible and if I had cancelled it, he wanted them to call and tell him. I gave her his cell phone number and address. 

The second phone call was the office staff sounding a little desperate about not having this form signed. I explained again that he likely wouldn’t sign it, as he probably thinks that by not doing it, he won’t be financially responsible. She and I laughed. She told me that it wasn’t mandatory that both parents sign, its just what they prefer. I get it. But, I can’t help her. 

So, I emailed Asshat. “The orthodontist says you have still not signed and returned the consent to treat for D’s braces appt on Tuesday. Please stop by their office and do that as soon as possible.”

To which he replied “I do not consent to treat for any elective medical or dental treatment for D at this time.”

We’ll see how much that matters when the state starts collecting medical reimbursements from his paycheck. Asshole. 

No baseball

Now that we’re back to a life without so much Asshat, things have been busy! We had a lovely mini-vacation in Florida to visit husband’s family. It was so wonderful to be away from the cold and snow, if only for a few days. The boys had a great time. Neither had flown before, or been able to wake up to views of the sunrise over the ocean, so it was nice to be able to give them those experiences. 

We were smart enough to return home on a Friday in order to have a full weekend to get back into the swing of things before work and school resumed. 

A had decided that he would be participating on the school’s baseball team. He has played every single season since T-ball, so I was thrilled about this. A is very very good at baseball, but says he hates it. Each season since the last year of Farm League he normally has to be coaxed by a coach to join the team. So it was exciting that he was willingly going to be doing this on his own.

This week is Asshat’s week with A, but because my kids and their activities are important to me, I still pick A up after practice or volleyball or weight room even when its not my week. If I don’t, Asshat refuses to work around anyone’s schedule but his own. This way A gets to participate, and I get to see him most every day. 

When I picked A up at 5:15 on Monday he got in the car and was angry. “I’m not doing baseball” he said. I said, “Oh….Why not? Did it not go well?” He said, “No, its not that. Dad called me three times and since I didn’t answer my phone, he texted me and told me that I’d have to find my own way back to his house tonight. And if I couldn’t that he’d pick me up after school tomorrow. I don’t have any of my stuff for tomorrow” 

Silly me, with all my logic said, “Didn’t dad know you had baseball today?” 

“Yes. He did. But apparently he got out of work at 3:50 and since I left my phone in the locker room because I was at BASEBALL PRACTICE he just went home. I told him it started at 3, I don’t know why he would assume it would only go for 50 minutes. Whatever. I’m not going to do baseball. Its too much of a hassle if this is what’s going to happen every time.” 

He was upset. I felt bad. He just insisted that he’d do Sr. League in the summer instead, that would be less of a hassle some how. 

I offered to drive A out to dad’s to drop him off, but he said no. If I drove out there, he said, he’d just get his stuff and come back with me. He said all he was really missing was his history book, and he didn’t think he’d really need it. So, we just went back home. 

Asshat knew A was doing baseball. There was no previous mention about schedules or what Asshat would or would not be able to do. A gave him all the information he needed, and Asshat said, “Ok.” Then, when the time comes for Asshat to follow through and do something for someone else, suddenly, its a giant fucking problem.

How clearly I can see it now. This is a form of abuse. He’s being set up, just to be taught a lesson. It’s like A should have known ahead of time that this would be a problem for dad. Having to WAIT?! for his kid to get out of practice? I don’t think so! A is being sent a very clear message that what he wants is inconvenient. He will have to deal with his father being a manipulative prick because he is following his own ideas and goals. He’s being told that he should just give up. It’ll be easier to just give up than to fight for what you want. Its just baseball. You’d rather have your dad be civil and talk to you and not make you feel like you’re fucking up his day by needing a ride home. Just quit. 

I’ve done this a MILLION times myself with Asshat. It got to the point where whatever I wanted to do, it wasn’t worth the hassle of putting up with his bullshit afterwards. A trashed house, the silent treatment, suddenly no money in the budget for me to take the kids school shopping, whining endlessly about how awful it was for me to be gone…

Hopefully A’s reliance on his father for rides and food and shelter will be over soon enough, as college is quickly approaching for him. I’m sure for A though, its not soon enough. 

I emailed Asshat and told him that A was going to quit baseball because he wasn’t able to wait around after work to pick A up. (Normally Asshat gets out of work at 4:45, so the 20 minute drive to the high school would only mean about 10 minutes of actual waiting.) I asked Asshat to please try to work out some kind of resolution to this with A, as extracurriculars are important. I offered for A to stay over with me any time that he needed, and I would still be willing to pick him up from practices. 

Asshat’s reply? “Fee free to have a conversation with A about you picking him up from practice and driving him to my house every day.” 

Asshat lives 20 minutes away since moving to the old house. He really thinks this is the solution to the problem? Make me do all the work? Yeah. I guess that’s about right for his tiny little brain. Fucker. 

Done with D

We are going to Florida for a few days. Husband’s parents and siblings all live there now and have invited us down for a visit. 

I needed to tell asshat, as we are taking the boys out of state. I emailed: 

“We will be traveling to Melbourne, Florida with the boys from March 17th to March 21st. Please let me know if you’d like any further information.” 

The next morning, here was the response: 

“This is not during any school vacation which means that A will be missing a significant amount of time from school.  Matters concerning A’s education are to be decided by both of us and it seems like you are circumventing the court order here.  Given the amount of time he has already missed this year and your current plans, I’m sure you have checked with the school already to make sure he will not suffer academically.”

I don’t really need to get all into all of the steps I’ve taken to make sure that BOTH kids will be able to academically weather a week away from school work here. Also I expected some kind of bullshit response regarding how I’m trying to play the system…What I really want to know is what is with all this crap about A and no mention of D? 

I guess in some way I understand that he’s done with D. He didn’t get his way, so he’s given up. But it seems that every time this happens, its only a matter of time before he’s sticking his face back in where it doesn’t belong. Previously, however, he had an audience. He wanted to look good for the lawyer, for the girlfriend, for court…but with not lawyer and no looming court date, and I’m sure the girlfriend isn’t sad about not having to compete with another child for attention…maybe this is it? Maybe he’s really all done with D this time? 

Healthy Relationships vs Emotionally Abusive Relationships.

lookingforward2012:

Yes. This. I wish I’d read this 15 years ago.

Originally posted on Many Small Voices: Speaking out about domestic abuse:

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Healthy Relationships differ wildly from emotionally abusive relationships, but it’s not always easy to tell the difference when you’re in them. Here are some comparisons.

An Emotionally Abusive Relationship:

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  • Makes you feel anxious.
  • Makes you feel that you’re not good quite enough.
  • You worry that what you say or do is going to upset your partner.
  • They check up on you, reads your post, emails, text messages.
  • Accuse you of cheating or not thinking of their needs enough.
  • Keeps you stuck, not fulfilling your full potential.
  • They don’t support your desire to make yourself a more independent person.
  • Shouts at you, calls you names, insults you.
  • Controls you, where you go, what you wear, who you socialise with.
  • Demands your time and attention away from other people, children and activities.
  • Punishes you when you’re not doing as they want.
  • Gives you the silent treatment or tells you they’re not upset…

View original 848 more words

A really shitty father

I’m procrastinating. 

I should be reading chapter 18 of my Financial and Managerial Accounting book. I should be taking notes in order to answer the discussion questions at the end of the chapter. 

Instead I’m messing around on Facebook and WordPress. I’m having some trouble concentrating. 

Husband is frustrated with the latest round of stupid people continuing to be stupid. Mainly our dear Asshat. I did actually send him an email last night asking for him to please gather A’s school stuff and drop it off on our porch as he passed our house on his way to the southern part of the state in order to take his bar exam. 

No response. And, no books. Husband was actually surprised by this. “He is a really shitty father” he said after checking the porch this morning for the books. Yes. Yes he is. 

I let A stay home today. I don’t know if that was the right move or not. Frankly, I’m not currently in the mood to pick apart my parenting choices right now. I’m tired. And a little cranky.

Husband would like to set some limits about A just ending up here because his father doesn’t have the gas money to drive in to pick him up…or whatever lame excuse he has on any given day. I get it. I really do. But. I’m not going tell A that he can’t spend the night at home. Not ever. 

Its all so frustrating. All over again.

 

 

what would you do?

A is here. I picked him up from school. The plan, the last I knew, was that I’d  be picking him up from school, and that his father would then pick him up from my house and take him back to his house. This way A can participate in after school activities. Today, at 3pm A messaged me saying he’d be staying over tonight with me. I figured this was coming since the bar exam is on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, and his father would be busy with that, and unavailable to, you know, parent.

However. A informed me that he doesn’t have any of his books for school tomorrow. Initially dad had told him that Wednesday would be the day that he’d need to be gone to take the test, since he passed part of the test already. But on the way to school this morning, he informed A that Tuesday was the day. This left A unprepared and without his things.

According to A, as that is all I have to go on, as we know asshat won’t speak to me in any way, dad will be gone from 4am tomorrow morning until 7pm tomorrow night. At which time, he should be able to pick A up and take him back to his house.

A’s answer to not having his stuff is that he’ll just miss school tomorrow. My answer is that dad should bring his stuff in town and drop if off for him. A’s response is on message with his fathers “Dad can’t afford an extra trip in town.” Right. Of course he can’t. I’m not entirely sure why he has A any part of time at all considering how fucking broke he seems to be.

Anyway – back to the point of this post…..What would you all do? Would you go get A’s stuff for school? Would you let A stay home since he doesn’t have his things? Do you send a pointless email to asshat pointing out his shitty parenting and tell him he should bring A his stuff? Do I drive all the way out to the old house so A can get his crap?

I’m anxious to hear what you have to say… I could use any thoughts from others that I can get – as this will NOT be the last time I’m in this position.

 

You can’t make this stuff up…

D had a melt down this morning. Refusal to go to diving class. Attitude. Calling me immature. And my totally mature response? “I’m almost forty fucking years old! I’m not the one being immature!” Ok. Maybe that was a little immature. 

Either way, the consequence was loss of computer for a week. He remained firm in his resolve to be a little turd, so the computer was removed and locked away. 

Later he decided he’d like to go visit dad. Mainly to go play in the woods outside of the old house, and yeah, maybe to play a little xbox…

I explained that likely nothing with his dad had changed since the last time he had visited. He didn’t care, really, he just wanted to go out and play in the woods. I explained that dad would need to come get him and that I would be picking him up at 5pm on Sunday, as per the court order. D was mad. Obviously dad wouldn’t come get him! Why can’t I just take him!? And why does he have to wait until Sunday to be picked up?! This is dumb! 

I gave a whole speech about boundaries, and parents sharing responsibilities, and how we spent a lot of money to get this court order, so we’re going to stick to it. 

Eventually, D decided to give dad a call and see if he could get him to come pick him up. 

“Hi dad…..good…..hey can I come over and visit at your house today?”
We can hear asshat on the other end as we’re sitting in the same room, he didn’t even think about it, he just said “No I cant, I”m studying for the bar.” D’s response was “oh…..ok…..well…..” then asshat started in on some excuses “I don’t have enough money for you to come visit. I’m going to need to work on a new schedule, I’m going to need to get a second job” D rolled his eyes and said, “yeah, ok…”

The phone got static-y and D hung up. Shortly after asshat called back and they talked a little more, but D thought other things were more entertaining and after about 2 minutes he said “I gotta go….yeah nice to talk to you too…bye”

Asshat could have said “Yes! I’d LOVE to see you! Let me email your mom and see what we can work out!” But no. That isn’t what he did. Instead he sent me this email: 

“D called me today to ask about visiting this weekend.  Per the order, as you would say, communication about visitation needs to not go through him.  It is inappropriate for you to encourage him to do the very thing which you seemed hell bent to prevent.  Just an FYI so that in the future it will not happen again.”

He wasn’t encouraged by me to call. He was told he can do whatever he likes. Am I supposed to tell him that he’s not allowed to call his father to ask to come visit? That he needs to wait for dad to initiate contact? Really? What a fucking idiot. 

Nice and quiet

Things have been calm here since the order. A was feeling very frustrated with his dad’s lack of ability to parent. It wasn’t too big of a deal when they lived in town…but being out in the woods, away from his friends, and school, needing a ride everywhere – A’s patience wore thin. Before the order, A called and asked me to come get him on Tuesday, rather than Thursday. It was fine with me to have him here a couple extra days. On Sunday, X came to pick A up (30 minutes late) and took him back to the woods. 

On Monday A called me from school asking me to go pick him up. Of course I did, and on the way back to my house (where I thought X was going to pick him up after work) A informed me that dad hadn’t gone to work that day, he’d stayed home to study for the bar exam. Also, dad said he may or may not have the gas money to be able to drive back in town to get A back home. After several text messages and unanswered phone calls, A decided, even though he didn’t have his materials for classes the next day, he would like to stay with me for the rest of the week. 

By Thursday X managed to stop by the house to drop off A’s school materials he’d asked for on Monday. Sigh. 

Saturday A and his friend got on a bus to Boston to go visit the friends family for February vacation. A will be back on Sunday, and rumor is that he’d like me to pick him up at the bus station, bring him to my house, then maybe dad will pick him up from there in the afternoon. Who really knows? Not me, that’s for sure. 

X has un-friended A on Facebook – I suspect in an attempt to keep me from seeing his page? Hard to tell. Funny thing though, girlfriend is friends with A so I can see her page just fine. She got roses on Valentines day. “#gotagoodman”  and “#grateful365″ she wrote. This made me do some form of laughing, feeling sad and throwing up in my mouth a little all at once. She also thinks Facebook works like twitter I guess. 

Meanwhile, neither D or I have heard from X. Not a whisper. D is still going to counseling. Today the counselor asked, “So any word from dad lately?” D answered, “nope.” The counselor talked about how seeing dad is D’s choice, and how he might wish, when he’s older, that he made a different choice about trying to reach out to his dad. D’s response “That’s a one in a million chance. I doubt it.” D likes this counselor, but its hard when its clear that he just doesn’t understand what kind of person X really is. But, like the rest of us, he’ll just have to figure it out on his own I guess.

We’ve made plans to head to Florida with the boys in March. We are all very much looking forward to it. Its been so cold and so much snow here lately, we’re all ready for a break from it. 

The End.

I’ve read it, re-read it, scanned it, copied it, forwarded it, read it again…the order has arrived. 

Friday at lunch I saw that my lawyer had emailed me. She stated that she thought I would be “pleased” with what the order contained. This may have set my expectations a little too high. 

The order contained largely what I expected it to. The main points are: 
* Week on and a week off for A.
*Each parent gets 2 non-consecutive weeks of vacation with the kids.
*Child support for me of $103.41 per week, retroactive to April 12 of 2013 when the court deemed it ‘reasonable’ that he should start supporting his kids after the ‘transition’ from school and bar study. This adds up to right around $4800.00.
*All rights and responsibilities remain shared, however if I email him he has 48 hours to respond, otherwise I can make a unilateral decision. Unfortunately, the timeliness of his bullshit responses to whatever I had to say about the kids was never really an issue.
*He is not allowed to contact D to arrange visitation, he is to go through me, then, contact with D will be alternating weekends, Friday at 5pm to Sunday at 5pm.
*The person receiving the child is to do the transportation.
*He is responsible for 52% of uninsured medical costs. 
*His motion to enforce is denied, as it was made clear that I was within reason to not force D to go visit, considering how D felt about the whole thing. 

D was not happy about this. Since the last time he visited, he doesn’t want to go anymore. His response when I told him about the order was, he’s hoping that dad never sees the order, and if he does, he hopes he doesn’t bother to email me about it.
A is fine with this. However, when I started talking about plans to go to Fl to see husband’s family (which we’ve been holding off on planning until we got the order) A is under the impression that we can’t go unless dad ‘consents’ to us going. “Dad won’t let us” is what he said. I told him that wasn’t accurate, we can do whatever we like, dad gets no say in it. When A says stuff like that, it really makes me wonder how much inaccurate control garbage he really spews at A when they are together. 

This is bullshit, if you ask me. Why did I have to spend over $8000.00 on a fucking lawyer to get THIS as the result? Oh right…its because he is an abusive, manipulative, piece of shit, ass monkey.

And….as for my lawyer? I wouldn’t recommend her. She was expensive, and not particularly useful. She didn’t really grasp what kind of person we were dealing with. I could tell that she often thought, especially in the beginning, that I was overreacting to the shit asshat was doing. She somehow ‘forgot’ to put legal fees into the pretrial list of what we were asking for, even though she and I had talked about it specifically several times. This meant that it wasn’t up for discussion during the trial. She initially quoted me $1500.00 to take care of this. When that money was gone, she estimated another $2000.00. We got our final bill from her yesterday and we owe her $6600.00. We’d get bills monthly. We knew it was accumulating, but we had no way to stop it, not when she wanted to see every fucking email exchange. She was unclear about the amount of time we had for our trial. She’d prepared for 2 days, when we only got 1 day. I paid for prep that we didn’t need. She frequently would ask me “can you think of anything else I should be asking?” during the trial. Fuck man, I don’t know…isn’t this YOUR job? Isn’t this why I owe you so much money now? She even charged me $18.50 to read and respond to the email I sent her on the 27th asking if she’d heard anything about the order yet, as we were told we’d have it in 30 days, maybe less. I guess not really having a grasp on what we needed ourselves made it difficult to be able to choose the appropriate lawyer. Or maybe we just totally picked the wrong person. Or maybe she was a shitty lawyer. I don’t know. 

Anyway. It’s over. I’ve got the order. $8000 dollars and 16 months later, It’s not what I wanted, but it’s about what I expected. This process has been complete and total bullshit from beginning to end. 

The End. 

 

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