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.

Another waste of time

I don’t know how I forgot to write about this before…but I did. At the end of September I came home to a letter from the Department of Support Recovery and Enforcement requesting my presence at a hearing in October.

Every state is different, but in this state if either parent thinks that Dept of Support Recovery and Enforcement isn’t doing their job, they can request a hearing. Normally this is when one parent wants the other parent to pay their part of raising a child. The other parent ignores requests from the Dept of Support Recovery and Enforcement for income and asset information. Eventually, the Department determines what the likely income and assets are for the other parent, and issues a notice to that parent of their new obligation to pay child support. The other parent says “No no no, you have it all wrong. I don’t make enough money to pay this kind of support!” At which time, they would request a hearing to say that the Dept of Support Recovery and Enforcement has acted inaccurately. The hearing is usually when the other parent will give the Dept the information they wanted from the beginning.

Our reason for a hearing was different. Dummy thought that the Dept had acted inaccurately by issuing him a notice of debt for his portion of his children’s medical expenses. The expenses that I send to him, and then to the Dept every 6 months.

Our case manager lady said she’d never been to a hearing for this reason before. She and I were on the same page with the understanding that the Dept issued the debt based on his court ordered obligation to pay 52% of all uninsured medical expenses. My paperwork was all in order, so really she didn’t understand what Dummy was really hoping to gain from this.

On the day of the hearing Husband and I went to DHHS to wait for our hearing. Dummy showed up wearing a giant polo shirt, shorts, sneakers, no socks and didn’t appear to have shaved or showered in days. He also was fatter than I’ve ever seen. He must be close to 400 pounds.

The hearing has an impartial party to hear both sides and collect evidence. In 3 weeks or so he would send us his written decision.

It was about an hour of Dummy yammering on about how my numbers didn’t add up, and according to HIS math, he doesn’t owe anything for braces now, that he’s paid his half. Also, D’s medication is TOO EXPENSIVE! He said some pharmacist told him about other medications that do ‘the same thing and are less than half the cost! Plus she’s not even getting the generic!”

Nearly the only thing I said during the whole hearing was, “We do buy the generic. And if there is a medication that is exactly the same, what dosage is it?”

He said “30mg”

I said, “Well he’s on 27 milligrams of this medication, so its clearly not the same. Plus, when I asked his doctor about this last week, she said that she felt it would do more harm than good to change D’s meds at this point.”

The guy was asking questions and scribbling. At closing statements Dummy announced that my paper work wasn’t accurate because I am a “billing expert” and some how used ‘accounting’ to my benefit.

Three weeks later we got a letter in the mail. It said what we thought it would. Dummy’s argument was not accurate. He still owes the full amount of the debt that he was issued.

What a waste of time.





D is more than half way through his second season of high school diving. He’s really enjoying himself, and the practices for two hours 4 days a week does him a lot of good.

When dive season started he mentioned that his father had texted him and wanted to know about the meet schedule. D told him it could be found online, but that he wouldn’t be participating in the first half of the season due to grades. His father wanted to know why. D replied “Its complicated. You can ask Mom about it.” Of course he never did. (The high school now sees fit to put kids on ‘probation’ for a sport if they are failing 2 or more classes. They can practice but not compete for the first half of the season. They get their grades checked and if they are failing fewer than two classes, they can compete for the second half of the season.)

Before D’s first meet that he’s be participating in he mentioned that he would like to invite his dad, and wondered if I would stay home. I said, “No. There is more than enough room for everyone at the Y.” D agreed and that was the end of the discussion. D’s meet came and went. We didn’t see his father.

He had a meet on Saturday. On Friday night D messaged me that “Dad is probably coming to Saturday’s meet so….Maybe you can sit at the far end of the bleachers?”

“No. I can’t see the board from the far end of the bleachers. I’ll sit where I normally do.”


I’m not gonna lie, it was like a punch in the stomach. Immediately, I was worrying. I didn’t want to see that jackass and his stupid gf. I didn’t want to have him anywhere near D. I kept wishing he would just die. Or vanish. I’m so tired of feeling like this.

Warm-ups started at 3 and the meet started at 4. There were 9 divers in total, doing 11 dives. So every 10 minutes or so D would have his turn. They’d call his name, call his dive, he’d go out there and do his thing, get scored, then wait for his turn again.

It was about twenty past four when meet actually started. No Dummy. No Gf. D went first, then the other kids took their turns. Dummy showed up with Gf a little before 4:30. They sat at the far end of the bleachers. They stayed for the next 7 of D’s dives. Gf kept standing up and looking for D over the deck. She’s only met him one time before, about 3 or 4 years ago. I heard her say “There he is.” Dummy never got up to look.

I don’t know if any of you have ever seen actual diving, but its terrifying. I watched every move D made. Husband was recording the dives, but when D would do his thing he said that Dummy and Gf would just sit there, scowling. He said he didn’t see them smile. He didn’t see them looking impressed at how great of a job D was doing. They just seemed really put out to be there. Then they left before it was over. On their way out Gf made a point to make eye contact with me so she could glare at me. Just like the time I saw her at the football game. D is doing totally amazing and fantastic things on that diving board! How can anyone not be astounded at his ability?! Granted, he’s not going to the Olympics any time soon, but to leave early!? Sheesh!

D ended up getting disqualified for two failed dives and wasn’t able to finish the meet. So, he was nice and cranky for the rest of the evening. He didn’t say if he saw his father. He was just angry about the meet. Maybe he was angry because he wanted to do perfectly to impress his dad. Maybe he was angry because they left early. Maybe D didn’t notice if they were there or not and he was just angry because of the mistakes. Who knows.

Here is a link to the dive he was disqualified on. He did one and a half twists instead of one.

Dummy is a dick

A came by yesterday. Its creepy how much he looks and sounds like his father.
He has his own apartment now. Two cats. A girlfriend. He’ll start classes at the university in a couple of weeks. He has a new job, a car, bills…All in all I’d say he’s doing alright.

He was chatting in the doorway last night and said, “I don’t want to go to Thailand.” You all may recall Dummy’s and his GF’s great plan to take A to Thailand for three weeks in June. Dummy used the money he was supposed to pay A for the website he created to pay for his ticket.

A told me that even if he wanted to go, he can’t afford it. He can’t afford to miss three weeks of work, even if he cashed out all his paid time off, it wouldn’t be enough. Plus, the hotel where he works is super busy in the summer, he doesn’t imagine his job would be waiting for him if he took that kind of time off.

“So, what are you going to do?” I asked him.

“I don’t know. When I tried to talk to dad about it he said, ‘you’re seriously going to choose your entry level job over the trip of a lifetime?!'”

I said, “I’m not sure belittling your job is really the best way to get you to do what he wants you to do. Plus, I think this company is a really good one to work for.”

A started in, “They offer up to $3000 dollars a semester in tuition reimbursement. I have the opportunity to work my way up the ladder there, and THIS IS WHAT I’M GOING TO SCHOOL FOR. They do paid internships, they let me do my homework there. If I work in a hotel for a couple of years, even if I change my mind about what I want to do, I can work in a hotel anywhere. It’s a good skill to have.”

I could tell that A was annoyed and upset that he was even in this position. He shouldn’t be having to justify his responsibilities to his father of all people.

Then he said, “I told dad that he if he could guarantee me a job at his law office that pays $11.00 an hour, is for 30 hours a week, and I’ll get time to do my homework while I’m there, then yeah, I’ll go to Thailand.”

It didn’t sound like Dummy was jumping on that idea.

I knew A wasn’t going to want to go to Thailand. I knew it was a stupid idea to buy his ticket and assume he’d want to travel the world with his father when he has his own life going on. But, of course, Dummy doesn’t see it that way. He thinks A owes him. And if he doesn’t get his way, then A should feel badly about it.

He’s such a dick.


It’s hard to keep blaming his age on his shitty attitude. I think that A is turning into his narcissistic other parent. It’s hard to understand how he can be so selfish and entitled after all the time and effort I put into trying to make him understand that’s not how the world works. Once he turned 16 I told him to get a job. When he turned 17 I told him to get a job. Eventually he did. He kept it for 3 months and then got a different job. He had that job for 3 months then he quit. That is the extent of his work experience.

After he quit his job, he decided he had enough money in savings to not work for a while. Despite me sending him jobs nearly every day, he continued to not work. He asked me for money and I told him no. He should be working to get his own money. He somehow continued to think that, even though he’s not in college, even though he’s living with his father, and even though he’s not working, that he is somehow entitled to my money.

His father hired him to make him a website for his new ‘law firm’. He told A that he would pay him 750 dollars once it was done. I pointed out, again, the car payments, the insurance payments, the cell phone payments that he was responsible for, and for the upcoming traffic violation fines he would likely have to pay. A insisted he didn’t need a job.

He was caught texting and driving in April. He went to court to contest it, but failed. On Sept 19th, his license got suspended for 30 days . He has to pay a 250 dollar fine. He has to pay a 50 reinstatement fee and he had to take a drivers class that cost 50. I paid for the class, because I’m nice and thought I could be helpful.

He’s been asking me for rides to the college to visit his friends. I’ve obliged more often than not. No matter how nice I am, he doesn’t see it like that. He seems to think that it’s my job to give him what he wants.

Currently, he has no money to pay his bills. He’s decided that he wants to go to the state university now, and wants to start in January. I paid for the SAT to be sent over and I paid for the application fee. Because I’m nice to my kids. I want to help them move on to better things.

He thinks he’ll get enough financial aid and loans to be able to pay off his car and to stash away for bills so he won’t have to work.  I cannot make him understand that is not how it works. Even if he gets extra money, it won’t be enough for all that.

This last week he’s figured out that he doesn’t have enough money to pay his bills this month and will probably have to get a job. And probably return his cell phone to me.  I suggested that he sell his car, especially if he plans to live on campus. He was disgusted by that idea. I told him that between now and the time he gets his first paycheck, any bills he can’t afford to let me know and I could help him out. He would pay me back with his first paycheck.

This was the conversation we had this morning over IM

ME: so do you have money for the cell phone bill this month?

A: so you’re not helping out with my phone because I’m going to college, because i thought that was the plan

ME: college doesn’t start for you until January

A: k

ME: and you’re supposed to be getting a job, then talking to me about your bills, how much money you can put towards them and how much help you need from us

A: just transferred 60.

ME: ok. While you’re in school, we don’t mind helping you with bills, since the amount of time you can actually work is limited

A: that should go along well with all the child support and 6000 dollars for the house you just got, sorry you’re struggling with bills so much.

ME: A. I’m not getting any child support right now. B. That money went to pay off the credit cards I racked up while your dad wasn’t paying any support. it’s not like I have wads of cash just sitting around

A: I watched him write the check like 2 days ago, but okay lol. you have enough money to plan a trip for just you and Husband to go to florida?

ME: well, that’s good if that’s the case, but he would have to send it to DHHS, which takes extra time for it to get to me. And we have been saving for this trip since March.

A: i find it awfully hard to believe that since ive left your house you are having a tougher time paying for shit. I have a hard time believing you dont save at least 60 dollars from me not being there, but don’t worry about me. You certainly haven’t for a while. I’ll sell the car.

ME: if you don’t have 60.00 to pay for your cell phone this month, then you just have to say so. I told you the other day that between now and your first paycheck, you just have to let me know what you need help with and you can pay me back

A: You got 60 in your fucking bank account dont you?

ME: you’re 18 now, its not anyone’s job to financially support you. If you quit your job, and didn’t find a new job before your license got suspended…that’s on you.

you know you have bills that need to be paid

but, because you can’t drive right now, if you need help, you just have to say so

but its not like I’m giving you free money
A: no, we both know you get plenty of that elsewhere.

ME: plenty of money from elsewhere?

do you think someone sends me an extra check every month just for being awesome?

That was the end of the conversation. I’m nice. I’m helpful. And what do I get? Shit on based on some brainwashing bullshit his father has been spewing for years now about how my husband is super wealthy and we’re just screwing Asshat out of his hard earned cash.

If I replace A with Asshat – this whole conversation was perfectly predictable.

This is not how I imagined my relationship with my child would turn out. Not at all. It makes me really sad.

986 Days

As you all know, when the non custodial parent is required to pay part of the children’s medical expenses, usually the state’s department of human services has a protocol they wish for you to follow.

The protocol for my state is that I must include copies of all paid bills, and an itemized list of them, calculating the total amount owed. I must send this to the non custodial parent, and if I do not get paid, or come to a reasonable resolution regarding this debt in 30 days, I send it all along to the state. At which time they will review it, and create a  notice of debt for the non custodial parent.

I send them to Dummy every 6 months or so. I have sent three of these so far. The first two were paid in full with the tax returns the state intercepted and sent to me, and when he sold his house to his girlfriend and the lien that was on the house encompassed all the additional arrears owed to me.

I sent the third one at the end of August. On September 26th I received a letter from him. For a split second I thought “Could this be a check for his portion!?”


Don’t be crazy.

It was a full page letter. The first half was him talking about how he was sure he’s already paid his portion for braces. He also “was not aware” that I was receiving insurance reimbursements. I guess the spreadsheet I send with the column labeled “Insurance reimbursements” was confusing to him. I guess he was also perplexed at how the “Total paid out of pocket” column seemed to be the ‘Paid” column minus the “insurance reimbursement” column. But I think the thing that was the most confusing for him must  be how I send all the EOBs from the insurance company with my reimbursement request..

He stated that I may not be aware that his portion of the medical payments should be calculated using the AFTER insurance reimbursement amounts.

The letter said that he was working with the department of human services to determine the amount of the discrepancy and possible over payment.

I’ll just note here that he has quit his job and is NOT currently paying child support. At all. Nothing. So yes, he should definitely contact the department of human services about how he thinks he’s paid me too much.

He asked that I send along “true and accurate” insurance benefit information for D.

The second half of the letter mentioned that he found out that I changed D’s primary doctor without consulting him. Which, I did, over a year ago. The last time I tried to coordinate providers with him we spent 8 months arguing about it, then, I spent 4 months taking D to a therapist he hated and having to pay for it myself.  So, if he doesn’t like it, I guess he can take me to court and tattle on me there.

Then he got to the point – it was about D’s medication. It’s too expensive. He has no idea why it costs so much and everyone that he has  talked to said there are cheaper ADHD medications available. “So the question presently is why are you not insisting on a lower cost medication?”  He also said that he doesn’t understand why he didn’t start getting charged for it until the beginning of this year. I guess he’s never heard of an insurance deductible before.

After reading this letter a number of times, I couldn’t get past the first few sentences without being REALLY FUCKING ANGRY. It had been a long time since I’d had to deal with this out of the blue crazy, and I think I was out of practice. I stayed angry a lot longer than I should have.

I started writing my response. I typed some stuff out. After an hour or so, I read the letter again. I only need to respond to direct questions. I do not need to clarify shit he doesn’t understand unless he asks me to. Telling me that he was “unaware” that I was receiving insurance reimbursements, or is confused about why he wasn’t charged for meds before isn’t my concern. If you want an answer, ask a question. Otherwise, I don’t need to explain myself.

I printed D’s insurance benefit information for medical, pharmacy and dental. I attached it to this letter:

I have enclosed the insurance information that you requested.

D has been on his current medication for 3 years now. I do not see any reason to change medications at this time.

There are 986 days until D turns 18.

Then I won’t have to deal with this shit ever again.

18 going on 10

A quit his job and has been unemployed for a few weeks now. Since I got the back support payment from  lien on the sale of asshats house, A has asked me for money twice. Both times was because he wanted to eat out. Both times I said “no.”
Last night he said “I find it hard to believe that you don’t have 10 dollars. But don’t worry about it. Its not a big deal.”
Detecting a lot of snark in that comment, I replied “I didn’t say that I didn’t have 10 dollars. I’m just not interested in giving you money to eat out with when we all eat at home every night.”
And with that, he de-friended me on Facebook.

Since he quit his job I have sent him nearly 70 links to available jobs. He told me that he wasn’t looking very hard right now because he had money in savings. Plus, he had a friend who was starting a bakery and would pay him $750.00 to put together a website for her.

Silly me, thinking he should spend his own money on a luxury like eating out.

I want to be an adult! But I still want you to buy me shit! Yeah, I don’t think so.

Just because you’re mad, if you have bills you really can’t just up and quit your job without a plan. At least that’s my theory.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that no matter how much you try to make your kids different, they sometimes turn out just like the one person you wish they weren’t. In this case, his father.

I don’t know why A feels entitled to any of my money, other than the fact his father is telling him that he is. He is capable of working and earning his own money. He has his own place to live. He has his own responsibilities. This might be different if he was in school and couldn’t work 40 hours a week. But he’s not. I spent YEARS trying to prepare him for the real world, and still, he feels like its somehow my job to give him money for take-out? No. I don’t think so.

It makes me cranky how childish he is being. Rather than realizing its not my job to financially support him anymore, and having an adult view of things, he decides if I won’t pay for him to have Little Caesars pizza, then he is not going to be friends with me anymore! This is exactly how his father acts. Its like he’s 18 going on 10.

History repeats itself

As I’ve mentioned, my boss knows Asshat’s gf. The gf used to be married to my boss’s nephew. They have a child together, and until recently, have lived together for the majority of their time divorced.

Several months ago, my boss relayed a story to me where her nephew was talking about needing to find a new place to live. Apparently gf and Asshat were moving in together. Nephew couldn’t afford rent on his own, so he’d need to move. When my boss told me about this I thought it didn’t really seem like ‘news’.

I mentioned it to Husband and we figured Asshat would have to sell his shitty house, so the couple could move somewhere closer to the town where her kid goes to school and her ex-husband lives. That would be good for me, as the state has attached a lien to his house for a portion of the back support he owes me. If he sold that house, I’d get some cash. Also, selling the house would also require paying off the stupid home equity loan. As of last week he was 140 days past due.

All in all, it was just another thing in passing that didn’t mean anything to anyone other than to remind me that asshat still owes me money, and remains a hugely irresponsible asshole.

Fast forward to yesterday…My boss came in “I have something to tell you!…..gf bought a house!”

I thought, Oh, well good for her – at least they won’t be living in that shit hole in the woods….unless…..

“She didn’t buy HIS house did she?” I asked, half joking, because that would be a TERRIBLE idea.

My boss replied “I think she did.”

“No, she couldn’t have. That doesn’t make any sense. She’d basically be paying off the home equity loan, the mortgage, and the liens for him, alleviating all this non-school loan debt, and he’d STILL get to live in his own house. That is a terrible idea. Really. A very terrible idea.”

My boss printed off the FB post announcement that gf had graced all her friends with. She mentioned that her daughter is excited to live with Asshat, the daughter is also excited to have two houses again, but suspects that the daughter doesn’t understand her (gf) and her ex husbands commitment to co-parenting (vomit). She thanked her family for all their support ($$$), and especially “Her guy” (asshat), who came up with this plan, and who gave her TONS of reassurance (pushy) that this would all work out.

As a side note, lets also consider that this was our marital home for over 10 years. If they are starting out new, why would she want THAT house of all houses? She probably wouldn’t. But he would. It’s HIS house. Because we know about how controlling and manipulative he is, this makes perfect sense for him to convince her to put her name on that mortgage. Financially, she would be trapped.

The more I thought about it, the more I was sure I was just drawing conclusions, and had no real facts other than she bought a house. Asshat was pushy about it. Her daughter seems happy about it, and her parents were part of it.

I figured if I called the child support IVR and they told me I had a disbursement of 5k waiting to hit my account, OR the home equity loan got paid off, then we’d know if she bought his house not some other house. I called the child support IVR this morning. Nothing.

When I got to work, I checked the online banking site for my home equity loan.


It’s gone.

It’s been paid off.

The final financial tie is finally gone. My credit will no longer get worse with each passing month.

She bought his house. Seriously. What a fucking terrible idea.

Here we go again

I don’t know where to begin.

D found out that Asshat took A to Texas. D was upset because in the last email he said to his father in April “let me know when you’re not busy, and we can get together.” D was offended that his father managed to find the time to go to Texas with his brother, but not to email him back.

D asked for an appt with is counselor. He was able to get us in last Friday. As D talked about all this, the counselor asked why D had changed his mind about seeing his dad. D didn’t know, he just had. The counselor reminded D about his “choice” to not have contact with his dad, and said he probably would have recommended that D go slower than just suddenly suggesting to get together with his father, as he tried to reconnect, “So he didn’t get hurt.”

D talked about the emails he’d sent Asshat and hows Asshat’s response was they shouldn’t be talking about getting together because the court order says they aren’t allowed to.
The counselor said, “That doesn’t make sense.”
I said “That’s not what it says. It says that D and Asshat aren’t allowed to make plans to get together and follow them through without telling me about it.”
The counselor laughed and said, “Well of course not! you’d have hell to pay with your mom for something like that!”
I replied, “That’s happened before. That is why we had to have to order spell it out that clearly.”
His response was, “Oh.”

The counselor went on to talk about how he had talked to Asshat and Asshat thought I was poisoning D against him. Which the counselor said he did not believe to be true. But he said that the father was very upset that D didn’t want to see him and missed him very, very much.

The counselor said that he thought that I was doing a very good job of not interfering into how the relationships worked.

He also suggested that with ‘some persistence’, dad might come around and be less upset about D’s choice to not want to see him and agree to work on seeing him now.

My head starting spinning at this. First of all – did the counselor not see that clearly Asshat was putting all the blame and responsibility of D’s failed relationship onto me? And it seemed like the counselor was putting a lot of the responsibility onto D. What about Asshat? Does he bear no responsibility here for how this has worked out?

I said, “Regardless of whatever D has chosen or not chosen to do, there is no excuse for no birthday cards, no christmas cards, no christmas presents, no phone calls, no emails, nothing. Nothing at all for over a year.”

D said, “A birthday card might have made all the difference.”

The counselor agreed, but then said, “But as I recall you were asked one year what you wanted for Christmas and you said ‘nothing’. Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for.”

I pointed out that if my children had no contact with me for 18 months, i would be beyond happy and jump at the opportunity to spend time with them. I think D has every right to be hurt about this father blowing him off to take his brother to Texas. The counselor agreed that was hurtful. He then talked about how D’s father and I disagree on how the divorce went down, and pointed out that no matter who did what (eluding to the fact that Asshat likes to tell people I was a cheating whore) if your marriage is in a good place, you don’t just leave the state and travel across the country for law school.

The counselor asked me if I had any contact with Asshat. I said that I did not. He asked about email. I said that I did not.
He said, “What about A?”
I said, “What about him?”
“Don’t you discuss him?”
“Well that’s not good!”
“I used to, but I generally will get no response, or a hateful, angry response.”
“No response? Then you don’t know if he’s even getting your emails?”
“I guess not. But I imagine he is. Occasionally he’ll email me from address to call me names or insult my parenting.”

The counselor seemed to skip over this and pointed out that he figures its only a matter of time now before Asshat and D get together. Because he has been carrying on with this “poisoning” theory, that won’t hold up now that D is making contact.

A few more things were discussed, I left and the counselor and D talked on their own. We made an appt for D to go back next week. I very much got the feeling that because the things I say are in stark contrast to the things that Asshat says, the counselor thinks we are just another typical “high conflict divorce.”

On the way to visit my parents on Saturday D said, “I emailed dad, and this was his response….” He started reading an email that sounded pretty wishy-washy about ‘maybe we can get together…the confines of the court order….have your mother email me.’

D said, “So mom, can you do me this huge favor and just email dad?”

I said that I would not. I said the order is clear, if your dad wants to see you, he just needs to let me know.

“Come on, Mom! Please!?! Just do me this one favor!”

I said, “No, I’m not going to.”

“He’s my father and I have a right to have a relationship with him!”

I agreed. “you do. that’s true. However, its not my job to make that happen. That’s your dad’s job. we spent a lot of time and money getting a court order in place so that there are clear rules to follow and there is no confusion about things. If he’d like to see you, he just has to send me an email. Then he can see you Friday to Sunday every other week.”

“But why can’t you just email him!?! Its the most hassle free way of just making it so I can see dad”

I said, “Hassle free for you and for your dad. But not for me. This is not my job. I’m not going to email anyone. I’ll certainly respond to an email if i get one.”

“I know its not your job! But why can’t you just do it?!”

“I’m not going to email your dad. Its not for me to do, this is his job, he knows the rules.”

D gave up after that. We rode another 30 minutes in silence before husband passed his tablet to the back seat so D could play some games on it.

We’ve dropped him off with my mom for a few days. He’ll be back for his next counseling appt on Thursday. I can’t even imagine what that will bring.

Am I wrong here? I don’t think I am. I can be tolerant of a relationship between D and his father, but I certainly don’t have to facilitate it. Do I email the counselor and say “hey, you’ve got it all wrong – Asshat is an abusive, manipulative, bully? I want this guy to just see Asshat for the asshole that he, but Asshat has already painted me as the angry ex-wife. The controlling ex spouse that won’t let him see his children. He’s painting the picture that he is reasonable, and I’m nuts. The counselor takes it all with a grain of salt and thinks we are equally reasonable, but are both tainted by the high conflict divorce. That’s what counselors are trained to do.

Asshat hasn’t had anything to do with D for 18 months, not because D wasn’t persistent enough, but because Asshat is a fucking selfish jerk.

I am feeling so defeated at the prospect of going through this all over again.


Its just a few days away…Graduation.

A has been living with his father for the last few months. I wouldn’t let him have a hamster.

Honestly, I’m really ok with that. He’s working a lot of hours, finishing up high school, he still shows up for dinner if we invite him and still picks his brother up for a ride to school most mornings. He’s become the manager at the place he works now. He just got a raise. They’ve promised him 40 hours a week as soon as he graduates. These people are people A have known for years. They are another baseball family. Its been a good ‘in’ for him.

asshat and gf have decided to take a trip to Texas to visit gf’s sister. According to A, gf’s mother is “rich” and is paying for asshat and A’s ticket to go along. The issue is that A was selected to play in Shiner’s charity football game, and the training camp starts on a Sunday, and A wont be back from Texas until Monday. His plan is to drive back from “whatever airport we’re using” and go directly to the training camp. Nice how his father really takes A’s commitments so seriously, isn’t it?

A, of course, thinks this will be totally fine to show up a day and a half late to a week long training camp. Sure. Why not? My dad seems to think that its not that important, so why should I?

Its out of my hands – A will be 18 by the time this trip comes, so I don’t expect any email about any part of it to let me know.

Meanwhile, no one has heard anything from asshat regarding D wanting to visit. So, I guess that makes it all pretty clear. D hasn’t asked again, so does this mean we spend the next three years with our fingers crossed that their paths won’t cross? D won’t be attending A’s graduation. For his birthday present, D will be taking the lifeguard certification class the next two weekends at the Y. I’m not going to lie, this was a big relief. I can’t imagine how it would play out with D seeing his dad and the gf at graduation. I don’t think gf knows that D tried to get together with his dad. Would D want to say hello? Would asshat just ignore him? Would asshat act like he didn’t reject his own son being part of his life? I want to protect him from his father who just keeps making him feel like a worthless piece of shit and my only solution is to keep them apart…at least until he’s 18. Writing it out like that, it doesn’t seem particularly rational. But I guess I don’t know what else to do.

For me, I’m not looking forward to seeing asshat’s big fat face and his dumb, over dressed gf at MY SON’S graduation…but I can’t do much about it. He seems to think he has an equal stake in the person our child has become – when the reality is,  I did all the work. I’m the one who wrote a blank check for the lost sociology book this morning. I’m the one who threw him a graduation party last weekend. I’m the one who financed a car for him. I’m the address A writes on every thing. I’m the parent to contact for anything. I’m the one who would call the school for the missing back packs, the lost cell phones, the picking up after detentions. I’m the one proof reading his business plan for the food truck he wants to start. I’m the one he tells ALL about it, every time I see him. But sure, you should totally come to graduation for a child you contributed nothing but bitterness and bullshit to. It is a big audience for you to parade around in front of, acting like you belong there.

But. In the end, A is very excited about graduation. People are giving him money. He has marching practice this week. They get their caps and gowns today. He bought new dress shoes (with my money). He’s the reason husband and I will go and smile, clap and cry at the video montage of the baby pictures and senior pictures. I’ll get some pictures of him marching in, getting his diploma, and we’ll make our escape once it’s over.

Who knows, maybe asshat won’t even show up after all!


Two weeks ago D unblocked and attempted to re-add his father on Facebook. A couple of days later he asked me what his father’s email address was. I gave it to him.

Yesterday D came to me and asked if he could email his father and maybe go visit this weekend.

I told him that he could email his dad anything he liked. I reiterated  the rule about the court order, every other weekend Friday to Sunday, and dad had to email me about it beforehand.

D went ahead and emailed his dad, “Will I be able to come to your house this weekend?”

His father replied, I have heard nothing from your mother, and she was very specific, as was her attorney and the court, that we are not allowed to discuss visits.  If she emails me and agrees with my rules for you to come visit I would think it is possible.  Sorry D, it is just out of my control based on how things turned out with the court last time.  I hope all is well with you though.  Love – Dad”

D came to me with this email. I asked about other emails he’d sent his dad, D said that he’d asked about going camping and catching up with each other, but dad’s response was that he didn’t have time for that right now. D replied to that, but his dad did not respond.

I said that I didn’t want him to be in the middle of all of this, but we spent a lot of money and time getting the court to make a decisions about all this that was fair for everyone. Your dad knows what the deal is, so if he wants you to come over and visit, all he has to do is send me an email.

I asked him, “So why do you think that dad doesn’t just send me an email? Like all excited to have you come over and visit?”

D said, “its psychology.”

I asked him to clarify, and he did…”If me and my friend got in a fight and my friend wanted to make up, but I didn’t, I’d do the same thing that dad is doing. I’d make my friend work to prove that he really wanted to make up. Like the last email I sent dad, I got the last word. He didn’t respond. So I took the initiative and emailed him again asking if I could come over this weekend”

I said, “Ok, but you realize that might be how kids your age act, but for an adult to treat you that way….” D finished the sentence “Isn’t good? Yeah I know.”

I said, “if you’d like you can email dad and let him know that the next step is for him to send me an email if he wants to see you. And what is the plan if he doesn’t email me?”

D said, “Well I guess that means he doesn’t want me to come visit.”

D sent another email to his father last night after our conversation, and forwarded it to me,

“Mom said that if you want to see me, you’d have to email her and say when you’d want me over. I would like you to pick me up after dive on Saturday and we could go back to the old house, and idk, do stuff I would come home Sunday. I would also like that to become a regular thing every weekend or every other weekend. Love D”

I know you’ll all be shocked to hear that asshat hasn’t emailed me about this.

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