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.

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.

Capture

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?”
“No.”
“No?”
“No.”
“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.

Graduation

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!

Heartbreaking

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.

Shitty people

I wanted to write a post airing asshat and his gf’s dirty laundry. They are shitty people, but everyone who matters already knows this. So, I guess I don’t need to write about the details of their lying and crappy parenting.

I will say that asshat is selling the house himself now, without the help of a realtor. In his craigslist ad he writes: “This home has recently had it’s price lowered drastically because the owner is leaving the state for work and looking for quick sale – all reasonable offers considered”

I wish. I wish he’d leave the state. I wish he’d go far, far away. But he won’t. He won’t because the gf that feeds his ego, that posts on twitter that he’s “#loyalandhonest”, she’s not going anywhere. And neither is he.

He’s just trying to get 140k out of house that isn’t even worth 100k. He’s manipulating to get his way – like always.

Struggling

Our trip to Florida was nice. the weather was fantastic, which is just what I needed. The kids were the same as usual, and i would have been just has happy to have left them at home, honestly. husband had this idea that putting the effort and money into bringing them along would somehow elicit a bit of gratefulness from two teenage boys. I’m not sure what he was thinking.

Husbands mom has Alzheimer’s disease. The brother and sister live 15 minutes away from the parents, yet see them about once every six months. Husbands mom seemed alright for the family dinner on Sunday, but not as good when we stopped by on Monday. No one talks about it. Its just sad.

Upon our return home everyone was cranky. We came back to snow and cold. A ran to his gf’s house, D ran to the computer. Husband and I tried to readjust to normal.

Back to work, same old shit, different day. I really hate that place. It’s making everything in my life suck a whole lot more than it should. A stays over at the gf’s house for days and days. He stops by to pick up clothes or shoes or xbox games. We dont see him much. The gf is younger and her parents are newly divorced. Her mom is terrified of making her daughter mad, so ‘Sure! Your boyfriend can sleep over!’

The gf’s mom called me to say that she thought the kids were spending too much time together. I told her that she should send A home. She said the kids told her that I had kicked A out and he had no place to live. I told her that was bullshit. “It’s your house and your daughter. If you don’t want him there, send him home.”  I found myself losing patience very quickly with her, droning on about how the kids are both from divorced homes, how its soooo hard for the kids, and she told me that her husband now has a 24 year old girlfriend. She kept saying “please don’t tell the kids I called. Please don’t mention that we spoke. Please don’t tell them  I called.” She probably said that 20 times. She didn’t want her daughter to be angry with her. Sigh.

A no longer wants to go to college. He has gotten a second job. He has no idea what he’s doing. It kills me. GF’s mom was upset to hear this news about A, and said she’d ‘have a talk with him about it, because college is important!’ Yeah. You do that.

D is diving still. The season is over, but we’re paying for him to go to the Y 3 times a week to keep practicing. It’s good for him to keep busy. Meanwhile, he’s lazy about school and grades. We’re not sure if we need to adjust his ADHD meds or if he’s just really being lazy. It’s hard to really want to do too much with meds with the school year coming to a close.

Bill collectors looking for Dummy call me 2 or 3 times a week now. He’s changed his number, no one can get in touch with him. He’s still attempting to sell the house. He’s dropped the price 35k in the last 6 months. I wish it’d sell so I can get out from under the HELOC  and get my money owed for arrears. I’m not holding my breath though.

I feel like I’m struggling a lot more than I should be lately. I’m not sure what that’s about. We were hopeful that A would go to college, move out, be on his own. the idea of him just hanging on in his crappy little town with no real direction is worry-some…almost equally worry-some is that he’ll want to keep living at home.  D is being lazy, or maybe he’s not. I don’t know. Husband and D are at each other all the damn time lately. School work is taking all of my time and I’m sick of it. I’m so far from finished, I feel like the accounting profession will be replaced entirely with robots by the time I’m done and there won’t be any jobs for me.

My birthday is next week. Maybe this is my midlife crisis or something. I just feel….blah. I know the weather doesn’t help, and we are talking about moving just as soon as D is done with high school. But that’s still 3 years away!

I’d just like to not feel like I’m struggling all the time. How do I accomplish that?

Winter

We are planning another trip to Florida with the kids. Its about a month away. We currently have about 60 inches of snow on the ground. Snowbanks are high enough that you have to pull out into the road to see if there is any oncoming traffic, and with reports of MORE SNOW coming this weekend, I’m tempted to just start walking to Florida at this point.

A and I went to look at another college yesterday. Its local, and his ‘back up’ school. He liked the place alright, the football staff is actively trying to recruit him, the whole visit was pretty overwhelming for both of us. At the end of the visit, it remains his back up school. I can’t say I’m not happy about that. The staff kept talking about how easy it would be for him to commute if he didn’t want to live on campus. No one HAS to live on campus, it would be up to him. Uh, Hello? Was anyone going to ask me what I thought about A living with me after he graduates from high school? Cause I’m not planning on that. I’m planning on him MOVING OUT! Of course, you can’t shout that out while you’re touring campus with your son and 3 football coaches…at least it didn’t seem like I should.

The conference meet was last Friday for the swim / dive team. Unfortunately, after 10 dives, D was disqualified. If you fail at two of your dives, you’re out…that’s what happened. I felt so bad for him, he was visibly upset. He got over it pretty quickly though, stating that he would just need to work on that dive (the one he just bombed, the other failed dive was that he did the wrong dive at the wrong time) during practice. I said I was glad he wasn’t thinking about quitting all together. “Quit dive because I dq’d at one meet? That would be a stupid reason to just quit, Mom.” Right, right. Of course. Cause you and your brother only make logical and sound decisions based on reason. I guess I forgot.
The state meet is on Monday, then dive will be over. We’re still not sure what we’re going to do with D and all his new free time. We did, however, find a dive team in Florida that he’ll practice with once or twice while we’re there. They have 3 meter boards, which he is super excited to try out.

I’ve gotten two calls in the last couple of weeks from bill collectors looking for Dummy. I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize, but if they leave a message I’ll call them back and ask them to please remove my number from any association with him. Its a pain in the butt, but its also an interesting snapshot into his pathetic financial state.
Oh! and for the first year in many years I was able to e-file my taxes on the first try AND I got a refund back within 2 weeks!

School work is making me crazy. I took three classes last semester, and that was too many. I feel all burned out, and taking just two now is…blah. I’m just in the mood.

Overall, things are fine enough. The winter is making everyone a little edgy and cranky, but a vacation will be a nice escape I think.

Fafsa, taxes, and patience.

As you all know, A is preparing for college. At this point we’re working on the fafsa. I ran the numbers in the fafsa-4-caster to determine which situation would benefit A more, me claiming him or asshat claiming him.

I explained what I found to A, along with the standard “I am not an expert, this is just what I read, learned, found out, heard someone say one time, etc…” I also learned that private schools look at what constitutes ‘need’ differently than public schools, and we talked about what the averages are for need based aid for the schools he’s considering offer.

I’d like him to make some of these choices on his own, and to have as much information as I could give him. I told him if he wanted to use his dad’s info, he’d need to get with him ASAP and have him help with the form.

I received this email this afternoon:

From: Asshat
To: Me
FYI – A informed me that you plan on claiming him on taxes this year.  Kudos on telling him that in essence you are putting your taxes over your son’s best interest.  He will certainly receive considerably less aid based on EFC if you do this.  Your calculation of it only making a marginal difference in what type of aid he is awarded is indicative of your ignorance on the subject matter. 
Not that I care, but you will also receive significantly less in the form of my tax refund that is garnished as well.  But alas, your financial ignorance and indifference to your son’s future financial state is not my problem beyond the problems you create for him.

My guess is that he’s extra mad because now A has said, “mom is claiming me.” which means he can’t claim the kids on the sly like he normally does. And trying to tempt me with back support? Come on now – you owe me more than 5k, you’ll owe me that no matter how my taxes work out – so why would I get less back this year to get more money from you when I can get more back this year, and STILL get the money you owe me? I might just have to wait a little longer, but if I’ve learned anything from these last 4 years, it’s been patience.

 

Holidays

Things have been quiet. Well, quiet besides me taking too many classes this semester and being totally overwhelmed with school, work, kids and life in general.

A has been accepted to his first choice school, and is being schmoozed by the coaches, wanting him to play football. I’ve driven to the far end of Massachusetts twice now – but I guess they’d like him to come back again for an “official overnight visit”. Ugh, really?

Its been an interesting journey, trying to keep him on track with realistic expectations about how much work college actually is and how it will be VERY different than high school. But you all know how kids are – they know EVERYTHING already.

D has successfully joined the high school dive team. He’s participated in actual meets, and scored points for his team. He LOVES it! I am so happy that he’s found something like this. They practice 5 days a week, 2 hours per day. Its been very good for him!

Also, D has been discharged from counseling. I haven’t mentioned this to asshat. I don’t think it would even matter if I did. I suppose if he gave a shit, he could be contacting the counselor himself. Right?

Last night A went over to asshat’s girlfriend’s house for a small Christmas with them. I was annoyed when A brought home presents that they gave him – and D got nothing. Again. The thing is, the girlfriend has met D before. She knows he exists. She knows he and A live in the same house. But yet, it didn’t occur to her to get anything, even something small, for D? I’m not surprised, but I am irritated. Because you know, it’s totally healthy and normal for all adults to punish children by withholding gifts and love for non-compliance and disloyalty.

A will be going to his fathers this evening for a Christmas with that side of the family. I’m not going to hold my breath about A coming back with any gifts for D. Its sad though – D won’t say anything about it, and pretends he doesn’t notice , but I know that he does.

A asked if I could print off 2 sets of extra pictures for him to give to his grandmother and uncle (asshat’s mother and brother). These are the same pictures that the kids gave to my parents, one of A holding the cat in front of the Christmas tree and one of D sitting with the dog in front of the tree. That side of the family has had NO contact with D for YEARS now. None at all. They aren’t going to recognize him in a picture…other than A telling them who it is. I was uncomfortable with giving them pictures of D without talking to him first – but then I thought that maybe this is A’s attempt at reminding that side of the family that they are brothers. Maybe I wont worry about dragging D into this. “A is going to give a picture of you to your grandparents and uncle that haven’t had anything to do with you for 4 years or so as a Christmas present.” I feel like if he knows about it, and they STILL ignore him and don’t send any gifts, cards, emails or phone calls, that it will make him feel shitty all over again.

But, even A isn’t safe from his father’s bullshit. Over dinner last night A told me that his father said that the graduation rate for the college A wants to go to is only 20%. A and I talked about how that didn’t seem possible, considering the retention rate from Freshman to sophomore was 85%. I looked it up later myself and found out that their graduation rate is actually 6% higher than the ‘average’ college’s graduation rate, which is about 43%

I don’t have any idea why asshat would say anything except “How can I help you pay for this?” when it comes to A’s college choices…

Blah.

Anyway…Christmas was lovely for all of us, we had a nice dinner on Christmas eve and a family game of monopoly afterwards. Christmas day was fun and we had a big breakfast and then a fancy dinner in the evening. It was nice to have things feel so much easier than last year!

Happy holidays to you all!

On to the post season

Last night was Senior Night. The last home football game for A and 8 other players, along with many of the varsity cheerleaders. It was scheduled to be played on Friday night. So, Friday morning  informed me that I would be required to wear his away jersey to the game, they’d call my name I’d I have to come down onto the field for the ceremony and pictures. Well. I’m not gonna lie. I was really excited to be chosen. But, due to the rain, the game got rescheduled to Saturday night. A informed me that I needed to be there early. So I was. Our normal spot on the bleachers was decorated with a big poster of A and black and orange balloons. It was very nice.
The announcer told all the senior parents to line up on the sidelines. So I did. Then I heard husband saying my name. I turned around and he was motioning the the line of parents to my right. I didn’t see what he was talking about, but I knew – asshat was there too…and in line with all the other parents.

My first thought was, “oh well, A must have invited us both. That was big of him to refuse to choose one parent over the other.” I was nervous about having to go out there and be within arms reach of someone who has just wreaked so much havoc on my life….but, it should just be a quick meeting on the 40 yard line, hug, smile for the camera, and that’s it. The announcer called A’s number and name. “And A would like to thank his mother…” And they said my name. Everyone clapped. A ran through the tunnel and we met on the 40 yard line. Asshat walked over too. His name was not called. He kept walking closer. A handed me a flower and said “this is for you.” A noticed his father standing there and said to the camera lady “Oh! i guess I’ll have one taken with each of them.” Asshat, scowling to beat all scowls, growled “YES”.

I gave A hug, I told him I was so proud of him. He put his arm around me. We smiled. Picture taken, and I walked away.

It was a big show. A big audience. Lots of people to impress. I should have known that asshat would need to insert himself like that. His name wasn’t called. He wasn’t invited. It was awkward. He was sure to get his picture taken with A too.

As the game wound down, (A’s team winning 42-8) husband and I took our poster and flower and blankets and made our way down the bleachers to leave. At the bottom we stopped to watch the play with 35 seconds left. An older man came up to us and said, “He had a great season. You should be very proud of him.” Husband said, “Oh! thank you, we are! He’s a really great kid!”
We made our way down the ramp behind the bleachers toward the end zone. Asshat and girlfriend were standing at the end zone. I watched the final 21 seconds of the game as we walked the length of the sidelines. I caught girlfriend looking at me. She looked angry. So. Angry. I said to husband, “Is she glaring at me?” Husband said, “Oh yes, she has been for a while now.” Seriously? What on earth does she have to be so pissed off about?

We got home, put A’s giant poster on the mantle and went to pick up take out for dinner. A joined us for dinner and we talked about the play off game that will be coming up next week. It was a pretty great night!

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