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.