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the gift that keeps on giving

I am so incredibly blessed.  My life is beautiful and amazing.  I have two gorgeous children who are full of zest.  Joie de vivre – it is ours!  We live in comfort.  Our needs are met.  I have the best friends that anyone could ever hope for — all so true and solid.  I am privileged to be partnered with a wonderful man with whom I connect on so many levels and in so many ways that I can barely comprehend, let alone attempt to describe.

And yet.

I’ve said it before.  Nobody makes it through life unscathed.

it's a dog eat dog world out there

it’s a dog eat dog world out there

On the matter of motherhood, there are times that I wish that I’d simply gone to a sperm bank and opted for artificial insemination.  Certainly I wouldn’t be enduring the chaos to which I am far too often subjected, had I chosen such a route.  However, I understand that all these twists and turns in the journey of my life were necessary to place me here, now, where I am SO GRATEFUL to be.  (Oh dear Lord, me and my stranded prepositions.  Bless my soul.)

I get it!  I wouldn’t change a minute, a moment, or a circumstance, if it meant I couldn’t have the now that I have.

So what’s up, Buttercup?  Well.  Let me tell you.

I almost want to post verbatim the things he says, because it’s very hard to describe or summarize.  It’s just a bunch of drama and blah, blah, blah, and oh, so tedious.  But what the hell.

—Dec 3—

HIM.  “I have to work the next two weekends and NewWife has to work the next two Sundays. Just because I have to work does not give you the authority to take my weekend away from me, that is contempt of court which you did when you all of a sudden forgot that you weren’t coming back the day you told me from your trip. It doesn’t matter if you made the mistake accidently, it is still contempt which my lawyer expressed to me which he has already drawn up the papers for.      You may not like some of the things on my end but I also don’t agree with some of the things you are doing either!  What upsets me the most is your letting things happen with other people around the boys and when I was around it was a different story but yet you let total strangers have the same things around the boys that you bitched about me having which is so hypocritical of you. Example is the reason why you asked for only every other weekend was because of the guns that I had. Which I practiced good gun safety and respected it as I still do. so you lied about your reasoning why you restricted me from the boys which gave you no right to do so and then the bullshit you tell BB that all I did was sit on my ass and ate gummy bears every day or all the time which is a total bullshit lie in itself and why I bring that up is that he keeps repeating that you keep saying that. You seem to like to not address any concerns I have and and ignore them all together.”

To which I recoiled and reacted, when I probably should have just considered the source and dismissed it.

ME.  “I didn’t lie about anything, and I don’t keep telling BB that about gummy bears.  I really did have the trip dates wrong.  Good grief.  Also, I have a responsibility to protect them from emotionally abusive treatment, which is what I heard they endure with NewWife.  So if I knowingly send them to an abusive environment, then THAT is a breach of my responsibility as a parent.  I didn’t know how badly things were with how they were treated, and then BB spent some time with Auntie and opened his heart to her with things he’s never told me, and she relayed that to me.  So no, I never considered it was awful for them when they were at your place, until I was given reason to question it.  I did know that they seldom feel like the time they’re with you is quality time.  Their comments are generally something to do with ‘NewWife and the kids’ or ‘Daddy and NewWife stay in their room watching tv all the time and we don’t see them much’, etc.  What they want most is to spend time with their dad, YOU, and more often than not when they are there, that doesn’t happen.  I am NOT keeping them from you.  I am trying to keep them from being bullied, which is how they feel with NewWife, or feeling like they’re pushed aside, which is how they feel when they’re at your place but don’t get to spend quality time with you.  They were so hopeful when they learned that NewWife had left, because it gave them the glimmer of hope that they could spend some real time with you.  They were crestfallen to learn of her return.

Contempt of court is deliberate disobedience, and I have NOT done anything of the sort.

Further to all that, regarding contempt of court…  Why do you suppose the parenting plan has written into it the portion where you have to coordinate with me to confirm you will SHOW UP for YOUR visitation?  How many times have you had some reason not to take the kids on your scheduled visitation?  So for you to suggest that I am in contempt of court (and I can only assume you are referring to the parenting plan) because I want to ensure my kids are not placed in an emotionally abusive environment is ludicrous.

All I have asked of you is to BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.  I don’t know why you are so hungry to turn it into something ugly on my part.

Further still, in the interest of giving you more time with them and to make up for missing the time that was missed, I offered Thanksgiving break, to which you didn’t respond.  You also did not respond to my inquiry about this coming weekend, until I got your threatening email below.  You say I ignore your concerns.  You’ve called me a hypocrite and you’ve not clearly expressed specific concerns.  If I could tell what your actual concerns are, then I could respond.  I am not interested in throwing accusations back and forth.  We should have a mature and calm discussion with each other to bring up and address issues and concerns.

I like to think that I am being reasonable.  I wish I would be more vigilant, and less apt to react and acknowledge his aggression by immediately placing myself in defensive mode.  Had I completely ignored him, he might have just dropped everything.  Alas.

—Dec 4—

HIM.  “With what is written in the plan if I don’t respond then I lose my right to have them.  That is not contempt. I am very tired of people talking crap and negative bullshit about me and making crap up to make themselves look better. Futher more when you keep the other parent from seeing the kids what ever the reason is considered contempt. I have protected the boys and will always will and I question you when I hear things going on from your side. When we were together you had issues with motorcycles and guns and I have never shown a lack of responsibility and the safety. You were always preaching against those then all of sudden you turn around and do the opposite when I’m not in the picture. And then when I voice my opinion you don’t care to respond or even talk about you just do whatever you want no matter how I feel about the issue like taking the boys out of school for a week when they should be in school learning. But my opinion as usual doesn’t matter to anyone and never will unless I am made to yell and make a big stink about it. Why am I being made to do so. I have brought up many concerns about a lot of things and as usual you could care less about them you have shown that many times. Just like when I got laid off from j.b. hunt. I had to keep asking friends and the church to help pay the rent and groceries and other stuff to help but yet did you care at all. No! you just kept taking child support and didn’t care what so ever. but it doesn’t matter now anyways because you simply don’t see anything how I see it and never will or don’t care. Just like when you moved did you care about me getting to see the boys no  it took months for me to get to see the boys. I tried talking to you but no you made your excuses and didn’t give a crap.”

Interesting.  So much to say.  Gun safety.  The man does not have a track record that inspires confidence.  My former opinion remains intact.  And the rest?  Exhausting.  I know I’ve blogged ad nauseum about many of these points before.  It’s the same old stuff, regurgitated for some reason.

ME.  “The process for dealing with contempt or perceived contempt is to follow the parenting plan’s dispute resolution process.  We can schedule to meet with a mediator to resolve disagreements about carrying out the parenting plan.  I am not keeping the kids from seeing you.  Through all of this back and forth, you haven’t actually informed me of your intent to pick the boys up this weekend.  I’ve told you that we have dentist appointments today.  We can meet at McDs on 44th Saturday morning at 9.  Please confirm.”

Note that this email conversation is in parallel with a phone text conversation.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Really.  Wait for it…

—Dec 3—

ME.  I can’t tell from your friendly email whether you are or aren’t planning to see the kids this weekend. They have dentist appts Fri. I mentioned this in IM yesterday and haven’t heard from you. Also, I’d like to coordinate Christmas plans.

HE.  How do you think that crap would make you feel if I told them that crap of lies. And as always you evade what I say as usual

ME.  I don’t tell them a load of lies and crap.

HE.  So you honestly think that’s all I did? I Never did anything for anyone i never busted my ass to do things never looked out for anyone. I never went out on a limb or bent over backwards for anyone… That’s pretty much what your telling them!!!And as you normally do you ignore the facts why. Because I’m not white collar like you so since I’m considered a blue collar you get to spread lies and crap about me. If that’s how you want to play the negative crap game two can play at that game

ME.  Why do you out of the blue think I’m spilling a constant load of negative crap about you? I don’t even know how to respond to that.

HE.  I dont know why you even make it an excuse or whatever your doing when you tell him all this crap. I have never said anything negitive about you in frontof them or to them what so ever but i can start. But then again im just a blue collar loser lazy ass that doesnt do anything.Then why does BB say you say that all the time and that’s the reason you did certain things was because I was so Damm lazy and never did anything for anyone and aged video games everyday all the time .

ME.  You flatter yourself if you think I spend any time at all telling BB all about you.

HE.  Yeah just the negitive lies and bullshit

—Dec 4—

ME.  Please confirm if the boys will be picked up at 44th Mcds at 9am Saturday.  BB wants to have a friend over tonight. I need to know what time to meet tomorrow so I can tell his mom when I’ll drop him off.

HE.  I would only have them til sat eve

ME.  ?

HE.  I work sun and so does NewWife.  Plus I work sat also

ME.  You said she works Sunday, not you.

HE.  Plan states sat morning to sat eve as per what you put in there

ME.  No. Every other Sat 8am to Sun 7pm.

Did I not say it was glorious?  What the what?  Seriously, it’s perplexing.  Clearly he’s resurrecting squabbles we’ve had in years long gone.  I made a blue collar vs white collar comment several years ago during an attempt to explain why it might be so difficult for us to communicate.  Must’ve hit a nerve…

—Back to the email conversation, dated Dec 4—

HIM.  “So how is it that you keeping them from me on my weekend as the plan states not keeping them from me. Does not say I get the right or you have the right to make up for lost time. The plan was mainly done by you not me your thinking not mine. I trusted you to do the right thing and in the end you decided to limit visitation because of ridiculous thought of me having protection that they could not get to if they tried as you explained it to NewWife as to way you did that, there again disregarding what is right and what your selfish thinking put down on paper but I am supposed to idoly sit by and say nothing or have an opinion. Seems like when I do, nothing matters anyway. you can hire a mediator all you want those are for the rich people that can’t talk it out with other people on there own. again when you deviate from the plan it is contempt unless it was o.k’d by both parties with the correct information”

ME. “I am not keeping them from you.  This is the schedule.   [Excerpt from parenting plan, Sat 8 am to Sun 7pm, every other week.]  You’re telling me that you are working Sat and Sun, which essentially means that you are neither able to pick them up on Saturday morning, nor are you able to drop them off on Sunday evening.  Therefore, you are forfeiting your visitation.”

Oh my goodness!  So much blah blah blah!!!  After ALL of this, the picture emerges.  He is working the weekend and trying to find a way to turn his lack of making room in his life for his kids into my fault.  It also appears that perhaps he wants me to drop off the kids for a few hours at his convenience on Saturday, because that is his available window.

Such a tedious read!  And yet, in a way, mildly entertaining in a voyeuristic way, akin to crap fiction.  So this is a snippet of the waters I navigate.  Sadly, not fictional at all.

I actually had some valuable thoughts emerge from this experience.  First I was shaken and disarmed by the threats, and then I was mystified by the references to wild back talk.  I mulled things over and observed my emotional reaction to the onslaught, noticing how easy it is to get caught up slinging vitriol.  I don’t want to sling vitriol.  I married that man for reasons that (sort of) made sense at the time.  I had children with him.  These are choices that I made and for which I am responsible.  Now I have to find a way to live with the consequences of my choices.  He’s projecting his own inadequacies.  That is evident.  He is who he is, and I can’t fault him for that.  He is completely entitled to be who he is.  We have nothing in common, other than our kids.  Try as I might, I simply can not understand him, nor communicate with him.  I can wish that he were a reasonable and kind man.  I can wish that he would have the courage to look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself and his own choices.  I can wish that he would step up and be a dad to and for his children.  Those are wishes, and certainly hopes.  I have no control or influence on any of those things.  I do have control over my own thoughts and actions.

I want to maintain clarity where the well-being of my children is concerned.  I want to be a good example for my kids.  I want to take the high road.  I want to be able to calmly face opposition, impervious to attack and distraction tactics.  These are all within my sphere of capability, given vigilance and self-discipline.

~*~*~*~

Update.  Because, you know, NewWife chimed in with some golden nuggets of her own.

05 Dec 2015; 12:53pm
NewWife:  I will be picking up the boys at 3pm today at the mcds in renton..ty see u then

1:51pm
Me:  No.

2:11pm
NewWife: Then we will see you in court for contempt for two weekends in a row

3:00pm
NewWife: I bet the boys will love to know that you have kept them from seeing their Dad for 2 months

My immediate reaction is still far too visceral, and my vigilance to my emotions can stand to step things up a notch.  I glanced at my phone, read the message, and became internally livid, truth be told.  Having received no confirmation for meeting Saturday morning at 9, having clarified via both text and email that visitation is posted as Sat morning until Sun evening, and having concluded via email that his visitation is forfeited, the scenario seemed clear.  So to receive her demand at nearly 2pm Saturday, pronouncing in effect that I should jump in the car and drive immediately to the meeting place…  It’s an hour drive on a good day…  Let’s just say, in retrospect, that they seem perfect for each other.  Militant.  Immature.  Materialistic.  Self-serving.  Despicable.

Is there any consideration for what’s good for the boys?  They are sweet children, finding their way in life.  They have a yearning for one-on-one time with their dad.  Very simple.  They don’t want to go to his house and be sequestered with his wife and her four rowdy children.  The first questions they ever pose when visitation time is at hand is whether he will be home, and whether he will be the one to pick them up.  Before that, however, they both immediately chime in that THEY DON’T WANT TO GO.  And so often they have expressed, forlornly, that they would love to just SIT AND WATCH A MOVIE with him.  I don’t want them to see all this BULLSHIT that takes place when attempting to coordinate visitation.

It’s disgusting, really.  It mostly boils down to an issue over the haves and have nots.  It’s all about the means, not about the boys.  It seems that they consider the disparity between our respective means a catchall for any justification of responsibility.  It seems that they think, because I have more ‘means’, that I should kowtow to their shortcomings.

Ummmmm.  No.

I’m struggling with this.  I have to see and know and understand and DO what is best for my children, while honoring and upholding what the law requires, and somehow navigate through the flotsam and jetsam of attempted communication with their father.  It is a crock.  And it stinketh.

Me no likey.

Posted in bellyaching, divorce, family, men, mental health, motherhood, relationships.

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