I am so grateful for my friends. I’m telling you there is nothing, that a good long talk with my besties, can’t be solved in my world. Thank you to Elise and Tim for loving me so well.

So I gotta admit that allowing my children to go and live with their father for a week was hard. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I did NOT have a good night on Thursday night. I wallowed in my shit for hours and hours.

As I sat on the plane to Sac on Friday night I tried to figure out, Why. Yes, I was in a total over-thinking mood, all weekend. Poor Tim and Elise. They do put up with a lot from me, and how I am. I can be real mood-killer.

So, Why would it bother me so much to have the children with Barry this past weekend? When in factual light he and I had already agreed that, he would keep the children not only during his weekend, but also on Sunday, and Monday nights, while I was in CA visiting with Elise and Tim. This was only adding 2 nights on, 1 onto each end. Which again, shouldn’t have bothered me; and normally wouldn’t.

So WHY did it bother me so much?

Context.

Before Barry pulled his “Hyde-personality” and “let’s-pick-a-fight”, routine on Thursday morning, I was fine with the kids over at his home for 4 days. Had he asked me to keep them an extra day, as something nice for him; like when he wanted to take them to the beach for 4 days over the summer… I would have said: “Sure. Why not. That would be great. Easier on the kids. I wouldn’t worry about them being home for a few hours on Tuesday night when I arrived home late from the airport.”

But that is not how it went down.

Instead, it was “I’m going to take you to court and sue you for joint-custody of the kids. 50 / 50 so I don’t have to pay any child support. You’re keeping the kids away from me.”

Other than him taking me to court, nothing is further from the truth. Which I pointed out to him, in a conversation about how I don’t enforce our current agreement to the letter. Ever. AND HE AGREED WITH ME.

So why the drama?

Context.

When its me just being nice to him, he doesn’t like it. Why doesn’t he?
I am not him. I won’t speak for him.
I have my theories. Elise has her’s. Tim has his. I have mine. The gal in the check-out line at the Publix has her’s. Every one has their opinion.
Opinions are like assholes, every one has one. And they all stink.

When it comes down to it, I like to be in control. When Barry pushes my buttons this way, bullies me into doing something; I don’t like it. Even if it was something that I was going to do anyways. Its the fact that he bullied me into it. That I felt threatened, and scared of him, once again. Like I was backed into a corner; and did whatever I could, to keep him from hurting me worse, than he was already doing. I followed the ‘fear’ line of thinking. And I let it drag me right down the rabbit-hole on Thursday night.

Hook – Line – and Sinker.

So after talking to J, the girls’ therapist, I’m going to give Daphne what she wants. I’m going to let her move-in with her dad.

After all, I will be out of town this weekend, till Tuesday. I can add on tonight, and make it nearly a week long thing for them all.

Oh yes. Them all!

A few things about this that came up in talking with J.

1) Baggage goes with you.
Is that Daphne (and her dad) have got to learn that her baggage is going to follow her, wherever she goes. Life doesn’t get easier just because you move away from home. You still have to find ways to cope with your life. You still have to learn how to express your emotions. You still have to do your homework. No matter where you live.

Sure its going to be easier when there is nobody around to hold you accountable, right up front. Yet, it will catch up to you all the same. Usually though by not dealing with it, in the beginning, you end up having to deal with a much worse situation. Call it Karmic Interest.

2) Your siblings get to move out too.
Oh yes. Rebecca, Bronwyn, and Russell all get to come along. Its not fair to them, if Daphne gets to go live a live of luxury over at Dad’s place, and they still have to eat green beans for dinner. I’m not going to sit here and defend the idea that somehow she gets to have special privileges of no Study Hall, no curfew, fast-food take-out, no laundry duty, no chores, and no accountability for where you’re at, or who you’re with; if the others don’t.

The EX complained that he doesn’t get to spend time enough with the kids, well here you go. Which is a complete falsehood, because it is rare, to non-existent that I ever deny him, or them, time together. He even admitted this to me during our “conversation” this morning. AND again, when I brought it up, while we were having an additional “conversation” about this Trial Week.
Me: At any point do I force the current child-time-share agreement?
Ex: No.
Me: Have I ever told you that you were late in bringing the kids home on a Sunday?
Ex: No.
Me: Have I ever told you, No you can’t have the kids, and take to the beach; because that is on a weekday?
Ex: No.

3) Living at Dad’s means Living AT Dad’s.
No coming home 9 times in a day because you forgot something. No coming back to the house to sleep on school nights. Yes, Rebecca and Daphne do this. They pick and choose where / when they will sleep at home, vs sleeping at Dad’s. They don’t like having to walk the extra 7 blocks to the school bus in the mornings. But sleeping here at home, when I’m not here; is basically not living with either parent. Its living alone. They don’t get to do that during this Trial Week.

Living there means following all of Dad’s rules. If that means going to bed at midnight, or sleeping on the floor, or having to throw out the trash. So be it. I will not be driving by your Dad’s with fast food, because you didn’t like what he was serving. Oh, he does this to me, all the time. He will simply come by the house with a bag from Taco Bell, as I’m serving dinner.

So this will be a very interesting 6 nights. I know, I know, I know – a week is 7. Be grateful for the 6 days, I’m not sure I can handle more than that. I’m trying.

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So for the last few weeks the Ex and I have been having productive, even kind, conversations with one another. Speaking on the phone mainly, and once even in public. At one point he asked about my friend, whose health isn’t the best right now. I asked about Rhonda, and her health. I even went so far as to offer to skip one of Russell’s games so that Rhonda could come and see him play baseball. Knowing that Rhonda wouldn’t come and see him play, if I was there. I really thought that perhaps we had turned a corner and that this relationship with Barry could be a good one.

I should have been more cautious. I should have been more aware of what I was leading myself into.

This morning Barry informs me that as soon as he can, he’s going to take me back to court and sue for the custody of the kids. He’s going to take them away from me, because I’m not letting Daphne come and live with him.

This lead to an arguement.

He agreed with me, when I said, “This is why I shouldn’t be nice to you. This is what it gets me.”
He said, “I was being nice to you too. But you say one thing to me, then write crappy stuff about me on that Blog of yours.”

I do, but not always. I have on occasion written nice things about him, and how I am happy to see us working together. He said that I never write anything nice. I asked him if he had read it. HE said, “No. But I hear about it.”
Me: “Then you shouldn’t listen to rumor. You should go and get the facts for yourself, instead of relying on someone else’s lies.”
He didn’t have anything to say for that.

Ulitmately this was about Daphne.

I can see it for what it is now. I can see his worry about her. I have the same worries. He can’t control her cutting, or solve her depression, by moving her out of the enviroment that gives her stability and forces her to heal. Does he really think that allowing her to just “Up and Move to Dad’s” is going to solve this?

I can see her not liking how I hold her accountable for her actions. Her words. I can see her wanting to have something “easier”, and that she thinks she will get that from Barry. He claims that he can hold her accountable. That he can monitor. Be on top of her. Make her have study hall. Make her tell him, wherever she is. Make her give up her phone, and allow him to read what is on there. Yet, he hasn’t done any of these things in the last 2 years. Not on a consistant basis. Not every day.

Because it is hard. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of effort. He did not show that effort when he lived at home. He has not shown that effort since the divorce. Buying the kids whatever they want, is not being a parent. Feeding them junk food, because they don’t want to eat what you cooked, is not being a parent. Being a parent means making some choices for your kids, that they are not going to like; but are what they need to do. Even if its hard.

I spoke about some of the things like this. He just sat there. He just sat there and stared at me like I grew 3 heads or something. Then he started in on how he was going to take me to court if I didn’t let Daphne move in with him.

I know in my heart that if I let Daphne move in with Barry – she won’t be around this time next year.

Okay so I know that things are up in the Universe because the Ex and I are getting along. Or maybe its just my attitude. Or this way in which I am trying to be a better person. I have a few relationships that I know need some working on. The one with the Ex-husband, is one of those. So I am trying to be kinder. Nicer.

I start with things like asking about his girlfriend. I know that Rhonda is not going anywhere. She is a part of his life, and therefore a part of my kids’ lives. So we might as well get along. I can start by just asking about her health. She has fought cancer in the last couple of years, and so I want to acknowledge that. To be kind about her. Ask about her. I don’t think I will be taking her a casserole any time soon. But this is a start.

Talking last night with Barry on the phone I even went so far as to offer to skip Russell’s baseball game on Thursday night. I know that Rhonda would like to see him play, but that she won’t go if I’m there. I can’t say that she doesn’t like me, because I cannot assume what she likes, and doesn’t. I can only say that she feels uncomfortable around me, because she did the one time that we met.

With regards to his payment of things for the kids. He’s making an effort. I appreciate when he sends the Child Support, but I don’t rely on it for the payment of any actual household bills. I would like to see him reimburse me for things like all of the back-to-school stuff, but I know that without a steady job, that makes it hard. I won’t go into him not working, as that has always been a sore subject between us. I have faith that when he has the money, he will do right by me.

We even talked about that issue, and are making a list of the funds each of us has paid out, on the children’s behalf since August. He regaled me with the stories of the latest clown-like proceedings for Pop’s probate. I told him my advice, and then told him, “I should just shut up. Its not my place to get involved. We always had that agreement, you would deal with your family, and I would deal with mine.” I even went onto reassure him, after he was talking about his brother and the situation that this puts him into. “Pop trusted you to do the right thing. I have faith that you will make good decisions there.”

When it comes to the kids I think that it is better there. He wants to see them more, and so I try to create situations that will allow that. He tells me that I need to go and do things for myself, and so I try not to feel badly about asking him to watch his own children. I’m trying when it comes to that. I feel like he’s still trying to buy their love, instead of giving them the structure that they need. So long as I’m around to provide that to them most of the time, it should work out in the long run.

We communicate well on each of the children’s needs and behaviors. He seems to be more interested in listening to how they are doing, rather than pointing out to me how I am getting it wrong. Like study hall, and food choices. He even agrees with me that Daphne should have to be responsible for the repairs of her phone. That my forcing her to pay for half of them, and allowing her to make the choices on how its repaired, is fair.

WoW! Right? He agreed with me.

So I like to think that perhaps this newer way of looking at my life is going to be a great thing for everyone. Even for my Ex-husband, whom I told today, “Hey! You know what? You aren’t bad as an ex-husband. You’re pretty good.”
Ex: “Yeah, I’ve heard that from a few gals.”
Me: “Wait, you mean I’m not your only ex-wife.”

We both laughed.

It goes back to when we were engaged, and my father that that Barry had an ex-wife. Barry and I decided not to get married in the church. I was no longer a practicing Catholic, and he wasn’t much of anything. Daddy thought that the reason we weren’t getting married in the church was because that Barry had already been married once. LoL

Seriously, I would give him a recommendation, as an Ex-husband.

Marcella, you are the one who was sent to make a difference, to be a bridge, to light the way, by living the truths that have been revealed to you, so that others might do the same. 

So now you know why you’ve always seen the world so differently than others. 

To help, 
    The Universe

Have I mentioned how much I appreciate the opportunity to be alive?  Especially right now.  In this time. With these people.

I have felt this message, in various forms, for my whole life.  I have tried to see the world, the way that my parents did.  The way that my extended family does.  The way that friends see it.

I just don’t.  Maybe this is why I have always needed glasses.  My sight has always been “off”.

I want better in the world for my kids.  I had to break up the unhealthy marriage, so that the cycle of abuse could be busted.  I mentioned it before, the love and gratitude that I felt, from generations of my family, all coming at me, from the past.

Its a lonely place sometimes.  But I know that it’s worth it.

So once again I was painted as The Bad Mommy, this morning, by K, the behavior therapist for Russell.

He had already had his session and we were called into her office. Its amazing to me how Barry only shows up right before its time for us to go back. And I know that K must know this, because she is the one who lets him into the office. The office has an electronic door, that she has to push a button for anyone to get into the door. She also knows that only RJ and I are the ones who show up at the time it starts.

So there we sit. The 4 of us. As we are talking K asks about his behavior at the dining room table. I think back over the week, and we didn’t have dinner all together, other than Monday night, due to our hectic scheduling with baseball and pep squad. So I had no honest answer for her. Although I did tell her that he was behaving better in the car. Not having to remind him as much to sit down and keep his seatbelt on. I was honest in my response, “I don’t notice it in the moment, but if I take a moment to sit and look back on it. Its not any worse than before. Nothing really big pops out at me.”

Then we talk about this morning’s incident with his outburst at me. I felt that it was uncalled for, but understandable considering the situation.

I was in the bathroom, and instead of getting out the big white board with Russell’s list on it, I was giving him the 3 new things he has to do in the mornings. As I was telling him about making his bed, I felt that I needed to be more clear in my communicating; so I expanded upon my first intial statement.
But before I could finish speaking, he yelled at me “I know! I heard you!”

Now I didn’t know that he had heard me, because he wasn’t standing in front of me. I had no eye contact. I had no verbal from him as I began my communications. I didn’t get any immediate response, so I felt I needed to expand upon my reminder, by being more clear of what I expected in the task of making his bed. “Putting your bedding back up on your bed. Pillows. Blankets.”

She asked him if this was true. Stating that perhaps we needed to work on him verbalizing to me, in a kind tone, that he had heard me. Instead of me trying to guess.

I told him, “Yes. I didn’t know that you heard me. I was in the bathroom, when you were in the hallway. When you yell at me that way, it hurts my feelings.”

K: “You shouldn’t do that.”

Me: *looking at her confused*

K: “You shouldn’t internalize it. It gives the child too much power over you. Imagine now that they know this, they are going to use it to try and hurt you over and over and over again.”

Me: “Yes. I know that they do. I have 3 other daughters.”

K: “Its like you should never cry in front of your kids. It gives them the power to hurt you in the future.”

I just shut up. I just sit there and wonder, WTF. I’m trying to teach them that what they do in the world has consequences. That their actions can hurt others’ feelings. I shouldn’t let them know that people have feelings? I’m trying to let my children know that I am a human being. I feel like I’m the place where they learn how to be human beings, themselves. How to treat the other human beings on the planet. To be the one human being that will always forgive them, when they mess up on interacting with other humans.

But I guess I’m wrong. Again.

Of course Barry sits there and just agrees with K, “Yep, she’s right.”

I already know that Russell’s brain differences are my fault. They come from me. I gave him this deformity with my genetics. I didn’t mean too. If I had known this, I wouldn’t have had any children. I wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. I seriously never thought that there was anything wrong with my brain. Sure its hard and frustrating some times. I just assumed it was like this for every body on the planet. Not just me. I get it now. I know that its not normal to have brains like mine. And now my poor son has to live with a fucked-up brain, too.

I just wish that someone would give me a little credit for trying to fix it, instead of constantly penalizing me for it. Where is the ‘good job’ for having attacked the issue with his 504 plan? Which I did bring up, and ask K her recommendations for things in his classroom. Why can’t anyone tell me how good it is that I’ve got this thing done in 6-9 weeks, instead of the 6-9 months that it takes other people? Instead of point-out what a failure I am as a mom. How I’ve got it all wrong in the parenting department.

I already know that I’ve fucked up. No need to keep pointing it out.