Financial ties cut!

Day starts with email from AH saying he’s going to change my mobile plan to pay-as-you-go and he wants reimbursement for the new phone I got.  Also goes on about Vodafone coming over to my name, claiming he’s trying to be amicable by not cutting off “a service you say benefits the children yet you spend most of the time using this facility” and that, if he was trying to be spiteful, he’d have cut if off a while ago.

The man is delusional.  He agreed to pay a fortnightly amount to cover the household costs.  Without any discussion with me, he has reduced the amount and is putting all these costs on my plate – yet hasn’t even asked what my income is or show regard for how the kids and I will survive.

I email him definitions of “amicable” and “spite” as he clearly has been taught something else in saffa schooling.  I reiterate I don’t want to fight and let him know I’ve been in touch with Vodafone who are waiting for him to call.  I also ask if he’s coming for dinner.

The response back is full of accusations and demands (‘I want’) for answers to questions – mainly relating to drinking the wine [again?!].

He mentions ‘respect’ over and over:  claiming he respects my family but I’ve shown none to him or his.  I want to remind him what he well knows … RESPECT IS EARNED!!  All my family have checked in with him throughout this process, including when we split last year.  I have had ONE (!) person from his family do the same.  He says I disrespect him by not answering his questions, yet has conveniently forgotten all the times he’s not had the decency to answer me when I’ve asked a question.  Not to mention, making such a big deal about having a gentlemen’s agreement between us – yet breaking if completely.  I tell you, delusional!  He needs help.

I’m disturbed when he mentions my eldest brother called him on Friday and let him know the whole family is concerned about my mental and physical well-being.  Apparently my ‘attitude, agression and alcohol abuse’ in Auckland has then all worried.  I’m gutted that my brother has given AH fodder for his cannons.  When I spoke with that brother on Sunday and let him know what AH has been doing regarding the name and money, he seemed shocked.  Clearly AH neglected to give my brother that part of the story.

I now have to email my family members and ensure they don’t contact AH with any of the concerns about me.  Whilst their intentions might be good, he will manipulate their words and use them in a future court case.  I know him very, VERY well!  I am beyond disappointed.

AH comes to the house for dinner.  He asks about his family photos and I let him know I took them to work then forgot them there.  He questions why I took them there and I explain it’s not right that when I ask for things, I don’t get them yet he expects to be handed all he wants on a silver platter.  I point out that it’s a two-way street.  I remind him I’m still waiting for a proper written breakdown, along with details of when he plans for the new monetary payment scheme to take effect.  I tell him I need this information in writing for my purposes.  He jumps on it, “to give to your lawyer”.  I say I’m not seeing my lawyer – which is mostly true.  My appointment tomorrow is with a lawyer, but not my one.  Yet.  I need to get the funding application done for mediation.

He wants to talk further about the photos and getting answers but I stop the conversation.  I tell him he’s here to spend time with his kids and his daughter is in the lounge waiting for him (tried to get a photo of the two of them interacting: both on tablets).  I remind him what Master 10’s counsellor said about NONE of these conversations should take place in front of the kids.  Considering he was the one who saw the counsellor last and got this message face-to-face, surprised I needed to tell him this!

He comes back while I’m preparing dinner to ask if he can ring Vodafone.  He wants me to talk to them and confirm the changeover.  I was told yesterday my part was all done – he was told something different today so is now desperate to get me to talk to them.  I tell him I’m not doing so now: I’m making dinner, getting the firewood, getting the fire going and everything else.  I will NOT be controlled by him!

Not much is said between us during dinner.  He gets the hump as he doesn’t get his own cup of Soda Stream (I only got a sip from Master 10’s so that should be sufficient, but, as usual, he takes it as an insult, rather than seeing it for what it was, ie it left more for the kids).  The atmosphere in the place improves the second he is out the door.

So positives amongst all the shite:

  1. trying the new Whittakers Jelly Tip chocolate – mmmmmmm!!
  2. the neighbour leaving a message that she has friends with a trailer who will come and clear the rubbish at our the house that AH and I were meant to get a skip for but, given he feels no accountability to contribute to any upkeep, it will be a long time before I could afford it.  Her offer makes me want to cry;
  3. my boss allowing me to use his credit card points to get an iPod nano.  Finally entering this century 🙂

Taking the high ground

Got to make a move on things today as I can’t be held hostage to AH’s reactive, manipulative nature anymore.

First, a call to Vodafone to see if I can delay the cutting-off until I’ve spoken with the courts.  Unfortunately, as the account is in his name, he is fully entitled to do whatever he wants.  Then a visit to Work & Income to hand in my application form for a Community Services Card (with a view to getting some subsidy for holiday programmes for the kids) and to make an appointment with the IRD man to apply for child support.  Also put a call in to a lawyer who’s been highly recommended to see if she can help me with the mediation process (unfortunately, they’re not part of the applicable funded scheme but she is willing to meet with me for an free helpful chat).  Also sent an email to AH asking again for his proposed breakdown, apologising for drinking the bottle his dad bought, reiterating that I don’t want to fight and that I do want the family dinners to continue.

His abrupt response shows the wine is his only priority.  He claims the other bottle was also purchased by his dad, and says he’ll come say hi to the kids but is meeting a friend so won’t stay for dinner.  No niceities whatsoever.  No clarification as to what he proposes to pay – so I reply asking for that again (along with pointing out that “it is just wine”).  Knowing AH well, this is his way of controlling the situation.

He arrives and his mood is between simmering and boiling.  I’m reading with Miss 5 whilst getting the fire going, yet he interrupts to ask for the photos of his family (as I’ve been gradually replacing ones of his family with ones of people who actually have shown some regard for me and the kids).  I ask if I can get my breakdown and he verbally tries to tell me what it is (I know it’s $860, but I’m after clarification as to how he got this figure – and I’m after it in writing so that I can let IRD know what the changes are).  He won’t be getting the photos today as it’s not acceptable that he gets what he wants, while I’m left hanging.  I ignore him rather than rising to any bait and continue reading with Miss 5.

Within 10 minutes of leaving, I get an email from him STILL going on about the wine, with a very basic overview of the payment (along with a ‘you can work it out’) and accusations about being manipulative by not giving him his photos and questionning my definition of ‘amicable’.

As keen as I am to reply, I am not going to.  He knows how to push my buttons but to respond will only antagonise the situation.  I really want to tell him again that he should look at some counselling, especially if he’s going to let two bottles of wine cause the amount of pain it is.  He constantly told me I needed to let go of my apprehension over his brother moving so close; he has many issues he needs to do the same with.  We’re still not progressing the parenting plan yet have spent two days dealing with wine.  Something is so very wrong with that!

Day’s positives:

  1. My beautiful neighbour telling me not to get anything out for dinner – she did us a roast lamb and all the veges and even gave a packet of gravy!  Was delicious … nom nom!
  2. A gorgeous winter morning made the soul sing;
  3. Getting Master 10 a pair of jandals for $2.  Love Farmers Red Dot sale!

Getting back into the routine!

Saturday involves taking both boys to their soccer (as Miss 5 was with AH, she at least didn’t have to come stand out in the cold, and AH could get his precious sleep-in he feels he doesn’t get).  Go on a quick shopping jaunt for Master 8’s school shoes, which AH clearly has no intention of getting, even though I purchased Master 10’s outright (still waiting for my half reimbursement).  AH is stressing as to what time I will collect Miss 5, as he needs to do washing.  Priorities, hey?!

I notice my facial skin has turned to utter custard.  Red raw.  My eyes look shocking.  With the hair falling out again, I’m looking a right pretty picture!  Must get more sleep and reduce stress, she says without the first idea as to how!

Pick up Miss 5 and bring her back to my place with the boys.  Noticed yesterday AH has had a pile of wood rings delivered (as neither he nor his bro have fireplaces, it is merely for braaing purposes).  They’ve made a dent in splitting this into smaller pieces.  I ask Miss 5 who was around last night (AH, brother and Sputnik once she’d finished work).  I ask who was in the house with her and am told no-one.  The boys were out chopping wood.  Not sure what Sputnik was doing.  Not happy to have had it implied that I wasn’t a good mother for suggesting to take my daughter to my friend’s … yet it’s fine to leave her alone in the house watching a DVD when she really wanted cuddles.

Nice relaxing afternoon and evening with the kids, just enjoying each other’s company without any pressure to over-exert as we’re all exhausted from the past week!

Had Master 8 then Miss 5 come into the bed during the night.  Master 8 was no issue, but Miss 5 just seemed to want to start fights.  Eventually, we all manage to fall asleep.  Pretty slow morning (discover that AH has taken the oats to his place without saying anything … grrrr!).  He calls and has quick chat with kids before asking to speak to me.  He’s on about the change of broadband and that it will be happening tomorrow.  I say that I wouldn’t mind speaking to the courts as, as we’ve made a private arrangement, I’m not sure that he can simply reduce the amounts without any discussion with me.  He says we can talk about it now but, as I’m just out of the shower and got things to do, I say it’s not the time.  He claims that any lawyer will see the credit card debt that he’s having to pay off, along with the new expenses he has from moving into his place, and that reducing the payment he makes towards me/this house running is perfectly fine.  Despite not speaking to me about any of it!  He thinks it’s fine.

I ask him to please email me today his new proposed figures.  I ask why he needs to go with Vodafone and why he can’t just get a mobile Wifi dongle.  He is adamant that he shouldn’t have to do this.  There is no discussion to be had on this.  He overtalks everything I say and doesn’t answer questions that are put to him.

I mention the word ‘disrespect’ in conversation and he jumps on it … “don’t you talk about disrespect” (back on Wine-gate).  I suggest that he should look, in the way he’s mentioned to me often, at the finger he’s pointing at me re drinking the wine, to the three fingers that are pointing back to him and question what made me feel such ‘spite’.  I remind him that all agreements that we had made, he has broken.  I ask him if he can recall ANY of the points he’s agreed to, that he’s not broken (surname, staying at the rental for 6 months, the bill payments).  He, again, refuses to answer but claims he agreed to them “under duress”.  I’m sorry but what an utter crock!  The discussion we had on 23/24 April was completely civil, calm, sober and, at no stage, was there any ‘duress’.  It was amicably made, as a gentleman’s agreement, the points were emailed to him and he questionned a couple of minor points; but his response back was in no way the words of someone who felt a gun to their head to agree:

All these points are based on a gentlemens agreement and handshake. If the wording is going to become like a legal document, then it removes the trust and fairness we are working towards.  I like the space we are in since last night and I would like to keep it that way so please dont think I am trying to be difficult – I think we can all benefit from this if we can can try to remove the formalness.

I ask what figures he’s proposing so he said I’m entitled to $860.  I ask if he’s going to pay anything for food (it was $300/fortnight but that has been reducing and was only $150 last time).  He said no.  I say if he’s not contributing to food, as much as I would like the dinners to continue on Mon-Thurs, as agreed, I won’t be able to afford to feed him as well as us.  He said he expected that as I tell him he’s not welcome whenever I want anyway.  He says he’ll still be stopping in every evening to see the kids – but that’s something else I’m going to have to check out (surely there’s no automatic RIGHT for him to do so.  Others who have gone through this have said they’d stop him calling in/the dinners but I’ve seen merit in it for the kids so haven’t done so prior to now.  However, now he EXPECTS it despite his inability to act like an adult, I would enjoy things much more if I didn’t have to see him).

He’s going out of his way to be difficult and I don’t want to buy into that so say “I want an email from you with your updated figures” (and get an “I want, I want” back from him … well yes, you didn’t hear say you would after my asking nicely three times earlier).  I end the call as it’s clearly going nowhere and I’m not going to be further drawn into his chaos.

Great day out with the kids at Weta Workshops with some other alopecia families, followed by yummy afternoon tea at the Roxy Cinema in Miramar.  Wow!  What an amazing building.  Home for our Thunderbirds Sunday … ready for last week of school for the term.  Yay!  No idea how we’re going to sort childcare for the holidays as that’s part of the parenting plan we can’t agree!

Get home and there’s a message on the machine from AH’s auntie (the only one who’s made any effort to be in touch) passing on her condolences on my niece’s passing.  I text AH to ask for her mobile number as I lost all my contacts earlier in the year, and I get back “U know her home number, why do u need her mobile?”.  Oooh, defensive!  I don’t bother to explain that I wanted to text her to say thanks for her message, without actually calling her and having to get into any sort of dialogue.  I felt that text would allow me to let her know it was appreciated, but not to put her into a position to actually have to speak with me and potentially ask how things are.  It was easier for all of us.

I text his brother and he, surprisingly, passes it on.  She ends up calling once she got my text so quick, friendly chat with her.  Hope AH’s ears were burning … even if he wasn’t discussed 😉

Positives:

  1. Jelly bean day – out with the kids to Weta;
  2. At lunch, when a bit of mandarin juice squirted from Miss 5 to Master 8, the three of them were in hysterics.  God, it was nice to hear all three of them laughing together;
  3. Clearing one corner of the lounge so it’s not a pigsty.  Only three more to go.  Then the rest of the house! 🙂

Devastated!

Haven’t been able to update this for over a week as the call came first thing last Thursday that one of my nieces was on life support following an attempt to take her own life.  The issues between AH and I are irrelevant.  The kids see my upset but I only tell them their cousin is sick.  I text AH, who was demanding that I put the broadband account into my name before tomorrow or I’d be cut off, stating that a bigger issue had come up and to please hold fire on any decisions.

Frantic morning of phone calls between me and my siblings before my niece’s father/my brother call to say the doctor’s tests showed that she will be brain dead even if she pulls through.  I’m at work and lose it completely.  Check with AH whether I can take the kids up to Auckland with me to be with her and my family.  He says it’s fine.  He asks what’s happened and I let him know.  Following a discussion with my oldest brother, it’s agreed better course of action would be for us to both fly up this evening and his wife and kids can bring my kids up when we know more.  AH agrees with this and even offers to drive me into town to my brother’s place to catch the flight, which was nice.

What an awful week.  How anyone can glorify suicide after seeing the things I’ve sat through, I just don’t know!  The utter heartbreak of my brother and sister-in-law, along with all the whanau and friends, seeing my niece hooked up to those machines and the hideous effects on her body.  Culminating in watching her pass away on Sunday once the machines were turned off.  I appreciate there must have been something going on in her mind that she felt no escape from but she was such a happy, beautiful (inside and out), charming, magnetic lass with a wonderful life in front of her.

I had asked AH if he would come up if I needed him and he said ‘yes’.  So he drove up with the kids on Tuesday, staying at my parents’ place that night (as they were up in Auckland), before coming to the funeral service on Wednesday.  Was wonderful to see the kids after so long without them – though Miss 5 seems to be full of cold and Master 10 eye’s looked soulless with pasty skin so not expecting it to be long before he comes down with something.  A beautiful service: even AH shed a tear (I was able to hold his arm so can’t hate him completely).  We drove back to my parents’ place a couple of hours later so we could get a head-start on the long drive home.  Felt stink leaving but knew my brother and sister-in-law had people around them, and felt I couldn’t bring anything to the table to help them.

Not much to say on the 1½ hour drive as still feeling utterly bereft.  AH went for pizza while I got the fire lit.  I couldn’t stay awake so had an early night – and loved Miss 5 and Master 8 coming into the bed with me later on.  Their cuddles will see me through this grief.

Dreaded the 7-hour drive home that was ahead of us on Thursday.  Whilst I was feeling we were in a calm place, I was very aware that any conversation was on a knife-edge and could be interpreted wrongly.  AH drove the first half, and I took over for the second half.  I actually found myself thinking maybe, just maybe … we could get to a place where we get back together.  I do still feel that he was my soulmate and it seems so wrong that we have lost that.  Despite all the pain and emotional abuse he’s thrown at me the past year, despite the knowledge that he cannot accept any of his infallibities and mental health issues, and despite the inability to put me and the kids before his brother, I still hold that tiny seed.  And I hate that!

We get to my home and it’s already arranged that he’ll cook here so he goes to get supplies.  I get on with unpacking, as well as sorting out Master 8 for his sleepover taking place at school.  I sort Miss 5 some toast as she has no appetite.  AH has not brought the sleeping bags back from his place and Master 8 needs one for the sleepover so AH gives the key so I can go get it.  Very trusting, considering he’s refused to give mine back.  Should’ve got a copy cut while I had the chance :).

Have a quick squizz around and disappointed to see it doesn’t look like efforts have been made to make it more of a home for the kids, after over three weeks of being in.

20150625_175204 20150625_175211 20150625_175226 20150625_175217 20150625_175234

Drop off Master 8 at his sleepover then quiet dinner with AH, Master 10 and me.  Miss 5 says she wants to stay with me and AH is ok with that.  Apparently at Master 10’s last counselling session, the feedback was that Master 10 needed one-on-one time with AH (which he said he was surprised about as it’s only ever me he says he wants that with), and we need to sort our shit out, perhaps even get some counselling (which is what I had suggested only a week or so ago).  So Master 10 is happy to get a one-on-one with AH and I’m happy to know that my poorly baby is close by.

I’d arranged to go to work on Friday morning, AH would work from my home (as internet still an issue between us) so Miss 5 could be cared for.  I picked up Master 8 just before lunch and brought him home to change shifts.  Had to point out to AH that Master 10 would need to be picked up by him at 3 pm, which seemed to surprise him.  AH had said I could have all three kids tonight, despite it being his night.  I don’t trust his intentions are purely for my benefit and wonder what he and his brother have cooked up.  Plans are made for me to go to my usual Friday night drinks – I’m keen to get some girly support after this shit week.  Miss 5 and Master 8 are both looking forward to coming with, as they’ve been missing it.  Miss 5 has a wee wobble as she’s told she can chose what to wear from the pile of already worn/not dirty clothes on her chair so says she wants to stay with Daddy.  5 minutes before AH turns up with Master 10, she says she doesn’t want to be with him, she wants to come, so I let him know that I’ll need the car.  He starts speaking with force as he clearly doesn’t want this so I ask why he’s getting mad already.  He storms off.

It’s not long before I get follow-up texts and I see that the time I’ve been allowed to mourn my niece is over:

2701 01

I ring him as he clearly missed that I said I was happy to change my plans and I would leave Miss 5 with him.  He’s angry on the phone and I reiterate I don’t want things to go back to where they were.  He tries to imply that I am being a bad mother for even considering taking her out.  I point out that I know my child very well as I’ve looked after her for every sickness so far (gets thrown at me: “but you’re working now” and “it’s not like you were a single parent” … actually that latter comment is wrong as while AH was studying, it was EXACTLY like single parenthood).

Once he’s finished work, I drop him and Miss 5 back at his.  On the way, AH asks me about the two bottles of special wine and I admit to drinking them when things were getting really nasty.  That’s going to cause issues!

Miss 5 is distraught that she can’t come along and is in tears.  AH grabs her out of the car.  His brother had turned up at the same time and asks how Hamilton was.  ‘How the hell do you think?  I watched my 17-year old niece die’.  What a stupid question.

I have a nice night with two girlfriends and get to offload some of the grief.  When I get home, I see AH’s response to my drinking the wine:

2701 02Wow!

2701 03

I seriously did not recall that his dad brought us one of the bottles but figure there’s no point responding.  Yes, there was spite involved.  Every agreement AH has made, he’s broken.  There was no compromise, no understanding, no questionning – purely that south african arrogance and victim mentality.

I will not rise to the bait anymore.  My niece has gone.  My kids are the only thing that matter.  AH will simply get a ‘stop antagonising’ response as I WILL become the better person.  I don’t want the fights.  I really don’t.  I don’t know anyone who could make him realise that unfortunately.

No positives.  It’s all a bit bleak at the moment.  But at least it goes up from here 🙂

So disappointed!

I can’t believe how immature AH is being.  I realised something today: what has he actually done so far in this process to be decent?  I honestly cannot think of anything that he’s brought to the table, other than nastiness, pettiness, name-calling, arrogance, agressiveness and hurt.

He’s terminated every agreement we made (ie taking the rental for 6 months, monetary payments, the surname, organising a ‘marker’ price for the house).  He’s taken on a rental WE can’t afford.  He’s upset the childrens’ routines (they’ve had to live in three new places within the past 3 months, they don’t get normal bedtimes, afternoon tea, or fruit!).  Their lives have been turned upside down unnecessarily.  He’s been unable to make a plan whenever I’ve asked him to step up and do so.   I’m keen to ask him as I’m really struggling to think of something.  ANYTHING?!

Decide not to as I want NO communication with him unless necessary.  I mean, what chance do I get for moving things forward maturely and sensibly:

wank 3    wank 4

followed by the afternoon’s show of his desire to be an adult …

wank 5     wank 6

I drop the kids at his for dinner (as he’s said he won’t be able to cook for me) and drop nextdoor to see my friend, rather than have to spend time with him.  He drops me, Miss 5 and Master 8 back home while he takes Master 10 to judo.  Just before we get out of the car, he says (in front of all three kids) that Master 10 has asked if he can have a night just with me tomorrow, and the other two can come to him.  I say ‘no’.  It’s part of the parenting plan so needs to be part of that discussion.  What a hypocritical prick!  I’ve had him say over and over that ‘no discussions re guardianship are to be had with the kids’.  This comes under that heading.

When I get inside, Miss 5 says “it’s not fair Daddy only gets two days”.  Wow, 5½ years old and speaking about fairness.  How mature?  Or … more likely … what has been said in front of her?

I’m sick of this.  Time to stop thinking he’s going to come to the party.  Time to book mediation for the parenting plan (which is no skin off my nose as I will be subsidised).  Time to get the kids a lawyer.  Time to sell the London flat.  Time to get him out of my life.

Positives:

  1. getting a $1 couch for AH’s place – don’t want my kids on the floor;
  2. enjoyed getting 5 hours in at work;
  3. receiving my first Inland Revenue payment.  Why didn’t I apply sooner?!

Sunk to new level of hatred

Driving kids to their playdates at 11 am and see AH, bro and GF all driving towards the shops.  Found it funny that he is at least able to get his arse out of bed on a Sunday before midday.  Boys are at a play, and Miss 5 has someone coming ours.

Drop Miss 5’s friend home afterwards then quick trip to supermarket to get some vitals for lunchboxes.  Miss 5 points out that she can see Sputink (the bro’s GF; I’m sick of giving her a label, she can be called ‘Sputnik’ from now).  AH is with her so he comes over for a cuddle with Miss 5 but Sputnik wanders in the opposite direction.  I call out ‘hi [Sputnik]’, but struggle to keep the dislike from my voice.

Ask AH if they’re turning up to the event today and he says ‘yes; they were invited”.  I say ‘they might have been invited but they could’ve had the decency to say no’.  I’ll need some Rescue Remedy.

Pick up the boys then get sorted to go the event.  Get there before them which feels better.  Get a hug from brother but Sptunik stands back and I can only give her an very OTT, insincere hello.

I’d put my hand up to help prep warm food and ended up spending a few hours in the kitchen.  Was quite nice to not have to be around them, but equally would’ve liked to have had a nearby presence making things uncomfortable.  Miss 5 is after a $2 can of coke so I ask her to see AH as my hands were full.  She comes and tells me she got a big, fat ‘no’.  I missed getting food and one of the organisers asked if I needed anything.  I ask if she could just make sure my three kids had eaten so she said she’d ask AH.  Came back and, whilst I don’t know the exact words, she did comment that he wasn’t best pleased with that.

AH was going into the kids movie room to say goodbye to the boys as I was heading that way to check where they all were.  Have a quick chat with him about whether I can bring a lawyer to our planned meeting tomorrow to witness the change of name documentation.  Nup.  Despite his promises, he’s still stalling and trying to control this.

I go to speak with this brother.  Quick chat with smalltalk before I say “can’t you have a word with AH and get him to stop being such a prick” esp re this name issue.  He says it doesn’t concern him, it’s between me and him.  I say by moving here, he is involved in more ways than he knows.  He doesn’t acknowledge he became involved the second they decided to move in together as a threesome.

I’m proud that my family would have the balls to converse with me and tell me when I’m out-of-order/to pull my head in.  Shame, despite the overbearing involvement his family have in AH’s life, they are clearly not man enough to do that!

AH comes over and gets shitty as I’m speaking with his brother, and “it’s nothing to do with him”.  He decides his only reaction now is to pull a stupid, immature face (tongue in teeth, nose scrunched, crossed-eye).  I let him know that if I arrange the mediation, he is wrong to think that I would have to pay for all.  I will get Legal Aid, he will have to pay his share.  His comment back: “I’m done.  I’m done”.  Jeepers, judging by what you’ve done and not done for the past few years, I thought you were done months ago!

He texts first thing in the morning to say he wants to get legal advice so today’s planned meeting between us is postponed.  I remind him of his agreement way back on 23 April where he said he will not withhold permission to the name change.  We agreed a list of points and, in AH’s words, took them as a gentleman’s agreement (I remember vividly, he didn’t need a handshake as the gentleman’s agreement was good enough to trust).  He’s less of a gent than I am, that’s for sure.

So, come the working day’s end, no word from him about advice from his lawyer.

I’d texted AH to let him know that, as the food monies he paid didn’t cover the shopping last week, he is not staying for dinner tonight.  Warn the kids before he gets there that he’s not staying for dinner and they all take it fine.  No tears.  In fact, boys are on the computer so they hardly seem interested in AH even being here.

Positives:

  1. Great morning walk with a friend and her dog.  Blew out some cobwebs;
  2. Got kids transferred to my doctor;
  3. Car is warranted and registered so safe … for now!

That crack! … My heart breaking

No apologies from AH for his hurtful words yesterday.  No acknowledgement for my openness and honesty.  Just….. “This might come across as insensitive and I can’t think of anyway to prevent that but I do not want a relationship with you.  The way I feel I have been treated not only since the seperation but in the past is too difficult to let go. I have moved on and the love I had for you is gone”. I don’t know why it hurts (as I saw for myself on his birthday a month ago that he wouldn’t change and I was better without him) but it does.  I’m the mother of his children.  I’ve brought them up while he studied.  They are as awesome as they are in the largest part because of me!

And I suppose I still hang onto the tiniest glimmer of hope that this man, who I spent nearly 15 years of my life with, is the man for me.  And I want to hit myself in the head over and over with a frying pan for having that hope!!  ‘The way he’s been treated’??!!  As though the emotional abuse he’s subjected me to never happened.  Seriously?!

He forgets to leave the car for its WoF as arranged, so I have to call him.  I can’t even pretend to be nice.  Even when I do make the arrangements, he stuffs it up. He texts to get Master 10’s footie stuff dropped to him ‘once I’ve picked up the car’.  I’m confused.  He needs the car to pick up the kids from school.  Won’t he be getting it from the mechanics?  Seems not so I ask him to call to work it out.  He comes up with some plan that involved to-ing and fro-ing by both of us and caused my head to feel like it was going to burst.  He gets shitty coz he can hear the tension rising in my voice.  Eventually I say what I will do with the car.  He can sort himself and the kids.

Have a counselling session which I blub my way through.  Pick up a bottle of wine on the way home as I don’t have the kids and deserve a Friday treat.  AH and the kids are there as they need to pick up stuff for Saturday.  I ask if he’ll give me the keys.  It’s a firm-faced “NO!”.  So 24-hours hasn’t calmed him down or made him see sense.

Few more emails from him during the afternoon – I want in writing that he agrees it’s best for me to ask him to leave than for him to stay and the kids see us fight (he agrees; with an outclause that we’ll have our discussions on a Monday so it shouldn’t be a problem); and whether he wants me to give input or to keep schtum.  Again, a convoluted response rather than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

As Master 10’s therapist pointed out the surname was an issue for the kids, I ask him, once-and-for-all, will he let the names be hyphenated.  Again, it’s a long-winded ‘so long as you confirm you won’t change your names to the hyphenated version’.  Holy shit, man!  I don’t want his surname forming any part of my identity.  Everytime I sign it, I feel a fraud.  I’m in an identity-limbo.  I remind him I’ve only EVER said I’m going back to my maiden.  And again, it’s a condition rather than a definitive answer. Good thing I have no hair to pull out 🙂

Enjoyed my wine in front of #Findmeaamoribride.  House is toasty and oh-so-quiet.  Time for bed after a draining day:

Posititives:

  1. Survived a Friday with one bottle;
  2. Master 8 played GREAT soccer and even calmed himself down when the opposition were getting a bit rough; and
  3. parsnip & carrot soup for Soupy Saturday.  Yummo!

The calm after the storm

I ummed and aahed for a long time about how to respond to AH’s email.  Eventually, I read it without the nasty tone and thought he’s struggling.  So I asked if he was still seeing his counsellor (he finally went for sessions late last year but it wasn’t long enough.  In fact, his counsellor wanted to hear my side of things and I had an appointment.  Unfortunately AH called the marriage off before my appointment so I cancelled it, which I now regret).

Get a toxic response from AH at 06:58 which questionned if I was still on antidepressants and getting help for my “upbringing, alcohol and anger” issues.  Also threw in some drunken history from a few years ago for good measure, ensuring it’s on the record for the court (conveniently overlooking he was so drunk on his birthday drinks on 23/05 that he couldn’t even make it up his mate’s stairs, and at a 50th a couple of weeks ago was off his dial again).  OMG!  It’s hurtful and downright nasty!

He texts to ask if he is cooking dinner “at the children’s house”.  Again, I’m speechless.  Quite a statement that this is not MY house.  He also wants to know when he can get the car from my work.

I’d tried to get the car rego on the way to work but it was pointed out that the WoF had expired.  So I’ve booked that in for tomorrow and let AH know what I’d organised; saying he could make another plan if he wanted.  Said there were heaps of leftovers at MY house that he could use for dinner.  Reminded him that Master 10 had counselling too.

He actually comes back asking my opinion on some manchester for the kids and whether it’s a good price.  I take it as a wee acknowledgement that my advice is valued.  It’s refreshing to be asked and seems to open a door to niceness.

I spend most the day with his email in the back of my mind and considering how to best respond.  At the end of the day, I am concerned about his state of mind.  His words that the kids are his priority don’t ring true (ie the way he stormed back into the kitchen last night to continue fighting).  His constant flying-off-the-handle and victim mentality need addressing.  The negative way he perceives whatever I say can’t continue .. not to save our marriage but for us to be friends (and unfortunately, with those 3 beautiful kids, we are tied in for the rest of our lives, whether we like it or not).

I also pass on a friend’s idea that we see a psychotherapist, saying I’ll go for it if he wants to pursue it.

Whilst I’m sending my response, he emails with an update from Master 10’s counselling.  No surprises (don’t argue in front of the kids, each should get a 1-on-1 sleepover with AH each week (as I’d suggested back in March), we need to meet for Monday lunches to run through parent issues and only let the kids know once a decision has been made that impacts them).  The therapist has agreed to do an extra free session which AH tells me he “will take him to”.

AH cooks dinner from scratch (I thought it was a slap in the face; turns out he forgot I’d mentioned all the leftovers).  I ask what’s happening with soccer on Saturday.  He tells me his brother is doing something and he can’t use the car, so he’ll take Master 10 in the car to his football.  That’s it.  No discussion.  No consideration of how Master 8 will get to his game.  Jeez!  You want adult conversation?  Then BE an adult!!!  He asks what I would do??

We know one of Master 10’s teammates well that we could ask them for a lift.  We don’t know anyone in Master 8’s team well enough to do the same.  So, I would ask the mum of the former if she could help.  AH says he’ll stay at home with Miss 5, which upsets Master 10 who wants him to watch.  It is his turn after all.  AH gives him a fairly condescending response that he thought it wouldn’t be an issue.  So agreed that I would ask if the mum could give AH and Master 10 a lift, and I’ll take Master 8 and Miss 5 to the other.

Positives:

  1. managed to make a couple of decisions without a fight;
  2. sitting and watching a movie (not a kid’s one) from start to finish without interruption;
  3. the cuddles from Master 8 when he left.  Please may I get this one back again on Saturday afternoon!

Cactus! Cactus! Cactus!

Recycling day and, considering the kids talk about those 3 drinking, I ‘stalk’ their bin … (and I have to say, it’s not how much they’re drinking, it’s the fact they now live in NZ, which produces world-class wines, yet choose to drink cheap shite from RSA!) :).

cheapwine

I email AH asking where hyphenating the kids’ name is in his plan (given he said it would go in it, and agreed 1½ months ago that he would not withhold permission to the change).  Takes him 3½ hours to answer and it’s not surprising but so disappointing:

“I have been thinking about the change and it seems unfair that the chilren take your new name and I am the one who is out of sink. Currently you are out of sink (but that was your decision) and if their name changes, then I am out of sink.” (I bite my tongue to not let him know he’s got the wrong type of synch!).  Stalling.  Victim.

He continues:  “You currently have 5 days with them and a relaxing Sunday morning, I don’t have that luxury.  You also have a life that hasn’t changed.  I would like for things to be fairer”.  Victim.  Victim.  Victim.  Victim.

It’s absurd that he believes my life hasn’t changed.  The Sunday comment is narrow-minded (we currently both get up on Saturday morning for the boys’ football, but once the season is over, he’ll get his ‘relaxed’ morning).  He really believes only he is being hurt by this.

I email back that it’s clear we can’t do this and I’ll contact Family Court to arrange mediation, with each picking up their own costs.  He would’ve left work and not seen this by the time he gets here, but my heart has started racing and I’m struggling to deal with the emotions his email has stirred up.  I realise I can’t have him in the house tonight, so I say “I’m calling a ‘cactus’ tonight”.   He looks at me blankly and says “refresh my memory.  I’ve had a lot going on” … before finally clicking and saying out loud, in front of Miss 5 and Master 8, “oh you’re telling me to go”.  Great!  This demonstrates EXACTLY my reason for having a code-word in the first place!  Both kids get upset on hearing that.  I tell him he can have ½-an-hour while I get dinner ready but god I wanted him out.  Those three go play a board game and I tell Master 10 to play too as Daddy won’t be staying for dinner.

Master 10 asks why AH has to leave.  We all have a hui in the kitchen and I say AH has said he’d let them change their surname, but is now saying no.  Kids all say they want both names.  He said he ASSUMED (don’t do that; makes and ASS out of YOU & ME!) that I would be my maiden name+his name, matching the kids.  I point out that once their names are changed, I will drop his surname.  I have only ever said that I would go back to my maiden name; he just clearly wasn’t listening.  We discuss the ‘life not changing’ comment and even Master 10 gets involved stating all our lives have changed.  Conversation goes to letting go of the rental and how it’s disturbed the kids.  AH blames me for not stopping him getting rid of it .. YOU WOULDN’T HAVE LISTENED TO ME ANYWAY, you knob!  He claims it was my ‘weekend retreat’ and I ask him if he knows how my first weekend in the place was … his comment, in front of the kids, “I DON’T REALLY CARE, I DON’T CARE because you were the one who asked me to move out”.  I’m not having it so say “after you said the marriage was over” and, continuing the finger pointing, he brings it back with “excuse me, you were the one who said you did not love.  How can you have a marriage with no love” (at this stage, I ask the kids to go out).  I remind him that, if I did say that (which I still dispute), it was a day he put a test in front of me to gauge how I would react to seeing a photo of his brother [long story, for another day].  He puts kids in front of screens and comes back in.  I ask him to “leave now please” and he refuses, saying he ‘wants fairness’ so again I ask him to “leave now please”, he talks over me so I say more forcefully “leave my house now please”.  He questions ‘MY’ saying it’s his house too and I say “this is my house, you have your other house, leave the house now please, I’m not fighting in front of the kids”.  He says goodbye to the kids.  As he goes, I ask for his keys back.  I get an angry face in mine with “when you buy me out of this house, then you can have the keys”.  Nice final touch – flicking the bird as he leaves.

He emails later to say he doesn’t believe mediation is needed yet but I will have to pick up the cost if I force it down this path now.  Apparently I’ve not explained anything, only told him what was happening.  What a joke!  The man jumps to conclusions, never questions and has made plenty of decisions that I only find out about at the last minute.  Yet can not see it!  Ever!

And breaatthhhhhhhheeeee!!!

Positives:

  1. that the kids saying in front of AH they want to change their name.  Again.  If he can’t take it from me, please let him take it from them;
  2. listening to David Bowie at work;
  3. winning bids on TM for single blankets.  Now two of my kids will be warm at their other house.

Highs … and lows

Well, not a complete downer but, after feeling so light and breezy yesterday, think reading his parenting plan took me down a few notches.  While he’s agreed to continue with the 5/2 arrangement we currently have, he is saying he wants 4/3 or even week on/week off at next review.  I’m loathe to do this as: (a) he hasn’t yet shown he can do two days, how would he handle more?; (b) the kids don’t seem to be dealing as well since they’ve had to move around; and (c) I don’t want to lose them for any longer than I already do.

Master 8 comes into the bed again – not creeping unfort.  I send him back the first time as this needs to stop (and I wish AH wouldn’t have a rota for the kids to spend a night in his bed while they’re there).  I succumb the second time.

AH picks up the boys from school and I walk from work to pick up Miss 5 and her friend.  Have never had a playdate go the way this one did:  Miss 5 (who can definitely be strong-minded) led the game choice for the first part and all was good.  Her friend then wanted to play a different game (‘Mums & Dads’) which didn’t go down well – not sure if it was handing over control, the game itself or general long-school-term tiredness.  She refuses to play her friend’s game, then the latter ended up crying.  Miss 5 STILL refused to be nice (“Mums & Dads is a dumb game”) so I do a jigsaw with the friend.  Miss 5 comes in and tries to take over, which I don’t let happen.  She takes jigsaw pieces and refuses to give them back.  Go to put her outside to cool her heels and she has a wee tantrum.  Go to get another game to play with the friend as Miss 5 refuses to apologise nor wants to join us.  I head outside and she follows me, still crying but desperately wanting a cuddle.  But, in her ‘can’t handle my emotions’-way, she throws me a “you’re the worst mum in the world”.  So since AH moved in with his bro, I’ve now had two of my children tell me how awful I am … words they’ve never used before!

We go back in yet and, whilst she manages to spurt out ‘sorry’ to me and to her friend, she refuses to give her friend a hug.  Thankfully, mum turns up not long after.  As she works in childcare, she made an interesting point: they notice when kids go through separation, those kids don’t want to play that game, for obvious reasons.  Didn’t even consider that.

AH brings boys back from swimming.  He says he’d had his pay review (for the second annual review, he’s not getting a rise).  He’s hoping to a get a laptop from them though so he can work from home, which leads nicely on to him telling me he’ll need to sort broadband there (ie stop paying it here).  I explain there is no money for me to pay it and that the money he’s currently paying hasn’t even covered the cost of food the past week.  What the hell am I meant to do?  He’s the one who’s taken a flat WE can’t afford!  We agree we need to meet up to discuss some things without the kids around (he suggests leaving them with his bro on Saturday, but there’s enough of an unhealthy reliance there already).

The man is bloody awful with money and we’re being penalised for it, eg I let him know this morning that I’d found a bed base that we could get for free for Miss 5 (he’s sourced bunks from friends).  He tells me he already bought one from TM for $50.  Also turns out the friends wanted $200 for the bunks, yet he’d implied they were for free (but they threw in some sheets … whoopdefreakindoo!).  There’s cheaper ones on TM!!  So there’s $250 already wasted!

I know I have no right to lead this process – he should be in charge of decking out his new place.  But he’s shit at it!  He actually said he’d take the kids to Farmers after Master 10’s soccer practise on Thursday as they’ve a Red Dot sale on.  Have to remind him that Master 8 owes us $20 and his shoes have holes in them so think there’s priorities.  But how can you be cool dad if you aren’t splashing out on unnecessary treats??!!

So time to stop the negative thoughts and focus on the positives:

  1. pay day tomorrow;
  2. made a double quantity of lasagne so have a night with no cooking in my near future;
  3. Master 10 was very anti- going to judo but I took him anyway so we could chat alone.  He had fun and I’m so proud of him for going along, despite really not wanting to.