False start..

AH and I were meant to be heading back to mediation this Thursday.  That nauseous feeling from the other day hasn’t receded because of the apprehension about the next few days.  What will be propose?  Will he push my buttons?  Will he possibly recognise that he needs to stop putting his needs above the kids?!

It was therefore a disappointment to get an email from our mediator that her father had passed with the funeral on Fri, so could we postpone for a week (and I know my disappointment at prolonging the anxiety was NOTHING compared to the feelings she would be having right now).  Of course, from my view, we would postpone as she has history with both AH and I.  Perhaps even a couple of weeks, if she needed that.

AH, who was the one who applied for returning to mediation, came back with his suggestion.  18 AUGUST!  Some two months away.  He has year end at work, and school holidays are 11-24 July.  He sees that the “earliest he can do” [his words] to sit down and discuss our children is nearly 8 weeks away …?!  What the hell is the priority here?

A letter received yesterday from my lawyer forwarding a copy of his lawyer’s latest letter continues to show he’s a manipulative, delusional douche-bag.

So uncertainty will continue to hang like a bad aroma in the room for a while longer.  I will not dwell on it.  It is what it is, right?!

And I will  remember I can’t control what he does – merely my reaction to it.  And he doesn’t deserve to get any more reaction from me on this.

So positives from the day:

  1. my cousin confirming that he’s coming to visit on Thursday.  Yay!;
  2. the kids lighting candles with the right amount of respect for my niece as we remembered her;
  3. yoga this morning!  It’s soooo good 🙂
Advertisements

Nauseous

If looks could kill, today would be the day AH would’ve taken his last breath.  And I would not shed a tear!

He recently got in touch with IRD and appealed the amount of child support he pays.  He was actually right to do this, as he was paying for having the kids 2 nights, when he effectively has them 3 (a heads-up would’ve been nice).  So that’s going down $240/month.

This week, I got notification that my government support (for being a working mum) will be going down by $94/week.  So, each week, I’m going to getting approx $150 less.  Things already tight so popped into bank to get the mortgage put onto interest-only to give me a bit of leeway.

Texted him at 2:45 pm yesterday to ask if he’d sign the paperwork.  Besides a piddly amount for building insurance, he pays nothing for this house!  I pay the mortgage, rates, power, maintenance, everything!  But his name’s still on the paperwork.

No reply.

Kids call me on his phone at 9 am to ask about coming to get soccer gear and gumboots – so I know his phone is working just fine!  Good thing Mr Lee wasn’t around.

At 9:55 this morning, I text asking again.  And 30-mins later, I text asking if I can get M9 an hour earlier for his 1:1 today.  I get … nothing.  Nada.  Zip!

As the boys were both playing soccer at the same venue, I’d already decided I was going to turn up and surprise them.  Think AH was more surprised than them to see me, as 15 mins after Ms6 had run over to see me and tell me he was coaching M9’s team, I got a text from him letting me know just that, saying I could have M9 at 3 pm and that he “will respond to the mortgage in a bit”.  We’re on opposite sides of the field so I ask if I should come over to discuss it, and he agrees to “after the game”.

So I wander over at the end.  He starts to take the balls and gear up to his car and I have to stop him so we can have the discussion.  Kids go get sausages.  I typed a summary of the conversation into my phone as soon as I got to the car so I didn’t forget it.  No need to read it – I’m documenting it here for my lawyer.

He doesn’t want to sign because of the relationship property and [what he sees as] unfair treatment he’s getting.  I asked could he separate the RP from this one issue.

I asked if it was power or control.  He said no.  He wants me to say I would let more through RP to which I said that’s blackmail.

Told him I don’t have enough money for food. Got “it’s not my problem, it’s not my problem” (well, if I don’t have money for food for our kids, surely that IS YOUR PROBLEM!).

Said in that case, he needs to pay Ma & Pa his $25k – no, he said, that’s RP.  I said it could be separated.

I reminded him that it is him, and only him, who got lawyers involved.  He is the reason we’re spending a fortune on lawyers and slowing things down as they’re stuck with them. 

Said he is prepared to sign it “BUT I need to be fair with the RP”.  I need to promise effectively that I will lie down and take as little as possible.  He utterly refused to make it simply about me doing what I need to do to survive.

Subsequently called and said he’d sign – yet didn’t do so without issue.  Tells me he’s going out on a limb by signing  (after firmly telling me to ‘listen to him’ which made me remind him he’s not my father.  He’s my ex husband and he doesn’t get to speak to me like that anymore).  I had no choice but to agree to his demands ‘to be fair with the RP’ as he was already putting the pen back on the forms.  Suffice to say, his definition of fair won’t match mine.

He questioned why a 4-month term. That’s when fixed term ends and will need to be reviewed.  I said I hoped London is done as I want him out of everything.  Him “so we understand each other”.

Papers signed.  

He asked what the date was so I let him know.  June 18th.  The day I was flying up to my niece’s hospital bedside last year.  “Oh yeah”, he said, he’d “seen the stuff on Facebook”.  Hmmm, he knew today and the next few days are a tough, emotional time for me, yet has no issue throwing this sort of bullshit behaviour at me.  No sympathies, or hope you’re ok … just controlling bullshit.

He makes me sick!

Mea Culpa

I had an *eureka* moment!   Well, I probably haven’t but humour me.

This guilt malarky about how I’ve let down the kids (yesterday’s blog).  It’s not merely their disappointment that Mama and Daddy are no longer together, or that I failed to succeed in marriage.  It’s not the happy/sad turmoil that they often feel (which he has cultivated).  It’s not the tantrums when tired kids come back to me.

No!  My brainwave [for lack of a better word] … is my guilt is that these kids are now less likely to reach their full potential.

Instead of a unified parental duo who give consistent messages to the kids, there’s scope for confusion.  Instead of a team who ensure homework’s done, there’s opportunity for deceit and manipulation.  Every time AH puts a tough decision solely on me, there’s a chance that the kids will despise me a bit more for being the ‘firmer’ parent who’s keen not to set awful precedents.

Two messages (despite being fairly similar rather than polar opposites, thankfully) could lead to questioning which parent is telling the truth, which will bring a lack of trust.

Efforts to be the cool parent are unfair to the other – that’s a no-brainer – and will bring a lack of respect.

Boundaries that were fairly clear are now a bit murky.  And the time spent attempting to get agreement on what’s in their best interests is time that’s too valuable to waste.

No matter how much he makes my guts turn, we have to get on the same page to lessen the effects of the split.

The split is not on me.  But if I do anything to stop my 3 reaching their full potential out of hurt/hatred/resentment towards AH, then it is.  Then I’ll have reason to feel guilty.

Positives:

  1. Super evening with M9 and Ms6;
  2. M9 going out of his way to do stuff around the house; and
  3. got my garlic for planting!

Carrying guilt

Monday’s meant to be my ‘sort out the house’ day but that didn’t seem to happen today.

cat-in-bed-meme

This is ME!

The morning’s are chilly so moving from the cozy, warm sheets causes as much distress as the ruckus the kids are making instead of getting ready!

Let them get themselves sorted and off the door before heading to a garlic planting workshop (shortest day approaches and am a luddite on this yet love garlic so any advice gladly taken).

Once I’d dropped off DVD, picked up some groceries for tea, dropped M11’s science project bits and bobs to school, nurse appointment, it’s pretty much time for the school bell to ring.  The sun was out so decided to walk down to meet them – which seemed to make them smile.  Sorted new shoes for M9, fire on, dinner, stories, bed … and relaaaxxxx!

The upcoming counselling played on my mind while doing my chores.  I don’t want to overthink it yet I try to work out why he seemingly has no guilt about what’s happened (and, yes, I know that is purely my impression and is likely to be completely somewhat wrong).  He ended it yet I’m the one wondering if there was more I could’ve done.  But, why would I have wanted to do that?  He’s shown himself to be an utter arse and my doubts about whether I loved him over the past few years were well-founded.

But I hate that the kids are now a clichéd ‘product of a broken home’.  That was not the dream I had when I said “I do”!  I hate that they’re hurting.  I hate that they’re learning manipulation techniques (‘I want to go to Daddy’s’), that their childhood is not going to be what they deserve, and that they’re going to grow up quicker than they should.

I know I shouldn’t be taking that on.  And I hope that with closure to the marriage, will come closure to these feelings of guilt as to what I’m doing to my three bairns.  Making sure that there are great moments going forward must be my priority!

perspective

Positives:

  1. beautiful sunshine (even those there’s an icing sugar dusting of snow on the ranges I can see from my bed);
  2. M9’s excitement about getting new shoes;
  3. Grouplove “Ways to Go” coming up in the car and having an impromptu singalong with the kids.

Finding the 1%

How crazy is it that the man I fell in love with and married, got intimate with and went half share in three beautiful children, laughed with, cried with, shared secrets no-one else knew … that same man now makes my stomach churn.  Sitting in a room with him, I could not put a big enough distance between us on that couch.  I don’t even want to look at him.

I’m still struggling to discover what the feeling is that underlies it all.  I fucked up.  He fucked up.  WE fucked up.  Do I lament the end of the marriage – of course I do!  Do I want him back – hell no!  There’s an element of utter hatred of course but it’s not all.

Embarrassment?  Jealousy?  Betrayed?  Disappointment?

All of these, yes!  But more than anything … Hurt!

The counsellor couldn’t fail to pick up how uncomfortable it was for me.  As I replay the emails from him, the name-calling, the lack of responses to questions, the tightening of the financial noose, the control, the lies …. etc, etc … I know he’s an emotional abuser.

He brought the calm AH, even raising his hand at one stage to put forward his point rather than his old technique of just speaking over me.  He claimed he puts the kids to bed by 8 pm and omitted to mention the time on screen so I did correct him.  Ever the martyr, he is!

As the counsellor said, I can’t do anything about what happens on his time – end of the day, he could keep them up all hours, feed them McDonald’s every night, and let them watch R16 movies and I can’t do jack.  Said that I got that but how can he claim that he is acting in the kids’ best interests!?

She’s keen to try and get some funding for us to have some ‘couples counselling’ … not with a view to getting back together (which I couldn’t help but laugh at), but to get some validation and closure on the marriage.  I’m so on board with this but, having tried one exercise, I don’t know how I’ll go.  [She got us to think about something we appreciated about each other, even if that meant going back in the marriage.  He said he appreciated that I gave him three kids, had a wicked sense of humour and we’d had lots of laugh together.  The only thing I could come up with was that he was a good cook.  I was meant to look at him to tell him that, but I couldn’t!  Thankfully, she didn’t push it].

I need to try to stop focusing on the 99% of negatives that come to mind when I think about him.  I need to actively think on the good.  Not finish with any “yeah, but he also…”.  God it’s hard … but hopefully, with this counsellor’s help, I might just get there!

Mr Lee came for a visit on Friday.  He’s definitely more enamoured than I am.  There’s no way I want anything serious, yet he seemed disappointed that I’ve got plans for both my kid-free nights next week already.  I struggled in the morning to have the patience to allow someone into my well-established [selfish!] routine.  I suppose that’s going to be something that will be inevitable … potential loves are likely to also be set in their routines.  Scary thought!

Positives:

  1. lovely 1-on-1 with Ms6;
  2. M9 loving his boys-only hip hop class and wants to sign up; and
  3. the kids enjoying Donna Summer “I Feel Love” almost as much as me.  Almost, but not quite.

 

20160608_091409

AH’s recycling – that’s 2 doz beersies

 

The Pause

Boy, it’s been a long week.  Feel like I’ve done 10 rounds.

But I’m still coming onto the mat at the sound of the bell … and will continue to do so.

Two days after M9’s ‘hanging’, AH emails he’s been in touch with Skylight, the counselling service I spoke to last year.  He’s got the details for a counsellor, his costs and asking for my thoughts.  Busy day at work so send a quick one with an “initial thought” … ‘why didn’t he take part when I raised it in November?  He never answered.  What did his counsellor give him at that time?

I got back:

If you are not prepared to partake in the parental session nor support this for the children, I will check with my Lawyer and CYF if I need your permission to take them to talk to someone as I have already discussed this with you.

CYF is the government department that deals with neglected kids here.  He’s implying that I’m neglecting my kids!  There was not a discussion – there was one bloody email in which I asked reasonable questions which he ignored.  As. Friggin. Usual!

I said I didn’t think a counsellor was required just yet.  I suggest that if, we were able to finish a conversation (either verbally or email) and be on the same page could we reduce some of the current reactions and attention-seeking behaviours.  I asked if he expected a counsellor to be involved every time communications stall between us?

In typical AH fashion, he ignores my questions but expects me to answer his.  And I do.  Coz I’m not going to be him.

All I get from him is:  “I will do what ever I need to do to help the children”.

If only you did that, but you don’t!  You don’t answer emails.  You ignore good routines and nutrition.  You have sod all interaction with them – letting them spend excessive amounts of time on screen.  You put your own interests above them.  Constantly.

He insists on going ahead with the counselling.  I’m not going to stop it – but let him know he’ll have to pay if he’s not going to wait until M9 turns 10 (31 Aug) when he’d be entitled to free sessions – and he won’t be reimbursed for it from me.  Suggest he uses the counsellor M11 has previously seen, and he at least agrees to do that.

So tomorrow, AH and I have a session with her, before she does some work just with the kids.  I’m dreading it.  He’s a manipulator.  Which face will he display?  I feel sick.  I can’t stand being in his company.

I must not let him push my buttons.  My only focus is my kids.
The-pause

A friend posted this on her Facebook this week, and it seems timely (although ‘praying’ isn’t something I wish to do right now, if I can just take a deep breath and slow my thoughts, that’ll be a good start).

I can do this!