Money, money, money

The economic gap between AH and I is large.  He is on a 6-figure salary; I earn a fifth of it.  Yes, I still do fun stuff (eg music fest on the weekend, out with friends) but if I didn’t do that, I’d become a hermit and go nuts.  I mean, even more nuts!

But the house needs work.  I need new shoes as the last ones were worn until they had holes in them and HAD to be binned.  The car needs a warrant.  And I can’t remember the last time I did a proper grocery shop – you know, the type where you do a full list for the whole week and the cupboards are fully stocked afterwards.

Today, he emails to ask for the boys on Sunday so he can sort their soccer registration.  We haven’t had a proper discussion on it as I am loathe to bring it up – he’ll call me ‘controlling’.  The last time it was touched on, I said I didn’t have money to pay for the fees, and that I was still owed $150 for the kids’ school expenses.  He said ‘he’ll sort it’ and I’ve not heard more.  Both boys need boots too so presume he’ll pick up the tab…. ?!

He asked yesterday whether I’d be taking the kids to my parents in the July school holidays.  I hadn’t thought that far ahead but, with my parents taking all the family to Melbourne in April for a few nights, questioned whether would be excessive/pretentious to go the subsequent holidays too.

“Haha….that’s funny…the children aren’t coming with”

Well, excuse me!!  But he asked if I’d work around him ‘during the school holidays’!  Surely, given how much he wants things to be fair and to have as much time with the kids as possible, a logical conclusion to jump to would be that he would be taking them with on a trip during school holidays!!!  

The fact that he has enough money to spend on a trip to Australia irks me.  But I decide to work with him so there’s some to-ing and fro-ing about the dates; especially trying to work in the 1-on-1s.

He gets Ms7 for 1-on-1.  She returns for her wetsuit and boogie board (that my parents bought for Xmas 2015).  I let her take the wetsuit but question how I’d get the boogie board back (bearing in mind, I still don’t have M12’s fleece that I lent AH), so she can’t take it.  That’s all ok – as she comes back ½-an-hour later and informs me that Daddy has just bought them all boogie boards, including a $99 one for him.

Boys also let me know at dinner that him and skank are going away this [kid-free] weekend to do the Tongariro Crossing (an alpine walk I’ve wanted to do for a while now … probably not so much while we were together as he sucked the life and motivation out of me).

This on the tail of his $500 dive course.  And buying a 2nd-hand PS3.  And a new tele. And a NutriNinja.  And the laptop.  And the tablet.  And the sound system-thingie.  And … And … And …

So I’m a bit pissed off.  Yes, there’s a touch of jealousy that he’s moved on, but I find there’s two other things needling me much more:

i)   that he’s actually getting off his butt and doing stuff now; and
ii)  the money that he’s spending without a second thought.

I’m hurt and decide it’s not fair that he can flash his money around impressing all and sundry (well, my kids and the new bit of fluff), while I struggle.  He is the reason the house and relationship property hasn’t been sorted so why should it be smooth-sailing for him.  Bugger your holiday to Oz, AH:

This is too hard at the moment. Can we get the RP sorted? That needs to be the priority.

Today, I’m grateful for:

  1. M12’s orthodontist saying his teeth are getting more space and falling into place;
  2. Fresh air at the beach with boys after dinner; and
  3. Getting to see Ms7 wake up this morning – that gorgeous stretch and cute face 🙂
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DNA

After Grolsch declined my invited to come for coffee, I sent him a text.  This guy, only a couple of years ago, gave me a big hug and said I’d be his sister forever.  He ignored my request to not move within a radius of here when they emigrated so AH and I could work on our relationship – instead purchasing a house in the next suburb.  At no time has he reached out, as my family has to AH.

I love his response to my text.  To me, it shows that AH’s family are the same.  There’s not two or more sides to a story … there’s only their one.  They hang on to historical events and pull them out at the drop of a hat.  DNA.pngMy biggest concern is that the DNA of AH and Grolsch runs through the veins of my kids.  I don’t want them to be victims.  I don’t want them to be lazy.  I want them to have goals and to realise they must work for them.  I want the boys to know how to treat a woman properly.  I don’t believe they’re getting that level of role-modelling they need when on AH’s time.

I know there’s traits that I have carried down that aren’t ideal.  I can only hope that my awareness and acknowledgement of those issues might keep them in check.  Sadly, AH doesn’t believe he has any issues.

Besides the alopecia, I hope my children don’t carry my inability to let things go.  Another single mama is finding the same problem – although her ex is worse (physical abuse) – we both continue to let these pricks get under our skin.  Neither of us seem to know how to let that hurt and anger go.  Both intelligent ladies … just unable to get to a place of peace in this process.

AH had a scuba course over the past days.  He got someone else to get them from school on Thursday, the new girlfriend had all my 3 (plus her 4!) for the whole day on Saturday and Grolsch and Sputnik had them in the morning on Sunday before coming back here.  I shouldn’t even care that the new chick had all 7 kids but I want it to be horrible (it won’t as my kids are great kids:  they have manners and, especially for others, are extremely well-behaved.  And, of course, they know this chick and her kids because I introduced them many years ago).  I don’t want him back (hell, no!) but I don’t want him to be moving on with some skank who then gets to spend time with my amazing kids either.  See?  Inability to let it go!

Amazed that AH spent the weekend away from the kids.  He has kid-free weekend coming up so thought he’d have either asked to swap or waited until the next time.  Suppose he has a girlfriend willing to be his child-carer when he is busy now so I’m off the hook.  He keeps saying he wants more time, yet makes these choices.   I hope they don’t throw crap my way because of it.

Grateful for:

  1. Going for a bike ride with the kids along new cyclepath – it’s beautiful and they loved it (well, AH complained about it for a good 10 minutes before we started before recognising how fun it was);
  2. Great music fest on Saturday; and
  3. Boys having a 7-hour play on Sunday with a friend, allowing Ms7 and me have an unscheduled 1-on-1.

Exhausting

An interesting couple of days since the street blow-out.  We were finally in sync though … both emailing the other on Wed with our concerns about what had happened.

His consisted of 17 sentences: 10 are direct attacks on me, 6 are neutral and 1 threat.  There is no accountability on his part nor acknowledgement that he shouldn’t have hung up when I tried to discuss the issue.  It’s simply that I lost my cool and the kids had to witness another angry attack from me.

Mine, in comparison, asked for suggestions of how we could move forward with our communication.  I tried to ensure phrases were my feelings, rather than taking aiming at him: “I feel that there is currently no forum where open, honest conversations relating to the kids’ needs and can be had to completion”, “I’m concerned that the kids are seeing both our reactions to these discussions and starting to mimic them, [M12] especially” and finally, “I feel it’s a stage where we may need someone to be a ‘mediator’ with our communications as I cannot see that you will allow mature discussion any other way.  Please can you let me know names of people who might be able to play this role”.

I really feel, the way we bait and hate each other, means we need a middle-man to tone down our communications.  He can’t see that he does anything wrong … and I can’t stop myself from reacting.  To know that someone else is monitoring what you write, could provide some internal censoring that we currently can’t do.

My eldest brother would be perfect for this.  He’s a Libra so very balanced.  He can see things from AH’s side and offer sensible compromises, ie when AH recently asked for the marriage certificate so he could underhandedly apply for the divorce behind my back, my brother’s suggestion was to let him have it but point out that my preference would be to apply jointly so that I don’t risk getting publicly served.  There’s also a dad in that group that I’ve cut myself from who would be great – a really nice, non-judgmental guy.  I’m keen on him as it would mean that AH wouldn’t be able to continue pretending to be this kind, tolerant, guy.  His true colours would out.

His one-line response:  “Neither [my brother] or [other dad] will suit”.  I remind him that the emails we’re having are about showing willingness to move things forward.  He says, “I don’t want anyone dealing with our dirty laundry”.

And there it is!  He’s happy enough to TALK to all-and-sundry about how vicious I am but he’d have no control over this.

Funny, as I have nothing to hide.  But the fact that he does, speaks volumes.

I get M10 for 1-on-1 this afternoon.  AH had asked if I’d be taking him to his hip hop and, if so, would I take M12 and drop him back.  Despite no ‘please’, I agree.  M10 gets into the car and, according to Ms7, had been complaining that he didn’t want to do 1-on-1 as it “wasn’t fair”.  OMG … that bloody ‘FAIR’ word again.  Not sure what he actually means but I’m wondering if both boys feel that Daddy doesn’t get fair time because they’re not actually getting time and attention when they are with him (90% of the time, he has people over or goes out/he’ll be standing around a BBQ while the kids are left to their own devices).  M12 jumps into the car but I’d already decided to take M10 for a treat before heading to hip hop so send him back.  When I do collect him, he’s pissed as he had to stop his playing Gran Turismo on the PS3 (despite it being a gorgeous day).  I ask him to go get a water bottle and get a ‘no’.  It’s hot, they’ve got an hour of exercise ahead of them so try a few more times.  “I never take one”, I’m told.  M10 comes back with a bottle for himself and for M12 but he’s still got bad attitude so I say he needs to stop or get out of the car, and that Daddy will have to bring him to hip hop.  Out he hops and I drive off with M10.

I get the usual: a phone call from M12 apologising.  I let him know I won’t be spoken to like that but that if Daddy brings him, I will take him home if doesn’t try that attitude on again.  AH then calls saying M12 might not come as he’s not sure he wants to risk having to drive back to get him if he can’t control his rage (ie he’d have already had a few beers and wouldn’t be able to drive).  Subsequent text that M12 has said he can’t guarantee he won’t be a shit to me and AH has charged him $5 as a penalty.  Wonder if there’s been any loss of screen time … but I doubt it!

M10 played the class clown at hip hop so have asked AH whether that’s normal.  If he’s not enjoying it, then he should stop.  Also asked AH to let me know what this ‘unfair’ conversation was at his place before I picked M10 up.  And despite 2 days of emails saying that answers are needed, I get nothing back.  Grrrr!

Grateful for:

  1. 1-on-1 with M10 and him enjoying it;
  2. great pork knuckle and gig in town last night; and
  3. being the bigger person (I was told Grolsch would pick up M10 tomorrow morning as AH has his dive course, so said he should come in for a coffee as I’d like that and M10 would too.

grolschI actually stopped myself from saying all that I could’ve said.  At least I can say I tried!

Maturity

How the hell is one meant to communicate with someone who doesn’t have the maturity, ability or willingness to start or finish any discussion?  Someone with narcissistic tendencies who loves to control and ensure you end up looking like the crazy one…

And, my god, he is good at that.

Perhaps, he is right and I am the controlling one.  I can’t stand that discussions don’t end – due to him either hanging up or walking away.  Perhaps I am at fault for thinking we should be able to talk: put both our sides on the table; possibly see that we’ve not considered the other person’s point of view; and hopefully agree a compromise and move things forward.

 Jeez, I must be a right controlling cow for thinking that is possible!

I called him this afternoon before he came to pick up M12 for 1-on-1, hoping to sort out the uniform issue.  I let him know M12 won’t be bringing a uniform with, as AH has from the dirty load.  He tells me he won’t be giving the others back as I returned dirty clothes.  I say it was one pair of shorts and try to explain … he talks over me [a trait from the marriage: every ‘discussion’ involved me saying ‘I was talking’ or ‘please turn it down’ as, if interrupting didn’t get the desired effect, his volume simply went up] and refuses to hear that they were dirty as soon as they walked in the door.  He also says Ms7’s dress wasn’t washed … ummm, what dress?!  It’s my fault for not checking her room and sorting it [which was difficult as it wasn’t in her room … SHE had put it directly in the bag, not ME!].  He doesn’t hear me when I say that he gets them on Thursdays in clean uniforms.  He doesn’t hear me saying I need the others here in case anything happens Monday-Thursday.  He doesn’t hear anything as he’s hung up.  AGAIN!!

I wait at the bottom of the drive as he’s due to pick up M12.  I tell M12 he can’t go with AH yet as we need to speak.  He’s not happy as it’ll be cutting into his 1-on-1 time.  Sorry love, perhaps AH could’ve finished the conversation on the phone so it didn’t do that.  He turns up 15 minutes late anyway.  As he drives up, he sees me there.  His face is thunder.  Instead of just stopping where he normally would, he drives past to the end of the cul-de-sac, comes back past, then finally stops further up the road.  I go up and he gets out.  I have my phone in my hand (summer’s day, so no pockets on the dress to conceal it), so he demands I take it back.  I refuse saying it’s off, “show me”, he says.  Why so defensive about the potential of being recorded?  If you’re not doing/saying anything bad, there should be no concerns, right?!

I’m told I won’t be getting the uniforms back until I start washing his clothes that come to me.  I reiterate the shorts were already filthy on Saturday when I saw M10 wearing them.  He refutes this – insisting they were clean, which is an outright lie.  I wish I’d taken a photo of them but I seriously didn’t think he’d be this much of a prick!  He starts “I want clean clothes coming back, I want … I want …”.  Seriously.  He’s making demands and effectively blackmailing me, ie if I don’t tow his line, he won’t give the uniforms back.

I ask that he might change his use ‘I want …’.  “That’s rich coming from you”, he spits then calls M12 to come.  He’s done and is, again, running away.  Despite me telling M12 that Daddy and I needed to chat first, he says, “no, I want my 1-on-1” and does as Daddy says.  I’m fucking ropeable.  Why can’t AH ever see a side other than his?  Why can’t he finish a conversation?  And why do I let him push my buttons so?

What a slippery slope he has led us to the top of!

God, I wish he’d just GROW UP!

I’m gutted that the kids witnessed it.  I would’ve thought we could’ve sat in his car but he took it to the street.  I’ve apologised to them and have to try to not let him rile me so.  He brought M12 back with the uniforms and so M12 could apologise for not doing as I asked.  Unfortunately, M12 asking for a PS3 game straight after the apology so he could play it tonight [another vital purchase AH has made … a PS3] made it feel somewhat hollow….

And sounding very much like his dad, which scares me!

Grateful for today:

  1. Boys enjoying Minecraft club I enrolled them in;
  2. Ms7 showing a marked improvement at jazz in a week; and
  3. Waking to sunshine and bone-dry washing at the end of the day.

Summer

Finally!  A hot, hot day.  Considering it’s a week before we officially go into autumn, and that I will be ordering my firewood for the fast-approaching winter, we had probably the hottest day of summer so far.  Decided to do an easy dinner that could be transported to the beach for a picnic and swim, which the kids enjoyed.

beach

AH called just as we were heading out the door to say his goodnights … I will put money on there being a picnic at the beach with the kids fairly soon on his time (again, I’m supposedly a ‘terrible parent’, yet he sounded surprised/jealous when he heard our plans so feel he’ll steal this idea too.  Going down to the beach for dinner would never have been something he’d have done.  If he were a bird, he’d be a magpie.  Always hated magpies .. lol!).

Minimal contact with him which was great (he only texted asking if we’re still swapping 1-on-1 to Friday this week, as I’m off to a local music festival).  Can’t help but feel he’s planning some attack behind the scenes.  It’s like when the kids go quiet; you KNOW they’re up to mischief!

My sister called tonight with bad news: (i) she’s been dumped by the guy she only moved in with a few months ago … he seems to share many of AH’s immature traits and inability to communicate so perhaps a good thing she’s out of it now; and (ii) Mum’s in hospital with low white blood cells.  The latter makes me think again of how unfair/annoying/sad it is that I’m a 6½ hour drive away.

And poor!  How nice would it be to just jump on a plane and go see the people I love who are hurting right now?!  

Positives from this beautiful day:

  1. Hotdogs and salad at the beach;
  2. Ms7 catching her first wave on her boogie board;
  3. Getting my floors mopped.  Yup!  My life is enviable 🙂

Am I missing something?

AH’s behaviours have had me question myself more than once.  Many, many times.  He’s said or done something – and I’ve scratched my head wondering if I was the narcissist, had I over-reacted or misinterpreted matters, was I unclear (whether purposefully or not), am I crazy, and … most often … what am I missing here?

Today was a great example.  Boys are dropped back [20 mins late!].

I get an email 5 mins later from AH:

Oh yes…their school clothes are not washed.  Will resume washing their school clothes when the other clothes that are returned to me are clean

AH normally washes the uniforms at the week’s end on Friday.  I get them back clean (not always dry), with the kids on Sunday.

But within a bag of stuff I left for his place on Thursday, was M10’s ManU kit – unwashed.  He turned up wearing it on Sunday and it was already filthy (he was wearing it when I picked up M12 for 1-on-1 on Saturday, so it had probably been worn for the third day running).  Straight away, I asked M10 to put on some clean clothes, and put the kit in the bag to go back to AH’s as, with white shorts, he’d need to soak it.

The bag of dirty uniforms is in the middle of the lounge floor.  I ask the boys to put it by the door as it needs to go back to Daddy’s.  They look cagey so I ask “has something been said” and both immediately go to, “it’s an AO [adult only].  Yes Daddy said something but it’s an AO.  You need to speak to him”.

So, let me get this right?  He’s spoken to the boys that he will be bringing back unwashed uniforms!  Justified it however he needed to.  THEN, and only then, does he decide that it was a conversation purely for him and me… ?

When I point out his hypocrisy, I get:

I knew you would question them…to protect them from you…I told them to tell you it was an AO conversation.  You need to front up & stop getting them to do your dirty work

And this is one of the “am I missing something” moments?

He clearly believes he hasn’t done anything wrong here.  My asking the boys “was something said” is simply, in his eyes, me fucking them up.

Yet I would ask: ‘why do I need to call him about the decision he has made [given 95% of our phone conversations end up with him hanging up mid-conversation]’ … or, more importantly, ‘why didn’t he call me when he got the shorts back and ask then the reason/problem’?

I bit back – couldn’t help myself: “Everyone thought you’d be calmer now the relationship with one of your best mates’ exes was in the open.  But you’re not.  You seem even more toxic than before. And she didn’t look that happy the other day neither.  Don’t take your relationship issues out on me. Or the kids”.

Yes, I know.  Not mature.  Not helpful.  As far from ‘being the bigger person’ as one could be.

And his response pushed all of my buttons:

Back to the topic at hand…if you return the clothes….you will find them in your letterbox in the same state.  Give me clean clothes back like I do for you and you wont need to scrape the bottom of your soul for insults.  Now be a good girl and sssssshhhhhhhh…Jesus is talking. He wants to help you. Let Him in.

I remind him that the counsellor advised him to “be curious” – and had he done that, we wouldn’t be in a stalemate, right now.  Also suggested I met up with my old mate [his now GF] as I need help get him to see sense.

And, thankfully, that ends this email train today.

As I’m still trespassed from his house, and as I didn’t want the kids to be compromised by getting them to do ‘my dirty work’, I lob the bag of uniforms towards his front door.  No idea if they’ve yet been dumped back at mine. At the end of the day, if they are, I will wash them, but I strongly felt ‘fuck him’ for not bothering to bring it up, for putting the boys right in the middle, and for leaving it to the day before school to make his petty stand.

The boys also let me know that AH’s opposition to the longer Sundays is that it would mean about 3 weeks before having Ms7 on the longer Sunday … because of the way his kid-free weekend falls.  He’s manipulated M12 who now is saying he wants to go back to Daddy if on 1-on-1.  Which is unfortunate as Ms7 was very upset tonight that the longer 1-on-1 won’t happen.  Perhaps, if the boys want that time with Daddy, and Ms7 wants that girl time with me, then that’s what the routine should work around.

But I’m not going to suggest that.  He will only view it as manipulation or control, and believe there’s an angle I’m working.

I have no doubt we are both missing something at times … but his crazy head clouds any ability to see ANYTHING other than hatred; let alone something.  Something important.  Something innocent.  Something that could help the kids not feel stuck in the middle.

I must try hard to keep looking for something – something good in his words and actions.  I’m not even sure if ‘good’ still exists in him though 😦

Grateful for:

  1. M10 cooking sushi tonight;
  2. having girlie time watching Ballerina (cute movie); and
  3. painting  with the kids, the tool boxes they made a couple of weeks ago.

Twist

God, I know my ex well.  Didn’t I say that the kids will come back with a alteration to his agreeing to trial the longer time he’d get with 2 of them on a Sunday?!

Friday evening.  Check my emails:

We wont be doing the 1pm drop off on Sunday as its not fair.

Ive shown the children how unfair it actually is so that they understand.
Ill be dropping them at 8am this Sunday but I and the children still want a fairer split together.

I’d love to see what he’s used to ‘show’ them: zen graph, PowerPoint, …?

Three sentences … and each one mentions “fair” .  I have no doubt he also used that word a number of times while he gave his presentation to the kids.  Little wonder it’s a word they are often regurgitating to me.

Now his latest lawyer’s letter stated accusations about my holding adult conversations with the kids, and my supposed manipulations.

Hmmm … not sure that his sitting down with them and getting them to change their minds about the new arrangement does not tick both the boxes that I’m accused of.  That the choice they each made was completely ignored because the new arrangement didn’t suit HIM.  He couldn’t see that having extra time with two of the kids was better than no change?  He couldn’t see that the kids wanted this extra morning and I suggested it as THEY wanted it.  He wasn’t prepared to discuss his concerns – it simply went from “I’m not happy but I will trial it” to ‘it aint’ happening’.  Real mature, AH!  As always.

Disappointed for Ms7 as, with AH agreeing that the new regime could start tomorrow and as I’d not have the boys, had planned to take her and her little sleepover mate to see Ballerina.  Checked the movies and Monster Trucks has started so ring AH to speak to the boys to see if they’d be keen to see that.  He didn’t answer the call so organise that the boys will go to a neighbour and Ms7 can still get what she asked for.  He will not control nor break me!

Great night with a couple of girl mates last night: one who spent 9 months in the courts deciding the fate of her two boys (also married a crazy, controlling, cheating, south african).  Some great advice given by her about the court process and moving forward, ie remove the emotions, working out where I might be prepared to compromise in court and where I have no movement, don’t ask the kids anything about what they get up to at his, get a diary in the car and one in the house and one at work so that, at any moment he does/says something, it’s recorded.

It’s been a lovely night with Ms7 and her BFF.  AH will give me grief as, in his eyes, I’m not ‘honouring the sanctity of 1-on-1’.  He doesn’t recognise that she’s still getting quality time with me … and not having to share my energy or attention with her brothers.  The focus is purely on her and her mate having a nice time.  His feeble attempts to still control are pathetic.

Grateful for …

  1. Big cuddles from M10;
  2. Heat in the sun; and
  3. Much laughter with honest members of the sisterhood last night.