Backlog

These autumn mornings are stunning right now.  The walk to school is really pleasant and I feel energised after it.

I’m back by 9.10am, in time for AH to drop off M10 as he’s not going to school today.  Apparently he woke at 4.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, and hadn’t eaten anything.  His head’s sore so he lies on the couch.  Manage to get a couple of mandarins into him, then a banana.  There’s no dizziness or nausea, which is good.  He slips into my bed and drops off for a good hour; keen for lunch once he wakes and eats it all, even having seconds (well, why wouldn’t you … it was baked beans on toast, after all!).

I have to duck into work to pay wages and to the supermarket for bits for dinner, and he comes with – again, all good.  He even made us go to a department store to see if they had fidget spinners; insisting he was fine and I wouldn’t get into trouble if ‘someone’ heard what we did.

I made a mental list of the things I wanted to get done seeings I couldn’t go to work.  Didn’t even achieve half of them but might’ve raised the bar too high.  It’s made me realise I miss having a weekday away from work.  A day where I can properly clean (dust, polish, vacuum) and get jobs done without kids around.  It’s [no pun intended] cleansing to have rooms decluttered and things in their place.

M12 and Ms7 get themselves home.  M10 eats the same as them for afternoon tea, and wolfs down his dinner too.  So the appetite’s not causing me concern.  I’m hoping, after a good night’s sleep, he’ll feel well enough to go to school … but it’s AH’s day so hope he won’t have issue ‘working from home’ (he’s already organised the babysitter to be at his for the kids after school.  Ms7 still says she doesn’t want her).

Mr Lee’s due to visit tomorrow.  I’m actually feeling knackered so not sure it’s a good idea – hopefully will feel more enthusiastic tomorrow.  The ‘agitation’ of the Zopiclone has definitely lessened.  Also hope to get my real estate appraisal and advice as to what things I should do pre-sale to ensure top dollar.  Looking forward to that, as I’ll forward it to my lawyers for on-forwarding to AH’s.  Let’s get this ball rolling a bit faster 🙂

Grateful that:

  1. M10 feels better;
  2. 2 bedrooms look spic ‘n span; and
  3. I had time to contact insurer, glazier and plumber to try and get the soccer damage to the windows and guttering done under insurance.
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Guilt

Nothing much has changed over the past 24-hours.  I feel the ‘edginess’ of the Zopiclone fading.  It’s bizarre I didn’t notice anything the previous times I’ve taken it.  Perhaps it was simply a matter of putting it all down to tiredness, which was meant to be assisted by half-a-pill.  A vicious circle.

Drop boys at Minecraft club but Ms7 says she doesn’t want to do jazz.  She still has a sore head and is saying her chest hurts so I’m not going to force it.  Nice to just pop to the supermarket then chill at the library with her – NOT folding washing or getting firewood or prepping dinner.

As soon as M10 finishes, he says he has a sore head.  There were a couple of issues on the soccer pitch at lunchtime: one – getting kicked by another kid; and two – a ball to the face. He was fine before Minecraft but it looks to be causing pain so I give him Pamol as soon as we get home.  It’s only 10 mins before AH turns up to get him for 1-on-1.  He has boys’ club at 8am tomorrow, so I text AH asking that he let the teacher who takes it know if he won’t be going to school.  I use “please” too … actually without even thinking of his recent demands to use my manners.  Funnily enough, taking etiquette lessons from him is something that I will NEVER be signing up to.

AH texts back that he’s at the after-hours emergency doctors, and if M10 doesn’t go to school, he’ll drop him at mine at 8.30!

The school is very good with calling if there’s any reason to fear a concussion incident during the day.  He was fine after school.  And Ms7 has been talking about having headaches the past couple of days.  So my initial feeling is that this was drastic.

He’s told possibly mild concussion, given an anti-nausea tablet, “he might have a viral infection that’s making him nauseous” [not on my time, he wasn’t] and is off sport for 2 weeks.

I know you don’t want to mess with concussions but I can’t help but feel AH is simply playing what he thinks is a trump card.  It’s not the first time he’s rushed them to the emergency doctors.  Last time it came with a barbed accusation that I don’t get them medical help, which is a load of codswallop!  I’ve been the stay-at-home mum since they were born until Ms7 started school.  I’ve brought these kids up.  If I have ANY doubts as to their well-being, I would be at the doctors, like a shot!

I hate that he can still make me doubt myself.  He should’ve lost that power when he left … NO!  I take that back … He should never have held that power!

Interestingly, I checked the joint account we used to put a fortnightly payment into for kids’ incidentals.  He’s still paid in his $60 for the past 3 fortnight, and immediately paid it back to himself (owed $130 for soccer fees and $50 for presents, it would seem [remember, I’m still owed $140 from the start of the year for school start-up costs]).  The fact he’s continued to pay it in sets alarms ringing.  He told me I wouldn’t get my money back and there’s no point paying into that account.  So why is he … ??   

God, he’s such a conniving, manipulative shit!  I’m keeping mindful …

karma

Grateful for:

  1. getting to yoga;
  2. down-time at the library with Ms7; and
  3. maths flashcards – noticeable improvement with M12’s multiplication and division.  Now to work on that resilience 🙂

Merely Monday

With both M10 and Ms7 coming into my bed last night and my asthma playing up, it was a crap sleep.  Definitely did not take a sleeping tablet as, having noticed a possible side effect, I want to see how long before that exhausted/short-fuse feeling passes.

Ms7 wakes saying her tummy hurts.  This is normal for a Thursday, but not for a Monday.  She said her head hurt yesterday, before she had her nap.  As the morning goes on, she says she’s got a sore head again so I give her some Pamol and she’s fine for school.

I’d asked AH what time M10 and Ms7 had gone to bed on Fri and Sat.  The fighting as soon as they came through the door was a tell-tale sign.  But Ms7 putting herself to bed at 5pm is a bit more worrying: either it’s late nights or she’s coming down with something … and that’s what I’m trying to find out from him.  He said “7.30…8pm”, to which I call BS and enquire further “Both nights?  [Would you] Be prepared to swear that in a court?”.  Usual response from AH, ie nothing!

Because of how she was this morning, I’m still keen to know if it’s mere tiredness.  I email looking for certainty with his timing:

That’s a fairly open window.  Was [Ms7] closer to 8 both nights?  As I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to establish if she is coming down with something so honesty here would be helpful.

Also curious why you held an AO discussion with them regarding the daddy-free weekend.

[Ms7] didn’t show any signs of being sick but thats not to say she wasn’t carrying anything.

Great.  Appreciate your ongoing lack of willingness to be open and honest when it involves the kids. [as he’s noticeably ignored the 2nd point]

Oh please – I’ve answered your questions…why dont you leave your bitterness and sanctimony out of all correspondence…I’d be more open to prolonging the agony of any form of discussion with you.  Make sure you include this email in any submissions. I’d like the Courts to understand what communication with you consists of.  Enjoy the rest of your day

Oh he is very open to prolonging the agony!  Every communication is exactly that.  Prolonged agony!

It’s just a never-ending cycle of deflecting and projection.  And of course throw in name-calling for good measure.  Keep ticking off that narcissist check-list, AH!

Grateful for:

  1. the glass that flew around the kitchen when the boys kicked a soccer ball into it NOT hitting Ms7, myself or the cat;
  2. M10 taking instant responsibility for the accidental kick.   This isn’t his usual behaviour – normally there’d be blaming the other child and even potentially running away; and
  3. the kids’ teachers all being empathetic to the situation and willing to keep an extra eye on them, including noticing if there’s any patterns to bad behaviours in the classrooms.

Hate being right!

Well, I don’t.  I don’t imagine many people do.  I very much like being right or being wise enough to shut my mouth if I’m not sure, at least.

Back in Golden, I foretold what I thought AH would do regarding stopping his daddy-free weekend, then having to change it back as two-thirds of the kids wanted it to continue.  Good ol’ predictable AH followed exactly the path that I predicted…

Got Ms7 and M10 back right on 8 am.  They’re fighting as soon as they get through the door.

I’m not feeling a box of birds neither.  Can’t put my finger on it but just feels like Vesuvius is simmering.  I’m shattered from smashing the cupboards down on Friday.  Still haven’t got all the bits from the cupboards packed into boxes so think all this clutter may be affecting the mood too.  Last thing I need is kids who are at each other’s throats, ignoring the requests to do simple jobs.

Took them into Zealandia, a wildlife sanctuary mainly for native birds.  Really needed to get away from here and breathe some fresh air.

18699931_10154545247621198_5559200650698423222_nGot M10 to ring AH before we left as none of his water bottles are here.  AH claims they’re not there so I ask M10 to get him to drop off the ones he bought (my money was used after all to pay for them).  He asks M10 to put me on then just talks over me as I repeat my request.  I don’t even know what he said – and I don’t care.  Don’t see his charming text until later …

Seriously?!  This man is so filled with venom.  I really wanted to respond that I’ll speak with skank about better meeting his needs … but I force that desire down.  I think reciting bible verse might be the way forward, ie John 8:7, as nothing else seems to reduce his anger.

It’s bizarre as Ms7 puts herself to bed when we get home.  What time are they getting to sleep at AH’s?

M12’s turn to cook dinner so he does while I pack up crockery.  As we do our weekly planner, I hear how AH manipulated the whole ‘daddy-free weekend’ scenario – as expected.

Apparently, I should have never said anything to them about it.  Apparently, the boys “unscrewed” all his and my plans.  Apparently Daddy doesn’t like it being called ‘daddy-free’ or ‘kid-free’ weekend.  I suggested “Rupert” as an alternative but that didn’t fly.  I’m told “no kid” would be acceptable … but point out that I have kids so it doesn’t really work.  It really is quite the quandry!

I also ask how they were meant to find out about the plan change, if I (or AH) didn’t tell them?  They don’t know.

M10 is feeling guilty that he ‘messed up’ the change that had been agreed, but I let him know strongly that there’s nothing here that he or they have done that they should feel guilty for.  I ask if I changed their minds and all 3 said no.  M12 now says though, ‘he didn’t have time to think it through and now he has and it should stop after this one’.

Every single part of this has followed the script.  The only thing that came as a surprise was M10 saying to me “I think that you are being blamed for everything”.  Hallelujah!  I’m told that one day they will see through his BS … and that little comment made me realise that yes they will and that I need to trust them more.

Grateful for:

  1. $2 entrance at Zealandia;
  2. M12 doing dinner; and
  3. Tami Neilson summing up my morning mood (actually, I took half a Zopiclone last night as the stress of the past weeks has meant sleep has been a bit over the place .. interestingly Dr Google tells me a side effect is “agitation (more common for seniors)“.   🙂

Job done

What a relief to pass the original, signed notice in response to the court an hour before the deadline.  Helped in Ms7’s class for an hour, then had a counselling session so could feel the nerves as I drove to the court.  Hoped it would not be the day the car decided to break down.

But the gods were on my side.  Have served my response on AH too.  He’ll be both disappointed and peeved, and unsurprised.  I was never going to accept his week on/off proposal.  The response I’ve sent back is merely a holding response … it brings up my desire to move to Levin and that I’ll be making an application for a guardianship direction and all evidence will be supplied with that application.

Interesting idea from my counsellor as, despite doing the pros and cons for Waikato v Levin, I still wonder if I should make it “Waikato or bust”.  She also suggested doing pros and cons for NOT moving.  Apparently it gives different arguments.  Could be interested.

Friend came over last night to help me knock down some kitchen cupboards.  Think it will improve the place for sale.  Will get my builder to simply put some GIB up over all the holes, and then get Mr Lee to paint it white.  No point making it ‘my style’ as I hopefully won’t be having to deal with it for long.  God, it was so good to get it done and already there’s more light coming in.  Both of us got out some pent-up anger out.

Nice 1:1 with M12 watching Avatar (his DVD choice for my Mother’s Day present).  I expect that there’ll be reference to ‘not wanting to move to Levin’ coming soon which will be great as NOTHING should be being said to the kids relating to the court process.  If they come out with anything, I’ll know it will be from him as I’m very aware they are to be kept out of this.

Grateful for:

  1. friend coming help smash up my kitchen;
  2. getting a few other jobs off my to-do list; and
  3. my bed being so comfy.  Time to head there now 🙂

Not a moment too soon

FINALLY heard from my lawyers this afternoon.  They’re very calm: quite the opposite of how I was feeling as the deadline ticks closer.

Good chat with them on my options of getting all the to the Waikato:

i)  Go for a ‘guardianship direction’ which is effectively going to the judge, saying very nicely “please sir, could I move the children 6 hours up the road”.  Success rate: about 20%.

ii)  Go more bolshevik, “I’m going no matter what, the kids ought to come to”.  Success rate:  maybe 40%.

It will be difficult, even with 5-pages of justification.  My strongest arguments are that I’m here by chance (ie so he didn’t feel entrapped with my family) and that I don’t see a future here.   Moving there is ‘for family and emotional support after a traumatic situation’ – and this separation is exactly that!  But it will be an expensive fight that I am likely not to win.

Plan B is to move 40 minutes up the road.  That, in itself, wouldn’t even really be considered ‘relocation’ in the court’s eye … except I want them to change schools.  But it’s not as dramatic as moving all the way to my parents’.  It could be viewed favourably as it gives sensible, affordable housing for the kids and me, and it’s not putting too much distance between the kids and AH.  And the kids’ views will be considered by the court.

Do I call his bluff that he could actually look after them 24/7 if I said I leave no matter what and risk it all?

Or do I make a compromise that doesn’t get me next-door to my family, but keeps the kids happier?

I’ve done a list of pro’s and con’s.  I think the thing that’s swaying it is the fact that the kids have all said they don’t want to leave here (I read that as they don’t want to be so far away from Daddy, rather than leaving HERE as such).   I feel it could be beneficial to take a small step rather than a large leap.  It might show the kids there’s nothing to worry about and they might be more open to a move closer to my parents after a few years.

No, it doesn’t satisfy our need to get closer to my family (and that need is HUGE!)…

But it ticks many other boxes:

⇔  I’m away from this shitty, small-minded community;

⇔  it gives AH and I distance;

⇔  a 4-bed house is attainable;

⇔  the kids go to a different school;

⇔  I’m an hour closer to home;

⇔  I have some friends there already (to go further north would mean I’d be lone wolf).

Had an estate agent come this morning to pick her brains:  is it worth it to spend, say, $5k doing some basics?  Glad to hear from my lawyer that we can tell AH now that this house will go for tender.  Whatever I spend on improvements would return to me (I’m loathe to spend my time and money increasing his profits).  He’d have the option to buy me out once the market dictated its worth … and I wouldn’t even have to subtract the real estate agent’s fees!

And, as he’s only renting, if he was to buy this place knowing that I’m looking to take the kids north, that wouldn’t reflect well on him!

I feel better after the call.  I still have to receive their draft and get it to court, in between helping in Ms7’s class and counselling.

So no pressure then!!?

A mere coincidence that this came up driving home, as I’m actually starting to sniff it, ie the noose loosening/freedom:

Grateful for:

  1. a night to myself – it’s been so long!;
  2. Mr Lee touching base, as I’d moved him down the priority list; and
  3. Pharrell.  He makes me smile!

Golden

That’s what they say silence is.  And today, if I could be a colour, I’d be golden.

There’s been nothing from AH since I emailed, yesterday afternoon, the boys wanted to keep daddy-free weekend so this would form part of the court action.

NOTHING!  

I think he’s fuming!  I feel there’s something on that weekend and that’s why he’s made 2 attempts to get the kids, without actually disclosing the real reason.  It reeks of underhandedness.  I’m sure he’ll be thinking I’ve done this to be difficult but the majority of our kids have said to keep it in place … and they take precedence over him.

He could also be quiet as he’s stirring the pot with his lawyer/court.

Or he’s waiting until he gets all 3 kids back tomorrow evening so he can grill them about our conversation to find the smallest turn of phrase that the kids drop as ammunition against me.  There’s nothing that he can turn on me though as I kept the conversation extremely short, didn’t put anything on him and simply said “I’m confused now”.  Will this follow the usual path? … ie, decision is made and communicated, he has a weekend with the kids and I then get word stating ‘they have changed their minds’!  All by themselves with no swaying from him!  Yeah, right!

Ms7 is odd after her 1-on-1:  she’s clingier than usual and full of hugs right after school, but by 5.30pm, she’s giving attitude, starting fights and clearly tired.  I try and finish her grammar homework with her that we started yesterday (contractions).  Found it odd that, despite there being 8 other ‘subjects’ in her homework grid, AH chose to complete this one with her last night.  Why?!  There was talk or reading options, but clearly feels there was a point to make by finishing what I’d started, like it’s some warped competition.  Unfortunately when I asked her to explain how she’d got her answers, she had no idea.  I’m hoping that was just tiredness.

AH didn’t call to say goodnight – well, actually, he might have.  The phone rang at 6.40pm and dinner was ready so the kids had been asked to come to the table.  No message was left but I have no doubt he was testing my boundaries by calling after the 6.30 deadline.

I’ve sent a 5-page document to my lawyer setting out my reasons for wanting the court to let me take the kids north.  I feel better having gotten it down on paper and cross-referenced it to the principles that the court looks at in this situation.  I’m nervous that I’ve not heard from them yet and aren’t even sure if I’m meant to be preparing the response, or if they are.  I have put my trust in them and I hope it doesn’t bite me in the ass.

Grateful for:

  1. the new pre-bed routine of playing card games with the kids.  They’re actually pulling them out and playing with each other too;
  2. cracking out the winter sheets (I’m not grateful that it’s got cold, but love flannelette sheets!);
  3. boys being great this morning with their jobs and getting themselves to school; and
  4. [extra one] … M10.  He comes in most nights and there’s some times I send him back, but when that little arm reaches out and cuddles me in the night, I melt.  Please don’t grow up, little man!