Mr Flexible

Haha … it’s funny … because he’s not!

Ms7 had a sore head at the end of Wed.  I told her to drink water and have a good night sleep and she’ll be fine in the morning.  But she wasn’t.  She wasn’t eating.  Her head still hurt.  She really wasn’t right.

It was changeover day.  Texted AH to let him know that she wasn’t going to school and he’d need to come home.

We’d already had a brief conversation: when he called at 07:30 to speak to the kids.  He hadn’t got hold of them the previous evening on my landline as we were at the neighbours … and, oddly, chose not to call the boys on their mobiles.  The kids haven’t done their morning jobs so, as per one of my boundaries, I don’t let him speak to them.

I already knew my text wouldn’t go down well.  And I was right.  I got “what’s wrong with her” then he phones and it’s “why am I only finding this out now” … “I’ve got meetings all day” … “she needs to go to school”.  I put her on so that he can tell her that directly. Thankfully, the pamol I’d given was working so at least her head wasn’t so sore, so off we go to school.

It was, therefore, surprising to get a message from AH this morning that Ms7 wasn’t going to school today.  Say what?!  She was sick yesterday yet you forced her to go to school because of your work commitments.  But, today, you keep her off?!

I speak to her and she sounds fine.  Her tummy is sore apparently.

In the interest of getting better communication between us, I thank AH for letting me know about Ms7.  I seem to have lost lots of M12’s clothes so ask that he puts all the boys clothes from my house together and leave them out for me.  First, he interrupts to ask if I’m coming back on Ms7’s birthday and I [foolishly] say ‘no’.  He brings up the plan made at the roundtable (meant to spend two hours with the non-week parent on their birthday) but I let him know my lawyer said I wouldn’t need to come back for that.  “I’ll be speaking with my lawyer”, he says.

Ever the controlling prick, he tells me he’s busy with work so he’ll only get to it at about 2 o’clock [?!].   It would take a minute to put the things in a bag, I explain, and that I need them so I can pack for my parents and ensure everything is clean.  I get a nasty comment about how I send clothes back dirty which is utter BS!  He’ll “do the clothes on his time, not when I want it done”  He really is evil, and I tell him so.

When I call again to speak to Ms7 about who she wants to invite to her birthday, AH has removed the anal probe and tells me I can get the clothes at 11 [½-hour away].  Why must it always be so damn hard!?

I get there 5 mins early (my German genes) and he’s just pulling out of his driveway with Ms7 in the back of the car.  They both see me – she’s waving – I actually thought he might stop so I can say hi to her and give her a hug (and give her the bag of colouring she wanted to take to his) … but, no!  Off he drives, denying me that hug.  And her, for that matter.

I call as I don’t want her stuff to get wet if they’re going to be a while.  I ask him why he drove off … “I’d left the clothes at the letterbox and had somewhere to go”.  Yes, with your daughter who was too sick to go to school … hhmm!

Evil, I tells ya.  EVIL!  Tries to sneak off 5 mins before arranged time so Ms7 wouldn’t get to see me … gets busted … looks like complete dickwad!

[Ms7 subsequently tells me that they’d gone to do her birthday shopping (he’d promised a $100 clothing spree so she got new Skechers today), and AH did something for his passport].

Grateful for:

  1. visit from Mr Lee last night;
  2. sorting Ms7’s birthday ‘party’ (1 friend to do what she wants) [even though AH had Ms7 with him today and the party will be on his day, he refused to even ask her what she wanted to do [“you discuss it with her … you dealing with it now”]; and
  3. being able to laugh at his craziness.
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Timing

After AH’s vile message last week, along with a couple of others, I’ve said I want his communications to go through my brother (unless urgent: then he can call on my mobile).  He’s ignored it a couple of times and sent emails that didn’t need sending, IMO.  So I’ve not replied.

And yesterday, I set up a filter so all emails from him, will go straight into a separate folder.  I don’t want to see his name come up in my inbox.  It causes anxiety.  I’d rather just choose when to see his messages.

It’s been nice and peaceful.  Mostly.  He knows he’s not to call after 6:30pm to say goodnight to the kids as it upsets them.  That’s a boundary I’m fully entitled to have in my house.  So calling at 6:22pm last night … ?  What the hell?!   M11 wants his teddy brought around (I was meant to text AH last night to ask him to drop it off, but forgot) and AH says he’ll be round in 5.  I expected he’d just drop it in the letterbox as it was well and truly after 6:30 when he arrives.  But the egg phones to say he’s there and waits at the bottom of the drive!

OMG!  My house.  My boundaries!  He really can’t handle not having control.

Gawd!  I need a house away from him.  He can’t interfere like that.  It’s not fair [yeah – I know that’s where I’m going wrong … still expecting ‘fairness’.  He clearly doesn’t know the meaning of the word].

Viewed a place this afternoon.  Tenders closed today so threw an offer in.  The likelihood of getting it for the price I’ve offered is zip.  It’s only 3-bedrooms but, with 190m², there’s scope to add another.   Is it now, universe?

Grateful for:

  1. first sunny day to enjoy daylight savings (couple of cider with street mums while kids all played together);
  2. floors mopped; and
  3. sod all contact from AH.

Tough

It’s been tough since the round-table.  I’m still feeling I’ve let the kids down and disappointed that things that should’ve been said, weren’t.  I didn’t say about his manipulation of the kids, how he refuses to let me have his landline or the babysitter’s number so that, if the boys don’t turn their mobiles on, I have no way of getting in touch.  The lies he’s told the kids … I didn’t get to put it on the table.  At one stage, I brought up something [can’t for the life of me think of what just now], but it was pretty much glossed over by the lawyers.  They simply wanted to resolve the two issues concerning the kids (ie relocation and week on/off care).  Will the other issues be dealt with at communication counselling?  I don’t know.

But I bloody hope so!

The smallest things are setting me off.  I’ve had tears fill my eyes for the most ridiculous reasons.  I know it’s just a bad funk, and that it will end!  The roller-coaster will rise again; just as it has for the past 2½ years!

I’ve taken the kids to see a couple of properties.  It’s still so disappointing that I will need to spend $150k more to get probably not as much as I’d have got where I wanted to relocate to.  I’ve shown the kids pics of the other place and told them how they’d have had their own lounge to hang with their mates.  The boys have said they’d like to move there.  Bit late now, kids!  Saw one place that ticked most of the boxes … only to find there’s asbestos that’s been re-clad over (and apparently, it’s safe … but would you risk it with your kids?).

Will keep positive.  The right place is out there and will come my way when the universe thinks it’s the right time.

There’s been a few emails between AH and I (one to chase for a response if he’ll come north to get the kids after Xmas so that I can head further up the line; another where he asked me for the kids tax and Kiwisaver numbers; and lastly where he wants me to confirm I’ll be bringing the kids back from my parents on 5 Oct [Ms7’s birthday] when I’m entitled to have them for 3 more days).  He was vile in two of them, so I’ve let him know I want my brother to be a filter for all our communications until we’ve had our counselling.  I don’t need his abuse in my life!

He’s agreed that he’s not going to buy this house so we can take it to market.  This is great and should reduce potential toxicity between us.  But now I’ve got to get this place tidy and ensure we get the most $ it can possibly get – I’ll need it for my future house and fresh start.  If only the damn rain would stop so that I can kick some serious house-tidying-ass!

Grateful for:

  1. getting back to yoga this morning;
  2. kids helping to declutter/pack their rooms; and
  3. M11 showing me his great presentation on the planets.  He was so proud … and rightly so!

Keifer #2

KG1

This, ^^, comes from Skank.  I pick up the phone and call.  She’s a female version of AH on the phone with lots of sighing, ‘oh my god’s and passive aggressive put-downs.  She doesn’t seem particularly interested in hearing from me … I mean, how would knowing the truth fit with her and AH’s feeling that I was attacking her daughter rather than protecting my kids!

I explain how the conversation happened.  She then asked if I wanted to hear how it really went down … [well, durr!].

I’m told it was actually M12 who initiated the drug conversation, by talking about a kid he knew growing weed in his back yard and getting drunk.  I’m told there was a whole ‘family’ conversation around the dinner table (she had no issue that her 7-year old was present).  Her 14-year old daughter had said how different college was from primary school.  How ‘protected’ primary school was.  She said she was impressed with how M12 answered any questions, saying that he wouldn’t try drugs, and seemed to have the right attitude [yes, goes against what Ms7 said he’d said].

I actually feel it was starting to be a good chat (yes, I interrupted her a couple of times and got very short shrift, with a ‘do you or don’t you want to know what happened’).

I hoped we’d also discuss the sex conversation but instead she leapt into “I know you talk about me in the community / you’ve got issues with me but keep it away from my kids / I tolerate you, to a degree”.  Seriously?  You ‘tolerate’ me?!  You made moves on my husband and are now with him, despite not having the balls to come speak to me … and I’m the one who is tolerated?!

Again, she refuses to speak further about the sex issue.  Says “I’m ending this conversation now.  Goodbye” and hangs up!

God – her and AH are clearly perfectly suited.

I am clearly missing something.  I just want to know the truth and I just want to ensure my kids are safe while there, and that they don’t use the divided houses as opportunities to deceive/get into illegal shit!

I have a private chat with M12 he says he did start talking about the kids with the weed, but he didn’t bring up party pills and he definitely didn’t bring up sex.  That would explain why Skank wasn’t prepared to discuss it further, maybe?!

I simply let M12 know that he needs to be really aware of little ears when those conversations take place; and his brother and sister should not be privy to them.  He is scared though and says ‘Daddy’s going to be angry’.  He’s worried now as he’s ‘told me something and he hadn’t told Daddy’.  Oh – this isn’t going to end well, I fear.  AH will make M12 feel so guilty that he will be too afraid to speak with me next time.

I text Skank after my chat with M12 – then get her HR-fuelled missive back.  It warrants a response.  I’m a quicker typer on the laptop, I type one up and email it to her (having left it in drafts overnight to re-re-re-read before pressing <send>).  Her last text is a joke!  So much for thinking we could move forward a step here ….

KG2.png

Hmmm – yes!  ‘Speak to you’.  Of course.  Because the conversation the previous night, when she hung up, went sooooo brilliantly, right?!

I’d emailed AH to update him and ask that, if discussions re sex and drugs take place, the other parent be told.  I also suggest we both sit down with M12 to show a united front, (and help M12 as he’s nervous of AH’s reaction).  He. Is. Insane.

I dont think there is anything further to discuss after the amount of trouble you caused. You’ve talked to him…you obviously had all the answers.  The next time perhaps…without your accusations and attempt to escalate emotions…we can have a joint conversation with [M12] but I will make sure any conversations he begins with me that he returns back to you without any concerns or worries.

[my emphasis]

I’m missing something here.  Trouble I caused?  If Skank got grief from her ex, that’s nothing to do with me.  That’s their issue.  If my kids are being put in a position they shouldn’t be in, then I will get involved.  And AH should too!

And when I point that out and query whether his hatred for me is getting in the way of supporting his son, THAT’s when I get his charming response.  Talk about projection!  Yet heaven forbid he step up as a dad, rather than think about his next shag!

Communications counselling can’t come quick enough!

And, roll credits!!

I wish it were the end of the show, I really do.  Yet, I fear, there’s another season already being commissioned.  Let’s hope this one has a plot twist … one where AH stops being such a nasty, piece of shit and suddenly realises the damage he is doing to our kids.

Keifer #1

You’re clouded in your perception and have no idea of what my intentions are.

I dont hate you…Im embarrassed by you….for you…for the children…for your family…your skin is a reflection of whats going on inside you…you are going to fulfill your own prophecy because you are bitter and twisted…I pity you

[I’ll make this like those tv shows where they start with the present that leaves you going “what happened?” … then travels back three months to explain it all] ….

24

Saturday, 16 Sept 2017 – 16:00

Get M12 for 1-on-1.  My brother, his wife and daughter, and my parents are at mine for lunch so he’s excited to be the only one to get to see them [separately: I’m peeved that, knowing full well what time I’ll be coming by to get a child, AH put Ms7 in the shower so I couldn’t see her].

In the car to get his dinner, M12 tells me there’s a rumour going around ‘about a Year 9 girl at [local college] having sex with her cousin’.

Whoa …!  Not expecting that!

‘Ok’, I say, ‘do you know if it’s true?’  ‘No’, he says.  Then, I say, ‘don’t get involved, [quick overview on how rumours start/get spread/destroy people]’.

Out of curiosity, I say, ‘who told you?’ = Skank’s elder daughter [Y9 at the college and :good friends with a popular girl” who told her, so therefore MUST be true].

‘Oh, and where did this conversation take place/who else was around?’, I ask.

‘In her room with [her 11-year old sister] and Ms7’.

WTF

Tempted to ask AH about it.  But figure get more evidence first, as I know he will dispute it anyway, so best have ducks in a row.

Sunday, 17 September – 08:30

24 - 1

Supposed to be late drop-off for other 2 kids (ie 09:30).  AH texts:

Was going to text back but decide no harm calling.  AH picks up, I ask to speak to kids …

… and I explain that G’ma & Poppa will be going to church so won’t get home until 09:30 so they should enjoy their extended time with Daddy.  Ask to speak to Daddy so as not to put them in the middle.

And I get Angry Man: “you could’ve told me that.  You didn’t need to speak to them”  I try to say that ‘I’m trying to move our communication forward.  I’m staying mindful of my tone and it would be nice if he could see that’.  So he hangs up on me!

#theresnowinning 

After church, we go view properties in the town where I’ll put Ms7 and M11 into their new school.  As LfC hasn’t spoken to them yet, we’ve decided to say that we’re looking for a house for G’ma & Poppa, who are looking to move down here, or at least to have a holiday house so they can visit more.  OMG!  To see AH’s face when he hears this!!

Ask Ms7 if there was a chat at Skank’s house that was something I should know about.

‘Yes’, she says.  ‘AH is probably going to try drugs at college’.

In the same conversation with Skank’s 14- and 11-year-old daughters and M12, Ms7 heard her older brother say he’d give drugs a go!!??  Jaysus!

I now have two of my kids telling me there was a conversation with Ms7 present regarding drugs and sex.

And that Skank’s 14-year old daughter was the catalyst.

#notacceptable

I know AH won’t appreciate me pointing it out.  So I was considering bringing it up with Skank …

… then, coincidentally, bump into Skank’s ex at the supermarket so mention it to him (17:16).  He’s surprised.  He said it doesn’t sound like [eldest daughter].  I say I have two of my kids separately telling me so just worth checking.

AH calls about 17:00 to say goodnight to the kids.  He must be on drugs as really happy and chatty: ‘Hi. How are you?’. ‘Fine thanks.  And you?’. ‘Good thanks.  Can I speak to the kids please’.

‘Well’, I say, ‘can we have a chat first’.

Still, happy as Larry, he says, ‘yup, we can do that, but can I speak to the kids first’?

‘No, this won’t take long, so let’s do this, before the kids.  M12 tells me there was a conversation re sex and drugs that took place, I believe, that Ms7 was privy to which concerns me’.

‘Yup’, says he (he knew).   ‘And how much pressure did you put on M12 to get your information’?

And welcome back, AH.  I missed you …. during those 15 seconds of unusual niceity?

‘Not relevant.  Let’s focus on the conversations that took place, and whether it’s appropriate that Ms7 was present for them’.

[I actually kept moving the phone away from my ear as I recalled there’s a record button somewhere on my handset, but couldn’t find the bugger.  Whenever I brought the phone back to my ear, he was still going on his attack].

Eventually, he calmed long enough to agree with me.  Hurrah!  Result!

24-3Then comes [in sinister tones]:  ‘Be careful‘.  ‘What?’.  ‘You’re causing trouble so … [in more sinister tones] … be careful … [I put phone away from my ear to find record button again, to no avail] … why you wanted to move to [perfect house suburb]’.  Ask for more but he refuses and asks to speak to the kids.  I ask for clarification of his threat … he asks for the kids.  This repeats another one or two times … then he hangs up.

Despite letting him know my landline handset has died, he calls back on it.  Kids are on devices, so don’t even bother getting up.  He calls again.  On the landline.  Yup, the landline with the handset that’s dead … !

I put it on speaker, and let him know the handset is dead so it will be through the base unit.  Ms7 tells him that we’d spent the day looking at houses – for G’ma and Poppa.  You could audibly hear his sphincter constricting.  He could not get off that phone quick enough!

Saturday, 17 September – 17:59

I receive a text from Skank …

[credits roll, tune in tomorrow for second episode] …

 

Aftermath

The roundtable took place on Friday and I’m still feeling gutted.  I feel I’ve let my kids down.  Completely and utterly down.  Still.

AH lied and twisted his way through it.  Was so hard not to refute all his lies, as my lawyer had advised me not to.  My lawyer actually said to me, “you really hate each other”.  Yes, but I actually think he hates me more!

He disagreed with my opinion that the school is failing them.  He wasn’t going to budge but I managed to throw one of the next suburb’s schools in as an option.  He was saying he didn’t know anything about it … but his lawyer (who I quite liked as she seemed to take no shit) strongly told him, ‘it’s a good school’.  She knew they’d changed the zoning recently so, when we broke to try to reach agreement, my lawyer and I checked the new zone.  My concern was that I still could not afford to buy a 4-bed in that area and it would be just as rich/wanky as here, so I managed to get two schools further north [only by 5 mins but further from here] on the table.

He’s not prepared to move out of this district – yet apparently wishes to move to two potential suburbs within two years.  Houses in these districts go for … get this … $750k plus!!!!  [Note to self: get his earnings audited as he’s clearly earning more than he’s told the tax dept!].

I agreed to his week on/off care.  If I hadn’t, the court would’ve ordered it, considering the kids’ responses to LfC.  He wanted it to start this coming week but, as there’s only two weeks left before the term ends and the kids have enough on their plate, I asked to hold off until the holidays.  He’d tried to skew it so he’d have them for when his ‘friends’ (ie the dude coming from Melbourne who he always thought was a bit of a dick) but without thinking, I’d messed with that, so there was a bit of further compromising needed.

He brought up travel to South Africa.  He wants to do an annual trip, if funds allow.  We’ve put in two blocks that he can have them for three weeks (alternating each year), until the kids reach Year 11 when they could no longer be away from college.  I mentioned he’ll need to reimburse me for the cost of passports, which he scoffed at and made some remark about.  I’m disgusting for caring about money, [in his eyes] … yet, for me, it pays for FOOD FOR OUR KIDS!  Why the hell shouldn’t he pay a proportion of the passports if he wants to use them?

We left with a signed agreement.  My lawyer said him agreeing for the younger two to change school next year was his compromise (M12 will still go to the local college here) yet I feel I lost more than he did.

I’ve had to say goodbye to the perfect house as LfC felt it was too far for the kids to ‘commute’ to school – and my lawyer strongly advised I don’t risk leaving them with him for the school week.  She told me it sounded like my “pride”.  I love her honesty and directness … but truly didn’t feel it was my pride.  It was what my gut was telling me had to be done for the kids and for me.

And this is where I feel sick.

I believe that house and that town, with it’s wonderful primary school and smaller college, WAS in the kids’ best interests.  Yes, the primary schools that I’m allowed to get the kids into are good … but the property prices here are at maximum levels (and yes, if I’m selling here, I want to buy, not rent and risk a landlord turfing us out at any time).  Demand far outweighs supply so ridiculous amounts of money are expected for houses.

I could’ve got a great house in a town where prices are only just starting to move upwards.  And they will move quickly.  THIS was the time to buy.

Looked at four places with my parents and kids today.  We’ve told them that they are looking to buy down here, as LfC hasn’t spoken with them yet.  They’re excited at the thought of ‘Grandma & Poppa buying a holiday home’ close by.  None of them came close to what the other house I’d found offered.  In fact, one was nearly $100k more, yet smaller bedrooms, colder, no option for the ping pong table and teenage lounge that MY house had.  It’s so fucking disappointing.

And my gut still tells me I stuffed up.

Grateful for:

  1. my parents being here and being supportive (including financially as they know I won’t be able to do it without them now);
  2. lines being opened with Skank today (even if she was a female version of AH); and
  3. that AH and I have to do communication counselling through the court.  That, can’t come quick enough.