Celebrating

Time is flying by under the new regime:  mainly as I’m trying to get the house ready to go to market.  De-cluttering [still!], and stripping paint and wallpaper in the lounge, along with breaking up 40 bags of bark for mulch on the garden.

Normally, I feel I’m a positive person.  But, boy, while stripping paint from the lounge windows last week, I actually felt overwhelmed.  It was hard to see the wood for the trees.  Thankfully a friend gave me a couple of hours of her time on Sun and it came into better perspective.  I suppose it didn’t help that the weekend weather had been glorious … and it seemed unfair that I was stuck indoors solely working on improving the place for AH and my benefit.  He could be at the beach or park, or shopping or relaxing … and I can’t do that – not just until the place is ready for sale, but until I’ve found a new home and moved in.  Must keep it in perspective though and just keep chipping away without putting myself under unnecessary pressure.  It will be sold when it can be sold (and if he wants it done quicker, then he needs to pull his finger out of his ass and help!).

Enough about that…

I’m celebrating.  Letter from his lawyer yesterday and he has finally agreed to a 65/35 split of the relationship property.  After over two years of moving goalposts, lies, accusations, and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my input to the relationship, the kids, the two homes we purchased and to his future earnings, we have agreement!

It should NEVER have taken this long: on 15 March 2016, our respective lawyers bumped into each other at court and discussed the economic disparity.  My lawyer was at 70/30 (based on legal precedent in the local court); AH’s lawyer said she felt 60/40 was appropriate (despite her writing initially for 55/45, which was an insult!).  I offered a 65/35 split on 4 Nov 2016 … so why the hell did she not advise AH to agree earlier?  Greedy bastards!

All that’s done is incurred both of us further legal expenses and more hatred towards each other.  It’s kept both of us in a state of limbo we could’ve moved on from ages ago.  Karma, a*holes.  Karma will come!

Grateful for:

  1. having my kids back;
  2. not being at home for trick or treaters (sorry, but this is NOT a NZ tradition; nor do I want it to become one); and
  3. compromise.  Better late than never.
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Great week

It’s an odd feeling tonight as I’ve had the kids for a whole 5 days now (except M12 going for his 1-on-1 last night).

And I’ve had to say a number of times this afternoon: “who are you and what have you done with the other children?”.  They’ve been so awesome.  They’ve done all their after school chores without grief.  They’ve supported each other.  M11 and M12 have both mowed parts of the lawn without complaint.  We picnic’d on the back lawn and all 3 of them contributed to the meal (ie drinks, cutlery, etc).

M11 bit at one stage, showing his jealousy towards Ms8, but it was put out quick and didn’t revisit.

After dinner, boys played on the street with another lad from up the road, and Ms8 and I popped over to a neighbour.  We came back and watched a bit of Dodgeball (right up M12’s comedic street), they laughed at my impression of what the cat was saying, ate ice cream, and chilled.

It’s really been a great Friday.  M11 even said “best week ever” [how easily pleased he is!].

AH didn’t call the kids.  Perhaps someone has made him realise he needs to nip that in the bud, as it’s about satisfying his needs, not the kids’.  Actually, there’s been nothing from him in any format from him today …. still waiting to hear what’s going to happen on his Thursdays but am sure there’s a letter from his lawyer on that to come soon …. so it’s great.

I think his ridiculous behaviour over the past few days (ie refusing to let me see M11’s journal, or to come paint a fence, or to confirm whether Skank or her ex knew about the scabies) has brought me out of my funk.  I’ve spent a few weeks really delving into ME and questioning if I deserve everything that’s come my way.  There’s been a lot of soul-searching.  But, this week, I know it’s not me.  I know he’s nuts.

And perhaps the kids being away from his crazy and his manipulation and his BS for longer periods will be a good thing.

Grateful for:

  1. mowed lawns;
  2. happy kids; and
  3. M12’s laugh while watching Dodgeball.

Flexible

Today is the first day of the new 1-on-1 regime: AH will have M12; next Thurs, I will have M11; the following, AH has Ms8; and repeat…

No timings were discussed at the round-table so I emailed AH last night to let him know I’ll pick up my Thurs child from school so we get as much time as poss to enjoy it.  Did he want to do the same?

“I’m happy for you to start your 1:1 from school pick up. I will pick my 1:1 up between the hours of 3pm to 5pm. Today though, I will collect [M12] from [your house, but again referred to by the name of the road as he cannot say it’s mine] once off the train so ETA will be around 5pm.”

This frustrates me.  There’s no asking if that arrangement would work for me/the kids.  He merely demands and expects me to fall into line.  But it doesn’t work for me …

Presume you’ll put arrangements in place for 3-5pm.

Assume for around 5pm collection from [your road] unless I am able to get through earlier…I which case, I’ll let you know

I am not your babysitter. [Usual Thursday lady] is. Kindly make other arrangements so that I can make the most of my 2:1.

They are your responsibility until I can get through…see you at 5 today. I hope you wont be abandoning the child from 3pm alternative Thursdays. That wont be a good look on your part.

God, he’s foul.  “I have lots of flexibility with my job” he’s repeated ad infinitum.  What happened to wanting “equal time with the children”?

As the days are getting longer and warmer, I’m keen to go with the two kids I’ll have: for a bike ride, a picnic at the beach, an early movie, WHATEVER!  I do not want to have to wait around for 2 hours for him to his ass to get back before that can happen.  Nor should I.  He should be chomping at the bit to get back here to spend dedicated 1-on-1 time with each of his children.

I offer him $20/hour childcare if he can’t get back/organise someone else.  [It’d be free for anyone else but, given the amount of abuse and nastiness he’s thrown at me, he should count himself lucky it’s not more].  He doesn’t reply (no doubt he’s busy whinging to his lawyer and there’ll be a letter in the next few days).

I also asked whether he’d be prepared to paint the front fence and garden edging as part of getting the house sale-ready (probably a 2-3 hour job, max; fairly small in the scheme of work to be done).  A few friends reckoned it’s reasonable that he step up and do something.  I should’ve put money on it.  Simply got a … “NO”.  He’s a joke!

Grateful for:

  1. getting my 3 + 3 extras to the skate park to enjoy the sun;
  2. Winston Peters going with Labour to form our new government (getting rid of our version of the tories who have made the rich, richer and the poor, considerably poorer for the past 9 years); and
  3. bacon.

Ω Ω Ω

FTR: I messenged Skank’s ex about the scabies.  I saw no point asking AH (he’d ignore), Skank (she’d say it was none of my business) but I wanted to be sure he knew and was doing the treatments too so that my kids didn’t catch them again.  He knew NOTHING about it.  Seriously?!  Did AH even tell Skank?!

Ms8 also tells me that Skank stayed with AH overnight ‘for the first time’ [well, honey, the first time while you’ve been in the house, maybe].  Quite a milestone for their relationship and I should commend them for waiting this long.  Yeah – maybe easier to commend them if they hadn’t been getting closer while AH and I were still married.

Never-ending

Well, that’s 3 loads of washing in my machine, and a huge load at the laundromat.  Another 2 (including clothes the kids may/may not have worn recently), all sheets, towels, stuffed toys, blankets, etc, etc.  And the neighbour has now been given a treatment too as her son had some spots appear.  I tell you, AH had better told Skank, Groslch … and Skank’s ex too.  I don’t want to have to go through this again in a hurry!

I’d like to text Skank’s ex and ensure he knows otherwise there’s going to be a never-ending cycle of mites between all 4 houses.  Not sure how he’ll take it, after my letting him know about his daughter’s inappropriate choice of conversations in the presence of my Ms8.  Skank’s ex was a good friend of AH’s so it was interesting that Ms8 asked if I was still friends with Shank’s ex.  ‘Of course I am’.  ‘Him and Daddy still say hi and shake hands when they see each other’, I’m told.  Skank’s ex is a better person than I am clearly … I know he’s pissed off with the whole situation, so to be able to shake the hands of the man who’s now poking his wife is impressive.

Took the boys for much-needed haircuts after school as AH chose not to notice how badly needed they were nor that he’s only picked up the tab 1 time since we split.  Another nice evening – M11 is so very tired but at least in charge of his emotions – we even manage to have our end-of-day card game without anyone being sent to bed.

Normally tomorrow would be changeover so surprised to find myself feeling quite relaxed about the thought of them being with me for 4 more sleeps.  Usually, by tonight, I’m already thinking of the lovely glass of cider I’ll be having the following evening.  M11 commented he still thinks a week is too long … but it’s early days.

Ms8 said at the dinner table that she’d now like to move to the place I wanted to relocate to.  Good God, kids!  Too late!  Mind you, if an affordable house doesn’t appear on the horizon soon, I might not have a choice but to still head up that way.  Maybe a bit of time might make them see that a bit of a longer commute to/from school to a great house, where they each have their own room, wouldn’t be the end of the world they thought it would (or were told it would be by AH).

Grateful for:

  1. AH NOT calling to say goodnight (M11 and Ms8 tell me he’s said he wants to know how their day was and to hear their voices.  I think that’s pathetic: yes, the kids enjoy hearing our voices but THEY don’t want a daily call.  And if it’s not to meet ‘their need’, then it’s simply to meet his.  He needs to acknowledge that);
  2. whipping ass in tonight’s Skip-bo card game; and
  3. pay day.

Insane … and unhygienic

While M11 was in tears last night, he said he wished he had his journal so he could write in it (left at AH’s).  This was something that he was given at the course the school put him forward for … that hadn’t been mentioned until now.  This was also something of a breakthrough as he’d never been keen to write down feelings before now.

So I texted AH.  His response this morning, I believe, truly shows he’s lost the plot:
NL joint  [Ms8 wore the shoes AH bought for her birthday while we were at my friend’s the first week of the holiday.  They got soaked so she put them in a bag and left them in the car.  And there they’ve stayed!].

His craziness shouldn’t astound me after so long … but it does.  At least I could laugh at it today; which is nice after the weepy cloud that’s hovered above me for the past few weeks.

Luckily got an appointment to see the doctor this afternoon as not happy with some spots that have appeared on M11’s face since he got back, and on both him and Ms8’s body.  Was utterly delighted to hear those magic words: “I think it’s scabies”.  Oh JOY!  Lathering all of us and lotion.  Hot washing all linen.  Could seriously not think of a better way to spend my days!

Would love to be a fly on the wall at AH’s though as M11 had a sleepover last week at Skank’s … so she’ll need to do the same to herself and all her kids.

Much better time with the kids.  Hot dogs and salad on the lawn as the sun was out.  No fights between them.  Hoping corner turned and plain sailing for rest of the week.

Grateful for:

  1. back to yoga (much heavy breathing after a few weeks away);
  2. AH paying for M12’s hip hop (was going to go half with him but, without any notice to me, he’s stopped paying his share of house insurance, so it’s the least he can do); and
  3. getting in to the doctor at late notice.

Sorry

School went back today after 2 weeks of holidays.  It feels like it’s sort of the start of the new regime: AH dropped them at school and I collected them.  They’re now with me until I drop them at school next Monday.

It felt like a long time away from them – I knew it would.  Amazingly, AH only had to recruit the babysitter for a “very important work meeting” for one day.  It actually sounds like he did stuff with them too … a trip to the local pools, movies and even 10-pin bowling with Skank and her kids.  Think he did more in 4 days than he has for the past 2 years!

My week without them ended up being too busy.  Saw Adam Ant on Tues, was meant to see Mr Lee Wed but got a migraine so didn’t think driving the best idea, stripped paint from the lounge windows Thurs, then into town to meet up with some other alopecia mums/sufferers Fri, lunch with friends Sat then quiz night, and a visit to Mr Lee last night.

Have so much to do around the house as AH has confirmed he won’t be buying me out so place can go on the market.  Really need a week of good weather so I can crack on and get it done.  Sooner I can get it ready for sale, sooner I can start a new life further from here.

As the sun was shining this afternoon, was invited to neighbours for a combined dinner.  It was going well but M12 and M11 seemed niggly.  M12 was dumped by his girlfriend today so he was already tender and M11 took advantage of it.  They had issues before dinner, and again after.

And it exploded once at home.  Ms8 (yes, she’s been upgraded) melted-down just before bedtime and was put to bed without the usual love (I got ‘I miss Daddy’ ad nauseam until she realised that wasn’t the best way to get a hug).  M11 is weepy when he goes to bed saying how much he missed me the previous week.  M12 is weepy too – for being dumped and for M11 telling him he should kill himself.  I’m mortified by this!  How any of my children think it’s ok to use those words to a sibling breaks my heart.  At one stage, they really went for each other.  God how I hate that they still share a room and don’t get any space for themselves.

I didn’t want to lose my rag with them.  I had great plans for getting through a calm week.  I failed.  On day bloody 1!!

I could hear my subconscious telling me to go easy … they’ve only just got back from his … it always takes a few days to get them back to ‘normal’.  Tomorrow is another day!

Snotty email from AH accusing me of preventing the kids having contact with him.  He really is delusional!  I was speaking on my landline for a bit between 16:15-16:40; I had a missed call on my mobile at 16:47; left to get Ms8 from her play at 16:50; then 2 more missed calls on my mobile at 17:33 and :53.  Those are the only ones I actually heard … but was happy to ignore as it was after the 5pm deadline we have both now imposed.

Seriously … he only saw the kids this morning!  Why the need to speak again this evening?!!  Even Ms8, who was beside me at the time, said she didn’t want have to speak to him every evening because sometimes it’s “boring”.  No doubt, I’ll be getting a letter from his lawyer accusing me of alienation.  Loser!

Grateful for:

  1. easy communal dinner with neighbour;
  2. having my kids back; and
  3. sushi.

Checking in

Goodness!  Almost a fortnight of not posting.  Been busy – been emotional – been away – been tired – been elsewhere (physically and psychologically) …

Every since the round-table, my emotional setting has been turned to ‘crazy, weepy nutter’.  I still haven’t been able to let go of the feeling that I’ve let the kids down.  I don’t believe I fought hard enough for them.  I didn’t bring up his manipulation.  I didn’t point out his foul emails.  I kept quiet about his constant reference to my mental health [good God – mild depression, asshole, where I should be commended for recognising I could benefit from help …. if only he would do the same].  I sat there and let him spit out his lies.

And, most importantly, I didn’t bring up the fact that he plans to move up the line in a couple of years, and would be closer to where I want to move.  But I didn’t even highlight the ridiculousness of that up…!!

The agreement that we signed is so flimsy., I mean, changeover time wasn’t even discussed.  The fact he’s stopped paying into the 60/40 account for kids expenses was ignored.  I just feel the emotions of the day overrode sensibility.

Was due to pick the kids up at 4pm on the afternoon of my last post.  I’d let him have them on my time so he could introduce them to his dick mate and family over from Oz.  Thought it would all go smoothly …

…. what a fool I was, to think that …

Got a message from M12 just before I was to get them: “do I have to go to [my parents]?”.  Yes.  Don’t be rude.  Spoke to him and said it was happening.  “I’m staying here”, I get in the next message.  Ummmm, it’ll be Daddy’s week.  What do you think will happen?  “I’ll go into after school programme”, he tells me.  He HATES the after-school programmes.

Apparently, he’s had such a good time with his new friends, he wants to go back to Grolsch’s house as they’re going to play a Daddy v kids game of soccer.  WTH?!  I can’t recall AH or Grolsch kicking a ball around with these kids since they emigrated here over 3 years ago!!   M12 clearly forgets this.

M11 gets in the car but he’s unhappy.  When Ms7 says the boys were saying to Daddy ‘I’m taking his time’, he gets out of he car in tears.  I then have both boys refusing to get the car and head back into AH’s.  At some stage, AH comes out, but rather than let the boys know that they need to come with me, he just stands watching from his balcony, with a smug look on his face.

I’m not willing to put up with it.  Fuck ’em.  So I say to Ms7, we’ll have a week of Mama-daughter time at my parents.  Boys can stay with Daddy [coz the reality is, he will NOT be able to work reduced hours for 2 consecutive weeks.  Let him struggle!].

I drive to my friend’s and lose it.  I start to call the police, knowing full well they won’t enforce it as it’s not court-ordered.  Meantime, my phone starts ringing.  It’s AH.  He wants to keep the boys for the night.

bs crazy

This!  This is the problem.  Instead of growing a pair, he actually said (I was told subsequently), “I’ll see what I can do about it [not coming away with me]”.

NNNOOOOOO!!!  Correct words to ensure our kids are not compromised or used as ammunition against me: “guys, this is what we agreed at the round-table.  It is your Mum’s time now, you need to go.  Have a great time with your grandparents and family and I’ll look forward to getting my week with you when you’re back”.  It’s pretty freaking simply, I’d have thought.

He hangs up on me after I say I’ve already got plans for the night and the boys need to be with me.  I get my call in to the police and they confirm I’d need a lawyer to get a warrant before they could act.  He texts while I’m on the phone to say they’re at my house.  He then calls and my friend speaks to him, asking him to bring them to hers.

It’s only a 10-minute drive, but takes them about ½-an-hour.  The boys come to the door.  M11 comes in, but M12 takes a look at me and can tell I’m upset.  So off he scoots back to AH … who, don’t ask me why, had stayed parked in the driveway … with M12’s bag in the car.  Why the hell didn’t he drop them off with a hug and reassuring words, then LEAVE!??

My friend goes after M12, asking him what’s wrong.  She ends up having words with AH, after he tried to tell her what to do … at her house!  She saw his eyes and heard his tone so has now seen firsthand what I’m talking about now.  Unfortunately, she calls it as it is … with frequent f-bombs!  She’s upset that she let it go in front of M12, but considering she was telling him to man up, a good example would’ve been that he got out of the car so M12 didn’t hear it.

M12 eventually comes into the house and AH leaves.  We actually end up having a nice evening but I’m still so hurt by the boys saying they didn’t want to come to my parents.  I know it’s a long drive.  I know we did it recently [because I needed a hug].  I know they came down recently [to give me support at the round-table].

But I know they won’t be around for long.  I know this place is sending me doo-lally!  I know that I have them for a week and want to make some memories.

Yet, thanks to him, the memories will be how I ‘forced ‘them to go away from their victim/dad.  How horrible I was for not letting them play ball.

I’m exhausted by it.  Completely and utterly exhausted.  I still don’t believe he’s a good dad but he loves them and they love him.  And WE are responsible for making sure they walk this fucking hard path through life to the best of their abilities.  That means, at times, having a united front.  That means putting our hatred towards each other to the side.  For the greater good of our kids.

But he can’t see it.  It’s about getting the kids to take his side.  His lying, manipulative, evil side.

No wonder the tears are coming so easily.