As it comes closer and closer to the meeting, I find myself spiraling back to disfunction and completely strung up with the grief. I am back to walking around crying, not changing clothes and losing ability to care for or about myself.
I am hoping it's momentary and hoping that recognizing it is good? I do have a dr's apt the next day, but they won't prescribe meds because of the baby. I am to the extent where my coping mechanisms aren't effective at times, and have been told I have some really strong ones.
DD is noticing the change and tiptoing around me and I hate it and work hard to just be quiet, so I don't snap at her or take anything out on her.
I'm also losing my appetite but have to eat.
And I'm sorry to be here whining again, but I'm also here to ask any advice that any of you may have??
It's my hope that the grief will ebb the next day, but will it flow again when the next appointment comes?
Again, many thanks.
You gave me nothing and now it's all I've got - Bono
A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess
Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.
I've heard all kinds of examples from the VSS (virtual support system).
I've been to one 3-hour mediation so far, and we left only accomplishing an 8-week set of temporary orders that only contained a visitation schedule and a child support amount. Didn't even get to other child-related issues such as holidays, any financials, debt, the house, assets, anything else (but he should probably finish disclosing everything before we get to that, stupid POS..)
So this is basically his trial period to see if he can handle the 50/50 visitation he asked for (actually 3 overnights a week for him, 4 for me). He had been taking the kids an average of 5 overnights a month since October, so to say that I was surprised and shocked to hear his lawyer asking for 50/50 is a big understatement. He had never even asked me for that before.. And he starts work at 4 a.m. Monday through Friday, but somehow my lawyer was convinced that his brother was going to help get the kids to school (when it's really MOW). Needless to say, I had a terrible lawyer, and he has since been fired and replaced, and I'm so much happier now. In talking to my new lawyer, that schedule shouldn't even have been a consideration. If one of the parents can be taking care of the child, it should be the parent, not a family member, daycare, etc., especially if this kind of thing will happen on a consistent basis. I asked for first right of refusal, too, but time was winding down and we didn't get a chance to agree on that before time ran out..
STBX has been failing pretty miserably during this trial period (bad-mouthing me, texting my son horrible shit about me, trying to change the schedule through my son, telling them all about the divorce proceedings and how much money mean old mommy is making him spend, keeping them home from school unnecessarily, late picking them up from school, not doing homework, skipping Boy Scouts, refusing my attempts to contact the kids when he has them, etc., and I have very good proof of all of this). I'm not sure if I should be happy about it or not. For my kids, I wish he would step up and be a better parent; but hey, if I end up with the majority of the visitation, all the better for me and my kids. Unfortunately, Florida is a very 50/50 type state when it comes to visitation.. Maybe that's good for the responsible dads; but I've got an alienating, narcissistic, irresponsible POS on my hands, so it's pretty frustrating.. I guess he really has to beat them up to get full visitation, and the alienating thing would be very costly and difficult to prove, so I think the best I'm gonna get is him with every other weekend and dinnertime one night a week..
I guess I'm telling you this to warn you of possible surprises and to be prepared to step back and give yourself and your lawyer time to think about what is being proposed.. I was in such shock, and my idiot lawyer didn't help at all; but luckily, even though I agreed to these orders, they are only temporary and will have no effect on future agreements. Just be careful what you actually agree to. Just take your time to really think about it..
We were set to go back next week, but we went ahead and delayed it to give my new lawyer a chance to get up to speed and give STBX time to produce the documents he is STILL missing.
You don't have to agree to anything. And I would say to just try to keep your cool and let your lawyer handle a lot of it. While I was mostly calm and collected, I made the mistake of bringing up the affair, and I think I just made myself look bitter to the mediator.. I think she could sense the tension, and she ended up splitting us up into 2 rooms with the mediator going back and forth. While I think things took a little longer by doing that, I was thankful to not have to look at his ugly face any longer..
Hopefully your lawyer knows by now what you want, what you're willing to negotiate and what you aren't, so just lean on him and let him do most of the talking. Ask for breaks if you need it or private time to discuss with your lawyer what is being offered..
There is no requirement to make any agreements when you go, and I'm pretty sure you can go back to mediation as many times as you need to.. I think I'm to the point that I will try mediation a couple more times, but I WILL get what I want or we WILL go to court. I'm 90% positive I have enough proof to slam dunk his ass, so I'm feeling pretty confident.. As you said, we could save money by avoiding a trial, but some things for me I am NOT willing to give up, so I will take it there if I have to.. Overly confident probably isn't good, but do take some confidence with you and show him who the boss is. You want to be the one driving the bus, putting him on the defensive, not the other way around..
My suggestion? Tonight, take a nice long shower and clean yourself up. Do something nice and rewarding for yourself. I know it's hard to eat, especially with baby on board, but try to get something down. I love the Special K Protein shakes, all the flavors, and I've lived off those quite a few times over the last 6 months.. Maybe you could take your daughter out for a cheap dinner like fast food if you like that and treat yourself to a Frosty. Try to enjoy the evening, and get a good night's sleep.
Tomorrow morning? Head to the closet and make sure you find those bitch boots.
I've only had one meeting with my lawyer and a plethora of email/phone calls. I'm concerned because at the beginning he was quite certain about alimony being at least possible, but now is hedging on that issue. I don't care what label they put on it, but I have no money to pay rent somewhere and it was never DD and I who wanted to leave our house, so shelter is major issue.
I did get a couple of answers out of Perv on a few issues, a few weeks ago, and have them written down. I also sent that info to L to try to save time...haha.
It's a suspicion that I have that OW is pushing and pulling at Perv because his replies have changed in past weeks. But now that we are close, I don't communicate, only by short answers about DD visiting.
There's so much of it that entertwined us and I am very bitter about the dreams of growing old here at our house with him and married life gone for me...and in this way, without choice. I think that's the root of a lot of my trouble, is the lack of choice and notice.
I had contemplated moving to Florida recently and because of the baby coming, and my mother and sister's credentials, it was thought the law would favor my position. But right now I decided not to do it, because of NG (Narcissistic Grandma) and NS (Narcissistic Sister). There was no real support for me, only for DD and very loudly against me.
Especially since I have hired this lawyer, Perv is better about the guidelines I set up-not the boundaries-but guidelines with DD he appears very concerned about. I wonder if this is to show a judge he can follow directions? I would think a lot of it is trying to minimilize what he's done without ever fixing what he's done. Or like a person in jail, "well, I'm doing good noowwww, You're Honor."
I'm rambling, but I will never, ever forget DD's screams the first morning we woke up and he had gone. Snuck out in the middle of the night, with an "I Love You" to boot at bedtime (to me). It's this that fuels Mama Bear, this fierce need to protect DD and BTB (Baby to Be) from this man who is so selfish he could knowingly do that mental harm to her. And this baby coming, what kind of life is it for a little boy to be born into such a mess? "Oh, this is your mommy, but this is who I wish was your mommy?" This person without morals or ethics, near my children?
I guess this is taking on the flavor of a rant, but I'm actually calm as I write it.
That's one thing along the lines of the custody issue, is to see how long I can prevent these children from ever going "there". It's not in the same state, so I'm hoping there may be rules about that.
One lawyer I didn't hire said the laws would favor him taking them there and she was very cold about it, so I didn't choose her-no empathy and all about my lack of assets-what assets would a 15 year SAHM actually have, mam?
This one is a grandpa and told me of his family, who he speaks highly of, so this kind of hit home for me. He was red in the face after hearing some of Perv's "activities" and had sympathy about DD as well, and validation about my motherhood, which Perv has tried to knock down.
And you know, one of his points about choosing OW is "I had too much responisbilitiy in our family." I never forgot those words, so how could he say them out loud and then think he would be granted partial custody?
He said, "I guess you get custody because you're the mom." So I take that to mean he may not fight that issue. But he's sneaky, slithery and it may just have been to my face that he said that, but under the rock he crawled under, is saying and doing other things.
I suspect OW thinks this is going to be a Sugar Daddy and he is full of charm when he wants something from you. He lies like a rug to get what he wants, so I wonder what he'll have told his lawyer?
It was interesting that his doctor called here today, on the eve of the first apt.
Thank you for your kind letter and advice. I've taken to a series of protein drinks called "Odwall". I saw them in Florida recently, but different flavors (blueberry for a beverage is simply not for baby and me, lol). Different flavors have different vitamins and I just finished a nutrition class, so I am working on A and E.
An ironic twist is that IC told me recently that I'd be a "good candidate" for medical marijuana" It's comical because of how against drugs I am, but we made these silly images of me showing up at court/mediation high as a kite. She said, "well, it is a plant food, you know and processed with more healthy chemicals than the pills." but was semi-joking. Possibly a hippie at heart?
I know it's difficult but you can do this. Treat it as a business transaction because frankly that's what it has come down to.
I went this route and I think I had 3 meetings that involved my WS and his attorney.
If he cooperates and keeps it amicable it shouldn't be more than that.
I wish you luck.
Are OW and her tribe all out to dinner celebrating with him while I live this agony, alone?
I have all this imagery going on that somewhere in the other state is this huge party with my poster like a politician and a dart board and some other things in image form haunt me, too.
The mind movies are coming.
The only good things I can think of is that my L made a boundary that it "only be four people", so OW and none of the tribe could appear with him. But I picture him being coached and I know, I know I'm not supposed to think of them, but my walls are down today.
I'm trying to play more with DD and I don't have money for out to dinner, but we spent time in the yard to let out some steam, and I think will take our dinner outside, which she likes...even though the black flies are busy.
This is so awful. How does anyone get through it? How do I face him? Is there a way I can not have to look at him or hear the voice?
I know in my mind all the man's done, but it reminds me of the night before a blood test or a shot...or finding answers to a big medical test like I did last week.
Again, many thanks. I don't know about calling a relative this time, it feels strange to do and as if I should try to be kind of private about it?
I totally hear you on the lawyer thing. I couldn't stand the ones that had no empathy. Perhaps some of the answers they gave were the same, like it most likely not being worth it to go after the money he spent on OW as it wasn't enough and I'd spend more money fighting for it than I would get back, but at least my new lawyer showed some empathy about it.. And boy did he look disgusted when he read some of the texts from WH to me and to my son (he actually called him an asshole), so I was pretty much sold on this guy from that point on..
The money thing might really come up when it comes to the kids. I don't even think STBX wants the kids as much as he has them now, too much responsibility for him, but I think his lawyer showed him the child support numbers for 50/50 versus every other weekend, and being the selfish narc that he is, he wants his money more than thinking of the best interest of the kids.. If he cared so much about having them, wouldn't he have worked out a schedule to take them more often sooner?? I would have made myself look really bad had I been refusing him less than 50/50 time, but the dickhead wasn't asking for it!! He would try to tell me I'm keeping the kids from him, and I'd keep having to say, "Prove it asshole. Show me one text where I said no." He didn't really want them that often, he just wanted it to be my fault that he wasn't taking them.. Just be warned that your H might change his tune when he starts seeing the numbers. I really hope you get your alimony and everything you want and deserve..
I also totally hear you on the loss of dreams, and the lack of choice and notice about all of this.. My parents have stayed married, and I always thought that would be me too. I had lots of friends throughout high school who came from broken homes, and it was always great to invite them over and show them what "normal" looked like. A lot of those friends are still great friends with my parents, and I always think how awesome that is. And now I feel terrible that my kids will be one of the ones from a broken home But I just keep reminding myself, it's not him that I miss, it's the dream that I had. It helps me keep things in perspective.. I have hope that I will still get to live the dream. Obviously I can't force this guy to do it, but if I keep working on myself and healing, maybe some awesome guy will come along when I'm least expecting it and be the husband and father I was always hoping for. I'll add some prayers for you and your little ones too that someone awesome is out there just waiting to meet you and your darling little family.. The guys we have now are obviously NOT the men of our hopes and dreams..
Sometimes I wish STBX would start acting nicer so that he could tell the judge "noooooow I'm being so good," but he just continues treating me like shit like all this stuff is never going to catch up to him. Oh well, keeping shooting yourself in the foot asshole. It's almost funny how easy he's making it too prove I'm the stable parent.. I'm just tired of my kids being the ones to suffer in the meantime. All that advice to keep emotions out of the conversations is not just good for personal healing, I think it's good for a custody case. Nothing like asking him something calmly and getting a response full of curse words. He thinks the judge is going to like that?? Me? Calm, stable, rational, focused on the kids. Him? Cursing, angry, bragging about his affairs, admitting his mistakes and gloating about them. Sometimes I really don't want to settle in mediation just so I can hear a judge ream him out..
And I really wonder sometimes how much STBX's attitude has to do with MOW and twinky OW (even though I've known for some time, it still really grosses me out there's two of them, but at least the twink stays away from the kids). I don't know if it's just his suspected bipolar, but his attitude changes on a dime sometimes, and I guess I should wonder whether it's OW pushing or pulling him.. Are they fighting and it's making him fight with me? Are they having a grand old time so he's being nicer? Or is it the other way around, like he is fighting with them so he's being nicer to me? Hmm, I guess that's why I don't give those bitches too much head space..
I will say that I think it's been a bit easier on my ego that he's already cheating on MOW. It makes it easier to remember that the cheating has nothing to do with me and everything to do with his brokenness. And I hope you remember that too. To leave in the middle of the night like that? What an ass.. And your family issues to with mom and sis? What a bummer. It sounds like you've been through a lot, so I want you to proud of yourself and remember how strong you've been and what an awesome mother you are. On the off-chance your family comes around and you want to come to Florida, I'm just north of Disney World, so maybe we could plan a fun day with the kiddos Nothing like grown men walking around in Mickey Mouse costumes to help get your mind off things
Lots of hugs to you Ashland. I'll be thinking of you tonight and tomorrow, and I want an update how it went!
I am very glad we did not do anything in the same room with each other.
I've got lupus, arthritis and given birth.
<<Looking to the Heavens>> Hello? Is anyone up there? Can you please stop whatever is shitting on Ashland?? She's been through enough lately!!
The mind movies are coming.
I have an idea. Let's try to change the movie.. Let's make it a story about a guy who cheats on his beautiful wife and leaves her and his family for another woman. But then he meets another woman at a bar and starts cheating with her. And he contracts herpes. And he gives it to the first OW. The first OW finds out she has herpes, but she can't figure out if it's from the original guy or the guy she is cheating on him with at work, so she keeps quiet about it. They stay together, never find out about the other one cheating, but are never really all that happy. Then they both lose their jobs due to morality issues and end up fighting the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, the beautiful wife meets a fabulous man at a school function for her daughter, and they win the lottery and live happily ever after
How does anyone get through it?
That story was probably stupid, but sometimes you get through it with laughter, so just trying to brighten your day..
How do I face him? Is there a way I can not have to look at him or hear the voice?
As doggiemom said, you can probably just ask for them to separate you guys. You are not the first couple to come in with issues, so this will probably be very simple, and I don't think anyone will be surprised.. I will probably ask for this at the beginning next time, even though I would love to prove to him at some point that he holds no more power over me or my feelings.
Really, he's the one that should be so ashamed of himself. Hold your head high girl. You've so got this!!
Sorry if I sounded flippant at all. I know you are going through A LOT, but I really just wanted to cheer you up.. I hate seeing these cheaters cause so much pain when they are the ones that should be hurting. It's just so unfair sometimes..
Your messages have cheered me up and made me feel less lonesome. I made it through to bedtime and now have the night to get through...another one is here again.
Yet during the day, I seek sleep, trying to hurry the day by.
I try really hard to think more of the baby coming and of DD, but I worry about that because before I lived for STBXH and M and DD, so what good does investing myself in other people that way do, when they just leave?
DD is so like her father, I could picture her doing something similar as teen years approach later on. And as his personality gets bigger, she responds to that, drawing on that kind of attention, but it's not good or solid attention. And I worry about his influence on her now.
I may be losing our house, as well, as Perv has been unemployed for quite a while. Lately he has been talking about the mortgage and not wanting to pay it, which is completely shocking but shouldn't be, because it was a joint venture that used to be his while life...besides family.
I'm suspicious of OW thinking she will get that money-he makes a very good wage when employed-and now that papers are underway, can picture her with a calendar and a wine glass and an empty purse?
I love the movie you wrote and wish it for you in return, if that is your wish. He knocked my self esteem down so far that I can't fathom a guy having interest in me, esp. in my "present condition?" I do feel very, very lonely, but it's more like companionship I seek...someone to cook for or go to dinner with and light candles, or walk and hold hands...or play the piano for...those were my favorite things.
I have a new trigger for some reason, and that's seeing couples together or hearing/reading romance things. It sets the crying bouts off and some of the anger comes, very strong.
Each and every day, I would have dinner at the ready when Perv came home. It was a very old-fashioned pride and joy that he could just plunk down and have a hot meal ready and then go off and do his whatevers.
I made sure he never ran out of clean clothes, the house was clean and all the other things we doas parents and moms. And I didn't hate it, just got tired.
Yup, I've been diagnosed with lupus for a few years and had arthritis since I was under ten years old. Perv claimed that I didn't take care of myself and was not active enough, but only after he'd snuck out the last time did he tell me these feelings. How do you exercise when your ankles are the size of apples? But I worked to not come across as an invalid and worked to not whine. What I notice is that his patience was totally gone once OW was in the picture, but prior to that, he could be very considerate.
I have the puffy ankles again and walking is a trick now. I don't know if it's the pregnancy or heat starting to come and make the arthritis go, but I can feel myself hobbling around again. I don't mean this to sound complainy, for in my mind it's just regular thoughts.
Thank you for the sympathy and for the empathy. My support system that's local is a totallarian/dictator father who grew up with depression-era parents. I'm 40 and he calls me "little girl" and corrects me in front of DD...there are some other things that hurt that he does as well, but I try to put myself aside because in his way, he cares and he's about the only steady person DD and I have in the vicinity.
He's a bachelor now, my mother snuck out on him after 30 years. No warning there either. I guess that's a trigger story for another day.
Tomorrow is coming closer and I like the ideas about not being in the same room. His very voice is a trigger because it used to provide so much comfort. Now if I hear it, I just cry.
I have a new thing I do, where when he and DD have their phone calls, I play the piano very, very loudly-it helps drown out that voice.
I can't look him in the eye and in fact on Easter, had a break down at his feet when he started to speak, when he came to tell DD about the baby.
He has little to no compassion that he shows. He might let DD bring me an ice cream or something on her way home if I send money, but it's all about him. "I'm only human." "I've given lots of courtesies." The fog is so thick I don't know how he sees through it to drive the car.
There is a theory most people have that know the situation, that his tryst will not work with OW long term and he will be one of these people with 8 or 9 wives and yes, I wouldn't be surprised if he had herpes...that's interesting, because his doctor's office called today! It was really hard to just be polite, but I did it and just gave his phone number.
I asked him about STD's during false R and really wanted us both to get tested. He said ok to my face but did the song and dance and made it so he "never had time", even when we were already near one of the walk in clinics. Then a line about "she's been tested and doesn't have it, so I must not!" and some more. Do you know what he said, too? "I never thought of those things...I know!
Guess I really rambled, but again your note cheered me so very much, Butterfly Girl. I guess I can't avoid another tomorrow coming, either.
Time to earn some Bingo Coins.
Thank you for all the kudos and kind words.
Today did go by, as many of you said and my cousin who is top in my virtual world of support.
It was really awful and my emotions went pretty haywire-I think the hormones kicked in also? It was like the ultra sound, because I would laugh and cry right on top of each other, so I'm sure Perv's L thinks I'm a blooming idiot, as Perv has tried to label me.
Many things went on and were said and the primary points touched on was the "Parenting Plan". They actually tried to plan every single holiday for the whole year! I don't even know if I can get up tomorrow, how could I think of what we're doing on Christmas Eve? WTF?
I will try to slow the rant as I go.
Do you know, Perv and L actually complained about the gas money he spends on his two hour drives back and forth? Another WFT. I had thought later, I should have brought some bingo coins to give my L one for every WTF as a coping mechanism.
Then there's my house. Perv has been telling me via text, "I will not evict you", yet today all they did was push to sell the house. And Perv is talking about accepting salaries that wouldn't even feed the cat, so his two-faces are really showing themselves for sure.
He was personality number one, "Model Citizen Perv", but I noticed that I and L were all dressed up-I even wore a skirt! And he and L were in jeans and dockers! (Another bingo coin, please.)
His L seems to be a POW (Piece of Work) and some other things came up...they gleefully announced that it is also NL's (Neighbor Lady's) lawyer, and I could not contain my sarcasm...I actually almost spit on the rug a raspberry. Bingo coin, please. He actually said some scornful things under his breath about her and about our town, which was full of people he liked and who liked him, right in front of me and also DDs friends are here.
He is going to attempt some "plays" and they will have to go before a Judge, because I simply cannot condone DD being at some of his relatives house, so L is looking for safety issues as morality won't fly.
I said to L today, I hope someday they get religion into law so that we who honor itand honor morals have half a leg to stand on in the eyes of the law.
We are moving towards divvying our "marital belongings" and I am moving toward just asking for money for some of the stuff, rather than bicker? Has anyone else done this? I think maybe it could go by sooner? Perv's got a dunce hat on, claiming he doesn't know what's "ours", but it's because he's so "me" oriented. I gave both L's my idea of what that is and even his L couldn't argue with me...
And do you know what? The few jokes I made, his Big L actually laughed at, earning big frowns from Perv.
For about five years I was a legal secretary, so a lot of their mumbo jumbo I could follow and stick comments in. And I notice Big L (Perv's L) would also copy words I gave and repeat them. I know this type, I have inlaws who do that, the more socially awkward ones, KWIM?
There was a whole bunch more, a few things he tried to pin on me that are really his responsibility, like finding a place to stay with DD that's actually safe for her.
It seems like consequence time is upon us?
Thank you, everyone, for all the kind notes. I tried to find out how many more meetings there will be and how long til I will be rid of his hair yellow butt and they thought by year's end I will be a divorced person.
I was such a devoted spouse, what a fool I was! A lot of people tell me how they didn't like him but wanted me to be happy, but I notice I hardly heard from some when he was around. Some say they couldn't put their finger on it, but I fully suspect the narcissim, because it's really hard to hide.
When I'm not in tears, I do have a big of solace...one part of that pie is that if the house is sold, OW's also hairy yellow butt won't ever live here, right? and
the other part is that he told us he's asking for lower salaries and they're almost less than half what he made when he was here and with me.
When I am strong, I think to myself that there may be a good chance that I had the best parts of this man's life? and that OW is going to get a shell of him and this person we all know is capable of simply walking off when he gets a mind to.
I wonder what his old age will be like, for if he can't handle things that are tough now, what's it going to be like to try to be with him for anyone later?
Oh, the last thing I'll mention, is that today's Perv was the teary-eyed glasses guy and I noticed several pair again. I thought in the false R times that he was doing little appearance changes and think I saw that today.
Thanks again, everybody. This journey has a long way to go but I'm still on the high road, I think. Some things I didn't budge on for DD and he biffed royally with her on their visit again today, when they were both too gung-ho and not thinking.
I think I put that fire out, at least momentarily and I told him it made me angry. Basically he wanted to change the visits to traditional all-weekend and every other, so this week falls on my turn with Mother's Day. So DD cornered him to ask what the plans were and he told her "none", instead of saying he wasn't sure or saying anything else..."I have to talk to mom", you know, anything pretty much would have hurt less than that.