Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's been keeping me?

I really work here, but from home.
So I guess I "virtually" work here.
Photo Credit:
I'm super swamped examining patent applications lately. In case you didn't know, that gig is the only paying gig I have at the moment. I'm a social-media, internet junkie, wannabe freelance writer and/or photographer, purely for free. What I want to do to put food on the table and what I actually do to put food on the table don't line up exactly, but that's a different post for a different day.

On top of my job, and being a single mom to a toddler and sometimes-pain-in-the-ass dog, I've been spending my barely existent free-time these past few days answering 15 pages of fuckery, a.k.a. the discovery request from "the opposing counsel". There's a hearing regarding visitation scheduled two weeks from tomorrow.  Visitation that we already drafted, hammered out and agreed to more than two weeks before Christmas. Visitation that only needed to be entered in as a court order along with a formal petition before the holidays, in order to be effective for the holidays.

Instead, the opposing counsel didn't file a visitation petition with the court until December 23rd. Much drama ensued and now we are going to court. It's complicated and ugly.

If I was a betting woman, I would put my money on the STBX not filing on time for the holiday visitation to take place so that his parents would get pissed off enough.  If the STBX doesn't have visitation on a holiday, his parents don't by default. That being said, given that the ex-laws have more money than they know what to do with, and that they fit the profile of classic enablers, yeah ... it's not surprising in the least that this was the move played by the STBX in order to con some money out of them for paying legal fees. I was with the guy for 6 years. I know him better than I care to admit. Can we say, manipulative douche canoe? Why yes, I think we can. I saw the tactic coming from a mile away ...

Where gambling belongs. Trust me, I've been twice!
If I was a betting woman, I would also put my money on the STBX not formally filing to see his own kid in a timely manner because he is selfish. Plain and simple.
My guess is that he wanted to have the sick, twisted and dishonorable pleasure of telling whomever ignorant enough to listen "My bitch of an ex won't let me see our kid at Christmas. Feel bad for me. I'm a victim".

I'm sure his complaints about me at various holiday gatherings were just dripping with "boo-hoo"'s and "poor-me" whines, as if he marinaded in them since we separated. And he probably did. The classic manipulative narcissist is usually well-prepared for their theatrics. Honestly, I really don't care what he might have told members of "the other side" about me, but I do feel sorry for anyone that wasted their time having sympathy for him. The only sympathies I have surrounding this whole situation are for my poor little C-man who didn't get to spend time with his dad and grandparents at Christmas.

For what it's worth, I've been telling the STBX to file a visitation petition since before I even moved out of our house. I've told him in writing through multiple e-mails. I've screamed it to him when he's called me up to badger and harass me. I've told his parents.

I sincerely want our son to have time with his dad. I know how important it is. I just want the time and stipulations surrounding that time to be court-ordered due to the issues involved.

Since we separated, I've said, "I will not set up visitation informally due to the contingencies I am requesting, so please file a petition for visitation with the court as soon as possible so that you can have time with our son over the holidays". I've said this about ten different ways, at least fifty different times.

My repeated requests fell on deaf ears.

Infuriating doesn't even cover it.

By mid-November, I had started to have real doubts the STBX would follow through with his responsibilities. And my heart hurt for our son, so I kept pressing the issue through e-mails and phone calls to the ex-laws. The week of Thanksgiving, all parties finally started to negotiate. Once December rolled around, despite already struggling with my ever-mounting attorney fees, I took it upon myself to draft the proposal for visitation based on our e-mail negotiations at that point. I even had my attorney formalize the draft and send it off to the opposing counsel for filing concurrent with the petition to the court in the hopes that we could expedite the process on time for the holidays. Ten days after sending it off, my attorney followed up with the opposing counsel wondering why nothing had been filed. We didn't get an answer very quickly. In fact, we didn't hear back about anything until just a few days before Christmas, and shocker -- it was requested that I go along with the holiday visits informally until they could "get to" filing the visitation agreement as a court order. My attorney promptly advised me to hold my ground and not leave our son unattended with anyone until there was a court order in place.

When attempts to pressure me into informal visitation for the holidays failed (threats, lectures, more threats .. it was horrible), that's when the opposing counsel finally filed the petition with the court. On December 23rd. And our "agreement" is, of course, thrown out the window as every single portion of it is being contested.

So, that's what's been keeping me.

I've been staying up every night this week to answer ridiculous questions and to gather and provide evidence in support of my answers. I have at least four blog ideas in the works, but no real time to work on them. Not to mention the dwindling fridge contents, piles of laundry that continue to rise and the dust bunnies floating around every room of my house. There are just not enough hours in the day.

Some of the discovery request is legit. Especially considering the very real possibility that the STBX hasn't been completely honest with his legal representation. Throw the enabling and misinformed (and also, under-informed) ex-laws into the mix, and its enough to make anyone's head spin. Trust me, mine's been spinning around for a week now.

My biggest requests to the court are that a) visits be supervised by the ex-laws and b) that C is returned to me for bedtime each night. Until visitation is established with a baseline of consistency, regularity and stability -- and until the STBX establishes that he is competent and not going to abduct our child given the distance between our residences (and the threats to do just that!) -- both of these are imperative in my mind. I have a list of reasons and multiple sources of evidence in support of my requests. Prayers to all that be and all that ever was Holy in the family court system that we get a fair judge that takes things like recent emergency protective orders into serious consideration!! My heart leaps into my throat with panic just thinking about all of this. I've never taken anxiety meds before, but for some reason, "I need a Xanax" keeps floating across my prefrontal cortex.

Most of the discovery request is a giant pile of horse-shit served with a lightly toasted shit sandwich on the side. Example: the STBX is contesting being court ordered to "not consume or ingest alcohol or illegal drugs" before visits with our son. Yes, you read that correctly. I had to read it five or six times myself before my brain actually registered that part of the fuckery as being for real.

In fact, as I tear through it, most of the fuckery looks like this:

Opposing counsel:  Why is it necessary for the petitioner (that's the douche canoe, STBX) to give the respondent 30-days notice for cancelling or seeking to reschedule a visit? 

My answer:  Because 30-days notice was originally the petitioner's idea (see e-mail evidencing such and such sent to me on such and such date). In addition, it makes reasonable sense to require this notice since visits are proposed by the petitioner to be only one weekend per month, preferably the third weekend of each month (see e-mail evidencing such sent to me on such and such date). In order to realistically accommodate rescheduling for either party, for example swaps for the second or fourth weekend, 30-days notice is necessary. Unless the petitioner can provide a reasonable, convincing and evidence-based argument why 30-days notice would present an undue burden on him, taking into consideration the flight and travel accommodations he will have to make each month, I see no reason why he can't provide 30-days notice of cancelling a visit or seeking to reschedule a visit. 

See what I mean? Fuckery. There is no other word.

*Head desk*

Anyway, intriguing and interesting blog posts that more accurately align with the theme of this blog, starting over wonderful, are coming very soon. I promise.  They're just on the back burner for now while I deal with this shit fest.  I do plan on tackling what I learned from going stag to a party first and foremost. Sooooo, stay tuned!!!

In the mean time, I want to thank you all for the love and support you've been giving me so far on this amazing journey. It is much appreciated. I'll leave you with the breathtaking sight of my backyard to hold you over ...

Note: my love birds have left me, but the view still inspires doesn't it?


  1. Ugh. How awful. I hope that you get all of this resolved soon and can move on to your "new normal" as a family. It's not easy dealing with a manipulative person under circumstances like this. I feel for ya!

    1. Oddly enough, the most difficult people to deal with are turning out to be the STBX's parents. The same people that sent me an e-mail when the STBX and I first separated saying things along the lines of "Yes, we have always known that our son was a pathological liar and we had hoped he had grown out of that in recent years" and "We'll encourage him to get some help". Yeah, well, these SAME people are now totally blinded by their love for their son that they can't see the big picture for the sake of their grandchild.

      It is maddening. And it has totally put me in a bad place with them when I want nothing more than to be on good terms with them for my son's sake.

      The STBX has threatened to burn our house down, abduct our son from me, choke me to death ... the list goes on. I had to change the locks and get an emergency protective order (same as a restraining order) the week before I moved out because I was so scared he was going to either kill me, or beat me to near death and take off with our baby to some unknown and undisclosed location.

      The ex-laws, of course, don't believe any thing I say or tell them. Despite the 911 calls made through last summer, months of marriage counseling, their son being escorted by the cops from our home, the protective order I obtained. Can you see why I feel like banging my head against a wall?

      The ex-laws ALSO don't believe that their son stalled on filing for formal visitation time purposefully. First they told me it was his attorney's fault that it didn't get done on time, then they tried to go back through my numerous e-mails to find any way to twist around my requests to have the visitation be formal to try and make the whole concept "confusing" to argue that the STBX didn't know what I wanted.

      Ugh ... it's a big mess.

  2. That IS fuckery. Wow. He seriously asked why 30 days when HE suggested it? (and it does make sense given once a month visits!!). Asshat. Seriously wonder why people have to be so effed up sometimes. On a brighter note, that picture is gorgeous and I can't wait to hear what you learned about going stag!! you are my hero! :)

    1. Isn't my backyard here just amazing!? Renting this house and starting over here couldn't be more perfect. The scenery, that is.

      I can't wait to post about going to that party solo. It was SUCH a great experience for me at this stage in the game for sooo many different reasons. I expect to have that post up within a week.

      And YOU, miss thang, you are one of MY heroes. Being interviewed by you ITSELF was therapeutic and empowering and the idea that you might help me share my story with even more people is jut so jaw-droppingly wow. Thank you. P.S. I'll be getting you that written page you asked me about via e-mail this weekend :)

  3. hang in there. this crap seems to happen in one form or another in all divorces. i know it doesn't make it any easier, but...unfortunately it seems to be the case. divorce w/kids is a long hard road...

    1. Thank you. I am hangin on and hangin in. I knew divorce with a young child would be hard and it is something I considered VERY seriously over the last 6 months or so of my marriage when I wanted to leave. That's why I went through the 4 months of marriage counseling, even though my gut instinct told me all along that counseling wasn't going to fix what was so severely broken.

      As stressful as all this can be, I'm still glad that I left. Relieved, moving on and totally at peace with it. I know that in the long run this is the better road to travel. Not just for me, but for my son too.


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