Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

August 24, 2008

The Slumber Party

This past weekend I had my first real "blended family" experience. Friday evening was Son's first high school football game.... Cathedral freshman vs. Carmel's (we got mollywhopped, 41-14). I went to the game with Daughter, and The Ex showed up with his new woman (she's 42.... I can't even call her his "girl" or "girlfriend"..... just doesn't sound right) and her daughter..... the nice happy new family unit. Whatever. So my Daughter and her daughter have become really close friends, since she is 10 and mine is 9. Admittedly, if I'm going to be all the way honest, I felt a bit threatened by this fact because I was worried that my Daughter wouldn't want to come back to me at the end of the summer because she had a new "sister" and other little girls to be around over with the Ex and his new rebound family..... here it's just me and the Menagerie.* But I got over it, and now she and the other little girls all run up and say hi and give me hugs whenever I come around to pick up Daughter or whatnot.

So during the game, Daughter and Sister-Friend (which is how I shall refer to the little girl) are running back and forth between where I am sitting and where The Ex is sitting, and of course the question arises that ALWAYS arises from 2 or more little girls on a Friday or Saturday...... please mommy can Sister-Friend come spend the night?? *pause* Let me explain that the way I think about life is exactly the same way I think about chess...... always thinking not only of my next move, but others' response to my next move and how I will then respond to their move. I had no problem with Sister-Friend coming over to spend the night...... she's a little girl, totally non-culpable in all this fuckery going on between me and The Ex and, necessarily, his new woman. But then I started thinking about how her mother and The Ex would respond to this inquiry based on the distorted images of me that I'm sure The Ex has painted for her (based on the wild stuff he says to me about me, I can only imagine) that I'm sure included the baseless idea that I am a neglectful mother who's just trying to get to the next party (that's the picture he paints for everyone, including himself). At first I just wanted to avoid that whole situation, but then I decided to seize this opportunity to be the bigger person and try to show that no, I am not all these negative things that he says I am (presumably). All these thoughts occurred in a span of about 3.7 seconds, but I ended up saying yes, that's fine, go ask your mom.

*sigh* And here's where the difficulty that arises WITHOUT FAIL begins. First the girls came back and Sister-Friend says "Mom says she has to ask Mr. [Ex]." Huh?? Who does this child belong to?? How much older is this woman than The Ex?? (answer: 12 years) And how long have they been together??? (answer: just a few months) That right there pissed me off, because I just knew she was going to ask him if it was "safe" to send her child with me. Getthefuckouttaherewiththatbullshit. I have been a mother for over 15 years; this woman just started 2 years ago (she adopted the girl)...... my kids are some of the most responsible, well behaved, mature, easy-going, intelligent children that I know, and the fact that anyone would question whether I had a major influence in that or not is insulting. I wanted to march over there to where they were sitting and say "Look.... I'm not going to do anything crazy to your child; I'm not going to talk shit about you two in front of her like I know the Ex does about me. I keep children out of grown folks business, unlike SOME people who want to tell them all the sordid details of our divorce and throw and break shit in front of them, and speak about their mother with hatefulness and spite. I am the bigger person here, not this bullshit artist who you've let into your life." But I didn't. I said ok and sent the girls back over there and told them to let them know that it wasn't a problem, The Ex could pick up Sister-Friend at the varsity game the next day that we were all going to, that Sister-Friend could just wear some of Daughter's clothes, etc. Here come little girls running back, and Sister-Friend says "I don't know what he's talking about.... he's not making any sense" after I'd JUST finished commenting to my mother how The Ex was going to make this a whole giant production and make it a helluva lot more complicated than it needed to be. Even a 10 year old could see it. And yes, he was trying to make it uber complicated, talking about he didn't know and how would she get home because his car was down and what would she wear...... all things I'd already addressed and provided solutions to. I still didn't understand why I was (1) negotiating and (2) with HIM and not the child's mother. I know if someone offered me a free night away from the kids, no strings attached, I'd be all over it. Eventually, after about 15 minutes of back and forth, we got it worked out and the girls came home with me for the night and would be delivered back to them at the game at noon the next day, they were pleased as punch, and I went home and crashed after getting them all fed and situated because I was WORN THE FUCK OUT from all the mind fuckery that it took to get them there in the first place.

I just didn't like the whole implications involved as to why it had to be so difficult just to have a little girl come and spend less than 18 hours with me. I don't know why it bothers me so, but I don't like people to have false ideas and images about me, ESPECIALLY when it comes to children. Sure I may have my ways that everyone may not agree with, but when it comes to my kids, or anyone else's kids for that matter, I am first and foremost a PARENT who is going to do right by them. I think about it in terms of hats, and I don't wear two hats simultaneously at any given time. I don't believe in the whole "being your child's friend" thing (I am MOM, and whatever affinity arises from that relationship is the only form of friendship you get from me, kiddo). I know that I am a good person, and I know that I am a good mother, and I make mistakes just like everyone else, but I could be doing a HELLUVA lot worse.

So anyway, that experience was a huge milestone for me. Part of accepting change and moving on and trying to make myself ok with everything. Because yes, I don't care who left who, it's still hard to see you ex move on and "replace" you, especially when from an outward perspective the situation looks better than yours. But I of all people know that outward appearances can be deceiving and you never know what goes on behind closed doors away from public eyes. I know I will never be "friends" with this new woman, but I at least want her to realize that I'm not all those negative things he says I am and that she doesn't need to step up and pick up my slack, because there is none.


*The Menagerie = The dog, the ball python, and the painted turtle.

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Adventures in Divorce: The Slumber Party

The Slumber Party

This past weekend I had my first real "blended family" experience. Friday evening was Son's first high school football game.... Cathedral freshman vs. Carmel's (we got mollywhopped, 41-14). I went to the game with Daughter, and The Ex showed up with his new woman (she's 42.... I can't even call her his "girl" or "girlfriend"..... just doesn't sound right) and her daughter..... the nice happy new family unit. Whatever. So my Daughter and her daughter have become really close friends, since she is 10 and mine is 9. Admittedly, if I'm going to be all the way honest, I felt a bit threatened by this fact because I was worried that my Daughter wouldn't want to come back to me at the end of the summer because she had a new "sister" and other little girls to be around over with the Ex and his new rebound family..... here it's just me and the Menagerie.* But I got over it, and now she and the other little girls all run up and say hi and give me hugs whenever I come around to pick up Daughter or whatnot.

So during the game, Daughter and Sister-Friend (which is how I shall refer to the little girl) are running back and forth between where I am sitting and where The Ex is sitting, and of course the question arises that ALWAYS arises from 2 or more little girls on a Friday or Saturday...... please mommy can Sister-Friend come spend the night?? *pause* Let me explain that the way I think about life is exactly the same way I think about chess...... always thinking not only of my next move, but others' response to my next move and how I will then respond to their move. I had no problem with Sister-Friend coming over to spend the night...... she's a little girl, totally non-culpable in all this fuckery going on between me and The Ex and, necessarily, his new woman. But then I started thinking about how her mother and The Ex would respond to this inquiry based on the distorted images of me that I'm sure The Ex has painted for her (based on the wild stuff he says to me about me, I can only imagine) that I'm sure included the baseless idea that I am a neglectful mother who's just trying to get to the next party (that's the picture he paints for everyone, including himself). At first I just wanted to avoid that whole situation, but then I decided to seize this opportunity to be the bigger person and try to show that no, I am not all these negative things that he says I am (presumably). All these thoughts occurred in a span of about 3.7 seconds, but I ended up saying yes, that's fine, go ask your mom.

*sigh* And here's where the difficulty that arises WITHOUT FAIL begins. First the girls came back and Sister-Friend says "Mom says she has to ask Mr. [Ex]." Huh?? Who does this child belong to?? How much older is this woman than The Ex?? (answer: 12 years) And how long have they been together??? (answer: just a few months) That right there pissed me off, because I just knew she was going to ask him if it was "safe" to send her child with me. Getthefuckouttaherewiththatbullshit. I have been a mother for over 15 years; this woman just started 2 years ago (she adopted the girl)...... my kids are some of the most responsible, well behaved, mature, easy-going, intelligent children that I know, and the fact that anyone would question whether I had a major influence in that or not is insulting. I wanted to march over there to where they were sitting and say "Look.... I'm not going to do anything crazy to your child; I'm not going to talk shit about you two in front of her like I know the Ex does about me. I keep children out of grown folks business, unlike SOME people who want to tell them all the sordid details of our divorce and throw and break shit in front of them, and speak about their mother with hatefulness and spite. I am the bigger person here, not this bullshit artist who you've let into your life." But I didn't. I said ok and sent the girls back over there and told them to let them know that it wasn't a problem, The Ex could pick up Sister-Friend at the varsity game the next day that we were all going to, that Sister-Friend could just wear some of Daughter's clothes, etc. Here come little girls running back, and Sister-Friend says "I don't know what he's talking about.... he's not making any sense" after I'd JUST finished commenting to my mother how The Ex was going to make this a whole giant production and make it a helluva lot more complicated than it needed to be. Even a 10 year old could see it. And yes, he was trying to make it uber complicated, talking about he didn't know and how would she get home because his car was down and what would she wear...... all things I'd already addressed and provided solutions to. I still didn't understand why I was (1) negotiating and (2) with HIM and not the child's mother. I know if someone offered me a free night away from the kids, no strings attached, I'd be all over it. Eventually, after about 15 minutes of back and forth, we got it worked out and the girls came home with me for the night and would be delivered back to them at the game at noon the next day, they were pleased as punch, and I went home and crashed after getting them all fed and situated because I was WORN THE FUCK OUT from all the mind fuckery that it took to get them there in the first place.

I just didn't like the whole implications involved as to why it had to be so difficult just to have a little girl come and spend less than 18 hours with me. I don't know why it bothers me so, but I don't like people to have false ideas and images about me, ESPECIALLY when it comes to children. Sure I may have my ways that everyone may not agree with, but when it comes to my kids, or anyone else's kids for that matter, I am first and foremost a PARENT who is going to do right by them. I think about it in terms of hats, and I don't wear two hats simultaneously at any given time. I don't believe in the whole "being your child's friend" thing (I am MOM, and whatever affinity arises from that relationship is the only form of friendship you get from me, kiddo). I know that I am a good person, and I know that I am a good mother, and I make mistakes just like everyone else, but I could be doing a HELLUVA lot worse.

So anyway, that experience was a huge milestone for me. Part of accepting change and moving on and trying to make myself ok with everything. Because yes, I don't care who left who, it's still hard to see you ex move on and "replace" you, especially when from an outward perspective the situation looks better than yours. But I of all people know that outward appearances can be deceiving and you never know what goes on behind closed doors away from public eyes. I know I will never be "friends" with this new woman, but I at least want her to realize that I'm not all those negative things he says I am and that she doesn't need to step up and pick up my slack, because there is none.


*The Menagerie = The dog, the ball python, and the painted turtle.

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