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 5, 2008

"Tough titty said the kitty"

At a certain point in your child's life, you have to teach them how to stand up and deal with conflict on their own. Unfortunately, some parents never let that point happen (and that's when you go into courthouses and see momma standing up their next to her grown ass son at his child support hearing, ready to cuss out and/or fight his baby momma outside the court room), but I'm bound and determined not to let that occur to MY Son.

I have had an ongoing problem during my divorce with The Ex wanting to talk to me on behalf of our 14 year old Son and attempt to intervene whenever he hears our Son make any sorts of complaints about me. First of all, let me reiterate that my Son is 14, an age where NOBODY likes their parents, or at the least always has some gripe about their parents. Hell, I still gripe about my parents from time to time at 30. Add to that the fact that he's at an age where kids are very sensitive to divorce and perceive that their entire lives are just coming to an end because their parents are no longer together, so they're very angry about that. So I'm mindful of that whenever my Son makes some complaint to me about what The Ex is doing or some situation that is bothering him in his household. The Ex, on the other hand, feels the need to "speak on Son's behalf" and bring all such complaints and gripes to me, and that is where the problems come in.

This past May right before my kids were to leave to spend the summer with their dad, I did admittedly mishandle a situation and reacted out of anger and emotion toward my Son, but a big part of the problem stemmed from my Ex trying to intervene. The Ex called me up saying that my Son was complaining to him about the meals that I served to him, saying that I didn't cook "real" food. Now, I'm not a mother that routinely feeds my kids fast food, there are no cans of Chef Boyardee on the shelf, no ramen noodles, and the only person who eats hot dogs in the house is me. I made the same meals that I'd been making for the past 12 years, and often times I'd start making dinner only to turn around and see my Son putting a frozen pizza in the oven. So needless to say, I went off and, yes, overreacted by pulling a Boyz n the Hood and telling The Ex that I was just going to go ahead and bring Son's shit (yes, I said "his shit") over to his house a week earlier than scheduled and that he better make that child home cooked meals every single day. Part of that was anger and frustration, but also part of that was to teach my son not to bite the hand that feeds (literally). Talking to my son later, though, I realized that the issue was really not that deep but that The Ex was making a non-issue a big issue.

Again here recently, the Ex tried to act as my Son's representative and called me up to basically tell me that my Son wished I were a "normal" mom and that he thought I didn't want him around because he was "cramping my style". WTF?? The man went so far as to criticize my outfit and underwear choice at an awards program, telling me that I needed to wear "regular panties" underneath a full, mid-calf length multi-layered linen skirt because my "booty was flopping all over the place." WTF???? Dude, are you SERIOUS?? And everything he said to me was in the context of supposedly relaying my Son's concerns to me, making it seem as if my Son had issues with all these things. The terrible funk I was in the past few days stemmed from this conversation. Every parent, unless they are just lying to themselves that much, questions their parenting from time to time, even when they have no reason to. The Ex knows, and has always know, how to tap into and exploit my insecurities, and I think he seized the opportunity and ran with it.

The Ex told me that the reason he felt like it was his place to call and talk to me on Son's behalf was because he was "embarrassed" because Son was upset and crying to his girlfriend's sister about me (really over the issue back in May, for which I admitted my fault and apologized to my Son for). I had to let him know that I was glad that my Son had someone that he felt comfortable talking to, even though my first mental reaction was to say "Don't talk shit about me to that woman!" I had to remind him that Son is still a CHILD and yes, he's going to get upset and yes, he is going to cry, and sometimes it's helpful to have a 3rd (or 4th) party to talk to, and I feel like he should be able to talk freely with whoever he feels comfortable with without worrying about fallout later. I know that he needs that in his life right now.

What The Ex fails to realize, however, that by stepping in all he is doing is harming the relationship between our Son and me at a time when both of us need to be supporting and encouraging positive relationships with the other parent. And this is all under the guise of being "helpful" and "concerned." However, I see this as a time to tell my Son to put on his big boy pants and address any issues that he has with another person-- whether that's with us or any other individual-- mano y mano. When Son has a gripe about something The Ex did or said, my response is "Hey, you need to take that up with your dad." I feel like the only time that one or the other of us should intervene is when the issue is truly serious or harmful and one that is too much for a child of his age to address. And NEVER should we put words into our child's mouth. Because, as it turns out, when I sat down and talked to my son last night about the things his dad told me, he said he didn't say or imply most of the things The Ex said to me that he claimed our Son had a problem with. A lot of it was his own embellishment and editorializing. I once again impressed upon my son that he needs to feel free to come straight to ME with any issues he has with anything that I do, and then I will make the determination as to whether it is a serious issue in which he ought to have some input. Bottom line, he is still the child and I am still the parent, which means that by the very nature of the relationship and his age, I'm going to do some things that he doesn't like or agree with, and as my mother used to tell me "Tough titty said the kitty."

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Adventures in Divorce: "Tough titty said the kitty"

"Tough titty said the kitty"

At a certain point in your child's life, you have to teach them how to stand up and deal with conflict on their own. Unfortunately, some parents never let that point happen (and that's when you go into courthouses and see momma standing up their next to her grown ass son at his child support hearing, ready to cuss out and/or fight his baby momma outside the court room), but I'm bound and determined not to let that occur to MY Son.

I have had an ongoing problem during my divorce with The Ex wanting to talk to me on behalf of our 14 year old Son and attempt to intervene whenever he hears our Son make any sorts of complaints about me. First of all, let me reiterate that my Son is 14, an age where NOBODY likes their parents, or at the least always has some gripe about their parents. Hell, I still gripe about my parents from time to time at 30. Add to that the fact that he's at an age where kids are very sensitive to divorce and perceive that their entire lives are just coming to an end because their parents are no longer together, so they're very angry about that. So I'm mindful of that whenever my Son makes some complaint to me about what The Ex is doing or some situation that is bothering him in his household. The Ex, on the other hand, feels the need to "speak on Son's behalf" and bring all such complaints and gripes to me, and that is where the problems come in.

This past May right before my kids were to leave to spend the summer with their dad, I did admittedly mishandle a situation and reacted out of anger and emotion toward my Son, but a big part of the problem stemmed from my Ex trying to intervene. The Ex called me up saying that my Son was complaining to him about the meals that I served to him, saying that I didn't cook "real" food. Now, I'm not a mother that routinely feeds my kids fast food, there are no cans of Chef Boyardee on the shelf, no ramen noodles, and the only person who eats hot dogs in the house is me. I made the same meals that I'd been making for the past 12 years, and often times I'd start making dinner only to turn around and see my Son putting a frozen pizza in the oven. So needless to say, I went off and, yes, overreacted by pulling a Boyz n the Hood and telling The Ex that I was just going to go ahead and bring Son's shit (yes, I said "his shit") over to his house a week earlier than scheduled and that he better make that child home cooked meals every single day. Part of that was anger and frustration, but also part of that was to teach my son not to bite the hand that feeds (literally). Talking to my son later, though, I realized that the issue was really not that deep but that The Ex was making a non-issue a big issue.

Again here recently, the Ex tried to act as my Son's representative and called me up to basically tell me that my Son wished I were a "normal" mom and that he thought I didn't want him around because he was "cramping my style". WTF?? The man went so far as to criticize my outfit and underwear choice at an awards program, telling me that I needed to wear "regular panties" underneath a full, mid-calf length multi-layered linen skirt because my "booty was flopping all over the place." WTF???? Dude, are you SERIOUS?? And everything he said to me was in the context of supposedly relaying my Son's concerns to me, making it seem as if my Son had issues with all these things. The terrible funk I was in the past few days stemmed from this conversation. Every parent, unless they are just lying to themselves that much, questions their parenting from time to time, even when they have no reason to. The Ex knows, and has always know, how to tap into and exploit my insecurities, and I think he seized the opportunity and ran with it.

The Ex told me that the reason he felt like it was his place to call and talk to me on Son's behalf was because he was "embarrassed" because Son was upset and crying to his girlfriend's sister about me (really over the issue back in May, for which I admitted my fault and apologized to my Son for). I had to let him know that I was glad that my Son had someone that he felt comfortable talking to, even though my first mental reaction was to say "Don't talk shit about me to that woman!" I had to remind him that Son is still a CHILD and yes, he's going to get upset and yes, he is going to cry, and sometimes it's helpful to have a 3rd (or 4th) party to talk to, and I feel like he should be able to talk freely with whoever he feels comfortable with without worrying about fallout later. I know that he needs that in his life right now.

What The Ex fails to realize, however, that by stepping in all he is doing is harming the relationship between our Son and me at a time when both of us need to be supporting and encouraging positive relationships with the other parent. And this is all under the guise of being "helpful" and "concerned." However, I see this as a time to tell my Son to put on his big boy pants and address any issues that he has with another person-- whether that's with us or any other individual-- mano y mano. When Son has a gripe about something The Ex did or said, my response is "Hey, you need to take that up with your dad." I feel like the only time that one or the other of us should intervene is when the issue is truly serious or harmful and one that is too much for a child of his age to address. And NEVER should we put words into our child's mouth. Because, as it turns out, when I sat down and talked to my son last night about the things his dad told me, he said he didn't say or imply most of the things The Ex said to me that he claimed our Son had a problem with. A lot of it was his own embellishment and editorializing. I once again impressed upon my son that he needs to feel free to come straight to ME with any issues he has with anything that I do, and then I will make the determination as to whether it is a serious issue in which he ought to have some input. Bottom line, he is still the child and I am still the parent, which means that by the very nature of the relationship and his age, I'm going to do some things that he doesn't like or agree with, and as my mother used to tell me "Tough titty said the kitty."

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