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.

November 15, 2010

We can't be friends

Well, I tried. Tried being the bigger person, tried to be friendly, tried to make the adjustment to this newest Adventure in Divorce as easy as possible, but it ended up blowing up in my face. I made the grave mistake of attempting to be friendly to Baby Momma #2.

A few weeks ago I read a blog post about how befriending your ex’s new woman and/or ex is a really bad idea. I admit the post had some very valid points which I filed away in my mental filing cabinet. However, also stored in my mental filing cabinet were points made on one of my favorite divorce/blended family websites, Today’s Modern Family, where the ladies have talked about how being friendly toward your ex’s new mate is an ideal situation for the children because there is less tension and animosity that they have to deal with. Being the sucker nice person I am, I opted for the second route while still being mindful of the pitfalls of the first.

At the time it seemed like The Ex was trying to make a go at having a relationship with Baby Momma #2 (hereinafter BM 2.0). She was always around, there were Master Lab photos of them with Lil Meech on Facebook, and for all intents and purposes they looked like a couple and it seemed she was not going anywhere any time soon. So when she would come to Son’s football games with Lil Meech I would say hi, come over and play with the baby, and even sit with her when The Ex ditched her to go watch the game with the other football parents (because I hated when he used to do that to me). We never really talked much, just basic chit chat pleasantries. I mainly just didn’t want Mini-Me to have to run from one end of the stands to the other in order to spend time with me and her baby brother, and admittedly I wanted to play with the baby. I even bought Lil Meech a handmade bear hat, partly as a peace offering and partly to support my friend’s business, Issaino (she makes great custom handmade crochet items), and partly because I believe every baby should have one of those bear hats.

It was actually the bear hat that kicked off my descent into the mouth of madness. I was at a football game and BM 2.0 wanted to share a picture of Lil Meech in the bear hat with me, so I gave her my number so she could send it via picture mail. No big deal. I had no intentions of every calling her or otherwise hearing from her. (Mistake #1) Then I few weeks later I get a text from her out of the blue with her asking if she could send me a friend request on Facebook, which I was a wee bit wary of but because of my stance on Facebook I figured it couldn’t hurt. The texts then lead to a conversation where she is telling me all about how badly his ex-girlfriend (the one she ousted) talks about her and the baby, and then about how the ex-girlfriend has talked badly about me, and so on and so forth. I didn’t really give much by way of info and kept my responses pretty basic, but I should have never entertained that conversation in the first place. (Mistake #2)

It is well known that all good things must come to an end, and all bad things come to an end even sooner. Long story short, she and The Ex get into it, something to do with him talking to and supposedly getting back with his ousted ex-girlfriend, BM 2.0 getting stuck here in town after her car got wrecked and staying with The Ex, and a whole lot of other dramatic antics that I had to hear about from Mini-Me and my own dad (yea, don’t ask). I then started noticing a form of female “reindeer games” on Facebook that I have termed “pissing on people’s pages” similar to how animals mark their territory. She would comment on pictures I had of the kids and Lil Meech with how much of a daddy’s boy he was and how his daddy loves him, then would tag Mini-Me on pictures of the baby and The Ex talking about how much she loved the two of them, then left comments on Mini-Me’s page and The Ex’s mother’s page about us seeing the baby, even mentioning that I had come over to visit (I was picking up Mini-Me and stopped in for 15 minutes, 10 of which was spent trying to console Mini-Me because BM 2.0 and The Ex had been fighting). The tactic was so transparent: she was obviously trying to get to the ex-girlfriend via her friends, i.e. my daughter and The Ex’s mother.*

(*For those not well versed in how Facebook works, when a person is tagged in a photo it shows up in their friends’ news feeds, even if they are not friends with the person who posted the photo. So, using the situation above, BM 2.0 takes a photo of Lil Meech and The Ex sleeping and notes in the caption that it’s 10am on a Wednesday and tags Mini-Me in said photo, even though she is nowhere in sight. The photo shows up in Mini-Me’s friends’ timelines (which includes the ex-girlfriend) and when viewed conveys a myriad of information: 1) BM 2.0 is in town, at The Ex’s place during the week when she should be at home in the next state; 2) How much she just LOVES the both of them and how much she LOVES taking care of them; and 3) A reminder slap in the face that he has a new baby with another woman in the first place. A similar marking of territory occurs with wall posts. Yes, Facebook was designed by the devil’s mistress.)

I was starting to get a bit annoyed by the use of my daughter’s Facebook account as a means of throwing jabs at the ex-girlfriend, but I figured I would just monitor the situation and say something to The Ex if necessary. But then BM 2.0 crossed all the way over the line, set up camp and posted a flag in my shit. First I get a text asking if my mother could get BM 2.0 a ticket to go to The Ex’s grandmother’s funeral….not from The Ex, but from BM 2.0 herself (I’m almost positive that The Ex had NO intention of her going). I called my mother to ask her about it and that’s when I got the earful about the insane events between BM 2.0 and The Ex that week that had Mini-Me so upset. Then the next day I get a text from her telling me things between her and The Ex were over and that he was going back to the ex-girlfriend, and I responded by wishing her the best and conveyed Mini-Me’s concerns about seeing her baby brother. That’s when things started getting messy and ugly. She starts telling me about all these “secrets” about our marriage and divorce that The Ex supposedly told her in confidence, the coup de grace being that he had slept with my (former) BFF of 10 years in high school and he had never told ANYONE about it. She acted as if she was doing me a favor by sharing all this info with me, but she did not appreciate how truly reckless and hurtful these lies were because she did not know the whole history of that situation, but needless to say I was LIVID. It ripped open some old wounds from my marriage that I had already healed over and I had done my best to forget about. I lost it (textually…. at work I was outwardly calm) and ended up in a triangular text battle with her and The Ex all morning, basically telling them to leave me the fuck alone and out of their mess. I did not know who was lying or who was telling the truth so I was just mad at everyone (kind of like how your mom gave you and all your siblings a whooping when nobody would fess up). All I knew was that I was fed up and angry at being used as a pawn, angry that my children had to be subject to the stress of their fighting and not knowing if or when they would see their brother again, and angry over getting dragged into their mess, a mess that The Ex created with his utter carelessness and inability to manage his own life.

After I had calmed down, I realized that this woman was just using me as a pawn because she was mad at The Ex and wanted me to be mad at him, too. She wanted an ally, someone who hated him just as much as she did (at that moment in time). Because it was Shark Week (i.e. PMS time) I let my emotions get the best of me and let myself get dragged into it. (Mistake #3) I later got some info from the kids that let me know I needed to stay far, far away from The Ex’s mess with this woman. After that I took her and her daughter off my Facebook friend list so that I could go back my arm’s length dealings with her, civil and cordial but that is it. I got a text from her after that about taking her off my friends’ list and her accusing me of never being on her “side” to which I had to respond that this was never about sides and I was not friendly toward her just to be able to engage in ex bashing sessions, that it was always about the kids. I have not heard from her since.

I am really not sure what to take away from all this besides reinforcement of the notion of being more cautious of people. I am a person who tries not to involve innocent people (and especially innocent children) in my problems and use them as pawns, so I sometimes take for granted that others are not so considerate and often have agendas that are not in my best interest, even when the agenda really has nothing to do with me. I was really trying to be a decent Baby Momma #1 ex-wife, not one of those nightmare exes that people talk shit about, but rather one that has moved on with her life and does not feel the need to reach back and make people’s lives hell. I tried being nice, tried being supportive, tried to not be a hindrance to a relationship between my kids and their baby brother and it came back to bite me in the arse.  I feel like she took advantage of my kindness and attempted to use it as leverage against The Ex. I am not one to be used, and I certainly will not allow my children to be used. *momma bear roar*

I really hope BM 2.0 can work something out with The Ex so that he and the kids can have a relationship with Lil Meech, but based on what I have heard and experienced in these past few days, unfortunately I am not very hopeful that she will be mature enough to put her differences aside and put the kids’ interests first (after all, she left her other kids behind in the next state to chase after a man who obviously does not want her). I told her I hope we can be civil and cordial and that Lil Meech is always welcome to visit his sister and brother while with me, but that I had to protect my emotional well being by distancing myself from her and her drama with The Ex. Ultimately, I have to accept that facilitating a relationship between the kids is not my responsibility. I cannot control the actions of two adults who cannot sort things out between themselves. We can be civil, but obviously we can’t be friends.

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November 10, 2010

Mine!

I'm almost this happy.
One thing I always emphasize about divorce is that it is not a single event in a person's life. It's a long, drawn out, step by step process that begins and  ends long before and after the divorce decree is signed. It is less a break than it is a detangling, constantly untying connections to your former spouse.  Even after the ink is dry and the assets and liabilities (in theory) have been divided up, there is still the process of changing names,  removing names, signing over legal ownership, closing accounts, changing addresses, and so on and so forth. As much as you may be  ready to be totally rid of this person, the reality is that undoing your connected lives takes time.

I recently had a major event happen for me: I bought a new car!  Somehow, some way, I managed to gain mind control over some car dealer and got them to sell me a car despite the financial wreckage that I was left with post-divorce. The car is very nice, very similar to my faithful Honda Civic, a sexy-but-not-cutesy little car in a lovely shade of Black Cherry ("Her name is Cherry, we just met....."), Bluetooth, satellite radio, all the things I could ask for in a (relatively inexpensive) car. I dug my heels in and feel like I negotiated a good deal on it (considering my financial  situation). The salesman kept asking me why I wasn't more excited and smiling. Part of it was sheer disbelief, waiting for the manager to poke his head in saying they'd made a mistake, part of it is my usual hesitancy at making big ticket purchases, and part of it was game face. I actually really was happy to get such a nice car so soon, but my face didn't REALLY light up until I realized one fact: My ex husband's name would no longer be on my vehicle. *happy dance*

When I was married The Ex and I owned two vehicles, so logically we each took our primary vehicles in the divorce. His got repossessed, but I managed to keep paying mine despite my roller coaster job and money situation. Although according to our divorce decree said I got the Civic and he got the SUV, legally we were both owners of each vehicle. My title still had his name on it; the registration was in both of our names. Majority of the time it wasn't an issue (except for the time I even almost got stuck with a default judgment on unpaid parking tickets because they were sending notices to him and not to me) and practically speaking it didn't matter that his name was still on the car.  But psychologically I was a little miffed seeing his name each time I renewed my registration.  I just wanted to be rid of him altogether (well, as much as possible considering we still have kids together).

When I purchased my new car they gave me a rebate for switching from Honda to Kia so I had to give them my registration, and the reminder came again. Then as I was negotiating my price the sales guy reminded me that my previous car loan had a co-signer and he was trying to get me a good rate without one. That's when it really hit me. This is going to be MY car. Mine. Nobody else's. It won't belong to that legal fiction of one person that marriage is considered to be. I have total control over this vehicle; I can say where it goes and doesn't go and nobody can use it without my permission. I don't have to worry about a 300 lb person flopping down in my seats bending the edges and scraping up the trim, getting gum on the seats that he promises to clean off and never does, or just generally treating my car like crap because he's careless and doesn't care because it's not his.  I can also rid myself of the reminder of a time when I was scared out of my mind when my car got vandalized by The Ex (he still swears he didn't do it, but I know he had someone do it.... shit like that doesn't happen on its own randomly).  But more than just the vehicle itself, my new car represents another step away from my old life and toward my new one.  Another step in the right direction.

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Adventures in Divorce: 11/2010 - 12/2010

Adventures in Divorce