Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sometimes I wonder...

... if for all of ex's grand-standing, yelling and bullying, this is really what he's thinking:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Monday

Hope all is well in everyone's world today.

As for me, I've been at work all day. I look forward to heading home soon, spending a few hours with my girls before bed time and then having some BFF time with my, well, BFF.

Kisses all around!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Practicing mindfulness

I came across this link yesterday and really appreciate the message: http://alturl.com/9zzjw

The gist of it is to choose to be happy and avoid negative thinking. This is something I've made a major goal in my life. I can not control what happens as a result of this divorce, but I can control how I react to my situation, and will teach my kids the same.

On another note, I hope all three of the hoards of my readers enjoyed Valentine's Day. ;)

Mine was awesome: I took the day off work to spend the morning with Sunshine at her school. Then both girls and I had a play date at my best friend's house with her kids.

Love all around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Trying to love 2013

I am trying my best to love 2013. After last year's shitstorm, I was hoping and expecting that this year would be better

But not even 2 months in, and SO many people I know of have died, nearly every single one of them before their time.

- Let's start with last week, when my friends' sweet 2-month-old girl died. The beloved daughter of two dear friends whose lives will never be the same.

- Today Sunshine's old daycare teacher lost her brother, in his 20s.

- Three weeks ago, my dad's longtime colleague was found dead on the hospital floor after going in for just some flu symptoms.

- On New Year's Eve my friend's cousin - a husband and father of three young children - had a heart attack in his sleep. He was 32.

- On New Year's Day, my dad's cousin's wife - who suffered from severe childhood trauma and resulting personality disorders - committed suicide by laying down in front of a train.

- Two weeks ago my friend's mom died of complications from alcoholism (liver failure, flu, pneumonia). She was 54. This friend, by the way, is related to the couple who lost their baby last week.

OK, 2013. We get it. Life continues to be a struggle. How about cutting us all some slack now.

Really, I am COMMITTED to "finding my happy" this year. It is hard, though, when there is so much sadness surrounding me.

I have a feeling this is going to be a 2013 staple:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Happiness. Sadness. And a possible deal.

Well, as I mentioned yesterday, life sometimes has a way of bringing you back down to Earth.

While my troubles with ex, a custody battle and financial choices aren't trivial, they seem so insignificant when you consider the real suffering going on elsewhere.

Here I am, blessed with (knock on wood) two healthy girls, while my friends' only child just died. She barely got to live. Two months? Really, that's all they got to have with her? It's so fucking unfair.

Clearly that devastating news has made my divorce issues take a back seat for the moment. But I can't ignore them altogether.

Why, you ask?

Because maybe, JUST MAYBE, we are close to having a deal. If this happens (and there are more things to agree on that may completely derail this), neither one of us win much. We are basically in a situation where we can't afford to divorce without us both taking a pretty big hit. Actually, I would take a big financial hit for a few years in lieu of a bigger hit (selling the house and risking 50/50 custody), plus my name would be stuck on "his" house until he can refinance and get me off the title/lien.

But perhaps most important: If he and I can come to an agreement together, his anger and general mood would improve tremendously. He'll always be bitter and hate me (I don't care), but I could perhaps see a day where we could co-parent for he benefit of our children.

Should I have to compromise so much just to help control his anger? No.

But I ask you, wouldn't you pay thousands if it meant your kid(s) could grow up in a non-adversarial (or less adversarial) environment?? I think that is worth gold.

To end this on an uplifting note, I find this meme to be something I need to remember more:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dealing with loss

I'm cold and shivering, rattled by the worst news one could imagine:

My friends' baby just died. She was only 2 months old.

She was born via c-section because she was breach, and that sweet little thing had little frog legs pointed up to her ears. She was tiny - 5 lbs. or so and on the short side, too.

Her parents questioned why she was small, but the doctors weren't concerned.

I don't know all the details, but at some point recently they realized she wasn't gaining weight appropriately, and doctors discovered she had a congenital heart defect.

She was in the hospital getting a "simply palliative procedure" done yesterday to tide her over until she was bigger and could have open heart surgery. It was all supposed to fix the problem. Her only limitation was supposed to be that she may not be a stellar athlete.

And then ... she died. I don't know the circumstances. I'm sure we can all figure it out. That sweet, tiny baby just must not have been strong enough to endure the surgery.

And I. Am. Gutted.

That poor girl and her grieving, scarred parents, who are such sweet people and so dear to me.

I'm glad I was lucky enough to hold her after she was born and kiss on her sweet face. I'm glad her parents even got 2 months with her, when I know a lot of parents have stillborn children and never get to see their child's open eyes.

But the grief is the same.

Oh, their aching hearts. I wish there was some way I could help, but I know all I can do is speak her name and always remember her.

RIP, sweet girl.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wish me luck - and some memes

It is with guarded optimism that I say we might be getting to a point where we can come up with a solution to this custody/financial battle without ending up in limited case management/court.


I think



Please hold your breath, cross your fingers, send good vibes...whatever.

My goals are:

Create a custody schedule that keeps the girls' best interest first. There will likely be some changes they do not like, but hopefully what we're working on right now would involve minimal changes that the girls can adjust to fairly easily.

Create a financial solution that keeps me from having to pay way more in the next three years for day care than I should have to pay, but also keeps ex from having to sell the house and start over and be even more angry.

Create a financial solution that makes it so I can someday move out of the house with the girls and afford for us to live on our own if I so choose.

Create a solution that gets my name off the house within the next three years so I can perhaps buy my own someday.

Tame the relationship between ex and I so he can be civil to me in front of the girls.

Wish. Me. Luck.

Now, for some memes:


And just for fun...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Needing some strength

I like having this outlet when I need some strength.

Ex has made his intentions to fight for 50/50 custody clear, but before we even can sit down in limited case management and discuss it, he's still trying to get me to agree to other changes. Little by little, wearing me down.

I almost said yes. Almost. The change isn't a big deal. But where does it stop? And why not just have it all out in case management?

So I just emailed him saying I'd rather we discuss the schedule in its entirety in case management rather than make more changes right now.

He is, obviously, going to be pissed and accuse me of denying him time with the girls. Really - there's no winning for me, is there? I try to the best of my ability to keep consistency for my girls, and I'm accused of keeping them away from their father.

And for the record, I don't think the amount of time they have with him is bad.

If you count just waking hours, they're with him:

Nine hours during the week and 11 hours during the weekend.

Waking hours with me:

About 15 or 15.5 hours during the week and about 14.5 hours on the weekend.

So they're with me about 30 waking hours a week, and him about 20. And that doesn't count the several times a week he stops by Sunshine's school to see them at pickup time and the once a week he takes them to lunch. I don't get to do those things, because I work farther away and have an unflexible schedule.

Anyone reading this, please let me know if you think that's an unfair balance. I honestly am curious. Maybe I'm wrong.

The girls are really young, have always had me as their main caregiver, and have been on this schedule for 9 months now. When they're with him, I don't exist. Any mention of me is - from what I gather from my 4yo - met with disdain. Phone calls aren't allowed. He yells at me in front of them and has always been very gruff and non-nurturing (not that he's abusive or anything to them).

So with that knowledge, why make massive changes just cause it's what he wants? If it were up to me, they'd be with me MORE, but that's what I want - not necessarily what's best for them.

Monday, February 4, 2013

This is today

Ex continues to try to scare me (it works) with insane custody threats. In the end, we'll end up in limited case management (which is like mediation, but the mediator decides the custody schedule and tells a judge). My lawyer says the emails/texts I have from ex where he blatantly offers to let me choose the custody schedule if I accept less money would - in his opinion - "sink him" in limited case management.

But my lawyer is also quick to point out that there are no guarantees in any of this.

And this I know. Ex may end up with 50/50, and oh our poor children. :( But I have to take that chance, because ex won't compromise AND is setting out this ridiculous offer to not pay any day care and not even pay full child support.

What choice do I have?

Of course, ex is throwing the guilt thing around again. That is was my decision to divorce...I'm the one who chose my personal happiness over that of my kids'...that I no longer can talk about "what's best for the children" now that I chose this separation.

I DID choose my happiness under the very hopeful, optimistic notion that regardless of ex's efforts to be a better husband (which he now refers to as "kissing my ass" - shows you how sincere those efforts were), we simply could not after 12 years suddenly transform this sham into a happy marriage. And why would I a) subject myself to that and b) teach my girls that this lie was real?

Even if we somehow managed to not fight often, the fact is I didn't love him. And regardless of what he says, he only loved the security of me - not ME. He had no respect for me in the least bit. It was fear, not love, that kept him holding on.

ANYWAY, if you chose to leave, how did you get over this guilt, especially during times when your child(ren) cry and ask why their life has changed?

I thought the guilt was gone...I was wrong.