Okay, I feel like crap, so it’s time to write – right?
I just returned from a quick trip to Disney with my middle child. Her cheer team took fourth place in the nation, and I’m very proud of her, but being forced to go to Disney World during a school week in mid-December sucks.
Her father seems to have reached some critical point in his personal unhappiness and has decided to share the joy with the rest of us by behaving like a tyrant. My two daughters have asked to see a therapist, and my son is wetting his pants on a regular basis. I am a stressed out zombie, plodding through my daily responsibilities while trying to remember every spiritual principle and piece of advice I’ve ever heard in order to at least feign some serenity. Sometimes I do actually fool myself into moments of bliss, but they are short-lived, interrupted by threats of being taken to court and other such pleasantries.
I have retained the services of both a lawyer and a family therapist. I’m hoping the first will be able to force Mr. N/A to see the second. The kids and I will attend our first session without him on Monday, and I’m hoping for some sort of Christmas miracle.
I consider the fact that, despite all my whining about him, I may be told that the problem lies with me. I’m okay with that possibility, as long as she can help me fix it. I know I worry too much. I know my kids suffer for that. However, it’s sort of like telling a child who gets beat up daily on the playground not to let it bother him. I am supposed to brush my shoulders off, not fight back, put on a happy face for my children, and go back for more tomorrow. It’s a miserable existence.
He calls me “sssssick,” and “e-vehll.” He leaves me voice mails telling me he’s going to call the house every 10 minutes until someone returns his calls (the kids don’t want to talk to him, so apparently I’m supposed to force them to speak somehow, even though my son will push the phone away and clamp his lips shut tightly). The schedule he is demanding for the Christmas break requires the children to change houses (beds) 6 times before the two weeks is over. He allegedly told my daughter he was sorry they got fourth place and he is sure they did their best. He took all the children to the mall and went shopping for a ring for his girlfriend, and responded to their questions by saying, “it could either be a friendship ring or a wedding ring,” but did not elaborate. The night before I left for Florida, after previously agreeing to care for the other two children in my absence, he told them (without my knowledge) to just ride the bus home here, and someone would pick them up every day. Good thing I found out – I was planning to set my security system when I left. There is no way in hell I would leave the house unsecured and let my kids come in alone every day for several days with no adults present. He said it wasn’t convenient for anyone to pick up the kids at school, and didn’t reply to my email asking him if he would be able to do what was required to take care of the kids or if I should make other arrangements until 10:30 that night. At the final hour, I was frantically searching online for additional tickets to Florida, just in case I needed to take two more kids with me. He responded, and I quote, “Why must you always make a big deal out of nothing?”
Are you tired of my whining? Sometimes I think I’m supposed to put on my happy face here, too, in order to provide positive, uplifting reading for others and to fool myself into believing it – you know, the old “act as if” trick. But this is very real. This is the movie of my life that’s currently playing, and until I figure out a way to project a different story on the screen, we’re just going to have to sit through the crap for awhile before the feature film is released.