Awesome Dad

I want to be fair to my ex-husband, I really do, but I am pissed. I am pissed that after 5 years he suddenly wants to be a Dad and yet denies he did nothing wrong. He maintains he was and is a great Dad. He has told me at every opportunity that he is an ‘awesome Dad.’  An awesome Dad that started an affair with a 20 year old when he was 32, when his wife (me) was 6 months pregnant, an awesome Dad who moved his son and wife to San Diego and then dropped a bomb in their lives (Um gee honey, I am having an affair and can you leave with our son?). An awesome Dad that visited his son 4 times in 5 years and has never once  been alone with his son for more than 3 hours or spent any time caring for him. Read him a story? How about a bath? Dinner cooked and fed? Nope he’s done of that!

I want to be happy for my son that maybe there is some chance J.D will get his act together and actually be a Dad, but I just don’t see it. We aren’t on the same page or even in the same book about anything.  My son asked J.D where his Christmas and Birthday presents were. J.D had the nerve to say, “Ask your mom.” My son looked at me and said, “I’m supposed to ask you where my presents are.” I said I had no idea where the presents are. I then said to J.D did you even send presents? He replied with, “Son there are two sides to every story and sadly you are only getting hers.” What does that mean? Did he send Christmas presents or not? He’s never sent anything, but child support for the last 5 years and that had to be garnished from his pay.

I hate this, hate that my ex and I can’t have a conversation. I asked him to attend counseling with me, via Skype for him, so we can see each others sides and maybe learn to communicate. I would love for us to have an open conversation, but he blames me for everything. He has no relationship with our son, my fault! He can’t pay his bills, my fault. His lawn got stolen, my fault.  Is it too much to ask for normal???

Mediation

During my court drama with J.D. I got the idea that maybe I should ask for mediation. I did not think that one through at all. I thought that somehow he and I could work everything out in mediation and present it to the court all pretty like.

Why do I think that?? Talk about fantasy land!

The Mediator, or as I like to came to call her the Idiot started off by giving us the ground rules, no swearing, listen to each other, use I statements and remember the purpose of this is the child. She asked us to give her some background information, name and ages (we got that right), then she wanted to know the background of our custody and visitation. She asked me to start first.

“We divorced in  April 2014 after living apart since September 2010. From 2010 until now (Nov. 2015), J.D has visited our son 4 times. He has spent about 15 hours with him supervised. He does not call regularly and has not wanted to set up any regular call times. He agree to 25 hours a year of supervised visitation during our divorce as he said he was unprepared to be a father and really didn’t think he would have much to do with our son until he was older.”

J.D said, ” That’s all lies.” The Idiot asked what was lies, and J.D. said, “I never said I wanted only 25 hours a year of visitation. I tried to visit she wouldn’t let me.”

The Idiot asked J.D to clarify a few things. “What is your current visitation?”

J.D. “25 hours a year, but I didn’t want that she made me sign the paper.”

Idiot, “You signed under duress?”

J.D., “No, but she wouldn’t give me the divorce unless I agreed to that.”

Idiot, “Okay, how often would you say you visit?”

J.D., “Well, I don’t because she won’t let me.”

Idiot, “Have you tried?”

J.D., “She won’t let me.”

Idiot, “You know really we should talk about phone calls.” That was it? I was expecting her to call B.S on that, but she didn’t.

We spent the next hour working out a phone call plan. J.D. didn’t like any of the proposed times and didn’t believe me when I said Jude went to bed at 7:3o.  Um how would he know??  He insisted that he should be able to call whenever and I should drop what I was doing to get our son on the phone. Once we got phone calls set up I requested therapeutic visitation siting J.D.’s lack of relationship with his son. J.D of course went nuts at that. “That’s BS I don’t need a therapist.” He went on to talk about how I refused to let him see our son and how once he saw our son again they would instantly bond. “I don’t need some therapist telling me how to be a Dad. I’m a great Dad.”

The Idiot asked me if I understood J.D.’s position and could I work to understand how he felt. Actually no, Idiot iI don’t understand. She said I was not listening or trying to emphasize with J.D.

I cited several documents I had researched on reintroducing an absent parent. The Idiot did not like this and tried to tell me I could not just read random things on the internet. I explained the document and offered to send her a link.  She said that we didn’t’ have time for that. The Idiot asked J.D how often he would get to WA to see our son, J.D. said maybe once a year. I said, “Great you come here once a year and I will come there once a year.” He said, “No, I don’t want you in San Diego every.” That gave me a smile.

The last hour was J.D. playing the victim and the Idiot asking me if I could understand where J.D was coming from. I guess J.D felt like I didn’t value his contribution as a father. What?? Contribution except for DNA and child support he hadn’t contributed anything to our son.

We finally agreed on a plan and then J.D says, “Fine now what is her punishment going to be?” What?? J.D actually wanted to know how I was going to be punished for moving. He wanted the court to order me back to Las Vegas so he could establish a relationship with our son and then I could move.  When The Idiot explained to J.D that wasn’t happening he became hostile, started yelling and cursing and The Idiot terminated that call and told the court we had not reached an agreement.

That little 2.5 hours cost me $200. When I asked The Idiot how much she charged she said that it was based on our income. J.D and I would each pay a portion based on our income. Great fine, but what is your hourly I asked, The Idiot said she didn’t have one, but that it was based on our income.  That makes no sense what so ever!!

Mediation was a complete waste of time.

 

 

Family Court

I received a copy of final court order from Family Court. That was a joke. The court minutes and documents did not match what was said in court. When I spoke to my very expensive lawyer, she said, “Huh, well sometimes that happens.” Really? I spent $350 an hour for your time and that is your brilliant answer?

The judge asked me what I felt was appropriate for visitation with J.D. and our son. I said 30 days a year, up to 8 hours on non school days and 3 hours on school days, visiting starting in February, supervised until 6 visits are completed every other month in a one year. Once that is completed both parents will agree to meet with a 3rd party to discuss additional visits.  There was also specifics about phone calls, days and times, etc. None of that made it into the record. Supervised visits, every other month and 3rd party after a year are missing.  Nothing about phone calls was put in. I am completely disgusted by Family Court in Clark County Nevada. The judge would not agree to therapeutic visitation or any sort of reunification for Jude and J.D., saying that J.D living in San Diego made it difficult for him to attend those things.

J.D never filed an opposition, to my move, yet we had 3 court hearing where he was able to tell the judge I was crazy (She’s still in love with me and won’t let me have a relationship with our son), and I was a danger to our child (I fear for his safety he went to the emergency in March for an injury. I got the bill, but I don’t want custody).  The judge did tell J.D that he might want to get a lawyer and put all this in writing. To which my ex said, oh yeah he was getting a lawyer, right away. The first hearing he objected to move the second and third he said he’d never had a problem with my move only with me not letting him see Jude.

I was not awarded attorney’s fees. The judge said, “Well you wanted to move!” Yes I wanted to move so why should J.D. be able to deny the move? Why should a person who has only visited his child 4 times in 5 years for a total of 15 hours be able to stop my move? I asked for 50% of child care costs and the judge denied that. My ex never filed his financial disclosure as was requested. All he did was show up by phone twice to two hearings he knew I was at and in person to the one hearing he knew I wasn’t going to be at. Our Family Court system is a joke. I spent a total of $20,000 to get this move.

3rd Time

During all the court room drama, I learned that J.D is marrying the Dog Sitter. They have a date for December. My first thought was I felt so sorry for that poor girl. Second thought was, this is going to be fun to watch. I truly am amazed he would hazard a 3rd marriage. After the first he vowed never to wed again and yet he married and divorced me.

What is funny to me is that he still denies he is with this girl. In mediation he gave this explanation about how when he is deployed he has a friend pick up his mail every day for him and take care of his dog.  I said, “So for 6 months you leave your dog home alone except for once a day visits?”

J.D said, “Oh he is fine.” I said, “Don’t you have a girlfriend living with you?” He denied her and went on to the mediator his dog sitter got his mail and got the certified letter and that was how he knew I was trying to move.  She (the girlfriend)  signed her name on the certified letter card  yet he still can’t admit he is with her.

After mediation he called me and like an idiot, I  actually talked to him. During that 40 minutes of wasted life the girlfriend started yelling at me in the back ground. “Tell your baby mama you want to see your son! Tell her J.D that you are getting a lawyer and she’ll never see your kid again.” He told her to shut up and she yelled back that if he didn’t have his ass in the restaurant in 5 minutes he could take the ring and shove it up his ass.

When I asked him if that was The Dog Sitter he denied said, it was no one and then said it was some girl from Air Force. Then he went into this elaborate  explanation about how he had friends that cared about him. I asked he what she met my shoving a ring up his ass, and he said he didn’t know what I was talking.  Seriously I don’t know why I bothered to speak with. Once he started threatening me and telling me what I was going to do,  I hung up.

I find this so amusing that he can’t be honest. How do I know he lies? He speaks!

Last Few Month

I moved and am currently in a new state and city. I spent $16, 000 on a lawyer to get this far. J.D showed up by phone to court, ranting about this being unfair. He said he was a good father that always paid his child support. He said that he never gave me verbal permission to move and planned to file and opposition to my move. That was in August. I left with verbal permission to move. In October we had another court date and J.D still had not filed an opposition. At this hearing he said I was crazy and was worried about his son’s safety. The judge asked if he was seeking custody and J.D. said, ‘Oh no not custody I just want it know that she is unstable.”

We were ordered in to mediation and ordered to have our financial disclosures turned in by October 27th.

Mediation turned out to be a waste of time. J.D got angry because I was not going to be punished. He wanted me to have to move back to Las Vegas so he could establish a relationship with our son and then I could move. He is obsessed with the idea that I kept our son from him. I mentioned to the mediator that the Judge had evidence of the emails, texts and phone calls for the last year showing all my attempts to get J.D to call his son or visit. J.D said he could prove I had ‘denied him the ability to be a father.’ He just didn’t have anything showing this, but his word was enough.

We go to court in 2 days. This hell is still not over. Somehow in mediation we agreed on 3 phone calls a week and he is actually calling our son and talking to him. I wonder for how long.

Court Date

My court date is in 12 days. In 12 days I find out if a judge will allow my son to move to Washington with me.  I can’t believe that my life has come down to a judge’s decision.

J.D. gave me verbal permission to move three times, but with something thrown in for himself.

“You can move, if the wage garnishment is dropped.”

I called the state and they said that in order for the wage garnishment to be stopped, I have to close my case. If I close my case they won’t go after the back child support he owes. I will have to trust that J.D will pay what he owes.

J.D. told me he could care less about where our son lives, he just wants to make my life miserable. To make this more hellish, J.D is deployed and is using the Serviceman’s Civil Relief Act to stall the process. I understand the Act, I do, but J.D is not involved with our son, he lives 5 hours away and has visited only 4 times and each of those times was for just a few hours. One time he came to visit and left after 45 minutes. He is using the Serviceman’s Civil Relief Act to punish me.

I have a job waiting for me in Washington, and I have an ex-husband deployed that won’t allow my son to move with me.

I could have moved and he never would have known.  His next scheduled visit isn’t until Thanksgiving, I could have moved and he would have been clueless, but I did the right thing and he is going to use that against me.

My carefully constructed life has become a mess. I am currently $6,0000 in debt in lawyers fees, my job is in another state and my ex-husband won’t let me move. I  try to remain hopefully that the judge will grant me a temporary order to move, but I have much hope.

Dear Ali,

Dear Ali or as I often think of you-the dog sitter. Yes he has dogs so he needs someone to care for them while he is deployed that means he needs you.

My lawyer said that you signed for the Certified Letter serving J.D with court papers. How ironic! I hope you read those court papers and I hope you see what your future will be if you decide to have kids with J.D. I don’t blame you, I really don’t, you just happened to have the Craig List ad that J.D. picked to answer. You and your boyfriend were looking for a threesome with a bi-guy and J.D answered.  True irony with that one as he said he was straight.  J.D always said that he never met you, you just exchanged naked photos, flirty texts and emails. He said he bonded with you over shared trauma and sexual fantasies.  You knew he was married and knew he had a son. You told me you were in love with him and he was yours. He said you were joking that you were just friends. He insists even today that you were just his friend, after I left he needed a roommate so you happened to move in and he was lonely one night so he slept with you. That is what he says, but hey he’s a liar so what do I know!

How did that feel to move in the day after I left? You had to clean up the crap that I left and I’m not talking things, but emotional crap. You had to deal with J.D and the emptiness in his soul. How did you feel hearing him cry hysterically on the phone to me, about how could I leave?? Did you happen to take the right side of the bathroom sink, the one I left empty? How about the the time he came to Vegas to visit his son and you blew up his phone and he ignored you. Ugh, been there!  I know you don’t want him talking to me and you fear he will cheat on you. Don’t fear it, he will cheat on, I know he already has.

You dear dog sitter are now 25, don’t get too much older. J.D. needs to maintain his youthful appearance. I noticed in his ads on Craig’s List he shaved off a few years on his age and added a few inches to his height (27 and 6’2? More like 32 and 5’10!). You know about J.D and his past, you know that he is stuck as a 12 year old boy. He is a broken man, the more I talk to him about the court thing, I think he may be slightly out of touch with reality. I’m sure when you opened the court papers and read them you felt so sad for poor J.D.

I realize that you will most likely stay around, you know about his sexual issues and seem to have no problem with them. Does it not feel weird to see your man seeking out rape fantasies with older men? Is is strange that he has so many pictures of dick? You dear dog sitter will most likely stay, he needs someone to feed the dogs and get his mail while he gone! He is yours know, enjoy!

Love the 2nd ex- wife (yes there was a #1, guess who #3 will be?)

Dear J.D.,

Last week you were on the phone for almost an hour, crying about how sorry you were. How you f-up everything. You said that you were so sorry and you regretted the choices you made 4 years ago to the day. You said that you were a mess and didn’t know how to handle anything. You said, “I still love you. I do. You think I’m bull shitting you, but I love you.” I told you to stop talking, after I’m sorry, I really didn’t need to hear anything else. I didn’t want to hear anything. Your apology, 4 years later, was enough. While I am not sure it was genuine, if felt much more genuine than the time you yelled at me, “I’m f-ing sorry, okay? Geesh get over it,” or  the time you said, “Okay, fine, I’m sorry, big f-ing deal I f-up.” Those were spewed in hatred so this new apology, said with tears, (real tears?) felt good. I felt compassion for you and really wanted to just reassure you that everything was okay. I heard pain and weakness in your voice. That scared me because I in my co-dependency wanted to fix everything, agree to whatever you wanted. I was silent for a while, shedding my own tears, breathing and focusing on my feelings. In that moment I was sad for you, but realized that I did not need to make it okay. I didn’t have to fix it, you felt sorry, your felt bad and those were your feelings, not mine to fix.

Of course today you called and were completely different. How do you do that? Today you told me I was ‘crazy.’  You pushed all my buttons, I cried and yelled at you and nothing was okay. I lost my focus, I listened to you tell me what was going to happen, you with your crystal ball or magic 8 ball, just knew what was going to happen. I made the mistake of forgetting it was you I was talking too and of course I panicked. I have to remember that you are not my love and everything you say is suspect.
June2013 007

Stuck

I just talked to a friend on the phone, a friend that I’ve known for 8 years. He said I still sounded angry, that he thought I was farther along in my healing process. He said he understood being stuck in anger, but he really thought I was better.

I did too. How did I get stuck in being anger? I let myself get sucked in, I talked to J.D. on the phone and had the idea that he might just let Jude and I move.  I listened to him sob and cry and tell me he was sorry and I got sucked back in . Today talking to J.D was another story. Today he told me I was crazy, that I needed to just calm down and listen and that if I continued this ‘court thing’ he’d tell everyone I was crazy. He said Jude was not his responsibility and as far as he was concerned Jude could leave and I had to stay until the wage garnishment was lifted. He told me this was all karma that I deserved all that was happening. J.D. said I tried to ruin his life and this is what I deserved.

I am so angry, just can’t believe that all of this is happening.  I find myself in a situation where I can do nothing, but pray. Pray and trust God to make this right. I don’t want to be angry anymore or hurt, I just want to live my life and be the best mom I can be.  I want to find my joy and happiness again and experience love. I can’t do that holding on to this anger. I thought that I had forgiven J.D., I felt like I had let go, but maybe I haven’t.

Home For Sale

I signed papers today to sell my home. I bought this house, 7 years ago. I was 33 and so proud that I was a homeowner. That feeling quickly left when I realized the garbage disposal was full of fish tank rocks and the carpet had been peed on, but the smell wasn’t evident until I moved in.

I liked owning a home, but never seemed to have the extra money to do anything I wanted. Painting never got done until I had my son and after painting his room, and the living room, I realized how difficult that job was and it quickly lost its appeal.  My house was built in 2005 and this year I started worrying about all the breakdowns of appliance. For some reason everyone says 10 years is the life on any appliance.  Little things started happening, the dryer stopped working, blew a fuse, the A/C needed a few repairs and the water heater was replaced after it flooded the garage. I love my house, the huge windows that look out onto the street and the neighbor’s house or onto a brick wall that surrounds my house. Yes, here in Vegas a brick wall is used to contain almost every yard, the heat and sun are too much for wood fences.  My son came home from the hospital to this house and he rode his bike without training wheels on this street.

I am sad about selling, scared about all that is going to happen in the next month.  I remember sitting in this house, wondering if I would ever move or ever live in another house. I liked the idea of having a home that I would pay off when I was 60, a home where my son lived every second of his life until he departed to college. But then I also liked the idea of moving, of a new adventure of having my son experience the thrill of a move.

We moved 4 times from the time I was 7 to the time I was 16. I lived in a trailer, two townhouses, an apartment and a house. From 11 to 16 I lived in apartment, sharing a room with my sister. That was really the longest my family stayed in one spot, by the time they bought a home I was already out the door.

I am sad to leave this place, and of course it is a cliche, but home is really where the people who love you are.