Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Extended Summer Visitation



 Image credit


The coping goes on.  I had a mini meltdown over the week end, it’s so hard to be apart from my daughters, but I know a lot of that is my issue, not theirs. 

And in some of my deepest corners of missing them, I feel myself stretching to understand how difficult it may be for my Exie to be apart from them as well.  For a moment, out of some kind of camaraderie as parents.  Then I pause and remember how we got here, which sobers me up somewhat and hardens my resolve to keep our girls as safe as possible.  It’s not my fault he broke toys, dishes, household items in anger.  It’s not my fault that he choked the family dog and threw him across the room on more than one occasion.  It’s not my fault that he kicked my daughter when she wouldn’t get up from the floor.  It’s not my fault that he kicked the fitness ball that my younger daughter was holding onto when she had just learned to walk, leading her to fall backward.  It’s not my fault that he would say he was sorry, but never followed through with actions on taking control and fixing his anger problem.  So F you, I may understand the sadness at being apart from my daughters during an extended visitation, it may help me empathize with your loneliness a little bit, but F you for making this an unbearable mess to begin with, and continuing to make life more difficult than it needs to be.

Erg.  So my last post was about not having information about where the girls were staying on their staycation with him—I had checked in with our play therapist in hopes he might have mentioned it, and she was like don’t sweat it, as long as you can communicate, that’s what matters, and now he’s setting a precedent that you also don’t have to tell him (which is kind of sad in that we as parents are so ridiculous that not sharing this information is going to be normal—when I have shared numerously in the past).  At any rate, guess what, when the girls called me, they let me now where they were—I didn’t even have to ask, they were just open and talkative and communicative and in good spirits, being at a happy place on earth.  And, I was happy they were where they were, I know that place has lots of water slides, it really is hotel heaven for kids.  I love those water slides, too, so I guess I’m just a big kid, lol.

So onward I went with my life of work responsibilities, spouse responsibilities, friend responsibilities, and then I got sick so was in bed for a couple of days and when I got better, went back to work.  And checked my email and realized that I had missed a real gem from days earlier:

Where he accused me of interrogating the girls, had forced them to “report” to me where they were staying, and that he was not comfortable with me knowing where they were because he knows my husband works in the hotel industry and did not want him to check up on them.

Me: …

Further, that I had never given him information on our travel locations and hotels and that communication via cell would be fine.  (by this time, they were home, had left the hotel days ago, it was just me neglecting to pick up my email).

After collecting my thoughts. I wrote a civil response.

Dear Jerkface (okay I didn’t say jerkface),

I have numerous requests from you about accommodations for when I travel with the girls, as well as my responses that include hotel information, contacts, phone numbers, and addresses of where we are staying.  I understand that in the future that as long as communication is via cell that is satisfactory to you.

The girls are open and communicative with me and I make every effort to ensure the girls feel comfortable and supported when they speak with you, I hope the same is happening when they speak with me.

Lastly, I feel sorry that you think my husband would check up on you; he has always been open, friendly, and communicative with you at the children’s school events.  I think that is an odd conclusion, so am merely responding that is not the case.

Sincerely

Ugh.  And notably, when the girls have called me since this email, the conversations have been fast and tense on their part, saying they have to go, and I worry mostly that they feel like they have to placate him by not speaking with me.  I actually make it a point to answer only on the every/other day situation, so as to lessen the stress on them.  L

So that mini-meltdown I mentioned in the beginning of this post?  It’s partly because I was overcome with worry that he was interrogating them, making them feel bad for talking to me.  Partly because I’m frustrated that I’m dealing with this craziness, and part of me worries that he will somehow “turn” them against me.  I realize now that is just crazy thinking.  Stay open, stay communicative.  Let them have a short call when they ask, as they are kids, in the moment, may not want to talk, or it may be their coping mechanism when being with their dad.  The good news is that he’s not kicking them or breaking stuff (at least I hope not).  The play therapist says the phone calls are something they’ll figure out with their dad at some point, but overall they’re doing fine.  I have to believe that I’m doing everything I can for them, by being open and supportive and loving.  Okay, I can do those things.  They’ll be home in less than a week. The final stretch.

p.s. I am doing adult time things, hanging with the hubs, catching up with old friends that I haven’t spent much time with over the last year, dinners with pals, brunch with pals, even a day drink or two, lol.  Coping with extended visitation is apparently a marathon and not a race.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Irony

Coparenting Life: My ex is taking the kids on a mini staycation. Yay for the kids! 

Now, he has refused three times to tell me which hotel they're staying at (as in, I've texted him asking politely, using please and thank you, and he's responded with not telling me). /eyeroll. The irony to this is that if I withheld information, he'd be blowing up my phone and emailing me nasty nitpicking emails until the cows come home. Part of me feels sorry for him that he's so petty, part of me is annoyed at the situation in general, and part of me is frustrated that he gets away with being a jerk.

I checked in with my therapist who helped talk through it with me--remember Jane, he has to feel like he's in control and that he's winning.  Somehow, withholding information from you makes him feel big.  He is Ex being Ex.  

Me:  yes.  

I also checked in with the play therapist to talk this through, and her response was--well, as long as you can talk with them, you don't really need to know in the end, and now he's set a precedent where you no longer have to answer his demands in the future.

And while I take comfort that I haven't completely melted down into a frustrated ball, that half of me is rolling my eyes at the pettiness, there is still that part of me that is just so sick and tired of the stupid bullcrap.

Of course it doesn't help that last week end, when I took the girls on their girl scout field trip, I was courteous and emailed him pictures.  Trying to be an adult and be the bigger person.  Oh well.

As they say no good deed goes unpunished!  Insert laughing and eyeroll emoji here.

On the upside, I'm going to see Wonder Woman tomorrow, yippee!

Happy Week End, All!