Okay… so I was being a complete bitch… but OMFG! I’ve sent him the address a dozen times. He NEVER sends the kids back with all their things. This parcel had the Wizard’s shoes and favourite shirt. It’s been circling for weeks trying to find the right address – because he also didn’t bother to write his own address in the return to sender section – ‘Oh well, he should remember his own things!’  

I’m usually far more passive these days. I try not to bite. I certainly don’t attack. It’s just not worth the fall out the kids then suffer. But my god… it’s so damned hard… and today… well… it’s been a crappy few weeks. 

He’s been quiet this week, but the two weeks before he was in fine form! Constant attacks on the older two. The Princess just looks at her phone these days and mutters – what have I done this time?!? The Knight still struggles… the attacks range from full frontal assault to subtle manipulation… two days ago, he saw his bed for sale on a buy swap sell page… those little things… the attacks on his sense of belonging…

A friend has promised to drink champagne and dance on his grave when the time finally comes! ☺️but in the mean time… it’s sucking it all down deep and doing my best to ignore the attacks and minimise the damage. Taking the higher road… 

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When you kick your child out of home…

Okay, maybe he didn’t kick him out if home… but…

It’s been going all week. I knew the peace couldn’t last, but this week has been crazy. I think he finally realised he’s lost control. 

The Knight tells me that his father never thought it would last… I’m confused – why wouldn’t it?? Oh… because history was rewritten. I forget this. I forget the claims that I beat my child up. That I picked him up, threw him against the wall and punched him in the face. I learnt this week that I left holes in the walls because I threw him so hard. And it was more than once… This week though, I’ve had enough, and I make it clear that the lies will stop. Or the truth will be known. 

I’m done with this week. I’m shattered. I don’t know where my kids find their strength. I’m in awe of their resilience. 

So today. I wouldn’t allow them to travel on the train for 3 and a half hours without an adult. A train with people coming and going. No adult supervision. In frustration… because I am the bad person now… I say I will drive them. A six hour round trip today. A six hour round trip to collect them on Monday. All for his family Xmas. 

The week has already been insane. The threats and accusations. The abuse. The endlessness of it and the randomness of the targets and the bullets fired. 

But today. My patience is shot. I’m a mess. I drive for 3 hours. 

And I come out of the shopping centre to this. My Knight’s belongings piled on the side of the street beside my car. 

What’s this? I thought he was keeping his room? I have nowhere to put all this stuff. He doesn’t want it in my house. My Knight tries to reason too. 

But there’s no reasoning. The room is still his room… but with none of his stuff… and he can’t actually sleep in it because it’s a guest room… so he’ll be sleeping in a tent in the backyard with the Baby Dragon and Wizard… 

I bite my tongue. Hold back the tears. My Knight is shattered. I watch his chest cave and his back bend… his shoulders slump as his heart crushes… 

The kids pile in the car and I smile. Wish them well. 

Then sit on the side of the road amongst everything and hold back the tears. 

The day hadn’t even ended. The last information I had, the Knight has ‘run away’ to his best friends house and I’m buying a train ticket for his return. The two younger are refusing to sleep in the tent alone. The eldest just shakes her head sadly and says – they’ll work it out mum… they’ll get there…

And the day goes on… the week continues… and I’m bewildered and shattered and searching for answers in all the psych books and articles at my fingertips… searching for answers as to why he does this and why I couldn’t see it for so long… because that sword cuts both ways… 

Take 5…

So… I’ve hit that point when the task is too onerous so it’s easier to just do nothing…

Except write a post about my chicks… who well and truly dominate my life and thoughts of late… No rest for the wicked? No life of my own? Something…

A rant to clear the mess in my head so I can focus on work once more…

Baby Wizard asked for a bin for his room this afternoon.. and then, for the first time in his 8 and a half years on this planet, he cleaned his room, filling his bin… and then went round the house until it was completely full and he could empty it into the big bin. If I’d realised this is all it would take, I’d have given him half a dozen bins years ago…

Baby Dragon is not happy. She is 10 and has hit the wonderfully moody, hormonal stage of life. That last spike before puberty comes along. Soooo much fun… Her drama, other than extreme moods, is that wonderfully bitchy world that 10 year olds seem to inhabit… She’s not happy that I had a few truths to impart about sitting around with a friend, bitching about another friend who isn’t present… I’m such a loving and understanding mum, that I also asked if she was crying because she was sad she was mean to her friend, or if it was because she was in trouble…. Definitely a winning mum moment there :/

Teen Princess is off to Byron for schoolies tomorrow and I can’t even let my brain go there and stress… They’re driving… Five teens in a car – I think three can drive… A loooonnnnggggg trip. :/

Teen Knight… oh… where to start… I don’t have the skills. Or the crystal ball. I want someone to wave a wand… Sudden flurry of movement in the house this afternoon and lots of whispers and vibes… What’s going on?… It seems that when my darling boys had been out and about yesterday afternoon, some rough play became very rough… Sigh… Parents here are so calm and reasonable. So quiet and sweet. I’m not cut from that cloth. Master Knight takes the stance – that one where the shoulders are back and he’s on his toes, chin high… My eyes narrow as I realise what he is doing… The other parent is calm… understanding that things get a little out of hand sometimes but ‘we don’t like bullies’… Part of my inner mumma bear surfaces at the passive aggressive crap spewing from her mouth – I have zero patience for people who need to do the whole holier than thou act… But I rein this in as it’s not the issue. The issue is that my 15 year old took his 8 year old brother out to the common area and proceeded to take things too far with a group of 11-12 year old boys. The passive aggressive mother left with a sweet smile and the calm assurance that she’s lived here for 11 years and there’s never been a bully before and they won’t allow one now… My rational brain struggles at this moment – trying not to look at her as if she has grown a second head… WTF? A. What does it matter how long you’ve lived here? B. You’re not Queen. C. If you’re freaking annoyed, say so. D. Don’t walk into my back yard uninvited and start talking to my sons without speaking to me. E… Shall I continue? But again, this is not the issue… this is just that part of me that struggles with passive aggressive, manipulative, control freaks… and that is not relevant at this moment. What is relevant is the 15 year old who is still holding his stance and saying – yep. yep. yep at this woman… and I watch as yet another adult think he has heard them, think he has understood their reasoning… Or is it simply that they see the obvious and run? She leaves… I turn on him. His stance changes. I am furious. I rant. He doesn’t listen. He’s intent on saying his own piece and I am not yet ready to hear it. I rant some more. And some more. He says something in his own defense. I rant more. There is no defense. They are kids. You are picking a fight. And finally… I pull out that line I reserve for very special occasions… I just can’t believe you’d do this, I’m so incredibly disappointed… and there it is. Said…. And he rejoins with – you’re not as disappointed in me as I am…

I can’t do this parenting gig. I can’t get it right. I have no idea what to say.

We calm. We talk. He tells me he just wants to fight someone. He wants to hit someone and make them hurt. That anger has never actually abated… still simmering… still trapped as he tries to control it…

And in the midst of everything… the phones and devices ping and ring as his father tries to call… And there it is. Or so much of it. His father is angry because he won’t answer the phone. It’s the most bizarre thing. His father told him he went to the Knight’s best friend’s house Friday for a handyman job. The Knight said – they would have told me if you did. And from that… all hell has broken loose.

I’ve forgotten how fragile this child is. How much this child is trying to hold the world together… His father sends me ridiculous texts throughout the week and I ignore them. He rings and I tell him to go away. If he rings persistently, I answer and leave it on speaker, only partially listening to whatever rubbish he needs to spew this time. But mostly, I just ignore him these days. I’ve learned to call his bluff. I’ve learned to ignore him.

But this child hasn’t worked that out yet. He’s still not strong enough.

So when his father texts me: you know he’s drinking all your alcohol – he’s drinking it right now!… I simply look at my son and think – umm, no he’s not… But my child isn’t able to do this… and his father knows it… so he texts him constantly telling him that he’s an alcoholic and he’s having withdrawal… And I have to wonder – woah, the child has only been here just over a week, how can he be an addict unless you were aware he was drinking all your alcohol at your place??? He texts him more abuse – constant and frequent… swearing, name calling, threats… The child has a new phone number so the father can’t ring him – he’s not aware he has one – but he calls the other kids, calls me, texts through social media… threats and abuse… constant…

So I don’t know how to parent… but in the scheme of things, I’m doing better than the sperm donor…

Apparently, their father tells them frequently that I am angry and bitter and jealous that he is doing so well because he is about to buy a third house… He can’t understand that I am more saddened that he will buy more and more and more… but he won’t spend that on his children. I’ve just signed paperwork I organised to allow him to only pay a pittance for the next three years – my final move in the bid to get my child back without the backlash the child isn’t strong enough to withstand… So he gave me the child with one hand as he took the paperwork in the other… and now he’s realised he’s lost any control…

The Knight tells me he is making a bid for the Dragon, but I won’t allow any of them to go again. I will fight tooth and nail this time. I won’t let another suffer. I am stronger now.

But the Knight tells me: mum, he thinks you are bitter and jealous that he is more successful and has more stuff…. but I haven’t told him mum… I haven’t said to him – dad, look around you… where are the kids?

 

Life is actually quite good… but it has some really terrible moments… and they’re the ones I need to write about at the moment…

The kids and I found some super cheap flights to Hawaii… over Christmas….

So…. bit the bullet and asked the teen son if he wants to join us….

and…

all hell broke loose with their father…

because technically, he is entitled to have them from Boxing Day until New Years Eve.

He is ONLY entitled to have them every second weekend, and that 6 day period over the Christmas break…

I pointed out that I gave him longer at Christmas, a week in October, his wedding (not his allocated weekend), Easter…. These are basically the only times has has seen them…

As his time with them is obviously flexible and has no set pattern, this shouldn’t be an issue. He can have them over New Year for the same amount of time. Longer even.

But no…

He has to argue…

Because that his is need in life… the fight…

I blocked him on my phone – so he’s now emailing instead…

He told me he’s planning to go to Germany for Christmas. I countered by saying – well that’s great, you won’t be around anyway so the kids will be in Hawaii… No… apparently he’s not going if the kids aren’t going to Germany…. Umm, the kids were never going to Germany….

So he wants to stick to the letter of the parenting orders… Okay, so teen son will spend holidays with me now and you will only see them on the set weekends and that 6 days over Christmas – that’s it?

Oh no… of course that’s not it… He wants me to take the kids to see him when he wants to see them…

Umm, no… you left here to be near a girl you’d known for 2 weeks…Yes, he’s since married her, but he’d known her 2 weeks and moved 5 and a half hours away from his kids to be near her. I don’t have to drive them anywhere…

So here is my question… why do I engage? He only wants the fight. The kids will be going to Hawaii because they’ll talk him into it. Why can’t I break those old habits though? Why do I give him what he needs?

And why does my teen son now hate me once again? Because his dad is upset and that is my fault…

At these moments, I can’t do this parenting thing… I really can’t. If one more person tells me I’m a great parent, I’m likely to throw something solid at them. Because when they say this, all I see is my kids in turmoil and my teen son in particular… I see the tears and the heartbreak… and I know that their father is the one picking the fights over everything, but I have to take some responsibility here…. Oddly though, my son’s most recent mental health team were adamant that I shouldn’t be blaming myself… which is so nice to consider… something to clutch in those darkest moments… Because I see that I should have left… that I should have taken them and run so long ago… that I should have taken the risk of dragging them through the courts so it was documented… that I should have gone to the police when it was all fresh and the evidence was there…. I can’t go back in time and make him accountable.

And people can’t seem to see his manipulation… He says things and they believe him. Just like that. They believe the lies he spins.

I tell them stories to explain it: Miss 9 Facetiming him and saying goodbye. He says: I love you sweetie. I wish I could see you every day… but someone took you away from me.. didn’t she?

Or Master 8 – mummy, you have to give back my birthday money because daddy said you steal it.

The older two, it’s different… he says things to Miss 16 such as – wow, you’ve finally lost some weight (she’s always been thin)… or, this is why you have no friends (she has dozens)…. To Master 14 he plays best friend – how could you dog me, mate? I thought we were friends….

With them all, he plays on their weaknesses…

My son sent me texts abusing me – swearing, name calling…. identical to the ones his father was sending me… so I assume they were sitting beside each other on the couch, as they do, sending messages, laughing and attacking…

So how do I do this parenting thing? I want to run away… I am so exhausted by the tightrope… I can’t keep everyone balanced and happy… and when he isn’t getting his way, it’s always my fault…

I was talking to someone the other day about living in a country town. That everyone saw the nice guy and told me how lucky I am, what a great guy he is…. The friend I was talking to about it looked at me and laughed and said – oh come, on… no-one actually said that surely… as if they would!

Another friend I tried to explain it to told me that at least I hadn’t experienced real domestic violence…

He told me himself once: Oh come on, you’re being a drama queen. You should be grateful. I never put you in hospital, although I wanted to…

He’d tell me: the only reason I don’t hit you is because if I start, I know I won’t stop until you’re dead… and then he’d punch a hole in the wall beside my head… sometimes with a hand around my throat… smash the door down to get to me if I locked it… throw things at me… smash anything near at hand…

When we broke up, at one point, he claimed he didn’t have a temper. The house was three years old and the car was two. I pointed out all the broken things and holes… Over the next two weeks, he fixed them all…. so none of it ever happened…

We lived on a farm… no neighbours… no witnesses…

The kids still tell stories of what he did to the animals… I didn’t do the farm stuff so I didn’t realise… but they remember….

But no-one else knows… because most of it was mind games…

And now his eldest son does the same things… or tries…. and I find myself confused and frightened once again… I lose myself in those feelings and memories… I wake some nights unable to breathe… Some days there will be a memory and I panic… I hear a noise outside or a creak within, and it all comes flooding back… I run a mile from any guy who might even vaguely, possibly, kind of have a temper or any need to manipulate and control…

But I’m fine. Life goes on. I’m strong. Ask anyone. They’ll all tell you tiny snippets of things they might know or may have heard… but none of them really know… and you tell me there’s no such thing as PTSD from DV….

I am angry. I am furious. I am fed up. I am done.

If only saying the words was as effective as making them true.

Eleven years of schooling left. Eleven years of his manipulation left.

This time, it’s Easter. He sold them old. He took the money and left me the kids. That was the deal.

But of course it wasn’t the deal. It wasn’t enough.

Because he wants whatever hurts me most. Whatever still allows some control.

Easter is mine. As is Christmas. And birthdays. But he only wants the ‘occasions’. He wants to tell the world he’s having the kids for Easter. And he wants to hurt me because these occasions matter to me…

I said no. The parenting orders clearly state no. The courts are on my side. There’s nothing he can do about it…

Ho… ho… ho…

FaceTime.

Oh… yes he did…

Mummy! Please, please, please can we have Easter with daddy?! We never get to see him and he can see us that weekend!

Umm, why isn’t he here this weekend? Or next? Or the one after? The one before Easter? The one after? The school holidays?

But mummy…. he’s promised to take us camping and fishing and on the boat and there’s going to be loads of Easter eggs and all the family will be there….

So, yes… there is something he can do about it. Not legally… but he is the king of manipulation after all…

He tried to speak to me as they FaceTimed. I replied: You’ve never done Easter in your life. You weren’t even there for half of them and when you were, you were asleep.

He didn’t even try to deny it… I thought he would. He lies. Incessantly. He rewrites history. But he just agreed…. and that was somehow worse…. because he KNOWS he doesn’t care about Easter! He KNOWS it’s just so he ‘wins’. Just to hurt me because Easter DOES matter to me….

And I hate him… I can’t even begin to describe the deep seated hatred I feel… that I try to quell and ignore… I want him to live until he is old and alone and to die a painful, miserable death… I want him to suffer for all eternity…. and even that won’t be enough after the hell he put us through for all those years… and yet, they were young enough that he has re-written history for them and they think he is amazing. Because it’s so damned easy to be an awesome parent when you only spend a weekend with them every 2 or 3 months…

And I want to believe in karma. I want to believe in an afterlife. I want to believe that somehow, he will get what he deserves….

But I don’t believe in these things. Not enough. The kids think he is incredible. He is so much fun and he’s never grumpy or mean. And if one more person tells me they’ll realise when they’re older, I think I will actually hit them. I really do… because there is absolutely NO guarantee that they will realise when they are older! He is favourite uncle. Disney dad. He is awesome and fun and always happy.

And so… I doubt myself… maybe it was me… maybe I am all those things after all… maybe… maybe… and I hate him… so very, very much.

Please don’t grant me strength…

dd

He got married yesterday – which is great – because he’s (mostly) now leaving me alone. People seem to think I’ll be bothered… and it’s odd… there’s a part of me that IS bothered… but it’s bothered that I made such a bad choice for a husband and the father of my children.

Not for a second have I regretted leaving. So many people told me I’d have doubts… but not one.

I was sifting through paperwork last night, trying to find evidence of qualifications… my paperwork methods really leave a lot to be desired… Sifting through emails… found some relevant documents… and found some old emails from the first 18 months after the split. The abuse. The insanity. The threats. The manipulation.

So I was already feeling a bit rattled… going back down that path is hard…

The kids are there for the wedding. They’re on a train home at the moment actually. The eldest went – the first time in a very long time. He dropped the kids home on 3rd January. They’re there for the wedding this wknd. He wants them for Easter. I said no.

Because, you see… he sold his kids out. All he wanted was the money. So I gave him the money, and he gave me the kids. I can’t seem to make anyone understand. The legal papers state he is entitled to every second weekend and from Boxing Day until New Years Eve. A phone call on a Wednesday evening between 7 and 7:30PM. That’s it! Anything else can be granted, but is not mandatory.

I don’t stop my kids from seeing their father. Ever. He sees them for a weekend every 2 to 3 months – his choice. He was living here for 5 months, knowing for 3 and a half that we were moving here. Two days before we arrived, he took a job near his new girlfriend’s town – a girlfriend he had known for two weeks. Yes, he married her yesterday, but he chose her over seeing his kids, after knowing her for only two weeks.

He wants Easter. I said no. I don’t argue, it’s just not going to happen. Ever. I have the legal documents. I have photos of him still in bed every year on Christmas, Easter and birthday mornings (the birthdays he was there for). He never cared about those occasions. He cared about what presents he received and what food and alcohol was on the table. That was it.

So my eldest has sent me a text. Dad and the whole family have convinced the kids to come here for Easter. All of them, mum. The whole family. Everyone has been at them about it the whole time.

So I am furious. It’s not going to happen. He can take it up with the courts. But yet again I am the ‘bad person’. Every time they come home… “Mummy, if we moved to *** we could see daddy all the time”…. Umm, no…. daddy moved there, we’re not going…. “Mummy, daddy said if I go and live with them I can have an iPad”…. Umm, you have an iPad! “But I’m not allowed to take it to daddy’s place, but if I move there, I can have one for there and one for here”… Umm, you’re not moving to your dad’s…

Eleven more years of schooling. Eleven more years of this manipulation.

Someone… please find me that patience….

The straw…

I was reading this blog post today:

She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink

and it made me think… I remember feeling like this… saying these words…

“But it’s important to me…”

Which has taken me down memory lane, reflecting…

Our biggest fight was about drinking. I didn’t like him drinking every single night. Yes, it was only one or two most nights, but I hated it.

I explained it over and over… both of my parents are alcoholics… I’ve always sworn I will not raise my children in a house where either parent drinks every night. I don’t care what anyone else does – that’s their choice. I’m not judging them either. I just cannot raise my kids in that environment. It’s too many memories. The smell of the stale beer cans for a start… The words ‘Hey *child*, can you get me a beer from the fridge’… I can’t do it.

Over and over… and over…

Me: If you don’t have a drinking problem, then you shouldn’t need to drink every night….

Him: I don’t have a problem and I don’t need to drink, but I’ve worked hard every day and I deserve a drink…

And there it was… every single time… ‘I DESERVE a drink’…

Me: But it matters to me. I’ve explained it to you. Over and over… and over… I’m not asking you to never drink again (although, if I did, you should be willing to consider that)… I’m asking you to not drink every night. I’m asking you to go to the pub and have that drink with friends there even. If you need to have that drink, drink it where the kids can’t see…

Him: This is my house. I work hard… I DESERVE a drink…

The final argument was about this – the one that began the ultimate end… He was drinking when I wasn’t around or when I was locked in the Office working… telling the kids not to let me know… on the way home he’d grab a ‘roadie’… but, in one of those bizarre moments, I looked in the cupboard and realised the large vodka bottle that was full two weeks earlier, was empty…. and suddenly, the conversation spiralled…

Me: (finally) When was the last 24 hour period in which you haven’t had an alcoholic drink?!?

Him: I don’t know… a couple of months? Does it matter? I DESERVE a drink… I work hard…

Me: You’re getting the kids to lie to me for you?

And that was it.. The moment I just looked and thought – what am I doing?

It wasn’t about the alcohol – well, it kind of was… but it was about the fact that he wouldn’t ever put me first. Not once. It was always his needs, wants and desires before anyone else.

I didn’t want to be his mother. I didn’t want to always tell him what to do. I didn’t want to always be the ‘bad’ person making the hard decisions. And… I wanted someone who respected my hopes and dreams and wishes… my hurts as well as my joys… Someone who would have given up alcohol altogether if I asked, because it was important to ME. As simple as that.