Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Avoidance strategies

It looks like this house thing is really going to happen. I kept thinking it would fall apart, that something would go wrong and we wouldn't get it, but amazingly, it's all going according to plan.

Now here's the problem: O's dad and I are divorced. We've been divorced for almost 8 years now, but he still wants to be a control freak about everything. I haven't told him yet that we're moving (an hour west of where we are now, but in the same state), but will have to do this this week. Since he often calls and screams down the phone at me over percieved wrongs, I'm extremely nervous about this.

He is a bully. My biggest concern is that he will bully O into saying she wants to live with him. She's very eager to please him and will cave in the moment he starts to pressure her, so this worries me a lot. I don't think that legally, he has any ability to prevent me from moving, nor can he say I'm an unfit parent, but he could persuade her. For so many reasons, I don't want this. I'm fairly certain that she doesn't either, although what she says to me and what she says to him can vary wildly.

I don't know how to tell him that we're moving. I'm really afraid of what he's going to say to me and more so of what he's going to say to O. She's afraid that he's going to yell at her about it. If he's angry with me, he tends to take it out on her.

I've got a call in to my divorce lawyer, but haven't heard back from her yet. I'm hoping she has some good suggestions. Any advice, or even assvice, my imaginary internet weirdo friends can give me would be appreciated, too.


Shannon said...

My assvice is to talk to Olivia and tell her that if her dad is unhappy, then not to feel guilty and that his possible anger is his problem, not hers (my parents are divorced so I know what it's like to be in Olivia's shoes).

I don't know about Mass. laws, but in NY, if the mom moves out of state with the child, she loses child support.

You aren't moving out of state, so I can't imagine that any laws will screw up your plans.

You just need to deal with the Ass.

Ellen said...

If you're completely within the law to move without the Court's permission, the lawyer can let your Olivia's father know. He does not have the right to be abusive, nor should he coerce Olivia.

Is Olivia's father capable of handling the diabetes 24/7/365? Does he really want to do it, or would it be just to control and make you feel badly?


Major Bedhead said...

I can move within the state without the court's permission, ellen. I like the idea of the lawyer letting him know. It appeals to the big, chickeny wuss inside me. And no, he's not capable of handing the diabetes care the way I want it handled. He thinks checking 4x a day is sufficient and that Slim Jims and Rice Krispie squares are a decent breakfast. :roll eyes:

Shannon - I'll talk to Olivia. Her self-confidence is not great, though, so this will be tough for her. She told me the other day that she wanted to talk to a counsellor.

Shannon said...

Julia that's great that she said she wants to talk to a counselor!!

Go for it. It'll be the best thing for her especially with the turmoil you guys have been through. It might also help her to deflect her dad's manipulative behavior.

I wish I could take away some of the stress you're going through right now.

Erica said...

I think that would be wonderful for Olivia to talk to a counselor.

My parents were divorced and it can be really hard to understand when parents try to explain the other parent's behavior - you aren't quite sure what to believe about what. I think hearing it (the reason for the Ass's bullying) from an objective person (counselor) might be more palatable and less confusing for her.

As for the Ass - I agree with ellen, if the lawyer can handle that, let him. I don't think you are being a wuss. No one likes to be bullied.

Major Bedhead said...

I talked to the lawyer. She said to tell him myself and if he says anything, to call her and she'll deal with it then. *sigh* Guess I'll wait until Sunday so Olivia doesn't have to spend the next four days getting berated.

Jess said...

Julia - FABULOUS NEWS ABOUT THE HOUSE! Congratulations!

I think you've had some terrific bang-on suggestions for Olivia - having a talk with her and reiterating flat out that you love her and you will fight to keep her (if that's what she wants, not in a bullying way!) might help her realize that Mom will stand up to anything Dad dishes out and make her feel more like she has an ally and someone to 'share' the emotions her Dad pushes on her.