Thursday, February 23, 2006

I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Yesterday, O's stepmonster was supposed to pick her up at 2:30. O called at 2:15 to say she and TCBIM were running about 10 minutes late. SM started yelling and swearing at her. Her father (P) called me and bitched at me about them not being at the house at 2:30. O called again, at 2:40, and said she'd be there in 2 minutes. SM said too bad, she'd already left, and yelled and swore at her some more.

When O got home, she called her dad and told him she didn't want to go over at all because of the way SM talked to her. Her dad tried to convince her, but she stuck to her guns and said no. Her SM called her again and told her that O couldn't come over until she changed her attitude and stopped spouting what I was telling her to say. O replied that she wasn't, she was saying what she wanted to say and that she was tired of being yelled at all the time. SM hung up on her.

Her dad called several times last night to try to convince her to come over, in spite of what SM said. O doesn't want to go at all, but we talked about it and I suggested she tell her dad she'll go, but if SM starts in on her, she will ask to go home.

I don't really know what else to do. I have called my lawyer and explained the situation. She is writing a letter to P about our move, since he won't speak reasonably to me about it and the lawyer thought it would sound better coming from her. I explained what happened yesterday, but I don't know that there's much that the lawyer can do about it. If O refuses to go with her dad, he will make her life miserable. He will probably accuse me of not letting her see me and will probably drag the police into this, since his wife works for the city police department and has a brother on the force.

I'm just so sick of it all. I'm not trying to keep O from him - she's decided all on her own that she's tired of this. She does want to see her dad, but she doesn't want to be yelled at by the SM. And of course, the SM only does this yelling when P isn't around. So P doesn't believe O about that, either. He refuses to believe that O is telling him the truth about how she feels - he thinks I'm putting her up to it. He's threatened to try to get custody of her. He's told O that he "could take M (TCBIM) in a fight" and that he screams at me on the phone because he knows it scares me.

O talked to him again today to say she didn't want to come over until Friday evening. He told her he wanted her to call him back when she "stopped being a snotty little bitch" about it. She told me she's not calling him.

I've decided to just let the lawyer handle it. It's ridiculous. O shouldn't have to be subjected to all this stress and nor should I.

I'm so unbelievably frustrated and upset by all of this, and O is, too. I am very proud of her for standing up for herself, though. She never would have done that before. I hope this continues. And I hope P doesn't take off with her, or pull some stunt this weekend by not bringing her back to me. That's my biggest fear.

Amazingly, in spite of all this crap, her blood sugars have been pretty level.

***NB: I called our work's employee mental health program to get a counsellor for O, since I'm not having any luck doing it on my own. The woman asked me if O was afraid that she would get hit while she was there and I said I didn't think so, but I just asked O now and she said yes, she was afraid of being hit. God. I'm just sick about this. I informed the lawyer. I just don't know what else to do. I just want to go into a room and cry.


Tekakwitha said...

Hang in there Julia. You sound like a strong, supportive, rational person (as does your daughter). You'll both get through this.


Anonymous said...

Oh, man. I'm not married, have never been married and don't have kids, so anything I say feels somehow inadequate. But please know that I'm thinking of you and all the stress you have to handle right now. Olivia sounds very strong and I'm sure you'll both make it through.

Kerri. said...

Your strength is unfathomable. I don't doubt that you and your daughter will persevere.

I'm here if you need me.


Shannon said...

God damn "adults" why can't they just grow the hell up.

Sweet Olivia doesn't need their shit and neither do you.

I'm so proud of her for speaking up for herself. That was the part I focused on the most.

Apparently ex-ass and his asswife will never ever change.

I wouldn't worry about the cops. They can't do a thing if you move. They can only enforce whatever a court order says, and since your ex-ass doesn't have a court order saying you can't move to a different town, he's shit out of luck.

After all is settled with your move and TCBIM getting another job, you might want to consider fighting for sole custody. It doesn't mean that Olivia can't see him (unless he's the one that refuses).

I just want this to be settled for you. You've been through enough.

Shannon said...

Strike what I said about fighting for custody.

Is there a chance that when tempers cool, you and ex-ass can talk rationally? Or is he so crazy that he'll break any sort of olive branch to bits?

Butter him up a bit. Maybe that will help him see things your way. As much as you may have to swallow, it might just work in Olivia's favor.

I've been able to diffuse guys with bad tempers by "sympathizing" with their point of view (I basically patronized them). They softened up every time and was more willing to see things my way.

Major Bedhead said...

Shannon - I've tried that. I tried it for the five years I was married to him and I've been trying for the eight we've been apart. I did it while Olivia wasn't willing to say anything to him, when she still thought he walked on water. But no, he won't be reasonable. He's a manipulative bully and the only way to counter that is by being firm. And the only way I can be firm and still maintain my sanity is to have my lawyer handle it.

The only way I'd fight for sole custody would be if Olivia came to me and said she didn't want to ever see him again. I don't think she wants to do that. I don't want her to do that, not unless she's absolutely sure.

She and I talked earlier and she said she only wants to see him every other weekend from now on. She doesn't want to go over vacation. She is amazing me with her strength. I must have told her 100 times that I'm so proud of her for the way she's handling this. I went thru the same things when my parents divorced and I was never able to confront my dad. I'm so impressed that she has done so.

Keri - thank you. I don't feel very strong right now. I feel like a wet dishrag.

Nicole P said...

You've kept a cool head, Julia, that takes major strength.

I am also here if you need a friendly ear. Or keyboard, as it would be.


Shannon said...

You're awesome, you're not a wet dishrag even if that's how you feel.

Olivia is awesome too. She impresses me soooo much.

Hang in there. I just hate seeing you go through this crap. Sorry if I seem steamed about it.

Major Bedhead said...

Oh, I'm totally steamed, too, Shannon. I'm just trying not to stomp and swear and scream like a lunatic.

Penny Ratzlaff said...

I'm very proud of Olivia for standing up for what she knows is right. She knows no one should treat her that way (especially her dad). Hmmmm, she must of had some good parenting on at least one side.

Ellen said...

How about offering Olivia a small tape recorder. She can say to the person yelling, "I'm letting you know I'm recording our conversation." This may just shut them up and stop them from screaming at her. She should make sure that her voice saying "I'm recording this conversation" is also recorded :-).

I'm not sure why you have given up your power and continue to allow the ex to bully you. I would let him know things are different now and you will not tolerate it. Further, you can let him know you're recording the conversation - and can use it in Court.

Olivia certainly needs an objective ear/ counselor - hope you find one who is empowering and empathetic and gives her the tools to continue to hold on to her self-esteem in the face of adversity.

BabelBabe said...

don't know what to say, just that i think you're handling it well, and my thoughts are with you and O.

Erica said...

Oh man that's so tough - for you and Olivia. It's so unfair for her dad and SM to trap her in the middle and basically be so abusive towards her. Yes abusive - yelling and cursing someone out is abusive. Sounds like SM is the one that needs to change her attitude.

I hope that you are able to find a counselor for her soon. I'm astounded by the maturity she has in dealing with everything.

Day by day, right? It's all we can do sometimes.

Juliabohemian said...

If you really think your child is in danger when she goes to the SM's house then you definitely should intervene. However, be VERY careful about whatever you do because once you involve social services it's FOREVER.

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY RIGHT. Get a good-quality tape recorder and plug it in right near your phone. I would not even inform the SM I was taping the conversation, I would just let her rip! You can also go to one of those spy stores and get teeny recording devices O can wear on her person. So much for believeability. No way should a diabetic kid be put through this stress. Very bad for their blood sugars. I would call SM and ex-hubby into lawyer's office and play back assortment of tapes in lawyer's presence. Then I would demand they go to counseling with O. if they want to see her.

Ellen said...

The purpose of the tape recorder, in my opinion, is two fold.

The first is primarily to stop them from berating Olivia - if the knowledge that they are being recorded can stop the abusive behavior, Olivia wins. I see this as empowering Olivia. She has now controlled the situation that was otherwise out of control and beyond her control.

Secondarily, if it's to be admissible in Court anywhere, the person being recorded has to be informed that the recording is taking place.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am speechless.

I am also in awe of your strength.

You're a great mom. I hope you know that's the highest compliment in my arsenal!

Rachel Segall said...

wow, I can't believe that. I'm sorry this is happening to you and your daughter. We're all here with open ears.

Anonymous said...

HOrrible. I'm so sorry. (Found you via artificially sweetened.)

What is it with ex-husbands? Why do so many of them turn into raging abusive assholes?

I have an online friend who left with her baby girl when she was three months old--I'm not clear on all the reasons she had to skedaddle but from what I gather it was a very ugly situation brought on because she wouldn't abort her--and she had to leave her older two kids behind and he hasn't let her see them since. It's been almost three years. She has visitation orders, he won't abide by them, she's too broke to get them enforced--it's awful.

... Not the most uplifting bit for an introduction, sorry about that.

Anyway. Nice to 'meet' you.