They met her

May 3, 2011


My kids met the girl. The anticipation was worse than the actual event itself. They came home and Lila said she had fun and she was nice, and hasn’t brought her up since. Glad it’s over-with. For me, I am still having a hard time with this, and I felt the need to explain to Scott why. I sent him the letter below a few days before the kids met the girl (still trying to think of a good nickname for her… Maybe slampig?):

Scott,

I am sorry for the barrage of angry texts earlier today. I want to try and explain where it is coming from because I don’t think you have any comprehension of how I feel. I am not sure why I am writing this note because I don’t believe you care how I feel or care what impact the things you do have on my life… but we have children together and I guess this is my effort to see if in some way I can get through to you.

First of all – I don’t really hate this girl… I don’t even know her. However, I do know that I think it’s a little red-flaggy for someone who is 28yo to uproot their life for someone who was in the middle of a divorce, lives in another state, is significantly older and has two kids and an ex-wife to deal with. You’re bringing her into my life, my town, where my friends live and have been a great source of compassion and support in the last year, my safe place… into the house that I lived in, where I conceived Josie, with art hanging on the walls that was in my house first, and chit chatting with people in the neighborhood who were my friends first. She’s probably also hanging out with you and Matthew, who was also my friend first. She has my ex husband, must she have every other thing that matters to me?

It makes me wonder if she thinks of these things or not. If she doesn’t, then she isn’t a very thoughtful, compassionate or sensitive person. If she does think of these things, than maybe she is at least a sensitive and kind person – just blinded by naive love and doing what she thinks is best for her and for your relationship. I actually do hope for my kids’ sake, it’s the latter… I hope my kids end up with stepparents they like. As you and I both know, it’s hard for kids if they don’t like the parent’s significant other. Your step-father, your step-mother – nit very nice people, and that sucked for you. My step-mother… my mom’s boyfriends… Not so great either…. that sucked for me (although fortunately I never had to live in a house with my parents boyfriends/girlfriends). I also hope for my kids’ sake you make better decisions than your own father did in terms of a revolving door of girlfriends that took his attention off of you.

My anger is coming from a place of fear – can you comprehend how hard it is for me to accept the fact that a person who I’ve never met could have an impact on my children’s lives? My children are young and impressionable, and it makes me physically nauseous to imagine another woman playing mommy to my kids when I don’t know her and I have no idea what kind of person she is or what her background is. She could be mean and abusive to children. She could be a person with no filters who says inappropriate things around my children. She could set a bad example for my girls or have bad values or morals. She could also be really awesome… I just don’t know. I don’t know her. Once again for my children’s sake, I hope she is nice and kind, and semi-normal. The point is, it’s very scary to me, especially with how young and impressionable my children are.

I do know that she could never come close to comprehending my fear, because she is not a mother. Only a mother can understand the innate and human instinct one has to protect their children.

My anger also comes from a place of having no control. When you told me you were having an affair with Body Shots, and all the things that followed… It was a hit & run. I was kicked to the ground and beaten the shit out of emotionally and down for the 10 count. Every step that we have had to take over the past year to get where we are has been because of your decisions and your choices. Not mine. Now you are doing something that impacts the most important thing in the world to me… my children, and once again I have no control and no say. This is where my anger stems from.

I am also wondering if you have given a lot of thought to your decision to introduce our children to this girl, or if you are just being impulsive which you have been known to be in the past. Not only because this affects me, but because it also affects our children. Either way, from my perspective… it’s hurtful, upsetting and opens all my old wounds that I felt like were just beginning to heal.

I know that I have no say in how and when you choose to integrate this girl into my kids life… but I am asking you to think about the things I have said, and if you can find any way to put yourself in my shoes a little bit, then maybe you can at least try to be sensitive to how this impacts me and my children and understand why I feel the way I do.

I am sure in time this will get easier, but right now I am just asking for some sensitivity form you and your girlfriend. Ultimately, if we all get along… it is better for my kids. And you know that at the end of the day, no matter how angry and hurt and disgusted I am, I really want to do what is best for them.

–Elle

Scott replied in a satisfactory manner which at least validated my feelings. He said he would try to be more sensitive to how things impact me and to do his best to stay out of my way in town. We shall see.

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A Little Karma

September 20, 2010


On mornings after a night that Lila and Josie sleep at Scotts bachelor pad, he usually drops Josie at daycare, and then brings Lila to the house so she can walk to school with the little boy next door (her walking buddy).

So, when Scott dropped off Lila today, I open the door and she is wearing a new black t-shirt with a huge portrait and big sparkly letters of Justin Bieber, that she made Scott buy her.  I actually laughed out loud. Scott looked at me, he was actually blushing, and said “It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.” (In my head I said… “Harder than leaving your wife and kids? Oh right, that wasn’t hard for you.”)

Anyway – for some reason this struck me as so ridiculous and hilarious, that for a moment, I didn’t feel angry at all. I looked at this 44 year old, mostly grey haired and thinning, overweight guy, who likes whiskey, tattoos, junkies, trannies and strippers. This is the guy who used to be my husband.  He’s standing there, with his Dabney Coleman tattoo, blushing because he was talked into buying a Justin Bieber shirt for his bubbly and beautiful daughter. This certainly doesn’t go well with his “I am a writer… I love Bukowski and Poe and all things dark and tragic” persona that he has going on his blog and in his little fantasy world in NOLA. This was a little bit of karma, and it pleased me.

I of course briefly recalled one of the emails I had seen between he and Body Shots.  The email when he wrote to her telling her he took Lila to a Tim Burton exhibit in the city, and telling the 24yo stripper that Lila has a dark sense of humor.  That’s ridiculous.  Lila is a cheerleader.  She likes Justin Bieber and hums in the shower.  The work poop cracks her up. She is bright and sunny and optimistic.  Why Scott would tell the story that Lila is dark to Body Shots is beyond me.

Ultimately though, this was a small bit of Karma somehow. It made me feel hopeful. I felt like it was a good sign.


A few things I need to get off my chest in the form of Texts I’m Not Sending (someone please remind me why I shouldn’t send these):

9/9: 9:50pm Nice that on the kids first day of school, you “liked” your stripper friends kids’ photo, but didn’t even see your own kids’ photos. Also, how nice that my mom, and my dad called to wish Lila well on her first day of school, but that night when you called her, she had to tell YOU that it was her first day you fucking loser.

9/9: 9:47pm Whenever I go to these family events, and all the other little girls are running up to their daddy’s and giving them a hug, and my girls are just standing there with no daddy to hug, I want to kill you because my heart aches for them so much. You are repulsive.

9/9: 9:45pm Every time I think about the fact that I reproduced with you I fell slightly nauseous, and full of regret. I regret every moment of every day I was with you. You are the most disappointing man in the world.

Homework

May 23, 2010


The last time we had a meeting with the Divorce Coach, she said we should spend some time thinking about what we like or appreciate about the other person as a parent.  We have another follow-up meeting with her tomorrow… so I am trying to come up with some things. I am at a bit of a loss… here’s what I have so far:

– He’s a good provider
– He gave my girls nice eyes (they both have his blue eyes)
– He’s always been supportive of me staying home with the kids
– He got up with the kids at night (when they were babies… although Josie still is a baby – and still wakes up), so I could get some rest (he functioned better on lack of sleep than I did)… but this one is moot.. because he doesn’t do this anymore because he doesn’t live here. So now I’m on my own all the time with this one.
– He would get up with the kids in the morning and get them started so I could shower.  I particularly used to appreciate this because Josie is an early riser – 5:30am, pretty much every day.  Also moot at this point.

I can’t think of anything else.  To my friends out there who knew me before I hated Scott… is there anything I ever said I liked or appreciated about him as a Dad that you can think of, other than what I stated above?

On A Positive Note

April 21, 2010


We had a very productive meeting with the divorce coach.  She was really good. She was fair and direct.  She made us both listen. She validated my anger and helped me express it productively. For most of the meeting we discussed our “parenting plan”.  How often he would see the kids, how it was going, how are the kids taking it, etc… This part of our meeting was more or less peaceful, and Scott and I agreed on most things.  She helped us come to a compromise about the few things we didn’t necessarily agree on.

She commended me for keeping it together and not bad-mouthing Scott to them, and for inviting him to school functions (not with me – but letting him know they are happening). She told me it is okay to be truthful with my kids about my anger with Scott, as long as I explain that it has nothing to do with them, I don’t say anything nasty about him, and I reassure them of his love.  This is exactly what I have been doing, so I feel good that I have handled things well with my kids.  They are happy and well-adjusted children, and I want to keep it that way if I can.

The second part of the meeting, I was able to get some of the things I found while snooping off my chest. I stayed calm (thank you xanax) and managed to confront him and keep my cool. I did not yell, or call him any names (although ass hole might have slipped out at least once).  I just reviewed some of the things I uncovered, and asked him why he would do this to me?  How did he justify this behavior?  Would he do it again?  What have I done to deserve this? How could he call Body Shots a good role model for our daughter?!  How could he lie to me and not think twice?  How could he spend SO much money on her, of OUR money? How could he do that?  Is he gay? What’s up with the male hookers?

It felt SOOO good to say these things out loud, I actually feel lighter.  My shoulders are a little lower.  My brow is a little less furrowed.  My stomach is a little less knotty.  My posture is a little taller.

He was pretty shocked at some of the things I found and wanted to know how I found them. I told him he left his work email open once… which is the truth. He claims he just wanted to “talk” to the male hookers as “research” for his writing. I don’t believe that for a second – and his response almost made me laugh, but it was amusing to watch him squirm a bit.

He said he doesn’t justify his behavior, and his jaw was shaking, and he actually almost cried and gave me the first heartfelt apology I have heard yet. I don’t forgive him, but it was good to at least get a sense that he has some regret that he has hurt me, which up until know, I wasn’t getting.  He said he wishes to god he had been brave enough to tell me he was unhappy before it got to the point where he felt compelled to sabotage our marriage by having an affair to get out.

He said that the reasons he was unhappy were because he felt like we were leading separate lives, and that I wasn’t interested in his work and his extracurricular interests. He felt like we were growing apart. In my opinion… these are all things that we could have worked on had he given me the chance…. but he never did, and it’s too late now. He never mentioned these things were bothering him until AFTER he wanted to leave the marriage. Idiot.

He asked me – was I really happy? I said I felt that we didn’t spend enough time together – and that was my biggest complaint. I felt that it was just a hard time in our marriage as his job is very demanding, and so are young children. But I was 100% committed to our relationship… leaving was NOT on my mind.  I imagined it would get better over time as the kids got older and hoped that in time, he could bank a few big cases, and retire young. I thought he was the person I wanted to grow old with. I guess he doesn’t want to grow old with me though – being that he;’d rather spend his time with young strippers….

He also told me it’s over with this girl. She moved to another city. He still talks to her – but they are just “friends”. He claims they never had sex – they just dated. I don’t believe him.

All in all. It was a very productive meeting, and I’m feeling pretty good right now. There was more… I can add things as I think of them.  Would love to hear feedback from you all!! xoxoxo

Do You Like Daddy?

April 20, 2010


Lila asked me tonight, “Mommy, do you like Daddy?”

I said, “I like him as you father.”

I didn’t know what else to say, and even that is a lie. Do you think that was a good enough answer? I wonder if she is asking him tough questions too.

My therapist says it’s imperative not to bad mouth him to my children, which I have been very conscious not to do. But am I supposed to tell her that I still like and care about him? I dont have to talk him up, do I? Sometimes I have to bite my tongue until it bleeds.

This is so hard…. My beautiful girls love that son-of-a-bitch, and he is not good enough for them. I know he is going to abandon them one day. How can I protect them from that?


Lila said to me tonight, “Mommy, I really want you to come with me to Daddy’s tomorrow. I want to show you my room, my bed, my dresser, and my new toys. Can you come mommy?”

I said, “I don’t know Lila. Mommy and daddy are divorcing, and we have a lot of things to work out between us, and I just don’t feel comfortable going over there.”

“Why mommy, I really want you to. Please!”

This is followed by a conversation we had last Sunday. After he brought the girls home from having dinner with them, she started crying and said, “Why doesn’t my Daddy want to live with me? Why doesn’t he want to be with me? Can’t you convince him to come home?” I reassured her that mommy and daddy both love her, and that will never change, and that this is not her fault. But how can she really believe that when the truth is, he obviously doesn’t value his children enough.

He never even gave our marriage a chance to recover from this. He cheated, decided he was unhappy, and moved out. Does that sound like a person who cares about his children, or more about himself?

This is breaking my heart. How can he have left us, and have made this decision so lightly?