It has just dawned on me that as of yesterday, it’s been six months since my ex was granted what was supposed to be temporary custody, and he took our kids and moved out. Six months of seeing them only every other weekend, and six months of nightly phone calls.
It hurts even typing that out.
When the order was originally put in place, my then-lawyer assured me that this was only until we got my hospital records, and then everything would go back to how it was. 3 weeks of back and forth with the hospital to get my records, only to be told they didn’t use the specific wording he thought we needed to be done with this in one go. Nothing wrong with what was said, but he wanted specific phrases before he would even try to get this in front of a judge. Fuck me.
“Go get a psych evaluation done” he tells me, so off I go to be questioned and analyzed. The result? Same thing we knew all along- I was under extreme stress from my divorce, and made an impulsive decision that the psychiatrist does not feel I will repeat.
Great! Let’s take this back to court!
“Too close” he tells me, “Wait until the divorce hearing in a couple of weeks. This will all be over then.”
Frustration, anger, confusion. I just want my kids back home.
Then the day before court, he takes himself off my case. A solid year of telling me ‘do not go back to work’, a year of me pushing him to get the Status Quo order enforced (and him not doing it), and he drops me because I can’t pay him. There is some kind of serious irony there I think.
The day he is notified I have no lawyer, the ex files to have me kicked out of our house, and a hearing date is set for that. Job-hunting proves unsuccessful, and it very quickly becomes obvious a new lawyer is out of the question and I am going to have to defend myself.
Which I did, successfully.
Months of emails from the ex telling me that I was a shitty mother, calling me an unfit parent, and threatening to not let me see the kids for whatever reason he felt like that day had taken their toll on my confidence, but it was that small victory that made me realize that I wasn’t as helpless as I felt in all this.
A couple of weeks ago, with the help and support of Paul, I went to the courthouse and filed two motions with the court. One asking the temporary custody order be dissolved, the other asking the ex be held in contempt for his refusal to follow the Status Quo order that had been put in place a year before.
A solid year I have been locked out of the bank accounts, had no access to the credit cards, and since he moved out of the house, have been given only money for gas, $20 a week in personal spending, and $30 a week for groceries, which has to cover all meals, cleaning supplies and personal items like razors and tampons. Let’s not forget the extra meals for 3 kids and a supervisor 2 days every other week as well, which also has to come out of my $30 a week. No extra money for that.
For all my previous lawyer’s hemming and hawing and talking about how he was ‘trying to get a court date’ for months, within two weeks I heard back from the court with a date.
On October 2nd we go back to court, specifically for the purpose of dealing with these two issues. With any luck at all, my kids will be back with me when it’s over.
The last bit of advice my previous lawyer gave me when I left his office was not to do this on my own, under any circumstances. The person who represents himself has a fool for a client.
Maybe I’m wrong, but all things considered I have a lot more faith in my therapist, who says I’ve come a long way in learning to take control and stand up for myself.
This clearly isn’t going to change unless I take action, and if looking foolish is the worst that can happen I’ll gladly take that risk to have my kids back with me where they belong.
I swear the divorce drama never ends. The minute I think things will calm down, and he’s finally acting like a human being again, the ex throws me a curve ball.
This past weekend was supposed to be my weekend with the kids. Still under supervised visitation, my friend Ashley came and spent the day with us Saturday. Ashley has an adorable 2 year old daughter named Alexis that Damian took quite a liking to, and a good time was had by all. I hadn’t been able to get someone for Sunday, so Ashley, bless this woman, volunteered to spend the day with us Sunday as well. (Have I mentioned I have amazingly wonderful friends? I do, and they have seriously been awesome through all of this.)
Sunday morning I am getting ready for Ashley to get here, and during this am back and forth over email with the ex about my pet rats. He freaked out when I got them, threatening to deny my visitation with the kids, because he seems to think domestic rats who have spent their entire lives indoor in a cage are the same danger to people as wild rats. Umm, yeah, that’s why they sell them in pet stores, because they are so dangerous, right? Whatever dude. Anyhow, we are back and forth over it, and he is once again telling me he will refuse to let me have the kids if the rat cage is in any room the kids have access to. (He insists the rats need to be taken to a vet and certified disease-free, but refuses to pay for said unnecessary vet visits. Maybe I would have the $300 to do that if he’d pony up the $700 in car repairs he owes me among other things…) Total control issue, and I just wasn’t in the mood for his games.
It was at the end of this back and forth email exchange I looked up and realized it was getting close to 8am and Ashley hadn’t gotten there yet. Damnit! I went to get my phone out of the bedroom and saw she had texted me saying she’d picked up her daughter from her mom’s and the poor thing was sick, apparently puking everywhere. She wouldn’t be able to make it.
I was pretty upset at not being able to see my own kids, but hers was sick, and I understood. I called and explained to the kids what was going on.
Not content to accept the fact that this was out of my control, the ex once again he had to try to find SOME way to make me look bad. After all, I suggested he bring the kids over himself so I could see them and that was shot down. But if he let everyone know that, there’s the slightest chance he might look like an asshole for not putting the kids first.
So what does he do?
He actually came over to the house, by himself, and after seeing a bunch of paper cups/plates/napkins in the corner of the kitchen, declares that I am having people over, and that’s why I gave up seeing the kids that day. (And I know damn well he went back and told his family this.) Oh, and apparently took pictures of the stuff, for ‘proof’.
Little problem with this theory? The paper products had been in that same corner of the kitchen since August 21st. How do I know the date? I had them out for a get-together I had with friends here that night.
A get-together where, naturally, there were pictures taken.
(Click on the picture to see the full-sized version.)
It wouldn’t be so bad if he hadn’t been to the house probably 4 times since then, and was well aware the stuff has been sitting there the whole time. No, he didn’t want to look bad, so why let a little thing like the truth stop him? Too bad I had this and other dated pictures of the stuff sitting in the corner after that to show just how much of a liar he is.
That would have been funny enough on it’s own. The best part is when fate decided to step in.
That stomach bug that Alexis had that the ex is trying to claim I made up?
Damian went home from school sick with it today.
Guess I wasn’t making it up after all huh?
I wrote last week about the court stuff, how my ex tried to get me kicked out of the house and failed. If you haven’t read it, do, because it’s important.
Losing in that hearing put him in a mood. A VERY bad mood. The kind of “Oh yeah? I’ll show you!” mood that leads him to do stupid things like continue to sue me for the herpes he’s got but I don’t have. This time was no exception.
When shit hit the fan last year, I immediately moved out of the master bedroom. When he was still living here, he slept in that room, and I took to the couch in what used to be the playroom, but is now just my room. After he moved out, I stayed in here instead of taking over the master bedroom. Why? I think mostly because I have a court order saying he is not allowed in my room under any circumstances, and I could see moving into that room and him declaring that that’s not what the court said was safe and all my shit disappearing. Once this hearing was over I put a key lock on my bedroom door and settled in, as our next hearing date isn’t until October.
This isn’t to say the master bedroom sits unused. While he moved most of his stuff out with him, there are still things belonging to both of us in there. We kept most of our books on a large bookshelf in that room, there is a safe in the closet where we keep important papers, all the manuals to the household electronics are in the closet, etc etc.
And then there’s the tub.
One of the few things I love and will miss about this house is the large jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. While I generally stayed out of ‘his’ room after he left, I did start using the tub again. Taking a long bath in a jacuzzi tub is just one of those small pleasures I get anymore, and I enjoyed it.
I’m sure you see where this is going.
A few days ago I went to get a cookbook off of the bookshelf where we keep them in the master bedroom, only to find a surprise- he’d put a lock on the master bedroom door. The kind of lock that requires a key.
I immediately shot him an email telling him he had no legal right to lock me out of a room in our house that he no longer lives in and that I expect either the lock to be removed, or a copy of the key handed over. I also said I needed a key to the shed, which he has also kept me locked out of for months now. (Why? I have no idea.) His reply:
I will move any of your books from my bedroom. After that you would
have no reason to be in that room since it contains my personal effects, not
yours. You moved yours out over a year ago. The house is still my house
also. If you force entry into that room it will be brought up in court. You
have your room with your personal things with a lock on them and I am fine
with that. I do not trust you not to damage, steal or destroy my belongings
and therefore do not want you with access to them. It is still my house and
I am not removing all of my belongings and I have a reasonable right to
privacy for them.
As far as the shed goes, just tell me what basic tools you need
access to and I will have some brought into the house. If you feel you are
capable of needing access to all of them then you are saying you are capable
of maintaining the entire house and you can then do any and all repairs as
well as maintain the yard.
So just to recap, immediately after losing the case to get me kicked out of the house, and FOUR MONTHS after he moves out, and nowhere in that time is his bedroom door locked and nothing has disappeared, he is suddenly concerned I am going to barge in and steal what little crap he has left here.
Hey, I never claimed to understand his logic.
I emailed him back and told him I still have every right to use that tub, and that we still have things belonging to both of us in that bedroom, including a safe with legal documents and some other household items, and he has until Sunday to either remove the lock or hand over a key. His response was to come over, pull some cookbooks off the shelf, and leave them on the kitchen counter, locking the door again behind him.
In short, a great big “fuck you”.
I’m curious how teh interwebs would handle this one.