I Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Part 2

Since the truck has been out of commission, That means the kids have not been up to see Stripe Sr. She is three and a half hours north of us. Of course, even before the car trouble Stripe had said they had been to her mom’s quite enough lately. Funny how Red gets a job and suddenly they don’t need to go visit Stripe Sr. so much. Oh could that possibly be because the funds have been cut off?  Just a theory. In all of this, the kids have been asking about Senior.  They are missing her and we have noticed. Papa came to me the other morning and asked about graduation. He thought maybe it would be a good time to try getting everyone together for the sake of the kids. My immediate response was less than thrilled but hesitantly agreed, of course thinking of the kids. As the day progressed I thought more and more about it and I became a little anxious and then had to think about why I was getting anxious.

Red and I have a complicated past as we had a rocky marriage, especially after the arrival of the kids. Between his secrets, my suspicions of his lies and cheating, the spotty employment history and stress, I have many many issues with him. Not even to begin bringing up his narcissism, lack of apology or even taking responsibility for his actions, emotional abuse and just making me feel insane most of the time. All of that combined means I need to stay away from him. I keep our communication as bare as possible and avoid in-person and phone interaction. Texting is the best so that if issues come up,  I have a chance to keep my calm and respond appropriately versus getting emotional and not being able to hold my tongue,  which just leads to fights. Like I said, complicated.

Over dinner, my mom and Papa were discussing it again and I said I wasn’t too happy about it but I’m sure I can make it through. My mom and Papa will be here and that makes me feel better. Papa said something to the effect that, oh you’re just not ready but you’ll be fine. Yes agreed…but so much more was dismissed, I felt, and like I was overreacting. Later that night, Papa asked what was wrong and I told Him when Him and Stripe are on decent terms, He seems to forget just how much more complicated my past with Red is than theirs. They just weren’t compatible. Yes, there was some hurt and arguing but they seem to be in a decent place now whereas I can’t trust Red for anything and just about any issue that shouldn’t be an issue turns into an issue. He either argues and fights me or simply doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do and then turns it around on me. Every little thing is a battle with him which is why I avoid as much contact with him as possible. I explained that being out and having to share the times or moments that involve the kids with him is fine,  I can do that. I’m fine enough to be on neutral ground around him. But inviting him into my home is another story entirely. This is my home, my safe place. I share my life and my kids with my Husband here. Having Red come into my home feels invasive. I don’t like it. I don’t want him in my safe place. But it’s too late. The invited have been sent and the RSVPs received.  They are coming.  HE is coming. Papa said He was sorry for not giving me enough time to process this and just going with it. He didn’t like hearing I felt dismissed but in the end, I was able to talk to Him and that’s important. For me, for Him and especially our marriage. Communication is so very important. I said I’m not mad, I said I will be fine. Not jumping for joy but fine. But I also made it clear that in the future, I don’t want to share my holidays or very many parties with Red.  I don’t want my memories to be of him there and me having to calm my anxiety about him being there. I want to be happy and carefree and enjoy my time with my family. I can’t do that with Red there.  I couldn’t even do it when we were married because I was always on edge, worried about what I said, what I did or how I was going to be verbally or emotionaly punished later for not giving him enough attention or catering to his needs. 

I’ve had enough time to talk myself down. Papa has repeatedly told me just stick by Him or my mom and avoid being near Red. I know….it’ll be ok….it’ll be ok….it’ll be ok….

I Can’t Make This Stuff Up – Part 1

Wow….it’s been forever! A lot to catch up on.

Let’s start with the family stuff. We are going on week 7 of having the kids. Normally our schedule is one week on, one off.  Red got a job (FUCKING FINALLY) that required him to be out of state for training.  He agreed to letting me have the blondies that week while Stripe kept the brownies. Week 1 was our week, week 2 was blondies and then week 3 ours again….then the car trouble hit. Red was home for 2 days and sent back out for training, supposedly. This was the week before Mother’s day. Her car barely started up that Monday. She let Papa know what was going on and we decided to go ahead and take the kids the next day to make sure they would get back and forth to school. We heard through the kids that there wasn’t much food in their house anyway so we were happy they were with us. The week goes by and Papa checks to see if she is still planning on having the brownies for Mother’s day, He also asked about the food situation. Stripe confessed she did want the kids but there wasn’t much to eat. This entire time, Red is out of town and she’s stuck with a truck that doesn’t work and a car she cannot drive because it’s a manual. Papa does the right thing and buys her groceries for the weekend so that she can spend her mother’s day with all 3 of her kids. In the meantime, her mom comes down and buys her a battery (I forgot to throw in there that they couldn’t afford one this whole time, that his check got messed up….as if I hadn’t heard that 300 times when Red and I were together) because that’s what they’re figuring is wrong with it. Neither of them can get the old one out to test the new one. Next day Papa goes over to see….He gets the new battery in and still nothing. Truck doesn’t start. It’s not the battery.

That week passes and we once again have the kids, because, you know…their truck. After 4 weeks of training in North Carolina, Red finally comes home. Stripe calls my parents (MY PARENTS) to pick his sorry ass up at the airport (we’re all guessing they’re so broke at this point they can’t afford an Uber from the airport). This was the second call to my parents. The first being Mother’s day weekend, Red had the brass balls to call my parents asking if they could take Stripe to get a battery for the truck. Mom and I both knew that was code for my parents footing the bill. I was slightly livid at that one. Like I said…brass balls that one has. So he’s back….and still no truck. Next week is the last week of school and Red told me we might as well figure on keeping the kids through Thursday because they have to get the truck towed into a shop and figure out how to fix it. Stripe admitted to Papa that she intends on asking her mom to help fix the truck, the same woman who has been supporting them since last November but swears she’s done doing that. Wait a minute….didn’t Red mention to my parents on that glorious ride from the airport that he’s making $31/hour? Sure…and he’s also selling this lovely bridge in London. :sigh:

This entire time we have been utterly flabbergasted by how neither of them have seemed bothered by not having 5 of their kids around for so many weeks but just a weekend thrown in on ocassion. Hardly a mention of how much they miss them or even questioning whether we can shuttle them back and forth on their weeks. They just too willingly gave up their kids for nearly the past 2 months. I think she’s been looking at this as a vacation.  Yes she still has a 16-month old at home but that’s still 5 less kids to deal with! Not to mention that we have had to make the arrangements to drop the kids off to them on weekends and no push back about taking them back on Memorial day when there was no school.  For two people who swear these kids are their life,  it’s been eerily quiet and uncontested. 

Whatever the case is, only time will tell. It’ll be interesting to see if her mom stands by her word or gives in to fix their truck.

Again

Another debate with the ex. After 5 grueling, frustrating months, I finally got the insurance information and found a dentist. My oldest has 4 cavities. Yuck! We made appointments to get them filled. 

In the midst of this, Red is also training for a new job….which means new insurance. Again. The battle to get insurance information starts all over again. Ugh. 

Red’s issue? He doesn’t want our daughter to have metal fillings.  He thinks they look terrible. We got into an argument about it. He would rather wait another 2-3 months to get them filled once his new insurance kicks in than her have metal fillings. Under normal circumstances with a normal ex-husband, I might have been OK with this.  It’s a simple enough request. But with Red, I have absolutely ZERO faith that he will actually get it done.  Or that he will get me the new insurance in a timely manner. I cannot even begin to describe how infuriatingly frustrating this man is. And if I say anything like that, he immediately flips it around and says that’s what I’m doing. 

In the end, I seriously wonder if this actually has anything to do with his concern for our daughter or if it’s simply because she is a reflection on him and metal fillings mean she’s less than perfect therefore visible fillings are unacceptable. 

Thanks to Papa for suggesting that I call the dentist to verify what kind of fillings they actually use, the battle was squashed.  They don’t even use metal fillings.

He exhausts me. I think ahead to all the things coming up regarding our girls and I wonder how am I going to get through it all?  How can we reasonably raise these children when everything seems to be a fight? Papa thinks we’re just going to have to get an attorney on retainer and anytime he’s giving me problems, have the attorney send him a letter with a deadline and statutes that he’s violating by not cooperating. I don’t want to go that route but I no longer think I can avoid it. Red was actually more cooperative when he wasn’t working because he was probably scared of conflict. Now he’s back working and the conflict is back with it. I’m already tired and I have 13 years to go.