Billy: I can’t imagine anybody firing you.
Penny: Neither could I. Now, I can visualize it really well. But you know, everything happens–
Billy: Don’t say for a reason.
Penny: No! No, I’m just saying “everything happens”.
–Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Hey Team. How’s tricks? I am taking two minutes to say that trial has been bumped. It was supposed to be today but got pushed forward a week. All I know about how these things work is what I’ve been learning as I go. Apparently we fell off the case schedule somehow, which the judge’s bailiff says…happens sometimes. SeaFed is taking things up to eleven right now. On Friday he was haranguing me via text because we were interpreting the temporary plan differently. He thought it was his weekend, and I did not.
I used to think that showing any vulnerability to anyone unfriendly was a weakness and would present a problem. That it would be used against me somehow later. I think it’s true still in some cases–you can’t really have a groovy encounter session with someone who is yelling at you for no good reason at a bus stop. I think I kind of fell inward because of I was raised. If I could make a hard shell around myself, nothing would really affect me. Pretty typical, right? I think this is a common reaction for kids exposed to abuse. I always told myself if I was a little tougher, I would be okay, that I could survive anything that dropped into my path. I read books on survival, like literal survival, a la field dressing animals, and I tested myself. I fantasized about running away to somewhere safe, and I didn’t think that place was in the world of any adults I knew, so I thought about the woods. My freshman year of high school, sometimes the only occupant of the apartment I shared with my mother and sister for several days in a row was me. I stayed up for days at a time just to see if I could. I taught myself how to meditate from a weird book I took out from the library and would zone out for hours at a time, just kind of maintaining. You get a little weird when you’re a social person and you spend that much time alone.
Nowadays I care less if people see my human face. You want to throw my real actual feelings back at me and mock me for them? You are uninvited from this party, because not only can I not relate to you, but I feel sorry for you. Not that people care…but I can’t really achieve parity with someone I pity. I think some people never quite evolve out of that cruel childish place. And we all slip back there sometimes. I’m not saying I’m some kind of superior evolved creature.
Anyway, Friday was one of those days that I did something kind of unexpected. SeaFed started texting me, and lately he’s been trying to catch me out with some amateur Columbo shit. He emailed about a month ago and was asking me about upcoming dates in October that extend past the temporary parenting plan. I replied that I thought we should discuss it later since I reckoned the permanent parenting plan would supersede the temporary one. “Are you saying you’re NOT going to return her on the weekend of X?” he replied. No, that is not what I’m saying.
So when I started replying to his texts on Friday, we really went to the “does not compute” place. I told him, impolitely and forthrightly, that I felt his lack of ability to synthesize information was causing trouble yet again. Naturally, he replied with NO U and continued to harangue me. “You better consult with your lawyer,” he warned me. His inability to understand documents that get ever so slightly off black and white and require some thought and finesse means that he hits the wall and immediately starts demanding the kid. I’m trying to finalize a parenting plan that is pretty black and white. That is how wrong I was and how serious this was. I decided to tell him the truth. “I will report to my lawyer that you’re bullying me,” I said. I told him he was upsetting me by harassing me like this and that I wouldn’t be replying to any more of his texts that day. His last response included something similar to, “I don’t know what kind of game you’re playing here.”
His next move was to email me, my lawyer, and the guardian ad litem to tattle on me. He attempted to attach the parenting plan, but instead attached a different document, our Orders re Motion for Adequate Cause to Change the Parenting Plan, and cited sections from the temporary parenting plan that naturally were not there. I really didn’t see what good this might do. The GAL had finished her investigation (and was supposed to submit her findings on Friday but is AWOL, which is completely confounding my lawyer), and my lawyer wasn’t going to jump to help him with a contextless email with an incorrect attachment.
The point of relating all of this, which I am aware is beyond repetitious and tedious by now, is to say I’m glad I told him he was bothering me. He will continue to do so regardless, and obviously doesn’t believe I am having feelings or whatever. I understand that in communicating with him, achieving whatever goal we have is the first priority (establishing drop off time or whatever), but when things get circular like that, pointless, why not try a little personal growth? I don’t think he understood the “game I was playing” because I wasn’t playing one. This whole, um, journey for the past year and a half or so has involved him trying to get someone, anyone to see how I “tricked” him into moving away and giving up his residential time. I am constantly being tricky, and also probably glib.
I told Strudel’s dad what was happening with all this on Friday and he said something that brought me up short: maybe he’s acting like this because he’s frightened. He was hammering my lawyer with questions at the pretrial conference about what would happen and what trial is like and how long it is, and he has no lawyer, so maybe this recent increase in assholeism is fear-based. Much like I don’t really show him anything beyond the most terse responses, typically, I never see anything human from him anymore. Though, to be honest, a great deal of the reason I left him is because he didn’t seem to care about much of anything, in word or in deed. I got tired of all my feelings falling on deaf ears.
Feelings: I am still having them, shocking, I know. They are still pointless to share with SeaFed, especially now. And I know this. I am not affronted to be perceived as playing games. I am glad I was honest with myself and how I felt on Friday, though. It feels better somehow. I’m actually not freaked out, despite my title-quote, nor am I afraid like I was last year. Everything will…turn out. Like it always does.
In Other News.
Goethe hates Neato. Horace loves Goethe and just wants to be part of her life, man. Goethe loves Horace when she is not defending hearth and home from INVADERS! Get used to it, Gert. Neato works every day from 8-10 now.