I don’t usually feel I need to justify anything I write here, but I need to say something. I feel like I have to follow up. I have some more pieces to the puzzle that was this weekend. I have to write this down. When I went to court years ago, the fact that I wrote about the few good things, the fact that I used humor and put a positive spin on my situation was used against me. Writing about the bad times means that people see the ugly underbelly, which I was not totally ready for. It was too close–I was living it.
It also begs the question of why a person tolerates the terrible things they are writing about. Reader, I was not ready for that judgment, and I was not ready for the changes I needed to make. Not until 2003, but you know that story already.
Now I am letting it out, for good or for bad. I need to tell you. I know there is a sea of people out there who are going through this too. I need someone to hear what divorce with kids can be like, what this pointless bullshit tug of war is like. I hope you do better than I did, but I think I am doing well now. Time is healing.
So Franny walked into my house last night, having been dropped off at the appointed hour after missing a day of camp for really no good reason. This is about as corny as I get around here, but I will tell you that she walked in BEAMING, like glowing, and I saw she was so happy to be home, and it seemed like all the kermitflailing from this weekend was pretty fricking moot. She made a beeline towards me and we all squeezed her and Strudel immediately started gabbling at her.
I was so relieved when I saw she was okay and not really upset. During his long harangue on the phone Sunday night I discovered that Franny is “very unhappy at my house” and because I did not reply to his first email saying that he wanted me to pick her up in West Seattle at a party she “thought that I was injured or sick” and that he was “thinking really hard about child support and changing her living situation.” Perhaps I will think really hard about my student loans and see if they get paid off.
I will confess to you that it really, really hurt me to think that Franny was secretly unhappy here, or that she was worried about me in any way this weekend.
“Franny,” I said, tentatively, “were you worried about me when I did not reply to the email from your dad about changing your drop off time?”
“No,” she said. “I know if something was wrong, P. would call us.”
Knife turned against me. I could hear the unspoken, “You are a bad mother” in his words. I told him I heard him use that manipulative tone on dozens of people over the years, and it was not possible for him to guilt me into agreeing to anything.
Later I took her to see the new house and we had a serious talk on the way there. I felt like a shitheel asking her if she was unhappy, and would she like to talk or change anything? I felt very “I just thought you should know” and I despise being that person, but what to do? How to get to the bottom of these things? No one else will.
Franny began crying and screaming furiously in the backseat. She really flipped her Pop-Tarts for a second. Nothing makes her madder than having words put into her mouth. “When he lies about what I say, I feel so used,” she said.
Now he proposes that she move to where he lives for middle school. He is even being kind enough to not charge me child support. He is trying to backroom negotiate with me, in spite of the fact that he has already completely broken the parenting plan.
He was kind of slurring and not tracking the conversation well on Sunday (“What are you talking about? What does that mean?” he kept saying) and I assumed he was taking her to some kind of family barbecue/party thing, but I found out he was screaming at me from a grown up bash, and he probably was drunk. I kind of wish I would have recorded it and set it to music so he could have his own Bale Out moment. I had a feeling his wife was not around since he is not allowed to swear at home.
Anyway, as usual I am ha ha deflect everything with humor, but I am concerned. I am not scared, but concerned. I am afraid that since he has seen his sister recently that she has given him some of her infamous advice, but I could be very wrong. I would be shocked if his wife wanted him to throw thousands at dragging me back into court to call me a whore, dogfucker, satanist, whatever. I think this is much ado about nothing and I can forgive the drunken blowup. As P. said, “It must be hard not to have a reverse gear.”
I am sad I am going to miss the Capitol Hill Block Party due to packing, especially my BFF Atmosphere. This seems appropriate today.