Sacking Up For Assholes

So, regular readers may have noticed I haven’t been writing as much. I was talking with a friend about this the other day, and I finally admitted to myself (while telling her) that I have absolutely no juice right now. Life seems kind of dulled. It’s like a bad prescription drug commercial: has the luster gone out of your life? People talk to me and I don’t totally hear what they’re saying. I am thinking in circles. Did I turn the stove off? Where are my keys? Are they on the stove? Maybe the stove is my keys? I feel like I’m slipping out of my normal life like when Alice falls down the hole to Wonderland. I can see it up there, my real life, but it’s getting smaller. The good news is when I reach the bottom of this hole, it will actually be the top again. And I don’t think I will fall much longer. It’s almost over.

And I made one of those emo announcements at the beginning of this that I would keep writing, and I am failing at that. Something happened today, and I am forcing myself to get back to it. Sack up, Asshole. I guess I have to write when I feel like crap, too. My conscience is nagging me. I feel like I owe someone, somehow.

It is bothering me to the extreme that trying to rework Franny’s custody schedule is taking so much out of me. I go back and forth in my head on this one. I hear a lot of jibjab about “taking control of your life” and “not letting people have power over you” blah, blah, here’s some crystals, etc. But I think it’s less about him and more about the situation. I don’t think about him, much. It’s more like I’m at war with the situation.

I am going to be brave and climb out of my hole and catch you up. Here’s a glimpse into one portal of Hell. Ho ho.

SO. The first letter I got announced the move, ninety minutes away to an island here. I told you this. The format was wrong, as if he hadn’t done all his research. I sent back a response asking for proper notice, less to be a pain in the ass, and more because I have discovered that in any dealings with the court it is better to have all i’s dotted, and so forth. Then I got proper notice including a proposed parenting plan that was written up in letter format.

He was asking for three weekends a month and half of summer break. He was wanting to keep the parenting split 50/50 on paper, even though she’d be spending more time here. This doesn’t work. After I said something about filing this with the court and getting the commissioner to sign off on it, he sent me an email with the phrase (I paraphrase): “We can just settle this with a handshake” and said we didn’t have to go through the courts, even. Can I tell you that when I read this it absolutely struck terror into my heart?

I am not keen on the three weekends a month thing. You know that that’s family time around here, when shit gets crafted, baked, and sewn, and there are family field trips and elaborate meals. The rest of the week is rather hustley and exhausting. So I batted back something that is recommended by the state, which is a midweeknight visit and two weekends a month. I figured he could take her to dinner at his parents’ house or something. Lots of time in the summer. Him asking me to do all the hard work and then having the bone of one weekend a month thrown at me…shit, man, I feel like he’s spitting in my face. This is my FIRST BABY. I have two weekends a month now. Why would I want to give that up because you’re moving away?

And he replied again. I am so sad and I want to cry, because it doesn’t even make sense. The words, the way it’s written. And I can tell he tried. He retained some of my wording (I think?), and then changed things below it so they completely contradict other parts. Confession: sometimes I worry that he is doing this on purpose to wear me down. Could that be it?

It is basically the same plan as the first one in the letter (maybe? sort of?). He is still pushing the 50/50 custody thing, even though with his plan as near as I can tell, I will still have her for more time. We have joint decision making for major decisions, and custodial designation is just for laws that require that there be a custodian. As it has been explained to me, it doesn’t mean I trump anything in any way. We still have an agreement not to leave these three counties.

This isn’t about me being piggy or trying to stage a coup. I just…don’t think a commissioner would even sign his proposed plan.

I am a little shocked with all of this. I mean, surprised, but yet not at the same time, you know? So I am recommending mediation at this point. Due to the fact that I am not dealing with my equal, this is going to get expensive. But I think it will be worth it to have another adult involved.

I think I dreamt I wrote this post, but then my sleep was interrupted by yelling. HA!

Joint Custody=Phail? 1 2 3

16 thoughts on “Sacking Up For Assholes

  1. THANK YOU for posting about this. I have been wondering, and getting my little fictional panties in a knot knowing that this was bound to be going down. I say YES to a mediator since we know what will happen with “just a handshake”…CLUSTERFUCK. Sorry. that word just works better all caps. Frannie must be so proud of her mom, knowing she is all taking the high road and stuff. Hold out for the deal, like you said, why should you have less time with her because he is moving?

  2. Oh, sucky!
    This is just a thought, but could the reason that his incomprehensible response made you sad be, well, that he’s not “right” and that that just makes you sad?
    When my BF acts crazy/irrational, it makes me sad – even if it really has nothing to do with – or has no real impact on – me. It makes me sad because it’s just concrete proof that he has big issues that need attention, and he’s not willing to get that attention, and he’s not going to “better” until he does.
    Know what I mean?
    Even though you don’t love SF anymore, he’s the father of your kid, and maybe it just makes you sad that her dad is kinda crazy and not too bright.
    Hang tough.

  3. A mediator is a good idea. I am glad you posted this–I knew something was up, but didn’t know the outcome. Hope this gets easier, rather than harder.

  4. Wow. It sounds wearing. One thing you might want to think about is how kids socialize as they get older. Frannie might not want to be on a team or Brownies or whatever right now, but she might want to join an activity sometime. Most of them meet after school and many have a weekend event. The oldest child of a friend of mine had every other weekend and Tuesday nights with his dad, and as he got older and interested in sports and activities it became a real problem. His dad wouldn’t allow him to participate in anything that cut into his “dad time,” (even though he often didn’t have anything planned). It was okay with dad if the kid went to every other art class on Saturday, or every other acting class, or missed a soccer game. That was a problem for the kid, because he didn’t want to miss half of everything. Plus birthday parties, school events, etc. are often on the weekends, and if they live 90 minutes away, is he going to make the effort to get Frannie to the event?

    Maybe you could ask for a guarantee for 1 activity or sport per quarter, so that Frannie has that option. I know it might seem trivial, but my daughter is a year or so older than Frannie, and these activities are a big part of her life and her peers’ lives.

    Good luck! Even though it’s exhausting, I am sure it’s worth the effort and I admire you for doing it.

  5. Hi tami, thanks for the feedback. I have thought of this. The exactly 50-50 thing now really makes it hard to find any activities! I found something that meets once a month…I’m not sure what we’re going to do now. At least with weekdays here she can take tap, which she’s been talking about for a long time.

  6. Total Ugh. Have a friend going through this right now and always wonder….can’t we just erase sperm donor and pretend it never happened? Blah. I have missed your blog immensely. I hope something gets decided, and I too vote for mediator. Best of luck to you. Rip him a new one, if I had any sayso.

  7. I love the voting! Ha! Ah how I love you guys.

    Yes, it’s time. I am too tired to rip anyone an new anything. I just want resolution.

  8. Another reader who missed your writing and hoped you were close to resolving the custody issues. Sorry you are having to deal with the tedious loopiness. I was glad to see that you’re involving a mediator, too. Franny is clearly an awesome kid, and you clearly are a kickass mom. Hang in there–I am sending positive energy (and possibly more velvet paintings although it will be hard to top that last one) your way!

  9. Seven years later here and it’s still not over.

    Best of luck with the mediator. It’s definitely bounds above a do-it-yerself agreement but if you don’t feel like your child is getting what you think is in her best interest don’t be afraid to go to court. You are your daughter’s best advocate. Think long and hard about what you believe she needs – now and in the long run – and make your case.

    This is about her. Not her father.

  10. We’re friends! Awesome! Because, of course, it is all about ME.

    Srsly, though, mediation is a good idea because it seems like SF is really much more focussed on his own convenience than on what is best for his daughter, and that’s not a message he appears to be able to hear from you. He’s a guy sorely in need of a kick in the pants from reality.

  11. Wow.
    We should talk.
    I have a 20-month old and will be “revisiting” our custody arrangement when he turns two and it’s scarily starting to creep up on me… conjuring up schedules that only an asshole (or perhaps the ex) would consider to be “in the best interest of the child.”
    Even that phrase reminds me of going to court THREE WEEKS after my son was born…
    where my ex was asking for overnight visitation.
    Somtimes, much like you, I am still convinced that so much of the drama is built around wearing me down and/or wanting to see me fail.
    No such luck.
    At any rate, sorry to ramble.
    I wish you the very best of luck as you travel through this crap.
    Cuz crap is what it is.
    But, it’s our crap to make sure comes out without serving our children negatively.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Been missing your posts like Whitney Houston misses crack. Definitely needed a fix.

    Glad to see you’re back to writing. Sad to hear that the family plan is so stressful.

    A question that keeps coming up [yes, I know it is none of my GD business] is why the 50/50? Is it so he doesn’t pay child support? Or is it for Franny to maintain a close relationship with her father? You said she wants to spend more time with you. Can you drop the whole 50/50 thing, forgo any child support (if financially feasible) and then offer one weekend a month? And a couple of weeks in the summer?

    I’d say ask for what Franny wants. And what’s best for her. Those links about joint custody made a convincing argument.

    Of course, I’m just talking out of my hoo-ha. So please ignore my post if it is full of ignorant, uninformed, and unrealistic divorced-parenting suggestions. Not having spawned any spawn, I can only speculate.

  13. Uh huh. I’ve been reading for a while, and now I need to say: Moderation=Good and just keep battling for what you know is best for your daughter! It really will all be over someday!

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