Hair Drama and Summer Camp

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I have gotten more gray hair since my daughter has turned thirteen. It is a new adventure having a teenager. The attitude is challenging.

My once social butterfly does not want to do anything now. I drag her to 4-H. I tell her she can’t quit softball. She just wants everything to come easily to her. If something is challenging she wants to quit. She wants to play on her phone and be left alone.

Once I get her to 4-H, she has so much fun. Once I get her to softball, she is amazing.

So, I don’t know if I’m a great parent or a horrible parent… I signed my daughter up for two summer camps this year. She’s been going to summer camp for the past three or four years. She has tried a junior camp, a science camp, and a craft camp. She loved the craft camp last year and is wanting to go to it again this year. So I signed her up for it. Then I noticed that the craft camp ends on a Wednesday and that Thursday an adventure camps starts. At the adventure camp they do wall climbing, zip lining, ropes courses. Things my daughter would absolutely love. I talked to the camp director and have it worked out where I can just drop my daughter off at the craft camp on Monday and pick her up at the end of the adventure camp on Saturday – the camps are a few hours away and I didn’t see a reason to drive back and forth on back to back days. I have not told my daughter about it yet. She is aware of the camp, but she is not aware she is signed up for it.

I don’t know how she will respond. Worse case scenario, I will drop her off at camp and say see you in a week.

It is not like I am shipping her off for the entire summer. It is not like I am putting her in a camp that she would find boring.

So, parenting win or parenting fail… not sure… yet.

Then, there was hair drama yesterday with my daughter and ex. He told her he would pay for her to get her hair done. In his mind, twenty dollars for a hair cut. In her mind, $100 for a cut and ombre hair style…

So, their texts/conversation consisted of the two of them getting angry at the other one. My daughter screaming and crying. My ex cussing.

I’m on the fence about the situation. 1. that is a lot to get your hair done, but it is not like she will go back over and over to do it again. 2. ex did tell her he would pay for her to get her hair done.

 

Eh.

Yesterday was Dad’s birthday. I was emotional. I cried a few times. For his birthday, we did a balloon release – no judgements (I know it’s not safe for the environment and all that). We wrote notes to dad and attached them to the balloons. It was nice. I even bought a dress for the occasion – and I’m not a dress type chick. The dress was pretty. I am way too fat for it, but again no judgement.

My daughter told me the other day that she did not like me. That was painful. She was mad at her dad and said it while he was standing there. However, she did apologize through text a few hours later. Since that day our relationship has been great.

Found out my mom and my ex and talking – still – about me behind my back. Apparently my mom called my ex last month to see if he would bring his truck down sometime and load their old lawnmower for me. (According to my mom) Ex told her he couldn’t because his girlfriend doesn’t like when he does stuff to help me out.

First of all, mom didn’t even ask me about giving me the mower! This mower is at least 12 years old. My dad didn’t even think it would survive another year. So, she is wanting to give me something that is going to break down. Then what the hell am I supposed to do?!? Secondly, I have hired someone to do my yard work. This guy is amazing. He mows and weedeats. He is surprisingly very cheap! Plus, he came to my house one day and helped me change a flat – didn’t ask for any money in return. I hadn’t told ex I’d hired someone. Frankly, it’s none of his damn business. Anyway, mom told ex that I’d hired someone. We’ll see what drama comes from their little conversation. Third, how fucking dare he have that attitude that he can’t help me! I am the mother of his child. Is that really the lesson we want to teach our daughter? Now, I try not to ask my ex for shit, but what if it was an emergency? It scares me because I still have him as my emergency contact. What if something happens to me and he doesn’t come? Yes, I would help him if he needed something. Would I be happy about helping him – probably not. I’d probably cuss under my breath, but I would still help because I want my daughter to see her parents can still get along. But honestly I don’t ask him for anything. I know better.

Anyway, for dad’s birthday we had lunch and birthday cake. It was mom, my siblings, the grandkids AND my brother’s ex and her girlfriend. My mom told me she invited them because his ex will always be the mother of his child so everyone needs to get along. I understand that, but why didn’t she invite my ex then? She must have read my mind because she said I didn’t invite your ex because your dad hated him. She told me she has issues with my ex and she is not ready to resolve them just now.

 

Moving Forward

I know I’ve been silent here lately. Life is challenging. Every Friday, I relive getting the call telling my dad is gone forever. Everyday I try to balance work, my daughter, her activities, my own mental health. I have started chatting with someone online again. I don’t expect anything from it, but the point is I am moving forward. I am trying.

The past weekend was very difficult.

First, my computer crashed. Two of my jobs require a working computer. So, I had to go and buy a new computer. Talk about stress. Spending that much and deciding which bills could wait.

Second, a very difficult thing, I changed my social media profile picture. Since my dad’s death, my profile picture has been the last picture of us together. He has been gone for three-and-a-half months. I changed my picture. I still cry thinking about it all. I don’t want to seem like I am forgetting him. I’m not. He crosses my mind hundreds of times a day. I don’t want to be stuck in the past either. My dad loved life. He would want me to love life, too. He would want me to keep moving forward.

Third, dealing with my ex. Sundays are my days with my daughter. They are typically the one day where we are not running from one activity or job. We can relax. We can enjoy spending time together. Well, softball is starting up. Ex asked if he could keep her a little longer on Sunday to take her to the sports store to buy her some gear. I of course said no problem. I mean, she needed equipment. She has outgrown her helmet and cleats. Her facemask got busted last semester when she got hit in the face. Plus, she needed to be there to pick out her equipment. He brings her home with new equipment. Six hours later, ex shows back up at my door wanting her back. Saying she asked him if she could spend the night. I wanted to scream. I seriously wanted to punch him. I fought back anger and tears. I knew he was lying to me. I went ahead and let him take her for the night. I told him not to pull that on me again. I try to do what is best for my daughter. Of course, I would love to have her 24/7.

If You Want Me To

Something odd. Since I’ve been taking medication for depression, I’ve had a different vibe with my ex-husband.

For example, he came to drop our daughter off the other day and he stayed and talked for almost thirty minutes. This has happened a couple of times. Each time, I find myself inching towards the door ready to end the conversation, but he continues to talk.

Another situation, our daughter has raised chickens for the past five years to show. I’ve always been the one raising the chickens at my house. I am tired of having chickens. I asked ex if he wanted to raise chickens this year. His response, “If you want me to.” I’m thinking “what the hell?” I told him that it did not matter either way, but I was done raising chickens. He said he would go ahead and raise them this year. The whole time I’m thinking “isn’t there someone you should be talking to?” I mean, he lives at girlfriend’s house. You would think he would say “let me discuss this with girlfriend.”

Maybe I’m overthinking it all – as usual. Maybe this is what co-parenting is supposed to be like. It’s just completely odd and not something I’m used to.

Some Updates

I’m still taking the medication for depression. Said people usually start to notice a difference after three weeks. Really, the only thing I notice is it makes me tired. I sleep a lot more. I am actually able to sleep. Some nights are still tough for me, but other nights are not as bad.

I haven’t really told anyone about my mental health. I’m not sure why. Don’t really think that I’m “ashamed.” I’m actually quite proud of myself for finally going to the doctor. I’m quite proud of myself for still trying each day.

Hopefully one of these days I will find my voice to tell others. Who knows, one of these days I may stop hiding behind the name “Stormie.” But, today is not that day.

I like the idea of writing a letter but never send it. I do plan on doing that, sometime.

I’ve been chatting with a guy for about a week. Conversation is good. It’s more than “hru?” But, it’s good – not great, but good. It’s nice to have someone to chat with though. I doubt we will ever meet up. He lives in the same state as I, but we’re still several hours apart. But it is nice to have the attention for now.

I remembered the days I had to force myself not to text ex. I missed the attention. I missed having someone to talk to. Honestly, I’m very content not messaging ex. Now, if it is about our daughter, I will text or call. Wish he would do the same…

It did kind of annoy me yesterday… It was in the afternoon, I still did not know if he was wanting to take our daughter to school or not. All of her school stuff was still at my house. I called him and he said she wasn’t “home” yet (meaning gf’s house) – She’d spent the night with a friend the night before. I bothered me that he referred to gf’s as my daughter’s “home.” Up until a week ago, she didn’t even have her own space!

Love, Hate, or Just Great Co-Parenting?

There for awhile, I battled with myself: do I love my ex? do I hate him?

There are days that I seriously hate him. I hate him for cheating. I hate him for being a workaholic while we were married, but not with girlfriend. I hate him for not being the father I wanted for our daughter, but he stepped into that father role for girlfriend’s kids. I hated him because when we were together he never wanted to do anything, but now he always has something planned for girlfriend and kids. I hated him because he never supported me – I don’t mean money. I mean with my job, with life, with my mental struggles.

I could keep going.

But, of course there were things that I loved about him, too. I mean of course I loved him or I wouldn’t have married him. I wouldn’t have had a child with him. I wouldn’t have spent 15 years of my life with him.

Last night left me feeling confused about us. Were we flirting? Were we just being friends? Were we co-parenting?

Last night was an awards banquet. Ex came. It wasn’t horrible. We talked. We laughed. We joked with each other. We never got mad or had any issues. The banquet was almost four hours long. Ex was on his phone for a little bit – I’m sure messaging girlfriend – but overall, he was present. He put his phone down and was in the moment – something that he would not do when we were together.

What Is Best for the Child

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I did fear getting a divorce for so long because of my daughter. Growing up, I didn’t really know any children from divorced families. The one I did know, she already had a step-father and was adopted by the step-father. So, I never wanted my daughter to grow up in a broken home.

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I know – deep down – that divorcing my ex was the right decision. He brings out the worse in me, which affects my parenting for my daughter. For those two years after the divorce that I stayed with ex, I was still showing a horrible example for my daughter.

Teaching her what love looks like and how people that love you should treat you well is important. Even after I was finished with ex, I would still defend him. I would make excuses for him, because in my mind I was doing what was best for my daughter.

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I realized by making excuses for ex was really not the best thing for my child. I was teaching her that if someone loves you then they treat you horribly and like your feelings do not matter. Now, the best I can do is apologize to my daughter for ex’s behavior. I can’t fix it. I can not make excuses. I cannot change it. I do not regret he is her father – the two of us made her.

Honestly, I do not know if my ex would qualify to be a “narcissistic” individual. I hear and see that term used so much that I really do not want to misuse it. I do believe he definitely has narcissistic behaviors. I do know instead of communicating with me, he lies to me or he uses my daughter as a messenger.

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There are many examples of how ex will not co-parent with me. He teaches my daughter to lie to me. He undermines me. He tries to turn her against me.

He was supposed to be gone for another week on orders. Well, that fell through. So, guess who came back on Friday? *joy…*

I did ask ex about switching days – I get my daughter for Saturday and he get her for Sunday – because we’d already had plans for this weekend. Technically, I think I had the legal right not to let him have her at all this weekend, but I am not going to behave like that.

Well, ex sends my daughter a text saying that since he is getting her Sunday he is just going to ask me if he can keep her Sunday night and take her to school on Monday morning. My daughter and I have a great relationship. She tells me what ex says. She does try to keep me inform so I’m not completely blindsided, BUT she is a child. It is not her job or her responsibility to do that.

So, yesterday when ex came to pick up my daughter I was waiting for him to ask about taking her to school on Monday. He said nothing about it. He turned to leave and said “I’ll see you later.”

Really, he is going to leave without saying anything? He needs to communicate.

So, I ask “when are you bringing her back?”

He says, “Uhh, I was kind of hoping I could take her to school on Monday.”

Me: It’s up to her what she wants to do.

My daughter hates making decisions. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. She doesn’t want to cause dramas or fights. Her and I had already discussed her staying with ex Sunday night – so I knew her thoughts and feelings on the subject. I see my daughter’s anxiety starting up. I tell her to go get all of her stuff for school.

She goes back into the house to get all of her stuff.

Me: When were you going to ask about taking her to school?

Ex: Uhh… right now.

I want to scream at him. I know he think he is being cute and funny, but I no longer find him cute or funny. I find him challenging.

Me: Well you need to start communicating with me.

Ex: I sent her a text asking her about talking to you about me taking her to school on Monday.

Me: You need to ask me. Don’t expect her to do it.

Ex: I know.

Sure he knows, but he doesn’t care. We will have the same issue in the future. Nothing is going to change.

 

 

Getting Tired of Being the Bigger Person

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So, ex and I have been divorced for five years. We have been completely finished for three years. I have forced myself to stop being his secretary, making excuses for him, defending his behavior, and honestly stop loving him.

We have one child, who is very busy. I take pictures of her schedule and send them to ex. I typically don’t remind him again after I send the schedule once, but if he asks I usually do answer about dates/times.

Well, Thursday, ex picked our daughter up from school. Apparently she gave him a new schedule for games and practices. They seen me Thursday night, not a word about it. Ex seen me Friday night, not a word. It wasn’t until yesterday I asked my daughter when her next practice was.

She said “dad has the schedule.”

When did he get it?

Thursday.

Do you still have it?

No, dad left it at girlfriend’s house.

***

So, now I’m annoyed. She should have waited to give me the schedule. He should grow the hell up and coparent with me.

I send ex a text:

me: not cool not sending me the game schedule. I always send you pictures of the schedules.

ex: I gave the schedule back to her. I know I gave it back to her.

***

I’m seriously not getting into this with him. He is the adult and he is blaming our child. To make it worse, he did take a picture of the schedule and has it on his phone, but yet still would not send it to me. (I know because he sent the picture to our daughter, but not to me).

I finally get a schedule by contacting other moms.

But I am so mad at ex. He is so childish, selfish, and a complete asshole. I want to treat him how he treats me. I want to “forget” to send schedules. I want to avoid contacting him, but I don’t want to make our daughter be the messager. I’m tired of being the bigger person. I am tired of expecting him to treat me with respect and like a person.

I could be a horrible ex wife. I could make him miserable. But, what would that accomplish? What message would that send to my daughter? Besides, my personality and character would not allow me to continue to behave like that; I would start to feel guilty and ashamed of myself.

I can’t get him to get his head out of his own ass to see how he is behaving, and I hate that. I hate that the man I spent so much of my life with, have a child with, and is bound to each other for the rest of this life behaves the way he does; treats me the way he does; and sets that type of example for our daughter.

Co-parenting

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When I first got divorced, I stayed with ex. We continued to live as a family. We continued to do family activities – more, in fact, than when we were married.

Fast forward a couple of years, after I realized ex was spending the day with me and kicking me out after sex then bringing girlfriend over to spend the night – he would then make her leave before our daughter would get up.

Yes, there was hate. I hated him. I hated her. I hated myself. I hated life.

I had to work through that hate. I had to make a decision, what was best for my child?

It has taken a long time – and I will admit, I am still working on it – but I would read success stories of other divorced couples being able to co-parent. I remember seeing the picture of the bio mom, her spouse, bio dad, his spouse, and the child at a game and wanting that for my daughter. I seen another picture – along with a story – of a couple who were both remarried with children together and from their second marriages, and they took a family Christmas card photo together every year. The wives would go shopping together. The husbands would go fishing together. They did activities together as a group. I really wanted that for my daughter.

I still want that for my daughter. However, every day that goes by I wonder if it will ever be a possibility for us.

There is no communication. I used to text ex and remind him of EVERYTHING – every sporting event, school project, 4-H activity that our daughter had. The reality was, he would still forget, be late, or accuse me of nagging him. I thought I was doing what was best for my daughter.

Now, if he asks I will tell him. I do take pictures of schedules at the beginning of the season and send to him. If he asks to verify or anything, I will repeat myself and tell him over and over. However, that is as much effort as I put in.

Why the hell should I baby him? Why should I hold his hand? Why should I put in so much effort to make him be a parent and to co-parent with me?

No one reminds me. Yet, I still get my daughter to her millions of activities. I still help my daughter with homework. I still spend time with my daughter.

So, I battle myself daily – should I tell ex about her activities or not? Should I tell him about her grades or about tumbling or not?

Why should I make the effort if he is not going to ask and make the effort to find out?

Am I being selfish? Am I doing what is best for my daughter by not telling him?

Last night was a perfect example. Ex has a copy of the cheer schedule. She did not have a game last night; instead, she had a 4-H meeting. Well, I did not tell ex about 4-H. He usually does not get back into town until 8pm – 4-H is over by 7pm. He did not message me that he was leaving the base early. He did not message me that he was driving to the school to watch our daughter’s football game.

My phone rings in the middle of 4-H. It is ex. He asks if she has a game. I tell him no, but we are at 4-H.

There was a moment that I did go over and chat with ex. A little bit about our daughter – school and activities. But even then, I felt like I was supplying information that was not asked for. I don’t know if he really wanted to know.

I still want that co-parenting success story, like you see in the picture, for my daughter. I don’t know if it will ever happen. Especially with him moving in with girlfriend. What if they get married?

Drama

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*******

Some positivity before I start this post.

Well, maybe positivity. Might be complete stupidity… haha.

I am chatting with a guy. Eeek.

His pictures are attractive as hell!

He is about 40 minutes away. My dating awkwardness hasn’t chased him off – yet. (give it a couple of days. haha)

The kicker… He is six years younger…. He is still in his twenties!!

That scares the hell out of me. A younger guy?!? I’ve had horrible luck with younger guys… well, and older guys… okay, okay… I’ve had horrible luck with guys in general.

*******

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I thought the night before last was dramatic…. Well, yesterday was a mess.

Yesterday after school, I received a text from my daughter. She tells me she was late to school. The principal seen her and told her she had fifteen seconds before the bell so she had permission to run in the hall. She was late to first hour, but he did not sign her tardy slip because she did not have another other tardies yet.

I told her I was glad she didn’t get a tardy. Of course, I asked her why was she late? (I’m a mom. That’s what mom’s do, right?)

Apparently, she was late because ex wanted to go out to eat breakfast.

Ummm… Okay. He know what time school starts. He should have planned his morning better.

I asked her if she told him that she was late. (I mean, seriously, Fridays are his days to get her to school. He needs to be responsible and get her there on time). She said she did tell him and he said “school isn’t important.”

Wait! What?!?

I asked her if those were his actual words – or did she paraphrase? misunderstand? She said no, that is what he really said.

GreatI am going to have to address this….

Just so happened ex texts me then. He said that I was about to get a call.

Umm… Is this a threat? Who is going to be calling me?

I call him. I asked him if she was late – didn’t ask why. He said he didn’t know this school’s time schedule was different than her last school.

What?!?

She’s been going to school, at this school, since August…

I told him it is his responsibility to get her to school on time. He’s like “would you yell at her if she was tardy?” I said if it was her fault she was tardy then yes, I would talk to her. But, it was HIS fault, so I was going to talk to HIM.

He said he knew the school’s time schedule now.

So, I asked who was going to be calling me.

He is selling his house. The paperwork is being drawn up. (SO WHAT?!?) He said I need to go in and sign the quitclaims deed. (Uh, no I don’t. We did this FIVE years ago!) He said that’s just what the woman told him. So a woman was going to call me and tell me the same thing.

Okay. So I wait for this mystery woman to call.

She calls. Totally butchers my legal name – annoying. Said my ex was selling his property and I needed to sign the quitclaims deed to the property. (I did five years ago). I have that paperwork in front of me. You did sign, but you were still married so you are still on it – listed as ex and “married person.” (I’m confused. I signed it, but it didn’t count?) Basically. (So, what was the point of signing? I have responsibility to the house now?) No, I already have the payoff for the house and I sent that. (Sounds like I’m entitled to some of the profit of ex selling). I’m not sure about that. (Look, I’m not a bad ex-wife. I have no interest in being a pain. What do you need me to do?) Come in and sign the paperwork next week. (Okay. While I have you on the phone… He is on my paperwork since I bought the house while we were married. How much will it cost to remove him and get him to sign a quitclaims deed) Forty-five dollars. (Jeez!)

Our conversation continued. I was on the phone with the woman for about twenty minutes. I got what information I needed.

I called ex, again.

I explained to him the situation – because he didn’t ask any questions when the woman called him. I told him about signing the quitclaims deed for my house. He argued that he wasn’t on my paperwork – yes, I bought the house while we were still legally married. That is why I told him he better not take my house – that’s why I have said to him since day one that he better not try to take my house (I knew he could if he really wanted to).

I told him how much it was going to cost. He cussed. Didn’t understand why so much, because his was “free.”

Umm… No, yours is not “free.” It is included in the fees of them buying the house.

He said he would pay the $45 if I would get them to draw up the paperwork for my house.

So, I asked him where was he moving to – he needs a plan – because they are closing on the 19th.

Apparently he is moving in with girlfriend.

***I need strength.***

Really?

Yes. Why not?

Are you thinking about our daughter? Is she going to have her own room?

Yes, of course.

Okay. Because I really hope you are doing what is best for her. I get tired of her crying every time you bring her back because she hates it over there at girlfriend’s.

Well, I have to listen to her cry about you all the time too.

Excuse me?

Yeah, you always yell at her and bitch at her about everything.

Okay. Whatever. Find your paperwork and make sure you didn’t refinance while we were still married. Bye.

Bye.

****

Okay. I do not yell at my daughter. I am tough at times – I expect her to do her homework. I expect her to be responsible. She is about to turn thirteen – thirteen-year-olds are tough to raise. There are hormones and attitudes. Then you add being a child of divorce. YIKES.

So, I message my daughter. Ask her if she really feels like I yell at her all the time. She said she NEVER said that. I said, okay. If she does feel that way then we can sit down and talk. She said she doesn’t feel that way. What she said was that I was going to yell at her for being late to school that way he will make sure to get her to school on time from now on.

****

She is afraid of him. She is using me as a shield.

Okay, no problem.

He is gas-lighting the situation. He knows I’m right. He knows he is a bad father. He knows he is thinking with his penis, not his brain when he says he is moving in with girlfriend. So, he knows how to hurt me – turn my daughter against me. Make me think I am a bad mom.

Not today, dude.

I’m not getting into a fight. He can say whatever. I’m stepping away from the conversation.

****

I need someone to talk to. I want to vent. I want to cry. I want to have a distraction.

I call my parents.

***drama***

So, my one sibling – the middle child – apparently lost their license, got the new car impounded, lost insurance, got arrested, and threatened suicide – all this week.

My mom tells me about all of it…

Jeez.

So, she asks about me. I tell her what was going on.

She says that there should be something in the paperwork saying he can’t move in with girlfriend. I said, it just says he needs a residence – once he gets mail at girlfriend’s the law is going to see that as his residency.

(I was stupid going into my divorce. I was uneducated. I did not fight. There is nothing against overnight guest. Nothing about they have to be married before living together. Nothing about first right of refusal. Nothing about having child support reviewed every so many years. Nothing addressing when our daughter turns 16 (car or insurance). Nothing addressing college.)

**I did realize that he is breaking court order by taking her out of state!** I don’t know if I should do anything with that information. (My mom said she knows of four times). I know…

If he would just tell me that he is taking my daughter out of state then it would be a different story – get the court to sign off on it. Great.

Does that mean I will get my daughter more? Does that mean I have to hire a lawyer and take him to court?

Realistically, I know there’s nothing I can do about him moving in with girlfriend. (I still do not know where she lives). I know there is going to be drama. I know he is going to be a thorn in my side.

I just want to do what is best for my child.

I just want to lose my hate, my bitterness…

I do not love him. But I am still hurt. I am hurt by the entire situation.

I want to heal, but I don’t know how. I don’t know if I am healing.