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I need a dollar, a dollar is what I need.

6 Apr

dollar

“Well I don’t know if I’m walking on solid ground, cause everything around me is crumbling down…” 

This week has been easier. Baby still has a cold, he’s still teething, and I still haven’t been getting any sleep, at all. To top that off, I woke up sick as well, sick enough to cancel my day and go see a doctor. But it was still better this week. It was better because I’ve regained knowledge of what I want: A divorce. A fair settlement. A new life with my son, and possibly, at some point, with a man.

“You’re making a mistake.” He told me again. “Just tell me what you need. More time? To think it over?” I try to be assertive in these conversations, but I don’t know how to do that without shouting at him to get out. When I try to talk confidently and calmly about wanting to move on, he discredits everything I say. When I finally get angry he says I’m talking out of anger, and I need to give myself time. It’s so strange how things have changed between us. How only six months ago I cried my eyes out as he packed his suitcase, and thought I was never going to recover. Now I just want the rest of his things out of my house, and more closet space for Baby and me. I want there not to be any hidden agenda when he transfers money into my account or takes Baby for the night. I want him to do those things because they are his duty, and because he is a good father. Not because he’s trying to win me back. Because I know now, and feel now, with a strong certainty, that his window of opportunity has passed, that we are over.

To make a complicated matter just a little more complicated, my financial situation sucks at the moment. I wasn’t planning on working at all this year. I was going to be a stay-at-home-mom for the first year of my baby’s life. When BD left I got a part time job, but I’m spending way more than I’m making. BD’s been transferring money to my account every month, and covering our mortgage. Once we get divorced, I know there will be child support, but it’s not going to be like it is now, when he still has the hope of me taking him back. I don’t want to give up the apartment, I really don’t. It’s a small, modest place, and I love it, I love that it’s a 10 minute walk away from the park and that the neighbors are friendly, and that the vegetable guy always smiles at me and gives me his best strawberries that he keeps behind the counter, and that the supermarket delivery guy knows my son’s name. It’s our home, and it will really break my heart to have to leave it.

I finally sat down with an excel file yesterday and wrote down all our expenses and my income. I’ve already arranged for expanding my position to full time next year, but a teacher’s income is still a teacher’s income. There used to be the possibility of tutoring, but it’s really difficult for me to clear up an afternoon for work when daycare ends at 16:00 and I just want to spend time with my son in the few hours that are left to his day before he goes to sleep. Daycare… It’s so expensive! And then there are all the other expenses of raising a baby. I know I’ve become a little spoiled. I have a sitter that comes in once a week, and then I go out. I have a cleaning guy that I know I will have to part with. I have a mineral water dispenser that is way too expensive for me to keep. And let’s not forget my therapist, jeez, it’s pricey to maintain emotional stability, isn’t it?

I was worried before I began the excel chart, but somehow I found that once it was done, I wasn’t discouraged. Somehow, it was actually a relief to see everything written down, rather than a huge jumble of anxiety in my head. I made a new chart, of what things will look like starting September. I’ll be working more. I’ll be cleaning my own place, at least most of the time. I’ll be going back to filtered water. I’ll be getting more help from my mom, instead of the sitter. Also, hopefully, there will be a good settlement.

Careful!

16 Feb

!

Everyone is telling me to be careful. Everybody wants me to be smart.

The Divorce

He wants joint custody. I honestly don’t think that would be best for Baby. I think he needs his mom. And I think it would be dreadfully difficult for me too. But BD is his dad, and if he wants to be there for his boy, should I be standing in the way? Maybe it would be good for Baby to have a dominant father figure in his life.

It scares me, and I don’t think he can handle it. I think BD is biting off more than he can chew. And I don’t want him making mistakes with this, there’s just too much at stake. Play it smart, people keep telling me. Make sure that you get yours. The thing is, I’m not sure I know what mine is, and really, I think Baby is the only person whose wants and needs matter this time, not mine.

Skating Guy, Still Here.

I’m letting this thing happen to me. It’s dangerous, it’s reckless, I’m bound to get hurt, but I don’t care. My friends are a little taken aback by how fast things are moving. I got a few watch its and we’re just looking out for yous, and I know that they are.

I don’t care. Although BD’s only been out of the house for 5 months, honestly, it feels like forever since I’ve been loved. Yes, I’m using the L-word. Go ahead; tell me I’m being rash. I am, I know it. But I don’t care.

Daycare

I’ve decided to put Baby in daycare starting March. He’s only going to be 9 months old, but it really seems like he’s craving the company of other kids, and the stimulation that daycare can provide. It’s nice to be home with mommy, or his aunts who babysit, but really, it’s very limited. I found an amazing place, literally a two minute walk away from our apartment. I got great recommendations. It’s a family place, with only ten kids, and the head teacher is a warm friendly motherly type, who sings constantly, and cooks, and smiles, and issues hugs freely. We went to visit. Baby was on my lap at first but then he wriggled free and went crawling about, pulling at the other kids’ ears and feet, squealing with joy.

But he’s going to get sick a lot at daycare. You’ll be home with him half the time. And a baby needs his mother. Who’s that warning me now? Oh yes, it’s me.

I guess the truth is that everyone wants what’s best for me. And so do I. I guess the truth is that there aren’t as many warnings issued from friends and family as there are from myself. It’s ME who keeps telling ME to be careful.

Compartmentalizing

12 Feb

compartments

Divorce sucks donkey balls, just in case you were wondering.

BD is being difficult about everything. Honestly, he’s put me through hell recently, and I’m really making an enormous effort to pick up the pieces and move on with my life. I think the least he can do is step aside, and sign a decent divorce settlement. But… Get this. He wants joint custody. WTF. The man can barely make it over twice a week to see his son. He gets stuck at work and by the time he arrives it’s bed time. Or he makes plans with me to take him on a Thursday and they claims we said it was a Friday. How does he think he’s possibly going to manage taking care of a baby 50% of the time, with his mood swings, temporary apartments and his 14 hour day job? And Baby is only 8 months old. There is no way I am parting with him for three nights a week. He needs his mom. And his mom needs him.

Compartmentalizing. The kind of skill that sure would come in handy right about now. BD used to be amazing at it. We’d have a fight, and he’d push the entire saga into a little drawer in his head somewhere, and sit down watching the news, relaxing, as if nothing was wrong, while I’d be out of my mind with rage and insult. But I guess that’s me. What you see is what you get.

And here’s an example from a different angle of my life and its recent developments. Many of my friends, over the years, have acquired the skill of dating casually. I mean dating the same guy, for a while, not like a three date thing that ends quickly. I’m talking about having a guy that they see, that they’re intimate with, and keeping it casual, no hidden catch, no strings attached.

Well, these are skills that I’ve definitely NOT mastered yet. If I’m upset about something, and I don’t mean something like being cut off on the highway, I mean something big, like having my husband walk out on me and leave me with our three-month-old-baby, there is no way I can just pretend that I’m having an awesome day. You’d be able to tell by just one glance at my face that something is seriously wrong. Maybe this is why so many people on my side already know that our divorce is in progress, while on his side, many people are still oblivious. Because he can just smile and nod and pretend that there aren’t any huge life-changing events taking place at the moment.

As for dating, the thing with me is that if I’m seeing someone, who’s actually sweet enough for me to keep seeing, more than a couple of times, it’s inevitable that I’m going to develop feelings toward him. It’s just the way it is. And it doesn’t matter that it’s inconvenient, inappropriate or premature. It is what it is, and I am what I am (maybe I should issue some sort of warning).

Sometimes I wish I could force some kind of separation of the different aspects of my life. Go to work and not worry about the divorce for example. Make out with Skating Guy and not worry about getting hurt. And it does worry me, that if I can’t compartmentalize, how am I ever going to become immune to BD? He’s going to play a serious role in my life, from now and on, basically, forever. Being the Dad. Picking Baby up, spending time with him. And I’m sure once Baby starts talking and being more communicative I’m going to be seeing the two of them together, and it’s going to stir some emotions in me. Inevitable. And how the hell am I going to deal with that?