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Living in a cyclone

Posted By: adinva

Living in a cyclone - 07/10/14 04:33 PM

I was trying to think up a name for my new thread and I was thinking about my life lately and the image that came to mind was the cyclone scene in Wizard of Oz. Everything's tumultuous and I'm trying to keep all the doors and windows shut, and I would not be surprised at all to see a cow fly by.

The good news is that it's nearly cured me of my obsession with these boards. Too busy to spend the hours I once did. I still check in often to see some people I care about and how they're doing. I sometimes post a quick reaction to something I see in Newcomers and end up backspacing back over it because I haven't taken the time to know their stories and have little business spouting off in their threads. That's good for me, because I was really getting too absorbed here as an escape from what's out there. Now I'm out there.

So, just the current stuff, travel lacrosse, moving office and house furniture, selling stuff on craigslist, working a second job that's flexible but time consuming, gearing up to start my new job, getting all doctors appointments and whatnot done during my between-jobs month, trying to keep the kids healthy and busy and the usual teenager issues, and oh yeah, that separation agreement. It's higher up on my to do list than ever. I think I'm ready to get busy on it.

Not much going on between me and H, just interacting when kids or mail requires it and that is mostly via text. He's pleasant enough. He didn't say anything but by the way he asked if my new salary was full time or part time I could guess that he'd been hoping it would be much higher. He never believed me that I was very well paid for my part time work, to offset the lack of benefits. New job is not 60% more money. But we all know I wasn't really working only part time before. Anyway, it's a job and a good one, with benefits, and I'll make do and keep the second one if it's needed to save for college.

The other thing about H is I keep getting hit with a sad memory. When H and I told the kids and H left, S14 who was 12 then came home from school one day and told me his friend said it's ok to have divorced parents because you get to have two Christmas trees. That kid's dad has him about half the time and has a complete home set up for him and his brother, and is very involved with them. I had a feeling our sitch wouldn't be anything like that, and it hasn't been, and I wonder if that's been a disappointment to S14.

S14's got a new IC, who's beginning to ask him about his anger, and he's responding "what anger? I'm not angry." I can remember sitting in a chair three years ago saying the exact same thing. Probably because he's slashed most of the stuff in his room with his knife collection, we think he might be angry? Or because he won't get out of bed? Anyway, he seems to be doing better the past couple of weeks.

So that's all, just wanted to open a new thread since my last one locked. I do read a bunch of you, and do care, just don't have much to say.
Posted By: BeginningAgain

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/10/14 06:13 PM

Thanks for the new thread AD! Been wondering how you are doing. Sounds like you are working through things slowly but surely. Good luck with getting the separation agreement completed. For some reason when I did mine, that brought more of a sense of closure than getting the actual signed divorce papers.

BA
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/10/14 11:43 PM

Thanks BA, I appreciate your interest!
Posted By: longrun

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/11/14 02:12 AM

Hi adinva, I remember you from my more active times, I always enjoyed your contributions. - There seem to be similar developments in situations. Like you I am "out there" most of the time. The main difference is that Big D is behind me. I go along with your last words: "just don't have much to say". I don't want to discourage newcomers but I also don't want to nurture hope. I have no expectations. "It is not what it could have been, it is not what it should have been, it is what it is." ( Nicole Kidman's father.)
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/11/14 03:51 AM

Hi Longrun! I have always felt that the hope comes from what 25 told me right at the beginning, this is a chance to fix my stuff that I didn't even realize I had, and be a better person/partner. As long as there was something good I could get from all this, it made me feel better, more empowered. I tried to hammer that point for the newcomers for a while. It's frustrating because they tend to define success as avoiding divorce. I don't anymore. There's a lot of hope in just growing as a person, imo. I hope you got some of that too. I used to think a bad marriage was better than divorce, but I don't think that anymore, not even for the kids. And it takes two to fix a bad marriage, and even then it's a long shot.
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/12/14 03:13 PM

Here, here.
Posted By: longrun

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/12/14 06:18 PM

True, adinva. There are two topics: what happens with the marriage and what happens with oneself. Whereas there may be no hope for the marriage there is definitely hope for how one feels. "Detach", "GAL" and all the other DB recommendations definitely help here.
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/13/14 03:37 PM

Originally Posted By: labug
Here, here.


Hear! Hear!

(not enough coffee yesterday)
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/13/14 08:26 PM

I knew what you meant!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/13/14 08:56 PM

Serendipitously, H wanted to stop by for mail and to write me a check for S16's car tires, and we had an IC appointment for S14 scheduled, so I invited him to attend if he wanted to. It was very interesting. I tried not to try to control the conversation so the IC could get a read on how S14's dad interacts with us.

The goal is to figure out what will help S14 motivate himself to succeed in life, beginning with getting out of bed. We had a very optimistic schedule to attempt from last week, which we both did not implement very well, and we both thought was extreme for summer, and which I thought would require more sitting on S14 that I was able to do or should do. The talk turned to how much of this might be wired and how much is willful, and H took over and kind of went on a rampage. He believes it's willful and believes S14 just needs to have empathy for how much he's inconveniencing everyone else and then the good feeling of not being an inconvenience for his mother will be what motivates him. He asked S14 if he feels bad for not helping me, and he continued rephrasing the question and clarifying it and answering it himself, for maybe five entire minutes so S could not get a word in edgewise. S14 basically clammed up, leaned back, picked at his lip and said monosyllabic answers only after long pauses. And looked like he might cry.

H also talked about what "we" do and family dinners and things as if he hasn't lived elsewhere for the past year and a half. About how "we" have consequences and "we" have chores in the house. If you didn't know, which IC did know, you would have thought we all lived together. I was very quiet and tried to let everyone else be how they were, but all the loud talking in my ear was upsetting and I found myself scrutinizing the letters in the titles of the psych books on IC's shelves so that I would not cry. Not because I felt emotional about the not living together, but because the loud talking and H acting like he knows everything made me feel very uncomfortable. I also feel uncomfortable when S14 acts weird, because I know he's able to not do that, and his clamming up tends to make people uncomfortable which is embarassing to me. So I tried to just not get in the way during the uncomfortable parts.

IC suggested some testing to determine what areas might be holding S14 back, and H said he didn't think it was needed now that we had a new solution. H's new solution was he told S14 that we're all going to thank him when S14 does things like get up and feed the dogs so he can know we appreciate it and so he can develop empathy for how we feel. With this NEW appreciativeness (which is not new, because I always thank the kids for doing things I appreciate...it was H who didn't believe in praising them for just doing what they're supposed to, and he's not there to say thanks now...), with this new tool, H felt we'll see S14 do better and if he does better we don't need any expensive testing.

IC excused S14 and got a lot more serious and suggested to H that it will be helpful to determine how much is willful and how much is not. His observations suggested to him that we might be dealing with something along the autistic spectrum, where all the yelling in the world isn't going to have the intended effect. I've thought that since S was little, when he got scolded for not making eye contact and not being more engaging with people, so this is not surprising to me but I have always thought S14 was doing pretty well and needed to be more understood. I think it's time to recognize that's not good enough, because the depressive signs have me really worried.

So I was really glad H was in the room for this discussion coming from IC. I think it helped get H possibly thinking in terms of what S needs rather than how inconvenient S is. I also think it gave IC a good picture of the impact H has when he's talking to S.

Later in the car I asked S how he thought it went, good, bad, medium? Got a grunt. I said, I think it went really well because it gave IC a chance to see what dad's like. S opened up and said he would have answered the question but dad wouldn't stop talking so there was nowhere to get in. So we went and got lollipops and went home.

S is willing to go for testing, so we'll see where that leads.
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/14/14 02:14 PM

((( )))

I hope your son gets what he needs. It's so good he has you and the IC as advocates.

What an insight into H!
Posted By: LuckyLuke

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/16/14 10:23 AM

Hi adinva,

Glad to find you are still here - I may be joining you in this section soon -

Luke
Posted By: willbwell

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/16/14 10:54 AM

adinva, just wanted to say hello. you seem to have tremendous patience. I too have boys, 17 and 20. S20 will share his feelings. S17 stuffs them down.
my hat is off to you!
one time my h said to boys something about communicating and I just started laughing uncontrollably, my s20 said I sense something ironic!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/16/14 01:28 PM

Hi Luke, Hi Willbewell!

Luke, I came to the surviving forum when I decided that I was going to be divorced. I figured this group better matched where I was in my process than newcomers did, and there would be wisdom of other people who've gone all the way through and come out the other side of divorce. I'm not actually divorced yet, and don't even have a separation agreement yet. But I feel divorced, and that's what matters. It's a good forum, you'll be a welcome addition.

WBW, thanks for your kind words! This is rough with boys. I'm sometimes jealous of the families with involved dads, because it is so much more what boys need at this age. But you gotta work with what you've got.
Posted By: ces67

Re: Living in a cyclone - 07/21/14 12:46 AM

Hey Ad, sounds like the IC session was one of those difficult but helpful sessions. Thinking of you & your son and hope the testing offers some valuable insights for you all.

You're involved. You care and your son sees that. Still sad for what you can't control (H) but be thankful that your son opens up to you.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/18/14 02:40 PM

So funny. If I've learned anything through all this, it's that emotions always change. I feel more settled this time. Everything isn't perfect, and there are parts of my life that I could improve, but in the big picture the things that matter are very good. Just thought I'd journal while I'm here.

No, I haven't worked on the separation agreement. Yes, I realize I'm completely holding it up for no apparent reason. No, he hasn't asked about it, and the lack of a deadline or any pressure does help me put it off for more pressing things. I'll get there when I get there.

S14 is adorable. He seems more confident and secure than ever. He talks to me. He still seems addicted to his computer, and he still sleeps till 4 or 5pm if allowed, but he smiles with an uninhibited clarity that makes me feel he's really ok. Not that I'll relax on the counseling and medication that I believe helped get him ok. And we'll still work on getting him tested.

S16 is turning into an adult, and I barely see him. He's out with friends, driving places, "hangin' out." I don't like some of the decisions he makes, but he has heard my values and decided differently. What I like is that he's willing to talk to me about his choices; he's not afraid of me freaking out. The downside of that is, he's not afraid of me. When I catch him, he gets consequences, but we both know he's going to keep drinking beer and chewing tobacco until/unless he decides not to. That he talks to me about it gives me a chance to discuss specifically what about it I'm really concerned about and why. So, not perfect, and a far cry from what other families seem to maintain, but I think he's going to be OK too. He cooks us a meal now and then, and has talked about getting a job, works out at the gym like crazy (very proud of his muscles), and is nicer to his brother than he used to be.

The job is super terrific, just can't say enough about how much I love everything about it so far. Thrilled. Valued!!!! Appreciated, Challenged, Rewarded, Trusted, Respected. Just perfect.

H is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. He's very weird, and then he's not. Very secretive about his comings and goings. My mind has gone crazy thinking...he's gay...oh - he's a cross dresser...he's in a relationship with his housemate...oh, who knows. Maybe he's secretive because he's unhinged, but it feels easier to me to think he's taking care of himself and someday the reason why will be more clear. IF that's the case, I wish I weren't a person he didn't feel safe enough to be who he was with. And if not, and he's just how he is because he has emotional difficulties, well, that doesn't hurt me anymore.

So my birthday came and went without a peep from him. The boys and I celebrated, and my family and friends came and modeled for the boys what celebrating someone looks like, and I was very happy. Here it is two weeks later and H happens to be at the house picking up mail, and out of the blue, he says, "By the way for your birthday present I thought I'd get the post on your bike switched out and better handles so that your hands don't get numb; it's never been the right fit for you. Is that OK?" I was taken aback, but tried to convey my pleasure in my "sure!" Anyway, it's nice of him and thoughtful, and completely unexpected.

Weight watchers is going great - I'm a comfortable 2 lb below goal and proud of my success, determined to continue taking good care of myself.

Enjoying my close friendships. I was thinking that these must stay close when I start dating again. I've realized how important it is for me to be in close relationships with women; we fulfill needs in each other that are different from what a romantic relationship can provide and I feel like it's a necessary part of being a well rounded healthy person.

I think more often about beginning to explore dating. I haven't worn my ring for a couple of months, but it takes longer than that for the ring mark to disappear. I think I will look "recently separated" as long as that indent is there!

Lots to do. Long post, but the mood struck to give a status update. Hope my friends here are doing well too!
Posted By: BeginningAgain

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/18/14 02:51 PM

Hey AD,

Glad you are doing so well and that the new job is working out for you! Everything works out on it's own timetable and you will know when it's time to start finalizing things like the separation agreement and considering dating - but it sounds to me like you are getting closer and moving in that direction.

Best,
BA
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/18/14 03:06 PM

Thanks BA...and I'm happy for how things are going for you too!
Posted By: ces67

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/19/14 12:02 PM

Hi Ad, Glad things are going well and very glad to hear your boys are doing ok and getting along. 16 is a rough age regardless. Did I mention my son tried pot a while back? Yep. But same deal, he told me about it and we talked through expectations. Glad you had a fun birthday! Happy belated!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/19/14 08:03 PM

Pot is really challenging. It's illegal but the kids hear about kids who got nothing but a slap on the wrist. It's zero-tolerance at the schools and sports teams, but what that means is everyone tries really hard not to catch anyone so they don't have to take that extreme measure. It's bad for them but they think getting drunk is worse, and they have all kinds of information coming over the internet about how the health risks are being overstated. They see adults pushing for its legalization. I just want to see my kid grow up without a criminal record, with as many of his brain cells as he can hang onto, unaddicted, healthy.
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/21/14 03:56 PM

Hi Ad!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/22/14 01:16 AM

Hi La!
Posted By: BFloat

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/22/14 05:29 AM

i'm happy to read an update. i was thinking about you the other day. i'm glad to hear you're doing well. nothing much to say at the moment.. just that i wish i was more up to date with everyone. i miss you.. bugsy.. oh so many...
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/24/14 03:41 AM

Miss you too! I saw you on CES's thread and was like "BF! BF is back!" I miss those bizarre late night conversations that were always so funny.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/24/14 03:56 AM

H texted me today to see if I could meet him at the bike store to finish my birthday present bike adjustment. No notice as usual, but I was available. I had mixed up feelings about riding back and forth in the car with him and letting him spend money on me. Went anyway, because I feel like it would kill me to be rude or cause him to feel bad, and I was appreciative and even smiled at him, probably the first time I've smiled AT him in years. It was an effort, but I thought he was trying very hard to be a good guy and expected to have that acknowledged. I know why I'm like this, and at least my instincts told me up front to have an uncomfortable feeling about it, but I still squelch them to behave as others expect me to.

Anyway, it was thoughtful of him. On the way to the bike shop I mentioned I was taking the kids to the beach tomorrow and he handed me money to spend there. Again, unexpected, weird, appreciated, but weird. Of course, I'll accept any money he's offering for the good of the kids.

Back home he came in and sat at the kitchen table, facing away from me, for a while. I started dinner, asked if he wanted water and he did not. He was there what seemed like a long time. I thought maybe he had something he wanted to say. I felt uncomfortable. He then left.

I had a nice talk with my wonderful friend later to sort out my feelings. I feel vulnerable because even though I have significantly raised my standards of how I will be treated, and even though I have some firm ideas about what approaching me for reconciliation should look like, and even though I know that if he ever did it would be a long road and a long shot whether it would be successful...I'm still vulnerable to feeling like if he's being nice maybe that means something. I don't want it to, and I don't want to reconcile at this point, and I don't think he does either, so the irrelevance of my thought pattern makes me feel mixed up. The less he's around trying to look like a good guy, the less mixed up I am.

I'm way more sure of myself, assertive, and confident around anyone else, but my borders around him are shaky. It still bothers me that he wants to act like nothing happened, and like he's a wonderful guy who just doesn't happen to live with us. It doesn't feel authentic to me, and I've been trying to be more authentic after a lifetime of feeling pressure to be what's expected. And, well, I'm still mad that he left even if it turned out to be doing us a favor.

Anyway, too much thinking about non-issues. This just stirred up the mud at the bottom of my serenity. I know it'll settle back and be forgotten in a day or two.
Posted By: BFloat

Re: Living in a cyclone - 08/24/14 05:01 PM

i get what you're saying. i think i'm at a similar point. plus i have similar thought patterns. will post more later.
Posted By: RockJC

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/12/14 01:14 AM

I get it too.
Posted By: BFloat

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/12/14 06:41 AM

i know. no mater how screwed up the situation is.. no matter how much the WAS has hurt us.. the boundaries are a little fuzzy at times because in the end, there was once that lovely life. when you felt loved.. when you dropped your guard and was vulnerable.. when you started a family.. it's hard.

but i look at how far you have come.. and the amazing woman that your are.. honestly, i have always admired how you have handled things. you are a testament of coming out on top.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/12/14 06:48 PM

Thanks Floating!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 11/09/14 03:35 AM

Hi DBers. I've been busy, as usual, and getting on with life. My parents have needed help with a few medical issues, which was stressful for all of us and left my kids to their own devices more than I'd have liked. Right now they're well.

I stay centered as much as possible by making time for music and exercise, and escape to good books. I feel pretty good. So that catches me up to this week's adventure.

I joined a meetup that used to be a singles but is now a couples/singles/whatever group, and my goal was to get up the nerve to go out, all by myself, and meet some of these people at a happy hour so I can have a group of acquaintances to hear live music with. It was intimidating/fun to get out of my comfort zone and meet some new people.

But - a guy who had met me once before was there asking me very personal direct questions about my marriage, what happened and what the details of our separation are. (As a lawyer, just to be helpful, of course.) I was not prepared, and wasn't happy with how I responded. I let bitterness come out, and portrayed H pretty negatively. I would be sorry and embarrassed if my words made their way back to him. I need to work on my filter and some pat answers for people who really don't have a reason to know my personal life story.

Q: What happened? A: I honestly don't know. I think one day my H woke up and decided he didn't want to be a husband and father anymore.
Q: Does he share custody? A: No, he basically only comes over if I have to go away on business.
Q: How did the kids take it? A: They're mad, they can't stand him right now.

These are definitely a version of the truth, but I also know it's more complicated than that. I don't think badmouthing him does me justice. It's not who I am.

I also should have exerted better control over what questions I chose to answer in such detail. It reminds me of work I did with IC early on in my sitch (self awareness and boundaries). Apparently when out drinking with strangers, I forget.

So I'm back to the stage of realizing after-the-fact and need to work my way back up to asserting in-the-moment.

At least after this unfortunate start, I got back to the group and met a few people who I'd be glad to see at another event. I'll call it a good learning experience.
Posted By: Rick1963

Re: Living in a cyclone - 11/09/14 12:08 PM

Good hearing from you Ad. One observation> Stop being sooooo hard on yourself. We are imperfect beings. Just the way God wanted us to be. Glad you are enjoying yourself.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 11/09/14 09:27 PM

Lol rock i know! Today i'm telling myself i've got to find a way to take myself less seriously. Way too analytical and critical of myself. But thats just more of the same!

Seriously though i do think im not good enough or as good as i can be, at living. God gave me lots of room to learn and improve in.
Posted By: RockJC

Re: Living in a cyclone - 11/09/14 11:26 PM

Cut yourself some slack. Your husband put you through hell. Those feelings and responses seem very normal and human to me.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 11/10/14 02:30 AM

Thanks, nice of you! I'd lke to be more at peace though and not still keeping score. But i will stop and if you write again you can have the last word! Lol

By the way, has anyone else noticed the lack of birthday cards appropriate for one's stbx? I'm thinking along the lines of:

It's your birthday.

Or

Have a ... Birthday.

Or even just a plain old Happy Birthday???

I passed by two thousand that all had some version of You're the Greatest sentiment that's false, or else a mean age joke that, given the circumstances loses the affectionate kidding aspe t and just sounds jerky. If it werent for the kids i wouldnt bother, but i want to be a good model for them. After way too long i found a nice plain hope your birthday makes you smile. Thoughtful yet unaffectionate.
Posted By: RockJC

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/05/14 02:57 AM

Wondering how you were doing Adinva. I have not seen a post in a while.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/05/14 12:37 PM

Hey there! Nice to see a call out on my thread! I'm doing fine mostly but dealing with a lot that keeps me busy. Been reading these forums a lot tho; there are several people i follow just to see how theyre doing and the advice theyre being given is often helpful to me.

I almost wrote here yesterday because i couldnt think of a safer outlet. Thoughts of being dead have been popping in my mind, which causes me a little concern. I dont worry too much because theyre always accompanied by thoughts of how unlikely, impractical, undesirable that wd be, how much my kids need me, and how much joy i get out of life. The idea that i'd miss out on any of it is ridiculous so these thoughts are a little alarming. I've read that the hotlines worry if you also have a means and a plan, which i dont. I just think of it when i feel so tired and my days are sometimes so hard. I have always known that i will feel better soon and i always do! Yesterday for ex started like this and by evening was a great day full of good things.

I was feeling down to start bc i caught a cold ceel like cr@p and would like to just rest. S14 wouldnt get out of bed and told me everyone in his life is expendable and nothing makes him happy, and i just didnt have it atm to help him it was just bringin me down more. I let him stay home skip the tests he was avoiding and discussed dropping the class he wants to drop. Made him get up and help around the house while i worked, and took him to my parents' for lunch. He cheered up but wouldnt go to school still. I felt at that moment some things are more important than school.

On the good side i found out insurance will cover psy testing for him yay and also the school is moving forward with testing. They emailed me a 200 question survey about his behaavior at home, which got him to help with, and couched in it were questions i was glad to have the excuse to ask: do you ever feeling hurting yourself or others for example and he readily said never. Do you ever feel worthless, he said occasionally. It was good bonding time i think.

I emailed h my discovery about the testing and my recommendation that we use our good friends practice tho its an hour away. H said to give him a couple days notice and he would take time off work to drive. I am glad to let him step up for that even tho i didnt mind doing it.

S16 is out with friends almost all the time, only coming home at curfew often, i miss him. He suggested we need a christmas tree, and im happy to see our traiditions matter to him. Thank goodness for allergy shots bc thats my guaranteed bonding time with him.

Thanksgiving was good, my parents hosted and my siblings came. Next day i drove the kids to h's sister's for pizza dinner and lots of family on h's side there. It was fine and i enjoyed seeing people. I barely interacted with h and his (lawyer) brother, not rudely just not near them or interacting much with them. At one point h raised his voice and used the youre-an-idiot voice that i know so well, speaking to his sister, and i had to leave the room for a bit. When i left i mentioned we were going the long way home because i had been a dollar short on the ferry over. H then handed me all the pizza money and said just keep it its fine. Which i didnt resist, and said thanks. I dislike him and prefer not to be around him, but he's a mostly decent person. He did manage to kid the boys and told everyone theyre both going to military school, har de har har, but i didnt get involved in that.

Work is good, satill adjusting to full time, and any day i have out of town or a morning meeting s14 skips school. That feeling of being pulled in 2 directions is stressful.

Still playing guitar and singing, planning to see live bands, gearing up for my first open mic.

Trying to spend time w my elderly parents, time seems short esp for my mom.

Still avoiding my divorce paperwork, but really emotionally ready to be done, just feel like i need some uninterrupted stretch of time to work on it, and i never seem to have any of those.

I think my weird mood is related to the dark cold season so i'm trying to just deal with it. I thought perhaps mentioning it here i could get some agreement that its not anything to be alarmed about. I do love christmas and am enjoying a month of carols on the radio.

Thanks very much for being interested in how im doing!
Posted By: BeginningAgain

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/05/14 03:28 PM

Hi AD!

It's nice to see an update from you. I have wondered how you are and now the new job is going.

Personally, I wouldn't be too alarmed about the somewhat darkness of your moods. Over the years I've had instances where I thought some of the same things as you, never acted on them they were just fleeting thoughts. Besides the holidays are supposed to be the time of year that more people are affected by depression and sadness (go figure). I'd say just keep your awareness and if they start to become more predominant instead of just an occasional thought or start affecting your everyday life, i.e. withdrawing from people, staying in bed and not getting out, etc. then seek out someone to talk to about them. Of course I'm no therapist, didn't even sleep at a Holiday Express last night, so take my advice with a grain of salt. grin

You seem very locked in and engaged in regard to your S14's struggles. Teenage years are so tough, especially for us parents! We just want the best for our kids and it's so hard when we see them either hurting or making decisions that we know aren't the best for them. My D16 had some real struggles last year and into early this year. It was difficult watching her go through that and I had a lot of anxiety wondering what was the best way to deal with her so that it would move her in the right direction and not make things worse. Fortunately, she has rebounded and is doing much better, in fact really good these days. I wish I knew what it was that moved her to chart a more positive course in her life - but I'm happy with the end result.

Very cool that you are going to be stepping out and doing the open mic thing. To me this is another indicator to not be too concerned about the mood stuff. You're willing to put yourself out there and take on new challenges. It would be cool to hear you play!

BA
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/05/14 04:20 PM

Thanks BA! I appreciate the barometer check. I just don't know if suicidal ideation is one of those things people who would never act on it might lose their mind for a second and do it by accident. I don't know. Seems really unlikely. Never had to wonder about it before. But since you didn't sleep at a Holiday Express last night perhaps I should get another opinion.

I think the worst effect on my everyday life is that I just can't do for my kids when I feel like crawling under a rock. With S14's issues, I would have to actually spend part of my workday evaluating his missing assignments and working with him directly to organize and do his work, and I'm good for about a 1/2 hour of sitting on him to study and then I just can't seem to care enough to try for another hour. And they eat too much McDonalds, and live in a dusty house. I think I hit the most important marks but I can't get them to go to school or succeed there if they can't do it for themselves, right now. And everyone else seems to be checking homework and organizing college visits...I feel pretty lame as a mom. Oh yeah I was supposed to stop beating up on myself about that. Forgot.

I would like to stop defining myself by the fact that my H left, and everyday feeling like our finances, coping ability, food, quality of life, everything is suffering because he left. I want to get to where the fact that he left is only a small part of how we're doing. So, I need to take a Dave Ramsey course, take control of my finances, fix my separation agreement, get a divorce, and stand on my own two feet.
Posted By: Rick1963

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/07/14 11:58 AM

Hey AD I wouldnt be too worried about your thoughts. It happens to everyone especially when stressed. Wondering if being dead would be better in times of turmoil is very normal. If it doesnt go away and u start planning on how to do it than I would worry.

And yes stop defining yourself based on what H did. You have a great life ahead. i did the same thing and it kept me stuck. I think it was fear
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/08/14 01:58 AM

Yeah fear. I know. I don't know what I'm afraid of! But yeah.
Posted By: RockJC

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/08/14 02:45 PM

Thanks for the update. It sounds like you are just dealing with life. Everyone (Divorced and married) deals with these issues. Yes, it would probably be easier if your husband was still in your life, but I have several married friends who are going through the exact same teenager / money / job issues. You are handling it as gracefully as anyone I know.

I am surprised that you have not moved forward with the divorce paperwork. I know you are busy, but is it really a time issue, or is busyness your avoidance mechanism? Personally, I know it was easier to detach, and move forward once I got the official divorce behind me.

Kudos on handling Thanksgiving without any drama. And again, thanks for the update.
Posted By: paul19510

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/08/14 03:42 PM

Hi Ad. You sound great. Its nice to know that others have these feelings too
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/15/14 02:37 PM

Barely Floating, i cannot figure out how stupid new FB Messenger works. Want to thank you for being so wonderful. I still have the first christmas card u sent me. It was on my hallway table for ever, making me smile. I hope ur doing well! I also hope one day we r in the same place at the same time. Love ya!
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/15/14 03:00 PM

Hi Ad, Merry Christmas!

I left the DB FB universe.

I hear your concern for your 14 yr old.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/15/14 04:51 PM

Hey there Bug!

I left all the universes except the real one, mostly, but check now and then. I read here most days, checking the news about people I care about. I suspect Floating isn't here and won't see my message, but thought I'd try.

14yo has good days and bad days, and currently more good days, if you don't count school attendance. I love those boys more than they could even imagine.

It's nice to hear from you. I hope your family is well and finding joy in the season!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/15/14 05:10 PM

Guess while I'm here I'll share what's going on these days.

MIL called me to invite me to visit her. I was really pleased by that and we made plans, and I spent a few hours with her yesterday. Had a very nice time and talked about all kinds of pleasant things, and nothing about H. Wish I could have gotten the boys to go, but they refused and they did just see her at Thanksgiving. They sat in the living room where she was so there was some quality time. I didn't want to stress myself by worrying about forcing them to go on this one visit.

Almost never see or hear from H (last time in person was his sister's Thanksgiving). He has moved in with a friend who's living here during the week and commuting home to Connecticut on weekends. I do not know where they're living or even what town. He texts me when necessary and has been sending money, $600 to cover half of some kids' dental expenses I had told him about, and he's sending $2000 this month for I don't know what. He just texted that he'd send $1K, or $2K if my bank balance was low. I checked and it was so I said it's low and he's sending $2K. That will help with the car repair and maybe I'll get the leaky dishwasher looked at.

He texted to ask for 6 months of internet and phone bills because his company reimburses him. Which is weird because I pay those bills and he's not even on the phone account, but I don't question it. Perhaps the extra money is for that and the medical expenses I've been paying out of pocket waiting to get to our deductible. It's been an expensive year since I don't have that handy flex credit card that pays with his money - that ended last year.

So in general, I don't ask but he offers and that's fine and nice.

I attended another divorce workshop, this one offered by my financial planner who I paid in full two years ago to advise for the divorce I haven't completed. I could probably teach a divorce workshop! I went because it would be another kick in the pants that this is much simpler than I'm making it out to be and get moving. It caused me to move my backpack of financial data out from under my desk and now it's under the kitchen table. LOL.

Parents have been healthy these days. Kids randomly make it to school, either one or the other and sometimes both. All their teachers email me complaints about their missing classtime and missing work. What fun. I try not to let it stress me out.

I love-love-love Christmas. It gets me through the beginning of winter. I feel so much joy at this time, and play 24/7 Christmas carols and sing along loudly. I have a beautiful tree that's on all hours. I'm even actually having a nice time wandering around the stores. I went to one Christmas party this weekend, the only one I was invited to which is just fine, and slightly noticed that I was the only non-couple there, but I didn't care and enjoyed talking to my friends there and being Christmasy in the beautifully decorated house.

Some of my friends are pressuring me to get moving on college visits. If you have had a 16 year old you've probably been through this. I'm trying not to let it stress me out too. No idea where the money's going to come from. Anyway, I think it'll be nice bonding time, maybe, to go visit colleges with the boys.

So that's the news from Lake Wobegone, and it's pretty good!
Posted By: labug

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/16/14 02:27 PM

I loved visiting colleges with S25! We had a great time. Of course we only visited in state schools but it was fun. I was jealous that it wasn't me going to to college.

I also remember feeling really resentful that H left it all up to me. But now I realize that really wasn't true. Perspective.

And I got to have a great time with S, so what do I have to be resentful about.

I don't know what the future holds for S22. Not college, at least not right now.

Rambling a bit. Visit some schools.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/16/14 02:47 PM

On this one thing, college visits, i dont feel resentful but i do feel a bit sad if H misses out on this part of S's life. All his input so far has been joking "both you kids are going to VMI cuz military school will shape u up, hardehar." That i think was just showing off for h's brother, there hasnt been any serious discussion. I tend to move forward without him.

Glad u got to have that experience w s25. I know you have different experiences with your other son but he is very lucky to have your understanding care too!
Posted By: BeginningAgain

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/16/14 03:45 PM

AD,

I loved taking my D18 on her visits to colleges last year. It was a really fun experience. Although she was accepted into 2 of the out of state schools she applied to, she decided to go with her in-state option, VCU, and couldn't be happier with her choice. Virginia has a lot of excellent schools to choose from. Next year I'll be back on the college visitation circuit with D16 and am actually looking forward to it.

Good luck to your son in his college search!

BA
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/18/14 12:21 AM

OMG my H's check arrived, for $3K. I texted him to find out if that was a mistake, and he said Merry Christmas. I must admit that was thoughtful and/or generous. I texted back Wow Thank You.

A bit confused but not going to ruminate on it.

I will NOT use it for the $1000 divorce coach I met at a recent workshop. I spoke to her but ultimately decided if it costs me $1000 to get off my butt then I should be smacked upside the head. I can do this. But I had a moments thought, hey now I can afford...nah.
Posted By: BFloat

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/27/14 06:41 AM

Whenever I log on I think, I should do it more often!!! About fb messenger.. I find it incredibly aggravating!

As I'm typing, I'm staring at me Christmas tree with the lights that have been on since this afternoon. I have every single one of my Christmas lights on because... It makes me happy.

You are like the "white" version of me. Lol. I I mean that in a totally loving way. Lol.

This darker moments.. I think it's normal. The important thing is that your have insight. Don't dwell on it.. Make a mental note and if it ever gets worse (and hopefully it never does) then we are always here for you.

I have never doubted that you are a good mom. I'm not quite sure what's going on with your younger son and the evaluation you're waiting for.. I am a little familiar with some of the questions you've been discussing with him because it sounds like similar to a questionnaire I had to fill out for my S. I'm not sure if these things are different between Canada and the US...

There are moments where I think.. I am a terrible mother. My child is struggling in school and I just can not sit there every single day to help him with his reading and writing. I feel like it is all my fault because I try but sometimes it's frustrating beyond belief. I'm a bad mom because I don't force them to eat enough vegetables.. I'm a bad mom because sometimes I just say to them.. "Don't talk to me! I just need 10 minutes of silence!". But is this really true? And is this a fair assessment?

You have been there since the beginning. You work to provide for them. You keep them safe. They are fed and healthy. And the love you have for them.... I'm just saying.. Don't beat yourself up. I can see that you're an amazing woman who is also an incredible mom.

Just to prove that you're not the only one... Do you know what we had for dinner tonight? McD's. lol!!!! Exhausted from the big dinner yesterday that I just didn't want to cook.

Merry Christmas Ad!!!
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/29/14 06:10 PM

Love it BF! Thanks for stopping by. I read your thread and yes, we follow a very similar path don't we?

I had some frustration trying to plan my Christmas with my kids, my family's Christmas in which they also wanted to see my kids, and my H's family and my H. That's four different Christmases to wrangle, and yes I know, I focused primarily on making sure my kids' and my needs were met while considering the others as much as reasonable. It's hard because no one seems to want to commit until the last minute to a specific plan with times identified. For my own serentity I like to have that, since I have a lot of competing obligations. Anyway...

Ended up that only I had the kids Christmas eve, which has been our traditional quite family celebration with our presents to the kids and candlelight church service. My two boys gave me the gift of attending church, on time, and then followed the family tradition of misbehaving all through it. In my head I apologize to all the families around us but in my heart I was enjoying their antics very much. My presents to them were necessarily small, so I made sure ahead of time that they understood it wasn't going to be an xbox. S16 had been out shopping with my credit card and he bought me a gingerbread scented candle, what a great kid he is.

Christmas day H came for lunch, by himself bc his mom wasn't well. I spiffed up the main level of the house, put a nice red tablecloth out, and made spaghetti and meatballs and his favorite pumpkin pie. He gave the kids big gifts. S14 said later, hey mom now I love dad more than you. Ho ho ho, I was glad to hear him joke like that.

I bought for him from the kids really nice leather touch-screen gloves, on S14's suggestion that he likes his fancy car so maybe some fancy driving gloves would be good. I thought he might really like a nutribullet like mine so he could have healthy quick breakfast and not take up much of his (shared) counterspace. The kids and I had different opinions about whether it was a good gift or not something he would want or over the top $. So I waited till he was here and hinted about how much I liked mine, would he use one if he had one, and he said yeah so I got it out of the garage. He did seem to be pleased with it.

After he left, the rest of the day was with my extended family and then quick getting the kids packed to go with H to Pittsburgh right from our my-family's dinner at a local nice restaurant. The restaurant was slow and the dryer wasn't drying so we weren't ready for them to go at the stroke of 7, so H got cranky and was kind of a jerk. I shrugged it off because life is easier if we don't all add to the crankiness, but basically the kids ate steaks and fries in under one minute and I left my just-placed dinner to drive them 1/4 mile to our house to their dad because he had already been to the restaurant and wasn't coming back since I had suggested he go to the house to hit restart on the dryer to speed things up. S14 ran so fast into the house that he went flying over the step and hurt himself. We all were bending over backwards to accommodate H's pickiness.

Once all that was over, it sounds like they had a nice time with H's family and friends in Pittsburgh and I enjoyed my very first voluntary two nights without the kids in two years. Of course, my house was still full of visiting family so I didn't get to break out and do something wild or crazy.

So, many good things this Christmas.
Posted By: BFloat

Re: Living in a cyclone - 12/31/14 07:31 PM

I love hearing that you had a good Christmas. What a difference a couple of years makes. Lol.

There is a part of me that still wishes I could have lived out the fairytale but at the same time, I'm not sorry for finding myself. A friend said to me the other day that he loves me but thinks I'm crazy for still including H at the family dinners. When I look at my kids and see how they've come through this, I feel good about my choices. There is something to be said about being true to who you are smile everything is not all sunshine and roses but I know you understand what I mean. Lol

I like your gingerbread candle! D4 wrapped up one of her stuffies to give to me which she claimed back after it was unwrapped! But I loved it anyway. I think you need to run yourself a bath.. Light up your candle.. And eat chocolates.. And then pay yourself on the back for your many accomplishments for 2014. Going to social events on your own is daunting and you did it!! Can't wait t hear what 2015 holds.
Posted By: ces67

Re: Living in a cyclone - 01/22/15 01:38 AM

Happy new year Ad! Just popping in to say "hi" and thinking of you. Wow, my son is 16 now and haven't even THOUGHT of college visits yet!

Take care. Nothing real new. Put a quick update on my old thread but nothing drastically different which is why I don't really post here anymore.

Take care,
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 02/04/15 03:19 PM

Hi CES! Things move slowly for me and you. No one could say we run thoughtlessly into new situations or that we don't care deeply about those around us. It doesn't make for exciting DB copy though.

I'm now the mom of a 17 year old, whoa. We have our first college visit Saturday. We both need to learn what realistically can be expected for him, because he's not exactly a Type A student and may not get accepted to some places. He's smart but uses that to skate, not to work harder. There's a place for that in the world. He won't be the one working 80 hour weeks and missing out on his family.

Nothing else is new here either. I had a great annual meeting and am loving my job. Made huge progress on psych testing and getting an IEP for S16. Doing lots of fun stuff. Same old same on the divorce front, not getting anything done.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/15/15 12:30 AM

Hello! I haven't been here in a really long time. I was searching the internet for helpful divorce info and found other sites that were lame, poorly written, or just questions with no answers...and thought hey, DB is way better than this! So I came back. Here is what's new (finally something is new).

Tomorrow morning is our first meeting with a financial mediator. I have collected every scrap of financial info possible into a binder, scoured it thoroughly so I know EXACTLY what I spend and why, uploaded my and H's draft spending plans into the family law software, and so we'll sit down and start looking together at what we have and how we'll divide it.

I'm prepared for it to be uncomfortable, or maybe it won't, but I really want to just get this thing done and move on. Whatever I have to live on, I just want to know what it is and then go live on it. I even shopped a little for houses over the weekend so I know what I can do if I can't afford to stay in my house. I have a lot of choices and that makes me feel confident for my future.

The big question for me is on child support. I ran numbers in two websites and got two different results with about $500/mo difference between them. I know what H thinks it should be, and that's the higher of the two numbers.

I finally did the math and found that if child support is about equal to our mortgage, and for 3 years he's been paying the mortgage in lieu of it, and half-owning the house...then he's been shorting me half the mortgage for three years.

If my numbers are right, then correcting them will fix my going-in-the-red problem so I'll stop burning through my savings.

These details have been occupying part of my headspace for a few weeks now, and I'm anxious to get around a table and start ironing out some agreement.

My goal is to negotiate the financial part with the financial advisor, then take it to our lawyers for the rest of the agreement. He hasn't asked for any child custody, we haven't got any property to speak of other than the house, so support and dividing the financial assets is really all we have to argue about. I really hope our meeting goes well and makes some progress.

H has been pretty good. He's been the one providing a car to S17 and soon to S15; if it were up to me they'd be sharing my minivan with me. He stays at the house when I work out of town, and in April I asked him to start staying one Saturday a month so I could have some respite I could plan on; that's been great. I was such a ball of stress that I was not being a really great mom.

Since my last post, my mom's been diagnosed with end-stage dementia, spent several weeks in the hospital and rehab needing around the clock care from my dad or me or my siblings, and finally moved to a memory-care unit which took a lot of burden off family. I try to go visit my dad and her as much as I can. He pretty much spends all his time with her except to sleep and a few hours a day when he pays an aide to sit with her. She's physically healthy at least, and her care unit is great. It's always interesting visiting there.

My kids are doing pretty well. S17 signed himself up for the SAT and took himself and a friend on a college visit last weekend, so I'm encouraged and proud of him for taking initiative. He's taking early dismissal and working a lot at his new job...Domino's. I buy pizza at least once a week now. S15 is off to a fair start for the school year, and he's back to picking sores all over his hands and arms, but he's very happy when he's online, and he's spent a few visits with a girl he met online. H and I have both met her and I met her mom and dad when I dropped him off at her house. She's only 45 minutes away. I know what he'll be doing when he gets his license...

I'm working a second little job to help make ends meet, walking dogs.

In all, things are good. I could complain about a few things H has said or done, but don't feel like it. I'm sure he could complain about me too. We don't have to like each other.

So now I'm going to go read up on all the things I've been missing around here. I hope if you're reading this, that you are doing well too.
Posted By: Cadet

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/15/15 12:16 PM

Originally Posted By: adinva
The big question for me is on child support. I ran numbers in two websites and got two different results with about $500/mo difference between them. I know what H thinks it should be, and that's the higher of the two numbers.

Seems like it may vary from state to state.

And I believe the bottom line will be what the two of you can agree on.
I think better to negotiate if possible, hopefully you have a good lawyer.

Originally Posted By: adinva
I was searching the internet for helpful divorce info and found other sites that were lame, poorly written, or just questions with no answers...and thought hey, DB is way better than this! So I came back.

Good to know although I am not surprised.
We have a lot of very smart people here.


Thanks for the update.
Posted By: BeginningAgain

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/15/15 03:02 PM

Originally Posted By: adinva

The big question for me is on child support. I ran numbers in two websites and got two different results with about $500/mo difference between them. I know what H thinks it should be, and that's the higher of the two numbers.


Good to hear an update from you AD! Sounds like overall you are doing well. Regarding the above, I've messaged you in the alt.

Best,
BA
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/15/15 05:18 PM

I am glad things are going well and you are getting some time to yourself to recharge. I know that when I become a cranky mommy it means I need a break. It's good you asked for that time from your ex and he is giving it to you.

As far as the CS, I know in my state it's nothing more than a formula and it is non-negotialble unless you have other assest or money situation that needs to be taken into consideration. The formula figures in salaries, and parenting time and household and related expenses. But it is pretty much a mathematical equation. I am sure your layer or mediator can make that kind of cut and dry for the both of you.

I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for you and you can have that closure.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/16/15 09:20 PM

Thanks for the replies! The meeting went really well. We didnt cover as much ground as we'd hoped but got bogged down on a few issues we saw differently. I have homework (house appraised, talk to realtor etc). I noticed toward the end H got cold and put his jacket on though the room didn't seem cold to me. That's happened to me a few times in this long process and i think in my case it has been shock. I felt it on bomb night for example, and about an hour into my last meeting with the financial advisor back in may. You hit your limit of handling it and then chills set in. Anyone else experience this? I don't know if my interpretation is correct but it reminded me this is really uncomfortable for him too. Esp being conflict avoidant and emotion averse.

Thanks re the child support info. We await the pro's calculation but i did learn h had been intentionally giving less than half the mortgage bc he felt he should be compensated since the kids and i live in the house and he doesnt.

It's ok with me though i disagree with his rationale i flat out need to move if i'm getting all i'll be getting. It'll mean i cant afford to share the house with him. I dont feel particularly emotional about these things anymore. I'm just curious to see if we can agree on a fair settlement and then i'll adjust our living conditions if needed. I do know we'll be fine even if we arent in a big house.

I'm glad i waited to do this because i feel good about whatever happens, and i'm no longer as affected by his words or actions.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/16/15 09:24 PM

Too slow on the edit button. H's shorting me on the mortgage isn't literally ok with me; i just meant if that's the way this ends up going i'll deal with whatever it is. I persnally think he should be paying half or he can drive his butt over here and start helping me maintain it. Lol.

We just see things differently.
Posted By: kml

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/18/15 12:39 AM

One common solution with kids the ages of yours is for both of you to pay half the mortgage until the kids graduate from high school, then sell the house and split the equity. It puts the kids' needs first and he can benefit from any increase in the value of the house over those years. However, if his financial situation prevents him from being able to do that, then you'll have to just suck it up and move.
Posted By: adinva

Re: Living in a cyclone - 09/18/15 11:34 PM

That's basically what we've been doing, except that he pays less than half the mortgage to compensate himself for not living in the house.

I'm running in the red because of that, so I'm inclined to either convince him to start paying more or else the kids and i find something smaller that i can afford.

It is hard for me to stop looking at how much he's able to save and how much more he spends, thinking he can afford to pay me more...
...and I see he thinks if we can figure out exactly what the kid's expenses are then he'll pay that, but no more.

Our advisor's job is to help us get to a fair agreement, so we've got a lot more negotiating to do.

===
Big strides. I got agreement from him one one of our other sticking points.

I met with a realtor, learned we need to put in carpet and paint, repair the hardwood, and $1k landscaping to get top price, that's probably $15k.

I got vendor recommendations for those jobs.

More homework, i need to price out of pocket estimated costs of my new health ins plan.

This is so much work.
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