Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Should Be a Duel Has Become a Soliliquy

You guys.  I have an appointment with a Family Law attorney tomorrow.  "Family Law" is a euphemism for "Divorce."  I don't want to be divorced, although being separated doesn't suck nearly as much as I thought it would.  Which is to say, "not at all."  And because Mr. K. doesn't appear to want to respond to my tour de force emails about our issues, I'm going to keep posting them, because goddamnit, they are good, heartfelt pieces of expository writing, and I need an "atta girl" right now like you would not even believe.  I think a "<drops mic>" at the end wouldn't be excessive.  But it's your call.

****************************************************************************************Dear Mr. K., 

I have some thoughts in response to your most recent email. 
As I have said before, your denial is a work of art.  

Regarding Troubled's "good, safe place:"  How are you satisfied?   Have you seen it yet?  What is the address?  As for the time off work, I thought that the very reason that you couldn't follow through on the agreement we made was because you *couldn't* take the time off work.  Once again, you were unable to say no, to insist that she wait, to set the limit and stick to it.  Once again you cast aside my wishes -- that you had agreed to -- rather than stand firm as you acknowledged was necessary to teach her the life skills she so desperately needs. You call me "suspicious and mistrustful" as though it were a character flaw, rather than a legitimate and understandable response to a questionable set of circumstances.  I'm surprised by your suggestion that I visit her in her new place so I could see for myself when you told me yourself that visitors weren't allowed,  This is one of the basic reasons that the whole story is so unbelievable.  But I will try to satisfy my curiosity if you give me her correct address.  

Regarding the car:  It is clear to me that you are not getting my emails, or not reading them, or not comprehending them. Other than to pay off the loan that the bank called due once they discovered it had been impounded, I will have nothing further to do with that car.  It is not registered to me, nor am I on the title.  Surrendering the car to an impound lot is a direct result of you ignoring my request that Juvie not be allowed to drive it.  As such, the entire matter is between you, Troubled, and Juvie, and I will take no part in its resolution. 

I find it incredibly ironic that you suggest I "be a parent" to my daughter, given your refusal to play that role at any point in these proceedings.    When Juvie was spending the night at our house without permission, and I wanted you to back me up and say "no" together, you did not.  When Troubled was failing classes and going to work high, and I wanted you to back me up and say "no" together, you did not.  When Juvie was driving our car, and I wanted you to back me up and say "no" together, you did not.  When Juvie was dealing drugs out of our house, and I wanted you to back me up and so "no" together, you did not.  When you refused to work with me to take control of the situation, you failed as a parent.  You failed as a husband.

As far as finances go, you need to understand that it's not just "your paycheck" and I am not "in charge of it." When we agreed years ago how vital it was to have a parent at home rather than to have strangers raise our children at daycare, you understood how that decision would affect our finances.  You would earn the income that we would need to create and sustain a home for our family.   If that arrangement was unacceptable to you, you should have made that known, and offered one of your own.

You want to create separate bank accounts but what you don't understand is there is no extra money to divide, nor any to keep from one another.  All of our income goes toward our house, our children and their needs.  It's almost painfully ironic that you want to separate the assets now, given the spending you have done on unnecessary things like bail, warrants, and cash deposits on phantom living quarters. As far as "big ticket" items go, I'm not sure what you mean.  As I told you before, the big ticket items this month were property taxes and PreMed's tuition, in addition to the mortgage, which is a big ticket item every month.  Believe me when I say that beyond that, there is nothing left to spend, and nothing to spend it on. 

The "olive branch" you claim to have extended is merely a refusal to examine the events of the last several months. If I reject it, there must be something wrong with me.  It is easier to assign me character flaws than to do the difficult work of exploring your own issues.  How you can possibly expect us to "let bygones be bygones" is ludicrous.   When you decide to take a look at how your drinking and denial have brought our family to the brink, maybe we can begin to take some small steps towards healing for all of us.   Even though it seems unlikely,  I look forward to that day with hope.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Editing My Yelling

I love a good email fight.  I think I'm much better at them than regular yelling because I have time to edit.  You can't really edit yelling.  Kind of defeats the purpose.  Anyway, it's rude to post someone else's email so I won't post the one my gee-I-really-regret-it-but-I-think-I-have-to-accept-it-about-to-be-ex wrote.   I'll just post my response to it.   And I should put "Kablammo" at the end but I think it'll ruin it from a stylistic standpoint so if you would all just mentally add "Kablammo" after you're finished reading it, that'd be swell.  


Dear Mr. K.,

I remember that time you're describing a bit differently.  I remember it as the time when Troubled was living in the back of a car in the rain because that's what she chose.  When the police were taking statements because of choices she made and you did nothing to discourage.   When I was not proclaiming your cowardice to the world, but lamenting an intolerable situation to two of my only friends.  When poppyseed tea was flowing because children who were trying to act like adults and failing miserably were making horrible mistakes.

Maybe you broke because you were starting to get a glimmer of how I have felt for the last six months and the six before that and before that and before that.  Helpless and frustrated and diminished.  Everything I had predicted and protested -- watching it all happen exactly as I had feared and worse.

Maybe you broke because you were starting to realize how your inaction and indulgence had led you to this point.  Your refusal to work with me, to set a plan and stick to it, to set limits for your child, to encourage her to learn from her mistakes instead of swooping in to rescue her.  Maybe you were starting to see how truly damaging that turned out to be.

And I fervently hope that maybe, just maybe, you were starting to see how your drinking and denial were catching up with you, and that nothing could really be made right until you dealt with that.

Because if any of that were true, then maybe, just maybe, there might be something worth salvaging in this marriage.  But I suspect that you are nowhere near ready to acknowledge the truth in anything I've just described. In which case, as you say, it's maddening and pointless to continue.

I don't need a few days to reflect.  I've been doing my reflecting.  I've been searching my soul for ways to forgive you but I always come back to the anger and the betrayal and the drinking and the denial.  I stayed with you in what I feel were truly dark times, through two hospitalizations for a disease that is clearly alcohol-related, when it was so apparent that you needed help, that you had to quit drinking and yet you could not. You admitted as much in the same breath as you denied that the doctor had told you that you should. 

If there is anything in this marriage worth salvaging, it's going to have to start with that.  I guess that's something for you to reflect on.  Let me know what you decide.