Divorce Gets Uglier…How Is That Even Possible?

Well, as this divorce drags on my Fibromyalgia grows more painful too. I guess this is a direct manifestation of stress.

Recently B stated he would be coming to CA with our 18 yo son Paul. He wanted to see Gracie and take her with him. Problem: he refused to sign a short two paragraph document stating that we both had joint physical custody and she lived with me. That she would be with him from x to x and that he was not allowed to leave the state with her without my permission. He refused to sign. Our eldest daughter and friends who know B said do not allow him to take her. He will take her back to Texas and if she is back there getting her home will be difficult if not impossible. We all believed he might not bring her home because he stated he was going for full custody of her and that she left the state without a good discussion.

He bought the tickets last week. He still wouldn’t sign and I had no idea what I was going to do. After thinking about it I realized that he had left no time for Paul and I to see each other except during the time we would exchange Gracie. This was unacceptable since both Paul and I had told him many times that we wanted to spend extra time together. I called Paul. He told me that his father had told him he would have to spend time with me another time.  I asked him if he wanted to spend more time here after his father’s visit ended and he said yes  and immediately sent me a message that read:

Hi mom! I would like to spend 10 days with you. That would mean alot to me!!

Love you.
I sent the message stating I would buy Paul’s ticket and that he was now an adult and I urged him to talk with his sister, his Dad and watch the news and make a decision that was best for him. B who responded with:
I have his ticket already purchased.
Long story short within a few hours B canceled their trip “due to the Corona Virus.”
A few hours later he sent this:

I told him we would take the trip when things calm down. You and Gracie are welcome to come here and visit, I will pay forGracie’s flight. Give it a thought, it might be a better solution.

So yeah, you already bought tickets won’t come and then offer to have us visit you….that makes sense.

I called Paul the next morning. B had not even told him the news that they would not be going. Paul started crying. Paul was upset stating his father had already told him they would come no matter what the status of Corona was .
I wrote Paul the following :
I know today you said you were very upset about not coming out to visit. I found some direct fights from Austin to San Francisco and there is also the possibility of a flight from Austin to Sacramento. As an adult you are able to make your own decisions but I would urge you to talk to Dad, your sister and listen to various news outlets so you make a decision that is right for you. I know that you are going out to eat and last week were at the Pearl. Here they may be shutting down some restaurants tomorrow so if you were to come know that there would be limited opportunities but there would be plenty of time for us to spend together. I am not going to urge you one way or another because I think that this needs to be your own decision. So if you decide to come, I would love to have you. If you decide to stay in Texas, know I love you and we will get together another time.
Love
Mom
Long story short:
  • 1. B refused to sign the temporary custody visitation agreement regarding his trip to California.
  • 2.B bought tickets for himself and our son Paul July 8, 2020 knowing that the COVID situation was getting worse but is still taking the boys out to dinner and in public in San Antonio which has a high rate of COVID infection. I have pictures of these outings.
  • 3. A week later on July 15, 2020 when B realized that I offered to let Paul stay out with myself and Gracie for an extra 10 days he canceled the trip to California without informing Paul. He was away in Oklahoma at that time and has no problem traveling.
  • 4. The next day B sent an email stating he would pay for Gracie to come to Texas instead and I could go too. This makes no sense as:
  • A) B had already bought tickets for himself and Paul to come to California and told Paul he was not concerned about COVID
  • B) If Bis really concerned about COVID why would he ask Gracie to come to Texas which is another COVID hot spot. Why should she travel when he already had tickets purchased for himself and Paul?
  • C) The real issue is that Mr. Dieter wants to deny Paul and I access to one another and is afraid to have him stay in my home for 10 days in case he chose not to come home to him or COVID shut things down. Paul is not enrolled in college at this moment and is doing nothing that should prevent his traveling to see his family in California.
  • D) Paul is an adult. He should be able to make his own decisions without having to worry that his father will be mad at him for choosing to come and see his sister and I. This was one of Paul’s concerns that he expressed to me.

Just ONE F***ing Day

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I am stressed but trying so hard not to be. It’s not just due to the marriage going south thing but with life in general. I am a girl with a plan and for the past two weeks my plan has been interrupted EVERY SINGLE F***ING DAY.

Last week:

Monday: Driving home I had a flat tire

Tuesday: School…”Andre is having a difficult day. Could you bring his stress ball in? ” I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Wednesday: Andre’s asthma is acting up. ” Can you bring in his inhalor” I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Thursday: Gracie….”Mom I forgot my lunch and I have no money in my account” I think: This is the first time this has happened all year so how can I refuse? I also think: Sure. of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Friday: Me…”Hello this is Dr. H office. He needs you to come in today to discuss the results of your tests.”  I think: Do you really need me to come in or is this just another way to open my wallet even wider to you? Sigh. I also think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Monday: Paul. Mom I forgot my permission slip and I can’t go on the field trip without it.I think: Sure of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Tuesday: Gracie: “Mom I forgot my homework.” Now normally my answer is “too bad” but she had not called me the entire year and how could I say no? I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Wednesday: Me: “I’m sorry Mrs. _____. We are running about an hour and a half late so you just need to go ahead and sit down until we call you back for your test.” I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Thursday: Andre- “Hello Mrs. _____. This is Annie from Andre’s school. He is having a difficult day and he says that the palate of his mouth is burning so he cannot go outside for PE. Could you talk with him?”  So I do. Fifteen minutes later the second call comes. “Can you come pick him up?” I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

Friday: Paul-“Mom, I just ripped my pants playing in PE. Can you bring me another pair?” I think: Sure, of course,  because I have nothing else I need to do!

I know that I need to learn to be more flexible. I know that I need to learn to just go with the flow.I know I should view these moments of the unexpected as “opportunities” to stretch myself and my calendar.I  also know that sometimes “shit” happens but frankly I would like a little more notice when things are going to change from the scheduled program. I really don’t feel like that is too much to ask. SOOOOOO….

Dear UNIVERSE:

Hear my prayer.

I have tons to do today. My stress level is high. Please be kind to me today.

Kindly and with hope,

Me

 

 

Parolee

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Sometimes I this “maybe divorce” makes me feel like a convicted felon out on parol. It isn’t a comfortable feeling and makes me feel jumpy in my own skin. And if the truth be told sometimes I feel as if B is the Parol Officer which sometimes makes me resentful and angry at the system that I have allowed myself to be incarcerated within.

It must be hard for real life parolees. Living in the shadow of an officer who in the blink of an eye has the power and absolute authority to send them back to prison. One false move and their life changes whether they want it to or not. You can’t help but wonder if they are constantly looking behind them and in front, unable to live in the present, due to the stress of staying vigilant like I am. Not being able to let your guard down is a terrible way to live.

Frankly, I just want to be let out on good behavior. I have served my sentence and have made major changes in myself along the way and while serving this sentence has made me be more mindful and has helped me not to yell (which has been a good thing for both me and my family) I am tired of being under watch. I just want to be free to be me again without the fear of separation hanging over my head.

 

*After I wrote this piece I told B that this was how I was feeling. With tears in his eyes he said, “I’m sorry. That must feel awful to feel you are having to live that way.How can we change this?”

 

Control…Do We Ever Really Have It? Or Raw II

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You ask me why I have a need to control things. The short answer would be my sister’s severe illness when I was such a young child.  A young child whose parents thought she was too young to know all that our family was facing. I remember being snuck into the hospital (back then siblings were not allowed in) and seeing my sister, after many months of absence, now reduced to a human skeleton, not the happy normal-sized kid I was used to seeing. The guilt I felt was tremendous because I did not understand the situation. I was not told. I guessed a lot and interpreted things wrong. Guilt at wondering why bags of presents were being delivered to our home for her and not understanding why I was not thought of which in my young mind =not loved and not noticed. And how, I wondered even then, could I feel that sense of hurt and jealousy when she looked like death. There was also the guilt at hearing her scream when her shunt was cleaned daily and knowing I was okay. And even all these years later that guilt that rears its head in my professional life and makes me pass out on the floor when I hear a patient scream. I can look at anything but don’t let me hear the pain or I am a goner.  In my book guilt can sometimes=need for control= if I am in control less chance of guilt/suffering/pain. I know its wrong but sometimes my mind still takes me back to that little lost/confused and sad child.

I remember during this time of sickness and confusion, being moved from place to place while my parents sat a bedside vigil. That sense of unconnectedness does things to you. I understand the need to do that now…as a parent…but I didn’t as a child. Yes, my parents were sure I was in good hands. I knew most of the people I was with but some were strangers. It made me scared because back then I didn’t know for sure what was happening and no one thought to tell me. And being left and having no control in where you are going invoked feelings of jealousy that made me wonder why my sister was so special and I was not. Everyone knew where she was…did anyone know about me?

Being so aware of death/illness makes you acutely aware of the little control you actually have so I guess I have spent my years trying to control all aspects of my life which we all know is an exercise in futility.  Some people handle it by drinking. Others have sex with strangers trying to make a connection that somehow they feel they missed.  Others drive too fast, take too many pills or eat too much. Others show no obvious issues with it at all. Mine is control. And control, and the lack of it I feel in our relationship, makes me frightened to death and sometimes I push for a resolution because I feel like that little girl again. Her world chaotic. Her world upside dow. Her world with no forthcoming answers. Her world in control of others and now the master controller is B. And I feel like 1,000 little scattered pieces laying about, disorganized, without the glue of control to hold me together.

You wonder why I feel the need for control.

I watched my parents divorce. All the heartache and stress that went along with a cheating husband. My mother’s pain written in a note I have to this day. And then they divorced and within three years my mother was dead at 50, killed, I believe rightly, by all the stress which took her, a non-smoker, in the form of lung cancer. And I look like her. I have the same moles. I have the same body type. The same nose. And I don’t want to become a statistic like her. Illogical I know. But still dead after all this upheaval… after all the pain none of which was her doing…though that is not the case with me. I have caused some of my own pain. But this I know: stress kills and I am sure it is killing me. Maybe like it did her.

I have enough stress with two children who have significant challenges in their lives. Autism = stress. And now my marriage teetering on the edge of HWY 1 with no guardrail and a 1,000 ft drop to the ocean below. And sometimes I wonder if I will just drop dead of a heart attack or will it be a slower more painful way to contemplate the end of life as I know it because this much stress is like a IV drip of poison creeping into my veins. And so I want to take back control from B in a misguided attempt to avert what was my mother’s fate and not have it be my own. Because I want to live free of heartache, being responsible as much as humanly possible for my own pain, when I must endure it, and not have it foisted on me like a drunken sailor grabbing me from behind and taking what is not his to take.

The mind is a funny thing. We know that what we may be thinking is be wrong.Screwy thoughts  that we recognize as inaccurate.  But those feelings are what trip us up and make us believe things that we know in our heads don’t make sense but to our hearts don’t matter. Our hearts often have a mind of their own, too busy working to keep the blood flowing, rather than worry about correctness of how it is being done. Yet, my heart hears unsaid words. It sees hidden emotions on a persons face. My heart squeezes the truth that goes coarsing through my veins and it ignores the science of it all. My heart stings. It whispers with every whoosh. And for the past few days, I would bet my bottom dollar that it has cracked in two, blood leaking into my drowning sticky soul.

You ask me why I feel the need for control. It’s because I no longer trust you to take care of my heart and the love that it holds. You have held my heart in your hands and you have not been gentle with it. You have treated it as callously as a hooker treats her next trick.I no longer trust you to take care of me the way I felt I was not taken care of  when I was a child. I no longer trust that my pain is just pain and not leading to something more deadly as in the case of my mother. I no longer trust your words or your actions because you don’t love me and trust is the glue that holds love together.

You wonder why I feel the need for control? Because parts of that little girl remain behind and while I may be a very strong and capable woman sometimes that little girl is stronger when she faces what she perceives to be danger. And she tantrums and pushes for resolution while trying to gain control. Because she is unsure. Scared. Feels unloveable. And somehow she incorrectly believes that control will give it back to her and make her feel whole again. Strong again. Capable once more.

Someday I hope that someone somewhere will take that little girl her by the hand, thrust a mangy stuffed gray much loved puppy into her empty arms, and along with a great hug; tell her that it will all be okay. And maybe someday she will understand in her heart of hearts that control is an illusion and that the only thing she really ever controlled was herself and, finally, that will be enough and she can just let go and get on with living and playing hopscotch again.

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The Process Of I LOVE YOU

Okay, I know that at times, I go places where no married person should venture. I question, I imagine, and I play our various scenarios in my mind that really have no business being there. I am working very hard on replacing negative thoughts with super positive meditations and “canceling” the negative thoughts immediately when they enter that place my brain is suppose to be. So last night took me by surprise.

It was late. B and I were cuddling when he said, “I Love You.” He said it with love in his voice and tenderness in his heart. And I froze like a deer in the headlights. My body went cold and I felt suddenly ill.  And before I knew it I was saying these words: “How do I know that? I mean you said that to me when you were thinking you wanted a divorce. So you were saying it without really feeling it and so how do I know that when you say it now you really mean it?”

Yeah, I know. A real moment killer.

Because here is the thing. I thought he loved me. And he says he always has and always will love me even though there are times he doesn’t like me much. And I get that. And even though he is communicating his feelings more and letting me inside his head a little, I still experience fear that what he is saying isn’t what he means. And given that he is a man that honors his promises and he promised to give our marriage a year, I worry that on day 366 he will walk in saying “I kept my promise but this isn’t what a really want.”

So how do I learn to trust B and our relationship again? Time? Probably. But I think it is more than that. Somehow I have come to believe that this can be accomplished by trying to surrender my desire to control what I cannot control and I have to stop worrying about things I have no control over. Easier said than done. Yet, I am cognizant that  all this controlling/worrying is only serving to steal my energy and it leaves me feeling depleted. It also keeps me feeling lonely and isolated, none of which is helpful nor what I want. So, instead of trying to change what I don’t really have in the first place, I am trying to shift my focus (didn’t work too well last night) to those things I can control because I would rather spend my energy trying to seek joy in my life than trying to force all this negative out. I can choose to work from the positive or the negative. I CHOOSE POSITIVE…at least this minute…give me a break … it’s a process.