Thursday, April 27, 2006

FINALLY!

It looks like Granny is out of the woods for now. She's not good, mind you, her condition is just not as dire as we initially believed. Thank you everyone, for all of your well wishes, they've meant so much to me.

Just a disclaimer, you'll have to forgive how disjointed this all may sound, I've been working on this damn post off and on all freakin' week, whenever I could sneak in the chance. So things are a bit jumbled, but I tried to make it as coherent as possible.

Okay, now on to the juice!!

OMeffingG, I'M OUT!!! I can't hardly believe it, and to tell the truth, I don't think it's really even sunk in yet. I mean, I'm sitting her in my own little place, doing whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want, and I'm not tiptoeing around worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing, or dreading the next long drawn out topic of conversation. I'm free, and OMG, I'm lovin it! How the hell did I get to this point? A year ago, I thought there was no possible way, no hope for the future and no hope for myself or Em. Now... good lord, now what am I gonna do? I honestly can't even imagine.

So how'd he take it, you ask? Surprisingly, unbelievably, unexpectedly well, after the initial shock that is. I didn't keep up my no-contact rule cause I didn't feel the need for it after a few real honest emails from him and a tentative first phone call. I've also seen him, and so has Em, and she's even spent time with him visiting. He's not gonna try to fight for custody or extended visitation, and he isn't gonna do anything stupid like quit his job or kill himself because he knows that if he has any hope of remaining an integral part of Em's life, he'll have to remain looking like an acceptable member of society. I can tell you that I am completely confident that he's not gonna try to snatch her cause he realizes that such a thing would only work against him, and he says he knows that a girl needs her mommy and has no intention of trying to get custody or even joint physical custody, although he does want joint custody with me having physical custody. Which I'm willing to do as long as he keeps behaving the way he has been, by actually trying to change for the better for Em's sake. Honestly, this whole thing really shook him to his core, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to remain in her life. He knows that issues between the two of them are one of the driving forces in my decision to do this, but he doesn't know exactly what yet. But he's completely willing to see what the counselor has to say about the amount of time Em should spend with him and wants to know what the problems are so that he can work to correct them, which includes going to counseling himself, as well as family counseling if I wish. Y'know, I gotta tell ya, I'm so glad I did it this way, otherwise he would have never been open to the idea that there was something he needed to work on. If this is what it was gonna take for him to do a little self-examination, then so be it! Em is pleased as punch too, cause as for now she finally has the nice, fun daddy she's always dreamt of. And I know it may be short lived, but at least for now, I want her to enjoy it as much as possible.

So, here's the lowdown of moving day. Thursday evening I knew Bub wasn't feeling well, and when I was finally able to get him up and going Friday morning, he mentioned that he would probably call me to pick him up early and the only reason he was going to work that day is because there were some things that he just had to do, otherwise he wouldn't have gone at all. Ug. As soon as I got home I called my brother and they were on their way, although running a bit late, aack! But I told him what Bub said, so they understood the urgency and came as quickly as possible. My brother got there ahead of my SIL (separate cars) and when he asked where we should start, I just kinda had myself a little breakdown. Like, OMG, I'm really about to move all of our shit out of this house, for real, no turning back, this is it, OMeffingG, WTF am I doing, seriously? I took a few minutes to sob in the bathroom and then I tried to pull myself together as much as possible when I heard my SIL arrive. Then we got moving! Throwing shit in boxes and loading up furniture onto the trailer attached to my brother's truck. I guess it took about four hours in all, and we got almost everything in one load. Then, about 1:30-2:00 Bub called asking what time I pick Em up from school and if I could pick him up right afterwards. Luckily I knew we were almost finished so I just said no problem and got back to work. After all was said and done, I went ahead and took Em out of school a bit early, just to be sure, and then I called him. Yup, you read that correctly, I called him. My brother convinced me that I needed to be the one to tell him so my intentions would be clear, plus, that way he could worry about finding his own damn ride home! So I called him and I told him that he would need to find a ride home. He asked why and I said because I moved out today. He said, WHAT! I said, I moved out, Em's with me and we're safe and that's all there is to it, and I fucking hung up on him! Something I've always wished I could do, yet never dared to. He tried to call back, of course, but I didn't answer, and that was that, then it was out of my hands.

Can you even freakin' believe that?!!!

OMG, anyway, after that, I called my MIL just to let her know what was going on and to make sure she knew that I would never try to keep Em from her, not knowing yet what Bub might say about me or do, y'know? She was, of course, very upset, but also said that if that's what I felt I had to do then so be it. So I'm making sure to keep her very much in the loop so she doesn't feel like she's losing her granddaughter.

Then, later that evening, we went out to grab a bite to eat with my SIL, and Em asked if she could give Bub a call because I told her (and him) that she could call whenever she feels like it. So she did, and he was ecstatic and relieved to hear from her. She told him that she was fine and safe, and never let on that she knew about any of this before hand cause she doesn't want him to know how she really feels yet, and I plan on respecting her wishes until she tells me otherwise.

Anyway, here's the initial email he wrote me, and apparently no hanging rope was required.

Beverly,

First I would like to say that I am sorry if you were ever hurt by anything I said or did. I only wanted our family to work. You have told me that you know this. But if I knew that you were that unhappy I would have helped you move out.
(Um, suuuuuuure, you've got to be fucking kidding me!)You didn't have to blindside me. I have asked you many times over the past months if you were happy or dedicated to us and you have always said you were. So I am caught a bit off guard. I will not lie and say that I am happy with the situation, but I am sure that I will learn to live with it.

As you said, what is done is done. Now we have to deal with it. If you are certain of your decision then we can move forward with a divorce. I will not and would not try to make you stay where you don't want to be. If you are not COMPLETELY sure then lets just stay separated until you are. Either way, I will not push you to contact me or anything like that.

I would like to maintain at least a civil relationship for Emily's sake. I can promise that I will not make unfavorable comments about you in front of her and I hope you can do the same for me. This doesn't have to be a fight like Scott and Tonya
(his brother and ex SIL) seem to enjoy. I don't want to put Emily through that. I would have preferred to talk to her about this together but I guess that chance is gone. Just remember, she is my daughter and I love her VERY MUCH. Don't try to come between us please.

I have suggested to Emily that we could email each other. Let me know if you have any objections to this. I would like to communicate with her as much as possible.

I will want to discuss arrangements for Emily as well as some bill issues with you when you feel like you can do that with me without fighting. If you would prefer to do this by email that is fine. That way we have a record of what was said. That is safer for both of us.

I want to be clear about my feelings. I still love you. I can't help that. I understand that you don't love me and that is something that I cannot control. I am not happy, but I will live. I just want you to be sure. If you are then Ok. Please remember however, that in all things you do Emily is watching and we don't need to make this any more difficult on her then it already has to be. I would like to see her regularly while we are finalizing everything. Justin has a twin bed that I can use so I will be setting up a room for her here. Please don't try to reduce me to a weekend dad. I want to spend time with her more then just once every other weekend. I need more than that.

I wish I knew more of what to say. I just don't. I can't believe this is happening. I honestly didn't see it coming which makes it all the worse. I will not lie to you and say that I am not angry that you did this like you did. But I am not holding a grudge or looking to get even. I just want to salvage my life with Emily and make it the best it can be given the circumstances.

Robert


To tell the truth, it kinda pisses me off that he gets to come off as Mr. Nice Guy about all this, but that's his style. Heaven forbid anyone else gets to see the horror we've been so privileged to over the years. But, as always, he's honestly only ever had Em's best interests at heart, even if he's always had such a fucked up way of showing it in the past. She is his number one priority, and always has been. It's just that his priorities include trying to mold her into something she's not, while killing her spirit in the process. Of course, he would never knowingly or intentionally do that, he's just never been open to the idea that his way of doing things could cause such a thing. But now, it seems, he just might be. I truly believe it took such a drastic action as this to get him to this point. He was desperate, and he knew that I had the upper hand for once. He knew that I had the power to keep his daughter from him if I so chose, and he knew he'd better play nice if we were gonna be able to work through this amicably. BTW, he also understands completely now that my decision about our relationship has been made and it seems as though he's accepted it and is not trying to talk me out of it, thank god! Again, I believe this is what it took.

Here's what he wants to do. A no-fault divorce after separation, which will allow him to save face without me filing on the grounds of personal indignities. At this point he still doesn't understand that he may have been even the slightest bit abusive but that's because I haven't been willing to discuss my personal reasons for leaving yet, and he hasn't pushed. But regardless of my very good case for divorce on those grounds, I am more than willing to keep this friendly and no-fault if it will save dragging Em through anything more than necessary. Because, no matter what, her emotional well being is absolutely the most import aspect of anything and everything I do, and I was only preparing myself for a fight if one was initiated like I had expected it to be. Since he's not putting up a fuss about custody, which is all I was really worried about to begin with, and is willing to seek counseling to work through his parenting issues, then I have absolutely no problem letting this be as easy as possible, in fact, I invite it wholeheartedly and am grateful for the unexpected opportunity. That's all I ever wanted anyway, but just didn't think would be possible with him. But like I said, ripping the band aid off like I did, truly was the very best thing I could have done, otherwise, I believe this would have been nasty for sure. It really took turning his whole world upside down, y'know?

Em's still having a hard time adjusting, but the pain is not nearly as raw as it was those first few days anymore. Now we just need to work on acceptance and getting used to a "new normal". She, of course, thinks that since daddy is being (overly) nice, and playful and attentive, then all of the problems must be solved and there's no reason why we can't move back in and try to be one big happy family again. I wonder if I gave her the impression that this was all about her, and that I didn't have my own issues with Bub? Surely not, I mean she saw what living with him was like for both of us on a daily basis, so I guess it's probably just some adolescent, self-absorbed wishful thinking. After all, she's a kid, doesn't the whole world revolve solely around them? ;D Anyway, we'll get there, it's just gonna take some time. Her counseling starts tomorrow, (Friday) so hopefully the therapist will be able to help her through the acceptance (among other things) in ways that I'm just not capable of.
So, here's a shot of my new little kitchen on moving day, hence the mess, indulging the beautiful flowers sent to me by a fellow 3fc'er (thanks again Sheila, you're the best!) and my $25.00 microwave, not too bad uh? BTW, that ancient dishwasher in the pic has since been replaced with a brand spanking new one, which just tickled me to death when I found out I would be getting it! The old one leaked the first time I tried using it, ug! And then there's a shot of my beautiful girl, also on moving day, still beaming with excitement before the harsh reality had it's chance to fully set in.






So, I guess that's about it. I'm certain I'm leaving soooo much out, but good lord, this post may never have ended if I could remember all the details! I guess I'll just add more as it comes to me, or maybe I'll just put it all behind me and start focusing on the still unknown, and quite frankly, a bit intimidating future that lies before me. And then maybe, I'll just pinch myself a little more, cause I still can't believe what has happened, what I made happen. I honestly never would have believed it, couldn't have entertained the idea that it was even possible. But now, here I sit, at 10:?? at night, in my own place, with my own rules. No fear of accidentally engaging anyone in unwanted, unending conversation. No eggshells to tread upon, no stinging humiliation to endure, no lectures to sit through, nor demands to comply with. No nothing, just peace and quiet and a whole new life just waiting to be explored. I just can't fucking believe it.

12 Comments:

Anonymous jilly said...

Wow, what a read! There's so much I could say (as you know ;), but I'll try to keep it short and to the point:

1. I'm so relieved that he's being reasonable thus far and that your worst fears were not realized. Yes, he does come off as a bit of a martyr in that e-mail, but its better than the alternative;

2. After that inital crying jag in the loo, its as though yor became awash with power! I still can't believe you had the gumption to call both him and your MIL and agree it was the best thing to do (even though the "old" Bev would have had a panic attack at the mere thought);

3. The kitchen is charming, as is the rest of the apt, I'm sure. Most importantly its YOURS and allows you a freedom and peace you've deserved for so long. I know its a bit soon for Em to appreciate that she's receiving the same gift, but that will come!

4. Of course you're more that a little intimidated about what the future holds, but once again (like with the amazing weight loss) you've proved to yourself that you're capable of wonderful things that give so much more quality to your life. When we had that frank discussion about worst case scenarios a few days before you left, I don't think either of us really believed how smoothly it would all go (especially the bub part) and surely you've learned from this experience that when your heart and mind is doing the right thing, all will turn out well.

oops, I'm not keeping this short and sweet after all, so I'll be on my way with a smile on my face and a pumping of my fist for my brave friend! xox

P.S. - Yes, lovely flowers from a lovely lady.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous The Sarah Beast said...

Hey Beverly,
I've been reading for a while without commenting, but I can remain silent no longer! You are a goddamn freaking LEGEND! Seriously, I am so completely bowled over by your immense courage and grace. I have been avidly checking your site for updates, and I'm so relieved that it's all gone so well.

Congratulations on achieving so much, and may you and Em enjoy your new life and all the freedom it holds.

5:19 AM  
Anonymous Sandi said...

I am so damn proud of you!!! You did it!!! And to think it all went so smoothly. That is just freakin amazing.

I have been hearing a song on the radio and every time I hear it, I think of you. It's by Natasha Bedingfield, it's called unwritten. Here are the lyrics...

I am unwritten, can't read my mind, I'm undefined
I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, yeah, yeah

7:55 AM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

Beverly that is so great that you did it. I know the future is uncertain right now (when you think about it, it's uncertain for all of us but we have routines to get us through and at least not appear uncertain.) Once you get settled in and things start happening I'm sure you'll be able to get it all sorted out. You are absolutely right about Em probably pulling more of an adolescent all clear now, let's go back move more than anything.
WTG on sticking to your guns and not picking him up from work. It also shows you that he can be independent.

I like the new kitchen and the flowers are beautiful as is your daughter. I'm sure the counseling will help her to sort out all her emotions and kudos to Bub wanting to go to counseling. Hopefully he can work on his issues and can be a loving father and not a demanding one.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous aunt sandy said...

Bev, my brave and wonderful niece, I am so very proud of you.
So right about Bub making himself look like the good guy. Beware of that all through this odessey. He is a manipulator as you know.
Looks like you and Em are on your way to a great life free of the humiliation and hopefully free of the "sick headaches".
Atta Girl!!!!!
hugs,

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

way to go Bev!,
You're the Bomb!
Linda in PA

ps..Emily is gorgeous!

1:39 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Forgive me if I seem overly cautious, sweetie...but I would keep my guard up. I get this gut feeling it is just an act he's putting on. Other than that...I think things went very well!! Emily is going to feel torn between the two of you loyalty wise, despite Bub's antics. It will take some adjusting on everyone's part.

Two things struck me about Bub's e-mail: his plea to not be made a weekend dad, and "remember, Emily is watching." He's right about that--she will be watching how you handle things. One of the worst things about my parents divorce is how my mother badmouthed my father every chance she got. Taking the high road in this regard will pay off.

Remember, if you need anything, let me know.

PS: Emily is a beautiful child!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a cutie Em is. Glad to hear that you are both okay and things went smoothly. Life is uncertain for all of us, just make the most of every single day. Trust your instincts... they have served you well up to this point.

Lyn

2:16 PM  
Blogger Joc said...

Way to go Bev, I am so glad you are out. :-)

7:37 PM  
Blogger Elmay said...

So glad to hear that things went smoothly. I agree with the notes of caution -- people who have gotten used to manipulating others don't give up easily -- there are many tactics including being nice, being helpless, being angry, inducing guilt, etc... I think that oftentimes those who manipulate in this fashion aren't doing it conciously -- they're just trying to take care of themselves and this is how they've learned to do that. From my personal experience in having to break free of a person like this, I know how hard it can be to stand one's ground.

You are off to a great start in your new home, and I wish you and Em all the best!

9:01 AM  
Anonymous paulina said...

Bev,
With everything you are dealing with right now I have to thank you for taking the time to fill us all in.
I do have to admit that when I read Bub's email, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. After living with such a man for 18 years all I can say is what has been said already. Please don't let your guard down.
I also didn't feel comfortable with his statement Em will be watching...If you are living by your heart, doing what your motherly instincts tell you are right by your daughter, then you should have nothing to fear by her "watching". I got the feeling that he wants you to still feel like you're under the microscope, it must be driving him crazy that he can't control you at this point.
Kudos to you too for making the break away phone calls.
You are one tough and brave lady, and a strong mom. That is what Em will see as she 'watches' you. There has to be a better word for that, 'observes' maybe?
Be careful and keep every email that he sends and a copy of the ones you send as well.
I hate to sound so negative, but just want you to be prepared for what he may have up his sleeve.
P.

9:26 PM  
Blogger BethK said...

Hi Beverly,

I've been reading for a while without commenting. I just have to say that you are doing GREAT! Your place is sweet and your daughter is gorgeous. You will totally see this thing through and come out the other side with so much dignity and pride that you won't be able to hold it all in.

I do agree with some of the other commenters about Bub's e-mail, though. He is a master manipulator and a control freak. That message made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, too. He's not taking responsibility for anything. The part where he says "I will want to discuss arrangements for Emily as well as some bill issues with you when you feel like you can do that with me without fighting." wigs me. He's already trying to control how you're allowed to interact with him and it implies that he's in control of himself but you're not in control of yourself. Wow...

He also seems to think that Emily will only be judging your actions, never his since his are, of course, above reproach.

For the time being, I would limit face to face contact with him without the presence of the counselor or your lawyer. I would also tell both him and Em that you will be reading any and all e-mails he sends to her.

You know... Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

I don't want to end this on a downer so, again, You Are Awesome! You and Em are going to do just great.

2:28 PM  

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