Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I still don't know how it is possible. I still say to myself constantly, How? Why? Why? I never wanted the kid's dad out of their lives. Ever. I never would have even tried. Why?

I think about what I did do. What is it? I search and grasp, trying to understand. I try to put myself in my ex-husband's place. What would make him want to cut me out of our children's lives? Why would he want to raise them himself? He said to his attorney that our daughter went through withdrawals from me. In the beginning. In the first six months he said she went through withdrawals. His attorney told my attorney. My daughter was only eleven. Why would he want to deal with that? Why would he want to put my daughter through that? I couldn't imagine wanting to go through that. I would be calling the kids' dad. I have tried to imagine what would be going on in his mind, in his soul, to make him act that way. I can't.

Then I imagine the kids. Why would they be so mad at me they don't want to speak to me? Why would they hate me? That is easier to see. I had an affair. I cheated on their father and then asked him to move out of our home. Shortly after that, I moved my boyfriend into our home. Then a few months later I put our house on the market and moved to Washington. And abandoned them. That is how they would see it. That is how their dad would tell it to them. And that would make perfect sense why they would hate me. Be so angry at me. An anger that would keep growing.

One of the therapists I was able to speak with in the beginning, that my ex did take the kids to a few times when I was supposed to have reunification therapy with them, told me the kids asked why I couldn't just get an apartment and a job like other divorced moms.

I didn't see. And they didn't see.
Why couldn't I just get a job like other divorced moms?

I was a stay at home mom for seventeen years. I had no job skills to speak of. I was afraid. My attorney told me not to work until the divorce was final. She thought I would get spousal. And since we assumed the kids would live primarily with me--child support. I didn't think I could take care of myself let alone my children. My ex-husband did everything financially. Paid all the bills, handled all the accounts. Then he cut off my access to the accounts. He emptied the bank accounts and did not give me any money. He stopped paying the mortgage. I sold everything I could sell. And the bills kept coming.

I don't understand the why and how myself. I'm sure the kids don't understand. I don't.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Passport to Europe

My ex contacted me two days after Christmas. I have had no contact with him for a year and a half. He texted that our daughter was going to Europe in February and, "she needs you to sign the form for her passport. Please choose a notary that is convenient for you so I can drop it off for you to sign." Just that. No, "Hi, how are you? The kids are well." No, "Gee, we'd really like you to do this."

He needed me to sign the form because she is a minor and I still have legal custody. That's all the text was. No explanation about the trip to Europe. No aside about how the kids were doing. Nothing. My first thought was now he needed something from me. Never has he responded when I've asked about the kids...except on the rare occasion I've mentioned going back to court over custody issues. Then he's responded to threaten me. In a year and a half all I get is this one text. An order. Do this now. On his command. My next thought was, if he wants something from me can't he at least ask nice? I texted back, "We will probably need to discuss this trip." I'm thinking, if I am going to sign for my daughter to get a passport to go to Europe, I would like to know something about the conditions under which she is going. I am her mother after all.

My ex has always made commands. He texted, "This is the only thing your daughter has ever asked of you." I responded that it wasn't her asking it of me, it was him asking it of me.

I then received a text from a different number, "This is the least you can do. I do not wish to speak to you. And I would appreciate it if you would sign the form for my passport so I can even go. So please give me the name and address of a place I can take the form to." I texted back to ask if it was my ex-husband. I got a text back from the new number, "No."

I called the number to make sure the message had come from her phone. I haven't had the kids' numbers for a long time. I really hoped she would answer, but I was very nervous. What do you say in all that time? There is uneasiness, hostility, ugliness. She has written, "I do not wish to speak to you." It was her voice on the message. I still recognized her voice, mannerisms in her speech. She sounded sweet, and a little flippant. I left a message saying, "Hi, this is your mom. It is nice to get to hear your voice. I am excited for you to go to Europe, and I am happy to sign the form for you to get your passport. I would just like to know a little more about the trip. I love you and I miss you very much." She soon texted, "Are you going to help me or continue to hold it over my head?"

This is my child. The daughter I have not spoken to in four and a half years. She has gone from a child to a young woman. The daughter who has grown over a foot since I've laid eyes on her. My child.

Because I am her mother and I share legal custody they needed my signature for her to get a passport. I would've have liked to have used that signature to my advantage. I said we could meet in person and I could sign it. I wrote that to both her and her dad. She said she would take that as a no, and my ex said never mind. I wrote that I had never said I wouldn't sign it. I said I was happy to. My ex wrote, "Great. I think this'll be a big step in getting you two back together. I'll even set up reunification therapy when she gets back from Europe." My stomach flipped, a surge of joy ran through me. And my head said, "Don't believe it." How often had he dangled that carrot before? He dangled carrots all through our divorce, pretending to be reasonable, agreeing to do things he never did, or that he did the exact opposite of, signed court orders he then defied. He'd actually dangled carrots in front of me our entire marriage, and then snatched them away as soon as I got close enough to take a bite.

I ended up asking him to send me the information of where to to go to sign the paper. I would do it for my daughter. I did not want to give her father any more ammunition to use to poison her against me. I hope she is safe. I hope she has a wonderful time.