Day 14 rolled into day 15 and day 16. Then I reached out to one of El Capitan's friends. He was passively "helpful" offering me "advice" and a shoulder to cry on... offering to buy me lunch and "give me a hug".
He said I needed to "get over" El Capitan and Yoga Girl - to "accept" that they are together now and 'move on'. He said that I didn't "owe" them anything and I shouldn't even be "thinking" about Yoga Girl - they should mean nothing to me. To which I replied.... "Oh, I wasn't aware you and Yoga Girl were friends ......"
You see, there were reasons, business reasons that Yoga Girl's identity was kept "secret". El Capitan said no one knew who she was.... not even his friends. But, I guess after making the rounds during holiday season at parties and the movies and whatnot.... the cat is out of the bag.
I replied to the friend that if *they* aren't bothering to keep Yoga Girl's identity a secret anymore... then why am I still keeping their secret? If, in fact, they mean "nothing" to me - and I shouldn't "think about" them at all - then why on earth should I still continue to keep their identities a secret?
Now. Let's be clear. That's not a threat - simply a question. Let's also be clear...... *WE* put up a sign to sell our home. We never discussed keeping *anyone's* identity secret. We never dreamed in a million years that *all this* would happen from one stupid sign....
When the first reporter called, I called El Capitan immediately to ask him what to do... take the interview? Politely decline? He told me to take it - that our home would be "on the news" and it would "sell by Sunday".
I had just spent three weeks cleaning our home, packing and moving 50% of the contents of the house - and it was summer: I was sweaty and tired and exhausted. I was not camera ready. I was a mess, physically, emotionally and personally.
But I agreed, selling the house was important - and selling it fast was even more important.
However, hindsight suggests to me that El Capitan saw the flash of the camera and shoved me in front - only to use my larger than life personality (and... eh-hem... size) - to hide behind. And he has stood there, alongside Yoga Girl, ever since.
It's a rare kind of coward who shoves his wife, the mother of his children, into the firing line. It's not enough to be married to an adulterer, to someone who betrays you and destroys you... but to find out he's a coward on top of it all .... well, it sucks.
So, El Capitan's friend *has* a point..... I owe them nothing.
I knew that the friend was lying to me, that he would be turning over the short notes of our conversation to El Capitan (or at least I assumed it) - and..... I also knew that while El Capitan hadn't bothered to be protect me or even protect our children - he *would* surface to protect Yoga Girl.
And he did.
I'm thinking someone must have *amazing* skills involving 'chrome' and 'trailer hitches'.... just a thought, of course.... just a thought.
The conversation between the friend and I had started genuine enough..... I had thought that we *were* friends. I was genuinely hurt to find out that this friend is now "friends" with Yoga Girl - this person was supposed to care about my children. They were supposed to be *my* friend as well - hence the offers of lunch and hugs.... but then I realized that their words were baited and leading..... and so I thought I would answer his leading questions honestly.... though understanding that my honest reply was not what they were hoping for.
At 2:30am on day 17, I got an email. An email that sounds and looks like nothing I've ever seen El Capitan write - however an email none the less.
It skips over *what* has happened these last three weeks.... glossing over it like a master painter re-creating a Monet where a finger painting in feces once was.
Needless to say: it didn't work.
What El Capitan refers to as "Netflix account issue's" I still refer to as stealing.
What El Capitan refers to as "being out of contact" - I still refer to as 'disappearing'.
What El Capitan refers to as "his property from his storage unit" - the law, the contract and I still refer to it as MINE.
What El Capitan refers to as "simple", in regards to his desire to make "simple" our co-parenting - I refer to as complete and total nonsense..... lying, stealing and manipulation rarely make anything' simple'.
So I told him as much.
I'm tired of being a single parent.
I'm tired of being *the only* parent - who is not only left dealing with her own emotions which are constantly manipulated and tread upon.... but who then has to pick herself up and try to help her children deal with their myriad of emotions as well.
I'm tired of being left behind to live the life *we* were living.... the life *we* decided on: alone.
Oh... and then while I'm doing that the *best* that I can... I'm tired of being punished for it by El Capitan.
El Capitan walked away... renewed, fresh, and starting over.
A new car.... a new apartment, a new girlfriend and a new life - full of new computers (a Toshiba PC), a new cell phone (which he denies having and won't now give me the number too), new clothes and a whole new life that he crafted for himself.
A new life he made for himself out of the ashes my life that he burned down.........
I'm tired of living in fear of him taking me to court.
The truth is, I do live in fear of our family court judge and how El Capitan might spin things in a courtroom and what that might mean for me..... I'm sure that having this Blog could be a bad idea... however.... does it not occur to El Capitan that if there was no lying, no manipulation, no disappearing,.... no harm being done: then there would be nothing to blog about? Is there not some kind of shared responsibility for the contents of this blog by El Capitan himself?
But mostly, I'm just tired. Tired of being lied to, walked on, walked over.... tired. Tired. Tired.
So I wrote El Capitan back and for the first time in 10 months I shot straight down the middle. I called a spade a spade, a lie a lie and I left it at that.
I told him that I will read up on how to re-introduce his visitation to the kids. Were it not for The Boy's dream last week, I'm not sure I would even think twice. However, based on what The Boy said, he clearly feels abandoned by El Capitan's most recent 'time of being out of contact'. (I still refer to it as 'disappearing'.) I advised El Capitan that I would fine some relevant readings on the subject and get back to him.
While I fully understand children are resilient - they can bounce back from almost anything it seems.... but even if they were made a of rubber: even a rubber-band can be stretched too many times and eventually snap. As their Mother, i would like to see them thrive and grow, not just 'be resilient'. That's not living. Being stretched and pulled and having their hearts feel abandoned and loved... abandoned and loved... only to be left stretched out and snapped.... that's not an acceptable outcome to our situation.
You see.... in spite of *all* of this.... and by ALLLLLLLLLL - I mean the last five months of blog entries and lies and betrayals.... I'm still vested in making sure these children are whole people. I'm still vested in them having some kind of positive relationship with their father... though now *I'm* the one who feels like I'm trying to craft a 'Monet' out of El Capitan's finger painting in feces.
And here I thought that after both my children graduated to the potty from diapers that I was done dealing with other peoples sh*t...... double sigh.
Let me be painfully clear. *I* am not the one keeping *anyone* from *anyone*.
I am not the one who rented an apartment with no room for my children.
I am not the one who lives the life of a single man..... who simply "visits" (in the most literal sense of the word) his children. Those are all things done by El Capitan: not me.
Anyone is free to choose to do the wrong thing...... but I will continue to do the right thing.
The right thing is to continue to encourage and help facilitate (as best i can) a healthy relationship between my children and their Father... but that responsibility lies mostly with El Capitan. I only need to not 'poison the waterhole' as Woody would say. My job is to create a safe place for their hearts and all of their emotions - about El Capitan, about me... whatever: even Yoga Girl.
I've mentioned it before, but The Boy is very worried that Yoga Girl doesn't like him. This morning he said to me......"I don't think XXXXX [Yoga Girl] likes me, Mom."
"Oh.....? Why would you think that?" I asked him.
"Because.... you know how at school 'Justin' always comes up and takes the yellow Legos from my building - and doesn't share? Well... you know Mom, 'Justin' is a bit of a bully... I don't think he likes me." He replied.
"Ok....." I said.
"And... Daddy's girlfriend is a bully because she took Daddy and she doesn't share him..... so I don't think she likes me." he stated while staring at the floor.
Now... in my mind - I high five the kid and I scream with glee: that's right Yoga Girl is a bully and a bitch and you should never ever trust her..... bwahahahahahahaha (insert evil ex-wife laugh here).
Instead....... I said this, "When you're at school and 'Justin' takes your blocks, do you let him take your blocks or do you try to work it out with him?"
"Well... sometimes I try to trade him, and sometimes not." He said.
"OK, well, may be in time you can work out a 'trade' with XXXXX[Yoga Girl]? But, it's important to remember that it doesn't matter if she likes you or not, because first of all, we love you and second of all, she hasn't gotten to know you and everyone who gets to know you; love you." I told him.
He thought for a moment..... then he said, "Yeah... you're right Mom... never mind."
and then he ran off to play.
Note.... I didn't say - "Your Daddy and I love you" - because the books say that that is no longer my job. If El Capitan loves his children that is a message *he* needs to give them. However... in light of the "two teams" conversation - I didn't want to just "Mommy" thereby implying Daddy and Yoga Girl don't love him..... so I just said a collective "we". I thought it was safer for him.
Then, I didn't discuss Yoga Girl and who she likes or doesn't like.... I simply stated the truth: she doesn't know him and everyone who does get to know him, loves him.
Problem kind of/sort of.... solved.
However... deep down, The Boy already knows Yoga Girl... she's the kind of kid on the playground who steals others' people's toys and doesn't even feel bad about it. The kind of kid who grows up to have affairs with married men: who does, infact, steal other people's fathers. I guess she was in need of one?
It's remarkable to me how perceptive and intuitive The Boy is. How he takes things into his heart and into his mind and processes them in his own terms and his own words....... really.
I don't know who Yoga Girl is going to be to the children... is she just a 'means to an end' as El Capitan has continued to refer to her for the last 10 months? Will she be my kids step-mother?...... either way, I'm fairly certain I'll never warm to her ..... but the door has to remain open for the children. Though... I would hesitate to call her any kind of step-mother and think 'big sister' might be more appropriate.
Which later had me wondering if El Capitan has now destined our children for the same fate he suffered, the same fate he claimed to hate his own father for doing to him - and that giving him a step-mother who he referred to as 'fake mom'... and still does.*********
sigh. sigh and someone f*cking just kick me while I'm down and put me out of my misery.... SIGH.
So I'm tired on sooooo many, many levels, but it's a New Year and I ... whether I like it or not - have a new life to lead.... and unlike my life before - if this one fails, it's my fault, not El Capitans.
So... New Elle is not going to pander.
She's not going to believe El Capitan's puppy dog eyes and sorrowful looks and talk of how he's only "living with her" because he has "nowhere else to go". and such......
She's not going to play the game any longer because it takes two people to play.
She's goign to focus on being the Mother she wants to be.
Finding a new career and a home for us to call our own.
She has to take some time to get herself ready for this new life.... and may be even her 'Edward' will come along. Because.... in the last three weeks Elle (yes, I'm talking in the third person for the added drama here) - Elle has realized that El Capitan was not, in fact, her 'Edward'. she thought he was... but he wasn't. And while realizing that has been brutally hard - it's also made her realize that that only means that her 'Edward' is yet to come.... and it's better not to waste time thinking about what wasn't - when life is going to be much more rewarding preparing for what is to come. However long that takes... whatever form it takes... my children won't learn to grow up to be whole people in spite of this loss, unless *I* am one. Period. That is part of how I teach them, *show* them how to heal and move forward... by doing it myself.
As such.... I am 10 miles and 2 more pounds down that road...... on - and plus ONE better attitude.
**********On the note of El Capitan's parents.... they are much written about in the book because our strife with them had much to do with early issue's in our marriage..... I do think the title of 'fake Mom' is a bit harsh. I think we all make do with what we have to work with..... and how El Capitan now treats me is how I often saw him treat his parents in the early years of our marriage. I realize now that they may have had a point about who El Capitan really was and I just didn't want to see it.
Hindsight.... she's a bigger b*tch than Karma sometimes.