11/23/12 07:46AM Shirley said: "That *was* the right thing to do..... right?" No .. I don't believe it was. I hope you don't give me your angry face for saying so but, as I was reading this latest post, I got the feeling the call was more to verify what YOU thought than it was to have the children wish El Capitan a Happy Thanksgiving. He took them to breakfast the day before, so obviously you knew he had plans the day of. You yourself said you figured he'd not answer the phone if you called, so you used the children. So sorry, but it reads to me like you did use your children to verify El Capitan had plans with Yoga Girl. If it had been the children's idea to call daddy, THEN it would have been the right thing to do. I read your posts daily and though my philosophy is not to take sides, I am on YOUR side so I say this with empathy, understanding and support .... Stop with all the machinations. Please Just Stop.
So, I don't have any 'angry face'.... but I do have my, 'huh?' face, that's for sure.
However, re-reading my post I can see there are a few things I could clear up.
In the first place,the 'plans' for Thanksgiving weren't really hard set. I called him on Tuesday to see if he wanted to see the kids either on Thanksgiving or before? He said that he didn't have plans for Thanksgiving - that he would be spending the holiday alone - but that he thought it was 'too complicated' for him to see them on Thanksgiving. He presented it as though he were doing *me* a favor by not seeing them on thanksgiving.
So he saw them for breakfast on Wednesday.
At the drop off he had a 'depressed' look on his face and stared at the ground. He again stated he would be 'alone' on Thanksgiving and thanked me for dropping off the kids. We didn't talk much, I didn't say anything nasty or start a fight. I just dropped them off and went to a job.
I have already been warned by an attorney that just by doing the blog alone, I could be reprimanded by our family court judge for 'alienation of a parent'. That's something that the court takes pretty seriously. However, I was already knee deep in the blog and I actually *discussed" this advice with El Capitan over email and he confirmed that he doesn't read the blog, doesn't care what it say's - and that he didn't think I should stop writing it. That the blog wasn't affecting our co-parenting relationship.
However, court is almost always at the back of my mind. I try to never to be late for drop off/pick up. I make sure the children are bathed, clean and dressed nice. I don't *prime* them with nasty comments or things about their Dad. I don't bump them for information when they come home. All the things they told us in Kids Turn *not* to do - I don't do them.
On that note, it must be said that *if* I have something to say to El Capitan, I just f*cking say it. Believe me. I'm not the kind of person who hides behind anyone to communicate anything. Ever. I'll just come out and say it.
I have *never* used the children to call their father so I can jump on the phone to fight or be nasty or say something. I would say 95% of our conversations to date are about *US*, our lives, working our schedules, , his work, etc. Very few of them are in depth discussions about the children. *That* was why I made the decision to stop calling El Capitan in October, because we usually communicate over email when talking about the kids.
In fact, if we *do* talk about something - like a recent doctors visit, etc. I will re-cap that conversation over email, confirming what we decided our next step would be, what action I was supposed to take, etc. I make sure that everything we decide to do in regards to their well-being, general care or education
are *all* in email format. I think that that is in both our best interests and it keeps it clean.
Obviously I've been having a hard time as of late. Very hard. El Capitan knows this - by my demeanor, by my mood, and yes, because in the interest of honesty I've told him. But that's something I've always done.
I have a temper, most people do. However, I have *always* been one to straight up and will say to someone, "Look - I'm having a sh*tty day - I'm ready to rip someone's head off and go f*cking nuts, so if you don't want it to be you, just say out my way." I always feel you should be clear and communicate with people so that when you do flip your nut - no one is surprised. lolol
Recently, I have been *clear* with El Capitan that I am struggling - that - lengthy conversations with him, or extra ones - would likely lead to me being upset, saying things and crying - so,..... therefore - avoid long conversations with me right now.
He understands this - and he knows that that kind of 'warning' is something I've always done. I never did that thing that wives often do where they stomp around the house and expect people to magically figure out why they are upset: I would state clearly why I was pissed, and it would come with a warning to stay away.
I want to be *VERY CLEAR* - I thought that the children should call their Dad. I *did not* think from the outset that he wouldn't answer for *any reason*. When I said that I "understood" why he might not answer - that's only because I'm trying to see both sides of the coin.
I've made clear I'm struggling lately - so *when* we were making the phone call and it went to voice mail - I *didn't* think "what a douche" - Instead though.... "I wonder if he thinks it's me calling to yell at him."
Perhaps I was clear enough about that through process.
For clarity: I did not FIRST think - he won't answer - but we should call anyway. NOT AT ALL.
My first thought was only that the kids should talk to their Dad on Thanksgiving. That is all - no machinations, no ulterior plan at all... just a quick conversation and nothing more.
So, understandable why he might not answer the phone. I assumed - I *hoped* he would hear their message and call them back.
Now. After reading Shirley's comment and thinking about it..... I realize that you, Shirley have a valid point.
I believe that Yoga Girl is doing what most college kids do at this time of year and she's gone home to her family which live 6 hours away. Again - I'm only assuming, I have no idea. I also do not know what El Capitan's plans were. May be he was alone? May be he was with her - trimming a tree in matching sweaters playing romantic Christmas music and making out under recently hung mistletoe.
But, he *said* he was alone. He *did that* with a depressed look on his face. If, from his perspective, I hav3 lead him to believe that he should 'take a bullet' on Thanksgiving by not seeing the children because that would be too hard one me (NOT something I believe I have done) - then..... wouldn't I be a cold, heartless b*tch if I *didn't* have them call their Father?
That's always the scene in the movies right - the other parent, the one not with the kids, being all alone because either they call to talk to their kids and the other parent won't let them talk or the other parent doesn't let the kids call.
For all the things I've gotten wrong in this process - I've *always* been committed to trying to get it as right as I could when ti comes to the kids and moving them through this process.
He said he would be alone. He looked sad about that. I thought that at the *very least* the children should call him and wish him well on Thanksgiving. I had no ulterior motive.
Please, trust me when I say - and El Capitan would be the first to agree with this I can promise you: If I have something to say to El Capitan, nice, nasty or laced with obscenities, I'll just f*cking say it - however I want to. I will call him, text him, email him - but *I* would communicate to him. I would NEVER go through the children or friends, or whatever.
That's just not my style....
However..... when I sit down to think about it all - *I* am the one who set The Boy up for failure yesterday. I should not have had them call their Dad. In doing that, I opened the door for The Boy to fill in the blanks as he did - which totally breaks my heart.
To be clear - El Capitan should have called them back. This is a complicated situation and he should have done the right thing by either answering the phone or calling them back when he heard the message. PERIOD. That's my opinion. Or, he could always call the cell phone that we got for The Boy - by passing me altogether.
I have avoided 'making Daddy' holiday crafts or doing things to.... WOW holy hell, I just looked up what machinations meant: a cunning plot to a sinister end.
What the hell, Shiriley? lolol
If I was going to 'plot' something - wouldn't I have driven them to his work, so they could see the empty parking lot? Would I not have driven the 5 miles to his apartment with Yoga Girl and had the children bring him Thanksgiving dinner - because, remember he said he would be alone? Sad and alone?
If I was going to manipulate something for a sinister end, I sure as sh*t could have done a lot more than have the children call their Dad to wish him a Happy Thanksgiving.
To that end, I also thought carefully about *when* they should call him. I knew he would be working until 4 or 5 am to set up for Black Friday. So calling early was a bad idea - and a rude one and certainly manipulative. I chose 12ish because that should be after he was waking up and *before* going to a friends house or meeting people for Thanksgiving dinner.
So... yeah. not a lot 'machinations' on my end. The whole line "Please Just Stop"..... is interesting to me - why are you pleading? That's ... .interesting.
It was a phone call - one that millions of divorced parents no doubt had their kids make - I put thought into the *time* they should call, but.... like, it's a holiday - it's bad enough the kids aren't *with* both parents, shouldn't they at least be able to talk to both parents?
Would it not be more manipulative to carry on with the day with no regard for their Father - no regard for their desire to talk to their Father? Sure, the Boy understands *a lot* but he still loves his Dad. Period. He actually asked The Bubbie the day before if their Dad could come over for Thanksgiving dinner, so I knew that their Dad was on his mind.
My *intentions* were good... I can assure you. I would *never* use the children as a means to get to El Capitan - if *I* have something to say to him, I'll just come right out and say it. PERIOD. Done.
What I could have done, however, is pre-set up a time for the kids to call him. I think that going forward, I will do that. The out come yesterday, for The Boy - was not a favorable one. NOT ONE I would have wanted and frankly - I was *stunned* to hear through a *closed* bathroom door that that was how he was processing it.
Again - I said *nothing*. Either during the phone call, after the phone call - whatever. I didn't hang the phone up angry and I didn't not have my 'angry face' on. Nothing. How The Boy interprets an event and explains it to himself is quite simply just how *he's* doing it.
A call to the counselor has already been made to discuss that, believe me.
However...... no matter how many books I read or friends I talk to.... it seems like it's almost *impossible* to get this situation right. I hate that. I *really* hate that.
Yesterdays post wasn't so much about me or El Capitan - but it was more about how The Boy is processing things - how he process's them *away* from me. Yes, I think El Capitan could've have called them back - an error on his part.
But, for my end - what choices do I have?
If I *dont* have the kids call their Dad - because let's face it, they are too young to think about using the phone or sending an email on their own, so that's my job to do that part - then I'm "that b*tch" who "won't even let him talk to his kids on a holiday."
Instead, I put my own personal feelings about the day aside and planned a time for them to call their Dad because I *really did* think it was the right thing to do. Obviously, I feel differently about that choice now.
However..... I want to be clear: no machinations here. NONE. They have called him on other days for other reasons where they left a message and he called back a few minutes later. I had no reasonable right to assume that if he didn't answer that he wouldn't do what he's done before and called them back.
The message was sweet - two kids saying Happy Thanksgiving. For my part I *Very nicely* and NOT with my 'angry face' said, "We hope you have a nice day!" and say good bye. That was all.
So. for clarity. I'm not afraid of anything other than failing my children. I'm not afraid of El Capitan, or talking to El Capitan, I never hold back if I have something to say to him. PERIOD. I'm not afraid of Yoga Girl either.... but I have talked to her in the past and it proved to be pointless.
I would not use the children to machinate anything. EVER.
Honestly... Shirley - after all these months, you think I would use the kids to get to El Capitan? Have I really given you the impression that I'm timid or afraid to confront someone about anything? I hope not.
Because I'm not that person. I recently had a 55 minute phone call with the Guest Services line at Disney because the store manager pissed me off and didn't do her job.... needless to say - after my experience was 'less than magical' - I was clear about A) where the store manager went wrong and B) how she could have handled the situation and the customer differently for a positive/magical outcome.
I'm not afraid to tell El Captain anything. PERIOD.
However..... I thank you Shirley, for bringing what I did wrong yesterday to light. I should not have had the children call their Dad at an unspecified time. It opened the door for him to fail them - and The Boy walked right through it. That *was NOT* my intention - it was just a f*cking phone call for crying out loud...... BUT. regardless, I have to accept that *that* was the end result.
We failed The Boy. That outcome is not acceptable regardless of we got there.
And the black cloud get's bigger...... *sigh*.