2005-05-20 - 6:17 a.m.
I think of whole entrys in my head sometines- when doing the dishes, vacuming laundry etc, then never get them down. Likewise I also compose stories or a poem.. all in my head...and more often than not don't get the opportunity to write either. I wonder if this is common among writers?
I've had so much swirling around
I guess with the most important fact:
Katerina and Soren are going to remain living with their Dad (which I really know to mean that at least for a little while their Dad and Grandmother, and VERY LIKELY it REALLY will end up that from now they are to be raised by their Grandmom.)
I list other facts:
Fact finding really never was done in the situation. In the end it came down to only the evidence of admissible HERESAY of the testimony of my children.
I COULD introduce LOTS of other relevant facts- but it won't help and would likely STILL not result in their return to me . To do so I'd have to ATTACK their father, and PAY to ATTACK their Father and make their family THERE which is now in its own right a family system they have happily entered, become shattered.
YES I COULD DO THIS. TO DO SO WOULD BE OBVIOUSLY WRONG AND SPITEFUL.
I HAVE LITTLE CHANCE OF WINNING BECAUSE:
FACT: I MARRIED AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND
THE FACTS Of my ABUSIVE HUSBAND and I actually learning to develop a SOMEWHAT healthy (albiet not perfect) marriage and family life WOULD NEVER BE BELIEVED AS CREDIBLE.
FACT : MY PERSONALITY PROFILE IS INDEED ONE WHO TENDS TO BE A MINIMIZER
Most hurtful fact of all though: THE settlement to be drafted that I will sign and finalize in mid July will grant me only 4 weeks in the summer "OUT OF THE PRESENCE" of my husband. Katreina and Soren will be allowed to come for a visit one weekend a month in our home with the stipulation basically that my husband has been stripped of the rights to parent them with me. HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO ADMINISTER DISCIPLINE. What's most hurtful is that the defacto reality of this outcome is that I will see little of Katerina and Daniel at least for the time being. I am not going to have the luxury of four weeks out of the presence of my husband. At least not this year! I mean I have trouble even getting away for an afternoon! I can't see having child care set up or being able to bring all the kids somewhere together for that time frame! The court just ASSUMED that I could so easily take the kids to Virginia with the other girls for a month. The logistics of that are not as simple as they assume though. Financially we have sunk everything to have this house here SO THAT we could all be together! My attorney assumes that since Westely does travel all the time that will give me opportunity to have the kids with me when he is out of town. SHE REALLY DOESN"T GET WHAT THAT MEANT-- when she asked WHERE IS HE and I honestly said TODAY FL, tommorrow Colorodo..... SHE MISSES THE POINT HE INDEED TRAVELS ALL THE TIME... and takes flights HOME to return to sleep and be with FAMILY. SO while he is gone on business travel it's not like he's ever gone for even a whole WEEK at a time. At most now a couple of days and most often now mid week! This company has their own private charter plane and all the execs happen to all live here in the same town (THAT WAS ANOTHER WEIRD THING- WE BOUGHT THIS HOUSE IN A SMALL HISTORIC VILLAGE AND IT TURNS OUT HIS BOSS AND THE CEO AND ANOTHER EXEC ARE ALL IN THIS SAME NEIGHBORHOOD! THEY ALL KNEW THE HOUSE! SO DEPITE HIS ATTEMPtS AT PRIVACY THEY ALL SAW THE HR PAPERWORK AND THEN THOUGHT IT AWESOME WE GOT A HOUSE HERE!) So the reality is the culture of his company is WORKAHOLICS who go home to FAMILY and have a strong sense of community in the company itself. MEANING FOR ME: THE FACT HE TRAVELS A TON isn't great opportuity for me to have the kids here at length! And Maybe I CAN take them to VA But another FACT: HE has also maintained TWO HOMES because of his issue of being upset at being kicked out of what he sees as HIS house. Westley said he never again will be kicked out of his house. I DID INDEED have him kicked out just this AUG with a EPO for a period of five days. That fact alone is not looked at as evidence of me PROTECTING MYSELF AND CHILDREN. It instead looked as in the manner "IF things were then so bad that you needed an EPO why did you go back to an abuser?" But I think to look at it like that is so easy and also overly simplistic for anyone who is not in my shoes. FACT IS ITS UNQUESTIONABLE THAT I SHOULD HAVE CALLED THE POLICE TO PREVENT HARM. BUT IT HAS BEEN CONSIDERED BY SOME, THAT THE EPO WAS AN OVER-REACTION (including one marriage counselor who heard what I believe a very forthright honest account of the situation from both Westely and I. I have been told I overreacted. Maybe Maybe not. FACT IS THAT IF THE SAME SITUATION OCCURRED TOMMORROW I WOULDN"T REACT THE SAME. I COULD DO ONLY ONE THING: PACK UP AND LEAVE AND NOT TURN BACK (I have a general three strikes rule for things. Stike one was 4 years ago,(oops 5 now) Strike two in my mind was almost 1 year ago. Any futher incident of that caliber would be Strike 3) BUt what people don't seem to get is that BECAUSE I REACTED STRONGLY it is LESS LIKELY that we will have another incident! YES PEOPLE HAVE CONTROL ISSUES, but their ability at SELF CONTROL is actual often found when the consequence of not having it it LOSING THEIR KIDS and JAIL TIME. There ARE SOME WHO THAT IS NOT EFFECTIVE FOR. I KNOW THAT. BUT I VENTURE TO SAY THOSE ARE ALSO THE SAME PEOPLE WHO DON"T DO OTHER WORK LIKE INTENSIVE IMAGO THERAPY!! He has serious issues- yes I know that, that manifest in CONTROL,and ABUSIVENESS yes I know that. YES ITS BIZARRE to have a spouse who has such trouble with the idea of OURS. But I know too that AT FIRST he didn't think of the VA house in that way. I know that at first it WAS INDEED OURS in his and my view. I know I PICKED THAT HOUSE TO BUY and Westely would have bought one in South Riding. I know WE PICKED the country in large part because KATERINA said she wanted to live in the country and she wanted to learn to ride a horse. I know this shift in his thinking from OURS to HIS is a self protectionist one that occurred AFTER I moved out and liquidated all assets I could and walked off and had a family lawyer draft a separation agreement and mailed it to him and made a bunch of conditions to be met if we were to attempt to remain together... NOt unlike RECENTLY, except this time I did not exert control over finances and I can LET him have his one sense of security in HIS HOUSE. I can understand THAT IS NOT REALLY IMPORTANT anyway and its a manifestataion of his need to control. I can RECOGNIZE that WE CAN have a HEALTHY DYNAMIC in our relationship and in our family when all together HERE IF HE HAS HIS FEARS AND NEEDS MET BY ALLOWING HIM HIS FREEDOM TO MAINTAIN THE "MINE MINE MINE" of the VA home! It would be so hard to DISCUSS this so it could be understood! That would just be another example of his ABUSE right? But there are indeed SO MANY FACETS to the complexity of WESTELY and ME and OUR relationship, and THE KIDS ... and it is nearly imposssible for anyone else to even be exposed let alone understand. BUT ITS SO UPSETTING TO ME THAT WESTLEY BOUGHT THIS NY HOUSE, SOUGHT THE NY JOB and set this UP TO FACILITATE HAVING THE NEEDS OF THE WHOLE FAMILY-- THAT IS INCLUDING KATERINA AND SOREN AND ME AND US ALL TOGETHER HERE IN NY, while he meets HIS needs and his fears AND WE THEN COULD ALL GO TO VA TOGETHER, AND NOW THIS HOME WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO REALLY FACILITATE ALL OF US AS FAMILY TOGETHER. AT LEAST NOT IN A MEANINGFUL WAY. ONE WEEKEND A MONTH ISN"T SUBSTANTIAL IN MY MIND. KIDS WILL HAVE MORE PARENTING FROM THEIR TEACHERS THAN ME. Wesrley doesn't have that TRUST of me at this point of letting me go to VA WITHOUT HIM! I am sure, provided he REALLY handles his anger and fears and our relationship continues to grow and not be sqelched that THEN over time the trust will develop. SO IF that happens then maybe next year or the year after I can take the kids to VA along w/ siblings for a month in summer. But maybe that won't happen. I just don't know. I just know that the court ASSUMES that I CAN maintain the relationship with the children and if I don't ITS MY CHOICE. That too is an oversimplification and I feel an unfair assumption. They really don't accept responisbility of THEIR CHOICES in the lives of others! They really don't see that THEIR CHOICES result in severing or weakening of parental bonds JUST AS MUCH as parents and childrens choices. BECAUSE THEY MAKE COURT DECISIONS BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS and those assumptions are OFTEN incorrect. Something else I never wrote. When I took my legal action 4 years ago it was IRRELEVANT to me what the assets were that I froze. It in fact was not INTENDED by me to do that. OF COURSE there in the lengthy property settlement and separation agreement my DAMN FINE attorneys in Fairfax prepared was the paragraph about how all assets had better not be touched without my consent as I legally had ownership of half. BLAH BLAH BLAH... And if it were $1000 or $10,000 or $100,000 that was the total or $1 million or $10 million it would haven't made any difference to me. I DIDN"T GIVE A SHIT THEN, NOT NOW ABOUT MONEY. BUT I UNDERSTAND WESTELY'S LACK OF TRUST. I UNDERSTAND HIS FEAR. And I can empathize and put myself in HIS SHOES. WHO WOULDN"T HAVE TROUBLE WITH TRUSTING IF THEY SUDDENLY BECAME A STEWARD OF MILLONS, GOT MARRIED, THEN WITHIN MONTHS THEIR NEW SPOUSE LEAVES AND THEY GET A LETTER FROM LAWYERS WHICH IN IT DISCUSSES MONEY AS IS DID???? I never wrote this, and maybe it shouldn't make a difference as it doesn to me: But the worth at that time was a total of around 16 million dollars. Wrap your mind around that for a minute. If you found yourself the steward of that figure and your spouse acted as I acted (REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU DID- as you of course like everyone else can't see yourself) Wouldn't you have a SERIOUS TRUST issue and want to protect yourself? think about this too: IF your spouse had KIDS and an EX who was a deadbeat that never sent support and never saw the kids, called them only about once every three or four months, visited them only a few times a year (At his mother's none the less) -- you just might be concerned at some point about what would happen to all your earned assets if something were to happen to you and your new wife together. Hmmm... if 1/2 were hers, and without a will it would be divided as such, and something were to happen to her and you together then 1/4 of your earned money would suddenly go into the hand and control of that deadbeat DAD. Hmmmm.... So on the advice of an attorney YOU MIGHT START practicing thinking of assets as HIS and HERS and OURS- and making all those distinctions crystal clear, and making estate plans clear etc... WRAP your mind around that FEAR At the time of the separation action 5 years ago, before all that were done, if God forbid something like that were to happen, the kids deadbeat dad would have had a windfall in the amount of about 4 million . OK- so taxes would have taken almost half, but he would have been handed 2 million to manage on behalf of my estate. He who at the time we knew to be mentally ill and to have addiction problems. Hmmmm...Westley would be rolling over in his grave... NOW OF COURSE after the big stock drops those fears are no longer based on a reality. But whatever the figure is I can't BLAME WESTLEY for thinking this is ALL ABOUT MONEY. I UNDERSTAND HIS ABUSE TOO. HE DOESN"T FULLY UNDERSTAND HIS ABUSIVENESS. THAT MAKE OTHERS MORE FEARFUL OF HIM. BUT IT MAKES ME RECOGNIZE THAT HE HASN"T SEEN HOW HIS BEHAVIOR REALLY WAS... (Remember he grew up with it and THINKS its normal) THAT WILL NEVER EXCUSE IT OR MAKE IT OK, OR MAKE IT ACCEPTABLE, BUT IT MAKES ME UNDERSTAND THAT HIS ACTIONS AND REACTIONS ARE NOT ABOUT HIM CONTROLLING ME BUT ABOUT HIM CONTROLLING HIMSELF. HE FEELS CONTROLLED BY ME! That's the amazing thing! HE's the one with the greater FEAR of being controlled by others! HE's the one with the greater NEED of affirmation of his self. BUT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DO GROW AND EVOLVE AND CHANGE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING. WAIT-- USUSALLY PEOPLE GROW AND CHANGE WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING! PEOPLE NO MATTER THE AGE ARE NOT REALLY DIFFERENT WE ALL CONTINUE TO GROW BUT HAVE VARYING LEVELS OF AWARENESS OF THE PROCESS. Ask a toddler how their potty training is going any they likely can't analyze it. Ask Westely how he's managing his anger and he will have SOME AWARENESS of this. Some growth is through SELF DIRECTED changes in habit, but SOME GROWTH IS ALSO POSSIBLE from OTHER INFLUENCES - And few really BELIEVE THIS OR ACCEPT it: But I Do. IT only takes one person to change a dymanic and patterns of unhealthy communication CHANGE. Relationships can CHANGE a person from the OUTSIDE IN . I REALLY GET IT. WE"VE REALLY BEEN LIVING THIS PROCESS. SO BACK TO THE MAIN FACT: The settlement which assumes it will be so easy for me to get 4 weeks without the presence of my husband is largely meaningless for me (at least for the time being) THE ASSUMPTION that IF I CAN"T SEE THEM ITS MY OWN CHOICES AND DOING is a bit too simplistic and unforgiving and judgemental of me. I find that offensive and just plain sad. SO The reality is that the SETTLEMENT means I won't get to see the kids much at all. I do have FOUR OTHER CHILDREN to care for. I have FOUR OTHER CHILDREN who deserve to have involvement like they currently have in PRESCHOOL and SUMMER VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL at the local parish like we've been planning like every summer. I had EXPECTED that we could have KAtrina and SOREN WITH US FOR OUR NORMAL FAMILY LIFE THEN. And the phrase of the judge "I understand its difficult YOU HAVE ANOTHER FAMILY NOW" YES SHE UTTERED THAT. "YOU HAVE ANOTHER FAMILY NOW" SO the painful FACT is that the court REALLY DIDN"T HAVE THE INTEREST of PRESERVING OUR FAMILY SYSTEM WITH KATERINA AND SOREN AS PART OF IT. THEY INDEED LOOKED AT THEM AS BEING IN ONE FAMILY, AND ME HAVING "ANOTHER FAMILY" That was most shocking of all. The fact of the settlement REALLY will render that REALITY. THAT OUTCOME I THINK IS DUE TO HOW THE JUDGE AND THE LEGAL FOLKS VIEWED US. THEY NEVER LOOKED AT US IN THE CONTEXT OF THE BIG PICTURE. THEY NEVER SAW US AS A FAMILY GROWING AND WORKING ON OUR YES VERY SERIOUS ISSUES. THEY ONLY LOOKED AT ISOLATED INCIDENTS: ONE OF NOW FIVE YEARS AGO, and the more RECENT YEAR AGO. ANd I think ultimately I have to accept the kids made choices in this. Maybe its also true that the kids looked at the situation similarly My kids were allowed to choose to leave our family. They went from HAVING what I thought of as TWO familys to whittling it down to one. And now they have their family system with their DAD and GRANDMOM, and they will come visit me in MY FAMILY once in a while. ANd maybe I have to just accept that even if WEstely HAD BEEN PERFECT that the kids may never have been willing to ACCEPT a second family system. Soren at first drew family pictures of me and his DAD and KAterina and then his new baby sister-- but GLARINGLY ABSENT didn't inlude Westley. HE fanatazized about the role of his FAther. I think EVEN A PERFECT STEP FATHER (if there could exist one, ) and a PErfect husband for me (If such a fairy tale could ever be real) WOULD NEVER HAVE CHANGED SOREN's DEEP WOUND OF ABANDONMENT AND HIS SUBSEQUENT YEARNING FOR HIS FATHER. Katerina and SOREN may have ALWAYS still seen their FAMILY as their GRANDMOTHER at the HELM and being there in Buffalo and me and their father as less significant. WHo knows. Maybe that's how they REALLY have alwayws felt. ANd I guess my choices of allowing her to call and talk every SUN for hours and allowing her to be in their life allowed that to be. The Social Workers In Buffalo- the one voice of reason Bonnie MCLAUGHLIN of ERIE FORENSIC MENTAL HEALTH who seemed to be concerned about what she thought of as an unhealthy role of GRANDMOM and was concerned was the ONLY ONE who found that a concern. HER REPORT WAS STRONG that we did not have a home that warrented removal- and she was seriously concerned about their FATHER's fitness as a parent and about the suitableness of his home. She was also the only one who could understand the dynnamics of tension between CULTURAL DIFFERENCE is really significant! She of course WAS IRISH SHe of course GREW UP ON A FARM...WITH LOTS OF SIBLINGS! SHE OF COURSE UNDERSTOOD the whole WORKAHOLIC and the whole ALCOHOLIC and the whole (even if second generation) cycle of CHILDREN of ALCOHOLICS carrying the learned behaviors...THEDRY alcoholic tendency of WESTLEY, the acting like a child of alcohlic tendency of me....(AMAZING 2nd generation !!) SHE REALLY GOT IT that for KATERINA this is about THE CHOICE to get away from DEMANDS OF A LARGE FAMILY. I have a greater insight of sociology, social workers and I think understand some of the limitations of Psycology. At one point I had told the Psycologist in relation to Westley's not wanting to be involved with Psycological testing that not only is that as he maintains this isn't REALLY about him- but its an acadamia snobbery from being in a pHd program rooted in sociology. She looked at me like I had two heads obviously unaware of this being a REALLY common attitude among sociologists. I said, "Unless I'm mistaken I think there is this acadamia debate and his views are informed by his educational experience" She said curtly "you are mistaken" To which I said "Oh- perhaps." and moved on to talk about something else. (Another thing that evidenced my "ARROGANCE" to her!) Anyway.... it is so clear to me that policy is MIRED in these philosophical debates and that courts don't know just HOW INFLUENCED they are by a perspective that the other half of the world that analzyes the world (SOCIOLOGISTS) think is LESS VALID and NOT SCIENTIFIC... and shouldn't be as INFLUENTIAL as it is! There is a ton of stuff on how the role of Psycologists is overly influential. In our case the Psycologist HAD NO KNOWLEDGE of the kids Father's mental illness history. I DIDN"T INITIALLY TELL HER as I thought (I think correctly) her job was to meet us and assess us both individually. My attorney bawled me out on that account and at the last minute I rifled off E-MAILS about concerns- including his issues. She just attached my e-mails to the report. So it likely lookes like some desparate last minute LYING on my part! They didn't confirm any of it. I don't have EVIDENCT of it (OK I Do have one dischage paper as it was before HIPPA and then spouses I think had some privalages they now don't have.) But its locked in a safe deposit in VA and WHAT's the point of attacking him??? WHAT ANGES ME ABOUT THIS IS THAT THE JUDGE PRESENTED THE SETTLEMENT in such a patronizing and pitying manner that THAT RESULT Is DUE TO MY CHOICES. /p>
blah blah blah.... and it was then CRYSTAL CLEAR why my attorney got so frustrated that I had insisted on starting the trial process when she knew all along I WOULD LOSE.
IT was over before it began. Even if I introduce all the OTHER FACTS-- it would still have the same outcome. THAT IS MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE MOST DETERMINATIVE FACT OF ALL:
Katerina and Soren WANT to be in Buffalo.
They are HAPPY to be there.
SO I really have to ACCEPT that THE MOST DETERMINATIVE LEGAL ASPECT, according to my attorney, being that the kids WANT TO BE THERE, so the law guardian HAS TO ARGUE THAT CASE FOR THEM (Despite the fact that after talking to the VA CPS and our marriage counselor SHE ACKNOWLEDGED that we don't have an ABUSIVE HOME) And they talked to me of how they have a file cabinet and the largest file in it is my letters. They told me there are over a hundered letters that I have written to them this year. I had all I could do to remain my composure as they happily told me this. They really are so young. I don't think they'll ever REMEMBER or KNOW THE REALITY THAT UNTIL NOW THEIR DAD ABANDONED THEM. THey will grow up not REMEMBERING ALL THE EARLY CHILDHOOD YEARS. That's what is lost in memory as one ages. They will likely now REMEMBER the time with him, and those letters will REALLY be the extent of my relationship. I feel like WELL I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER WITH A BODY OF SUBSTANTIAL WORK. I DID IT. IN A FILE OF LETTERS THEY READ and then put away..... AND I'd much prefer to be able to HAVE THE REAL RELATIONSHIP with them and never write again because I am too busy with LIVING.
AS for the process of the kids testifying in trial being damaging. they came out and I said "Are you glad that's over?"
Soren exhuberantly said "NO- It was fun!" Katerina exclaimed "I got to play trial! They let me sit in the Judge's Chair and then I played all the parts! I was first the plaintiff and...." Blah blah .. she went into the detailed desciption of her role acting of all the characters in her invented mock trial.
She said they all thought it was funny. They talked to the kids and then they gave them cake to eat.
Soren ate his cake in the judge's chair. And Soren was THRILLED he SANG for them all.
So they fed them cake, and got testimony of FACTS... (But of course kids don't have a good sense of time and therefore when asked DID YOUR STEPFATHER EVER HURT YOUR MOTHER ... and Soren honestly said "YES HE HIT HER ARM..." and gave all the detail of the incident HE SAW FOUR YEARS AGO.... the reality is he saw one small thing but there was indeed a BIG INCIDENT just days later-- I rememeber it all. But they never asked him WHAT DID YOUR MOTHER DO IN RESPONSE. They never asked TIME It happened -and how would a kid know if it was a year or four ago... and in their mind it doesn't matter anyway.)
And after it was over and my attorney finally convinced me to settle. When we had prepared all the questions to ask their Grandmother who was sopenoed in to court.
My attorney was PREPARED to continue on with the full blown knock out trial.
But I just realized I'd look like MORE OF A FOOL. They don't find my quiet acceptance of an abusive husband anything other than disturbing. And the fact I am at PEACE hasn't occured to them. So my then drilling into the kids Grandmother about her manipulation would just make me look like a desperate WACKO-- in DENIAL-- DEFLECTING responsibility from my husbands abuse onto the sweet grandmother.
EVEN THOUGH IT IS TRUE that there has been ongoing manipulation.
Time to care for the girls now. I'll try to write more later. And I got to sit and hear the patronizing of the judge and then the COMPLIMENTS of "WHAT AMAZING CHILDREN YOU BOTH HAVE." YES THEY ARE AMAZING then "YOU HAVE BOTH OBVIOUSLY DONE A FANTASTIC JOB WITH THEM" Was that meant to be a knife in my chest?? WAS that MEANT to RUB IT IN?? WAS THAT MEANT to imply that KATERINA just won the BUFFLO SCHOOLS WORD OLYMPICS and the kids are stellar at school because their DAD TOO is so great at parenting? When my attorney asked how the kids were I had excitedly told her about KAterina winning! She dryly responded "Oh- that's because he's such a great parent." She at least made me smile. She got it. She knows no one takes Katerina to the library anymore. She knows all books sent (EXCEPT THE ONES FROM MICHELLE THANK YOU!!) "disappeared" One other thing that doesn't sit well. I think Westley worrys about money too much. He says don't be naive this is all about money for the kids DAD. FACT IS THAT ALTHOUGH IT IS NONE OF THEIR FATHER's BUSINESS, in the very conversation that I had with their DAD about the situation of a year ago- HE made some reference to finances I GOT PISSED at his GaLL and his assumptions and made it clear by telling him of the nuptial. (OH yes- it was in relation to child support as he was sending none! HE said something like "ITs a formula you know- based on income" and he seemed to think my spouses was included and we didn't NEED his help. He in other words was justifying his lack of responsibility. I was in fact persuing child support as there is a HUGE correlation between the FINANCICAL investment of non custodial parents and how much OTHER involvement they have in children's lives! Mothers and fathers who PAY expenses take more interest and involvement in the kids! One of the best ways to get a deadbeat to be there for kids IS to push the support issue!) FACT IS THAT KATERINA AND SOREN'S DAD WAS ASSUMING ALOT about finances. HE WAS TOLD THEN THAT HIS OBLIGATION OF CHILD SUPPORT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WESTLEY's INCOME, but MY INCOME. HE WAS TOLD TRUTHFULLY MY INCOME WAS MINIMAL, and My ASSETS THE TOTAL ON ONE FIVE YEAR OLD VOLVO AND JEWELRY! HE WAS BASICALLY TOLD THAT HE IS FUCKED WHEN IT COMES TO CHILD SUPPORT AS HE WAS IN ARREARS FOR FIVE YEARS PAST DUE. I worry that Westley once again could have had that brilliant insight. HE SAID DON"T LET THE COURT KNOW ABOUT THE NY HOUSE. HE wanted a. To have an outcome that allows us to go to VA or to NY as we wish w/ the kids and feared limitations. and b. To protect himself and not be supoened in. They have no jurisdiction over him in VA but may have in NY. I honored this until just yesterday at my attorneys BEGGING and bawling me out to not be so stubborn as she said "YOU ARE GOING TO GET NOTHING!! IF THEY KNOW YOU ARE IN NY I CAN AT LEAST GET WEEKEND VISITATION!!!!" I think however maybe I was DUMB to listen to her. Maybe if they thought we were only in VA they would have had more compassion. BUt maybe not. There seems little room in the court for compassion (OH - except in relation to DRUG and ALCOHOL ABUSE) And I fear WESTELY DID Have insight when he says this is ALL ABOUT money. Time will tell. I just hope the kids are REALLY happy. What disturbs me is that Soren Cried when I was going to drop him off at school yesterday. He said HE HATES SCHOOL. HE SAID "ITS BORING ALL WE DO ARE DITTO SHEETS" I don't hear of any friends from him. HE WAS SO upset he had to go back to school It was then pretty late and I just brought him along with KAterina HOME. LETS FACE IT I BROUGHT HIM HOME TO GRANDMOM's as I got lost finding the school and it was then late and he didn't want to go anyway. I let him have his afternoon off. I have serious Fears for SOREN. And there's little I can now REALLY do for him other than talk on the phone and call. I THINK yesterday I SAW SIGNS of what I PREDICTED will come. I HOPE I AM WRONG. But now Soren and Katerina are in care of their Father and Grandmother and I know they all go to counseling so I hope that they are all OK! What also doesn't sit well is that someone (my atttorney?) whoever, said not to talk to the kids about the interview w/ the judge. There was great emphasis by the law guardian of the fact the kids thought they were talking to all parties in confidence and that confidence should be respected. After each interview in the whole process I did ask the kids what they talked about and Daniel was very comfortable telling me all about it. He freely talked and I listened. I find it hard to believe there is anything he said out of my presence that differed from what he told me all along (including when early on he talked TO ME in language he said he heard from GRANDMOM. I think from then on he used only HIS WORDS from HIS EXPERIENCES as I told him to do! I think he got it then after that chat!) I just don't know why they thing it would be so tramatic for the kids to be asked by EITHER PARENT to be open in discussing their concerns! That seems again to be an attidude that DOES NOT FACILITATE HEALTHY FAMILY. Sure the kids are free to talk to whomever and keep whatever confidence they want! But sometimes its EASIEST for them to answer the questions of others and THEN ITS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY for them to BRING UP ISSUES WITH PARENTS that are difficult! WHAT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY I WOULD'T MISS!!! How great for Soren to be able to talk to me about the time he was upset that Westely hit me FIVE YEARS AGO- something I wouldn't have otherwise know HE WAS STILL AWARE OF. I think the court attitude really puts KIDS RIGHTS at a value that is HIGHER than the interests of FAMILYS WHEN There is abuse this in understandable. But I think the problem is that this becomes a PARADIGM shift that carries over to the whole SYSTEM REGARDLESS of the ACTUAL circumstances. I still think ages 10 and 11 is TOO YOUNG for what the kids THINK to have been so controlling of a factor in this case. THE LAW SAYS AGE 16 I think... but in practice the courts allow kids much younger to have such a significant role that I think it really becomes easy for kids to not only BE MANIPULATED but perhaps MANIPULATE THEMSELFES with of course their short term interests in mind. I still think that Katerina and Soren may not fully understand the consequnces of THEIR CHOICES and actions in this. I still think for THEM this was about seeing their DAD. I don't think they realize that in reality that is at the expense of theri relationship with me. For KAterina, who I think is psycologically centered and has a good self esteem and clear individual goals this won't be a big problem. She'll be fine. For Soren, this could be literally devastating. WE'll see. His FATHER who has become the captian of the ship- better damn well hang on even when it gets stormy. If he bails out. I who have never had trouble with forgiveness, may have a real hard time with that. And now to tend to the baby who is crying and hugry! I have to let go of this grief and be present here where I am for those who are with me and depend on my love and care. (The girls have really been caring for themselves and each other this morning!!)