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2004-09-22 - 2:14 p.m.

I recalled the Shakespeare quote I was trying to think of.... at least in part, and when talking to friend and Neighbor I said it " Oh the tangles webs we weave" My neighbor who is oh so brilliant actually recalled the remainder of the phrase and finished it, "When first we practice to decive"

at which point I cracked up with laughter and told her I forgot about the second half of that, and added "No wonder people act like they don't trust I'm telling the truth!"

I told her I won't cite that anymore!

It is frustrating that I went to the NY hearing and the law guardian acted like there was a whole POPCORN BAG along with added seasoning based on the one kernal of truth which was there that I HAD verified! So the kids are STILL in Buffalo in the temporary custody of their father.

I for one have NEVER practiced deception, and in fact now have all this difficulty regarding the custody battle BECAUSE of my openness and forthright honesty!

My insightful neighbor did give me great counsel: "Don't be a victim ! You need to not be so trusting and naive about people! You set yourself up for this by being so open to those who take advantage and them manipulate"

But hindsight is always 20/20.

It's just sad to think that I invited Soren and Katerina's grandma to visit HERE in OUR community, and even went so far as to tell her of the local bed and brekfast a neighbor/friend of ours runs. We passed on the phone # of Katerina's best friend from school and SUDDENLY that family was bizzare and mistrustful of US.... the teachers at school were NOT willing to even write letters on our behalf indicating what great students Soren and Katerina are, and the principal said in response to me saying the kids are with Dad and Grandma "Their good people."

How the Hell would he know?

I HAD noticed YEARS AGO that their grandma had all the teachers on the e-mail list she used when she sent on of those "friendly" hellos (which I always deleted and ignored) I knew enough to not trust her as MY FRIEND, but still communicated for the sake of my children. I however never felt seriously threatened by her OVERT manipulation as I thought nothing would ever come of it other than her eating herself up inside with her own resentment and paranoid fears. I in fact felt PITY of her, and at times ANGER, but never FEARED HER. That in fact may have been a BIG mistake. Parents SHOULD fear those who try to manipulate their children-- EVEN IF THEY ARE relatives! My friend Sandra in Buffalo was wose enough that when her own mother was toxic to herself and her relationship with her husband she cut her out of their life! (Even when they had children- or I should say ESPECIALLY because they had children!) She recognized the dysfunctional manipulation and refused to allow it to be a part of her life. I regret I had not been so strong in regard to Katerina and Soren's grandma who I SHOULD have cut of all commnuication with YEARS AGO!

Its sad that when our house was under construction and we could have gone ANYWHERE to stay that we chose to go to NY SO THAT Katerina and Soren would have the opportuinity to see their DAd and Grandma more! WE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO FL TO SEE MY FAMILY MORE!!!! (But NY schools ARE better)

ITS sad that when Westley encouraged me to home school the kids in VA during our travel to NY that I didn't listen to his concern that a custody battle might ensue!

Its sad to think that WESTLEY DOES have great foresight, and I can't help but wonder if he HOPED this would happen, and if he wanted to go to NY to enable it to happen, and if the whole incident in July w/ KAterina just days before her DAD was getting her was not in some way orchestrated so this WOULD HAPPEN.....

BUT THEN THOSE ARE MY FEARS SPEAKING.... and I don't think that is REALLY likely....

BUT it is sad that WESTLEY is MUCH MORE RELAXED and HAPPIER when the older two kids from my first marriage are not here!

I however was married along with the kids as an intregal part of my life-- and unless I can help it I intend on them remaining so. That is something Westley needs to deal with. HE had been

accepting of them and dealing reasonably well - as reasonably as I require! I don't expect the step father and step kids to all love each other, but expect mutual respect! If they grow to love each other GREAT, if not- I don't see that as a problem. I really think MANY people have UNREALISTIC expectations for step relationships which is what I attribute the incredibly high rate of failure of second marriages to. (I think its a 75% failure rate ) Unhappiness is typically the result of having expectations which are not met! Regarding my marriage and family life, I have been VERY HAPPY despite the challenges, and I think that is primarily because I have a very REALISTIC expectation! I actually LOVE the way Westley parents the kids in every regard except discipline where we have our conflict! I love the way he has taught both myself and the children so many life skills! I know we are all better people because of him! I am no longer Late ALL THE TIME (only sometimes! And at that only a few minutes, not longer) I no longer lose my keys, eyeglasses, wallet with regularity, I no longer say I will do something but forget and don't follow through. I am undoubtedly a more responsible person, and the kids are undoubtedly more responsible and successful in school because of him! HE is the one who helps with math and science, skills I never honed. HE is the one who motivates all the kids to clean up the house, who had the patience to have the kids consistenly help- despite the fact it would be SO MUCH FASTER AND EASIER to do it all ourselves. HE is the one who has the tolerence and fortitude to know the best secret of all about parenting- that to be a most effective parent you can not be your child's best friend! (THat's the role of friends and siblings)

I laughed when I saw a list of the top ten parenting mistakes and # 1 was BEING YOUR CHILD's BEST friend! Westley felt validated when I showed him that!

Its really a challenging thing to be an effective parent. I think it takes great strength to follow through on all the healthy parenting techniques which are painful for us as parents who love our children (INCLUDING discipline!)

I'm thinking again of that Shakespeare quote and wondering if Katerina will tell anyone other than me that "Soren is lying and exaggerating as he always does." In addition to her characterization of that, Soren said some things to me that were disturbing to hear and I asked "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT IDEA?" He said "Grandma said that you said that."

So its obvious that his Grandma is lying to him to create a story and he is falling for her manipulation. (AS I am sure her son is as well)

I didn't think to tell Soren that I HAVEN"T SPOKEN to his Grandma FOR MONTHS! (Ever since their Dad came back from Asia) I think that was last March since I had to talk to the evil wicked shrew.... I should have told Soren that I never talked to her .... what I did tell him was that "I never said that" and that he should always be comfortable talking to ANYONE about what he has experienced IN HIS OWN WORDS-- but that he has to be VERY CAREFUL to not be manipulated by other people and to talk ONLY Of what he has experienced and not let other people put words in his mouth.

The problem with chronic lying is that I think liars start to be convinced of thier own created reality.

I 've said it before "LA LA LA LA ....LA LA LA LA EVIL GRANDMOTHER's world...."

I think Soren's grandmother may have HIM CONVINCED of her invented reality through coaching him! IF he lies about something enough I think he starts to forget the reality.... kind of like the summer his DAD couldn't get him until the very end for only a few weeks instead of the whole summer as planned, but when the school essay came back about what he did over the summer, Soren wrote only about going to his DAD's as if her were there ALL SUMMER rather than two weeks. Kind of like when he had to draw a family picture in first grade and it was of his DAD, me and his sisters-- but failed to include his Step- father.

So Soren has REAL issues with accepting and representing reality. HE is EASILY manipulated as he has trouble with lying as it is, and tends to give people the answers they want to hear.

And of course, both Katerina and Soren just want to be with their Dad more than anything else. What kid wouldn't when they haven't seen that much of their father?

Oh the tangled web has been woven, by a lonely grandma who has mourned the loss of her son for years and has clung to her grandchildren as the only relationship she has left in her life.... and by the sad boy who is scarred by the loss of his relationship with Daddy at the tender age of two, and who needs that to be healed more than anything else--- so desperately that he will lie in order to spend more time with his father who is now acting like he is willing.... and the tangled web of the substance abuser and alcoholic father who makes countless promises yet can't follow through despite good intentions.... The torn threads of that web he starts to build but never finishes as he doesn't even have the requisite silk to spin... the tangled web which was strong and intricate and well formed, but shatters as its fibers are unexpectedly attacked at it's one weak point. Outside help was sought to manage it's own caustic byproducts, hoping for an additional shovel to remove a little shit- but instead a bulldozer dramatically comes in response...and thus destroys all the beauty of the web's design. Yes the crap is now gone, but so also is the fiber of the core of the web, and a black widow is lurking,and may destoy the very ones she wants to love who have been thrown from that web, in her obsession to posess them.

Time will tell how this all turns out. I am trying to keep faith that what is best will happen for all concerned. Perhaps the incident in July really was a kick in the butt of Katerina's father that he NEEDED and he WILL respond with love and responsibility and follow through for his children this time. We'll see... IF so, maybe it won't be tragic if they stay there. But if NOT....the kids then HAVE to come back here to me as although we haven't a PERFECT home, no family does, and this one has SO MANY benefits and is MUCH HEALTHIER than being with their manipulative and I am sure psycologically ill grandmother.

Soren already is on allergy meds and carries around and EPI-Pen as he had ONE allergic reaction which apparently happened when he was staying at his Grandfather's in Philly. I pointed out that he is most likely allergic to dogs, and grandpa had a dog for years living in that house and that I have that problem. But histrionic, hypocondriac grandma most certainly will not listen to what I say. So Soren is ALREADY being treated like he is a fragile kid! So sad.... (And all b/c of one incident of allergies in ANOTHER city! Not even where he is now.... they lack common sense in addition to being paranoid about all things related to health)

AS my ex-husbands step mother said, their father will NEVER recognize the ongoing manipulation of his mother as he has been caught up within it his whole life! I wish he's finally realize HIS MOTHER is a toxic person! And once again I think of how I myself played my part in this through sheer naivity and good will! When we were dating my Ex had NO CONTACT with his mother! I ENCOURAGED him to be kinder to her as he is all she has in this world! I encouraged him to just visit her occassionally.... and he very soon was under her influence again, and very soon had his breakdown.... etc.... Interestingly he seemed to be a different person when she was not in his life. I should have left well enough alone way back then! HE at one point said he was just WAITING for his mother to die so he could begin to live! How sad! But once again.... I hate to dwell on negative things.... Looking for the lemonade I can make from the lemons life is hurling at me: Time to write and study during the time I typically would be spending with the kids supervising THEIR homework and violin practice. If the kids DO stay there, I may just pick up that violin and learn to play myself! (Unless Katerina expresses interest and asks for it. But without me motivating her I think she may have dwindling interest..... gone is the possibilty of scholarship money for music... gone is the honors track for middle school.... gone is Accelerated Math she was so excited about.... MY FEARS surfacing again... the whole future and opportunity and possibilities will be forever altered as a result of the kids choices of how they represent our home life here... in their attempt to see their Dad they may be giving up SO MUCH they don't realize... and their Dad may not even follow through... I pray that there is a quick positive resolution to all this and it doesn't drag ON AND ON... Oh- the one positive thing my attorney did was get mandatory drug and alcohol testing of their DAD while they are in his temporary custody. So that gives me some relief to my worry... and some greater incentive for him to successfully stay clean. IF he TRULY wants to have his kids with him, he will have to stay clean. If that happened it wouldn't be such a bad thing, and in fact would likely be a great thing for Soren... however I still worry about Katerina as I think even the best possible scenario in Buffalo would not be best for her. I think she NEEDS to be here if she REALLY wants to actualize her potential and follow through with her dreams SHE has indicated. That won't happen in a permissive parental environment. As far as Soren, I guess I feel like he is ALREADY scarred emotionally from his FAther, so I think his Father has the best chance of helping him. KAterina was older when her Dad was ill, so she was already beyond those formative years and had a strong sense of self. What I worry about is that possibly Soren NEEDS the structure and discipline and committed parental lover of HERE even MORE than Katerina... and that his FATHER can not heal the wounding... and that no one in fact really can by Soren himself. IN which case, maybe being here IS BETTER as he is less likely to be let down yet again... rejected yet again... abandoned yet again... Well... time will tell...

So for now, all I can really do is wait.

Next hearing in NY is mid October.

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