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2005-06-21 - 2:20 p.m.


I have known that and really apprechiated mine.

But what I would never have guess is that a VOLVO holds value in the short term BETTER than a diamond!.. Hmmm well maybe its more like the RESALE value is about the SAME for both. I just realized that the car also initially cost more than the ring. What is important is that at this point I would get more for the car than I can get for the diamond.

And it will be less hurtful for me to sell my car than it would be to sell the diamond! If I sold the diamond I would be asked where I got money from and since I already discussed the issue and told WESTLEY that if there were no other way I'd sell jewelry... well I would in the end likely JUST TELL Him if I do so. I SUCK at keeping secrets... and I don't know if I could even lie if I tried!

So after getting the bad news of what I would receive (about 50% of what I hoped for. If it were the figure I expected it would have been a done deal this morning! But it was just too low...) and realizing that it doesn't really make it worth wearing a Cubic Zarconia..... (AS I DON't THINK IT WOULD BE ENOUGH TO PAY OFF WHAT I OWE MY ATTNY AND RETAIN A SECOND ATTNY IN VA ANYWAY SO TO SELL IT WON'T ACHIEVE WHAT I WANT) I 've decided my Volvo which is CURRENTLY at the dealer having some maintenance work done is going to be brought in to CARMAX to see what THEY would offer for it. CARMAX is THE WORST way to sell a used car. I know this... but the logistics and costs of trying to manage selling it myself might make CARMAX worth considering. (As well as the REALLY quick receipt of money... bird in hand being worth more than two on the wire when you ARE DOWN TO THE WIRE...)

The other alternative is for us all head back to VA and hang out there for a few weeks until the car is sold. But I really haven't the time for that (nor do we have the cash available for the gas there and back!) The date of the proposed settlement to be presented to the court and for this to ostensibly be over is JULY 15th... so that really means there is no reason that on JULY 14th I couldn't decide I won't settle and then get a new date for trial. But I would prefer to be more courteous and secure the VA attny and file the motion to change venue AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and not spring that on everyone at the last minute.)

I also feel like if I am REALLY going to lose as my attny acts, then it is the kids BEST interst that I drag this on AS LONG AS POSSIBLE as the longer it is in court the more likely their DAD continues to attend AA and stay clean. That's the part my attny doesn't really get... I am not in any rush. I actually think the time the kids spent with their DAD is GOOD for them. That's not however what this case is about! She really however also doesn't get it that IF I DO WIN then it is VERY LIKELY things return to what they were before, meaning the kids DON't HAVE much of their DAD in their life.

So which is worse NOT HAVING Their DAD in their life much or NOT having me in it much? I know I'll continue to write and call almost daily... so they are less afraid of that prospect of not seeing me all the time. I will still be in their lives although it will be more like a friend rather than a PARENT. But who knows which is worse in the end for them, not having their DAD REALLY AT ALL except for the cameo twice a year appearances or not having me daily and having me as a friend while their GRANDMOTHER raises them and they get to see their DAD saunter in their lives when its convienient for him? The honeymoon period WILL Come to an end... and I forsee deep HURT at his aloofness and lack of concern for the kids. I have seen the signs ALREADY that his interests are self motivated. I think neither I nor anyone else REALLY can know! But I do know it is VERY LIKELY he would drop out and they will be raised by their GRANDMOTHER should I agree to the proposed terms. And I KNOW it is not in their interest for me to agree to a settlement where they can't come into my home with Westely .

I also know this: That the hurt instilled by their FATHER in the end is his to deal with. I have TRIED to protect them from that. But I can't. I have TRIED to protect them from having to learn of his issues of alcoholism and substance abuse and mental illness... but I can't any longer. I was always open to discussing the fact of him having DEPRESSION in a non judgemental way to them-- but it seemed it would have only been DESTRUCTIVE to discuss the other issues. But now they are in the thick of it all. ALTHOUGH I WON'T MENTION these issues of their DAD's to them, they are LIVING admist it. THEY WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE AFFECTS of those illnessess on their relationship with their DAD. They will experience alot of the pain I had HOPED to insulate them from. Once an Alcoholic stops Drinking they DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY change other behavior patterns they have had for years! They DO NOT automatically become RESPONSIBLE and ATTENTIVE and RELIABLE to people they formerly just were not there for. They often become DRY ALCOHOLICS. SOME REALLY DO become engaged in life in a DIFFERENT way. But as for their DAD... I see him STRUGGLING to maintain his own LIFE. I see him DEPENDENT on the support of nightly meetings. I see him dependent on his mother and I see him dependent on his kids.

What I see doesn't give me any great hope that the kids are REALLY going to be better off or happier there.I see Soren miserable about school (something I never saw before) I see Soren lonely not having any friends who are peers. (Something I never saw before) I see Soren becoming an increasingly AT RISK kid.

I think by being in NY they are thrilled to have Dad in their lives as it is in fact HEALING some of the hurt of being abandoned by him. And I HAVEN't HURT THEM. Yet their DAD will STILL have to deal with the hurt he has caused AND HE HAS TO DEAL WITH THE FACT THAT ANY FURTHER HURT WHEN/IF he RENIGS HIS RESPONISBILITIES AS HE HAS ALWAYS DONE, WON'T BE SO EASILY FORGIVEN BY THEM IF HE HAS SHUT ME OUT OF BEING IN THEIR DAILY LIVES AND THEY END UP IN GRANDMOM'S CARE. I think foresight is a painful thing to have. I feel like to SETTLE as proposed would be INEVITABLEY the way to poison all the relationships of the kids with both ME and THEIR FATHER and THEIR grandmother and the obvious one of the then non-existant one with their STEPFATHER. It would poison the relationship with their FATHER as they will be resentful when he does drop out and they realize it was a false promise they gambled on by severing their lives with me as they have. THe hurt I forsee would be so much deeper than the hurt of the past. YOU SEE my moving to VA GAVE HIM A WAY to act like he was not culpable for his lack of involvement (even thought they never realize it and he was barely involved with then even when in BUFFALO before!)

Their relationship with me as it is already being poisioned by the encouragement of demonizing and blaming my spouse and encouraging the thoughts that I have made a choice of Westley over them. That thinking may not be SPOKEN by anyone, but it is most definately ENCOURAGED by the law guardian and all those the kids encounter who ACT like that is the case. The kids ALREADY have resentment that I married and TRIED TO REPLACE THEIR DAD as kids OFTEN see RE-MARRIAGE (Not that ANYONE has been astute enough to recognize their ANGER at ME for that is a HUGE factor in this!) God help their DAD if he attempts to have a new relationship! If he had ANY FORESIGHT he would have been ALL ALONG encouraging their relationship with their STEP DAD WESTELEY rather than discouraging realizing that if he wants to develop another relationship someday that I could be his BEST ally in assisting the kids in working out their NORMAL resistance to that!

ITs most obvious how the relationship with their step-father has been poisioned: both by his own actions (which I think could be overcome in the NATURAL course of interaction should he have the opportunity for that!) and then the exaggerated demonizing of his faults and the ENCOURAGING of hatred and LACK of FORGIVENESS that the kids have been subjected to for almost a year now. IT really is tantamount to brainwashing the way OVER AND OVER they are ENCOURAGED to discuss the negative moments and it is impressed upon them just how EVIL THEIR COUNT OLAF Stepfather is... OOOPSS... error there.... but I SWEAR SOREN at least is eating up those books which I just read in the hope that MAYBE I can find one of the preported incidents he has described with WESTELY in writing in the fictional stories he loves to read. I started reading the series Soren loves so I can TALK to him and connect with him, but soon realized I can see a bit more of HOW he is relating his step father as I was reading it! VERY INTERESTING. But of course I don't have a TRANSCRIPT of anything the kids have said, and of course the law guardian and anyone else involved is unlikely to be well versed in children's literature.

I'm tempted to change my psudonames though from Katerina to Cinderella, Soren to KLAUS who loved to get ideas from reading, and Westley to Count Olaff.

And the relationshiop with GRANDMOM will be poisioned by her own selfish manipulation of their lives for HER BENEFIT as she continues to act manipulative and controlling and emotionally destructively sabatoges them over and over the way she has done to her son his whole life. They will grow into awareness of her histrionic behavior, her neediness to the point of an unwillingness to recognize they are OTHER than herself, her illness... Westely asked me if SHE HAD any history of drug or alcohol use/abuse and I honestly answered "I DON'T KNOW" but her erratic and inconsistent behavior would most certainly be explained by that! She does have DEPRESSION and seems to have those up and down swings herself... so it could just be that. Whatever it is... she'll be a loving support who then stifles the kids like she does everyone who gets too close to her! Their relationship with her that WAS healthy when it was a weekly phone call and her visiting to support events in THEIR lives will likely never be as good as it was when they lived with me! (AND THEY THINK WESTLEY IS CONTROLLING! TALK ABOUT "OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE"....they have seen NOTHING yet....)This is the woman who used to have Katerina open her birthday presents at her parties WHEN HER DAD AND I were not present... she routinely took over and re-arranged plans we'd make... she routinely created scenes with both my EX and then again with Westely.... CONSTANT DRAMA and TURMOIL and GRANDMOM ATTENTION GETTING BEHAVIOUR.... IT WILL CONTINUE with SOREN AND KATERINA as the people she manipulates.

I think the prospect of selling my car isn't so horrible. It means essentially that for the time being Westley and I would share the vehicle I typically drive all the time. He workd only 15 minutes from home. When weather is nice I wouldn't mind dropping him off and picking him up if he's let me so I could have the car to do something with the girls during the day. He actually relies on the VOLVO when in VA and his BMW when in NY. If we sell the VOLVO he would leave his BMW in VA to use when he is there, and we would share our family vehicle. HERE IN NY THOUGH THERE IS ENOUGH AROUND TO WALK TO... unlike in VA. We HAVE enjoyed walks to and fro the store and PRESCHOOL. The community center where PRESCHOOL was for the litle girls as well as CHURCH and anything else we want REALLY IS A REASONABLE walk. It would be a PAIN but we talked this over and he said if I REALLY INSIST on moving forward with the legal battle by selling the car WESTLEY is supportive of that.

That might be the thing to do as I could pay off my attny, and retain one in VA and it would help with the serious cash flow problems we currently have in relation to the house expenses! The broken system in VA was unexpected and we have no cusion in our budget right now! Westley made a BIG mistake of re-allocating his tax deductions and sent out checks this week thinking that the change would take affect THIS FRI however he just found out the reduction of witholding won't take effect until LATER... not this check, so as it is HE IS GOING TO BOUNCE a few checks that he just mailed out! He BORROWED substantially from HIS PARENTS to be able to get the heating system re-done along with all new vents in this house so we could all come up to NY. That was the only way we even were able to COME HERE. So even if Westely hadn't insisted he won't pay the legal fees for the custody battle, he doesn't HAVE the money to support that at this time anyway! He thinks finding the job in NY and getting the house here is enough of a support.

Westley in fact also has past due lawyer bills of his own and THE SAME problem of figuring out how he can pay for MORE work. (HE has his trial in SEPT! TO report on ANGER MANAGEMENT which he ATTENDED In NY but he's been advised the VA court may not accept.)

I called my attny today to see if she did ANY of the THREE things I asked of her LAST WEEK. I had left her both a voice mail and an e-mail but she's in court now (like always... I have to say she certainly HAS THE EXPERIENCE in that court! she really KNOWS the court well there and I am sure her advice is sound... but it makes me nervous when she doesn't follow up... BUT THEN AGAIN in the interest of making my last call to her short and sweet and not paying to ARGUE with her I let her give me instructions to pick up the proposed settlement and plan visitation then hand deliver it to my EX.... knowing that has I visited I wouldn't SEE HIM but HIS MOTHER or a SITTER.... so it was futile... and then I just ignored her comments and via E MAIL sent him the proposed settlement. Maybe she is annoyed I did that! But hey ITS A CLIENT's PEROGATIVE TO IGNORE ADVICE AND DO AS THEY WISH-- EVEN IF SEEMINGLY DUMB, but an ATTORNEY isn't FREE TO IGNORE CLIENT's INSTRUCTIONS- EVEN IF SEEMINGLY DUMB

I know she thinks I am a nut to keep fighting this. But I also know that's because of the odds of winning... BUT I AM NOT ONE TO GIVE UP BASED ON POOR ODDS!
HOW CAN I JUST ACCEPT A SETTLEMENT that stipulates the kids can never be in the presence of Westley?? He may not be perfect, but that is not deserved.

NOt to mention, they never even PRESENTED ME WITH A WRITTEN SETTLEMENT PROPOSAL. I mean what the hell is that all about? Do they REALLY EXPECT me to pay my attny to draft THE SETTLEMENT THEY WANT? I presented my offer both verbally and by EMail and my EX isn't interested in it.

So I FEEL LIKE I HAVE NO CHOICE but to continue even if it means I get rid of my car, or my jewelry.


He couldn't pick up the car! He said they gave him a loaner... and they expect him to be back tommorrow to return that and pay for the VOLVO service. We really are financially in hot water now....

So after his meeting tommorrow he's going to have to just drop off the loaner and catch a cab to the airport... leaving the VOLVO at the dealer until next time he is in town. I KNEW THEY DIDN'T TAKE AMEX and TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THAT! (I'm typically the one who brings the car in) That's the only credit card we have to rely on right now! (and we owe them too... floated a balance for the first time EVER for the past few months! That would be the REMAINDER of what the new heating system here cost that we didn't borrow from mom in law!)

HE's also nervous as one of the checks written was for our insurance policy for the VA house. Farm Bureau had DROPPED our insurance as they didn't like that the construction was STILL unfinished and they assessed it was too risky. SO we just set up a new policy with ALLSTATE... but if that doesn't go through as the check will bounce... well the bank could decide to forclose on the VA House as it is not insured!! That's worst case scenario though...

But as I ended the conversation with Westely he said "I am wondering what I did to deserve this." He has commented that he didn't think he was so bad, but he is starting to wonder as the bad finances just keep getting WORSE despite his very good job! I reminded him that we also had relied on STOCK and he hasn't been doing that consulting like he used to! He was trying to figure out why now that he has the best salary ever things we are STILL financially strapped... I pointed out the TWO HOUSES is excessive for his salary! BUT I STILL THINK HAVING BOTH IS A THING WE SHOULD HOLD ONTO IF WE CAN

I still think its worth the scraping by so that if we get custody we can be up here with ALL the kids and then Soren and Katerina will see their DAD who seems to have turned his life around more, and if we don't get custody then we can turn around and go back to VA, or if we get custody with REASONABLE visitation we stay here to facilitate that. But If I can't visit the kids WITH WESTELY then I'd rather be raising the little girls in VA than here in NY as then I won't see them any more than I can by flying in once a month or so anyway.

So we now have to figure out what to do... but nap time over so I have to tend to the little ones.

At least I WROTE which is a great stress reliever... although I AM STILL torn as to what to do.... If the car is sitting at the dealer and we can't pick it up soon enough I might STILL Have to think about that diamond for SOME of the legal costs... UGH.... I have ALREADY borrowed from my oldest brother and my parents in addition to Westely for this. But that likely STILL won't be enought to retain the VA firm... but would only pay off the current attny. Oh well....

Hey there is always the PRO SE route

I still think about that as an option. I can always just go to trial and represent myself. Maybe that would be best as at least I would then get all the issues I want presented rather than having them filtered by my attny. I am sure she isn't feeling so great about my RESPONSE hitting the court in a trial where I DIRECTLY address the fact the law guardian ENCOURAGED me to seek an adjournment when she knew DAMN well it was not possible as the court procedure is that it must be requested 48 hrs in advance. I know my attny is a bit of a wimp when it comes to addressing this-- and if I am not mistaken, if the law guardian did violate a CODE OF ETHICS in LYING TO ME.... well that might be the can of worms that they all hope to avoid by settling, and that might mean this whole thing would be THROWN out and that a NEW case would have to start ALL OVER. That would be GREAT for me... then I'd just get a court appointed attny from the onset. (I am trying to avoid claiming indigence as I AM NOT REALLY indigent although I COULD technically claim and present the nuptial and HIS/HER finances-- but I don't think getting another NY ATTNY will help me much EXCEPT in the area of finances, so I think it better I come up w/ money somehow and keep the one I have....until I get one in VA!)

I am enjoying the FANTASY of how I'd walk into that court room and have a stellar preformance of representing myself.... in REALITY I'd likely become upset and do something really dumb.

So I have to continue to try to figure out how to best handle this crap. For now though, now that I have released the stess of the day.... off to play with the little girls who desperately want my attention. They are now fighting... but are all dressed in bathing suits waiting to go outside and fill a little pool.

Time to play.
I'll worry about this tommorrow... or the next day.... or the next.... I'll have to come up with some LAST POSSIBLE DAY to sell jewelry if the car can't be sold B/C this really is DOWN to the WIRE in the settlement process. And Westely said it best regarding that: "you've wasted your time. you knew you wouldn't settle."

But I reminded him that even though its an expensive and long drawn out process that I consider the cost of the Psycologist, the attorneys and carrying the case to REALLY be a form of CHILD CARE for Katerina and Soren while they are not in my care! I try to look at it as that! Its the cost of ensuring that their lives in NY are under some scrutiny and some expectations of conditions for them are being established. Those really are INVALUBLE things! As long as the court is involved, they are babysitting my EX in his parenting role. I couldn't THINK of a better situation for me than being involved in this case while they are in his care. So in the end I am VERY GLAD I said NO to his request to have them for this school year. Had I said YES and just let them stay there without the involvement of the court I am SURE lots of things would have been done DIFFERENTLY by him. REGARDLESS Of whether HIS ACTIONS are self iniitiated or on the advice of HIS ATTORNEY... there are positives in HIS behavior that WOULD NOT OTHERWISE HAVE OCCURRED had he not brought about this case!

Its really true! And I like to end thinking about ANY problem focusing on the positive!

So off to play...then dinner and bed! And with Westely gone tonight I get to lose myself in a good book. I happen to have decided that I WILL read my way through the Newbery list! Its my attempt to hold on to Katerina... my attempt to connect and try to fill that void of missing her in some way. I think it helps a little. But I have also decided that I AM NOT going to tell her of my doing this. At first I thought she might be excited and we could talk about the stories... but then I thought it might just MINIMIZE her accomplishment (not that I will get as far as her!! THere is NO WAY...maybe if I kept it up for YEARS AND YEARS.....)I have decided I would just read these books as I CAN ACTUALLY FINISH THEM (as oppossed to the adult fiction I be-labor over that take me TOO LONG to finish. I tend to FORGET details between readings and that gets frustrating as I pick up a book I am in the middle of and have no idea whos who and what is going on... then re-read.... whereas I can just sit up and read almost straight through the juvenile fiction books in one or two nights! It works better for me with the memory deficiency!)

But it is also my effort at becoming a better writer. I have been writing, and I have had concepts for JUVENILE FICTION which I hope to flesh out.

OK-- Girls REALLY had enough of playing inside. Off to fill the pool as promised despite it being so late!

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