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2005-07-25 - 9:04 p.m.

I am a little frustrated as the last four or five times I have tried to call Katerina or Soren I have gotten a machine. I even broke my rule and actually CALLED their Grandmother's house over the weekend! (Despite trying to avoid doing so!)

I talked to her briefly to ask if she had information on Soren's preformance at his THEATER camp. She gave me some helpful info but of course said "I'm not sure of the time of it"


His Dad also called back and left some message about how they were home but about to head out so couldn't talk right then, and how Soren didn't bring home some flyer so he didn't EXACTLY know what time the preformances were but that they are on SAT and SUN and he gets two free tickets and its $5 a person for any additional tickets. He said I have to decide which day I want to go which I suppose means he is reserving a ticket for me which is very nice (although hardly necessary as I have nothing to do with him going to the program. I think the tickets SHOULD be for his DAD, Grandmother and sister there BOTH days personally and they should make plans and do what they want REGARDLESS of me. I mean I have nothing to do with it.) So I DO THINK that was a nice offer on their part!

IT also seems to me to create a logistical problem about getting the FREE ticket. Can it be held at the box office or do I have to get it from Soren ahead of time? Are they going to take a phone call in a reasonable amount of time BEFORE the preformance to MAIL it to me? Or will I have to meet up with them beforehand somewhere... if so it is likely not worth getting the free ticket. ITs not worth a free $5 ticket to have the aggrevation in my mind as it would likely be right BEFORE the preformance and a logistical nightmare.

Not to mention I don't even know yet if I CAN GO!

I really hate those things where parents (most parents that is) pay to enroll kids in classes then have to pay to see their own kid preform. I just think its a sneaky trick-- get parents where they CAN'T SAY NO to financial support. (OK Maybe not- I guess there are often costs for the VENUE of a preformance!) Not that I wouldn't be HAPPY to pay to support seeing Soren on stage any time! But really think about it- Here he is a kid ON SCHOLARSHIP who wouldn't otherwise have anyone who could AFFORD to send him to the program at this time. His Grandmom is on a FIXED retirement income, his DAD is working poor getting welfare to be able to feed him, and his sister is bursting out of too tight clothing as she gained weight but clearly no one has taken her shopping there to get pants that fit ! ( ADD TO MY TO DO LIST: GET HER TO GET MEASURMENTS TO SEND HER SOME CLOTHES THAT FIT!! AND UPDATE HER SIZE AND GIFT WISH LIST SO IF ANY RELATIVES DO SHOP SHE GETS THINGS THAT FIT! SHE Told me she doesn't NEED anything and she just went shopping for a few new pairs of pants... but I wonder.... she WAS wearing too tight jeans and a T SHIRT she was bursting out of on the HOT 90 degree day I saw her a few weeks ago. I hadn't commented on it but she said they were heading to the laundromat the next Day and that Soren got in trouble for having hid dirty laundry behind the bed again-- including HERS so she hadn't been able to FIND many of her shorts that inadveredly didn't get washed the previous week!) And they have a bunch of siblings here.... I don't know if the theater takes a credit card. And honestly I don't even know if we can GET that cash for the show. I think Westely commented he hopes not to have any accounting errors as he sent off almost all his money to pay bills. Along with the fact our buget is ZERO for entertainment that makes it a little hard. I AM THE QUEEN OF FREE ENTERTAINMENT!

So I have to call and find out and discuss the plan of travel to Buffalo this coming SAT or SUN to see SOREN in his theater school debut of AESOP FABLES.

I was excited about it- but had hoped that WESTELY was simply going to travel to VA NEXT weekend and I could just take off with the kids and enjoy seeing the preformance then visiting with the kids in Buffalo. Now I have to get CASH from Westely (if possible!) and hopefully his GOOD WILL. Thats the nice way of saying I hope he isn't an ASS about supporting me in going to see the kids this weekend! HE is still hurt about being characterized as so abusive he is DANGEROUS to them! HE is very hurt that he hasn't been shown any APPRECHIATION for all the things HE HAS done for them. And face it- when hurt he isn't the MOST mature! HE has said he is supportive of me going to see them. He hadn't COMPLAINED about the time that requires away from other things, or the time he spends watching the kids if I go alone, or the cash spent when I am there and go out to eat or go places with the kids. BUT NOW things are MORE tight than ever and I am afraid that at this moment when I want to take all the kids to see Soren's play and HE ISN'T EVEN ALLOWED to be invited , I think it will strike a nerve! I mean here we are budget cutting and with GAS and tickets and tolls it would be about a $60 event for us to all go. And he can't be included but once again will be asked to pay for it.

Of course the situation wouldn't even be this tight if we had all HAPPILY remained in VA. And the fact we are not all there is unquestionably part of the consequences of WESTELY's choices, as well as mine. But it WILL AGGREVATE him as he REALLY thinks this custody battle was not about what he has done but is about what the kids father DOESN'T WANT to do. He thinks its about their father AVOIDING child support obligations. HE thinks its really all about ECONOMICS. He will think "I'm not good enough to care for them, but I am good enough to PAY for something for them yet again! FUCK THAT!" I can almost HEAR his wheels turing....

He'll think of seeing the show as TO SOREN's benefit. He might not get that it is FOR MY benefit and FOR THE GIRLS benefit as well. He really is a bit low on that EMPATHY stuff when he is upset about something (IRONIC as his responses are EMOTIONAL based on HURT so he is a very reactive emotional person yet not strong in identifying OTHERS' emotional needs!)

And he isn't in the state of mind where he WANTS to do anything nice for Katerina and Soren. He feels betrayed BY THEM. HE feels hurt BY THEM.

Overall I think he is deeply hurt by Soren and Katerina as he thinks THEY have been the driving force in the custody battle. He has said all along THEY WANT to be with their father. While he doesn't think anything he did or didn't do for Katerina and SOren is REALLY that important to them, he actually thinks that THEIR RELATIONSHIP with their FATHER is VERY IMPORTANT. He is hurt by what he sees as them demonizing him in order to have that relationship with their father. He's said over and over, "The irony is that I am likely their DAD's biggest ally and he doesn't even know it. I ENCOURAGE them to live with him"

He does however think their DAD selfish and irresponsible and as NOT REALLY CARING ABOUT THE KIDS. He makes the comment that a Father who loves his kids SUPPORTS them financially EVEN WHEN they are not in his care.He thinks of his financial support as demonstrative of his love for them.

He says he's sick of them not only being unapprechiative but being RESENTFUL when he tried his best to parent them well. He thinks I never allowed him to parent Katerina and Soren. He believes that he has treated them the same as our other children.

But then at times Westley has spoken of KAterina and Soren with tenderness and has made comments like "They are really good kids. Katerina never got in trouble and was always well behaved"
He at times expressed apprechiation of them!

So overall, we have hashed out ALL THESE ISSUES OVER AND OVER AGAIN. We have made lots of progress in dealing with them. But despite that, I feel like IT IS rubbing salt in his wounds to have to ASK him for money to support me in my relationship with my kids. DESPITE WHETHER THAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG. I TRY TO IDENTIFY WHAT HE IS FEELING REGARDLESS OF WHAT I THINK OF IT!

Fundamentally I THINK THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE FACT I HAVE TO EVEN ASK for the means to see my children! THAT SHOULD be something I am Free to do as I wish (with reason!)

I would prefer to NOT have to ever ASK for money to travel to see the kids or money to take them out. But without working it makes it hard to do otherwise.

ANd realistically - how many people are in marriages WHERE THEY NEVER disuss how to spend money ahead of time? I think using that isn't THE HEALTHIEST model for a marriage either! THey say that its healthiest when couples SHARE Financial decision making that entail DISCUSSION of ALL spending. When I heard that I thought "SHIT I HATE DOING THAT!!"

WE had the perfect answer to this frustration when over a year ago we had decided I would have a MONTHLY ALLOWANCE to spend AS I PLEASED so we were budgeting it in and I didn't have to ACCOUNT for it. The problem is THAT IT LASTED ONLY A SHORT TIME as it was soon clear we just couldn't afford discretionary spending if we chose to maintain the VA Home. SO I CHOOSE to give that up and to tighten the belt and give up MY FINANCIAL FREEDOM in order to maintain the VA homestead.

That choice is now challenging, moreso than ever, as with the oldest two not here I am so tempted to want to spend MORE than ever before in attempts to CONNECT with them (which all end up taking money!) I have to curb the instinct to constantly want to send them stuff!

But we really are the king and queen of FRUGAL. I burned through ALL my stationary writing to them and picked out some to buy including a set of postcards. Westely said to hold off and wait to see what he could find for me as he had some. He said if I didn't like it THEN to go buy what I wanted. When Westely went to VA the next time he came back with a STACK of amazing old post cards from ITALY that he got years ago from an old AUNT or UNCLE so I am sending those instead of having purchased any.

Westley is teased at work for bringing lunch every day in the "cute" yellow butterfly and floral beat up lunch tote that used to be KAterina's ! When I brought it to her in Buffalo on the first trip she said she had a new one, and said I could keep it. Westely has been using it ever since and when he was teased he told his co-worker "YEah and it will be really funny too when I retire earlier than you and your still working"

I feel like there is no where we could possible tighten the belt even more! So that being said, its frustrating to be here not so far and have gas money be a worry. I think Westley was even really good supporting the shoe shopping and getting a few things for the house to personalize it, and picking up the STEAK for us all last week, EVEN though they were all courtousy of AMEX and he'll be paying interest on it all when he pays off the PAST DUE bill over the next few months! HE has improved in NOT worrying TOO MUCH about finances and letting us TAKE the risks of overspending on things that we enjoy in this short term knowing we'll catch up in a few months.

But to have to ask him to do that FOR THIS VISIT when it is really painful and hitting his sore spot right now is not something I am looking forward to.

I just long to GET A JOB so I could have a source of my own income. I'd love to be able to go pick up KAterina AND TAKE HER SHOPPING. I'd love to not have to ASK and get money from WESTLEY

I ACTUALLY applied for a few credit cards of my own with the thought I'd pay off my attorney if she took one, or I'd get a cash advance and pay her off. I'd rather carry a balance with a large impersonal bank and pay it off a little at a time until WESTELY Has it to take care of (HE SAID HE WILL PAY MY ATTORNY AFTER WE ARE CAUGHT UP WITH THE AMEX BILL FROM THE NEW HEATING/COOLING SYSTEM HERE HE HAD PUT IN!)


I ALWAYS HAD A GREAT CREDIT HISTORY! I WAS NEVER LATE with a payment and all my student loans are now paid off! I was responsible and really didn't live beyond my means

THAT IS UNTIL I HAD KIDS! Then there were times that I was CHARGING diapers and formula and relying on credit to get by. Then my EX and I divorced and we agreed to SPLIT the balance due on the one joint credit card we owed. At the time I paid my 50% of $1800 in one check to be done with the obligation. I had some savings in a 401K for retirement or emergencys.... When married it was SMARTER to keep the balance in the bank and pay the credit card company a small amount each month in what I saw as a TEMPORARY difficult financial time. MY EX CONTINUED to use the account! I had even REMOVED MY NAME FROM IT however he kept it open in his name only and continued to rely on it. Bills were sent to him at his new apartment, but I knew at the time that the bank would Never grant a NOVATION to me. I knew at the time that he was taking advantage of my good will. I knew at the time that I was essentially RUINING my credit and continuing to ENABLE him. But I knew at the time he had so many problems and that he was the FATHER of my kids and that it was in THEIR interest that he continue to be able to EAT and to FEED and care for them on the weekends that they were with him.

And then I got married and I knew at the time that I DIDN'T NEED a decent credit rating ! HECK I had no intention of ever relying on credit!

So now those BILL COLLECTORS STILL Attempt to contact me to collect the debt my EX incurred. What was an $1800 balance he in our legal property settlment attested he'd take responsibility for has now grown to a debt of over $6000. Some further purchases on his part, and MUCH of it FINANCE CHARGES.

For a long time I hadn't heard anything about that debt and had not realized he had NOT taken responsibility for it. Then about three or four years ago I got the first of my collection letters. I always respond and tell them of the legal agreement and pass on his info with a "GOOD LUCK. The man doesn't pay child support so I doubt he'll pay you. You can't get blood out of a stone"

I SUPPOSE I HAVE MADE STUPID CHOICES in the eyes of the world.

WHEN the jointly held property WESTLEY and I had was sold he asked if I wanted my share cut to me in a check. He tried to minimize it as if after taxes it wasn't that much. I cut through his bull shit and said "THAT's CRAP IT IS MORE THAN YOU ARE PRUPORTING" and challenged his minimizing of what was my LEGAL gain on that property which was indeed a GIFT he had purchased FOR ME which I had every legal right to claim. But instead when he asked what I REALLY wanted I said " I WANT YOU TO NOT GIVE ME A HARD TIME EVER When I spend money on EXTRA CURRICULARS for the kids! I won't demand my cut in a seperate check if you agree to not give me any grief about violin lessons, and scouting, and soccer, and anything else the kids want to do." I could have had a SEPERATE check cut if I wanted to! I COULD HAVE started to seperate finances and filed MARRIED FILING SEPERATELY as I THREATENED to do any time Westely gave me grief about spending WHEN WE HAD IT. I could have added MANAGING MY OWN FINANCES to my daily tasks.

THere are alot of things I COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY regarding finances.

I mean seriously--- At some point YOU HAVE TO TRUST EACH OTHER TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MARRIAGE! At some point there is a fundemental breakdown of TRUST if couples can't have the confidence to rely and support EACH OTHER. I mean if it came down to making decisions like that of having to have separate finances for me to have a comfort level....WELL WHY THE HELL REMAIN MARRIED?

Likewise If WESTELY really DIDN't provide me both emotional and financial support of the things that ARE IMPORTANT AND ESSENTIAL to who I am as an individual-- WHY THE HELL REMAIN MARRIED?

To me they are both sides of a coin. IN a marriage you need that support of each other. IN a marriage you need that trust of each other. YOu need to both be willing to LET GO and let the other person be in control in some capacity and that requires a lot of trust. And at the same time you need to be willing to support the other person when they place themself in your hands.

So I have placed myself in WESTLEY'S care financially most obviously. I pray he doesn't let me down and provides not only for my basic financial needs, but also supports my emotional well being and my unique individual needs.

That's why talking about this weekend's plans is a stressor for me! Its a perfect opportunity for WESTLEY to either be my hero, by placing his own personal concerns aside and buiding up my individuality, or to be the one who has difficulty letting go of his own pain and hurt, and in response hurts and stifles me.

And I pray that EVEN IF HE IS EMOTIONALLY SUPPORTIVE and WANTS to assist me in getting to see SOREN this weekend, along with all his siblings who would be THRILLED to see him, that then we actually HAVE THE CASH available! Its scary just how close WESTELY has cut it some months! ON Sunday he said I could get something at the BRUGERS BAGEL shop that I was bringing Sadie and KAtie to as they won a coupon at the local library reading program for a FREE peanut butter bagel for being good readers!(OK GOOD Listening readers to be) I think I recall him saying there was $40 cash left in the account! So we are cutting it close each month! I hope there is enough cash on hand to make it to Soren's show with all the girls. IF NOT, I hope then WESTELY will watch the girls so I can at least go by myself to see him with the FREE ticket! AMex is useful for charging GAS at the very least! And it hasn't been cut off yet!

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