2007-11-08 - 8:48 a.m.
The judge decided :
Joint Physical custody shared 50/50 with one week with one parent then the switch to the next week with the other parent.
What was really cute to hear in the litigation was that the law guardian read of her interviews with the kids. That was a lovely moment to hear of the girls talk of their love of both parents.
Thats what this is all about.
And that's what it has been (or should have been ) all about from the get go.
I see it that way. It was out of love I wanted to stop violence.
Animosity and ill will and anger and violence can not co-exist with love. Sometimes divorce is the last resort option when in the relationship those elements have become prevelant.
A return to love of yourself.
And sometimes, in a paradoxical fashion the most loving thing you can do for your spouse. Set them free of the anger and frustration which is blocking them from love and joy in life.
So it was indeed the moments in which I was reminded of the reasons I loved my husband which made me cry in the hearing.
I learned it best to just ignore the attacks of me, so I used that somewhat silly and perhaps even STUPID looking technique, and like a little kids blocking ears and singing "LA LA LA" to a taunting sibling-- Even at risk of looking stupid and childish-
When attacks at me that were made that I felt not credible I blocked it out.
Not that I would recommend that to others....
I can listen to what I know are honest assessments of my own shortcomings and grow from them. I could listen to what the law guardian had to say about my lateness and lack of organization in my home that concerned her.
I can listen to any of Westley's honest constructive criticism (or anyone's)
It was really a delight to hear the testimony of Victor's family as to how he interacts with the kids. That made me very pleased and gave me great peace that they are getting the attention and care they need from him consistently.
It was wonderful to hear.
It was great to hear (just in the lobby) that my sister in law is enjoying staying home with her now two little ones! A New baby recently born! Three months old that my girls delight in, and that her husband took a job as a teacher!
I wish I could have been in the position to have bought the house right literally a few blocks away from them... it was a find... high for this market based on its size and real estate, but I think a steal considering that location. OH well... it was out of my budget even could I have gotten a mortgage which I was told I could (at a high interest rate with what is called a no document mortgage they grant based solely on credit history being solid) HAD I found a job! But TOO RISKY for me! I am way to financially unstable to have done that thought I looked into it as the reality is that I will pay close to the same in renting as I would if owning.
It was a weight lifted to be done with this nonsense.
My advice to all families:
A sitter and housekeeper are alot more cost effective than lawyers.
Rather than get angry and upset when one can't meet your standard.
DON'T spend tons on a custody hearing to attack, send a gift certificate to a housekeeping company instead.
LOVE YOUR KIDS
EVEN IF YOU HATE YOUR EX AND THINK THEM A SHITTY PARENT
THe law guardian's bill was somewhere between $13,000 and $16,000
That's the cost of EITHER
AN AU PAIR to live in your home
Regular professional house cleaning to help keep up with that AND a babysitter to assist as a "Mother's helper" or "FAther's helper"
OR COUNSELING AND THERAPY OR REHAB OR WHATEVER IT WOULD TAKE FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO HAVE THEIR OTHER PARENT HEALTHY AND FUNCTIONAL IN THEIR LIFE.
I tried to reassure her THEY DO LOVE YOU
THEY DO LOVE YOUR DAUGHTER
They THINK That the BEST WAY TO HELP YOU
But I couldn't help but think that they could have instead taken a few days to help her get it all together. But for some reason it hadn't occurred to them
Lawyers are good people. They help adults who are essentially acting like children.
But I think it sad that there are so many other resources out there to turn to before lawyers.
AS for me, I think the biggest thing I need to work on is really the passive aggressive tendency I recognize. I know that is in part what it is when one is attacked and in response a person then just stops trying. Its the response "WEll if that is how I am perceived ALREADY and ITS NOT TRUE why the hell continuing to bust my butt every day making super human effort if it will never be acknowledged or apprechiated?"
ITs the REASON 70% of Fathers who don't have custody are not involved with their kids. I recognize WOMEN are some of the most aggressive (Though not physically) in attacking men and NEVER being satisfied with their efforts. Many just get to the point ENOUGH OF THIS EMOTIONAL ABUSE OF ME. I'M OUT OF HERE
I think that perhaps is my most challenging shortcoming. And it wasn't picked up on and attacked, but the truth of the matter is that this has been a learning experience for me. That was my response when Westley was angry in our relationship- to shut down and tune out.
So while I know much was made of my disorderly house, I realize the ability for me to keep a clean and organized home is really less of an issue than what has been my passive aggressive response to say
"HERE IT IS AT ITS WORST"
If I am going to be judged as not keeping it organized, then so be it-- here it is disorganized.
And then it was my passive aggressive response to insist that VALUE is NOT AS IMPORTANT as the one of spending quality time with the girls.
Most people make effort when a law guardian is coming.
The first time she came, when encouraged to clean, I cleaned out UNDER MY CABINETS, reorganizing things she would never even look at and see.
Then next time, I made plans to bring the kids and Buffy's along with us to the AMAZING USGS Open House-- WHICH IS TRUE I VALUE MORE THAN SCRUBBING CABINETS
but since I recently moved and haven't finished unpacking I JUST COULD HAVE MADE EFFORT to put some time into housekeeping.
Instead I maintained my weekend routine of taking kids out, then to religious Ed and Church and then to a lovely drive over to Middleburg area Sunday afternoon where George and I took the kids for a lovely hike and playing outside.
I did fold laundry for a few hours on Sunday night, but I suppose I COULD have spend all weekend cleaning the house.
I COULD HAve run the vacume on all the floors WHICH MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE
And since I am unpacking boxes the cardboard gets all over.
But I didn't.
I HAVEN"T been adhering to the house rules with the children and HAVE BEEN OVERWEALMED and run out of time and just gotten them to bed on time and let things slide. YES The ADHD does make it hard for me to manage all. But I do so rather well except have a cluttered home at times, then phases where its all together, until some disruption takes me away from MY ROUTINE And I have trouble getting it back to order.
I have always had ROUTINE as I NEED IT.
LAST NIGHT I suddenly had the energy and motivation and ability to get it done well. So that was insight that it is more than just an inability to do this, it was a LACK OF DESIRE TO DO IT. In part as the more I was feeling attacked for those faults the less energy I had and less enjoyment and enthusiasm of going through them THE MORE OVERWELAMED I FEEL when attacked. So the moment someone tells me a shortcoming is a problem, its an immature and somewhat passive aggressive response that even thought I WANT TO BE OPEN To improvement, I see my ability is MORE HINDERED and I think that is due to that ADHD trait to want to be resistant. Its the passive aggressiveness which is pretty common in ADHD now that I think of it(but not to mention that as an excuse) ITs not a conscious thing, but a deeply subconscious feeling of hurt that is responded to by NOT TRYING.
It was GREAT that last night the girls were cooperative in following what has always been the house rules of picking up rooms, playroom and having them clean before getting ready for bed. It was easy then this AM to have them make beds and leave the house with a clean bedroom.
I have always ASSERTED Those as the rules, but it is true I haven't always followed through in meeting the standard.
I feel Back on track.
The lifting of the weight of litigation ALONE is so wonderful.
That alone was the biggest distraction to keeping focused on the normal simple daily routines. THE STRESS OF IT is something I think I underestimated. I think I was unaware of just how much that effected my energy level and enthusiasm and perhaps how the girls picked up on that. THEY LISTENED TO ME WITH RESPECT last night and this morning. NO MELTDOWNS NO HITTING ME NO SPITTING IN MY FACE etc as has been going on.
SO even the two who had been doing that didn't attack me.
It felt good to not be attacked anymore.
SO Westley and I are divorced.
And life goes on.