Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Which The Boy Turns on Me

DISCLAIMER: I never meant for this blog to be a ‘mommyblog’ or a ‘step-mommyblog’ or a “Join us on our fight for custody” blog – but I gotta get this out somehow or it will eat away at my brain and my heart and will eventually kill me (I am NOT overdramatic – or emo). So, if you have the patience, read on. I’m not rereading it and I’m not even the slightest bit concerned about my grammar. Or language. Bear with me or don’t – I just can’t afford therapy.

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Friday morning I was hit with a bomb. On our way out the door, I said, “I sure hope you get your toys off the living room floor before you go to your mom’s this weekend – I’d hate to see them ‘disappear.’” In response I got, “I’m going to go live with my mom,” from the Ninja Boy.

“No you aren’t.” I calmly replied.

“Yes I am. She said I could. When I’m twelve I get to pick who I’m going to live with and she can take care of me now.”

I was still a little shocked that he responded. I tried to put it simply, “No, she CAN’T take care of you,” type stuff, but he kept pushing it. “She has a GOOD job [as a cashier at Menards]! She CAN take care of me and I WANT to live with her!”

“Well guess what!?” Please, readers, don’t hate me for this – I hate myself enough, “Your mom doesn’t even have a job anymore! She quit it so she could get money from the government!! She can’t take care of you with THAT!”

While it was true, it wasn’t a nice thing to say. The Man got a call from the Social Security office on Thursday telling him that Scari had filed a claim. They wanted his and the kids’ information to see if they were eligible for benefits.

“Is she disabled?” you might ask. Nope. No physical limitations whatsoever. She’s fucking crazy. She must have finally proved that she’s schizophrenic (she started trying two years ago as a means to get out of paying child support).

RANT ALERT: (feel free to skip this part) You know how much this pisses me off? I’m here working my ass off and WILL be until I’m old enough to retire. Every month, I pay out two hundred dollars toward Social Security – and it won’t even be around when I’m old enough to use it. My brother, who suffers from a degenerative retinal disease, lost his benefits because he “wasn’t blind enough.” But apparently, you can be fucking CRAZY enough!! Apparently, if you want to go fry out your brain on METH, you can just go right the fuck ahead because once it’s gone, the government will pay you to live in a Section 8 ghetto and buy your smokes. But, a BIG sorry goes out to the homeless children in the city – there just isn’t money to help you! Let’s not be selfish now, these people may have done it to themselves, BUT THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO! Who cares if they fucked themselves up? It’s up to US as a COMMUNITY to support them and love them and pay ALL THEIR FUCKING MEDICAL EXPENSES.

And my number one concern over all this: If she’s too loopy to hold a job, how is she capable of caring for children?

< / rant >

Okay, so after I spouted a little more evil out of my mouth, I dropped the kids off at daycare and called The Man bawling.

That night, she called and confirmed what Ninja Boy had told us. “When he’s twelve, he gets to PICK where he wants to be!” Yes, Moron, every child at the age of twelve gets to decide for themselves what kind of live they will have. Me? I moved into Disneyworld and ate Sno-Cones and funnel cakes all day!! Oh, wait, right – not in REALITY! Because in REALITY, a judge would NEVER say “So, you are TWELVE now, boy? Sure, your schizophrenic mom’s apartment in the ghetto is the PERFECT place for you to be! Wish GRANTED!”

I asked Sunshine that night if her mom ever said anything to her about living with her. “Yeah and I told her ‘No, I don’t want to.’” My sweet little baby – who always tries to make everyone feel loved. What pressure she must have felt being asked that. But I am SO proud of her for saying how she felt.

I know I shouldn’t have gotten so worked up about it. I know that it’s not a viable outcome. My problem is that we were finally GETTING ALONG. We were finally to a place where we were happy with our situation and then she had to push it. The pickup went fine that evening, except we forgot to send NB’s ADHD meds. So Saturday morning on our way out of town, we stopped to drop them off. NB came to the car and I said, “Where’s your mom?”

“She doesn’t want to come down.” He said. Whatever, I gave him the baggie with the two pills and said, “Take these right up to her.” And he went back to the playground. We sat in the car for a minute wondering what was going on before we pulled up alongside the playground. Scari was standing on her second floor balcony screaming “NOOOOOWWW!!!! BRING THEM TO ME NNNNOOOOOOOWWWW!!!” Trying to get NB to bring the pills up to her. We heard him yell, “I’ll be back later!” The Man got out of the car and went after him. Never in his life would that boy EVER blow off something I told him with such disrespect. And yet, his own mom who he wants to live with SOOO bad – doesn’t get a shred of respect from him.

Though we felt uneasy about it, we left for Wisconsin.

Sunday at five, I checked my phone and had a message from Scari saying the kids wanted to spend another night. I called her back and said, “No, we are already on our way there.”

When we got there, only NB, Scari and her boyfriend were outside. Scari brought his bag to the car and started bitching at The Man about how we are such assholes for not letting them spend the night and we should do what the kids want and it’s still the weekend and we’re fucking idiots. I very dryly said, “It’s Sunday at six, the weekend is over.” She got in my face and told me to “Shut the fuck up” because it was none of my business. It was between her and her ex-husband about HER kids.

I am an extremely reasonable and calm person until someone pushes my buttons. And that bitch had.

“So where have you been the past five years while I was working to raise them, bitch? Out getting fucking HIGH and screwing the neighborhood!”

To which her super-smart boyfriend replied, “Can’t someone make mistakes?”

No, you stupid fucker. You don’t get to desert your kids for FUCKING YEARS and call it a ‘mistake.’ There are no do-overs when it comes to raising kids.

So, anyway, NB refused to get it in the car. They refused to let him. She held him back screaming, “He doesn’t want to go, he fucking hates the bitch!” and telling him he could stay if he wanted. I finally called the police when they wouldn’t get Sunshine.

After I called, they were suddenly willing to cooperate and Sunshine came running to me. She was visibly upset – as anyone would imagine. I tried to comfort her and tell her that everyone was just very upset and saying mean things and it wasn’t their fault at all. But it should have never happened in the first place. They put NB in the car, trying to reassure him that they were taking us to court so that he could live with them.

We waited for the police and The Man talked to the officer telling him what happened and that we just needed a report made. NB was screaming in the backseat that he didn’t want to go home that he hated us and we hated him and we should just let him go.

I stopped him and said “I don’t care what you believe about anything else, but you’d better believe that we love you – we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t!”

Halfway home, he’d gone back to my regular Ninja Boy. Not the screaming, hate-spewing monster he’d been just a half-hour earlier.

That night, he asked me why his parents weren’t together anymore and I told him he’d better ask his dad. Up until now, the answer had always been, “they just didn’t get along.” But that wasn’t going to cut it anymore. We have no idea what she tells them when they are there. And for the first time, we felt our silence would end up hurting us rather than making us look like “the better person.” So TM explained, “Your mom found someone else she wanted to be with and left. When she finally came back, I let her take care of you. But then she started using drugs and wasn’t taking care of you guys. You had no electricity, you had no food and you had nobody to watch you. So you came to live with me and your mom went on with her life.” “Don’t you remember when your mom wasn’t around?” he asked them, “I almost lost my job because she wouldn’t help me watch you and I almost lost you when she finally did.”

And, even though I’d debated over it since we got back in the car, I asked NB, “Why do you hate me?”

“I NEVER said that!”

“Well, that really hurt my feelings when your mom said that. I love you and I do everything I can to give you a good life. It really hurt to hear someone say that you hate me.”

He snuggled up in my lap and pulled my arms tightly around him. And that was the end of it – until tomorrow, when she uses her “weekly visitation” night. I’m scared. I am. I’m not even afraid that she will get custody. I’m just scared about what this is going to do to our happy family. I’m scared what it’s going to do to the kids. I’m scared what it’s going to do to me. It’s going to be a long road – I’m just not sure I’m ready for it.

For anyone who made it through that – you deserve a medal! And for anyone who just scanned to the bottom, I totally understand and my regularly scheduled posts will resume tomorrow.


whiskeymarie said...

You get a medal for not punching the crazy bitch in the face.
Rant all you want- you've earned it.

I'm sure you already know this but, document, document, document!
The more proof you have of this stuff, the better chance you have.

Sorry this sucks so much for you & your Family, sweets.

Brillig said...

Oh, Amy. What a complete and total nightmare.

For the record, I think you handled this AMAZINGLY well! And your kids definitely do know that you love them. Unfortunately, she has the power to make so much trouble, and likely she'll try. I was so happy when I recently read (what, a week ago maybe?) that you all were getting along and you were even fighting to give her MORE time with the kids. What an awful setback this weekend has been. I can't even imagine how angry and frustrated you are.

Butrfly4404 said...

I can't believe you both read the whole thing! Now that's a true Bloggin' Friend!!

I may not have portrayed myself very accuratly there. I didn't handle it all too well. "BITCH!" came out of my mouth several, SEVERAL, times. As did something about her "fat, lazy ass" and about them both being scummy criminals (In reply to his "I have a lawyer on retainer!" - "Public Defenders don't count, asshole!").

The only praise I deserve is like WM said, for not punching her - but that wouldn't have been the first time for that, either (YEARS ago now). And I might have if The Man didn't step in between us.

Have I ever mentioned that I have a REALLY bad temper?? Sweet as pie until you cross me...then...The Evil One appears. Now I sound crazy, huh? I'm just going to shut up. Just wanted to clarify that we ALL said a lot of inappropriate things.

Oh, WM - I have kept written record of the problems we've had but from now on, I'm doing it on video. I'm just going to have my camera out for every single pick up and drop off and I'm going to staple my big mouth shut. I figure she'll see the camera so either we won't have any more problems or at least if we do, I'll have it covered.

Life As I Know It said...

Wow. I have no words.
Just I am so sorry you have to deal with that on a regular basis.
She's sounds more than a little nutty.
You know what, your kids know that you and their dad love them. They do. They know it even if they don't show it all the time.
You handled yourself better than I could have.
Hope tomorrow goes ok...
Okay, so I guess I did have words ;)
Hang in there!

Kelly said...

I don't know really what to say, but I have such sadness for those poor babies. The teen years are going to be a joy with such a mess of a mother. Sending you some strength and support!!!!

Shauna said...

Oh, Amy.
I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. And I'm so sorry Sunshine and Ninja Boy have to deal with that, too.
They know you love them. And they'll be better off because you do.
Bitch all you want to us, girl. You need that, too.

Cherann said...

Ugh, that blows. I hope she doesn't EVER get custody of those kids. She sounds too flakey and unreliable. Kids need stability and routine.

I feel so bad for NB and Sunshine. And it was nice in the end to read that NB actually does appreciate you even though he doesn't say it with words (just snuggles)

Worker Mommy said...

Wow, so sorry you had to deal with that. Rest assured that that crazy bitch is just making idle threats and you are doing the exact right thing.
I know it probably hurts that NB sometimes seems to express a preference for a woman who really hasn't been there for him but you know in your heart that you have and he'll know it too. When he gets older he'll very much appreciate all that you've done .
What a pathetic excuse for a human being, Scari is.
Hubby's ex once said some crazy shit to TomGirl about hubby and it go back to us. We quickly put an end to that. She also several years ago threatened to not let hubby see the girls because GPT came home with shampoo in her hair. Hell ,GPT was a screaming 2 year old at the time that hated baths and it was very challenging to get all of the soap out of her hair.
So all that to say I understand your pain.
Now, its like none of that happened. The Ex and I aren't bffs but over the years we've gotten to understand one another and don't have to deal w/that kind of drama.

I hope that for you too my dear, Amy.

Hang in there and know that you are an exceptional parent to Sunshine and NB !

Jodi said...

OKay, Amy, first of all my heart goes out to you. Way out to you. Secondly, I am hoping against all hope that the Man has full custody. I read your whole post and can soooo relate. Not from a parent's perspective so much as from an aunt's persepective. My crazy druggie sister hadn't had my niece,K, since she was 5. My mom always had K, but never got legal custody because crazydruggiesister never got arrested or anything and Mom went to lawyer after lawyer and they said you'd never win in court. Blah blah. So fast forward to K being 13. (ugh) My Mom went to take care of my Grandpa a mile away and K came to live with us. I have had a close bond to her for her whole life. My kids love her. She lived here for a year. It was the worst year of my life. Hands down. It was horrible. She was convinced that if she could go live with her Mom her life would be grand. LOOOOONNNGGGG story. She finally fought to and go live with her mom and had a HELLISH year to figure out what her mom really was. Now, K is 15 and my Mom finally got custody because crazydruggie sister has been in jail and what not. It has been a long long road. I don't tell you this to discourage you. I just want you to know that how NJ boy is acting is so normal. We have a strong bond to our parents no matter what they have done to us. A design flaw in my humble opinion, but whatever. And sometimes it takes a while to figure out who are parents really are vs who we want them to be....and I pray that the Man has full custody so that Scari will have to jump through hoops just to get more visitation if nothing else. And I agree, DOCUMENT everything. All the time. Every missed appt, everything.....and please e if you ever want to talk. I so understand your pain and frustration. Hugs to you. Rant whenever you need to. We so understand!!!!!

lady macleod said...

No darling, I read every single word and apparently so did many others. I am very glad we are here for you to vent. It sounds to me that you are in a horrible situation and I agree with brillig that you handled it well. If we (all parents) never made mistakes it would be fine, but that is not reality. We all bugger up. One just has to learn to say, "I was wrong. I'm sorry. and the most important "I love you."

Head up, keep breathing, keep loving.

Goldy said...

I had to deal with some nasty commentary between my 2 (divorced) parents but nothing like that. I am sorry for you and NB.


Kristina said...

Oh no :( F-ing RIDICULOUS! That sounds hellish. I just got all worked up just reading it. I hope she realizes she needs to back the hell off.

What a crappy end to Sunday...and to know it's not over just makes it so it's that much harder to come to peace. I'm sorry you have to be dealing with this :(

Butrfly4404 said...

You know what's the COOLEST thing EVER?

Logging on after a long day to find all these nice comments. You made me cry, but that's okay. I'm still happy!


You guys rock.

GirlPirate said...

this is the first time I've commented . Im such a lurker.

I just wanted to say, as a step-kid who had a manipulative, slightly evil stepmother, those kids are so lucky to have you.

they might not fully appreciate it yet but as they get older they certainly will.

keep documenting every battle and you can win the war.

*hugs* for all of you.

Butrfly4404 said...

Glad to meet you, girlpirate!

I actually had a really bad step-mom, too. She is my "model of bad behavior." I do everything I can to NOT be like her.

Thanks for the comment! ;)

Sugar Kane said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this! You're right, she doesn't stand a chance in hell in getting custody, but it's still hard. I know. It's been my experience that kids lash out at the ones they are really connected to. They know you won't leave them. It may suck, but it's also a bit of a compliment. Hang in there.

And if you want me to come up and break her knee caps just let me know.

exskindiver said...

i read your whole post Amy.
it is your blog. do not make any apologies for expressing yourself.
it is therapeutic and also helpful to be able to lay down your thoughts on paper (in this case on screen).
it allows you to focus on what is important and to chuck what is inconsequential.
in this case, it is pretty clear that this battle is extremely important.
good luck and my thoughts are with you.