Haven't vented in a looong time

lovehadleyApril 24, 2011

I've been in therapy for almost a year now and the difference in my attitude about external factors is so amazing. I don't care much anymore about BM---how often she calls or doesn't call, what harrassing texts she sends or doesn't send, how much she fights with DH or doesn't fight....I am disengaged.

Almost. I'll rephrase: I'm 95% disengaged.

Her behavior and attitude has been getting under my skin the last few days. And I need a vent or I'm going to take it out on my DH which isn't good for him, me, or our marriage.

Y'all don't mind, do you?

We have had terrible tornados in our area. SS is terrified of storms in general, and tornado warnings send him into a tizzy. We (at our house) just try to be calm for him, let him know WE are not scared, we will keep him safe, take shelter if need be, etc.

Two nights ago we had an awful storm come through. BM's house is about 25 minutes from ours, and the storm came through her area first. It actually was a bit to the north of us, so we didn't have anything too bad.

She called SS THREE times in a matter of thirty minutes. Each time, it was worse and worse. "We're having huge hail here! I'm going to the basement!"

"A tornado just touched down five minutes from my house and it's coming your way! Make sure you stay safe!"

"The sky is green here!"

Each time she called, SS's anxiety rose and he was literally in tears---worried for his mom's safety and worried about his own.

I don't understand her! This is the same woman who once called him to say goodnight and told him she was alone in the house and had heard a creepy noise and was so scared she was hiding under the covers. He spent the next twenty minutes crying about his mom, worried a robber or murderer was hiding in her house.

And she wonders why poor SS is so phobic of everything. :( UGH. She treats him like a friend or little adult.

After the third call the other night, DH texted her and said "Stop telling him all about the storms, you are scaring him!"

To which she promptly responded, "@$$hole."

So now it's Easter morning. She called SS at 8 AM and proceeded to tell him every little thing that is in his Easter basket at her house. I was in the kitchen making pancakes and SS was on the phone by the computer in the family room and I swear, BM was talking so loud I could almost hear every little thing she said.

After she told him what is waiting in his basket at her house, then she wanted him to tell her exactly what was in his basket here. He mentioned a few things and she must have kept asking because then he'd say "Ummm...oh yeah, and a Cadbury egg...oh yeah and some pixie sticks....oh and a stuffed bunny..." BLAH BLAH.

We're going to my family's Easter celebration later this morning and we always do an egg hunt for the kids there. I don't usually hide any at our house because of that tradition.

I guess BM must have asked him if he had hunted for eggs and he said no. And I heard her say, "That's no fun. But guess what? The Easter Bunny left 18 eggs for you at my house."

AUUUGHHHHH. "That's no fun???"

I know it's all about her own insecurities and I try not to let it get me riled up. But I had to do some deep breathing because as soon as SS got off the phone, he said, "My mom thinks it's too bad we didn't hunt for eggs here."

I just said, "The Easter Bunny usually hides eggs at Grandma's house, remember? And you get to hunt for them there."

And he said "Oh yeah, I forgot we do that."

I just don't know WHY---well, yes, I do---BM has to BE like that. Everything is a competition. Nothing can ever just be, "Oh, I'm so glad you are having a good holiday with your dad and I can't wait to see you!"

And then she has the balls to text DH and say that she has to have SS at her house by 2 pm today.

This is DH's year for Easter, and he is being flexible and considerate by agreeing to let her have SS at all. She had asked a few weeks ago if that would be okay, and DH relented but NEVER ageeed to 2 pm. Initially, BM had just said she wanted to have SS for Easter dinner with her family.

Now it's 2 pm. Which is not going to happen. DH texted back that we had our own family things going on and we would drop SS off at her house when we were finished, definitely by 4, but that it wouldn't be 2.

Okay, last vent. SS is struggling in school, really struggling to the point where he may need to repeat 3rd grade. The school has recommended he do a 5 week summer school course and sent home a consent form last week.

DH is all for it. We've already arranged, as well, for SS to work on a weekly basis with my cousin; she has her Masters in Special Ed. and has worked for over 20 years at a school for children with LDs. She's going to be doing some tutoring/catch up with SS over the summer.

Anyway, BM told DH she didn't think she was going to agree to summer school because "she wants SS to have a summer, plus she doesn't feel like having to drive back and forth for the whole month of June."

I have never met anyone more short sighted or petty. I understand the disappintment; I know it's a pain. It's going to cut into our summer, too. We had a short trip planned for the end of June that we're going to have to move into July.

But guess what? SS's academics come first. Every effort needs to be made to ensure he can succeed in school.

Missing 5 weeks of sun and pool time is not important here.

If they don't agree, and if BM won't consent, I really don't know what will happen. DH is arranging a conference with the teacher and hoping she can fully emphasize to BM that SS is NOT ready for 4th grade and this extra help is crucial.

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wow.. One thing i cant say about my SD BM is that she has tried to interferre with her education.. yet, of course.. Thats terrible! I WISH they were still doin summer school down here! SD is about to fail 1st grade, but i guess they just cut out summer school. Good Luck to you!! Cant say I have any advice - My situation sucks too and im trying to take all the advice I can get as well.. Good for you for being able to disengage - Im finding that easier said then done with BM constantly putting me in the middle.. Good luck to you and most of all your SS :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:58AM
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"Good for you for being able to disengage"

It only took seven years, a separation in my marriage, a restraining order and a partridge in a pear tree.

Hang in there. It gets easier. For me, I just really had to get to a point where I was done trying "win over" BM or "change her." I kind of hit a wall and realized that she doesn't matter! I realized everytime I (or DH on our behalf) tried to reason with her, it would only add fuel to the fire.

And I decided that my own sanity was worth more to me than hers.

Now, the hard thing is disengaging from SS. It's NOT that I don't care about him or do what I can when I can. Given that he is with us 50% of the time, I do a lot.

But I've also in the last year come to the conclusion (duh) that BM and DH are his parents. I can and do offer input and support to DH but I have taken a step back in terms of responsibility and guilt.

And, really, the primary responsibility needs to be on BM. DH works. BM does not. DH is involved and an active parent but it is unfair of BM to give him sh*t for not being at the class Halloween party, or going on this field trip or that. He WORKS. She doesn't. Yet somehow it's still had to be DH who has arranged for tutoring, arranged conferences, set up testing with Special School District, etc. The father who works 50-60 hrs a week is doing all that in his "spare time" (with some strong nudging from me) while the BM who pops out kid after kid, stays on welfare and sits around her house all day.....does nothing for her son except parent permissively out of guilt.

It is an unfortunate situation all around, really. I am looking forward to the summer because we do a week by week schedule, rather than the 2-2-5-5 split. Much more relaxing and less moving around for SS.

I do wish BM would consider letting us have SS during the school week but....she wouldn't.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:33AM
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BM is as crazy as always...glad therapy helps you to not react as much. She is either treating him as a friend or as a toddler, how old is he to believe in Easter bunnies?

My niece struggled in 3rd grade too, especially math, they hired private tutor for the summer and she improved dramatically. I hope tutoring helps SS as well.

So BM called your DH a$$hole for asking her not to scare their son...What a "lady" like behavior...

happy Easter to you and your family!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Po1 he is in 3rd grade I believe from her post and my dd believed in the Easter bunny last year. She is in 4th but no longer believes. She whole heartedly believes in Santa though...

Hey LH -- so glad to see you have been doing well.

I think disengaging looks good on you. It's hard to fully disengage when you love the kids so much. BM is nuts! We are having severe storms right now and I feel frustrated that my kids are scared and not 'enjoying' the sounds of the rain and thunder like I do. I would strangle someone that attempted to make their fears worse!!

Sometimes I wonder WHY people love the drama so much. When you do things that make it harder on your kids, isn't it even harder to deal with what they are going thru than to just stop the chaos before hand?? It is for me any way. And I think most other normal people.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:33PM
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I see myfampg. OK. I thought BM wants him to be a little boy longer so she talks about how Easter bunny left 18 eggs for him, sounded very strange for a 3rd grader. My niece is 9, she'd laugh at me if I told her about Easter bunny bringing eggs. BM seems to treat SS like he is 2-year-old. But maybe i am wrong. DD is scared of zombies and she is 23 (yes she knows they aren't real but she is still scared) LOL

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 10:55PM
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How awful that bm has to call and get ss riled up about the storm! She probably just wanted to hear him worry about her so she would feel loved. She seems like the clingy type that needs to be told every 2 seconds that she is loved. lol

I am glad that you are disengaging more from her and all her drama. And it sounds like your dh finally is too (with refusing her 2pm request and texting her to stop scaring ss).

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Hey Love! It's good to hear from you and I'm really happy that overall things have been going so well. You must have been working very hard to get to the 95% disengaged and that is just great news.

UGH to the storms. SS is terrified of tornadoes too, and they are not that much of a threat here because of the terrain. (We do have them, but they generally only hit four or five houses at a time, hop back up into the clouds, back down again - not like the areas where they leave a path of destruction for a mile.)

We had one here about a month ago; I set SS a task of calming and explaining to one of the pets what was going on (pets all being in the cellar with us). So SS (as I'd hoped) told the pet all of the stuff I've told him - even if funnel cloud comes down it doesn't mean it's going to hit our house, even if it does it's likely to just take off roof or something and we'll fix it, even if it destroys most of the house we'll be safe in the cellar and we have insurance for everything else. It really seemed to help calm him - the more he repeated it to the pet the more he seemed to believe it himself. (We were fine- we had hail larger than golf balls so I was a bit concerned myself that time!)

I think some parents do that because they don't have any friends. If I heard a scary noise, if I were hiding in the cellar because of a tornado warning, I'd call or text a friend for encouragement - not a kid! Great, kid can worry about me, but I'd prefer an adult who can see on the news that tornado hit my area and if I don't answer, can drive over to check on me.

Does DH get along well with the teacher? Maybe they can both tag-team BM - teacher can tell BM that she's really hoping to be able to talk reason to her since DH doesn't seem to "get it", how important summer school is for SS, how teacher is optimistic that the child's mother (unlike his father) can understand that.....if BM thinks she's putting something over on DH she'll do it in a heartbeat. :-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 8:51AM
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Yes, SS is in 3rd grade and so is my DD. Both believe in Santa still, although they were starting to have doubts. But most of their friends seem to still believe as it hasn't been an issue yet at school.

I don't know *how much* they really believe in the Easter Bunny. Neither one has said to me "he's not real" but they don't necessarily talk all about him, either.

I think it may be a cultural thing, FD. Isn't your family of Eastern European descent?

But, yes, BM certainly treats SS like he is a small child. Not two exactly, but I'd say she treats him as though he were a five or six year old. It's weird, though, because while she babies him on the one hand, on the other---as with the tornados, etc--she treats him like a peer.

Personally, I think that attitude is very damaging to a child. A child NEEDS to feel secure and confident in the fact that Mom and Dad are in charge and know what to do and how to do it. Since he was very young, BM has gone to those two extremes with SS---babying him and discouraging his independence at times and treating him like a little adult at others.

That's damaging and confusing. Children need limits, security, love and boundaries. They don't really WANT to be given responsibilities and information for which they are not ready. They WANT and NEED to know that their parents will make the important decisions and keep them safe.

That is just so not BM.

DH has a fine relationship with the teacher. I think she will be more than willing to help convince BM SS needs this extra work for five weeks.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 9:12AM
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What do you mean by being cultural? You don't think Easter bunny is American culture, do you? Easter Bunny is a fertility pagan symbol and originally comes from old European cultures, particularly German culture. It is one of the old European pagan symbols that were adopted by Christianity even though it has nothing to do with it.

By the way why do you think we are of Eastern European decent????

I meant that at certain age kids know what's not real, (they could still have fun though). Culture has nothing to do with it.

I don't care either way, I just found it funny that BM called 9-year-old boy and told him Easter bunny actually brought 18 eggs, it didn't seem age appropriate. It seemed silly. My niece is 9 and has fun with Santa and Easter bunny or whatever else, but she would not think they could possibly be real...Maybe at 4-5? That's why I thought she treats him as he is much younger.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:03AM
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"Easter Bunny is a fertility pagan symbol and originally comes from old European cultures, particularly German culture." Really? One of my friends is German but moved to US at a young age; they always had rabbit for Easter dinner. LOL!

SS is 9 and goes back and forth on Santa but overall still believes more than not, but he hasn't believed in Easter Bunny in years. It's probably from seeing the Easter Bunny at stores - they look scary and remind me of Donnie Darko!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:48AM
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It is not followed by every German of course, it just comes from old Pagan traditions, some of which have German origin. It does not mean it is followed by modern day Germans. As of eating rabbits, I personally would not touch it, looks like a dead cat to me.

I didn't mean to start debate on what is age appropriate, we all have different opinions and every family is different.

Easter Bunny in stores do look creepy.

I saw one in a store window once at Easter time, it was mechanical kind, he was tall like a human male size and was moving his basket up and down and from a certain angle it looked like he is playing with himself. I was with my old time friend and we laughed so hard. It was 20 years ago and every time i talk to old time friend we recall "remember the bunny"?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:03PM
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Yep... Oschter Haws... the original 'Eostre Hare' or 'Easter Bunny'. We can thank the Northern Europeans for starting it and the Germans for spreading that bit of silliness. The hare and the egg both represent fertility - which are the hallmarks of spring. And eggs were forbidden during Lent, making them all the more precious when Lent was over.

My daughter just realized Santa is not real about two months ago. She hasn't asked about the Easter Bunny yet (she's 9). And she still believes in the tooth fairy.

Love, the BM in my situation does the same 'scare tactics'. And I was just with friends who were having a celebration and they had their small children with them. When BM called, her entire conversation was around 'weren't you scared' and 'I'm so sorry they MADE you do such scary things'. Yep. Being involved in a big celebration where they were the stars and center of attention and loving every second of it. Super scary.

Thanks mom.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:19PM
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"By the way why do you think we are of Eastern European decent???? "

I just thought you had mentioned things here and there----about some kind of cold soup (borscht?) that your family eats----I forget what, but other things here and there you mentioned led me to believe that.

I meant cultural in regards to the commercialism of the holiday. The commercialism of holidays in general in the United States, actually.

For example---we have close family friends who live in Hamburg, Germany (I spent three weeks with them when I was 16) and Santa Claus was never a big "thing" for them.

I didn't know that about the Easter Bunny. You learn something new everyday!

Anyway, my point was simply that I don't think SS believing (and, again, I'm not really sure my kids BELIEVE, I think it's just something they WANT to believe and have fun with once a year) in the EB means he is babyish.

No doubt, his BM babies him and he does act much younger than his age in many ways; I had just never considered his enjoyment and participation in Easter/Christmas/tooth fairy, etc. as one of those ways.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 12:28PM
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I also thought you were of Eastern European descent PO1... I don't know where I got that impression either.

The borscht may come from being Jewish Love. We eat that at my SM's house. With sour cream. Not my favorite meal.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 2:25PM
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