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I want to make ammends....

Posted by myfampg (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 19, 11 at 1:47

But I don't know where to start or how.

I've been gone for a while because I decided that I was dragging myself down by allowing myself to be consumed by our situation including researching/reading on the Internet. I even shut down my facebook to give me a break from the world wide web.

I won't go into a lot of old details, I've shared some things in the past... It would take too long. But basics... My relationship with exDH is non existent. SM has been a non stop battle from day one and from what I read and have learned, it's a basic power struggle between her and I and 'our' parenting of DD. This has been going on for several years, court battles (initiated by exDH). He lost visitation for a few yrs because He allowed SM to control our situation and didn't do anything to try to co-parent or protect DD from SMs malicious behavior. Ok so we finally got back to slowly starting visitation again and BAM, SM immediatly starts in with her stuff. Visitations stop BUT it began to effect DD negatively because although she is uncomfortable with SM she wants to see her dad. So I agreed to begin visitation again and SM so far has not started anything -- things actually have been quiet and I am pleased ... But sort of waiting for the ax to drop. Well I don't want the ax to drop so I'm praying and praying things continue to go well. The few things DD tells me, I just decided are not that big of a deal so I am letting them go and not mentioning to exDH. I haven't said anything except to keep him in the loop via email about things here and there that I think are important. But only 3 things so far in the last month. 1. School closing for bad weather. It states in our papers that I have to notify BD of changes in school schedule or closings/absences etc. 2. That DD was having a conflict at school with another student and went to the counsler. Counselor notified me DD was being bullied and the situation was handled 3. That I spoke to DD about menstration since it had come up at school and she had questions. Also mentioned that if she feels comfortable talking to Dad, that was Ok but that SM is also a woman and knows a lot about it in case she is there when it happens.
I got flaming emails back basically saying I don't need you to tell me about my daughter. I have a great relationship with her and we talk all the time. Furthermore I am in contact with the school and they can contact me if I am needed. I am a great father and do not need you to tell me about my daughter.

Are you shocked? I actually was. I shouldn't have been but I was the bigger person and I just let it go. It actually didn't inflame me at all. I just moved it to the BD folder and moved on.

How am I supposed to co-parent with this??
The emails are obviously from SM because she is very bitter and hateful and exDH doesn't write emails. His emails are ok or thanks and no punctuation so I can tell when a four paragraph email comes in that it's from SM but signed by BD. Argh ..

Moving on... I am struggling because I think that if I show both BD and SM that I am just moving on and not trying to fight that they will slowly begin to calm down. They blame me for BD losing his rights and won't see that they did something that caused the judge to order that way. They take no responsibility for any of this battle. It's all on me. We are supposed to be going to conflict resolution therapy and they always cancel. We haven't been in months although I am still seeing a therapist and I believe seeing her is what has gotten me to this point. I want to let this water under the bridge stay under the bridge but they keep splashing me with it.

I thought if I made a 'good faith' attempt to SHOW them I am wanting to move on by not responding to their email wars, not questioning them about the things DD tells me and by just kind of going with the flow, stepping back and on to the sidelines a little that they might say 'this quietness is kind of nice, BM isn't complaining or documenting with the lawyers everything DD tells her, wow maybe we should let the dust settle and enjoy this'. Nope. Got served with new papers. They want a psychological evaluation on me. I guess complaining and fighting is signs of sanity and waving a white flag is cause for evaluation.

I'm not worried about the evaluation as the judge will not order it since I haven't done anything in so many years. I haven't always been pleasant but it's been about 4 yrs since I feel off my rocker and my attorney agrees. I am being acussed of interferring with his parenting because I sent those 3 emails with updates on DD. Attorney says I am co-parenting as ordered in my court papers so not to worry. Court is in a few weeks.

With that being said, I still have this urge to throw up my white flag and say, I am offering you this... In good faith ... Giving with no expectations of receiving .... Please take my offer and let's make peace. This is aging me so fast. I hardly sleep, not because I am thinking about this but just in general, I'm a busy person and I just can't take anymore on my plate. And in all honesty, if DD is doing well with her overnight visits then I want her to go. I have actually enjoyed the down time of her going to her dad's because I'm able to actually sit back and relax. She is so active, it's go go go constantly or have a bored kiddo sitting around the house whinning about what we AREN'T doing. So the last few weekends have actually been nice. The weekend that I realized OMG I haven't 'worried' over DD today while she is gone, made me realize that I have let go and that isn't a bad thing. When she came home from school after a weekend with dad, I didn't even care that SM had signed her folder. Which was something that sent neddles through my spine before. Not jealousy but annoyance that BD fights so hard for DD and his 'time' but he can't even take a minute to sign the folder. Then when DD complained that dad was never home because he works and she is with SM all weekend I only asked 'well did you have a good time?' she said yes but I miss my dad. I said well at least you did something fun and maybe you should share that with dad when you see him next time. Maybe letting him know you want some one on one time with him will get you some quiet time with dad. It didn't really bother me. My family is not supportive of my new feelings. My parents are upset because they think I'm giving up. I said to them 'you know, atleast she is seeing him for who he is instead of who she thinks he is and atleast SM is taking care of her it could be worse'. My mom was livid. They think I need to bring up BD not being home on the weekends ( not even at bedtime) and I said I just don't want to fight anymore. When SM gets tired of being BDs live in babysitter SM will do it for me. Fighting is draining our bank accounts and keeping MY family from moving on and living the life we should be 'financially'.

So I don't know what to do. I know I need to do what is best for DD and my therapist and I agree that I think I doing what is best. DD will be more independant if some of these battles she handles on her own. When I need to step in I will do what I have to but am I really fighting over who signs her folder or who Is putting her to bed 10 nights out of a month?

We can't co-parent right now because they aren't ready but maybe one day it will get better? Am I seriously wrong for thinking it will get better ad they see that I am being more passive than ever before and that what I do see is that Right now DD is thriving more than she has in a long time? And by letting all these things go and just watching from a distance to make sure she is safe and happy only to intervene when I feel it's out of control-- is that saying -- I give up -- I don't care anymore? I'm so confused.

My husband supports me but thinks I am making the wrong choice but he believes it is my choice and only my choice. He is a good man.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I want to make ammends....

Sorry I don't have much time but I did read your update and I do quickly want to ask: Are those 3 emails the only reason they are asking for a psychological evaluation? That doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

I'm sorry to hear that your parents are not supportive of your 'letting go' mentality, I actually think it's great, hugs to you! After all, if you don't look after yourself and your family, then where are you, right? All the negative energy that gets poored into the bottomless pit, that will never get you anywhere. Choose yourself, choose your own family to invest your time and energy in. Letting go of the struggle can be empowering in it's own way, you watch!

We deal with a BM who thrives on chaos and conflict, and I mean thrive. I have learned, and am still learning, to not give my power away to her. I'm a happy person, I have lots of energy, and I'm going to invest that in good things.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

It could be the SM is psychologicaly unstable. By thinking in this manner and feel compassionate toward her and the suffering your XH is living through w her, you will begin to not let the your XH's W to inject her poison into your life and that of your D.
I learned late in life that the abuser would continue to abuse you if you keep take on their bait. The abuser will find ways to make their cases justfified in abusing you. Since you cannot severe the tie w your X's just because of your D, then you avoid the baits by:
1. Avoid respond or react DIRECTLY to their emails, or calls or issues from them,
2.Be short and concise and factual with their requests. For example, he complained about your trying to advise or update him of your D's life situations. Simply respond with a note with :
Dear XH, you seem to be so emotional upset with my trying to keep you update about our D's life. Is this your wish that I don't communicate with you about our D's problems or concerns so that when she is with you, you can help her as well? If that is your wish then just let me know by emai or writing.

Now you are throwing the ball back in his court. If he says YES< then you have something in writing from him.

It seems to me that you are trying to please too many people who try not only to give you advice but to meddle into your life - like your parents. You can take their advisement as a second opinion but not as a DIRECTIVE.

I might document the fact that your H is not home during the weekend when your D is there. Use short email like:

Dear XH, Our DH informed me that you were working in the evening and night during the weekend while she was there during her visitation. Since her safety and wellbeing are paramount to both of us, can you share with me about your feeling of leaving her there without you ?. Are you comfortable with it?

Now you are putting him on notice about the lack of his supervision and presence, but in a very nice, non accusetory tone by putting your D first.

Lastly but perhaps most importantly, learn to let go of what you cannot control. I will leave you with this beautiful poem by KHalid Gebran, a lebanese american poet, about children:

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

I think I left out the part that the only reason I have been participating in the 'struggle' is to protect my DD from SMs mental abuse. But for now it has slowed down but what if it starts again?

That is their only evidence in discovery for the psych eval. I have not done anything at all. I don't see pick up and drop offs because they take place at school when I am working -- I don't talk to DD when she is there. I don't and have not called their house at all-- have never been to their house -- I haven't seen or spoken to either one since our last hearing so I don't know??


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RE: I want to make ammends....

You are following court order informing BD of whatever, if he feels it is unnecessary he can disregard your emails. But you are following CO. Keep doing what CO tells you to do, in a factual matter. "schools are closed today, DD stays home" He and SM are jerks.

I strongly suggest you print your factual emails and their (not factual) emails and document that dad is never there and that she is left with SM the whole time. BD emails that he is close to his daughter and he knows her very well yet he is never there? So show the judge their email and then show how much time dad really spends with dd, which is none.

By the way noncustodial SM SHOULD NOT BE SIGNING SCHOOL STUFF, folders or whatever. dad must review folders prior to signing, SM holds no legal responsibility for DD's education. I also want to say that if dad is unavailable on the weekends, DD should not go there. If DD had a sibling there then I can see why she would go, but spending time with SM? I don't think so.

I myself put up with my ex to avoid dragging DD into anything. I never had one argument with ex for that simple reason. But he is nothing like this! I don't know if I would be able to tolerate this.

I do agree that DD must have relationship with dad, but for that dad has to be THERE or he has to meet her on a neutral territory when HE IS Available AND OFF WORK. I don't know these people but they make my blood boil, what jerks.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

If you really want to be cooperative, then don't let them suck you into the drama. So far, it sounds as if you are on the right track.

I have to disagree with parent of one. While a NCSM should not be signing school stuff and has no right to visitation when dad is gone, that would create a power struggle to say something about it. If mom is involved with school, then she will be making decisions. It isn't a big deal if SM signs a homework journal or something that really isn't significant. Signing papers to have her tested for learning disability is a different thing, but schools probably would not take a SM signature on significant papers if mom is involved & they know kids live with mom. Rather than deal with it by bringing up to BD or SM, I would tell the school that you want important stuff signed by only you since you have custody and you are trying to avoid conflict with the dad & SM. Put it on the school to reject SM's signature because if a BM does it, then she comes off as territorial & that she's the one starting something.

As for visits. If dad has a visit & won't be home, unless the order has a provision for first refusal, then it's dad's time & he can leave kids in the care of SM... or any other child care provider. If you turn that argument around, an unemployed NCP could say they should have kids all day long since CP works & kids should not be in daycare. That would penalize working parents & essentially give a NCP more parenting time than CP. I'm sure there are situations where that happens & works for some, but to have a fit because dad is working one weekend & kid will be with SM, unless kid doesn't want to be with SM.. let it go & enjoy your free time. If kid doesn't want to be alone with SM, then that needs to be discussed with dad, but when you have communication only via email & SM is speaking for dad, then there isn't any cooperation... a phone call to dad (or face to face meeting without SM) may be necessary.

I took a cooperative parenting class & they talked about how to co-parent with an uncooperative ex. All you can do is change what you do and how you react. You cannot change how they operate or react, so focus on yourself. You will find more peace eventually because they will either begin to cooperate (don't hold your breath for it) or they will go away... it's no fun to play games when the other person (you) doesn't play back.

When he tells you that you don't need to keep him informed, simply respond with "I know you're very involved & don't NEED me to keep you informed, however the court has it written in our order and I am simply complying with what the court requested. I apologize if you feel insulted." and what can they say to that?


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RE: I want to make ammends....

imamommy if a child goes there infrequently and SM is in no way involved in her education, such as meeting teachers or visiting school and so on, then i don't see how and why would she be signing anything school related. If something goes wrong with DD's grades or progress in her learning, is SM going to be held responsible?

Imamommy, I never said that OP has to tell them in person not to sign papers. Asking school to accept only parents' signatures is entirely appropriate. It depends what one thinks is important, i think every school related thing is important.

I think it is fine for kids to be with stepparents when parents work, it is fine to be with them even when parents do not work, but if a parent is never there? If a parent is always gone, never there, then how do we justify visitations?

Wouldn't it be logical for DD to stay with mom? And why not have a provision for first refusal? i think they definitely need to have one. Myfampg, do you have that provision?


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RE: I want to make ammends....

Yes we have right of first refusal but in the past it's been my word against his in court. He is notorious for lying under oath. He has been caught buy nothing has ever happened to him except embarrassment so they continue to do it.

As far as school, I have exclusive right over education and BD has the right to be informed, speak to teachers, be at activities etc. The school already knows that and understand the situation so even though dad
requests that when it's 'his' day he be notified first, the school feels it's
easier to contact the custodial parent first. His days do not begin until
school is dismissed and end when school resumes so during school hours
that is technically my day. I opted not to fight this battle because I felt it
was too much of a headache. So far I have no idea if the school has ever
contacted him about anything and frankly as long as I am notified or kept
in the loop -- if they make two phone calls that is A-Ok with me. I think
they expected me to throw a tantrum over SM signing school work and
were even more annoyed when I didn't. For them it's opposite of a
normal parents feelings. I feel relieved when I don't hear anything from
them. They get frustrated and strengthen their stance against me when
I stay quiet. sm is notorious in the last 4 yrs for trying to provoke me in to
flipping out so she can say SEE BM is nuts!! I haven't reacted to her
openly in a long time and it gets her so worked up. Before, I would flip
and shoot off my mouth and she would smile and laugh and basically pat
herself on the back for pusing my buttons and proving to the world that
I'm nuts... I've grown so much from that person I was when my divorce
was so raw and I was still emotional and still 'learning' to cope... But it
seems that they aren't happy or relieved that I am not that person
anymore.
They have this attitude that I took something away from them when BD lost rights and so now they are wanting to pay me back. I just don't even want to deal with it. I just want to get along. Let DD have a good time.

I was going to offer that they could have DD for spring break even though it's my year. I also had planned to offer more weekends and some week time during the summer. I want to send an email to say I don't have any plans for these dates if you want DD in addition to what you already have. Even offering her bday weekend since they haven't had her in 3 yrs nor the yr before making that 4 yrs on her bday. I don't want anything in return. Even my attorney told me No don't do that because they may turn around and say I am pushing DD off on to them instead of spending my time with her. Ugh I just can't do anything right it seems ... Or come up with a plan to throw up my white flag without it biting me later on.

I agree with you PO1 if dad isn't home -- DD just needs to stay with me. She does not feel comfortable with SM yet. She enjoys her step sister though but says SM treats them different. DD is told she is not allowed to attend any extra curricular activities while visiting them. Which I can understand. I won't argue with that because the last thing I want to do is to cart DD around on our weekends to activities that BD had signed her up for plus anything I might sign her up for. All activities DD is in are during the week and I won't allow them to interfere with his weekends. However while BD is working all weekend, DD has to sit through stepsisters gymnastics and soccer and wait around for girl scouts stuff. My question is why not put DD in those things so they can do them together. BD told me he pays enough in child support that he isn't going to pay hundreds of $'s a month for her activities too. Real winner huh?

The thing with DD being alone with SM is that is when things happen. That is when she talks to DD about inappropriate things. But it's my word against hers or DDs word against hers and there isn't much they do except slap her on the hand. The therapist told BD and the courts he needs to be the one that is doing everything from pick ups to drop offs to spending one on one time with DD to build their relationship. He has yet to do that and DD tells the therapist there is no one on one time and therapist just sends a 'reminder'email to BD about his time and responsibilities. How Many times do you have to tell someone what their job is as a parent before they get it? I think that is why I feel like giving up. I just don't want to fight these things anymore because nothing will be done anyway so shouldn't I just let it go too?

If I try to stand my ground and tell BD through email be a dad ... Do your job.. Be there for DD ... Your absence is hurting her... It becomes a pissing match... I don't feel like it. Am I giving up?? Is it ok for me to give up?? My mom's point is that we have fought for 3 yrs to keep these things from happening -- to make SM back down. And my point is -- at what cost? At who's expense? Mine! My families! My other child who needs more from me than what he gets because I'm constantly dealing with this. Going to court, going to therapists, writing emails, doing research, having conferences, paying money -- lots and lots of money... I hope I'm making myself clear-- I am not giving up on DD I'm just wanting to get along with her father and make peace. I'm not saying I was ever wrong for fighting in the courts. I'm not saying their points are right or wrong ... Just tired of nit picking. If DD came home with a serious problem.. I would do something but these little things, if I'm able to let them go, shouldn't I? Or should I keep telling the courts and telling the therapist 'well BD did it again or SM is asserting herself into our lives again.. SM is playing a power struggle again. And that is all it is so if I give up the struggle it doesn't mean they have won or she is now MOM it just means, she doesn't threaten me anymore. I'm not threatened by her taking my place. That used to upset me when DD was younger because I was single and struggling. BD and SM were living the life BD and I used to live. A happy little family, while it was just me and DD and I thought OMGosh it's going to be this way forever. They can provide more.. They have a house and DD is going to want that more than what I have to offer. They will be able to buy her and I won't be able to do that. Well... That is how I USED to feel. What I finally realized about 3 months ago is that SM underestimates my relationship with DD. She thinks that by making DD call her MOM then DD is going to forget that I am her MOM ... But what she failed to realize (and I think i did too) is that no matter what DD calls her, DD knows that I am her mom and the bond we share is not replaceable by anyone but me. I can ruin DDs faith in me but sm will never be able to take it away from me. I think once I realized how much DD is connected to me and not be hearing it from everyone else... But actually seeing it for myself, in relation to SM that is when she no longer was a threat to me in my mind... And I could finally let go of that power struggle. Does that make sense?


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RE: I want to make ammends....

--"What I finally realized about 3 months ago is that SM underestimates my relationship with DD. She thinks that by making DD call her MOM then DD is going to forget that I am her MOM ... But what she failed to realize (and I think i did too) is that no matter what DD calls her, DD knows that I am her mom and the bond we share is not replaceable by anyone but me. I can ruin DDs faith in me but sm will never be able to take it away from me. I think once I realized how much DD is connected to me and not be hearing it from everyone else... But actually seeing it for myself, in relation to SM that is when she no longer was a threat to me in my mind... And I could finally let go of that power struggle. Does that make sense?"--

Yes, makes sense. It's partly 'power struggle' I've had to get across to my new DIL when it comes to my exDIL. She is not a threat except in DIL's mind...but if she fights it and makes huge issues over it, she's hurting herself.

I'm going to assume that the 'folder' SM signs is nothing more than her like Friday Folder...signature just is needed to assure teacher that child has shown the folder (that week's classroom work/returned homework) to the child's parent/s and parent signs off as having reviewed it. Meh, so SM signed it in your case. No biggie and I'm sure she's put out you did not squeal...you were 'suppose' to ya know. If there really is something you need to see in the folder that has gone to Dad's house that weekend, you can likely ask the teacher to also send the folder home on Mondays too so you can review it. Pfft. If it make SM feel like the Weekend Mommy , let her sign it. Important papers, legal papers, permission papers blah blah of course are off limits (they require your or Dad's siggie depending on what it is).

I can see why this SM has the abilty to 'get' to you though. This is the SM who was until very recently banned from any contact with your DD. I'm sure it's been a very real emotional adjustment. Actually I think to be honest that you've 'grown' slowly some in coping/dealing since the time you started posting here. I think these other moms/stepmom have let you see you're not along, not the only one facing all the ups and downs.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

"Does that make sense?"

Everything you say makes perfect sense.

Po1, when I said it isn't a big deal for SM to sign... it's not that I'm agreeing that it's okay. I'm saying IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL as far as battles go. I assume that's why myfampg let it go. I'm assuming when the child gets a certain grade, the parent is asked to sign the homework & the child returns it so the teacher knows someone saw it. When it comes to OP's ex, it probably would not matter who signed it if the child is picked up on Friday and dropped off on Monday at school, the paper is not going to be signed by OP. Dad is not likely to share that info with mom so why make an issue of it? Mom is involved in school, talks to teachers, goes to conferences & makes decisions. So, it's not a big deal that she isn't the one to sign the papers that go home on dad's weekends. Certainly, myfampg is thinking cooperatively to ignore that issue.

Myfampg, I agree with your attorney. It won't matter what you do, it will get turned around on you if you offer more time than he is supposed to have. I can almost hear SM saying "see, she doesn't want the kids with her on her own time" and it makes you look bad, even though your intent is to extend an olive branch. Unfortunately, as long as your ex is with her & she stays involved, it may not be possible to have an amicable relationship.

I also agree that kids should not be forced to go if dad is not there & they don't want to be there. If the child wants to go knowing dad isn't there, then it would be equally wrong to say no, just because mom doesn't like SM. If there were other reasons, like SM being inappropriate, then that would be a reason to say no. But, kids should be allowed to make their own decisions about their own relationships and sometimes, that is a hard thing to swallow for a parent. In your case, I agree that if you have ROFR & she doesn't want to go, she shouldn't have to. But, that is just another battle & if you do keep her, make sure you keep everything well documented.

And as for making him be a parent... that has been the biggest struggle we've had with SD's BM. She also refuses to be involved in SD's activities. She protests us putting SD in activities here and when SD goes over there, she is carted around to all the activities the other kids get to do there. It really is cruel, IMO. I've wanted to tell BM how it hurts her DD. DH says why bother? She doesn't care & he's right. You can't make someone else change. If her daughter's tears don't make her change how she does things, anyone else telling her is pointless. That is THEIR relationship and all you can do is comfort her when she's sad/upset & maintain YOUR relationship with her.

I think everything you are doing is on the right track but in my opinion, you shouldn't TRY to push your good will on the ex or SM. You won't succeed, it will frustrate you & it will only stress you out more. Your goal should be to just avoid conflict & drama. That will benefit your daughter most. In about 10-15 years, she will be old enough to decide for herself, who she wants in her life... how close she wants to be & who she wants her kids to be around.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

I don't think you should be offering them more time with DD than CO says. If you offer them to take DD for spring break or more weekends, they might bring it up in court that you do not want DD around. I think you need to do everything what CO says. When parents can co-operate and have no conflict, then who cares about CO, but in your case you simply must go by the book. I also do not think that you should tell him to be a parent, just go by what CO says and keep communication to a minimum, strictly factual.

I also think that dad must inform you that he won't be around, and then DD stays home unless of course she insists on going to see SM. Otherwise go by CO. If CO says she should stay with you when dad works, then go by that.

I don't suggest arguing, just go by CO.

Now i personally didn't have CO, we just played by ear and both made whatever sacrifices. I hate courts and arguments. But when dealing with such crazy people like your ex and SM, i think there is no other choice.


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RE: I want to make ammends....

Shakti I didn't ignore your post -- I wrote you this long response and then it didn't post. Lol thank you for the poem, I never saw it that way. It was powerful.

Ok so I have decided not to extend the 'olive branch' because honestly I would rather have DD with me anyway. If they ask for a specific weekend or something I can show my good faith but giving it to them and not expecting for anything in return.

As far as school goes -- I guess I'm not so worried because I am so involved and everyone knows me. I am on the PTA, I'm room mom, I volunteer and the schools have made it so easy to stay informed bc of the Internet and email. DDs report card was sent home on dad's day so I never received a copy. But the teacher knew it was dad's day so he emailed me a copy. I didn't even have to ask and that kept me from having to let dad know I 'noticed' that he 'kept' the report card which honestly I think the CO states he should have made me a copy. That was when I realized I don't need to worry about the school. They are aware without me having to tell them, what Is going on. I'm just glad they haven't made any noise at the school about anything but... We still have 8 yrs lol.

Thank you all -- your advice has helped me through possibly the roughest point of my life :)


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