Monday, January 6, 2014

Waking Up

It's been a while. Over a year. It was about this time the previous Christmas I got swept away. Things are vastly different and better in some ways but seemingly harder in others.

Still have the job at the Post Office. I am the Postmaster now. The hours were reduced though so I still don't qualify for health insurance. Still at the poverty line. Thirty-six and a half hours a week. Six days a week. No back up and getting coverage well, since this is an island, it's slim to none. I have had a total of 2 days off in two years. Both medical emergencies. Still, working at the library and picking up cleaning jobs to help get by. Slowly though things are improving on the money front.

DHHS is finally after the kids father. He is fighting it of course. So, glad they are dealing with it and not me. Having DHHS handle child support issues was one of the best decisions I ever made. He still might get mad and take it out on me passive aggressively but so much better than if I had to deal with it myself.

Mental health issues….well, better, worse? My ex-husband is still untreated and unmedicated. His family can tell he is very unhappy. He is getting close to another big melt down. How will this trouble the kids is my only concern anymore. It took a lot of work and therapy on my part to let that go. Besides, I really have other things to worry about.

Connor has the anxiety and depression like his father. As of now he is not bi-polar. I think it may only be a matter of time before that happens but I try and not think about that. Keeping him stable feels like something sucking me dry. It is going to be a long road. I can only try and be optimistic but since he is an adult now my ability to help has been severely affected. It is a horrible helpless feeling to be sure when you are a parent.

My mother is very ill. In and out of the hospital/rehab and back again. Who knows what the new year will hold.

Two steps forward and one step back. At least it isn't the other way around anymore.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


So, Connor is still being a jerk. I made him an appointment for yesterday. He went then complained to me how it was a waste of time and ignored everyone. He has therapy on Wednesday and a pdoc appt the following Monday. Not soon enough. All I can say is, a line has been crossed in his behavior and I am just about done. I haven't once raised my voice or gotten mad at him but he insists I am an angry person. I wish I was. It might feel better than tired and sad.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bad to Worse

Christmas was a disaster.

Sean decided he wasn't going to bring Sofie back at all. He had plans he said. Long story short it became an email battle. He got quite vicious. I finally told him he needed to do the right thing by all the kids and bring Sofie home. The boys promised their sister they would wait for her and wanted to be with her for Xmas.

His response?

"Why should I do the right thing for a family that doesn't give a shit about me?"

It's all about him isn't it?

Then Will had enough and called him. He had to leave a message since Sean doesn't answer his phone ( something he accused me of during this diatribe) and let him have it. This further enraged his dad who then asked me how I could "let" Will say such things to him. I informed him his son is a 20 year old adult and if has issues with him to take it up with Will. I don't "let" Will do or not do anything at this point.

In the end he sent her home but put our 6 year old daughter on the ferry ALONE. She was the only one on board except for the captain and deckhands. I can not believe he could endanger her like that.

To top things off the next day Connor went downhill. I am this close to taking him to the hospital. I have been there done that with his dad.

I want to cry.

Oh, the holidays.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Well, Merry Christmas.

This has been the first year since my ex's bipolar crisis led to his leaving our family that I have tried to do more. I got a real tree instead of a 10 inch fake one. I did some Xmas cards. I am even doing a Xmas dinner. I haven't done these things in four years.

I was trying so hard I forgot how every Xmas Sean does something to hurt the kids or cause trouble. I got complacent. I should have been aware based on past history but also because Connor has been struggling for a while now with his depression. He is on new meds and so far the results are not good. He is putting real effort in but I know it is hard for him. His dad on the other hand feels down and crappy so everyone else should feel that way too apparently. He has been arguing with me since Thanksgiving. Before that we had discussed how we were handling the visits for the holidays and made a schedule. He gave up a weekend for Sofie to attend the island Xmas party and I gave up one so he could make that up with her. Co-parenting at it's best. That was before Thanksgiving and before his mood set in. Now he is trying to argue about visits. I am pretty upset since we had an agreement in place ahead of time to avoid such conflicts. I was up until midnight last night dealing with him until I told him I was done and had to sleep because I had to work today.

It isn't just me either. He is all over Cade on Facebook telling him how Cade has been playing with his Dad's emotions and how mean he is being to him. Then he went off on Cade's school work. This was because when I dropped Sofie off yesterday he was expecting Cade even though Cade never told him he was coming. Cade responded that it was his brother's birthday and he wanted to be there with Will and give him his present. His dad said that didn't matter. Sean again never contacted Will for his birthday. Cade told him that birthdays did matter and he hadn't forgotten his dad never got him anything for his birthday in September or thrown him a party like he had promised. Thankfully Cade knew not to really expect his dad to follow through on his party promise but it still stung I am sure.

I am tired and stressed and I still don't know if Sofie is coming home today or not. She is supposed to be with her dad tonight and most of tomorrow. He was supposed to bring her back on Xmas day and I was going to have dinner ready when she got home and then we would open presents. Now Sean wants to bring her back today and have me bring her in tomorrow. My one day off. I told him no. I brought her in yesterday based on our original plans. I am not doing it twice. It's a mess. The boys would be livid if I had to cancel our dinner and plans because of their dad.

I know Sean is just causing trouble to make himself feel better. Does't really help me though. Poor Cade. I am just so tired and trying hard not to let this spoil our holiday. I am willing to give him the vacation. Him spending more time with her isn't an issue but he can come get her. I have put myself out enough to mentally needy people this week.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I woke this morning and checked my email to see Cade charged another $10 to my account. Time to change my password. I haven't had to something like that since his dad was still here. I am very disappointed. Not to mention I had asked his dad to take the phone away for the rest of the week as a consequence for the $13 charge he made before without permission. It appears Sean chose not to do so. Co-parenting at it's best.

Turkey is in the oven. I made a "what the heck do I have left in the pantry to do this" pie. I think it will still be a good day overall.

I think I might even take a nap.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blessed silence filled the air as the last two stressful days seemed to have past with little more than a few caps lock centric emails in it's wake. Seemingly over and done I was gleefully happy to go back to the generic stress of home and work. Today, I found out to my utter embarrassment that yesterday while I toiled in ignorance that even though Sofie's teacher sent a very informative and respectful email to her father, the paranoia was still in the driver's seat. Apparently, not only did her father believe I was lying about there being school in order to be "disruptive to his life" I had colluded with her teacher to cover for me by saying yes there was school on Monday and Tuesday. Then, to see enabling behavior in action, his wife then called another school in our district to ask them to verify there was actually school on those days.

When Will and Connor went to our island school, the principle was at the school Kathryn called. Our school is obviously too small to have a principle in residence so we shared one with that other school. Due to budget cuts that school lost their principle a few years ago and one of the teachers there doubles up to do that duty. However, it goes to show how out of the loop Sean is on the kids education. There hasn't been a principle there since Cade was a student. Still, the wife made the call and then they called the teacher here to pass on that she had called since they had no idea what the heck she had been ranting about. I was made to look like a liar and troublemaker. Why the heck would I do that? I am not a borrower of trouble. I would like to give some of mine away though. Thankfully, the teacher here and at the other school weren't fooled and have seen this kind of stuff before. Still, it doesn't make me feel any better. The teacher here told me not to worry about and that she is just crazy but I can't help but feel scared. I feel like this is all stuff leading up to Sean thinking he can become Perry Mason again and take me back to court like last time. He really thinks he can be a lawyer. Grandiose behavior anyone? Oh, and happy thanksgiving.

Is it the holidays yet?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More Dramaville

I think one of the hardest things about trying to co-parent with someone with bipolar is trying to navigate what is illness and what just is a crappy personality. In one single day I may have to deal with robotic yet rational conversation, flip to anger then paranoia and finally back to rational again. That was my day yesterday. Routine is very important, tweak it and you had better be ready for possible melt down. It doesn't help when that person now has two extra children (even if they his own) to deal with which is not the norm and attempting to handle a job when they haven't been able to hold one down in six years. Let's not forget the new wife who doesn't believe he has an illness but who's answer to the odd behavior patterns is to control those around with an iron fist. I do think that controlling behavior helps him to a point but there is a vast difference between helping a loved one keep on track and dictating everything you do from what you eat, how you dress, what kind of job you should have and how to parent.

This is Thanksgiving vacation week and it is a scheduled time for the kids to be with their dad. More than a weekend which is one non-routine issue for him to cope with. Usually only Sofie goes, this time Cade chose to go (more on that later), a second non-routine issue. Third bump in the road...teenage angst. Cade is being evasive and pulling crap by tell his dad one thing and me another. Normal behavior I suppose for a kids with divorced parents. It's bad enough when the parents are emotionally stable. Worse if they do not get along. Really bad if one or both of them is dealing with an unmedicated mental illness. Not me by the way...:) Now, Cade knows his dad has this problem but he still really wishes he didn't and by not visiting him for about a year it seems out of sight equals out of mind. Will and Connor have been doing their best to talk to Cade about this and he used to understand his father's issues but I think he wants a "normal" dad so much that he has convinced himself his dad is just fine. After all his dad tells him he is "just fine" and that I am lying to him about the illness. This all just me trying to turn Cade against him. That for me is really a non issue. I used to feel I had to justify myself when Sean said these things but really, I don't. My issue used to be me believing in Sean myself. He can be stable a lot of the time. I have realized it is from having someone there helping to enable him and the things he has learned over time to help himself, like having regular routines and bedtimes etc., that no one told him to do he just learned to do through trial and error. Having someone there to tell you, go to bed now, eat this, drink that, do this, do that and him just blithely doing so is a good thing for him. However, it doesn't stop everything. It can't, not without meds and therapy. It's just those golden moments of stability make me, made me, question myself. Sometimes I needed other people around me who saw his behavior to say, remember this, that? That was not stable behavior. I think Cade is in that quagmire I was in, coupled with the fact this is his parent and being a newly minted teenager. Not much fun. Doesn't mean I don't want to punt kick Cade to the curb for his behavior or rip my own hair out in frustration.

Been doing the email-go-round with Sean. Long story short, Cade lied to his dad and me about the duration of his visit. When I asked about it, all of a sudden I was being "disruptive". When I was asked to send Cade his school work I said no. I was not going to enable Cade's irresponsible behavior. He left it behind after I asked him if he needed it and he said he didn't because he was coming home. He either changed his mind, which is fine with me, or he never intended to come back for the week. What wasn't ok with me was him telling me he was if he had no plans to so as this was just pointless. Also, when I asked Sean about it, it then became an issue. Sean was as clueless as me and you don't ever want to confuse someone who is holding on to stability by a thread. Thanks Cade. This could have been just a little bump in the road but then there was a snafu with Sofie's school. Nothing major just a scheduling problem where she was supposed to be here for school when we had previously scheduled otherwise. I wasn't the only parent who didn't send their kid to school on Monday so it wasn't just me being overwhelmed. I told the teacher where Sofie was and that I would see what we could do to get her here for Tuesday but with the boats and work issues it may not happen. He was cool with that. Really, not  big deal. It shouldn't have amounted to a hill of beans. I emailed Sean and he didn't reply. I called and called and called. No answer. Ok, annoying but not unusual for Sean not to answer when I call sadly.

So, moving on I was supposed to skype a conference for Cade yesterday and that didn't happen either. All of a sudden Sean wanted a conference and he took over. I had to email Cade's teacher to reschedule. Annoying but what can you do? No, the teacher and Sean shouldn't have done that. I explained the circumstances and I am now waiting to hear from the teacher. You have to pick your battles.

Cade then spent $13 of my money without permission with his phone. This is all in one day mind you. I managed to get a hold of Cade and he blamed Sofie. Uh huh. So, I tried to call Sean to have him take Cade's phone away for the week as a consequence. No response.

I finally get an email from Sean saying Sofie was staying with him and he thought it was "strange" the teachers would "reverse their decision" (what is this, Judge Judy?) and he had emailed her teacher about it but had "no response". Then it hit me, oh. my. God., Sean thinks I am lying abut Sofie needing to go to school. Welcome home paranoid behavior, I didn't miss you. This idea was confirmed when the teacher forwarded me the email and his response. The teachers are aware of the issues going on with the family. The teacher thought the email was odd, strangely worded and slightly confusing as to what he was exactly asking for (and the only communication Sean has had with him since 2007) but was great and confirmed that there was school and that it had been previously scheduled as days off and told Sean of Sofie's progress in school. Sean definitely thought I was lying to be "disruptive to his life" and to "cause uncertainty and create a situation that was not positive for the kids". It always amazes me how he can be paranoid and eloquent and the same time. Granted, it was bad, horrible, no good, very bad day for everyone all around but that didn't mean I was off twiddling my fake mustache cackling maniacally over some evil plan to cause chaos for Sean.

To top it off at 9pm he emails me again thanking me for my emails and there he was, back in stable town.

I really, really wished he lived there full time and didn't treat it as a nice place to visit.


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