Twenty six years ago today, I signed my marriage certificate. Today I signed divorce papers.
I am not sure why this just popped into my head. I was doing a jigsaw puzzle with the TV on in the background at 1:15 a.m. and something reminded me of a conversation I had several months ago.
I was at a table with a bunch of people at a large event. I could see that someone kept leaning forward, three seats down from me, whenever I started to talk, trying to listen to my conversation. We were all just talking randomly about nothing private or personal that I remember, laughing, but I was aware of her interest in me.
People shuffled in to find a seat or out to get food, drink and to use the bathroom. This woman was now closer to me with someone in between us. Eventually she leaned forward to introduce herself and to tell me that we share a connection. I exchanged pleasantries with her but in my mind I am processing that she knows who I am because the connection she mentioned was not at the event.
I was up and down a few times myself and when I came back to the table I was seated beside this woman. Finally she tells me, “I know Janice Andrews.” She was very kind to me and told me how sorry she was and that people initially were shocked to find out about Janice and my ex. She told me that they later learned that Janice’s intent was very calculated. I did not engage. I did not know this person or trust this person. I simply thanked her for seemingly sympathizing with me. I had no idea what she knew or who she knew it from. She then asked me if I was on Twitter. I said that I was not. She said that Janice goes by the name Smeeps. I remembered that word. I feel like my ex had used that name in his phone as her contact to hide her true identity, ‘Ricky Smeeps’. She asked me if I knew what it meant. I said that I did not. She said that it is a seductress. I joked something to the effect about Janice at least naming herself appropriately and then thankfully there was more shuffling and I was pulled in one direction and she in another and that was it. I don’t remember her name and I haven’t seen the friend that we have in common but I would never say anything to her about my encounter anyway.
So tonight, after that popped into my head, I grabbed my phone to look up that word and there it is in the urban dictionary, “highly seducing woman”. The entry is dated March 3, 2009, four years before my separation in March 2013. I looked down further and there is another definition with the entry of April 19, 2011: “One of those involuntary farts a male gets when his buttocks are in the air with legs spread out and the warm fart gently ruffles his scrotum. Few true smeeps have been recorded in human history. Only the great masters of flatulence can produce such pungent pearls of fragrance.”
Hmmm, I wonder what definition she named herself after?
I had cold symptoms for 2 weeks that started with a sore throat but mostly involved just a dry cough. I continued to work but towards the end of the first week of symptoms, the cold seemed to move to my right side; I had a swollen eye and my ear was plugged. Two days later my left eye also was affected. My eyes were red but it didn’t feel or look like pink eye so I continued to work through the second week with no improvement but no new symptoms. I was still running, swimming, socializing and found a new place to live for me and my girls for April 1.
Saturday night, February 22, I walked into our downtown and back (an hour total). It was 10 pm when I returned and I felt a bit chilled. It had been drizzling, I walked home quickly so just thought I was little sweaty and cooling down. I sat on the couch and put a blanket around me and then I got a bad headache, which is very rare for me. I found some Tylenol but it did nothing. Three hours later I took Ibuprofen. I was still chilled and shaking and thought I was definitely coming down with the flu.
I continued piggy backing between Tylenol and Ibuprofen getting no relief. I had no appetite all day Sunday and mostly slept but managed to have some soup Sunday night. It did not sit well. I called in sick for Monday. I slept 10 hours through the night and into the next morning. Monday at noon I tried to make a smoothie. I would get up from the couch and put one ingredient in the blender and have to sit back down because I thought I was going to pass out. I did this 3 times for each ingredient. My oldest daughter came home for lunch and blended it for me and brought it to me. I could barely drink it. I slept and then threw it up. I was not able to eat anything else after that and by Monday night I couldn’t even keep fluids down. I texted my boss that I was not able to come in Tuesday either.
Late Tuesday morning my boss contacted me to see how I was doing. I had slept 11 hours, had no energy or appetite and was still nauseous. I told him I thought I should go to the hospital. He offered to drive me. I told him that I thought I needed to call an ambulance because there was no way I could even sit up to be a passenger in his vehicle, i was still vomiting even though there was nothing in my stomach and I could not envision being able wall into the hospital and wait.
The paramedics tried to measure my pulse and oxygen level in the ambulance. They placed the oximeter on every finger and thumb of each hand and were not able to get a reading. They took my blood pressure when I arrived at Emergency and it was 82/51. My temperature was 38,3. A nurse was assigned to stay with me and she said she would not leave my side. They placed me in an isolation room, started IV fluids and they took blood. They moved me to another room where the doctor came and told me that I was a very sick woman. She said that my kidneys were shutting down. She said for a young woman like me that was very concerning and that I would have to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of days until they figured out what was going on. They started me on 2 different IV antibiotics.
I remained in Emerg for 11 hours. I texted my girls and my boss and then I had a long time to just lie and think. I thought about my life and was very grateful for the life I had been given and the life that I led. There was no one that I felt I had wronged and needed to apologize to or that there was anything left unsaid in any of my relationships. I was concerned for my girls and what they would do without me. We were moving April 1, would they still go; I hoped my ex would pay for their needs but I had my doubts and I wondered how they would pack everything themselves. I suspected my friends would step in and help. I wondered if my ex and Janice would move into my place and look after my girls but I doubted that. I was disappointed that I never did get the money my ex owed me and wondered what would happen to our court case; maybe my lawyer would carry through on behalf of my estate so she could get her bill paid, too. I wondered if anyone would step in to advocate on behalf of my youngest daughter to ensure she received from her dad everything that she needed and was entitled to receive. I knew there was nothing in him that would say, “I calculate that I owe your mom $117,000. I will provide each of you with half of that money.” Nope, he would be dancing on my grave and would not give up a dime without being ordered by a judge to do so.
These were all just thoughts that didn’t matter. They floated through my mind and left. I never wanted to leave my girls or leave them in a precarious position with a parent who didn’t want to parent but I was content to die. I was at peace. There was nothing I felt I still had to do. I tried my best to do what was right for me and my girls in the time that I was given and I did my best. I wondered if anyone at my volunteer job, as an advocate to help others fight poverty, would know what happened to me. I didn’t want them to think I just quit. I left all my unfinished business behind though and started to focus on the hope of seeing my parents, my grandmother, my dog who just passed in the summer and my pets before him and my very good friend who had just passed 2 months earlier as well as 3 other friends who were in my mind at that time. As sick as I was, I was ready to let everything on this earth go.
It is difficult to believe that it has been over a year since we applied to go to court and we still have no final resolution. This is the reality of dealing with a bitter ex who is not interested in resolving issues and dissolving the marriage. His behaviour from 7 years ago, when I first found out about his affair and we split immediately, has not changed. In all of his bluster, repeatedly admonishing at the end of each of his emails for me to move forward, he is the one who is stuck. He is either so damaged, broken and paralyzed that he cannot let go or he is just plain evil acting out against me and in spite of his children with vindictiveness, bullying, control, intimidation, anger and abuse of power. Whatever the reason, he is blind and cannot see.
When the final decision comes in, I will outline everything. It is a stark warning for any couple who cannot work out their differences fairly and honestly with the best interest of the children, and the partner who stays with the children as the primary caregiver, in mind.
We appeared before the judge at the end of January 2019. The judge released a partial decision in July. It is common for a decision to take up to 6 months. There are procedures in place if the decision has not been received by then but if you go to court don’t expect a quick outcome.
My ex was ordered to pay me $17,700 in back child support for our youngest child. He was also ordered to pay Canadian Revenue Agency $8544.84 directly under my name for tax debt that he caused me by claiming he paid spousal support when he did not.
The mediated agreement that was put in place in November 2014 is the biggest regret of my life. Part of that agreement allowed my ex to claim support he didn’t pay but he was required to pay any tax implication that claim created. He did not do it at the time it was incurred. He needed to be ordered to pay this by a judge and as a result there is a large amount of interest outstanding. That is an issue that I may now have to deal with in another court with a tax lawyer. Calculating daily interest back to 2015 is another, separate issue.
At the end of our court hearing in January 2019, my ex was also ordered to continue to pay me $8000/month for child and spousal support. This was the amount my ex voluntarily started to pay in December 2018 at the advice of his lawyer so he would not look as bad to the judge for not providing income information for the previous 3 years. He knew that his income had increased substantially. He had been paying $2728/month.
We will likely not appear before the judge again until the new year. I will go through the entire decision once it has been received in full. I think it will be helpful to anyone considering court. It should only be a last resort option for sure. The entire $17,700 that my ex owed for support for our child went directly to my lawyer and it only paid for 50% of my outstanding legal fee. Not to mention what I have paid in fees over the past 7 years and what my ex has paid.
It is clear that the financial burden of going to court is why many single parents left to care for their children are not able to hold their ex’s accountable for support payments. I think it is wrong for any spouse and parent to abandon their obligation to their family. My conscience compels me to stand up for myself and my girls. It would be a disservice to me, my children and to society as a whole who ends up burdened in social services costs and the consequences of poverty and lack of hope, especially with our youth. That is a whole other blog topic.
To say there was angst amongst our family prior to the grad is an understatement.
My grad daughter wrote a very mature group email to her dad and me simply expressing her wishes for the day and asking about the plans. Instead of responding to her direct questions my ex started to talk about me “suing” him; the “utter crap” I write in my blog; stating that I have “lied to the kids for years to gain favour”; that I have “lied for financial gain at (his) expense”; that “(his) parents are well aware of (my) actions and they have no interest in spending a second with (me)”; that “you are disgraceful and will never sit at a table with my family again.” There is much, much more but you get the gist of his rant.
On top of this, I went to his place in person to talk to him. He saw me and knew I was there yet he sent Janice to answer the door. I asked to speak with Dave and she said, “No!” She shut the door and walked away. I simply left. I have never gone to his place in 6 years to talk to him about anything. As soon as I got home my grad daughter texted me asking if I went to Janice’s place to “confront” her. Firstly, I didn’t know it was Janice’s place and that he moved in with her, neither did my kids. Secondly, confront her about what? Thirdly, my ex and/or Janice texted my child to involve her in something she didn’t need to know. He put our child in the middle yet again. They told my grad daughter that I only knew he moved in with Janice because I hacked into one of his accounts. Then they texted my younger daughter accusing her of brining me to Janice’s place. She knew nothing about it so now both my kids are terrified I am dying or something as they would never think I would go there unless it was a matter of life or death. Not only that, Janice Andrews called the police to report an “incident”. They wanted the police to call me to say that I wasn’t welcome at their place.
My kids were losing sleep, crying and extremely stressed over this entire grad fiasco. And yet when it was all over what does my ex write to both my children? This:
“Below was a post I read from a woman I’m a friend with on FB. Couldn’t have been said any better.
When Mike and I divorced things weren’t pretty, feelings were hurt, on both sides…one thing I knew was in-spite of how we ever treated each other, or how ugly things got between us…I took a vow on the day I got married…”in good times and bad”. The bad had happened we divorced our family unit split up…why should that vow cease to matter in divorce? Ego should never be bigger than the love for our children and what is best for them…we don’t have the right to make them uncomfortable, or choose, or see their other parent painted in a bad light fueled by our hate. I had an amazing day spent with my ex husband sharing “our” daughters graduation. Family came together… My ex Father in Law and Mike’s ex Mother in law and we sat after all of us and enjoyed a meal together and family photos…creating more memories for our daughter to take along with her for a lifetime. It was her day..she earned it, worked for it…and that’s why we were there to celebrate her and that our efforts combined as her mother and father helped get her there and not create unnecessary obstacles and emotional long term damage along that journey of her life. I am fortunate to have married a man that in divorce has been able to also put ego aside and love his daughter first and foremost and be a supportive ex husband and friend. Just because. Marriage ends a family does not…relationships don’t end, they change. Their dynamic changes…and we have to ask ourselves what you want that dynamic to look like and is my ego really more important than my child’s overall well being for a lifetime to come…do I want a life time hating and fighting and never winning battle. No body wins…not him, not me, not the children when you spread hate. Just because an ex may have been a bad wife, or bad husband doesn’t mean they are a bad parent…focus on rebuilding even better and not what was lost. Thanks Mike for being an amazing dad and friend!”
Janice Andrews responded: “Beautiful” with a heart beside it.
My kids did not respond.
Court is finished for now. There is a lot of material for the judge to review before making his ruling. He did, however, make an order for my ex to start paying me $5300/month more than he had been paying me. He commented that there is no chance of my ex over paying pending his decision as there are “significant arrears”.
My ex never showed his face in court. His lawyer attended on his behalf and just read from my ex’s affidavit.
They did try some dirty tricks. My ex hired a private investigator to surveil me the week before our hearing. He and his lawyer also travelled to Vancouver the day before our hearing getting my older daughter to swear an affidavit against me. The judge did not allow these documents to be entered. He commented that having a child, even an adult one, swear against another parent can cause significant, long term damage to the family. He also found them to be irrelevant.
This was all done for the purpose of trying to sully my character to the judge. My ex also quoted my “scornedwifeblog” in his affidavit and his lawyer read the example title “How to Handle Hoes like Janice Andrews”. It is a very benign entry just relaying a Beyoncé story but it was chosen to try to embarrass me. Two ways that I think this backfired: 1) Now the judge knows that my ex is the cheater which is another strike against his moral character. 2) The blog, that my ex has tried so hard to get me to halt, is now documented in the Supreme Court of Canada, specifically highlighting Janice Andrew’s name.
I had two court dates scheduled in November and December 2018 to pursue money owed to me by my ex. Both dates were adjourned and we are now scheduled to proceed on Monday, January 28, 2019.
It is interesting to me that the word of the year for 2018, as chosen by Merriam Webster dictionary was in fact “Justice.” Apparently the search for this word increased by 74%.
In keeping with the theme, I just returned home from watching the movie Serenity starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Matthew’s character just happened to be trying to catch a monster tuna fish that he named “Justice”.
Here’s hoping I finally catch this fish!
Oh, the sentimental cliché that was uttered to me by my mother-in-law in the weeks following her realization that her son had in fact been cheating on me with another woman and had walked away from me and our children to pursue a relationship with Janice Andrews.
Fast forward 5 1/2 years and in that time there has been one phone call by my mother-in-law with my father-in-law on the other end and they brought me a birthday gift when they were in town 4 months later to see my daughter dance. Then…crickets. I reached out once by email to my in-laws, including my brother-in-law, about my ex’s disturbing behavior and my concern but no response. They have been to visit their son at least once/year and never once have they called or wanted to see me. I have seen them in passing at my daughter’s dance recitals during their visit but that was it. My father-in-law, in particular, especially during his visit this year, was extremely cold.
Two things got me thinking about this phrase. Firstly, I had coffee this morning with a friend of mine in her late 70’s and her husband in his 80’s. I have know their son and daughter-in-law for over 20 years. Their daughter-in-law had an affair on their son over a year ago and destroyed their marriage. There is no chance of reconciliation. Yet, even though their son was betrayed (and the details and consequences for him as a result of the affair were severe–he lead a church and lost his job) have indicated she will always be their daughter-in-law and they have proven it by continuing to have a close and personal relationship with her. My friend told me, “I forgive her.”
We talked about another couple that we both know, who are my age with 2 girls the same age as my girls. They are part of our little circle of church connections who migrated to Vancouver Island at the same time and who have also recently split. She told me that my girlfriend told her mother-in-law (we are also friends with her mother and father-in-law) she was so afraid she would lose her in the split. Her mother-in-law replied, “You will always be my daughter-in-law” and they continue to hike and kayak together even though her mother-in-law has fallen into a deep depression over the split and also as a result of her husband’s recent Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis.
My friend asked me this morning if I had a relationship with my in-laws. They had met them at our house during one of their visits. I told her that I did not. She was sorry. I didn’t cheat on their son so why did they betray me too? Why is that my friend is still able to embrace the daughter-in-law who has hurt her son and grandchildren and the rest of their family so cruelly and my in-laws don’t care about the mother who is trying so hard to raise their grandchildren despite everything their son has done to tear apart their lives.
Secondly, my ex sent me a bizarre email. This was a comment that he wrote at the end of a long rant about something completely unrelated:
“Do you think (my mom’s name) would act or request the things you do? She was selfless and always acted with kindness and regard for others. She always made a point of being inclusive when others were trying to exclude, such as (my brother-in-law’s name). You should try acting and honouring your mother rather than being the antithesis of everything she was and stood for.”
I have no idea why my ex suddenly brought my mom into his email and I was trying to understand why he was feeling excluded. He is correct that even after my sister and her husband separated my mom invited my brother-in-law to every birthday and special occasion dinner. It caused tension sometimes, especially for my sister, but we all see now how beneficial it was to everyone in the family in the long run and how amazing my mom was to put her relationship with my sister on the line to do what she felt was right and loving for her grandchildren especially but for the family as a whole because we are all still family. My mom practiced love and would have without a doubt, if she was here, done the same for my ex. I don’t think, however, he would have had the courage to step into her circle of love. A lot of my family did reach out to my ex after our split but he didn’t answer or return any of their calls. My girls have asked him to do things with me and them together but he has always refused. I told my ex, I would do things with him and our girls and put everything aside for those moments they needed for their well-being but he would not even try. He excluded himself. If he loved my mom so much as he claims that he did, why isn’t he honouring her by acting the way he says she acted. He loves to tell me what I “should” do and hold me to some standard while ignoring it himself. It is he who is the “antithesis”.
When I told my ex that I had no understanding of his comments about my mom and his feelings of being excluded in context to his email subject he responded:
“You’re exactly right you don’t understand. My point was that your mother didn’t take sides. She didn’t get caught up in the politics. She didn’t hold grudges. She didn’t try to paint people in a negative light. She looked for ways to try and draw people together despite difficult and challenging life situations. (My brother-in-law’s name) was a perfect example. He didn’t pay a dime of child or spousal support. Your sister didn’t want him around for family functions but your mother would always invite him. Make sure it was about the children and there being able to spend time with their Dad. Despite the fact that she may not have agreed or been happy with (my brother in-law’s name), she never spoke negatively in front of the kids and was trying to make the best of the situation. Completely opposite of what you have chosen to do.”
He praises my mom’s behavior but it is the complete opposite of what he and his family have done. I have no intention of ever doing anything with Janice Andrews but I have offered on many occasions to do the “family” thing for my girls. Maybe my ex should be sending his praise of my mom’s nature to his parents. After all, it was his mom that told my daughter this summer, “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but your dad is our son.” In reality her words are backed up by “Your mom will always be our daughter-in-law but we choose to wish the mistress Happy Birthday on Facebook instead.”
My ex continued our email chain about bailing on our younger daughter to go to a company BBQ:
“The hypocrisy of your comments is really mind boggling at times. Don’t you have better things to do with your time such as writing blogs about me?
I had a Bbq that my company was hosting for 80 people, 2hrs away, that I was involved in the set up. So yes time was of the essence and I couldn’t show up later because (our daughter’s name) got the wrong time and didn’t bother to correct it until 11:45am when I was on my way to pick her up. (Daughter) told me (dance teacher’s name) could drop her off. I asked her to confirm, she said she did, so the fact that she didn’t do it and then had to take the bus is not my fault, otherwise I would have made sure she got home.
What’s interesting is despite your Superwoman statements, she didn’t call you when she needed a ride? Probably because she knew that once again she would get an earful from you, like everyone else does.
She’s 16 and can take the bus if needed. You haven’t dropped your yoga plans and made her take the bus so why is so much different for me other than you have this irrational thought process with everything that has anything to do with me?
Your emails are such a waste of time. Turn your attention to other things that has a more meaningful upside than constantly trying to pick fights with people.”
I know he will hate my response. He will likely complain more that it is lengthy than the content but I responded. I will give him credit that he picked her up from dance tonight at 6:45 p.m. and took her to dinner. I only thought of that after I responded but this was what I said:
“You had no intention of ensuring she got home. You wanted to be on the road by 1:30. She needed a ride home at 1:30 and she needed to eat before she started her third job of the day. Don’t change your story now. Why you made plans to see her for less than an hour when “time is of the essence” for you to be 2 hours away is mind blowing. You should have told her your big plans for the day that was designated as your weekend with her that didn’t include her at all. If there were 80 people at your company BBQ I am sure someone else could have helped set up. I am sure this was planned months in advance and that you could have checked your calendar and said, “Hey, I might be late. That is the weekend I spend with my daughter.” The fact that you were more concerned about being accountable to set up for a BBQ versus being accountable to your daughter speaks volumes. You care more that your coworkers find you to be reliable and helpful than you care what your daughter thinks about your reliability and helpfulness? You could have made plans to see her the weekend before. You never, ever change your social schedule for her. You don’t care what weekend it is. You went to Vancouver the last weekend you were supposed to see her and played in a golf tournament too so you didn’t see her at all over the 3 days of “your” weekend, that you chose to be your weekend. You never once have said, “Hey, I can’t make it this weekend, how about next weekend.” You just carry on like the next weekend is totally off limits because it isn’t “your” weekend when you know darn well you can see your daughter any time you can mange to make yourself available. You just never choose her over whatever else you do or don’t have going on. Maybe you should start considering those weekends as “her” weekends and try to make it special for her instead of for you.
In your mind, it really is all (our daughter’s) fault for the late notice. How silly of her to think that her dad would be available just an hour later to spend time with her. How many times after all have you told her you were going to have lunch with her and then changed the plans to be at 4:00 p.m. instead?
She did call me for a ride. She left a voice mail message and a text message. I felt terrible because, as I told you already, I was in a housing meeting with Adam Olsen and other municipal counsellors and mayors so I didn’t have my phone on. Any other time I am there to pick her up. Yes she can take the bus but she had no money with her and no bus ticket. If I am not able to drive her I pay for bus tickets for her and give her advance notice. I have NEVER not picked her up or changed my plans with her after I made arrangements with her to do that even if there is a mistake or delay with the time frame she gives me. I certainly have NEVER left her stranded.
Why would I give her an earful because she needed a ride? It certainly wasn’t because she was being inconsiderate and not planning in advance. She understands now that she always needs to have money with her and bus tickets just in case. I thanked (dance teacher) for lending her the $2.50 and I paid her back personally. I felt badly for her and I was sad that I wasn’t available to get her call or know that she needed a ride. I would have left my meeting to get her or called Tracey or Brent to see if they were around to get her.
Why is it so much different for you, you ask? I happen to live with our child. I see her every single day. I see her every single morning before she goes to school. Pretty much every day I either drive her to the bus stop or to (best friend’s) house. I see her every night before she goes to bed. We eat together, watch TV together, walk the dog together, play with the pets together, shop and cook together. I know her friends, her friend’s parents, her dance teachers and I know what is going on at school. I know the courses she is taking, I help her with homework if needed and make sure she has the supplies she needs at home to do her courses. You haven’t even gone to any of her school performances since she has been in high school. I take her to medical appointments, physio, dental appointments. We spend special holidays together. I go to all of her dance competitions, festivals and pretty much anything where she performs. I know her dreams and what she wants to do for a career and post-secondary schooling. I have a relationship with her. I interact and engage with her more than an hour a week. If I only put aside an hour/week to spend with my child I would make it the best hour of my life and hope more that it was her best hour of the week. How much more so when you only put aside an hour every 2 weeks?
I have no interest in fighting with you. I am fighting for our child. I think she should have a relationship with her father and I am trying to shake you awake to give her what any child needs. I am just sad for you that you don’t care to have a relationship with her. She is getting busier and busier in life and you are letting your chance to know our daughter slip through your fingers. “
My ex treats both kids the same. No favouritism for letting them down. If it doesn’t work for him, they can forget it. I thought because I just posted about his treatment of my youngest daughter, I would share what happened 2 weeks ago with my oldest daughter preparing for back to university.
My ex would not help move our 20 year old daughter back to Vancouver over the long weekend as he had plans but said he was going over to Vancouver the next weekend with Janice Andrews to see the Foo Fighters in concert so he could drop off her stuff then.
On Sunday night, I suggested that he come over during the next couple of days while our daughter was still here so she could give him all the boxes that she wanted sent. I was taking her to the ferry on Wednesday morning so he still had 2 full days to make plans to get them from her and Monday was a holiday so he wasn’t working. I suggested that way he didn’t have to make any plans with me and could stick with his own schedule to get over to Vancouver plus they were calling for rain that morning.
“Thank you for the passive aggressive email (my name) where you try to dictate and control when people do and don’t do things.
….In case you may have forgotten, I’m offering to assist (older daughter) in delivering her belongings to her residence. I’m sure if you’re not around, you can leave them out front for me to pick up. You have lots of other items sitting out front that don’t seem to have any weather related issues.
I’ll be having dinner with (daughter) tomorrow and will pick the items up at that time, otherwise if that doesn’t meet with “your schedule”, you can deliver them yourself.”
Well I didn’t see his email until the next night. It was our younger daughter who told me that afternoon that he was coming that night. Of course Wednesday night was the one night I had plans (that is the night my ex usually has dinner with my daughter so that is the only night I make plans). I told my daughter to text her dad that I could be back by 8:45 p.m. to give him the boxes but he would not wait so my younger daughter, thinking she was being helpful, put all the boxes out for him. She realized afterwards that she had missed the 2 most important boxes that my daughter needed with her as they were upstairs and the other boxes were downstairs. She told her sister that her dad didn’t have room to take them. My older daughter was very upset so contacted her dad that she really needed those boxes. He didn’t even know they existed so he texted my younger daughter back furious that she lied saying he didn’t have room for the boxes. She said that she was “joking” and apologized. He sent her the following text:
“(daughter’s name) while I appreciate you apologizing I don’t for a minute think it was a joke. You didn’t want to take responsibility for forgetting and I’m sure you did or were going to tell Mom that story which is really unfair because you know she’d be upset at me when I had no knowledge of those boxes.”
I didn’t care about any of this. I only cared about getting the 2 main boxes to my older daughter and I was also hoping to get a Rubbermaid bin returned to me that my daughter put out by mistake.
My email that night:
“I am only seeing your email now and didn’t know you were planning on coming on Wednesday to pick up her boxes. It was the only evening this week that I was not able to be home until 8:45 p.m. When (our daughter) told me you were getting the boxes I told her that I would be home at that time to give them to you.
There are 3 very important boxes that still need to go to (our daughter). Two have more than $300 worth of food and necessities and are open (Costco Boxes) so I don’t want to leave them on the driveway. There is another box of her belongings here as well that she wants you to take over. The only thing I have on the driveway is waterproof and if it does get wet it doesn’t matter. These items of (our daughter) in cardboard boxes will be ruined and spoiled if they get wet and I certainly don’t want anyone to take them. (Younger daughter) gave you one box by mistake. I need the Rubber Maid container that has her microwave in it. It was supposed to come out of the container. I just kept it in that so it wouldn’t get rusted outside. I have no storage space here and you refused to allow her to store anything at your place.
Also, please help her move her bed. She told me that you said, “No”. Please be helpful to her as she has asked around and can’t get anyone to help her. That is the only thing that she needs your help to move. She even offered to rent a U-Haul to get it to her place but she needs your help to move it. It is just a bed and easy to lift, certainly between the 3 of you, but she needs help to do it and needs a larger vehicle to do it.
It is your weekend with (our younger daughter) so I trust you will be taking her to dinner on Friday night since you will be gone on Saturday and Sunday. I will make sure that I will be here to give you the 3 boxes and if you can kindly return the Rubber Maid bin for me that would be very much appreciated. If you plan on bailing on (younger daughter’s name) on Friday night, too, then please come by on Saturday before you go to the ferry and I will see if I can put the groceries into smaller (bags…). They are calling for rain so I can’t leave them out before.”
Silent treatment. I sent this email in follow up:
“If you had have just extended me the courtesy of arranging a convenient time for us both to pick up (older daughter’s name) boxes I would have made sure you had the correct boxes. You have taken boxes that were not meant to go and you have left important boxes here. It is supposed to rain on Saturday so I can not leave boxes for you on the driveway and I need to take out the boxes that weren’t meant to go. I have plans on Saturday morning but obviously these boxes are imperative for(daughter) to receive so please let me know what time you can come by here on Saturday before you go to the ferries to exchange and get the correct boxes.
It is your weekend with (younger daughter) so I trust that you will be having dinner with her on Friday and we could even make the exchange then.”
I didn’t receive a response. The next morning I had an appointment downtown. I had no desire to go to his office but in an effort to make this easy for him I sent the following email:
“I have an appointment downtown this morning…I will text you as I don’t have email access on my phone. If you are going to be in the office let me know and you can come down and move the items to your car. The boxes are way too heavy and big for me to take up the stairs to your office. Hopefully you will have my Rubber Maid container as well to give me.”
I’m not getting caught up in the ridiculousness of your last 3 emails.
I told you I was coming Wednesday to pick up the belongings. I work full time, I don’t have the luxury of going to Sidney and spending an hour out of my day to run around because you messed up what is or is not to go over to (older daughter).
There were boxes that were neatly set up on the driveway when I got there last night. I packed all of those boxes in my vehicle. If you put out the wrong boxes, or failed to put out others you wanted to go that is your issue. I have no more space. I do not have the time to drive to Sidney nor do I have the time to deal with you today on this issue. I’m headed out to Metchosin and will be on the Westshore the majority of the day. I’m in a golf tournament tomorrow, the same brokers tournament I’ve been in for the last ten years so I do not have time tomorrow. As well, (younger daughter) has known for several weeks that we aren’t getting together because of that.
I’m on the 9am ferry on Saturday. If (older daughter) doesn’t have what she needs, I will take her shopping or give her money to do so. It’s not the end of the world. She can get these things either next time she is over, or (boyfriend) can take things over in his vehicle as I’m sure he will go over and see her at some point. Or maybe you’ll feel the need to see where your daughter lives and go yourself.
So save your time and don’t contact me about this again.
Just a reminder, you’ve been blocked from my phone for well over a year so your texts will not be received.”
Now this is where I thought his response was odd. He knows that our younger daughter put the boxes out, not me. He sent her a text prior to this email admonishing her for forgetting to put out some boxes and then lying and telling our daughter her dad just didn’t take them because he didn’t have room when he instead he just didn’t know they were there. Now he is saying he doesn’t have room to take them and thinks I put them out and made the error?
I didn’t put any boxes out. I did NOT know you were coming. I was not here at all during the day and just got home last night at 8:45 p.m. When (youngest daughter) texted me that you were coming I told her to tell you that I couldn’t be back until 8:45 p.m. She obviously took it upon herself to try and put (older daughter’s) things out but she forgot some items and gave you my rubber maid bin by mistake. I didn’t know you weren’t seeing (younger daughter) on Friday either. She doesn’t tell me anything about whether you bail on her or not anymore. It is old news. I only know when I have to drive her or pick her up because you made alternative plans.
This is a huge waste of money if you don’t take the food that she wants to take over to Vancouver and a waste of time for her to have to go and try to replace it. Some items are refrigerator items. She needs her bedding and the things in her printer box. You might have money to waste but I do not. I can’t afford to go over to Vancouver and spend $200 in travel expenses to take her $200 in food. (Plus I have to arrange for someone to let the dog out when I am gone all day) You are going over so please come and get her things. I highly doubt your vehicle is full and can’t take a few more things. You can take the items out of the boxes.
(Daughter’s roommate’s) dad drove up from Seattle to move her into (older daughter’s) place last minute. They took 5 trips to bring her stuff back and forth. You aren’t going out of your way at all to stop by here on the way to the ferry and you are acting like you have to drive across the country.
You can use blocking me on your phone as an excuse all you want. It only shows the judge that you will do anything you can to avoid being needed for something for your kids or having to do something.”
I contacted my older daughter to give her a head’s up that it did not look like her dad was going to bring all of her things to her, especially the items she needed the most. I then emailed my ex with her reaction and response:
“(our daughter) is very upset you can’t stop by my place first to get the things she very much needs and wants. (Her boyfriend) never takes his car over as it is too expensive. These are not things she can carry on the ferry back with her either.”
His Response and this is when it becomes clear this is more about trying to punish me than it is about doing anything for our daughter:
“I’m not playing this game with you. As stated, I’m not coming to your house. I’m not going to have anything to do with someone who is actively and continuing to make attempts to attack me by email, telephone calls, online etc. I’m not putting up with your ongoing behavior, harassment etc. I do not have room for her food end of story. Ask (youngest daughter), she saw what my vehicle looked like and I have my own personal belongings and Janice’s to take as well. It’s not my issue that you didn’t have things ready. I told you when I was coming and if you didn’t read my email or have things ready to go that isn’t my fault, that’s yours. You tried to make this difficult by demanding when I was or wasn’t going to pick things up. I have a job. I work 6 days a week and I have a life that does not include you. I’m not jumping when you demand. I have come to the house when I stated and picked up what was left for me to take. If that isn’t sufficient, you can drop off the comforter and sheets to my home and leave them at the back under the awning and I will pick them. Anything else that is left there that does not fit in my vehicle will be thrown in the garbage regardless of what it is. My home is not your dumping ground.
What (our daughter’s roommate’s) Dad did or didn’t do has nothing to do with me. I don’t have the luxury of being told the day before that (our daughter) needs to move to cancel my appointments and go to Vancouver. Rather than point the finger at me, why didn’t you take the initiative and do something about it? You don’t work, you could have easily gone to Vancouver and assisted (daughter’s name) at any time. Rather than point the finger at others and question them, take a look in the mirror and ask what you could do.”
“You are ridiculous. You chose the one day of week that I wasn’t home until 8:45 p.m. I offered to accommodate you at that time but you made (our youngest daughter) bring out boxes instead before I could be there. Now, you want me to pack up the rest of (older daughter’s) things and drive them to your place and leave them where you want and then anything else that doesn’t fit in your vehicle you are going to throw out? What kind of father are you? You have an extra bedroom at your place that you said was there in case the girls ever decide to stay at your place, with nothing in it, and you won’t even store (older daughter’s) things there? That is why I am pointing out to you what (daughter’s roommate’s) dad did. Now compare that to what you are saying you will do.
I contacted you this morning the only way you will allow, by email, and told you I was driving downtown today to an appointment. I offered to drop off the rest of (older daughter’s) stuff to you. I could have left the stuff at your place today. Then I followed up when I was on my way downtown and spoke with your secretary who said that you were in. You wouldn’t take my call so I left a voicemail and you still didn’t have the courtesy to call back and offer a solution for (daughter’s) belongings. I told you I could be here tonight and Friday night but you wont’ make an extra trip this way? You are coming right by here on your way to the ferry. Literally a 1 minute detour for you and you say I am being difficult with demands? Yes your life does not include me but it should include your girls. Unfortunately, you also seem to think that my life should include you and I should continue to jump through your hoops and wait around on your schedule.
This has NOTHING to do with me. This is for (older daughter’s name), your daughter! I have a million grievances against you. Your inability to help meet the needs of your children is just one of them and this a perfect example of your controlling behaviour that makes zero sense.”