adultery, affair, cheating, children, dance, divorce, ex spouse, father/daughter, parenting after separation, separatiion, single parent

Fifteen–The age to stop showing your child you care

My 15-year old daughter has a week of open house at her dance studio where we can go in and watch her classes.  The warm up,  the technical exercises, the teaching method, the relationship between the dancers and the dancers and teacher gives you an appreciation of the work ethic, attitude, skill and effort it takes to put a dance together.

The Company group that she is involved with holds a fundraiser at this time; the dance studio provides coffee, tea and treats; and they take up a collection for coats and food for the local food bank.  It is a great way to build community and to get to know my daughter’s friends, the parents of the friends that she spends the majority of her time with every week and her teachers.

I went to every one of her open house classes. I took photos and video. I contributed to the treats, volunteered to clean up one night and set up the coffee room another day.  I helped sell popcorn for the fundraiser.

I know my ex gets the emails and information about the events at the studio and he has attended at least one of her classes during open house in the past.  There is only one more day left this dance season for my ex to see our daughter in class. I asked her if he was going to attend. Her response was a look and, “What do you think?”  She continued, “He said he didn’t understand why parents of kids my age would go to open houses especially when they will see the dance 5000 times.”

I have not been the only parent attending her classes. After she told me what her dad said I counted at the next class–9 dancers (2 were absent at a school Xmas band concert), 10 people watching both dads and moms and one sibling. Regarding the 2 kids missing–I sat beside the dad and mom of one dancer the previous night so I am sure they would have been there if she was dancing.  The other dancer at the Xmas concert had a mom who was so sick. The mom texted me that she couldn’t go to the band concert (her dad was going) because she would be coughing all the way through it and she didn’t want to ruin the performance for everyone. She texted that she definitely shouldn’t be a the studio either but her other daughter wanted her to see her dance (especially since her dad was going to be at the concert) so she was going to pop in for a bit.  I watched parents split up and take turns dividing their time in each class when they had more than one child dancing.

There is another group of dancers my daughter’s age that run parallel classes. Their ballet and jazz classes are too big so they created 2 separate classes.  Others take classes that my daughter dropped–Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.  I saw parents of those 15-year olds going into their classes as well.

I  know parents have commitments and may not be able to make it but there was a lot of support for 15-year old children.   It is nice to know that the majority seem to believe there is no age limit to your children benefiting from feeling like their parents love and support them and care about what they are doing.

My ex will not get to see our daughter dance any of the dances she is learning in these classes until March. The open house isn’t about watching the dance. They spent the last 2 minutes showing us the dance they are working on but those aren’t even completed yet. In her ballet class they performed a Xmas Nutcracker dance they worked on specifically for the open house.

Anything can happen. Living in the now is all we have.  It is just more insight into my ex’s thinking–“I will support you in 3 months time but not right now. Maybe if you were younger you would get my time now.”  Although history proved that wasn’t reality either.

 

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adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, divorce, ex spouse, family, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, infidelity, parenting after separation

Putting on a Show

I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning.  My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m.  She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.

My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley.  I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town.  Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.

We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m.  I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation.  My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family.  My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it.  He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others)  My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.

My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other.  My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family.  I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend.   She feels very duped by my ex.  She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie.  She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.

When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open.  Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing.  I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her.  My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot.  He wanted to know who from my family was there.  He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in.  My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.

We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad.  When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention.  He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece.  I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.

It was a proud and emotional evening.  A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada.  He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together.  He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc.  My ex was not a part of any of that.

It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission.  He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.

When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends.  The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance.  She said that he did but he left half way through.  Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.”    I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance.  She is going to remember that he left.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Cancer, control, divorce, infidelity, marriage, melanoma, narcissism, parenting after separation

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good: (Me)

I had my tumor removed yesterday and the doctor felt that it went well.  She also took out a 5 mm perimeter around the tumor and went 5 mm deep.  That sample is off to pathology. I am being referred to a cancer specialist who’s expertise is melanoma.

The Good:  (Dave)

On February 1 Dave paid me the increase in my support payment as per the court order and a couple of hundred more to start covering the additional court order for arrears and court costs.  On February 2 he sent me a payment of $3000 toward this amount and he said that he will send me another $3000 today and a payment tomorrow to resolve this order.

The Bad:  (Me)

The doctor was frank and told me that she has seen marks smaller than mine caught earlier than mine be fatal.  My Irish background has the strongest genetic disposition for melanoma and thinks that I will be advised to have genetic testing.  She said that I need to eventually have a discussion with my girls about my diagnosis as they need to be aware for themselves and should also have genetic testing.  She told me that Bob Marley died of melanoma. Obviously he has a very different skin type than me. His was on his foot and it was just thought to be a wart. The feet is apparently the worst place to have melanoma as it tends to be the most aggressive.

The Bad: (Dave)

Dave has confirmed he is going to go to send us to court again over pet expenses, the dance expenses and some other outstanding special expenses he doesn’t want to pay.  He, also, claimed our older daughter on his taxes as a dependent for his 2014 return when she lived most the time during that year (8 out of the 12 months) with me.  He didn’t even pay child support during that period.  He knows that wasn’t right but it is more to his tax advantage.  That doesn’t matter and now I am being taxed $732 for rightfully claiming her.  I told Dave that he can pay me that amount if his tax savings is more and it has to be by February 5 so I don’t have to pay interest or this will become another Revenue Canada (he can be reassessed and have to pay more plus interest) and another legal issue.  He said he isn’t paying and is going to fight his support payments because he thinks he missed something in mediation in my documentation that may have affected what he is paying.

The Ugly:  (Me)

The cancerous mark on my right upper shoulder is actually called an “ugly duckling”. I am attaching a picture just so you can see what it looks like in case you ever see this on your body or some one else’s body.

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The Ugly: (Dave)

I am getting very adept at identifying the unreasonable, misplaced anger, blame and threatening dialogue of my ex.

He has been fairly consistent at picking up our daughter on Thursday night to take her to get dinner. He usually picks her up at 5:30 and drops her off by 7:30 at the latest, but usually earlier.

I contacted him on Tuesday to say that our daughter wasn’t able to meet him this Thursday so would he like to see her Friday night or Saturday instead. I don’t think that she has ever cancelled a Thursday night.

He said that wasn’t acceptable because he made plans for her to have dinner with his parents who are visiting for the month of February. He texted her and she told him that she was going to an open house that was being held at one of the high schools she is interested in attending in September.

I told Dave that she was sick too (she is off school today) so that might prevent her from doing anything.  His response: “Oh but you can plan to take her to Claremont when you know my parents are here…big surprise.”

I told him that I have no control over when high schools hold their open house.  It runs from 6 – 8 and she has a cavity to get filled before that at 4:30 p.m.  Again, if she still feels like she does, she might not attend anything. I reminded him that his parents are here for a month and they can see her whenever she isn’t at school or dance practice or have plans that are important to her.

His response: “Oh thanks…as usual you do your own thing around your schedule not others. If (daughter) isn’t coming for dinner then there is no reason for me to be up the peninsula so she will have to wait until Saturday to get the raffle tickets and money.”

 

 

 

 

 

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disappointment, divorce, parenting after separation, support

What’s his excuse this weekend?

It is my ex’s weekend to have our younger daughter. So far, he bailed on her Friday night and left her stranded at her dance studio. My older daughter told me he started drinking at the office before he went downtown for dinner (as is the Friday afternoon custom at their office) so he couldn’t have picked her up anyways.

On Saturday afternoon, my 2 daughters and my younger daughter’s friend and me drove up to Nanaimo. My younger daughter is in a dance festival competition. We have already drove up to Nanaimo twice this week for her performances. She didn’t place in her jazz solo but came in first in her musical theatre trio number.  The festival is during the week so I am sure her dad would say he couldn’t be there because he had to work.  Experience is that my ex can skip work for any reason he wants. He chooses what activities or situations he would like to use to not be available to work. This was not a worthy-in-his-eyes reason to not use work as an excuse to miss an important event for his daughter.

On Sunday she has to be there for 8:30 a.m. It is an hour and a half drive, rainy weather forecast, so we opt to get a hotel and go up the day before.  We have a lot of fun. We stop and pick up treat-type food for the trip. The hotel has a pool so we swim, have dinner out, go bowling and go swimming again before bed.

My younger daughter tells me that her dad mentions that he wants to come up and see her and asks when she performs.  She tells me she doesn’t want him there but she gave him all the information.  I am not sure if it is because she thinks he’ll bring his girlfriend, the fact that he left her stranded on Friday or the fact that she doesn’t want to hope he’ll show up because he disappoints her time and time again.

He didn’t show up.

She placed 3rd out of 12 amazing tappers.  I am so happy for her I cried.  It was a very emotional experience for me.  When we went shopping afterwards and for lunch, I would tell people who asked if she was part of the festival (hair and makeup gave it away) that they were talking to a 3rd place tapper.

She texted her dad to tell him the great news.  I am sure he said lots of nice things to her but I can’t help but be so angry at him for not being there for his daughter to celebrate her success or to be there for encouragement if she didn’t place.

I know that I cannot control his actions.  I can only control my response to his actions and this weekend was over-shadowed by my intense hatred for his behaviour. He is missing out on his kids’ life. I am the lucky one and the blessed one to be able to share in their experiences.  This week was really a week of celebration and learning and growth for my younger daughter in performing and adjudication.

A theme of the adjudicator this week was this:  It is only her opinion at this particular moment in time and it is so difficult to judge based on all the unique talent and routines that one is better than the other. However, it is a competition and she has to reward placements or not (some categories may have only received “participation” certificates if she didn’t award them a score deserving of any placement.)  Authenticity is important.  She does not like fake facial expressions and can see in the eyes if those expressions aren’t genuine. The piece of paper awarding you a placement is not the most important aspect of the experience. The adjudication sheet listing comments on how you can improve and the pointed out areas of strengths and weaknesses is the most important information to focus on.

My adjudication to my ex is similar. I have no dance experience or background. Yet, I was able to call the “first place” winner. Some things are just obvious. You, my ex, are a first place loser. Anyone who is aware of your priorities and lack of consciousness over your choices can call that one. You can say all the nice and supportive sounding things you want but authenticity is revealed by your actions. You don’t pay a dime towards her dance classes, her costumes, her festival fees, even though you signed a mediation agreement saying you would be paying for 50% of these fees until our house sells then it goes up to 70%; you don’t show up at her performances; you tell her she has to miss dance classes if it interferes with your schedule of hockey on days you are suppose to pick her up or drop her off and you don’t help with any fundraising or volunteering for her financial benefit. Just my opinion from my direct experience and witnessing over the past 2 1/2 years. But the most important opinion is that of your daughters.

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divorce, lying selfishenss, parenting after separation

Flakey Father

Well, yet another disappointment in the world of father/daughter. This time he left his 12-year old stranded at her dance studio. It was the last class of the night and she was done at 7:30 this evening, Friday.

It was my older daughter that alerted me first that her dad wasn’t going to pick up her sister. I was just on my way out the door to meet friends for dinner. I texted him reminding him it was his weekend to pick up our daughter from dance. He said that she texted him last night saying she didn’t need a ride.  When I told him that I suspected that was yet another one of his lies, he sent me a copy of the text. It said that she wasn’t sleeping over. She never wants to sleep at his place but he still picks her up and buys her McDonalds and drops her off at home. I asked to see what question he texted her first, but he never showed me.

I confirmed that I was not available to get her and that in fact she was expecting him to pick her up since we had that conversation before she went to school in the morning.

He never once apologized; not to me, not to our daughter.  He sent me several texts with excuses–he was downtown having dinner, he didn’t have his car, she said she wasn’t sleeping over, etc.

I told him to take a cab and to meet his obligations and responsibilities to his daughter first.  He seems to think he is punishing me by putting the burden on my shoulders and ruining my plans for the evening. He is clueless to how much he continues to hurt his relationship with his daughters by breaking their trust repeatedly.

My older daughter was also upset.  She was expecting to go with her dad and her younger sister to dinner.  She said she waited around and didn’t make any plans specifically to be able to do that.  She was very concerned that her sister didn’t have a ride home.  She contacted her dad to find out where his vehicle was so she could drive to get her sister. It was at Janice’s place.  How can that woman think it is okay to be with a man as self-centred as my ex?  She must recognize after being with him for 2 years after our separation that A) he rarely sees his youngest daughter but even rarely sees our older daughter who lives with him and B) there is a schedule that he breaks consistently. She must realize, hey, isn’t it your weekend? She has no kids but regardless I have friends without kids who consider his behaviour reprehensible. Does she feel good thinking he is putting her above his kids?  No Janice, he is only putting himself above the needs of his kids. I find his behaviour to be the biggest turn off but this woman has no conscience or she wouldn’t have gone after a married man with kids in the first place screwing around and lying to her husband in the process.

At 7:40 p.m. my daughter called me.  I had just been served my dinner at the restaurant.  “Dad forgot to pick me up.”  There was only one friend left at the dance studio waiting for her ride.  Thankfully, they took my daughter with them.  I texted my ex to say where she was and where he could pick her up but he never responded.

I picked up my younger daughter and I drove a half hour in the opposite direction to get my older daughter. We came back to my place for a sleep over and we played board games for the rest of the night and laughed a lot.

The 3 of us are driving up to Nanaimo tomorrow to stay over night to support my younger daughter in her dance competition on Sunday. Her dad has not seen one of her solo performances this year and bailed on the second show of her group performances. She said she doesn’t want him to come. I think that is easier to deal with than wanting him there but knowing he won’t show up. He still isn’t paying a dime towards her dance as per the mediation agreement that he continues to be in breach of since November 2014.

My older daughter and I are going to a university open house on Tuesday night.  She got a ticket for her dad but he doesn’t want to go. He never went to university so he may not find this event important but it underscores his lack of support for his daughters. For me, it underscores that if my daughter does go back home to university that my younger daughter and I may move back home with her her too. I never would have taken my kids away from their dad but he really couldn’t care less.

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