Friday, July 28, 2006


Discovered on NoWhereGirl's blog

I am 23% Asshole/Bitch.
Not an Asshole or a Bitch.
I am not an asshole or a bitch, more like an asshole and bitch target. I have no backbone, and fold at even a slightly insincere look. I need to stop crying, I am such a wuss.

BTW - I posted on my other blog.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

On counseling, Weakness, Dinner And Sexy Dresses

counseling: Went to counseling. It was better. Wasn't under attack. Talked through some stuff. Actually had useful discussion about the way we talk/communicate to/with each other.

I'd tell you what I found useful. But I don't actually remember... Must have been good stuff.

[condensed version of one part]
Mrs_C brought up the "Should we be having sex?" issue. She kept referring to it obliquely through the session. The counselor could tell there was a subtext, but Mrs_C wasn't going there (I will grant that she's still a little embarrassed to talk about sex openly). Finally I just explained what had happened. I explained that I thought I was being played. Mrs_C said she wasn't. The counselor said "There - an example of assumptions getting in the way of honest communications." I pointed out that Mrs_C had said "Are we ready to take our relationship to the next level?" after working me up - which I interpreted as using sex as bait. I said flat out "She's prancing around in these little outfits, more daring than she's ever worn before, dangling it in front of me and then says 'Should we really?' She's waving it in front of me and expecting me to come running like a dog with my tongue hanging out - and when I did she shuts me down - twice!". I explained that I got the message loud and clear and that was why I had been totally business with Mrs_C all week. She wants it that way, that's what she gets - I also said that was why I had refused to go on vacation for a week with her and the kids - if getting shut down twice had pissed me off, then what would a week of it do? Mrs_C said that wasn't what she meant. That she just didn't think separated coupled were supposed to have sex. The counselor said you should do whatever you want because there is no right and wrong or "supposed to do". I was like "Whatever".


My Dad asked me on Thursday or so why I was still going to counseling. I told him "pure politics". The appointment is made, and my audience of two (kids) is not going to have their mother be able to say that I didn't give it a solid try. I want to have them experience a couple of weeks of peace and quiet as contrast to the histrionics of their mother before announcing "It won't work." He said - "Just understand what you goal is when you go into these sessions. Keep that in mind."


Mrs_C said she wanted to come with me somewhere I was going on Saturday - Home Depot or the Co-op Home Centre or something - various errands. I couldn't think of a reason to say no. Got to just start realising I'm allowed to just say no for arbitrary reasons. I'm too polite.

Yeah I did it with Mrs_C on Saturday... I'm not that bright. I'm just not always thinking about whether I'm being maneuvered or not. She helps me carry something up to the apartment - I'm thinking she's just being extra helpful for its own sake. Nope - I later realise that it was to maneuver me to let her up to the apartment. We put the stuff up there and I'm going to take her home. She wants a hug.



It's been awhile. One thing leads to another. She says "There's no agenda - I'm just so horny." Yes. I know. I'm a sad human being.

Colour me idiot. Colour me male. Colour me thinking "She said there was no agenda - twice..." Colour me forgetting my son's words "She's a master manipulator."

How did Nowhere Girl put it...? "I have SO used that one before."

It was fine. She described it as "hot" and "tension relieving". We parted well with no issues or collar jerking.


dinner: The next day I'm picking up the kids to begin the holiday around 5pm. I have to drop by earlier (4pm) to pick up some tools - I'm building this desk in the apartment. When I get there and Mrs_C tells me that daughter thinks we're (the kids and I) going out for supper. Mrs_C tells me daughter has been picking out her dress (this fringed red number I bought for her in Mexico). Mrs_C says daughter's been looking forward to dressing up and going out and planning it all afternoon.. I had no such idea, but if daughter wants to go out for supper - well ok. Mrs_C says "Can I come?" I'm a little choked, a little taken aback - it was supposed to be the launch of "our" vacation - we were supposed to be discussing the planning details of our vacation. And now Mrs_C wants to come - and she knew that's what we were doing that night because I told her. She pulls the quivery lip watery eyes thing. Daughter starts getting upset. I'm rattled. I'm focused on the question of getting this desk built, finishing the apartment set-up and getting ready for activities. I'm rattled. I say OK. She says "Well, if you think I'm coming on too strong." (editorial comment: she always pulls that when she always has what she wants and knows it) I say no - let's just go. I ask where we're going to go - because she hasn't been happy with any of the places we've gone in a long time. She says "Anyplace with you is OK by me."

sexy dresses: We go finish part of the desk and then I go back to pick up the ladies. I get there and daughter is done up and Mrs_C is wearing one of her new little summer dress numbers and is all dolled up (appropriate for a summer dress, but still all done up). I'm upset now - I say that the place I had planned wasn't the kind of place to be all dolled up in - it's more of a jeans place (a local budget pasta restaurant). She says it's OK and its only a $14.00 dress she got on sale. I'm "whatever".

I'm pretty cranky - but mostly silent - my tone betrays me. We get to the restaurant and everyone is unhappy and upset. I tell Mrs_C that I think she's playing me and that she has levered her way into the meal and then dresses up in her display outfit to dangle it in front of me.

She says that it is one of the few outfits she has that fits now and that the truth was she just didn't want to eat alone, so she just wangled her way into the meal - and that she just got into dress-up mode with daughter - that they both fed off each other.

Some of the upset dissipated and I said I would go to the bathroom and that when I got back we would all be happy and have a good meal. I washed my face and took some deep breaths and returned. It took a few minutes but we were laughing and happy and the tension was put aside. Poor kids.

While dropping Mrs_C at the house she says "Let's have a short walk". We talk and she says that she thought that there might be less tension between us since we "made love". I'm dumb, but not that dumb. I'm cluing in to my own stupidity.

The kids and I leave to go to my parents' place - my parents were leaving for awhile and we are watching their house (our vacation is day trips and one overnighter).

While driving there I apologise to my kids for getting upset and that I had leapt to some wrong conclusions, and that I was sorry about making things difficult at supper. My daughter informed me that she was just going to wear her regular clothes and that it was her mother that told her to dress up and wear the dress I had bought for daughter in Mexico. That Mrs_C said that they should dress up and look good and make me feel bad about leaving. They tell me that their Mom was playing me. That it was the set-up I thought it was.

The slow burn sets in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gone Fishin'

I will only sporadically be around for the next couple of weeks. I am on vacation with my kids.

See you all when I make it on the net, or after Aug 7 or so...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time With Daughter

She called on Sunday night. She was crying. She missed me. Mrs_C said she should call me. Daughter later told me Mrs_C had tried to maneuver daughter to lay a guilt trip on me - you know "Tell him you miss him and if he were living here you wouldn't have to miss him"

Even my 10 year old daughter saw through that one...

On Monday I made arrangements for her to come over to my place for supper. Son was out with his cousins at the beach.

I have her in various summer camps at the university (drama, dance, choral) - so after work I went and picked her up. We went for drinks (tonic water and lime - make it a little weird and adult in taste so they remember it [heh]) at a cool restaurant/bar downtown. I was going to pick up a little Vietnamese food at the place next door, but it was closed. We instead trooped off to a dingy chinese/oriental grocery store over in our chinatown that I like (Mrs_C hates it... messy, a little worn, a little dingy). We looked at weird chinese food stuff for awhile (like going to a museum or such) and then picked out some dim sum bits for supper.

We steamed the dumplings and sticky rice with pork in lotus leaves, and I lightly painted the vegetarian spring rolls with oil and baked them in the toaster oven. Man, that worked slick on the spring rolls!!! Fast and no hassle - no deep frying either (a good thing since I'm on a low fat diet).

She ate and ate and ate.

She said Mrs_C had been criticising her for eating too much. I told her that was rubbish. If she eats the right things - healthy things - and stays active she should eat as much as she wants - she's a growing girl.

I don't need Mrs_C's eating and food pathology passed on to my children.

We finished eating, left the dishes and cuddled up on the couch to watch some TV for an hour or so - cartoon channel. We talked about this and that. It was happy and it was peaceful. It was very close.

I walked her to the house - about 7 minutes away. She was happy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Asked A Woman Out

I asked a woman out today. She works in another work unit in the building. I've known her for a few years - we like each other. I asked her to go to a jazz club on Friday night. She said yes.

Then she sent me an email saying no.

She said she recently got dumped and had been broken hearted, and just started seeing another guy. She said she wants to see where the other relationship goes, and doesn't want to mess it up.

"You are a great guy and I hope you don't take this personally,

I wandered down to her office and told her that I was fine with everything, and that I had taken a flyer not knowing if she was dating someone or not.

She said that given her situation and mine, it would not work for her.

I said I was sorry if I had made things awkward for her at all.

She said no, and hoped I was OK with it.

I said I was.


I had previously checked out whether she was dating or not with a mutual friend in her office, and to my friend's knowledge she wasn't dating as of a couple of weeks ago.

I suspect one of two scenarios: 1) She got cold feet because of potential complications. 2) Her explanation is 100% legit.

Either way, I probably took the leap too soon.

Oh, well.

Maybe after my situation clears up.



[later edit]

i just got off the phone with my friend. she said the woman i asked out was sincere both in initially wanting to go out with me, and the situation of her declination.

my friend said they both said they thought i had "seriously brass balls" (their words, not mine) for asking that quickly after separating and not choking - and handling the turndown with aplomb and grace...

as above


now i need to find someone else to go out with Friday night

anybody up for an evening of acid jazz with a live DJ at a funky bistro?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Moved In

I've had the beds/mattresses since last week. My brother and I assembled most of the bunkbed, and I finished it mid-week while waiting for the TV guys to come hook up my internet and TV service.

I have a TV (parents old one) and some living room furniture. I have a table and some chairs. I have a microwave (my parents old one), coffee maker, and a toaster oven. I have lamps and night tables and things.

I now have some dishes, pots and pans, flatware, cooking utensils, and various other accoutrements of a household.

There is food in the fridge and some stuff in the cupboards.

I have toilet paper and a shower curtain and limited toiletries.

I have the makings of a household. There are still boxes and stuff piled around.

The kids stayed over on Saturday night.

More stuff is still arriving, and as I am sorting out what I have, people who know me (friends and co-workers) are volunteering more stuff - at times pulling it out of their own cupboards and/or buying me stuff - yeah - some people are buying stuff to make it easier for me.

I've been asked to make a list of what I need.

There is a consensus emerging (directly stated and implied by actions) that most of the people who know me don't want me to go back to Mrs_C.

It's not just because they are my friends and they are helping me out, or are bailing me out of an action I've taken... in the cases where I have inquired this is a well formed opinion. These folks apparently haven't been happy for some years with how Mrs_C conducted herself toward me.

The 50+ women are the harshest in their comments.

Not blowing my horn, but apparently I am the best Dad they've ever seen - and apparently a good spouse too... Just so my head doesn't swell, they still happily list various of my other faults - including not getting stuff done on time, forgetting things, and a messy office.

Also, apparently no one else has noticed any problem with me being able to express myself emotionally.

I'm putting the above comments in this post, not to ask for accolades or anything, but because I need to keep reinforcing positive ideas. Emotionally, for me, sometimes things are good and sometimes things are bad. I need to reinforce to me, in my own mind, that I am a good person and that I am not "destroying our family".

I am also posting these comments because I am looking around with clearer eyes. Some of what I am seeing is new to me. My parents' exhortations to "just get some sleep" are proving to be true. I feel like I have just woken up. I'm a little wobbly and a little groggy, but I have new eyes for this situation.

By saying it out loud (or by posting it here) it becomes more real. The understanding becomes more real.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I Must Not Think With My Dick

I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.
I Must Not Think With My Dick.

um, yeah

Mrs_C has lost about 15-20 lbs since the really bad turmoil began.

She looked good before. She looks really hot now.

She went out and bought some new clothes. They are much more provocative than she has ever worn before. She has made sure she has been wearing said clothes around me.

On Sunday, I almost faltered... (It's been a couple of weeks and I woke up dreaming about her, or rather, about getting it on with her).

I know she's doing it to try to lead me by my dick (as I have noted previously), but my head has usually been in control of that portion of my anatomy, so I'm aware that it is a deliberate strategy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Other Things On My Mind

1) I am thinking I will see how we survive in the apartment over the next month or two - especially come school. If we are doing OK - even though I don't like the idea of the kids having to share the room, it will only be for week on week off.

I could clear up some serious amount of bills by staying in the apartment and not trying for the house. Next spring my car payment is dead, another payment is dead, and I will have knocked a huge whack off my credit cards - I would be in a much stronger position to buy the house. I could make it right now, but I would have to shave some corners, and in a couple of months have to lean on my parents.

Even if housing prices went up by 5 - 7% (our city has a fairly strong upward trend in property prices right now - booming economy) I would have about $1200 per month after those payments are gone. That would make things much easier - even if I had to pay another $5-10,000 for the house.

2) My poor son (14) is being driven to a state of mental exhaustion by Mrs_C and by the stress of the situation. I feel very badly for him. I really want the apartment to be ready (should be ready Saturday) so he can have a refuge.

My only consolation is that I know he will survive. He will not have a breakdown in the next week, and he will then have my place to escape to.

I have to be able to help him in the long term, so I have to leave him hanging a little right now.

3) Mrs_C wants me to go to her sister's condo in the mountains in August. I don't think I will. When I mentioned it to the kids, they rolled their eyes and were not very favourably responsive toward - negative in fact.

4) Somehow, when I was imagining things before hand, my place was a whole lot "cooler" than it is...

I'm a little disappointed.

I think it's also because it's a shambles and half moved into. I think I will be happier once I am actually moved in and have been able to spend a couple of hundred dollars on customising it.

A few African curios and masks, some Indian bits and pieces from my travel collection (remember the boxes Mrs_C made me put away?). A few of my friend's paintings - it should be much better.

I'm just anxious. I want it to be nice.


My Dad came up to visit my place tonight. He said he thought "it will be an entirely livable space." Yes - he speaks like that...

Time to sleep. Time to give the thinking a rest.

Joint Counselling Session

I arrived shortly before we were to begin. I saw Mrs_C walking toward the counsellor's office. She had obviously dressed up for the session - I complimented her on how she looked.

She said she had dressed hot for me.

I thanked her and repeated my compliment.

As for the session, it sucked.

It went well for the first little while. We were discussing things with the counsellor moderating and asking leading questions. Mrs_C was spending a bunch of time apologising (not what made it go well at the beginning - I tried to stop her from doing so - I don't really want an apology - I have no need or desire that she abase herself for me).

We were talking about Mrs_C spending her time emoting instead of listening to me.

Mrs_C tried to lead in by saying "I don't believe that he really wants this to work out and he has just been laying the groundwork to let me down easy over the last year"

The counsellor says "If he didn't want it to work, why would he be here?" Cut her off short on a number of her "poor me" and "i'm so vulnerable" and "victim" plays.

The counsellor was asking us to outline what we wanted out of the relationship. Mrs_C had her say. I began to give a well thought out analysis and outline of what i wanted (i had written it out prior to the session, just to be clear in my own head).

We were previously talking about me spending too much time on analysing situations and trying to troubleshoot them, instead of addressing emotional issues.

Both mrs_c and the counsellor butted in to my outline and said that they thought that my answer was a little clinical - that it lacked an expression of emotion. I'm thinking "what the fuck?"

I said i preferred to stay in the realm of the tangible instead of romping off into things like emotionally based accusations like "you are having an affair"

So while i was thinking about that they started talking about my difficulty in being prepared to address the emotion behind a comment - like "you are having an affair"

um, what?

i should address the emotion behind the comment and ignore the fallacious accusation? the damaging accusation? an accusation that if left unchallenged becomes the truth because i didn't challenge it?

yup - that is what the counsellor said.

that's where it went off the rails

Mrs_C, who had been sniffling and apologising through the early part of the session, changed tack. I had been relatively strongly and adamantly been stating my case. Mrs_C had been crying, apologetic and meek, I was large, deep-voiced, and strong about my grievences.


Mrs_C played the counsellor.

I forced the conversation back to me saying what i wanted.

Mrs_C dropped a bomb in the middle "Can I ask a question about something I want?" she interupts, "Why won't he hug me when we see each other?"

a lie

the counsellor asks "what is your response to that?"

i say "It's not true, and there was only one occasion since i moved out that i refused to hug and that was last night". I then gave a series of examples of when i had hugged her and challenged mrs_c to name any other time than the night before.

the counsellor chided me for getting into an examination of the statement instead of looking at the emotional need underneath the statement

i said that i preferred to deal with reality, not bullshit

that pissed off the counsellor

mrs_c then additionally accused me of not wanting to discuss where the kids would be staying on what schedule. i said that it was a non-issue until my apartment was ready to be set up and until we had decided how summer vaction was going to work. i said i was committed to the principle of maximum exposure for each parent and would absolutely fair and equitable in my requests.

that pissed off the counsellor

she said that it was fair to ask for a discussion about where the kids would go

i said that i had been out of the house for 6 days, that i didn't have my apartment set up, and that i had not been given a reponse on summer vacation schedules - and that the kids were at the house with their mom every day until my apartment got set up and that i saw some multi-hour discussion of kid sharing as ridiculous until other issues were settled because the kids would be staying with their mom except on an ad-hoc basis until i got the apartment finished - and that a multi-hour discussion would only delay that!!!

then they were both on me about my position

a completely logical position

1) a decision can't be made right now
2) a discussion is out of the question until the other issues are addressed
3) mrs_c is working late shift, an arrangment is in place until the weekend, so the issue is irrelevant until at least the weekend and should be deferred until then

they both went off the deep end and said that my position failed to address the fundamental need for mrs_c to have the security she needed to have with regard to the kids


about 1 hour and 20 minutes into the session mrs_c had the counsellor's number and deftly threw bombs in at just the right time to have the counsellor do her dirty work

you see, her manueuver meant i was on the defensive and answering all the questions instead of her

the same as the "discussions" in garage. throw bombs - keep me answering and on the defensive - and she doesn't have to answer shit or answer for anything

i was on the defensive and getting worn down for about 20 more minutes

as i realised how this was working i cut them both off

i said loudly and with command "I think this session is over. Two hours is enough. This is just like the discussions in the garage. I'm done!"

I got up to leave.

The counsellor looked seriously pissed off. I was so mad I didn't even look at mrs_c.

The counsellor said "Yes, we're past time anyway, it's after 6 [pm]. I need to get going."

I said "thank-you for your time" and left.

Mrs_C came after and I outlined my above stated position again. I said I would not engage in the discussion until the weekend. She agreed.

She then repeated that she had dressed hot to try to attract me. She then went on to point out that the dress she was wearing was a size 4 (when we married she was a 9/10) and that if nothing else the separation had been good for her figure - she was the smallest she had ever been in her adult life.

I replied "Always a silver lining" and walked away.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sunday Morning Coffee With Mrs_C

[a rant]

On Sunday morning I get a call from Mrs_C about 8:55am. I'm still sleeping. I'd been up 'til 2am. I was moving in until around midnight, and couldn't sleep back at my parents - so I looked at real estate listings until 2am.

I had briefly discussed my future housing with my Mom when we were out getting mattresses and stuff. I cautiously mentioned that I would likely be approaching them about part of the costs or co-signing and other efforts related to getting into a house - I want that 3rd bedroom. Payments on a house in the size and price I want would cost less than rent of a 3 bedroom house or apartment. Mom said that wohatever would be would be, and that Dad was the finance guy to figure out how anything would work.

(Why would I be asking them? Because it's easier than trying to lift the whole weight myself. Easier than some of the scraping and hardship that would entail within a solo effort.)

I deliberately left the listings I printed out on my Dad's printer in in home office (he's retired - he's doing some work as a research fellow at the university and some cosulting, but he's around 80 years old). Yes, I know it's a bit of game playing on my part, and I'd live in a hole if were just me (I've done it before) to avoid leaning on my parents, but we're talking about my kids here - I'd sell my sorry ass on the streets for them. I figured that Dad would find the listings (Dad hasn't seen a piece of paper anywhere that he hasn't wanted to read or snoop at... this was like leaving a steak in front of a doghouse), they would see I'm not looking for the moon and stars, they would discuss it, and they would come up with a plan that would work for them. It would also allow them to pre-emptively think about and discuss the matter whithout me having to make a "formal request". It worked perfectly. They already had a preliminary plan in place in less than a day and had already spoken to their lawyer (on a Sunday no less) about some of their ideas. It included a rent-to-own structure for the first year followed by a mortgage assumption. This would also avoid any possibility of Mrs_C trying to grab any piece of the home (and my parent's money) as an asset in a divorce proceeding.

But back to the phone call from Mrs_C.

She calls. She wants me to read something. I say "Uh, I was asleep." She says "oh, I thought you were going to be up early to work on things..." The night before I had begged off coming in to the house for tea when dropping the kids off. I had told her I needed to be up early to do stuff (9am on Sunday morning is early for me, by the way - also early for her - she usually sleeps until about 11 - 11:30am Sunday)

She wants me to read something. Says its important. Says she wants me to read it as soon as possible.

I groggily agree. I fall right back to sleep. I wake up and hour later. I'm up in flash - in a panic - good lord, I've kept Mrs_C waiting. I stumble out to the kitchen, where I see my Mom reading the paper and tell her I'm late to meet Mrs_C can she help me by getting my food for breakfast ready while I shower.

Mom is up right away and is getting stuff in order, and then asks "OK, what time were you supposed to meet her? Should you be giving her a call?" I say "No, I said I would call her when I was ready, but that was an hour ago and I fell asleep."

Mom asks "OK, so she called you?"

Me "Yes"

Mom "Do you want to meet with her?"

Me "Not really"

Mom "And so why are you getting your shit in a knot?"

And it dawns on me. I'm still scurrying. I'm still reacting in panic.

Mom "Why not tell her you'll meet with her when you damn well feel like it?"

By this time I was thinking - yeah - why did i go into panic mode?

I proceeded at an even pace, but still went to meet Mrs_C at a coffee shop. I didn't apologise for keeping her waiting or even mention how long it took.

She gives me this section from her Dr. Phil book to read that has something about being a "demanding taker" and not a "giver" and about being demanding and not allowing other people to give in their own way - always demanding that giving be on the "taker's terms".

She said that she had realised that was something she did. She went into some long half weepy apology.


I had arranged for daughter to go horseback riding later that afternoon (her first time). Mrs_C asked if she could come along. I was really taken aback. I said no, I didn't see how it would work - I had made the arrangments on the basis of an appeal to kindness/charity that my daughter/kids needed a special outing because of separation related stress. I said it would hardly work to suddenly show up with Mrs_C in tow with no prior notice. I also gave her shit for proposing such a thing with no notice, considering she had known about the outing since Friday.

I told her that I had arranged a bunch of special activities and things to do for the kids based on appeal to kindness because of the divorce and that her coming along would not work in those contexts. I said that a big chunk of my vacation was based on calling in favours surrounding the separation. I talked about some of the elements of that vacation plan.

Can you believe Mrs_C had the audacity to ask to come along? She wanted to come along for most of the activities.

I was hopping mad! I told her that it pissed me off that she was going to try and ride on the coattalis of my planning. I told her I was pissed off that she couldn't even phone her sister to see if we could use their condo in the mountains even though I had been telling Mrs_C to call her since February - and now she wants to ride on the planning I did in one or two days when she couldn't get off her ass since February? I let her have it. I told her I was pissed at the state of the house and the refrigerator since I left. I told her she bitches at the kids to eat healthily and then doesn't put any food in the friedge to eat - much more healthy food - they're home for summer vacation.

I let fly on all the logistical stuff I did over our whole marriage and how she said I never did anything.

I ranted for some time (about 15 minutes). It was all polite, and all accurate, and no repetition - all the things I did that involved planning and management that had fallen apart in a matter of 5 days after I left. That especially included all the menu and meal planning - as well a making sure there was a steady supply and variety of healthy meals, lunches, and after-school snacks. Most of the management of the kids school and activity stuff fell to me too.

It felt good to get those comments off my chest.

I told her that when I brought the kids back from the horseback riding I had better find quality food in the fridge or she'd be in some serious shit from me.

blah, blah, blah a little while longer

I left to continue my apartment move-in.


For the record, she had bought food, but missed buying drinks for the lunches my daughter needs to take to her arts camp this week - so at 11:30 at night I'm off buying juice boxes.

Good planning Mrs_C...


Little of my writing muse inhabits me today.

Moving. Furniture, boxes. Son helped me carry stuff, so did daughter, so did a friend of mine because Mrs_C took the kids to the beach with their cousins.

My Mom bought me a mattress and box springs, and bunk beds and mattresses for the kids. It's a two bedroom apartment. In the next couple of months I am looking for a place with 3 bedrooms. The bunk beds are the kind that can be split into two single beds.

My friend has a pile of art he did (he is an artist) in storage. He said he would store in on my walls if he gets it back. I accepted.

I took daughter out horseback riding at a friend's place and son went along - he ended spending the day shooting a BB gun all day. They both had loads of fun. They didn't want to go back to Mrs_C when I took them home, so I let them come with me to the apartment for the last of the evening.

When I picked them up to go out to the farm, daughter said "Hey Dad! Whatever you do, you're not allowed to ask us 'How are you doing? Are you OK? Do you have any feelings you want to talk about?'"

I started to answer her telling her "I don't want to ask you anything you don't feel comfortable in talking about..." when son interupts and says "Yeah, and don't walk up to us and say 'You know, you can hug me if you want... [oh, give meee a huuuug]' (last part said in a simpering soto voice).

They both burst into laughter.

Son says "Yeah, she makes like she's trying to comfort us and what she really wants is us to comfort her."

The time on the farm riding and shooting and eating burgers and pie and ice cream was a wonderful no stress zone.

Mrs_C continues to be REALLY weird. She's kinda falling apart. But that's a story for a different time.

Everything that is really important is out.

I have to rescue my winter clothes and coats, and my computer books and my other books (the ones in the boxes) - and my recipe books, but that's it.

Mrs_C is working a late shift, so I have clear time after work to get it out.

As my head clears I have a pretty good idea that even though my official response is still "I want everything to work out" and "This separation is meant to give us the distance we need to learn how to communicate in a way that doesn't cause problems."

Everybody else seems to see the writing on the wall.

I do to. I'm play-acting until all my stuff is out of the house.

I can see it getting complicated and ugly, but there is equal chance Mrs_C will just collapse on her own.

Me - I'm making sure that I establish myself as solid ground and shelter that my children can seek.

They are already avoiding her weepy tragic, headgame, poor me stuff. They are already being subjected to multi-hour conversations about "how they feel". I said that those conversations were one of the major reasons I left.

Yes - I am documenting it. I will only allow it to continue long enough to document it.

Yesterday the kids told her they wanted the option of making their own choice as to where they lived.

I would like to say that I have been excrutiatingly fair (with the occasional jab) about their mother. I am trying to dissuade them from some of their more bitter comments, by telling them that calling down their Mom will not win me over more - that they have all of my love, and that i will never abandon them or leave them without support.

I have told them that they should beware of bias on both sides - her and I, and to beware of the politics that will inevitably come out of both their mother and I. That they should view some of our statements as attempts to win them over, and that even if I may do it now and again, I am trying not to, but that they should form their own opinions and make their own determinations - not adopt ours.


Each day is a new day.

Friday, July 07, 2006


My daughter (10) cried when I left last night. That was bad. I tried to console her as best I could before I left.

When I went to sleep on the first full day away, it was hard to not have someone to hold.

I still can't take looking at our backyard and our garden. The tree-fort I built for the kids, the raised beds I built - with Mrs-C's perfectly tended and spaced rows in them. The flowers. The deck, the doghouse (all-weather +100 to -55) and kennel, the bricked and groveled pathways. We did it together and for each other. It is iconic of a dying or dead dream. That yard is the hardest thing to deal with.

Mrs_C is losing her shellshock and is starting to work me to come back - already. She called me on my cell at 8:30am to tell me that she read an article on the net that said that time-outs from a marriage shouldn't be more than 3 weeks. I said we would stick to plan and see the counselor next week and see how things worked out.

I/we framed the situation as a need for a time-out to see if things will work, with the possibility things could work out - that line was specifically formulated for daughter.

Even Mrs_C used the word "if" things work out.

Now she is trying to rewrite things.

Not unexpected.

I'm not going to the west coast with my parents as I originally planned. I can't afford it. Well, I can, but prudence dictates that I hoard/hide cash and/or pay down credit card debt - that can always be converted back to cash.

I'm planning a pretty funky set of day and overnight trips within a couple of hours of my city. I am calling in favours and leaning on friends and relatives.

I seem to have a surfeit of goodwill toward me out there.

I am also cheesily leaning on the happiness of my children and their well-being to make people feel guilty - and making them all feel good. Most of my friends and co-workers are pathological and career do-gooders, so appealing to their sense of do-goodness is a fine idea.

My daughter has a smile and a personality that would make Sauron want to bake brownies with her. My son (14) is highly thought of by my do-gooder friends and family as well.

People want to help me out. That is good.

I am taking daughter out to learn how to ride a horse starting this Sunday - for free - a friend - this horse is a mare with a new colt (4 weeks old). This friend had a bad divorce about a year ago. He has grown children, and grand-kids about my daughters age. He has realised his errors of life focus - being in the "action" - and is looking for redemption for being a grumpy regularly absent father by being the nicest grandfather he can. He is thrilled to teach my daughter to ride.

I am leaning on friends and relatives with cottages and livestock farms to have us do stuff at their places, stay for free, and show us around.

I think it will be OK. The only potential negative vector, as always, will be if Mrs_C decides to lose it...

My apartment is OK. Only two bedrooms right now - the kids will have to share and bunk-bed it for the next couple of months while I sort out permanent arrangements. I'm looking for a house (dog considerations).

I will be furnished in early "Art Scroungo" style. I will have to sew furniture covers and curtains. I think I will be able to do OK from a decorating and style sense. I want to have nice surroundings for myself and for the kids.

When I talked to my son a month or so back, and we drove past some rental townhouses, he said "Hey Dad - can we decorate any place we get? Can we have pictures on the wall? [girl from school] lives in one of those places, and it looks like they are ready to move out on a moments notice. That they don't really live there. Can we put up pictures and stuff to make it ours?"

He's right. Even if it is a transitional low(er) cost temporary apartment (it's only a couple of blocks from our house - walking distance for the kids), it needs to be someplace we are moving to. Not somewhere we are moving because we are escaping from somewhere else.

I will make a home for myself and my children.

Cadbury Has Left The Building - Part 2

In the morning I woke up, showered, put on the same clothes, called home to say I was coming and went there.

I called work and said I wouldn't be coming in.

Just as I arrived I got a panic call about a network problem and a server issue and some other shit. I had to go fix it. I suppose it's good to be indispensable.

After that was done, Mrs_C and I talked calmly for a bit. Mrs_C agreed things would be better with a "time-out" from each other and from pushing each other's buttons and anxiety points.

I prepared and ate lunch with her and my kids. It was good lunch. After we explained to them what would be happening. They took it OK.

I spent the afternoon getting all my hook-ups (power, phone, etc) done. I did a little packing my stuff - all the financial papers and business records.

I was going to move the boxes out of the house, but Mrs_C had gone normal, and she said it wasn't and issue, and I didn't want to provoke her.

She asked me - "just out of interest", she said - why would I pack the boxes of papers first instead of clothes or personal effects? So I told her that I had prepared a checklist for the event of an acrimonious parting and that the top priority on the list was financial documents. Even if the acrimony had dissolved that was still the task list that was present in my head, and I hadn't thought about re-ordering that list. She said "That makes perfect sense. That fits with your ways of doing things. Now I understand."

Just to make sure no shit would happen if I left the boxes, I pointed out that if she fucked up the deal I've worked up to fix that nagging financial issue from my business (which will be worth tens of thousands in written off obligation - my appeal about improperly applied penalties and stuff is almost complete and appears like it will be successful) she would be on the hook for half of that amount under our jurisdiction's laws.

She said that she wouldn't have done anything no matter how mad she got, but that the additional incentive of being freed of the penalties and payments would be a godsend in all scenarios.

Yeah. Too bad people. My parents had the same opinion as you "You told her what? I sure hope you know what your doing. What if she goes unbalanced between now and then?"

I had some delicate handling to do there. I also wanted to make sure there were no accusations of hiding anything. I also didn't have any brainpower left to make any shit up - so I defaulted to telling the truth and trying to protect my interests within that context.

The boxes are all still there in exactly the shape I left them.

Later we ate supper with the kids again, and also went to fix one of our roof vents.

It broke during the repair job and we bought a replacement. It was too dark to finish the job and I left for my parents.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cadbury Has Left The Building - Part 1

I'm out. I've Left. I'm sleeping at my parent's place. I have an apartment I will get possession of on Friday.

On Monday I told you about Mrs_C's idea of a no pressure living arrangement. I told her on Tuesday that my mind was made up that we should split. She wanted to talk about it.

We went for a walk. The weather has been beautiful lately.

Three and a half hours later we arrived home. She had pressured and argued and pressed and button pushed and wheedled and guilted me for the whole period.

We went for coffee. A half an hour later I said "OK. I give. I give up. I'll stay. I succumb. You win. I can't take any more."

We arrived home approx 11:30pm. We were in the garage again. She was on about me having to want to stay, not just responding to being pushed. I had to REALLY want to stay.

I said "I already said yes. I already gave in. You get what you want. You have your way. I'm staying. What more do you want from me? My soul? Because you can have that too, if you'll just stop."

She said "No, I just have to know that you REALLY want to stay."

I lost it.

I kicked the tire on her car several times - somewhere in me I was concerned about damaging her hubcap (yes, I'm a little uptight). I wheeled around - there was the wall. The garage is drywalled inside.

I hit it. I hit it again. I hit it again. I hit it again. I hit it again. I hit it again.

I don't know how many times I hit the wall. It was pretty much destroyed - nothing left between the studs. My hand was bleeding.

She stood and looked.

She said "I didn't realise you were that angry at me."

I said "No matter what the issue is, your methods remain the same you pressure, pressure, pressure until I give. And then you pressure me to BELIEVE what you want as well. I can't cope. I can't do this anymore."

I looked at the wall and began to pull the remaining wallboard off so the holes wouldn't be so obvious. I said "You need to feed the dog right now so that [son] doesn't see this. He doesn't need to see this as an emotional response. It's not appropriate."

I got a pry bar and pulled the remaining parts off. I said we need to come up with a cover story as to what happened to the wall.

The door opened. Daughter looks out. She says "Were you banging on the door? I thought you were locked out."

Thinking fast (and pretty well for my chaotic state of mind) I say sorry for the noise and tell her we saw a wasp coming out of the crack in the drywall and were worried there was a wasp nest in the wall in the garage (we have had wasp nests in our shed each of the last three years, and once a bee's nest in the attic of the garage). She looks at us and says "OK. I just thought you wanted inside and forgot your keys."

We sent her off to bed. I had kept my bleeding hand hidden. I don't know if she bought it, but it was plausible enough for the moment.

She went to bed.

I told Mrs_C I had to go. I had to clean my hand and get a bandage. I said I'd be back, but I had to go.

I left.

I went to my parents house (approx 11:50pm). I phoned first so I wouldn't be barging in. I asked my Dad to get out some alcohol or astringent - he wanted to know what happened. I said I had a cut. I'd be there soon.

I cleaned my hand when I got there. I was worried I had broken it. My shoulder hurt like hell from the impacts as well.

They told me I shouldn't be driving. That I shouldn't go back that night. That I needed to sleep.

They were correct.

I called Mrs_C to say I wasn't coming back that night.

She kept saying "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry"

I told her I had to sleep. I said it as many times as she said I'm sorry. I cut off the call, talked a little, and went to sleep.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Still going

There is relative peace now. Some jumpiness, but no acrimony.

Going out to buy boxes. It's all strangely surreal/unreal.

Mrs_C has come up with an idea that we could still live together but be more distant. A "no pressure" live together arrangement.

I have said that I don't think it will work, and that parting is the only option.

She is all very accomodating now - she's still thinking maybe I will fold, or agree to stay a "few more days". I still feel myself being sucked in toward agreeing - it would be so much easier (or would it? i think not). I can only think why wasn't she this accomodating before? If she had displayed any of the ability to be agreeable before, we wouldn't be here. Her ideas and language are exactly what I want to hear.

My Mom says "You know, it makes me think of how all these prisoners and convicts suddenly learn all the right things to say to get past a judge or a parol board. All that contrition, all that sorrow, all those right words."


Mrs_C and I have been discussing counselling for us and the kids.

I'm very tired and the words are not coming to me, so that's all I'm going to type.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

How does this work?

Those of you who have been through the divorce/splitting thing:

How does this work? How do you go about packing your shit and walking out the door?

That's all I can think of. I don't want to pack up around the kids - they have enough moments of drama to deal with. So I'm just thinking I'll pack up when they are not around. I think I'll take Tuesday off and do most of it then.

I'm not sure how I will deal with the emotional pressure from Mrs_C between now and then - to stay.

I'm thinking I will sleep at my parents place. I can't endure another night like last night.

I'm so sore today - fibromyalgia pain so bad I could scream. Mrs_C wheedling and working me hard to stay (even just a few days... she says), saying she can prove she'll change. Daughter alternating crying and brave. Son taciturn. Little sleep. Jaw and head about to explode, and the fibromyalgia pain.

I hope it doesn't sound whiny to post the above paragraph. It's just pretty overwhelming.

This is the hardest thing ever - told her i was leaving - told the kids too

As above.

She's resisting with all the tricks in the book.

Daughter was quite upset - especially after Mrs_C did a particularly nasty piece of manipulation. I called her on it. Mrs_C fessed up and apologised.

Daughter was still upset.

My mom cut some chques on Thursday to pay the initial costs associated with getting the apartment and booking my daughter's summer classes,

Asked my Dad on Friday (before telling Mrs_C) "Is this the right thing to do?" His response "That is only, and can be only, your decision. I will not answer with an answer that can be used as the basis for a later decision... [pause] I will, however, tell you that your mother and I have no reservations what-so-ever about the decision you appear to have already made."

Yes, my Dad actually talks like that. That was my Dad at his emotional finest (or close to it).

I was going to wait until after the long weekend. One last weekend as a family. Kids and fireworks. All that.

On Friday I was going to drop son off and proceed to my appointment with the apartment people. Son didn't want to get out of the vehicle - wanted to go with me - wanted to know what my mission without him was. After some hassle I said "Do you really want to go with me for this? You may not like what you are about to find out."

He says "I can probably guess. And Mom is the person who would have a problem with it."

I fill out the paperwork. He asks when I'm telling her and daughter. I say "Maybe Monday, maybe Tuesday - after finalizing the apartment (credit checks, reference checks, employment verification, blah, blah). He says "What is the point of that? Then she'll be all having a happy weekend and BAM you hit her with that next week? She'll be all confused."

I thought for a short while and realised he was right. I told him that his thoughts were more morally sound than mine.

I told her last night. A blow by blow will be posted when I have the time and focus.

I am soooooo sleep deprived right now. I made the mistake of staying in the house overnight - there were circumstances with the kids that demanded I be around until about 2 am. Mrs_C says "Sleep here. I can leave you the other half of the bed. I don't hate you."

She woke me up about every 15 to 20 minutes by talking to me, putting her arm around me, squeezing me, et al. At around 6am she gets up and says she's going for a walk. About 6:40am she come back in and interupts my longest stretch of sleep to start pressuring me to get up and go for a walk with her.

I finally grouchily got up and went - assuming she wouldn't leave me alone otherwise. The walk turned out to be another arm twisting session.

She's out for coffee with her sister right now.

Thank God my father said what he did. I had made up my own mind, but knowing what he said anchored my resolve. I was so close to caving so many times.

Time to rouse the kids. They've got stuff to do.