Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the note - and sundries

i dropped daughter to the house yesterday (i drop her every day because her school starts at 9am and i go to work earlier than that. she walks out the back gate into the schoolyard).

son's friend is staying at the house with mrs_c (and with son and daughter the week they are there) (family breakdown with son's friend. short story: he has fundamentalist christian parents that were getting weirder by the week. they actually said that my son and their son were "loners" who were the kind of kids who would end up taking a gun and shooting up a school... why? because both kids play videogames and the science fiction wargames Warhammer 40,000. for the record, both boys are highly social and are described as well adjusted [if a little geeky] by their teachers and guidance counsellors. Son's friend's parents' response to everything is to scream at their son. They're weird. They're psycho loony fundamentalists). he has been staying there for about a month now.

son's friend brings out this note and gives it to me.

it's from mrs_c. we had an argument on sunday right before supper that i walked out on. i had gone with son to pick up something he forgot. mrs_c was still trying to get me to come home, and but still slagging me... she's fucked. she was trying to convince me our marriage could work.

the note (verbatim as written):

"If you look your childern in the eye and say I did everything possible to save this relationship you haven't earned the right to end it"

i think i know what she was trying to say, but i'm not sure.

in the conversation Sunday night mrs_c said she was going for full custody of both children, starting with daughter.

she says she's "documenting".

i think it's idle, but i'm taking no chances. more on that and lawyer stuff later.

i think that "documenting" is one of the reasons she phones the apartment many nights to "say good night". I think she is trying to document if i am leaving the kids by themselves - specifically daughter (10). That is why she phones on Mon/Wed/Fri especially (my exercise days).

I said my speculation out loud. My daughter said "Then I'm just not telling her whether you are there or not." then she said "If it goes to court, do I get a say?"

I told her yes.

Daughter told me mrs_c, aunt, and grandma had told her i was replacing my family with Smitten's family, and that i didn't care about my own children anymore because i would be spending all my time with them.

i told her that was a lie. a flat out lie. i told her i had only met Smitten's kids the day before (more on that further down).

Daughter asked to meet Smitten.

we all did lunch at a chinese food place on Sunday. Smitten and her 2 kids, and me and mine.

it was fun - everyone had a good time. my kids said they liked Smitten and her two kids.

i actually met Smitten's kids on Saturday (the day before the above).

My kids were with friends. i was talking to Smitten - she has some mice in her house - and she had caught a couple and they were well splattered. She was a little grimmed out by it all. Being a manly man trying to impress i volunteered to take care if the business. She accepted.

I went over and dealt with the brain splatters and such.

I met the kids (boy 11, girl 8).

I gave them the coins i had gotten for them and we blabbed for some time. We got along well. They liked the coins. It also gave us something to talk about. They asked me a billion questions about ancient rome and history and a whole pile of other stuff. the vacuum started quickly (I have been told by many that I am a natural teacher).

They told their Mom I was the smartest person they'd ever met.


Smitten said "Except for your Mom, right?" They said "Even smarter than you, Mom!"

Smitten's not sure how happy she is about that ;-)

Mrs_c is promulgating the theory that i have been having an affair for 5 years. My kids told me about it.

I showed them the messages (all "G" rated) on the online dating service (as you are aware, i had shown them my profile and discussed the issue with them) setting up the initial date - messages that made reference to it being a first date and the messages talking about a second date.

I asked them if they thought I was the kind of guy that would go through the process of setting that kind of groundwork for an elaborate lie of that level of detail. That would think that far ahead and plan at that kind of level for some future ploy or bizarre contingency.

They thought for a bit and said "Yes" (in unison).

Smartassed troublemakers!
(daughter just about peed herself laughing when they answered together without prompting)

Then they said that they didn't believe that I would actually try to deceive them at that kind of level.

I also told them that at some time they could slip the question to Smitten's kids about when we met. And that unless they were prepared to accept a bizarre conspiracy theory, and accept that an 8 year old girl could be pulled into that conspiracy... that they could get validation of the timeline there as well.

Daughter would like to get together with Smitten and kids again. Son is 14... "huh, what? what? huh? oh, ok, yeah. will there be food?"

(somewhat of an exaggeration)

My kids have said they think their Mother is losing her mind. That they believe she is unstable.

son doesn't want to go to the inlaws for christmas.

more later - see you

Monday, October 30, 2006

deadlines past due have loomed

at work i am currently putting aright that which remained undone

see you all when i surface

Friday, October 27, 2006

Traumatic Bonding

"What is Traumatic Bonding?

Traumatic Bonding may be defined as the development of strong emotional ties between two persons, with one person intermittently harassing, beating, threatening, abusing or intimidating the other.

There are two common features in the structure of trauma bonded relationships:
(1) The existence of a power imbalance, wherein the maltreated person perceives himself/herself to be dominated by the other person.
(2) The intermittent nature of the abuse.

Power Imbalance

Social psychologists have found that unequal power relationships can become increasingly unbalanced over time. As the power imbalance magnifies, the victim feels more negative in her self-appraisal, more incapable of fending for herself, and more dependent on the abuser. This cycle of dependency and lowered self-esteem repeats itself over and over and eventually creates a strong affective (emotional) bond to the abuser.

At the same time, the abuser will develop an over generalized sense of his own power which masks the extent to which he is dependent on the victim to maintain his self image. This sense of power rests on his ability to maintain absolute control in the relationship. If the roles that maintain this sense of power are disturbed, the masked dependency of the abuser on the victim is suddenly made obvious.

One example of this sudden reversal of power is the desperate control attempts made by the abandoned battering husband to bring his wife back to the relationship through threats and/or intimidation.

Intermittent Abuse

When physical abuse is administered at intermittent (random times) and when it is interspersed with permissive and friendly contact, the phenomenon of traumatic bonding seems most powerful.

The three phases involved in the cycle of violence (tension building, battering and “honeymoon”) provide a prime example of intermittent reinforcement. The unpredictable duration and severity of each phase serve to keep the victim off balance and in hopes of change. The “honeymoon” phase is an integral part of traumatic bonding. It is this phase that allows the victim to experience calm and loving feelings from the abuser and therefore strengthens her emotional attachment."


"One example of this sudden reversal of power is the desperate control attempts made by the abandoned battering husband to bring his wife back to the relationship through threats and/or intimidation."
When you read the above, think about Mrs_C's desperate attempt as described in desperation and the shattering of delusion. A male will work with the tools they have learned - often violence or intimidation. A woman in a situation will work with her learned tools - in the above case - sex.

The following was an interesting set of words that certainly informed my view of my own history:
"Why did he stay with this woman? He said, “There were times that she bought me gifts and said she loved me; I occasionally felt a little kindness, and I thought maybe she would change. It was enough to keep me clinging to her” (p. 2). This statement contains an important insight, as the researchers believed that this man suffered from traumatic bonding, in which the abuser alternates abusive behavior with kindness, creating a bond that involves intermittent positive reinforcement. This type of bond is difficult to break."


When I showed the above to my friend/confidante and co-worker "T" he said "But this isn't quite you. This is weaker than you were - this is sort of Stockholm Syndromish. This completely misses the committment thing. You made a committment and you were sticking to it. You knew what you were getting into and you knew what was happening and you said 'I'm sticking through this'. And that was at the core of why you endured. You made a committment. You couldn't get away from that."

I laughed - I told him how my review of the literature of the very few studies of males who have been emotionally abused by a spouse showed that the first reason most males cited for staying was committment. The second reason was their kids. That they didn't want to leave their kids with an emotionally abusive partner - that it wasn't physical abuse like typical male abuse, and was therefore almost impossible to prove. Also that the men felt they should be strong enough to endure - and not so weak as to leave.

(When I read that in the literature I was almost a little bummed out - I thought I was less common in my outlook... and then i discover i'm like everyone else)

Then I mentioned my blogging friend [whom we know as buddha_girl] who had said to me at the end of June "At this point, you are a willing participant in the chaotic relationship your wife calls marriage."

That was one of the primary things that kept sounding inside my head in the days before I left Mrs_C.

"willing participant"

"willing participant"

"you are a willing participant"

"you are a willing participant"

"you are a willing participant"


not victim. being victimised. yes, i know it's not all my fault, but...

"If you're sitting there feeling as though the freaking shit's gonna hit the fan, stop WAITING. Stop it. Make a decision to have a better life." ( - buddha_girl, [and all the rest of you])

It was interesting just now to read the posts:

Weekend Away - Some Pictures
A Weekend Away
"standing idly by"
Yeah, Somehow I Knew It Would Return To This

Read those posts, and then read this page:

on the cycle of abuse

(in fact if you read the whole month of June's posts starting with "Absence Makes The Heart Grow... What?" - you will see that cycle illustrated so very well)

I have much thanks for Smitten who pointed out this set of ideas to me, as noted in BANG!!! She's Back

For whatever reason this has been a bad two week period bodily. I have brutal headaches that even 2 extra strength ibuprofen won't kill. I have serious muscle pain - but knots and kinks, not fibromyalgia pain.

as usual i am in denial that i am feeling as strongly as i do, and am berating myself for not being stronger and just sloughing it all easily

like the fibromyalgia, my body has some other ideas about what i am going through when it has been sending these headaches and pains

I have only gone exercising twice because of all the stuff surrounding kids and school and work and Smitten. I don't know how much skipping exercise has had to do with the pain, but...

Anyway, I figure I'm off to get some codeine at some point, and will certainly be back to exercise.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

just "snap out of it"

"Male victims frequently find that therapists, counsellors or other types of caregivers trained with female-centred models of victimization are unable to help them. Consequently, they are likely to simply abandon therapy, leaving unexplored many of the issues relating to their victimization experience and to their deeper healing.

Male victims, like female victims before them, have encountered their share of critics and detractors, people who refuse to believe them, ignore prevalence statistics, minimize the impact of abuse, appropriate and deny males a voice, or dismiss male victimization as a "red herring."

"Much of the current thinking and discourse, both public and professional, about abuse and interpersonal violence is based on a woman-centred point of view. This is neither right nor wrong, good nor bad, but rather the result of who has been doing the advocacy. However, as a result of this history, victims have a female face, perpetrators a male face. Because of this image of perpetrators as having a male face, violence in our society has become "masculinized" and is blamed exclusively on "men" and "male socialization." Although there is without question a male gender dimension to many forms of violence, especially sexual violence, simple theories of male socialization are inadequate to explain why the vast majority of males are not violent."

"Females are thought, generally, to internalize their response and "act in" or develop more emotional problems, mood and somatic disorders, resort to self-harming behaviours and become vulnerable to further victimization. Although there is some meat to this perspective, it does apply gender role stereotypes, and is not consistent with current research on the impact of abuse on males. Males, generally, may be just as likely to experience depression as females, they just are not given much permission to express it. Males are expected to be stoic and to just "snap out of it."

Males generally do not discuss their feelings or go to therapists for help so they are not likely to show up in the statistics on depression. Because [males] have little permission to discuss their feelings, depression in males may be masked as bravado, aggression or a need to "act out" in order to overcompensate for feelings of powerlessness. Depressed male victims are also likely to be hiding in the statistics on suicide, addictions and unexplained motor vehicle fatalities. If males are indeed more likely to engage in acting out behaviours, it may simply be the result of us not allowing them to be vulnerable or to be victims.

However, the literature does provide overwhelming evidence of emotional disturbance in male victims. Anxiety, low self-esteem, guilt and shame, strong fear reactions, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, withdrawal and isolation, flashbacks, multiple personality disorder, emotional numbing, anger and aggressiveness, hyper-vigilance, passivity and an anxious need to please others have all been documented (Adams-Tucker, 1981; Blanchard, 1986; Briere, 1989; Briere et al., 1988; Burgess et al., 1981; Conte and Schuerman, 1987; RogersandTerry,1984;Sebold,1987; Summit,1983;VanderMey, 1988). Compared to non-abused men, adult male survivors of abuse experience a greater degree of psychiatric problems, such as depression, anxiety, dissociation, suicidality and sleep disturbance (Briere et al., 1988).

"That is why it is so important to identify toxic versus righteous anger for male victims. Toxic anger is a maladaptive, unacknowledged, repressed or misdirected rage reaction that can harm male victims and their relationships with others. Righteous anger has the potential to be empowering once it is understood as a normal and healthy response to the harmful restrictions of male gender roles, to being abused and to a biased, unwelcoming and silencing social environment males face when they attempt to disclose their victimization."

"The Messages We Give to Male Victims

Minimization and denial of male victimization so permeates our culture that it is in evidence everywhere from nursery rhymes, comic strips, comedy films, television programs and newspaper stories to academic research. We give male victims a message every day of their lives that they risk much by complaining.

Stated succinctly, if a male is victimized he deserved it, asked for it, or is lying. If he is injured, it is his own fault. If he cries or complains, we will not take him seriously or condone his "whining" because he is supposed to "take it like a man." We will laugh at him. We will support him in the minimization of its impact. We will encourage him to accept responsibility for being victimized and teach him to ignore any feelings associated with his abuse. We will guilt and shame him to keep a stiff upper lip so he can "get on with it."

When we give a message to boys and men in any shape or form that their experience of violence and victimization is less important than that of girls and women, we are teaching them a lesson about their value as persons. We also teach them that the use of violence toward males is legitimate. When we dismiss their pain, we do little to encourage boys and men to listen to, and take seriously, women's concerns about violence and victimization. When we diminish their experience or fail to hold their male and female abusers fully accountable, we support their continued victimization.
- Frederick Mathews, Ph.D., C. Psych.
Prepared for:
National Clearinghouse on Family Violence
Public Health Agency of Canada
Health Canada


I was asked about my blanketting negative commentary as directed toward Mrs_C.

yep, i resent my wife. there are few moments in my life right now when some trigger doesn't pop up. i am dealing with it along the way. sort of. i am seeing a counsellor. i am journalling and blogging. i talk to some friends, some family.

my counsellor says that long term exposure to verbal abuse and the other elements of my relationship with Mrs_C have caused psychological trauma. i don't like the term because it suggests personal weakness. but i am not stupid enough to deny it out of some kind of ego thing.


how's that?

among others sleep deprivation, and hypervigilence - extended periods of hyperawareness...

"Menachem Begin, the Israeli prime minister from 1977-83, was tortured by the KGB as a young man. In his book, White Nights: The Story of a Prisoner in Russia, he wrote of losing the will to resist when deprived of sleep.

"In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.

"I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them.

"He did not promise them their liberty; he did not promise them food to sate themselves. He promised them - if they signed - uninterrupted sleep! And, having signed, there was nothing in the world that could move them to risk again such nights and such days." - BBC

"Persistent sleep disturbances are associated with significant risk of both relapse and recurrence in mood disorders and an increased risk of suicide. In addition to changes in sleep architecture, patients with major depression show profoundly altered patterns of nocturnal hormone secretion, possibly through mechanisms that link regulation of sleep with neuroendocrine activity." - Holsboer-Trachsler E, Seifritz E

"Abused children learn to judge whether people around them are angry. Even the subtlest hints of anger or hostility in their environment sets physically abused children on prolonged 'alert', even if a conflict has nothing to do with them.

This hyper-awareness of anger begins as a natural form of self-preservation in children who routinely face aggression. Some researchers believe that it may also explain why abused children are often so distracted at school.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin tracked biological markers in 11 abused four and five-year olds who play a computer game in one room when suddenly a clearly audible, heated argument erupts between students next door. The "argument"- over an incomplete homework assignment - was actually a scripted dialogue performed by two actors.

Both abused and non-abused children initially displayed signs of emotional arousal.

They developed sweaty palms and decelerated heart rates in reaction to the angry voices in the next room. Heart rate deceleration is often seen prior to a "fight-or-flight" response. The heart rates of non-abused children soon returned to their normal levels, while heart rates in the abused group remained low. It seems that the abused children could not completely break their attention away from the next-door argument, even when it ended peacefully.
" - Child Development

"Reactions to and symptoms of trauma can be wide and varied, and differ in severity from person to person. A traumatized individual may experience one or several of them.

After a traumatic experience, a person may re-experience the trauma mentally and physically. Because this can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, survivors tend to avoid reminders of the trauma. They may turn to alcohol and/or drugs to try and escape the feelings. Re-experiencing symptoms are a sign that the body and mind are actively struggling to cope with the traumatic experience. Triggers and cues that are reminders of the trauma can cause anxiety and other associated emotion. Often, the person can even be completely unaware of what the trigger is. Panic attacks can result from these emotional triggers.

Intense feelings of anger may surface frequently, sometimes in very inappropriate or unexpected situations, since danger seems to always be present. Upsetting memories such as images, thoughts, or flashbacks may haunt the person, and nightmares may be frequent. Insomnia may occur as lurking fears and insecurity keep the person vigilant and on the lookout for danger, both day and night.

In time, emotional exhaustion may set in, leading to distraction, and clear thinking may be difficult. Emotional detachment, also known as dissociation or "numbing out", can frequently occur. Dissociating from the painful emotion includes numbing all emotion, and the person may seem emotionally flat, preoccupied or distant. The person can become confused in ordinary situations and have memory problems.

Some traumatized people may feel permanently damaged when trauma symptoms don't go away and they don't believe their situation will improve. This can lead to feelings of despair, loss of self-esteem, and frequently depression. If important aspects of the person's self and world understanding have been violated, the person may call their own identity into question.

These symptoms can lead to stress or anxiety disorders, or even post traumatic stress disorder, where the person experiences flashbacks and re-experiences the emotion of the trauma as if it is actually happening.
" - Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


work is hard core - not much time

we're ramping up into a busy period and some of my servers have been under attack since last week. I have such brutal headaches - i'm hunched over screen and just completely tense about it.

so, between kids, work, servers, and Smitten I have had just about zero time to come visit everyone.

told mrs_c that the counseling agency I have booked for the kids (the one she agreed to) has a policy that the parents couldn't be involved in a custody dispute and couldn't be heading into one

she was pretty upset about that. she's supposed to phone to confirm their attendance at counseling and her approval of such and said she would

i'm waiting

my lawyer isn't goddamned phoning me back this week

that pisses me off

she should at least have her assistant call me

i haven't been able to get to exercise as much as i wanted this last week. i don't like that. i want to be healthy, i want to reach my personal goal (5-10 more lbs will do it for me), and i want to be slim for Smitten.

i am trying to buff up so that i have better definition all over. i am pretty darn close on weight, but now tone is king. i am giving myself a year to achieve substantial success on the muscle tone i am looking for. i think the results of this last year of effort have been pretty good, so another year is a good timeline (yes, i am trying to psych myself up for it).

went to an art show that my friend was the curator for - he is also an artist. one of the local art guilds. I will refer to this friend in postings as Artist (I'm so original... hey, stuffed animals in our house had creative names like "brown bear" and "pink pony").

Artist is the show co-ordinator for 3 different local guilds and he invited Smitten and I to the show so that he could have an excuse to meet her sooner than later. I provide free web hosting and computer/internet/web site instruction for various art guilds and community organizations, so I am a "patron" of this guild and other artistic groups of various types in our community.

Smitten loved going to the show. She loved that I had put it together as an outing and that I had/have friends who are artists and who do artsy things. She said she was "starved" for this kind of activity in her life (her ex-husband was more of a, uh, ball cap wearing sports dude - which she doesn't want to denigrate, she wants him to be happy, she just wants something else).

Artist, Artist's wife, Smitten, and I went for drinks after the show. It was a lot of fun. This is a couple that Mrs_C and I had socialised with. Really the only people outside of her family (and mine to a limited extent) that we had any interaction with (Mrs_C only wanted to socialise with her family).

It was a lovely time.

My friend called me on Monday and said "Oh my god, is she ever a doll! Artist's wife (who was, um, unsure going in) thinks Smitten is pretty fabulous too. That was nice validation.

We also went to a coin/currency and stamp show on the weekend. Another friend of mine is the public education and recruitment chair for the local coin society. He was one of the organizers for the show. Smitten thought this was pretty cool too.

I bought her a few low cost and but interesting coins - 17th century China, colonial Caribbean, 18th century Greece, and some others.

I'm not a collector guy. I'm a history guy. I like to have the pieces because they evoke history. I could give a shit about the value. So the Chinese coin above cost a buck, and the Greek coin was 50 cents. But they're a couple of hundred years old and look REALLY cool. That's what I like.

I had already gotten Smitten and her kids some Roman coins from my buddy. It is so cool to hold a 1650 year old copper coin in your hand and wonder where it was used and by whom. They are not "collector" quality, but they are legible.

And my friend gave them to me for free (he has bags of these). They'd only be about $3-$5 to buy, but it is still the very notion of having a coin that old in your hand.

Smitten was pretty blown away.

I was going to present them to her kids when i was going to meet them on Monday, but kid's activities got in the way of that plan. Soon enough.

I was completely open about the fact that I want to have her kids associate me with something pretty cool (in my mind at least...) - real Roman coins. I believe i termed it "A cheesy attempt at a bribe." She was delighted and moved that I would be that interested/concerned/engaged regarding meeting her kids that I would want to impress them enough to be creative in my "bribery" attempt.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

BANG!!! She's Back


1 day

Well, actually 2

It was nice while it lasted

The job stuff and everything are still there, but the manipulation and crap is back again with a vengeance. She's on the same pattern as she was on before. Nice as pie, then BANG. It all comes down.

Smitten is going to give me a document describing the cycle of abuse (from a clinical model) that apparently portrays in detail what has been happenng to me for years. I look forward to reading it.

Daughter was ill today. She stayed at the house. Her puppy is there. Mrs_C phoned at lunch (daughter comes home for lunch). Mrs_C was out of town for Monday and Tuesday. Finds out daughter was home. Daughter didn't know whether she was going to school this afternoon or not, so I waited to find out before getting my parents to pick her up. Mrs_C calls, tells daughter she's staying home, and arranges for Mrs_C grandma to pick up daughter.

I am then informed after the fact. By telephone at work, by my daughter.

I was steamed. I am the custodial parent this week. Grandma arrived as daughter was telling me. I let it go for the afternoon.

I took a polite strip off Mrs_C when I picked up daughter about who makes decisions while they are custodial parent. She was testy but eventually conceded the point.

I found out later that Mrs_C and grandma had quite a conversation (and I was regailed with details about the Cadbury bashing in front of daughter by daughter). Daughter says Grandpa tried to point out a couple of flaws in their thinking but was told by grandma (queen manipulator/abuser) to "shut your mouth".

They also tried extremely hard to pressure daughter into saying she wanted to live with Mrs_C - they demanded she make a decision today. Daughter told them she didn't want to have to choose between her parents.

Daughter was yelling with anger and upset as she told me about this.

I am intervening tomorrow and will be threatening Mrs_C with legal action if she doesn't stop. I am booked to speak to my lawyer and will raise this in detail.

Daughter shouldn't have to deal with this.

I have arranged for counselling for the kids. Got the appointments lined up last week and they will be going soon.

Mrs_C just doesn't change.

I guess that's why I left her.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Turning Point

Had a conversation with Mrs_C on Saturday. It didn't go as well as I hoped. We got together at her request to deal with property disposition issues. As you would all expect it turned to "Really, no really, explain to me again why you are leaving me?" and "I know we could make it work."

She had been to see a lawyer. She told me that she had told the lawyer that she wanted an amicable divorce at the bare minimum cost. The lawyer had given her some do-it-yourself type forms that we were apparently supposed to fill out.

So, I arrived with pad and paper. She asked if I wanted to go for a walk. I knew this wasn't about property division, but daughter was in the house so I went for the walk.

We had a really serious fight as we walked. She was yelling loud enough as we walked that people poked their heads out of the backyards and driveways to see what the hell was happening. I didn't yell back, but didn't really give a shit whether anyone saw or heard the argument. We know only about 3 of our neighbours and this was also a few blocks away before it really started.

It settled out after a bit and I just stuck to my main points.

By the end we were talking relatively normally. She disputed some of my "facts" and assertions about a number of historical events in our relationship. I told her I wasn't willing to debate them to arrive at one truth and she was free to remember and believe things any which way. I told her that even if my memories are wrong about some of the things that happened, there is enough baggage that I'm not coming back - that "fact finding" would not change the split.

We talked and talked. It became and easier talk. Yes, she did try to get me to sleep with her again. I demurred.

After about four and a half hours of talk I left to pick up some computer monitors I needed before 5pm. I'm making son a unix animation and multimedia workstation - and I had scored some used large screen monitors.

On Sunday I was over at the house picking up daughter (she had stayed a couple of extra days with her new puppy that Mrs_C got her).

Had another conversation with Mrs_C. This one shorter. Had another one on the phone at about 8pm. Had another one about 11:30pm last night when I went to pick up daughter's stuffed animal that she couldn't live without (she woke up and bemoaned its lack of presence).

These conversations were all decent. Mrs_C talked about moving on. Talked about letting go. She apologised.

She talked about finding someone else. She talked about finding a way to be friends and repairing the relationships that were damaged during all of this. She said a couple of things that were accepting of my relationship with Smitten, and offered a logistical element that was specifically aimed at making things positive for my relationship with her. Mrs_C does not know the details of my emotional involvement, but heard about/extracted many other things about Smitten from the kids.

She has been getting all Churchy and spritual through this whole period of separation as one of her methods of coping. She has been speaking in these terms more often and giving me pages and passages from books to read.

She put in for a transfer to a new job. Higher pay and different hours - a different line of work and workgroup/work environment. I'm really happy about that. I have wanted her to change jobs for years. The timeline of our marital decline can be tied to the deterioration of Mrs_C's work environment (and is an acknowledged factor [by both of us]).

Mrs_C could have applied for this job a few years ago but chose to stay in her current work. Mrs_C's job was a huge source of frustration. In addition to things being just fucked up inside her workgroup (new psycho managers [you know - i'm going to have to think about the psycho managers and their treatment of Mrs_C as a true psychological trigger for her exceptionally nutbar behaviour - especially given her abused childhood]), being technical and given the context of her workplace she was often the brunt of snide comments from desk jockeys who tried to demean her work - they lumped highly trained technical staff people who keep plant running in with other workers because all the mechanical and physical plant people wear the same uniforms (because they get dirty) - people would call her a "janitor" even though her job was an engineering one.

The position she has bid on will give her status - she will be a supervising desk jockey overseeing and inspecting elements of the company's physical plant and outside plant that relates to corporate interests (if that statement is not too obscure). I sure hope that some of those people who used to demean her have to kiss her ass now.

All these things...

She's living more healthily (but not still as healthily as she should... she needs to eat more regularly and quit smoking), she's sleeping more (instead of the 5 or 6 hours she used to sleep), she's taken up her art again, and has applied for a new job.

I have regret that these things could not have occured some months back. Perhaps things could have worked. Perhaps (probably) it was already way too late. But I have regret. There will be more pain and there will be more suffering - especially for the kids.

I regret the failure of my marriage, though I do not regret my actions to dissolve (most of them) in the context of what really happened - rather than in context of might have beens.

There is a truism:

People do not change until they are forced to change. Why would they? If it's working so far, what impetus is there for change?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Belly Dancing... It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This


What Is The Karmic Circle That Has Put Me Here?

Did I tell you that Smitten is a belly dancer? She does everything from traditional and tribal to Spanish belly dance (if I have my terms right).

Let's see:

Caring, gorgeous, athletic, kind, understanding, smart, funny, and...

a belly dancer.

The other night I went over to her place after exercising. She had been at her dance practice. When I arrived she greeted me in costume - Egyptian belly dancing music was on the stereo. She led me in, sat me on the couch, and proceeded to dance for me.

It was incredible. Not only as a dance, not only as an erotic interlude, but as a time of pure intimacy - without ever having touched. I told her at the time, and say it again now, "The dance was more intimate than even sexual intimacy."

I was moved. Touched to my soul.

My Lord. This woman danced for me. Only for me.

She has done performances with her groups, but never the special dance that is only done for men. They only practice that in private. It's a belly dance thing.

Smitten told me she had never danced for a man before. Not even her husband of 17 or some years.

This incredible woman chose me to dance for.

I just don't know how it can all get any better than this.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Multiple Male Orgasms


"It is possible to have an orgasm without ejaculation (dry orgasm) or to ejaculate without reaching orgasm. Some men report that the ability to consciously separate orgasm and ejaculation has allowed them to achieve multiple orgasms. Men who have practiced this technique extensively report that they can sometimes experience a continuous "wave" of orgasm. This can last, it is said, indefinitely, but in practice is limited by the man's ability to concentrate or meditate, or by muscular fatigue. Reaching between ten and twenty orgasms in one session is reportedly common for many practitioners. In recent years, a number of books have described various techniques to achieve multiple orgasms. Most multi-orgasmic men (and their partners) report that refraining from ejaculation results in a far more energetic post-orgasm state. Additionally, some men have also reported that this can produce more powerful ejaculatory orgasms when they choose to have them."

As you are aware I've been having my issues with sex in my new relationship. I have gone into some of the details of where I think some of the dysfunction has come from.

The erectile issues are all pretty much gone. That's a good thing. I have returned to the ability to maintain an erection for hours. Again... a good thing.

I am still having some problems with ejaculation (oh, how I love the cold and clinical terms english allows for discussions like this). I have been able to on various occasions in this relationship. Other times I have not.

I have taken a relatively sanguine approach to the issue because I believe it to be a temporary phenomenon. Soon I should be fine...

The interesting side effect of hours and hours of ultra-stimulated sex with no ejaculatory orgasm is that I have been having all these other things that felt like an orgasm, but didn't involve ejaculation. I dubbed them "minigasms".

After they began to be a regular phenomenon I began to research "dry orgasms" and such.

You will have read the above quote. My experience matches up well enough.

Multiple orgasms.

More intense ejaculatory orgasms.

This works.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Weekend - The Story

What a wonderful weekend. It was incredible. It was beyond compare.

The trip up was fun. 7 hours straight to talk. And we talked. Talked and listened to music. Shared our music collections going up - songs we liked - music from our respective pasts - our present playlists.

We left a little later than expected (we were yakking too much while getting ready), so we got up there after it was already dark. Dark and raining. Gravel roads suck when it's raining - these were particularly greasy... I am pleased that Smitten was comfortable with my conservative approach to driving roads in poor weather conditions. We might have been able to make 20 minutes faster on the last part of the run after we got off blacktop, but I prefer to arrive late than go in a ditch.

We arrived safely.

We worked well together to unload the vehicle and get set up. I liked that. I knew the stove and heating for the cabin (the temperature was already just around the freezing mark) and got it lit and going. I had advised her of my order of operations (stove, chop wood, then unload). Smitten began to unload on her own and got the cabin set up while I did the first two tasks. I was very pleased. It would have been a commotion from hell and required a 15 minute discussion to even try to split tasks with Mrs_C (not that she was lazy - Mrs_C works hard - it's just the constant drama about everything - including unloading vehicles...)

Smitten was just on it.

No complaints about how dusty the cabin was. No backhanded comments about the lack of running water or the outside toilet (which Smitten was aware of in advance). No complaints about the lack of shelving or the rustic nature of the place.

(one guess who did all those and more when we used this cabin a couple of years ago...).

My God, I can't tell you what freedom and liberation it was to not have to endure constant tiny complaints and criticisms about everything that wasn't utterly perfect or was a tiny bit inconvenient. I arranged the place/the holiday. Criticisms of the place beyond basic commentary are criticisms of me. If a person spends a lot of time bitching about someplace someone else has chosen - they are sending a message: "I don't like this. You fucked up. I will endure it, but not happily. I will let you know that I'm unhappy with it."

Smitten just got things stowed, uncovered the furniture, wiped down our work and eating surfaces, and had most of the stuff from the vehicle inside (I carried the really heavy items [eg: water]) by the time I had finished chopping wood.

No spaz.

She said "I love it. I love this place. This is great. Thank-you for inviting me."

I nearly melted on the spot.


The weekend just got better. We put on some music (batteries), enjoyed a drink and reveled in our surroundings. It really is a great cabin and great location.

Good food, good drink, good company, good conversation and experience - and an easy mutual understanding of how to split the tasks.

Much opportunity for intimate time together.

We lounged late, we made love. A lot. Hours and hours at a time. All weekend (my problems are still somewhat present but fading).

We walked and enjoyed our surroundings.

Smitten said that she was "Perfectly relaxed."

I felt like I was 20 again.

No deadlines to meet, no responsibilities beyond the moment for 2 days.

I actually felt better than 20! I am a mature adult. Capable and experienced. I feel sexier and more attractive than ever before. I feel capable of absorbing every experience that comes my way. I feel. I feel emotion. I feel a fulsome life and vitality coursing through my veins. You know that Grand Marnier feeling as it goes down - the warmth and robust sensation? I feel that.

I am alive.

And I had a person with me who was fully prepared to be responsible for their own happiness and took pleasure in sharing mine. A person who was prepared to enjoy the "rustic" nature of the weekend - not just "prepared" to enjoy, but who took actual pleasure in that rustic setting.

I was SO happy.

Happy to be with her.

Happy to have made her happy.

Happy to have finally done something right after all these years.

So happy.

Friday, October 06, 2006

into the mystic

"Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic"

Another shot of the park. This is a favourite bench.

This is where I am going this weekend. These are summer shots, so it will be fall colours, but I imagine you will be able to extrapolate ;-)

Have a good weekend all. Thank-you for being friends.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Everyday is a new day I'm thankful for Every breath I take

"Everyday is a new day
I'm thankful for
Every breath I take
I won't take it for granted
So I learn from my mistakes"

"I feel so alive
For the very first time
And I think I can fly"

- alive, P.O.D.

The building I work in is located in a huge park. Sometimes it is so beautiful it borders on the unreal - especially in the morning when there is mist coming off the water and the sun is burning through it in an ethereal - otherworldly way. I went out this afternoon and took some shots to share with you.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thanksgiving treat

It's Canadian Thanksgiving coming up.

Mrs_C has the kids. I'm heading out of town to a log cabin a friend of mine has up north. Smitten and I are going away for the weekend.

The kids are here.

My parents asked if the kids could come over for supper on Sunday. I asked Mrs_C. After checking when her family was having dinner (Monday), Mrs_C said sure. And then she said "Maybe I'll go to your parents' place with them."

That would be without me. With my whole family.

I thought it was more than a bit of gall.

Mrs_C announces to me that she's going to phone my parents directly. And then did...

My father, ever the skilled tactician demurred her self-invitation and arranged that he would pick up the kids. He said it was an encounter that took a lifetime of politcal skills to get through. His comment "After that little piece of maneuvering, I can understand why she tied you up in knots so often. She is very skilled. Give her the tiniest openning and she can exploit it."

It's som kind of weird new tactic. She asked him "So will I never be welcome at your place again?" Dad had a diplomatic answer that boiled down to: sometime yes, this time no.

I think it is kind of weird that she would feel comfortable in trying to invite herself over after all the character assasination that she did toward me with her family. And the reception my parents gave her was a marked contrast with the open hostility her family exhibited when I was around them a couple of times since all this broke.

I dunno.

We'll see where she's going with this. Mrs_C has always been a couple of boatlengths ahead of me on most of her stuff, so I am just waiting to see where this one leads...

stalker warning: blog_surfer has a problem

Stalker Warning:

blog_surfer has now resorted to posting questions about this blog on other people's blogs

he is posting as both anonymous and as blog_surfer

please either leave the posts up or record them in some manner - including the date and time of the comment - copy and paste and email them to yourself or to me

when he posts here i will be allowing the posts momentarily so that i can get a record of the posts to my email account before deleting them from this blog

i am concerned that blog_surfer may have mental or psychological issues and I may need to report him to blogger support as a cyber-stalker - as you are aware, blogger tracks the ip addresses of all posts and comments on their system

i apologise for being the trigger that has made this person snap, but ask you to bear with me in this wild place called the internet

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Told Kids I Am Dating

As I had told Mrs_C about dating and being "with" someone else, I decided that it was the better part of discretion on my part to pre-empt their Mother's likely propaganda on the subject.

Son already knew about Smitten, and had actually met her for a few minutes when he came by my place unannounced to pick up his bookbag one evening.

It was not my choice to introduce that early, but it would have been unnatural and improper to have tried to "hide" her. He was very interested in her and later said "She seems nice". He's 14 - I thought it was a good review.

I advised both that their mother now knew I had been dating. I underlined that I had not dated prior to the split. I also advised them that I had intended to avoid the subject for some time, but that now that it was out in the open I wanted to be upfront with them.

I showed them a picture of Smitten and I together when we were dressed up prior to my fundraiser last week. It is a wonderful picture. The smiles on both of us couldn't be bigger or brighter.

They asked a few questions - especially daughter. I answered them all truthfully. I did not address any issues of sex - it didn't come up - I would have demurred on that subject, anyway.

I told them I had been on a number of dates, and that it had been my intention to engage in only light dating while things straightened out with the separation and divorce. I explained my rationale that I expected I was out of practice and might feel awkward after being dedicated to their Mom for so long, blah, blah, blah. They know me, they know how I think, they repsonded in a way that showed me they understood the rationale as presented. I told them that I had, to my surprise, met someone whom I wnated to consistently date for now.

We talked about this and that around the general subject of dating. Daughter told me that one of her friends' Mom's had been inquiring about my newly single status and that she and her friends had a giggle or two about the possibility.

I took the opportunity to talk about not dating friends Mom's because of the potential downside, I segued into not dating inside one's workplace or building and so on.

Daughter asked how we had met.

I first told her that we had mutual circles of friends.

Then I thought about that answer. And I told her I had just lied to her. I told her it was through an online dating site, but had avoided saying that because some people think it's kinda weird. I explained my rationale for not hanging out in bars, or hitting on women in my classes, or at work, blah, blah, blah - hence - online dating - you know people are looking - you can pre-screen, etc.

They laughed and thought this was both funny and well thought through.

I logged on and showed them the profile I had created and read it with them. I talked about the life I would like to live and the joy I would like to have.

I read the parts of the profile where I said that my children were the most important thing in my life, and that they were my most trememndous source of joy and pride.

I wanted them to have an idea of where I was coming from on the dating front.

These are kids who have endured their friends' parents separations and divorces. These are kids who have heard the horror stories of divorce in a way I can only imagine.

It was a good period of time to talk together, and to discuss the issue of dating and so forth. It dispelled some of their fears and reinforced their place in my life. They were happy that the approach I described to dating and the way I had addressed them as thinking human beings. They thanked me for being straightforward with them, and not trying to beat about the bushes.

They complained about a couple of instances with friends parents and the subject of dating with them and their kids, and then also some instances with their Mom where straight information had not been provided.

I believe things went well.

The kids seem OK with it so far.

We'll see how it goes from here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

once, twice, thrice - had it

i have just completely had it with blog_surfer

you're banned as much as i am able to do so

all of your posts will be deleted as soon as i find them on this blog

i am taking the personal step of refusing to even read any of your words before deleting. your aim is not to participate, but to hurt - and you have been successful

take your trophy and go home.

this is some kind of sick game to you, but it is my real life.

it is not about censorship. you hide very well behind your anonymity - you offer nothing to the community but hate and bile.

if this were a coffee group in a workplace you would be un-invited

you are not welcome - this is the end

Differences and Deletions

Hey Michelle, thank-you for your comment. You are always welcome here. Critical commentary is always welcome. I look to the people who read and comment on this blog for clarity. I refer to the collective as my Jiminy Cricket. I REALLY do want to hear every side of things, even if it may go against the grain. NEVER worry about the sort of comment you make - you are polite and have well thought out ideas. Please continue to post your comments freely.

I want to answer your reasonable and well put questions. My answer(s) may seem excrutiatingly precise and potentially pointed - they are not aimed at you, but rather at once again re-affirming to myself that I have a clear rationale for my choice to leave, and for my views about Mrs_C's behaviour.

To restate on my deletion policy:

I only delete when someone gets rude and/or ugly personal. I have spent a big chunk of my life since age 13 chairing meetings. If something that is posted on this blog goes way past what I would allow in debate as a chair, then it may be deleted. If a person is consistently nasty or crosses the ugly line - they get deleted - like a ban on speaking in a public meeting. Anonymous/blog_surfer is the only person I have deleted anything from.

I am completely up for getting shit, or opposing views. Everyone will find both all across this blog. If blog_surfer wants to take his tone down a notch or three away from deliberate ugliness and provocation and actually wants to engage in critical discussion, then he is welcome to participate. I have actually responded on a number of occasions to salient points blog_surfer has made in his comments, even after deleting his post as being over the line in tone or on a personal level.

As for some historical elements to the one-sided nature of this blog, I refer everyone to the following posts:

Where Do I Begin?

Sucking Up and Kissing Ass

Mrs_C Gets Some Floor Time

It does take two to make or break a relationship, and I did plenty of damage to mine over the years. As any partner does I think.

I believe Mrs_C stepped over that line.

I believe that I took a massive number of steps to try to fix the things that were an issue, and to be a caring and decent partner.

I believe that Mrs_C has harassed and belittled me to the point where I had no choice but to leave.

I believe this was (is) an abusive relationship.

Yes. I believe it was sexual assault. If No Means No, then she crossed the line. I feel very uncomfortable about how things transpired. She crossed a line that shouldn't be crossed. Just because I am a guy that has a regularly raging hard-on, doesn't mean that I don't get to decide how and when I want to have sex. If I had decided to climb on top of her to force the issue of having sex in the same manner she did (even short of penetration), the mandatory charging policy of our local police force and prosecutor's office would have been all over me (if they knew about it). Many an ex-husband has been charged in remarkably similar circumstances.

She was physically restraining me from leaving the room while clawing at me and my pants. If you said no, and said you wanted to leave, and the other person was grabbing and fondling and restraining there would be no question.

However, I only really referred to it as sexual assault in order to classify the event from a moral/ethical conduct perspective in my own mind.

I will not be either charging her or getting a restraining order at this point.

Yes - I understand that her actions may have been driven by desperation to try to save the marriage.

I understand, and I feel terrible for her. I feel absolutely awful. I feel bad for turning her down. I feel bad for getting aroused and her knowing I was (she was yanking at it). I feel bad for being panicked and dropping the nuke that I had "been with someone else" in order to get her to stop.

A couple of posts back - Wednesday, September 27, 2006 Tattoo (part 2) with regard to Smitten and "getting together with her, I make pretty direct reference to some of the sexual issues I have - and some of the things Mrs_C has done that have made me, uh, skittish.

I didn't tell her about Smitten. Not in detail anyway.

I said "I'm seeing someone else. I've been with someone else. I can't. I can't sleep with you."

This next bit is not in the post you read - she said "You must have felt a need to tell me that. Why? Why couldn't you just have had sex with me, and at least given me that satisfaction. We are still married, it would have been OK."

"Because as long as I have been sexually active I have never slept with more than one woman at a time within the minimum incubation period for common STDs - except for a couple of one night stand periods when I was younger - not that I think that is an issue in this instance - but I did it before and it is still a policy that makes sense. I'm not about to have sex with you and not inform you. So I had to. You know me - you know this is real and you this is how I think. I also didn't think you would want to continue with this if you knew. I knew you would probably stop." (yes - I really speak like this - yes - I know it's sad...)

She looked at me. She said "I don't care. I forgive you." and started at my belt again.

I do not believe that I told Mrs_C to hurt her. I tried to get her to stop before that. I was panicked. There is probably some other way I could have gotten her to stop.

I didn't think of it in the moment. And then it was out.

We are married.

There is no issue with her wanting to have sex. Really - none.

I just didn't want to have sex with her.

She should have respected that.

Once again she tried to force her will onto me.

It's a pattern.

I'm not good with that.

I am glad you raised the issues you did, and if there are any other instances where you want to take another position than mine - I encourage you to do so.


Please observe and comment from a multitude of perspectives - even if only for the sake of conceptual or scenario modeling - even if you don't believe what you are arguing, if you can think of another viewpoint, I want to hear it.

And blog_surfer - that means "politely"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

desperation and the shattering of delusion

Son stayed with me. Daughter stayed at her Mom's. Daughter told me friday night that she wanted to stay with her Mom full-time. I refused to budge on the issue. By the end of that discussion I let daughter stay that night, and son came with me. Daughter was fully huggy and back to normal after I laid down the law - no agreement to change custody. I think she was happy, even if she had jusr said she wanted to stay full-time with her Mom. I would pick up daughter after Mrs_C and I discussed parenting issues at 11 am. Daughter seemed way to happy and huggy. I suspect Mrs_C influence on daughter's request.

Took son to my parents to do some work in the morning.

I went to talk over parenting issues. We decided to go for a walk instead of going for a coffee (Mrs_C's suggestion [should have been my first clue something would go weird]). We walked around the neighbourhood. We talked parenting. Mrs_C kept trying to steer things toward the marriage and our relationship. I kept refusing to discuss those issues.

I used Balloon Pirate's lines - they worked well. Thanks.

She suggested we go sit in the back yard. We did.

We sorted out the parenting issues.

However it occured, it slipped to relationship issues. I told her again that it was never going to lead to a reconciliation. She tried to argue, she tried to plead, she tried to bully. I stayed firm. She did the crying thing. I made motions to get daughter and leave.

She says "I'm so horny. Let's have sex."

"No. That won't work" I go to get up from my chair and she is literally on top of me with her shirt up and her breasts out. Now, remember - we're outside. We're in the back yard. She's climbing on top of me on the chair pushing her now exposed breasts in my face and has wrapped her arms around my head. She saying things like "I want you to fuck me now. Come upstairs and take me" and such.

I'm all "WHAT THE FUCK" as I'm trying to get up from my chair and she's on top of me doing her thing trying to kiss me and grind on me.

I extricate myself and hastily flee to the garage to get my daughter from inside (attached garage - entrance to house from backyard).

Mrs_C comes after me and manages to get up on the steps inside between me and the door. She starts taking off her clothes.

I am completely off balance by this point. I'm telling her "no, i can't and i won't" but she's pushing it like a wild woman.

i think i can hear daughter coming from inside and tell mrs_c that.

i should have probably just left and come back later, but i was getting daughter. i was hell bent on that.

Mrs_C puts her top back on and pulls up her pants.

I push past and go inside to get daughter.

She grabs my keys and goes upstairs. I want my keys. I'm rattled. In hindsight I shouldn't have gone after her, but i want out of here.

She goes to her room. I go to get my keys. She's taking off her clothes again, and is stripped in seconds. I'm getting my keys. She trying to grab me an hold me and kiss me and undo my pants and lifting up my shirt saying all sorts of "fuck me deep and hard" stuff that's has never come out of her mouth before.

I'm trying to get away - she's hanging on - literally. I'm just fucked up. My naked ex-wife is hanging on the my arms and legs and torso and I'm struggling to get away without hurting her, my daughter is in the basement rec-room watching TV.

So I tell her "Stop!"

"We can't do this."

"Why? I'm soooooo horny. It's just sex."

"We've done that before, and it didn't work. Remember?"

"I don't care"

"I'm seeing someone else. I've been with someone else. I can't. I can't sleep with you."


[she lets go]

She looks at me. She says "I don't care. I forgive you." and starts at my belt again.


She backs off and looks at me. "I've got to go" I say.

She starts getting dressed. I wait. I don't want to have the possibility of an incident with daughter in the house. She is telling me how it is an afront to God and that I have now committed adultery and all this stuff.

She says that she should have had more self respect for herself than to do what she did and to keep trying after I told her I was with someone else. She starts asking things liek "Is she hot?" I tell her we're not going anywhere there on this discussion.

I go call daughter.

Mrs_C makes a number of snarky comments about her presumptions of my new sex life. She actually apologises for making them, and says "I know they are snarky, but I'm allowed to make them, given the circumstances."

I tell her to make sure she tells the whole story of what went on that morning to her sister, instead of just the part about me telling her i slept with someone else.

She says "well, i guess this really is it, isn't it? I had always hoped for a reconcilliation." then "have a nice life". she went into the backyard to cry. i follow and say "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ever have to tell you in these kinds of circumstances."

I load stuff in the vehicle and leave with daughter.

[the above is an abridged but accurate representation of the events and words]

things went well with the kids and with daughter. today has been a beautiful time together. more on that later.

blog_surfer: this post is going to be ripe territory for your shit. don't bother. anything you post will be deleted summarily.

this is a pre-emptive fuck-off