Tuesday, April 29, 2008

weekend (18, 19, 20) part 2

i went home and showered after finishing at the gym and went to Smitten's place.

i had gotten tickets to a sex show - a trade show of sex stuff

there were seminars that looked interesting - and we had previously been to a few of the local sex shops and had been discussing lingerie, toys, and stuff for some time. i've bought lingerie but we hadn't moved past there much. we were researching other toys to see what might be a positive part of our sex life.

this show seemed like it would have all the stuff and many vendors in one place - as well as explanatory seminars that explained how this stuff is supposed to be used.

i have been reading always aroused girl for some time (years) and have been interested in her views and experiences as well. friends on VoyeurWeb and people in our blogging circle have also discussed their experiences.

and a couple of weeks ago i was teasing Smitten with a small hand vibrator i use for my neck and some pinpoint muscle work - and it got her going... and then some. she was surprised that it worked. she's generally a g-spot lady and hadn't experienced clitoral orgasms much.

so a show like this seemed timely

we went

we were intending to hit a seminar on glass toys to start with but got lost trying to find the seminar room and ended up near a stage where there was a demonstration of a bondage sheet and restraints - a kind of flannel sheet and velcro patches. it is supposed to be a "safe" bondage set-up because the person who is bound can always reach the velcro patches to free themselves - so it isn't "real" bondage. the demonstrator called for a volunteer and then was not especially gentle or considerate of the young woman who did the volunteering on a dare. he could have handled the whole thing much better. i didn't like the way it went - it unsettled me a lot. Smitten commented that someone who was into bondage wouldn't be that interested in the feelings of the submissive. i guess i'm not a dominator by nature...

[revision of above sentence to more accurately reflect Smitten's words and not my interpretive paraphrase - responding to AAG's comment on this post]
[i don't want to colour my views into what Smitten said and i guess i did make a blanket statement that wasn't fully accurate to the nuance of hers]
Smitten commented that he wasn't interested in her feelings. That what he was doing was all about him. That it was about him feeling powerful while doing the bondage demonstration.
[close revision]

the demonstration was a bit of a shocker for Smitten. it was in our first 5-6 minutes there and here was this twit being really pretty disrespectful to this poor volunteer.

it unsettled both of us and it took a little while to get past it. Smitten was also a little unsettled by all the naked women (porn queen style) on the packaging - again not a soothing or elegant context. especially when the show was marketed as "sophisticated" and "non-threatening". i'm not a porn-queen style guy either. my tastes are for real women. not fake hollywood or plastic body porn-queen style.

softness and roundness and real curves and real slopes. i still have a hard time getting Smitten to belive that i like "mature" breasts with their slope and shape and "sag" (her word - not mine) more than plastic surgery altered types.

anyway - we were pleased to see the prices were substantially less than in the local stores (which we thought were kind of overpriced when we visited them).

after a bit we found our way to the seminar room and sat through a sexologist (PHD) talking about long term relationships and sex. wandered a little more and attended a few more seminars. got pretty comfortable with things and enjoyed looking at what there was and asking: is this something i'm interested in? we might be interested in?

we bought some stuff. a couple of different vibrators - a mini-one and a larger one and some lubricant and stuff. we were both somewhat hesitant around the whole deal, but willing to experiment and just see if something appealed - were ready to toss or put aside that which did not work out.

well, that night it worked out pretty well - some pretty mind blowing orgasms all 'round

after some discussion of things we chose to go back to the show on Sunday and pick up a glass toy. I leapt in and it turned out to be some glass toys. 3 of them (more is better - remember the beer? only this involves sex - even better). Smitten had been intrigued by a discussion by one of the presenters about liking the smoothness of the glass - and the fact that they can be warmed.

the feel of the lubricant (tangerine flavour... not bad from my perspective) was quite appealing to Smitten and in combination with the smoothness of the glass was quite intense in its result when we tried things out.

Smitten was quite pleased with the differences in style shape and texture that i had chosen in addition to her choice.
----

i am finishing writing the above and am starting to feel not 100% comfortable with writing it

don't know why

i'm relatively open about sexuality. i suspect it's the same reason i was in a bit of a panic for the first while at the show with Smitten. I have been beaten over the head for having sexual desire - being a man and all - and for being interested in exploration - the above would have been "perverted" in my marriage. It certainly was when i tried to broach the subject and purchased a vibrator one time while married.

i sit here and wonder why trying to ensure my partner has more pleasure and erotic stimulation and even more orgasms is potentially a bad thing...

there is a part of me that says: why discuss this on the blog?

i guess because it is new. i'm working my way through this just like other stuff. going to this show and being open about sexuality ended up with a number of positive results.

1) sex every day without erection difficulties (also a good argument for not discussing the kids or the stbx - because the first time i had trouble was thursday night after son's 8:36am phone call)
2) Smitten having even more multiple orgasms
3) Getting past the taboo and hesitance of discussing desire. and desire for given kinds of stimulation and sensation

a benefit for Smitten - she did not previously, um, engage in, um, autoerotic activity. tried it once in her life. didn't work for her. didn't try it again.

after the whole sort of orgasm and sex weekend she discovered she was still way turned on. In fact on monday she was finding the fog of desire to be too much. she actually left work early and went to try things out on her own. she asked me if the fog was what it was like to be a teenaged boy.

anyway - holy doodle - is the reported results

she also discovered (courtesy of a little hook shaped finger vibrator called "finger fun") that she can have clitoral orgasms.

the next night when we were together we spent a lot of time exploring her clitoris and its sensitivities together. which we hadn't done to that date - because she is a G-spot lady and that's where i put my focus. and now i have two special places to address with loving attention.

good for me - good for her - good for us

exploring new avenues and expressions of sexuality

so why am i writing this down?

getting it straight in my head.

it has had an impact on our relationship and has changed it - i think very much for the better

if i hadn't read some of AAG's writings, and read some of the stuff on voyeurweb, and Lara's discussions over the years, and SignGurl's discussion about attending one of those home parties, Smitten and I wouldn't have arrived here.

so i'm sharing. i hope it's not crossing any boundaries of propriety, but I don't think so. we are all adults. i believe we've all discussed that we like sex.

that's our experience

Monday, April 28, 2008

weekend (18, 19, 20) part 1

the previous weekend (18, 19, 20) was a good weekend

on friday evening i was a little cranky with Smitten from the request to have a stbx and child issues free weekend. this was also after the not coming to my apartment because she felt that it had negative energy and that it jangled and disrupted her.

i did my best to let it go, and succeeded for the most part.

i drove the kids to the house (their mother was still not back yet). i packed some food for them so they would have enough until their mother came home.

smitten had asked me to come to her house. she had prepared a meal for us, and i had picked up some wine and some beer.

why so much for one evening?

a choice. she had made some chicken tikka - a spicy indian chicken dish. i had proposed bringing wine. she wanted white to go with an almost all vegetable and light fair. i had told her about one of the stbx's uncle's (and aunt [now deceased]) who did a wine and cheese supper for the two of them every (almost) friday night. Smitten liked the idea and decided she would do our version of low fat and vegetable finger foods and wine - white wine.

but she prefers red. so i chose to get a red too - in case she happened to just on a whim change her preference and want something different (oops - there's some fear and programming from the last 20 years that needs to be lost) - and it's not like we won't end up drinking it anyway. and then i decided that if she was doing the chicken tikka i should get beer - she likes beer (so she might want that instead of her stated preference - you never know she might change on a whim... [programming]) - and indian food goes down well with indian beer - but they had no indian beer at the liquor store i was at, so i decided that another light tasting very smooth beer would substitute well: Brahma Beer found here and here. not that it matters much. but while it's a non-substantial beer (and i usually like a LOT of flavour) it works with indian food.

and i made sure i was covered in case i hadn't done something that would make the evening work... because if she was stating an unhappiness with something in the relationship it must mean something is about to blow - right? (there's that programming again)

so i also brought some rye crackers and some spiced cream cheese (and something else i can't remember). because i had done nothing to make the evening and i'm the one that makes everything - right? if i don't put any effort into it then i'm not interested enough and i'll get in shit - right? (programming)

it was a lovely evening. the crackers were of use because she didn't have as many as she thought she did at her place, but the rest went in the fridge. we had a beer each with the chicken and drank the white wine with the rest.

i was able to submerge kid and stbx issues and my resentment about the kid discussion free and the not coming to my apartment thing. we had a wonderful evening together.

the next day she had some stuff to do. i went to work out. i would have normally cut it short to match her time frames but i was a little pissed about the apartment and kid stuff - i had it under control, but i went to tell a short story that morning and she cut me off because it related tangentially to the stbx - so i pulled a passive aggressive. i had only said that i would see her after i finished working out. and that i would go work out while she was at her meeting. so i decided fuck her. i'm doing a full work-out instead of shortening it. if she can ask for and demand what she wants - so can i. so i did. 2 hours instead of 1. about 2.5 hours from when i had left her.

i had pushed it to the edge of politeness, and was feeling a little guilty (i knew what kind of anxiety leaving her dangling would cause her). i called her from the club floor phone when i was done working out but before i headed to the locker room. she asked if i had gotten her message on my cell. i said no. i played the situation straight. i told her i had done a full workout and was calling her even before i left the club floor. she said that she had left a message that expressed some anxieties and i should ignore it.

all of which i know is a real prick thing for me to do, but i was hurt and didn't know how to express it. still don't. i understand her point. but i have my own view. but i don't want to hurt her. and i haven't figured out how to say what i need to say, and to express my own feelings of being caught in a pincer of time obligation. i assured her that i didn't ignore calls because of being pissed off - which was technically true... (yeah - i know - lying shithead). which - for the record - i wouldn't have done, and don't do. I occasionally don't take my Dad's calls when he has called me a gazillion times a day - and i'm in a meeting or something - but not in some fit of pique.

so i passive agressived it (to coin a verb)

i checked my cell phone in the locker room. she had called 4 times. there was a message from her saying that she was worried that i was mad because of the morning and not taking her calls because of what she had said.

interruption of the story: Smitten called me while I was writing this. while i was writing the section about not knowing how to express any of my ideas about what she said.

the conversation flowed into it, so i talked a bit about how i felt about what she had said and done.

i told her that i wasn't cleaning my place for her. that i was cleaning it to the level that i wanted, and when i want. that her statements and actions are always in the back of my head, but that i am actively splitting on this.

that i am motivated to not take a few breaks or leave some stuff because i want an accelerated timeline on the physical order i desire - because of her statements and feelings - but that i was consciously not meeting my view of her expectations. that i was only doing things to the level of my own desires. that her coming to my place again was her own decision. that i would not invite her. that it would be entirely her decision to come or not. just like the decision not to come over.

that i would treat it in the same manner as if she had said "i need the comfort and security of my own walls" sometime when she'd had a bad week or day. that it would be like me saying "i don't feel like going out because i'm too rattled and pissy to have to deal with anyone else. or stupid people in a bar". that i would treat it as a transitory mood thing - and not a judgement.

not spoken: because if i invited her back on the basis of "is it acceptable to you now", or even allowed myself to think "now maybe it's to her standards" - then i would hate her.

i told her that i would continue as best i could to split all of the issues involved so that they would not intertwine to create some headspace filled with paranoid resentment.

she started to choke up when i told her how i was dealing with the situation and said that she hadn't thought about how her statements or expression of need would affect me.

how it might make me feel

that it was only meant to be about her here and now - and that she hadn't considered the larger or longer term implications of what she asked or said. or it's potential historical interleaving.

i said that i understood why she had said what she did. and agreed with why she needed what she needed. i read her Sicilian's comment "Mr. C. . . I choose to read what you write. . . it is overwhelming for me. . . . STBX wants to create chaos. . . maybe Smitten would just like to have a little downtime from STBX issues. . . Ciao"

i told her that many of you have expressed that even just reading my stuff can be emotional and overwhelming. so living it is a steep demand to make of her.

i just still have some feelings. that i am still resolving.

she had to go to make it to the library by 6 pm. so we ended the call. i underlined that the call was not ending on a bad note - that it was just to enforce her making it by 6.

...to be continued

[now it's time for me to go home. it's 6:05 pm and i have kids and exercise waiting]

Friday, April 25, 2008

8:36am phone call

(looooong post warning)

i get a call at work yesterday morning

it's my son

he's crying

he's crying almost uncontrollably - deep and heavy sobs

he's telling me that no matter how hard he tries that he keeps ending up being late for school and that he's been late almost every day in the last three weeks and he's going to get kicked out of his class because they have a school rule that when you have 15 lates you are suspended from the class

he says that no matter what he does he just can't get there on time. he just can't get any assignments done. that he can't seem to do anything.

he's with his mother this week - so he's at the house

i told him i would come straight over

i went to the office manager and told her i was leaving for a family emergency. and that we were going to have to revisit start times because my son was going to be kicked out of school for lates. that they could fire me if they didn't like it, but that the 8am wasn't working. that we had to figure out something. that my kids had to come first. i said i didn't need anything final right now, but that we would talk about it when i got back. she agreed.

on the way home i called the school principal and told him i would calling him later to talk about son's attendance. lates, and classes. he was able to pull it up immediately on the computer and advised me that son only had 13 lates (really more, but the teacher must have been kind). i explained the situation and the state son was in. some of the causes and some of the stresses son is under at his mother's place. he already knew some of it from previous conversations i have had with him and others at the school. i told him that we would need to figure out how to deal with the situation. he said that he knew i would get son to school as soon as i could, and that they would help in any way possible. and that they would handle son with kid gloves because of the state he was in.

i arrived at the house at 8:49am. daughter was leaving for school (out the back gate into the schoolyard). she told me he had been just sitting on his bed crying for over an hour.

i went into the house and down to his room.

i felt like an intruder. the unwelcome screamed at me. my child was in the basement and he needed me.

i wondered what would happen if his mother came home. i wondered what her reaction would be... what her freak-out would be... what i would say. i felt fear.

i went down.

he was in his room. the room used to be my office. its about 9 ft by 12 ft. off in the corner of the unfinished part of the basement (4 level split). off the laundry/utility room and storage area.

i don't like what they've done. she painted the walls a burgundy red. she pulled up the carpet and there is just black painted concrete on the floor. his mattress and boxspring is sitting on the floor (small area rug under it) with no bedframe. he has his stereo (he bought it himself with money he earned telephone canvassing during the election - about $550 he was so proud [when he went to buy it he had just enough money for the unit - he forgot about taxes... he was so dejected. i paid the taxes]). he has a wooden open shelf and he recently put a piece of smooth top particle board on top of a cardboard box to make a coffee table sort of thing. there is one window. it is not a good room. i know. i spent a lot of time in it.

with no lights on, the grey cloudy morning sky, the red walls and painted black concrete floor (with its cracks), no baseboards or trim - it looks like the kind of place a drug addict would live (contrast this with the 2 times she's remodeled and refurnished daughter's room).

or someone down and out

i should know

i've been there

he was wrapped in his blanket sitting in the middle of the bed crying miserable choking quiet sobs. i took of my outdoor coat and sat down next to him on the bed back against the wall. i reached out and pulled him to me. i held his head on my shoulder and stroked his hair and face. his hair was sweaty hot/cold. he was fully dressed and ready to go to school.

after holding him for awhile and letting him cry and calm down i asked him what was up.

he told me that he had missed the bus a bunch of times and had arrived to school late. that he tried really hard but kept missing it. that he would then walk to school (1.3 miles [thanks google]). he hustles, but he got there about 5 minutes late each day.

that he keeps having these assignments mount up. we've discussed this before. it's a french math class and the teacher is one of those homework assignment a day people. that assignment a day - math - which he does not excel at - math in french... - including calculus and stuff - that assignment a day just killed son. he saw a new failure stack up every day. a new rock in the pack every day. the pile of undone and the weight of the accumulated drove him down.

he says he can't sleep.

that he can't do anything. he's so tired all the time. he's so tired he has no motivation to do anything. that he wants to do stuff SO BAD. but he just can't get it together. so he just lies down. but he can't sleep. and when he does sleep that he can't wake up. that he can't get moving. that he pushes himself with everything he's got in the morning because he knows he has to go, but just can't keep it together to get there in time. he wants to drop that first class. he tells me that he has no friends. that his friends don't call him back anymore. that he has no real interest in anything at school. that while his classes are OK there is nothing that excites him like his multi-media classes from other semesters - even his computer science is pure programming - learning formula calculation and such - visual basic (a language that sucks, to be sure).

he doesn't know what to do

he dies a little before my eyes each time he says

"i'm so tired"

i hold him. i stroke his hair.

i'm still afraid of what might happen if his mother showed up. sometimes she does if she's out to one of her company's offices that's in our area. she'll use the bathroom at home on the way.

i resolve myself to give her a blast from hell. to tell her to call the police if she has a problem.

i tell son that he has three options.

he can die

he can continue to spiral downward in the same path he's on

or he can change

i tell him that in his current state he probably has no idea of what change to effect to make the changes. that i don't want to tell him what to do, but that i will offer some ideas on things to do.

that i want him to come to my gym with me to work out because we need to fix his sleep and his physical state. that i'll pay his membership fees at the gym - that we can see if daughter can somehow get in too (minimum age at gym) so we can all go together.

that sleep is the most important. that he needs to consider staying with me for the next 3 weeks straight (normally would be me/her/me) so that he can have refuge and sleep - that always being ready to battle or defend or even avoid is exhausting. and that he needs to be able to just sleep (remember - she has woken him up to bag at him just like she did with me).

i will change his diet. fat and carbs contribute to depression and lack of motivation - that while he eats healthily at my place he will need to eat healthily at his mother's instead of the prepared foods. that if i have to i will provide him with meals he can prepare himself and eat. eat better.

that we'll get him to talk to a school counsellor - that i already called the school and have them begin the preparation of a new course plan that will still get him his multi-media and french baccalaureate (first 2 years of a 3 year tech school multi-media course done in high school [free] - 15K tuition each year in tech school). that we can see about dropping the class first thing in the morning.

that if he wants to go out with some friends i will fund it. that if he wants to make some new friends i will fund outings. that if he wants to take art or something (he says he wants to take ninjitsu) to look forward to - i will fund it.

i told him he needed to go to counselling and that no matter what his mom said he was going to go - that we would find one that would take him without both parents' signature. that we would shop around until we found one that fit him. that he wanted to see.

we talked for a bit, and i told him that he needed to get his shit together so he could go to school. and that we would solve things once we were there.

we went over. he got there in time for a 20 minute break they have in the morning at 10:30 - so it wasn't straight into a class. i stopped by the office and talked to the vice-principal who had been briefed by the principal. we arranged for son to see the school counsellor - who is both a teacher and a registered counsellor (Masters in Psychology). I authorised son dropping his class if it was determined that would be best. I asked that they discuss an academic plan for son - but gently - to help him get his other assignments in.

i told him son is depressed. explained more details of the situation. discussed the pressure cooker that is life with his mother - in addition to the stress of the separation/divorce. asked if he had ever been depressed (said no - but that his wife was social worker and he had a good idea of what it does to people). explained the personal health and exercise program i was undertaking with son.

that they build a plan for him to accomplish what he wants to do. you see, because there are limited amount of french immersion classes and some are only taught in some semesters, he needs to be careful with his scheduling. add to that the multi-media courses - again only offered in certain semesters - and you have a scheduling nightmare. to me at least. they assured me they would make it work - and work with son's limitations and issues - especially his issues around deadlines - he doesn't meet them well. does great work - knows his work - knows his curriculum - can explain it all verbally (i've been pushing for a modified curriculum for him for years - with verbal exams and such) - lousy with deadlines (sound familiar...?).

i left to return to the office.

and survived the day.

in the afternoon i called our workplace's family assistance unit and asked for referrals and if it would pay for the counselling. he said no - not without both signatures (this is the same guy i dealt with for my counselling). he said he would double check on son - because he is 16. he still gave me names of counsellors that might apply for both children.

i called them and asked for call backs.

i called son after school and told him that i wanted him to come to the gym with me that night. i set him up with a guest membership (1 week trial).

i went and signed up at a special clinic in town where you can get counselling for free (not a lot of people know about it) - but they only have one counsellor. but i thought that even if i couldn't afford the other counsellors - at least i'd have one option... my mom (actually both my mom and dad) have gone to see this counsellor - it's a co-op clinic that has some special designations and funding (set up/founded by my parents [and others] in the '60s during our big fight and doctor's strike over establishing full medicare)

as i left i called Smitten to make arrangements for the evening. as we were talking son called to confirm that we would go at 5:30 instead of 7.

i was telling her that i didn't think we would get together that evening because i was pretty wrapped up in family issues and that they would be on my mind and she had said she didn't want to have to grind through that. she said - no - she only meant the weekend as a hiatus.

we agreed to get together later for supper. then i got the brainstorm that i would write up a consent letter for each of the kids and tell them that it was their job to bully their mother into signing it. because they would win. she would fight me to the end, but not them.

and that's what i did.

picked son up for our work-out and went for just over an hour

gave the letters of consent to son after the work-out

he told me that his mother had arrived home minutes before i came to pick him up. she had given him grief about going out with me to exercise - told him that he never spent any time with her or shared his life with her - but then told him he was overweight and could use some exercise. he told her about the consequences of the day - dropped class, changes to future scheduling, wanting/needing to see a counsellor, having anxiety attacks - and she asked him that if he was having anxiety attacks why wasn't he seeing a counsellor? he said that arrangements had been made - she was pretty snotty about it being me making the arrangements. he then left.

anyway - he went inside

i went to see Smitten

we went for dinner

when we got back to her place i essentially collapsed

i was exhausted

the day had taken everything i had

i'm picking the kids up in about 20 minutes

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"The Image of Men in Pornography: Man-as-Raging-Beast"

I would like to share with you an article I just found:

The Image of Men in Pornography: Man-as-Raging-Beast//The Uncelebrated Beauty of Men's Sexuality. A Reality-Check

It is by Shere Hite, author of "The Hite Reports".

good quotes:

"What about the other sexual states that men experience which are not seen in porno? Are men as singularly mechanical and aggressive 'by nature' as they are depicted? Society has tried to insist that a real man should 'get hard' at will, whenever 'appropriate', meaning in a private situation with a reproductively-aged female, but it is impossible to will an erection into being. In truth, the penis is a delicate part of the male being, one that responds with exquisite sensitivity to every nuance of emotion a man can feel. Erections come and go in men, during sex and during sleep. Most men report that it is desire they seek, not the mechanical means of orgasm or creating erection. Desire and arousal are the pleasures that spread through the body; orgasm, after all, can be attained alone during masturbation."

"most men do not allow themselves to explore the various feelings they wish to express during sex with a partner, especially a female partner, but instead try to follow as 'perfectly' as possible, the reproductive scenario depicted in most pornography. Our sexual acts have been channeled into too limited a form of expression; sex could be more interesting if it was not always focused on one scenario: 'foreplay' followed by 'penetration', the high point being 'fucking', coitus or 'the act'."


I disagree with an implied fact in one statement:

"How do men feel about how they are depicted as treating women in pornography and about the violence to women shown in most pornography? Most men feel perplexed, and wonder why this can excite them. Although pornography frequently denigrates women - showing women beaten, black and blue, and so on -- and liking it - it also denigrates men, cheapening and brutalizing their sensibilities, destroying their possibility of personal sexual discovery, implanting clich├ęs such as 'a real man is the one with the biggest, hardest erection', and so on, blocking their power to express themselves with others."

While pornography does frequently denigrate women, there is an implication of physical violence and beating in the sentence above that is not entirely accurate. The emotional violence, and the power imbalance violence in pornography is entirely there, but i do not believe that physical violence depictions are that common. If the line were: "even to the extent of showing women beaten, black and blue, and so on" I would be happier.

Otherwise, and in intent, it is a brilliantly written paragraph.

Thought you might be interested in the article.

Monday, April 21, 2008

difference

had a bit of a difference with Smitten last week

She has asked for space. Not from me, but space from my stbx. Space from my kids' issues. Space from the chaos.

To not discuss stbx or any effects she may have on me now. The turmoil surrounding the kids. The crap.

I was a little put out.

She told me when we started dating that she would tell me if it ever became too much.

She did.

She told me she didn't want to spend time together at my place. That it was no longer a place of comfort or refuge for her. That it was disquieting and jangled her.

This came after she asked me to spend more time with her. That she was finding our week on/week off situation to be hard for her on the week off (when we each have kids) - that she wanted to find a way to inject some more time together in that week as well.

I was pretty angry.

I have neglected my exercise to spend more time with her (and to be there for my kids when they needed me).

I have neglected my housekeeping. When we first started dating we didn't often get together until after we had eaten. She had other events and activities going on in her life - I had time to clean and do dishes. She recently made a comment to me that she didn't want to just come and watch me do dishes at my place - I gave up doing housework when she was around.

When I have the kids they eat up a huge portion of my time - just talking and guiding and helping them filter their lives.

I have a very demanding job that demands a lot of overtime right now.

My job standing has been damaged by my attention and involvement with my kids.

I am often too tired to clean-up or do dishes and things. I make most of my kids meals as well.

I am bugged that trying to attend to other people's emotional well being has resulted in my apartment looking like a war zone, my girlfriend not wanting to spend time in said apartment, and me feeling like being there for people just ends up with me getting the short end of the stick

of my neglecting myself suddenly becoming an issue

i'm bugged that the issues have come to the fore because i don't have enough time for myself and then she asks for a bigger piece of me

----

anyway

it's a little settled right now - it was a good weekend except for one bit

i understand the need to stop

i was exhibiting co-dependent style behaviour

stbx's antics caused the kids to get in a flap, the kids are already in a flap - and i just got sucked right into the swirl - didn't even really need to have contact with the stbx to have her reach out and touch me

i just ate it up

i started engaging fully in the bullshit. it was pretty much all i talked about - with smitten - my kids' stuff...

i recognised it myself and resented the intrusion of my kids onto MY life. that's part of the reason i didn't go apeshit to have them stay at my place. let them fucking learn how it all works out when they want to rely on their mother - saw how that worked out now, hey?

but i can imagine being around me was like being in an endless conversation with the stbx

if i could demand stbx let things go when we were still together (which she didn't)

if i could ask stbx to just stop talking about it

then i could let things go (never ask what you are unwilling to give)

just stop talking about it

for awhile

even if Smitten's request did stick in my craw more than a bit

Thursday, April 17, 2008

concert

my friend B - the one who Daughter talked to in the last post - her band was playing last night

it was a three band line-up of weird artsy bands - two local, one touring

B plays in an experimental techno/ambient band

anyway - daughter wanted to go. it was ostensibly an all ages gig. it was at a local club - an actual club - members sign-in and all. there are different liquor laws here for private member clubs than for regular liquor licenses. the most notable is that in private clubs - which are often cultural (German, Austrian, Romanian, Ukrainian [2 of them], Caribbean, etc) - retail liquor can be sold in the presence of minors accompanied by parents. it can also happen in restaurants with food purchases, but not lounges - or straight beverage rooms. blah, blah, blah

this venue is a "cultural club" that is an "arts and culture" club (not ethnic) that is dedicated to bringing in live music and experimental arts performances.

bottom line - daughter legally got to go to the bar (with me) at age 12...

and see live bands

and dance in a club on a dance floor (such as there is there - it's a big room in an old converted warehouse)

you know - the artsy/college-lots-of-women-dancing-by-themselves-all-artsy-like scene

many a white dude with dreadlocks, many a peasant skirt and torn jeans worn over leggings, and big bangley jewelry and scarves and such

a lot of people taking trips outside and coming back in smelling a little "odd"

surprise - we ran into the guy that niece M (mentioned in last post and others) used to live with. who just got back from Hawaii from travelling with niece M and the others... he's a white guy with dreadlocks, um, mellow dude so he was pleased to see us and friendly. he didn't have any issues from the break-up.

i knew a lot of the young people there. i was surprised. but i guess i do hang out with that sort of crowd on the periphery - having been inside of it (no dreads, though) when i was younger, and still knowing and being involved with artsy/lefty/granola crunching types now.

i've never fit completely well into the crowd - i was a little too red meat eating, and a little too realistic and goal oriented (and not snottily pretentious) for those folks (in my time [and now])- and these young people.

also, some of them used to work for me (or were in teams led/directed by me), or for my peer group before the election - some others who weren't in government still work for friends of mine

daughter was pleased as punch. felt right at home. drank her Dr. Pepper. stayed close, but talked to all the people who came by to say hi. i think many were surprised to see me there, and i think just came over to check out why i was there - they seemed genuinely happy to see me - but still curious

friend B was thrilled we came to visit - met her dad there as well

daughter said as we were on our way there "you know - this is the first band, or concert like this i will have ever been to see" - not quite true, but she was 4 or 5 years old for the last one...

she was buzzed

it's where she wants to be

the culture she wants to be a part of

she has said before, and said it again last night

that she wants to leave behind the "goody-two-shoes" pleaser personality that she adopted to curry favour with her mother, aunt, grandmother, and teachers

she says she feels she hid her true self

we'll see whom this young woman is and becomes

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

daughter's dinner engagement...

Daughter(12) has told me she is bi-sexual. She's been saying this for some time (openly to me for over a year). I thought I had mentioned it before on the blog, but word search on bi-sexual only turned up the hot-tub sally stories...

so - daughter is bi-sexual.

she hasn't mentioned this to her extremely homophobic mother. she's hinted, but not said it. her mother spazzed even when daughter hinted that someone in the family might be bi-sexual or homosexual.

daughter has told lots of other people, but not her mother's family - or rather her mother's generation of that family. she has told her cousins.

daughter has been dealing with this. she has told her friends in school and is pretty open about it. most of the kids in her grade are fine with it, including her friends whom she has sleepovers with and such. she is only attracted to one girl in her class - and then only physically

i have tried to be supportive and sensitive

daughter says she has known for sure for the last 2-3 years that she is attracted to women. i have known since she was less than 2 years old - i have seen her interest in women's bodies and in sexuality since that age - call it intuition, but i just knew. i didn't put full voice to my thoughts to anyone over the years. i told the stbx (when daughter was around 2 years old) that i thought that daughter had a profound interest in women's bodies. the stbx agreed and then took the step (unnecessary in my opinion) to hide her body from her daughter... much like she did when son was about the same age.

for the record - my mom, whom i consider a little prudish, didn't really start covering up until we were teenagers (in perspective - not that prudish). i have never seen much value in false modesty. proper decorum in sexuality - absolutely - but being all uptight about parts or somebody seeing something... is not where my head is at.

----

anyway, daughter (gr 6) encountered a girl in her school who is about a year and a bit older than her (2 grades) whom she "likes". she has been hanging out with her even if they haven't gone any further than that.

some of the grade 8 kids (the grade of the friend) have been hassling them calling them "lovers" and such. the other girl has an openly stated bi-sexual preference as well.

daughter didn't know how to handle the harassment

in this i am of limited assistance from my experience set

so i called my friend B (~26 yrs old), a lesbian, whom I had been intending to set daughter up with for some time to talk to, and asked her if she could talk to daughter about this. i told B that i wanted someone whom i could morally trust to talk to daughter. B was blown away that i would do this as a parent. i guess i didn't think it was that big a deal. but i was never gay. so maybe.

i gave daughter $40.00 and they went out for dinner last night. B picked her up at 5pm and they went to an afghan place in town that i had recently taken the kids to, but B had not been to yet. i am told they had a wide ranging discussion and daughter was pleased when she came home. she did not report out their discussion - a couple of stories and snippets - and i didn't ask.

B offered to be available as a resource and a friend to daughter. i was happy she did that. it's a lifeline - daughter won't feel so alone.

i hope this helps daughter cope with her burgeoning sexuality. daughter still plans on having kids, so i should still end up a grandparent on both sides :-)

----

interesting other tidbits to the story:

  • B used to live with J. J worked in my office. B and J were the lesbians i have mentioned in the past that the stbx accused me of having an affair with (both at the same time)

  • B is in a band, works for our biggest local music festival organization, wears very funky fashions, and also plays the double bass (classical). daughter has said she wants to play double bass for a couple of years now. B offered to give her a free set of intro lessons (among other things B teaches at the conservatory).

  • B is a vegan (as much as she can be here in the middle of cattle country - she's not freaky about her veganism) - we have traded many recipes

  • B actually dates guys sometimes. i didn't know. she just prefers women because she finds most guys dufuses [dufi?] (Smitten actually agreed with that description of most guys)

  • B is good friends with my oldest niece (the artist one who gave me the, um, organics a couple of years back) - i just searched for links on the blog and discovered i missed some important updates about my relationship with my niece (stbx's sister's daughter)

B thinks daughter should tell her mother about daughter being bi-sexual. B thinks daughter should do it for herself - in order to claim her own identity. while i consider the intent valid - i have concerns about her mother's response (surprise!)

i agree daughter needs to be true to herself - she just needs to have thought through the consequences and be prepared for them ahead of time.

----

anyway

bi-sexual 12 year old daughter with adolescent sexuality issues - talking about boys and about girls in the same sentence

there isn't much of a handbook on this one - for me anyway

i admit to still having a few (negative) tickles in my head around gay male issues - but i'm a product of my age, i guess.

i want grandkids, but daughter always wanted kids (and son) so i wasn't worried - i figured daughter would find a way no matter how anything worked out. so... if i get grandkids - my needs are met (at least i'm up front with my selfishness). i'm fine with another woman being daughter's life partner and co-parent if that's what works out.

i'm completely OK with the whole lesbian and bi-sexual thing. i actually agree that women's bodies are way more interesting and attractive than guys

in fact i've never really figured out why women are attracted to men - but that's another day's discussion

but i still never really thought this one through

never modeled it in my head - so it seems a little strange and a little weird as i go through it as a parent

Sunday, April 13, 2008

inside game

why did I leave the kids there for the remainder of the week?

after the inspection of the house and ascertaining how much food was present. after leaving the time bombs of the contacts with the stbx's mother and the messages on brother-in-law's cell phone. after deciding how much imminent danger they were really in, especially with me being 3 blocks away and in essentially instant contact. after deciding whether i felt they would deal with an extreme emergency well enough (eg: fire).

i had to decide what i wanted out of this. what would be the best outcome? for me - and for the kids.

would it actually harm the kids to be on their own barring things like a fire?

it would not

but what it would do is underline the irresponsibility of their mother's actions. it would make them feel anxious and abandoned by their mother. i would be there whenever they called, so they would not be alone or feel abandoned by me. my mom also called (independently of my interaction) and offered help if they needed it.

also - remember - they requested to be on their own as well - so they were feeling unsupported by their mother when things started to go sideways. i was there the moment they called. the kids would/will/do interpret my actions as supportive and caring.

it may be irresponsible of me in the short term to have left them there alone - i considered vetoing, but chose not to. i believe that the larger good can be found in getting my children away from their mother on a long term basis. they will have to agree to this - both morally and by law. i cannot force it unless she is neglectful in the extreme.

they would end a week of uncertainty with their arrival at my place - warm, comfortable (a little cramped), and fed. they would open the fridge and there would be food.

and the atmosphere would be soothing and comforting.

this is a long game

daughter had to learn what a whack-job her mother is by exposure for the year - and now she is calling things the way she sees them.

the kids had to understand what and whom they could count on

they had to learn that while their mother told them to call her every day that they were away on vacation with me, that she didn't call even once while they were alone (yes - i underlined that).

as for child protective services - Chris is there - he is 18. the stbx is within a legal safe zone. yes - i checked with the head of child protection services for the province (known to me through politics).

i do not know whether i played into her manipulative games.

i let her make choices. i let the children make choices. i let them go until they reached their inevitable conclusion. i documented. i interpreted events for my children in the light that i felt they should be interpreted. i involved her family by bringing her irresponsibility to light.

i have not delivered the letter to her. she is still gone and will be until the 19th. i am following Smitten's advice on sending it only through the lawyer.

every time i rush in and fix one of her mistakes it only covers for her. it's like cleaning up an alcoholic when they pass out. by rushing in and rescuing i would be enabling further disfunction.

it has to reach crisis level before the kids will react and make their choices

the stbx is close to the edge right now - this incident will be substantial in destabilising her further. i am rather cruelly allowing her disfunction to continue and grow in order to achieve my ends. i have patched things over for too long. by simply allowing her to fail, and by illustrating those failures publicly to her universe of people she will crack

at some point the children will be fed up and will choose to leave.

i suspect that this incident and the legal moves i am making on the property front will be about all she can take. the children believe she in close to a breakdown. i trust their observations.

history has already shown that nothing will change until a crisis precipitates it

Saturday, April 12, 2008

letter to the stbx (draft 1)

April 11, 2008

[Stbx] F. [stbx],

You recently left on a trip to Hawaii (Saturday, April 5, 2008). I am pleased that you have had the opportunity to travel, hope that you enjoy your travel, and wish to offer my support and assistance for any future travel.

I have some concerns with how things were handled.

Those concerns:

We exercise joint custody of our children.

You were leaving [ourcity] for a two-week period. One of those weeks the children would have normally been with you and one of those weeks they would have spent with me.

1) You did not advise me that you were planning to leave, and that the children would be alone for a week, until the Wednesday prior to your departure (Saturday). This is inadequate notice and joint planning. In the future please advise me earlier of such instances.

You only mentioned that you were going on a trip during a telephone call I made to you with regard to arrangements I was making with you about [Son] and [Daughter] traveling with me to the U.S. to see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak.

I am not asking for details of your travel plans or life activity, I am however, asking for reasonable advance notice of times when I may be required to provide additional support to and for our children – like a week in which you are not there as a in an emergency, to supervise, provide guidance, or drive them to lessons and such.

In no way should my comments be interpreted as admonishment on travel – far from it. I want you to travel. I want you to be able to do the things that you felt you were limited from doing while we were married.

You should just let me know a little earlier if I’m going to need to cover supervision or support activities. If I had chosen to go out of town in that period the kids would have been on their own. Even though [Son] is 16 years old, I am not comfortable with his ability to handle extraordinary situations without guidance. Chris, who is 18, and who lives at your house, is not, in my opinion, suitably mature or capable of appropriate supervision or emergency situation handling.

In our call (Wednesday) you raised a number of concerns you had. I needed to be elsewhere at the time of the call and did not have the time to discuss issues more fully. You should have called me earlier, or sent me a letter if you are uncomfortable with dealing with me in person or in conversation.

You talked to me about the fact that you were uncomfortable with leaving the children on their own for a week. That they had convinced you that they wanted to try being on their own. That you felt they would likely need extra supervision. That you were concerned that they might throw a party while you were away. That you wanted me to try to ensure there were no parties at the house. You gave me no definitional parameters to accompany any of your concerns or requests.

I have no problem with allowing the kids to try out spending time on their own as you and they advised me they wanted to do. There was inadequate time to discuss issues in that call on Wednesday night. We should have had a longer exchange of ideas on how to deal with that week the children would be on their own. In the future, please either call me or send me a letter/note.

2) You did not leave enough food in the house to, in my opinion, adequately cover meals and lunches during your week. You did not leave money to cover additional needs. This is inadequate.

I was very distressed to receive a call from the kids the afternoon of Tuesday, April 8, 2008 telling me they thought they might run out of food, and asking if they could have $30.00 to go buy more food. They told me that you had said you would leave $50.00 for them, but that it had not been left. After some thought I advised them to contact you for guidance. I told them that I would not leave them in the lurch for food, but that they needed to contact you, as it was your domicile and your week.

3) You did not leave them with contact numbers or contact information on how to reach you in Hawaii. This is improper and inadequate. Do not do this again. In the future leave proper contact information for the children on how to reach you when you are leaving them alone.

The children only had [brother-in-law]’s cell phone number as a contact. They tried calling the number 3 times and then left a message at my direction. As of Friday, April 11, 2008 that message had not been returned. Did you have any proof/information that [brother-in-law]’s cell phone would roam/track him to locations in Hawaii?

Leaving the children without adequate means to contact you is improper and inappropriate. You should have left a list of hotels and contact numbers.

In the future leave proper contact information for the children on how to reach you when you are leaving them alone, or explicitly advise me (and the children) that I have full custody and supervision for that week, like when we go on holidays. I am uncomfortable with the partial supervision and responsibility scenario. There should have been a full hand-off, and an explicit arrangement for the week.

Further to the food issue (this write-up is partially chronological/narrative):

I advised them to call their Grandmother as well. She advised them that she would bring them food if needed, but not any for Chris – as “he has his own money to buy his own food”. I concur with her on the matter of Chris’ food.

I went to the house to see how much food was left. I entered the house for a period of about 5 minutes to check the fridge, fridge freezer, lazy susan/corner cupboard, pantry cupboard, and downstairs freezer. The children did not invite me in, I told them I was coming in. I wanted to make sure that they were not just trying to score extra pizza and such from me.

I provided some food for [Son]’s lunches and gave instructions on how they should stretch the food available at the house.

4) You did not leave them with instructions on how to handle emergencies that may have arisen. If there were a plumbing or furnace problem what would have been their action set? There was no instruction set, or plumbers to call, or even instructions to call your mother to deal with any situation.

Their response was that they would call me. I am uncomfortable with this. While I still own half the house and would have dealt with any crisis, in the past you have explicitly advised me not to enter your house. You changed the locks.

I was uncomfortable with entering to check the food on this occasion, and felt uncomfortable with any other potential situation regarding the house. In the future please leave explicit instructions with the children, or with me on how such situations are to be handled.

Addendum:

You even left your car unlocked with CDs and the broken computer inside it. I gave the children instructions to lock the vehicle. I would have had them put the crook lock on it as well, but did not know where the key was for it to be sure that you could unlock the crook lock.

Future Handling:

I remain committed to the idea of joint custody, but in the future I expect better handling of such situations and of joint custody and management of the children and their interests. In this letter I have outlined my concerns and my feelings and desires about how some of these issues should dealt with.

To date I have tried to make my feelings and intent known through verbal contact. This is now a notice in writing. I look forward to working together in the future to address the best interests of our children.

[Cadbury]

----

response

Thank you for your trust in me to allow me to view this. It is very comprehensive and the details thought out. I can only imagine your anger and frustration and possible numbness while writing this.

I have commented in blue - (very direct comments I should add). I know it probably reads choppy, but I have taken over an hour to read (close to 2 actually), to think about and respond. As always, I will not be offended if you disagree with my comments and I hope you will not take them defensively:

-----Original Message-----
From: [Cadbury]
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 12:00 PM
To: [Smitten]
Subject: your thoughts?

i am delivering this in a letter to the house, and sending it through my

lawyer to her lawyer

Your blog friends suggested that you do not engage her. By sending it to her house first, she will be engaged and will phone you directly – do you want this?

what have i missed?

(first draft)

----

April 11, 2008

[stbx] F. [stbx],

Why the capital F.? And did she ever take your last name as a hyphen?

You recently left on a trip to Hawaii (Saturday, April 5, 2008). I am pleased that you have had the opportunity to travel, hope that you enjoy your travel, and wish to offer my support and assistance for any future travel.

I don't agree with the sugar sweet of "I am pleased that you have had the opportunity to travel, hope that you enjoy your travel". I understand why you write it, but in light of her horrifying behaviour, I suggest just the acknowledgement sentence of “I hope that you enjoyed your vacation, and wish to again offer accommodations for any child care responsibility in any future travel”. My wording sucks, but I hope you get what I mean. And also a sentence about how you would hope she would in turn extend the same accommodations in childcare arrangements for you.

I have some concerns with how things were handled.

Those concerns:

We exercise joint custody of our (the) children.

Given that you do not want to engage her nor personalize your current relationship, I would suggest to use “the” children instead of “our” – yes I know that it is improper and depersonalizes them, but in light of the relationship I would think it is okay.

You were leaving [ourcity] for a two-week period. One of those weeks the children would have normally been with you and one of those weeks they would have spent with me.

1) You did not advise me that you were planning to leave, and that the children would be alone for a week, until the Wednesday prior to your departure (Saturday). This is inadequate notice and joint planning. In the future please advise me earlier of such instances.

Suggest a specific time frame that you think is appropriate - 2 weeks or 1 month?

You only mentioned that you were going on a trip during a telephone call I made to you with regard to arrangements I was making with you about [Son] and [Daughter] traveling with me to the U.S. to see Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton speak.

I am not asking for details of your travel plans or life activity, I am however, asking for reasonable advance notice of times when I may be required to provide additional support to and for our (the)children – like a week in which you are not there as a in an emergency, to supervise, provide guidance, or drive them to lessons and such.

I would suggest again to use “the” children instead of “our”.

In no way should my comments be interpreted as admonishment on travel – far from it. I want you to travel. I want you to be able to do the things that you felt you were limited from doing while we were married.

First line is great – but the next lines give her power and a reason to bitch about and berate you for not meeting HER needs while you were married. She had opportunity to travel while she was with you – but it was her choice and behaviours that did not make it happen.

You should just let me know a little earlier if I’m going to need to cover supervision or support activities. Already been stated, and it sounds like you are pleading. There is no need to go into detail again. She is not a child (even though she acts like it) who has to have the message repeated in a softer way

If I had chosen to go out of town in that period the kids would have been on their own. Excellent comment and would be a good back up example of why you need advance notice of vacations

Even though [Son] is 16 years old, I am not comfortable with his ability to handle extraordinary (emergency) situations without guidance.

Yes

Chris, who is 18, and who lives at your house, is not, in my opinion, suitably mature or capable of appropriate supervision or emergency situation handling.

Yes, but restate that he is only a tenant and not an adult in charge (as well as your other well stated statements of him). In fact I would really hope that she did not even think of him as someone who could handle any emergencies - the fact that he is living there is irrelevant to any childcare arrangements she should have made. Appropriate arrangements would be to have grama and grandpa come over every second day and check in.

In our call (Wednesday) you raised a number of concerns you had. I needed to be elsewhere at the time of the call and did not have the time to discuss issues more fully.

Another good example of why you need to know of her vacation time in advance

You should have called me earlier, or sent me a letter if you are uncomfortable with dealing with me in person or in conversation.

This is giving her ammunition – this letter is not about whether she feels comfortable around you or not. It is about childcare responsibilities. Acknowledging her ‘fraidy cat’ game and manipulation will give her power and deflects from the immediate issue. Do not stray. Also – are you just guessing that she did not want to see you in person or did she say it? This also ties in with her need to suck you in by talking about her worries about the kids.

I would suggest that you really decide how you are going to deal with her – are you going to just correspond through writing or through the lawyer or are you going to continue to verbally talk with her? Because the inconsistencies of what you have told me that you want to do (only communicate through paper) versus what you are actually doing (talking with her on the phone and in person) seem to me to be causing some problems and stress for you. She is using that inconsistency to her advantage (eg: being a fraidy cat in your presence).

You talked to me about the fact that you were uncomfortable with leaving the children on their own for a week. That they had convinced you that they wanted to try being on their own. That you felt they would likely need extra supervision. That you were concerned that they might throw a party while you were away. That you wanted me to try to ensure there were no parties at the house. You gave me no definitional parameters to accompany any of your concerns or requests.

Defending her house and property are not your responsibility. Well, I guess partially as it is still your house. But in reference to my above comment, what role do you want to play in her life? The issue at hand is child care, not house care.

I can guarantee that if the situation was reversed and you were concerned about a house party that would either have supervision from your family or would just not go on the trip.

I have no problem with allowing the kids to try out spending time on their own as you and they advised me they wanted to do. There was inadequate time to discuss issues in that call on Wednesday night. We should have had a longer exchange of ideas on how to deal with that week the children would be on their own. In the future, please either call me or send me a letter/note.

Already been stated. And by saying that “We should have had a longer exchange of ideas on how to deal with” I read it as you are inviting her to have LONG conversations with you and that you really WANT to speak with her. (I understand that if indeed a conversation about childcare happened between you two that you would stick to the topic and would only speak about relevant topics – but she will take the opportunity to wander just to continue conversation with you. Do you want this?

2) You did not leave enough food in the house to, in my opinion, adequately cover meals and lunches during your week. You did not leave money to cover additional needs. This is inadequate.

I was very distressed to receive a call from the kids the afternoon of Tuesday, April 8, 2008 telling me they thought they might run out of food, and asking if they could have $30.00 to go buy more food. They told me that you had said you would leave $50.00 for them, but that it had not been left. After some thought I advised them to contact you for guidance. I told them that I would not leave them in the lurch for food, but that they needed to contact you, as it was your domicile and your week.

In this section, add the paragraph about you entering the house, and of [Son]’s lunches. Oh and could you give a quote from them that gives you justifiable cause about their starvation as a reason to enter her house?. Especially any quote that would make her look bad and caused for immediate parental reaction from you.

3) You did not leave them with contact numbers or contact information on how to reach you in Hawaii. This is improper and inadequate. Do not do this again. In the future leave proper contact information for the children on how to reach you when you are leaving them alone.

The children only had [brother-in-law]’s cell phone number as a contact. They tried calling the number 3 times and then left a message at my direction. As of Friday, April 11, 2008 that message had not been returned. Did you have any proof/information that [brother-in-law]’s cell phone would roam/track him to locations in Hawaii?

Leaving the children without adequate means to contact you is improper and inappropriate. You should have left a list of hotels and contact numbers.

In the future leave proper contact information for the children on how to reach you when you are leaving them alone, or explicitly advise me (and the children) that I have full custody and supervision for that week, like when we go on holidays.

Who is “we”?

I am uncomfortable with the partial supervision and responsibility scenario. Did you tell her this initially?

There should have been a full hand-off (elaborate a bit on what you mean by hand off), and an explicit arrangement for the week.

Yes.

Further to the food issue (this write-up is partially chronological/narrative):

I advised them to call their Grandmother as well. She advised them that she would bring them food if needed,

if needed? I thought she actually brought stuff. Anyways, talk about that you felt comfortable with this arrangement and did not think that you had to further intervene. Maybe also that the kids were so concerned that they phoned your mom?

but not any for Chris – as “he has his own money to buy his own food”. I concur with her on the matter of Chris’ food.

I went to the house to see how much food was left. I entered the house for a period of about 5 minutes to check the fridge, fridge freezer, lazy susan/corner cupboard, pantry cupboard, and downstairs freezer. The children did not invite me in,

Almost sounds like you barged in – can you soften this? Also to give you back up, state that the children accompanied you through the house.

I told them I was coming in. I wanted to make sure that they were not just trying to score extra pizza and such from me. yes

I provided some food for [Son]’s lunches and gave instructions on how they should stretch the food available at the house.

4) You did not leave them with instructions on how to handle emergencies that may have arisen. If there were a plumbing or furnace problem what would have been their action set? There was no instruction set, or plumbers to call, or even instructions to call your mother to deal with any situation.

Their response was that they would call me. I am uncomfortable with this. While I still own half the house and would have dealt with any crisis, in the past you have explicitly advised me not to enter your house. You changed the locks.

This statement could be a potential conflict with you making the decision to enter the house anyways. Can it be taken out or reworded? Is it necessary?

I was uncomfortable with entering (your house) to check the food on this occasion, and felt uncomfortable with any other potential situation regarding the house. Maybe this is a good place to add in a quote from the kids as to their desperation and that there was no one else for them to contact? In the future please leave explicit instructions with the children, or with me on how such situations are to be handled. I know this is just a draft, but the sentence sounds like it is giving her future permission to NOT leave them well prepared when she leaves. In a few paragraphs above you have listed some expectations for her. In fact, an actual detailed list might be a good idea to include. One that you will also adhere to when you go on vacation.

Also, to reiterate, what role do you want to play in her life.

Addendum:

You even left your car unlocked with CDs and the broken computer inside it. I gave the children instructions to lock the vehicle. I would have had them put the crook lock on it as well, but did not know where the key was for it to be sure that you could unlock the crook lock.

I can read your frustration in this sentence. Remember that her stuff is NOT your problem. She is NOT your responsibility. If her stuff gets trashed it is her fault.

And, even though this is a draft, it almost sounds like you were snooping. Either omit or say that [Daughter] noticed it. Think about the goal of the letter.

Future Handling:

I remain committed to the idea of joint custody,

Do you really? Only say this if you truly feel it. Otherwise say some concerns about continuing with joint in light of her increasingly bizarre and inappropriate behaviours.

but in the future I expect better handling of such situations and of joint custody and management of the children and their interests. In this letter I have outlined my concerns and my feelings and desires about how some of these issues should dealt with.

To date I have tried (there is no such thing as try. You did). to make my feelings and intent known through verbal contact. you have also expressed in writing (eg the suicide warning letter). This is now a notice in writing. Perhaps say that this is the second letter of inappropriate parenting behaviours. I look forward to working together in the future to address the best interests of our children this sounds too friendly – reflect your feelings of outrage and annoyance and disappointment –or whatever. Write about expectations of behaviour.

[Cadbury]

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

update on food shortage

i thought about things, i discussed them with Smitten.

the outcome: went to the house. looked in the fridge and freezers. son's estimate of the food supply was correct.

i told the kids i wouldn't let them starve. i did tell them that their first order of business is to contact their mother and get her to solve the problem. son called brother-in-law's cell phone and left a message after being unable to reach them twice (so much for being available in the event of emergency).

i also told them to call their grandmother and talk to her about the situation - might as well toss responsibility back into that family and make the stbx suffer for a little while that way - he mom will make her feel stupid and incompetent for this one... they called her and she said she would bring food for them if they needed it, but none for Chris (the guy/friend staying there) - she said he can buy his own food.

I told the kids that Chris could spend a little less money on his cell phone and pot and maybe he would have enough food.

I was really upset by all this - i suspect you can tell from my last post. This is entirely beyond the pale. the stbx's actions are totally irresponsible. i'm really, really, really upset.

my mom happened to call over to the house to talk to daughter about some sewing she had done for daughter and got the word as well. my mom called me - she was close to tears (voice choking on the phone). i've only seen tears a very few times in all my years from my mom - deaths and funerals - and maybe 2-3 times outside of that. the thing that upset her the most was that Son was worrying about trying to find food for his friend. she thought that Son has so much other shit piling on him - yet he feels responsible for his friend - who is 18, and son is only 16 - why should he have to "parent" someone older than him? she told son that she would feed him, but that Chris could take care of himself.

i told my mom that Son got the rescue gene legitimately from me and from her...

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the whole event left me distracted

it really ruined my evening with Smitten. so many things are coming up in my life that take away from us spending time just being with each other and enjoying each other's presence and our connection as a couple.

i told her that i was astounded that the stbx could be reaching into our lives more and more - that i thought i had insulated my self a little from her - but the stbx is reaching out through new channels to just fuck up the equilibrium - now, mostly through the kids and her messed up behaviour with them

Smitten said "Chaos knows no boundaries and no limits"

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[took the blog public again - might have to go private again at some point, but the imminent potential danger has subsided. to my Halifax and University of Illinois readers - post or send me email, ok? you read so very regularly but do not comment (i think) and i felt bad about going private and not sending an invite]

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

OH MY GOD - FUCKING STUPID BITCH

so she leaves for her vacation to Hawaii

Son calls me just now and says that they are running out of food at the house because there isn't much there.

he says that the stbx didn't leave any money in case there was an issue, and that she didn't leave any emergency contact numbers or any instructions as to what to do in the event of calamity

he says she said she would leave $50.00, but none was left

just the brother-in-law's cell phone - that Son can't reach them on - and maybe boyfriend bob's cell - they think

they have no contact number in Hawaii, they have no address or locations they are staying or any way to track them down except for these cell phone numbers - fucking irresponsible bitch fucking asshole!!!!!!!

----

so the kids want me to give them money for food

fuck

i need to think this through

my initial instinct is to rescue, but i just don't know what to do right now

i'm thinking that i would not give any money, only food - if i did

i'm thinking that they should be responsible for calling their mother and getting her direction - in fact i just phoned and told them it is their responsibility to get a hold of their mother

i told them i would not leave them starve, but that their mother needed to find a way out of this instead of me riding to the rescue immediately

i also don't trust Chris - the other young guy who lives there not to have taken the money while we were away

fuck

A letter to my sister

your father is driving me insane

i don't know what to do with him

i think i'm going to have to call a contact time out of some kind

at work my phone's call display doesn't work right now

i don't have a call display phone at home

he calls me all the time

3 or 4 times a day - on a good day - and that's just the calls to me at work

he calls a couple of times an evening as well - sometimes more

for the most inane shit you can imagine

he is so completely self-centred it is ridiculous

everything is about him

we just went to the US to see Obama and Clinton - by the end the kids were saying things like "Grandpa needs to be the hero of the hour every hour" and "Everything is always about him" and "He has to be the centre of attention or he gets pissy and miffed".

and they've known and humoured him for their whole lives. they're pretty gentle about/with him.

and then he yells or gets snappy if they do anything even a little outside his zone - unless i'm around - then i can see him holding back - because he knows i'll take a strip off him

(at christmas time he threatened to punch out [Son]. i had quite a confrontation with him where we traded threats of physical violence. he apologised the next day)

he will change the subject of any conversation to be about him or his life or his family history - failing that, about some historical subject of interest to him - like the development of railways in north america... (and Canada in particular)

i brought him to the legislature last night

we are filibustering some rule changes, and having some introductions breaks things up a little for the person on the floor speaking. trying to think of Dad's need to be in on the action, i suggested he come down and be introduced. i asked him if he had a bio kicking around that we could use.

he wrote something up in a hurry - and that was good of him.

but the reason i did it was to just give him a little thrill that he was taking a small part of kicking the other guys. well, what a production...

he actually asked me "What should I wear?" as though this was more than a night sitting of the house during a filibuster. i told him "I'm wearing jeans and a sweater - that would be fine". he then came down to the office, but wanted to have a discussion about which of the members would be the best to deliver the introduction.

Oh My God

what a bonehead

this was after the weekend in Grand Forks. We went to some hospitality suites at the Democratic-NPL convention. Dad actually told me he'd sent an email to his contact asking what to wear. It's not like he hasn't been going to these since he was a kid some 70 years ago - but had to make it more of a production.

he has to discuss the ass off of every detail of everything - sometimes going over the same ground several times - and always about him and his role and what he should be doing or how to handle something or whatever the hell

when i talked to my friend here - his Dad is 90something - he said that its old guy stuff

that they are trying to assure themselves that they still have a place in the world

in our father's situation it is worse, i think, because of that politician's ego. he so desperately needs adulation and attention. he won't even do any give and take. he won't even pretend to pay attention to what other people are saying. he would turn away and ignore the kids in the middle of what they were talking to him about - if it wasn't about him. he would interrupt in the middle of things i was saying - after he had the floor for an extended period (like a half hour or more straight) and say things like "Do you want me to finish that bit of family history I was telling you about? How John and Katerina took the wagon from North Dakota to the homestead location?"

I had literally gotten 2 or 3 sentences out of my mouth. It was even on his topics of provincial history and homesteading and early farm life - except i was talking about the nature of settlement around where Mom's family lived and was about to ask him to tell me if that matched his area - thus giving him yet another chance to talk about himself and his family - he's an old guy, so i gave him his time to tell his stories and do his thing - but even that wasn't good enough - i couldn't even pitch him a softball in under 30 seconds that moved the topic away from him

jesus

anyway

sorry to spew in your direction but, i'm ready to lose it

and he just needs more and more - it's never enough

Monday, April 07, 2008

too tired to post a narrative yet



that's him on the jumbotron

and 17,000 of his closest friends

some people - they do road trips for concerts

me

and my kids...

their first road trip is to see Obama
(and Hillary).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

i may need to take the blog private for awhile

some shit has arisen that makes having anything hanging out in the wind iffy (current work/politics) - i will probably go public again in awhile - but our foes will be cruising

we just burned the other guys hard - i don't want to be exposed

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i will be sending invites and taking it private - if i don't have your email address please let me know

interview this morning

went OK

a little more stilted than i would have liked

but ok

i can at times get overenthusiastic - especially when describing grand plans for the universe - so i was a little longwinded and overdetailed on some answers

especially on subjects i am passionate about

called my buddy who is on the board, who first headhunted me

will get some informal feedback soon

will post later...