Friday, January 30, 2009

Day by day

Day by day
Oh Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day

- from Godspell


not that i'm religious

i describe myself as a "recovering catholic"
(when i was kid the Priest in the Parish that was attached to our school would tell the other kids to rough me up because he was a bitter political opponent of our political party in general and my family in particular - i have some resentment issues...)

but i could sure use some serenity


i wanted (and had) the prayer of St. Francis sung as one of the hymns at my wedding

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there's sadness, ever joy

(full lyrics)

that and this one (derived from Matthew 25:34)

Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
When I was hungry, you gave me to eat;
When I was thirsty, you gave me to drink.
Now enter into the home of My Father

(full lyrics)

as you know, i have been active in socialist politics for my whole life

in politics, people often discuss the written works, or ideological treatises that motivated them to activism

those two songs - that i learned as a very small child - still move me to tears - it might be weird, but it's the truth - those two songs and the ideas contained within them are the core of my personal philosophy

if it sounds strange that religion would be part of socialism, well... the social gospel is a huge component in the development of our political movement - we were founded primarily from the activists from radical churches in the 20s and 30s - at least our intellectual base (and our longest serving leader and premier [like a state governor] was a radical baptist minister) was derived from theological treatises. i think that's one reason that Barack Obama appeals to me so much - the emphasis on self-reliance - but help being there if its needed no questions asked - no "means test" - the emphasis on human dignity - as we say in our party: "the best social program is a job"


When I was weary, you helped me find rest.
When I was anxious, you calmed all my fears


my children are weary

i am weary

i spend a lot of time trying to calm them and work through their feelings

there is a rule of thumb in counseling that it takes three years of counseling to overcome every year of trauma/disturbance

i am trying to work my kids through their shit faster and easier than all that

my counselors and doctors (and Smitten) say that i have made remarkable progress in the time since leaving

i hope to be able to help my children in the same way

i work every moment i can or am able to help them

they are the total focus of my life


i don't post much (obviously) because i spend almost every waking hour thinking about and working on the issues that confront me and confront my children

i am in counseling twice a week, and Smitten is ever my stalwart coach through this process

i try to escape the madness

and posting keeps me there

lots of times i will go to post and then just end up playing a computer game to "zone out" - i play strategy games - the illusion of order within the construct of the game helps me cope


the kids are moving away from the fear they had/have of their mother and her tirades/rants/sessions. they (especially daughter) are becoming defiant (son was already there) of her and avoiding contact with her

they are feeling somewhat protected and sheltered

i understand the transition they are going through


daughter and son are in incredible muscle pain

their symptoms mirror my own

i don't think they are mimicking

i am taking them for massage and chiro and to the doctor (and exercising), but they are still in much pain

with the stbx you have no choice but to internalise your emotions because she cuts you off in all directions

i used the analogy before:

when you were a kid, did you ever encounter another kid who would "torture" a dog by cornering/crowding it, and then cutting off all means of escape - and every time the animal would try to escape they would move and block that point of escape/exit... did you ever see that one?

that's what she does in conversation

if you are angry she attacks you for being angry - if you are calm she attacks you for being disinterested or disengaged - if you are ordered and solution oriented she attacks you for being emotionless...

and on... and on... and on...

as soon as you respond to one charge or accusation she pulls the rug out from under you and throws another lie or baseless charge that has just enough of a whiff of basis in truth or actual events that you react and try to defend yourself - and then she cuts you off and/or changes topics again - and then attacks you for not answering the original question she asked - and accuses you of not being interested or caring enough to respond to her feelings - and attacks you for being off on some other topic (that she injected) and not addressing what she wanted you to

it's a no win situation

no win

not ever

she's fucking nuts


the kids get trapped just like me

they get suckered in time and again

please read "Sweetened Cocnut" to review an analysis of her shit...


sometimes we don't answer the phone

sometimes we do

sometimes i can keep the calls down to only 4-6 minutes (a great victory)

the stbx calls all the time

since the kids went away she wants more to do with them than she did while they lived with her. the kids are sick of it. as son said "before, at least, she'd just ignore me and leave me alone - now i actually have to spend time with her"

but then sometimes she's nice

and the longing they have for the mother they wish they had comes out

i understand that too

i wanted to live with "lucid [stbx]"


daughter has dropped her ethnic dance

that was the reason she cut herself that morning

she didn't want to go to practice that night and she didn't want to tell her mother, or her aunt, or her grandmother on that side of the family

she was worried about their disappointment and recrimination

she had no place to put her anxiety so she took it out on herself

her anxiety was well placed

after i told her mother she wants drop out

and that the cutting was a direct result of her anxiety

while she was out with her mother - less than one week later - visiting grandma and auntie

they both put extreme pressure on daughter - not once - but on two separate occasions - daughter had to defend herself from three adults sumultaneously

even after i had warned her mother about the issue and warned that it might cause another cutting episode

the stbx denies they pressured her

daughter had to stay home from school the next morning because her legs and arms were in such spasm she couldn't walk

the doctor and my massage therapist were incensed that her mother would put such pressure on daughter - and with that outcome

especially my massage therapist

she was in tears at seeing that much tension and pain in a child


my kids sleep a lot

son almost fell asleep in class and came home for the rest of the morning to sleep

i am trying to get him up to back for the afternoon right now

will try to post more later

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a few pictures

daughter's arm on monday

what my mom made for her granddaughter (fully homemade) that was reported subsequently as "feels good in my stomach"

finally relaxing a little - she was home from school today (extreme headaches, muscle pain and spasms)

she had just eaten a bowl of the pasta (and finished an hour's massage)


yeah - the stbx doesn't care what she does

she just needs to fill the void inside her

she doesn't care who she destroys trying to fill her void

even if it's the people she says she loves


a draft excerpt from material i am writing for my lawyer - explaining what her "outbursts" are for when the courts ask what it is in her behaviour that is causing such pain in the people around her:

stbx doesn't trust that people love her. She lacks the sense of self, and the self-love to accept that she is loved and is lovable.

When she receives a demonstration of love or affection, two things will often happen that take much the same form:

1)because she doesn't truly believe that people love her, she will test them to see if they really love her, or if they are being nice to her because they want something from her. At some point the person reacts to being tested or their demonstration or statement of love and affection being challenged.

2)if she perceives the action or words to be real, because she usually feels unloved and unlovable, she wants more – and she will take actions or say things to get the giver to do more – and will ask for more as long as the person will give. At some point the giver recoils from love being demanded from them.

In each instance stbx's takeaway to her challenging whether people love her or not is that the people don't really love her or were “just being nice to her” - which then reinforces her self-image of being unloved and unlovable.

It is a vicious cycle of neediness and rejection which ends badly.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


i'm way more mellow today

spent last night with Smitten. daughter and son were out at sleepovers.

got to have a night that was focused on us. even if i spent a huge amount of time talking through stuff about the kids, my mind and spirit were not with them - i was with Smitten

that freedom from total engagement was really good

because usually i fully bodily, mentally, and spiritually engaged with my kids and their situation (by bodily i mean that my body fully reflects my mood and my worry or happiness [not a lot of happiness lately])

we drank martinis, talked, watched some battlestar galactica. slept and had awesome morning sex (well, 11 am...)

a wonderful recipe for being more relaxed ;-)

(in a personally positive moment, i had only momentary erection issues - yay!!!)


Smitten had to get a new car. she is out doing that today.

her old car had a couple of issues that were highly problematic (starting with the head gasket).

given that she is on student loans and such right now, she ended up needing to lease rather than buy a car (can't have the asset to be eligible) - we did the costing and it will be OK - over 4 years it will cost about $2000 more than buying. she has trade in/up options if she decides to get a new vehicle after she is done her master's degree in 2.5 years

i have some cash in the bank so i loaned her some up front money to enable the whole transaction. she will be getting the last of the money from her dad's estate in the next two weeks (has the cheques in hand - just needed court documents to be able to do some bank stuff for the last disbursements) and wil pay me back.


son is in regular drug counseling - not that it's doing much, but he is slowing down on his use as things stabilise and as i ask him to assume more responsibility for care of his sister and for things around the apartment and in the household.


daughter has had her psychiatric assessment after a suicide scare on monday of this week. not an attempt but she was feeling suicidal. so she called me.

more on that later


i am pushing hard to get the settlement, custody, and divorce done during this period

if it's going to be fucked up, it might as well be fucked up all at once. and it will help keep the stbx destabilised if i keep hitting her with more stuff during this period.


daughter, at least in talking to son and i, is not happy with her mother's behaviour.

she does not want to go back.

i give her every opportunity to say she would like to. give her the option almost every day - i give her enormous wiggle room and the ability to visit or spend time with her mother.

she resists every time

she only goes when she feels trapped by obligation to go with her mom.

i think that bodes well for how we will be able to affect the outcome of the chambers hearing on my motion

with distance from her mother, daughter has slowly become more comfortable with separating from her mother

daughter is identifying more and more of the manipulation and control tactics and techniques their mother uses on them and has used on them. she is breaking the code of silence about crap that went on (including incidents of violence toward daughter) over the years (more on this later)

son is desperate to stay away from his mother (more on this later)

as daughter so eloquently expressed it one time when i was suggesting they be considerate of their mother and her desire to see them

"fuck mom"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

alrighty then...

sorry i haven't posted during this whole period

i know how waiting for news about my friends (you folks and in real life) always makes me crazy - not knowing what's happening to people you care about

i'm sorry

i have been attending counseling twice a week, talking to Smitten multiple times a day, talking with the kids non-stop (helping them through what they are feeling), dealing with my parents (who mean well, but are almost like having to deal with my kids...) and thinking about the situation almost non-stop since early december

as well as all the medical and other appointments and lawyer crap

and having to talk to and deal with the stbx - more than even before - too much - aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!!!

it becomes almost too painful to deal with to then type it all up again for the blog

sorry - really

i think about all of you constantly - sometimes i am able to flick by your blogs in the middle of the rest of things


how's it going?

January 7th was supposed to be the court date but the stupid cow and her lawyer filed a motion for an extension. my lawyer said they are almost always granted, especially since there is nothing pressing and i will maintain the current arrangement which is the one i am requesting in the motion until the 23rd

i hate this

i hate the uncertainty. the worst uncertainty is for daughter - she doesn't know whether she will somehow end up back at the house for a week at a time - but now without her brother to shield her. she is playing it very cagey and tentative with her mom and "blaming" everything on me. saying she has "no choice". and that i have imposed the regime on everyone.

we agreed she should do this to protect her from the "wrath of mom" until we have something official and legal

the stbx refuses to send schedules of when she wants visits and tries to just lob herself into the mix at random - based on whether she wants company at a given moment or not. that puts the kids under pressure and gives her a point of drama and entanglement with me

i had to refuse to discuss such matters unless she sends a written schedule

its still not even a schedule - its a few sentences that almost never contain a time or place or description of event or whom will be the "supervising" or "accompanying" person. i end up having to rewrite the note and send it back with times locations pick-up and drop-off responsibilities, blah, blah, blah - passive-aggressive crap on her part

it is still only at the point when i refuse to allow her access that she even sends that - you see it also gives her an excuse to try to entangle me into phone conversations by whining and balking

there have been a couple of "must attend" events that she has been able to get me to agree to allowing verbally (then i follow up by email) - so she keeps trying to stretch the arrangements and push me - she knows how much i hate hassle and arguments and being pressured - just like my kids know i will cave on minor points just to avoid pain and hassle...

the "must attends" she has pushed on have been christmas stuff with her family and an engagement party for her nephew and daughter's dance events (and an appointment to make alterations to daughter's outfit [ethnic dance costume])

until i have the legal clout to tell her to fuck off i have to always "act in the best interest of the child". christmas and her dance are that...


it's the endless entanglement and having to even talk to her and endless rambling and circular conversations that make so crazy

it's not even the shit she pulls so much

it's the excruciating pain and suffering of having to endure her endless rambling bullshit and whining

the kids and i have talked about how this is a form of abuse - we all just hate it


Smitten just arrived for a late lunch

i'm at the university right now - i have resumed taking classes

so i'm going to post this because i have no idea of whether my plan to finish it this afternoon will work out

so i will post this as an incomplete narrative

see you later

all my love and best wishes to everyone

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

men smell bad...

at least when there is a large number of them and they are sweaty and in a locker room


i have shoveled and moved piles of rotting pig shit that smelled better than the locker room at the gym yesterday

you know how towels get that nasty rotting smell if you leave them damp?

and men's old socks are usually gross?

and how some men smell really sour bad when they sweat heavily?

mix 'em together


for the record - i rarely smell bad

i am a freak about hygiene and personal odour

yeah - men smell bad


there is incredible levels of shit going on in the rest of my life, but i will post on that trajectory later tonight

assuming something else doesn't come along to fuck up my life between now and then

same old shit - just further along the path it previously was on