Irreverent Mama

Monday, June 19, 2006

Victory is mine!!

A couple of weeks ago, my two daughters, who I thought were with their dad for the weekend, show up at my door. In tears. Zoe, the eldest, was taking her younger sister shopping for some necessary summer clothes. At almost-thirteen, Becca has grown phenomonally in the past year. So, the girls asked their dad for forty dollars to go to Value Village. Value Village, cheapest of the cheap.

They ask their dad for the funds, and dad "went ballistic"! Said he paid child support to me, I should provide their clothes. Which of course I do. For my home. Plus I buy their outerwear and footwear, their sports equipment, their uniforms for bands, etc, etc, etc. The girls wanted to buy some shorts and t-shirts for weekend wear. That's all.

But no, it's my responsibility. Since when? We've been divorced eleven years, and, having sent a goodly start-up supply of clothes, (bedding, toys, etc.) when he found his first apartment, I've never provided clothes for his household. This is just bizarre.

The next thing I know, I get an email, saying he wants to revisit the support agreement.

You have to understand that he was abusive. Conflict with him was scarey, and often dangerous. Years after being safe from him, I still have to force myself to stand up to him. But this time? For some reason, this time I'm up for this fight. I seem to be totally fearless. Do you know what a complete breakthrough this is for me?

I responded with an email that said, basically: Yes, we could do reopen the agreement. You could cite the eldest's residency (because she's living with him this summer). You could do that. For my part, I could cite the fact that you're only paying 75% of the table amount (my suggestion, BTW). I could suggest you're underemployed and ask that the judge impute income. I could do a bunch of stuff. But, bottom line, I think you'd have a hard time convincing anyone you're so hard done by. In the end, I think you'd be wise to leave well enough alone.

That is TOUGH TALK for this woman, with this man. You have no idea.

He responded with, "I was starting a discussion, and instead I get a vicious personal attack. Can we not discuss this like civilized people? We can meet to talk, we can use a mediator. I do not want to involve lawyers." (I bet. Last time we involved lawyers, after six months of lawyer-free mediation which made no progress at all, our issue was resolved in three weeks. In my favour. Because I'm rational and he isn't.)

Strange, I thought I was being civilized. He mightn't have liked what I said, but it wasn't vicious, and it wasn't personal. If he wanted to discuss this, he could have responded to my email civilly. But no. Indignation and ire.

So I send an email, reminding him that he's a month late with his support cheques. (An unfortunate coincidence, we were recalibrating the amount for next year's supply of post-dates, so of course he's going to withhold them until he gets his way. Of course.) I request that they be handed over by such-and-such a time.

The time slips by, and - no cheques. Big surprise.

So another email, this one saying "You are a month late. Please have the cheques to me, the whole year's worth in the amount stipulated by 7 p.m. on May 31, or I'll consult my lawyer."

Another email from him, fuming.

I send another email to him. Well, actually, I send the same email as before. Exact same one. Deadline for cheques, or I see my lawyer.

This afternoon, a knock at my door. A friend of his, with - A YEAR'S POST-DATES!!!

I win, I win, I win.


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  • Woot! Go you!

    By Blogger Chantal, at 2:00 p.m.  

  • Thanks. This is such a HUGE breakthrough for me. Huge. It is, quite literally, the very first conflict I have ever had with this man in which I WAS NOT AFRAID.

    My years with him have made me a much stronger person. I just don't take nonsense any more. Except from him. We were teens when we met, barely more than that when we married. Some serious conditioning happened with me - conditioning which has only now finally, finally died.

    And, as I suspected all along, but never had the fearlessness to discover: the man is a bully, and like all bullies, if you stand up to them with enough confidence, they usually go away.

    HA. Three weeks later, I'm still going "HA! Take that, you arsehole!"


    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 8:58 p.m.  

  • Good for you! I wish my mother would have found the courage to leave my father when I was young. Hell, I wish she'd find the courage *now*!

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:03 p.m.  

  • WAY TO GO!!! You GO Girlie!

    My ex sounds SO much like yours I'd almost think they were the same person except mine's unemployed.

    Every once in awhile he'll try to push his annoying bullshit into my life and anymore I just brush it off like lint. Yesterday, in fact, he tried to say that the visitation agreement we had *8* years ago (we've had NUMEROUS agreements since, all of which HE has broken) was what he was going to try to FORCE my eldest son into. I essentially said "Yeah, good luck with that. The LAST visitation agreement we had was that you and Lou would work out where, when, for how long and how often between the two of you. Which says to me that if he doesn't want to see you (which he doesn't) then he doesn't have to. But I could ask a lawyer about that if you need me to."

    You've got him pegged. Let each and every time he tries to push you around (and there will be more, trust me) serve to make you stronger and more fearless! Roar like the lioness you are! :)

    By Blogger Java Junkie, at 2:11 a.m.  

  • Candace - That has to be hard. One of the things that started me down the path to independence was the awareness that I was teaching my daughter (then 9) exactly what I'd been taught as a girl - I was grooming her to be in an abusive relationship.

    That stopped me cold. And started me fighting back. And eventually got me out of there, though it was another two years before it was all over.

    Java J - Thank you! This is the kind of support that I don't get from my friends. Those who are happily married don't get it. But even my divorced friends don't, because they didn't have abusive ex'es, and they have reasonably civil relations with them, and get visibly uncomfortable when I get too savage. One even said, "He can't be all bad; after all, you married him."

    Well thanks for that. Maybe I was too young to make a wise decision? Maybe he only became that way over time? So now I keep most of it to myself. Not that there's a lot, after ten/eleven years. But once in a while - like this time - I really just want to say it, you know?

    And I really, REALLY wanted someone to say, "Way to GO, Girlie!!" LOL

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 9:26 p.m.  

  • Ha! Yay You!!! Did the girls get their shopping money?

    And wait until you see what's going on with the Fuctard now.

    By Blogger MsSisyphus, at 6:41 p.m.  

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