Respect. Guilt. Sympathy

LB’s first night with her dad went ok. At least she came home safe and sound, so I’m grateful for that.  She was dirty, tired and thirsty, and it looked like a cat scratched her, but otherwise ok.

Rooferman informed me on Saturday that the court is filing a default on him for lack of Child Support payments. He also told me that they aren’t moving into Blondie’s mom’s house after all. Basically he pleaded that if he goes into default, they will take his license, which in turn will cause him to lose his job, which will lead them to homelessness. He said the only way the court will give him a break is if I close the case.

I’m ashamed to say that I felt sorry for him. I don’t know how I can still feel empathy for this manipulative deadbeat, but I said I would try to do something for him.

Then I said goodbye to LB and told her Iwould call her before bedtime. My friends and I went to a late movie, so I excused myself around 8:30 and went into the lobby to call her. I got the answering machine. I told Rooferman to call me back immediately and waited outside the theatre. After 20 minutes, I went and stood in the aisle so I could watch the movie and make a quick getaway if I needed to. He didn’t call back.

At about 10:30, I finally hear my phone ring. Rooferman said they were just getting back home from Blondie’s parent’s house, and LB was asleep in the car seat. He said he would call me in the morning so I could talk to her. I was pissed because 10:30 is awfully late for a 2-year-old to go to sleep, and he broke my promise to her.

The more I thought about the whole situation, the angrier I got. This man had the nerve to beg me for help over something that is HIS fault. He knew he could make me feel sorry for him. Not only that, he was also trying to put me in a position where I would feel guilty if I didn’t help him. Basically he was saying “I will lose my license, my car, my job AND my house if you don’t take the opportunity to make this right.”

How. Dare. He.

The next morning, I got up early and waited for the call. Do you think it ever came? No. Once again I was made a sucker. Once again I had enough respect for him to believe he would keep his word, yet he didn’t even have the same respect for me. While he was asking me for help, he kept saying “I really want us to trust each other, and work this out.”

Meaning…if you don’t do this for me, we’re not going to be able to have a peaceful custody arrangement? Meaning, if you don’t help me, your and LB’s life will be a living hell?

Well he’s off to a pretty shitty start. He had the nerve to ask me to save his ass, when really he should be suffering the consequences of his lack of responsibility. If I help him, what does he learn from his mistakes? Nothing. What’s it going to be next month? Oh, my truck won’t start, I’m not going to be able to afford child support again. TOUGH. I’m done with digging him out of his own hole.

I’m not even WITH this man anymore. Why should I help him? Why do I even feel sorry for him? I’m disgusted with myself that I even felt this way! Maybe I was in denial that winning in court was the end of this drama. Obviously I have the rest of my daughter’s life to deal with this crap.

I don’t want to go back to court. I was looking forward to some non-court-related life for a while.  I don’t want to have to wonder if Rooferman is driving without a license, or living in a meth motel while my daughter is with him.  That is a whole messy, dangerous, scary future that I thought I had managed to avoid by his miraculous signing of my parenting plan. Obviously, its not over yet.

But I’m not closing my child support case. Rooferman needs to figure out how to put his daughter at the top of his list, even if it means learning a hard lesson. Even if it means I will forever become the villain, he  needs to take responsibility for his own actions.

I’m not his mommy. I’m not here to save him.

Documenting vs. Badmouthing

Meeting again with Rooferman tonight. Its amazing how different I feel going into it this time. I would say that I’m looking forward to it a tiny bit, but I don’t want to jinx myself.

That “I’m going to Disneyland” song was playing on the radio this morning. I got a little emotional high listening to it. Maybe its because I feel like I’m on the verge of something. This all being over? God I wish.

Blondie informed me last night that I was (once again) no longer welcome in her house. I’ve heard that so many times that its almost lost its meaning. I think she got a hold of the updated parenting plan and actually read though it. When she got to this part:

Each parent shall be afforded a brief period not to exceed fifteen (15) minutes once every six months, or upon any relocation, to see and inspect the residence of the other, including the sleep area provided for the minor child. 

She wasn’t too happy.

She told me that I can call Social Services on her if I want, but there was no way I was going to inspect her home. She “just doesn’t agree with that.”

Too bad for her, its not her choice. The funniest part about it was I didn’t even request this to be put in the parenting plan. Lawyerdude said that was standard procedure for someone who has unstable living situations (which I think Roofie qualifies as).

I also received a statement of how far behind Rooferman is in child support payments.

The total stands at $4829.00

These are the facts people. I’m just documenting them. Is it really considered bad-mouthing when I’m describing actual events? I don’t know. I’m just trying to make sense of my life and do it in a way where my daughter doesn’t get hurt.

Do you think Erin Brockovich’s kids embarrassed that their mom revealed their life story on the big screen, or do you think they are incredibly proud and inspired that she is their mom? They had deadbeats as dads, and the entire world knew that. 

What do you think?

Unhinging

By Friday night, I was dreading the thought of 8 hours working a conference while simultaneously keeping a 2-year-old entertained. I kept dwelling bitterly on the thought of “I shouldn’t HAVE to choose between making money and spending time with my daughter,” so my defiant solution was to combine the two options. The logistics were starting to materialize a very BAD situation in my mind.

She was awesome. She was an image of toddler perfection. She didn’t go to the darkside once. She flirted with the participants. She laughed at the police dogs. She served cookies and milk. People were coming up to me and saying how smart and friendly and wonderful she was. I was basking in selfish pride.

 There was no Finding Nemo to distract her, no playground to entertain her. It was just 8 hours of mommy and daughter time; talking, reading, playing with puzzles, pretending to shop, putting Ariel to bed, painting with watercolors, and yes, eating lots of cookies. At the end of the day, after we had cleaned up and collected paperwork, I was completely exhausted, but the satisfaction was oh so sweet.

I kept salavting on this thought: Maybe just being near me is enough to make her happy?  Which could also translate simply into: She likes me, she really likes me!

I’ve been thinking about my initial reaction to being away from LB, and how depressed it made me. I started to realize that maybe I’m scared to be without her, because it intensifies the lonelinessof single parenting. At least when she’s nearby, I have a purpose; I feel useful and needed. When she’s gone, what’s my purpose?  I know this may sound pathetic, but every decision, action and intent I’ve had in the past 2 years have been centered around what she needs, and my brain is having a hard time unhinging from that.

 I don’t want to think about how lonley I am, so I cling to my daughter’s presence. In way, I’ve become co-dependent on LB, and that’s not fair to her.

What I discovered on Saturday is being away from her has given me a deep appreciation of the time I DO get to spend with her. I get to see how intelligent, inquisitive, enjoyable and beautiful she is. This may just be a coping mechanism I’ve created in order to deal with separating from the child I gave birth to, but I think this philosophy may do me some good.

I’m filing for a modification of child support. I’m paying almost $250 more than I originally filed as my childcare expense. They increased the tuition about a month after I received an order, and I didn’t want to go through the paperwork again. Now I really have no choice. Its obvious that I can’t foot the bill anymore and I might as well try everything I can to recieve the child support that’s owed to LB.

Merry Christmas ya filthy animal Rooferman.

Find a happy place

  • Love & Logic was ok. Rooferman showed up, and introduced himself as having 3 kids and “loving it.” Puketastic. Friggin father of the year. Didn’t say one word to me the whole time. I was the only single mom there, but I liked the class itself.
  • I finally received the Administrative Assistant III Test from the State of Colorado. I have to turn it in before December 1st. Looking at the questions, I really don’t know if I want it anymore. My boss and her husband have done so much for me. It almost feels like family here.
  • I finished my first post for Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, but it probably won’t be up for a while. I’m sure they are going to edit the crap out of it.
  • LB had a major meltdown last night. My mom graciously babysat during the parenting class, so the child wouldn’t be subjected to 10+ hours of daycare. At bedtime, she went to the dark side in less than 20 seconds. I don’t know what happened. One minute she was cheerful and snuggly, the next she was a kicking, screaming red-faced demonchild. She repeated this act at 10:30, midnight and 3:00 am until I finally gave in and let her sleep in my bed. The Love & Logic peeps would have been ashamed of me.

    "Find a happy place..."
  • Rooferman goes to court this morning. I found his case number online and called to see what it was for: “Improper driving” and “failure to display  insurance.” Apparently it was deferred, but he screwed up his probationary period, missed a court date, got a warrant, so now he’s going  back to see if they are going to revoke his deferment. I hope they  revoke his God damn license.
  • Can you tell I’m not in happy place right now?
  • At least the bank waived the $33 overdraft fee on my bounced check yesterday. I haven’t bounced a check since I was a full blown pill addict, more than 3 years ago.
  • JL’s bro turns 21 today. We’re taking him out, but I can’t even buy him a drink. I’ll be eating free tortilla chips at el cantina and watching him order pitcher of peach margarita.
  • No Child Support this month. I think he’s working under the table again.
  • I promise to cheer up one day. Maybe I should watch the Lemurs dancing in Madagascar, that always makes me smile.

Breaking News

$1117.00 was just deposited into my account. Can you guess where it came from? Can you guess who’s trying to make himself look good in front of a judge? I’m thinking somebody was just served with papers today, and is panicking at how much he currently owes his daughter.

I wonder if I will get a call asking to see LB this weekend.

Thank God for the money. My bank balance was $17.59 and it would have to suffice until October 24. I’ve already scavenged the saltines and mustard packets off the salad bar today for lunch, and was planning on making good dinner-use of the numerous boxes of Chicken Bullion my grandma gave me. Now I can buy LB her beloved Bananas and chocolate soy milk.

Still, I think I should rename my blog “Out of Blue” or “Hit and Run” because that’s what my life certainly feels like. This should be a good thing, but once again, anxiety is clutching my stomach. What person wouldn’t jump for joy at a grand  in their bank account? For me, its like a frying pan to the face; my eyes watering with bile in my throat.