Limbo

Last day of work. I’m using a nice chunk of Annual Leave so I can take 2 weeks off and spend much needed time doing nothing. I’m so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. Today, no less than 5 different co-workers brought gifts for LB and me.

I was even presented with an entire frozen turkey.

Rooferman left several messages on my phone mentioning something about “leaving town with his daughter during scheduled visitation days.” I promptly sent him a certified letter indicating that unfortunately he did not show up for mediation today and therefore was not present to discuss this issue. And since he recused the judge, we have to start from scratch again with our parenting plan. Currently there is no order stating what our parenting time is, and therefore I have every right to take our daughter for Christmas. Since he had her for Thanksgiving, I think this is a reasonable and fair that I should have her for the next holiday. I informed him that we will be back in time for a Christmas celebration with HIS side of the family where he is welcome to participate and spend the night with LB at his parents’ house.

I’m sure Blondie will open his mail and read the letter first. I’m sure she will have a lot to say about it, and eventually I will hear from Rooferman speaking in her voice. I’m thinking of shutting my phone off for the entire week.

I’m also thinking of spending my egg donation compensation on officially hiring Lawyerdude. I don’t know how much further my legal expertise will reach. I’m exhausted. I don’t know if I can stand another 2 months of this should-I-or-shoudn’t-I-what-stunt-is-he-going-pull-next insanity.

Blondie

During mediation, Rooferman threw a curve ball, insisting that he “never said he moved out” and I “totally misunderstood” what he was trying to say. Apparently he stayed with “a buddy” for one night and he and Blondie are still living together at their old house. This doesn’t explain why he didn’t want me to pick up LB at his house for  3 consecutive nights, but I really don’t see how I can figure this out unless I hire a freakin’ PI.

So I went to pick up the Gemini child at their house like nothing had happened, and everyone was sitting around the TV, happy as clams. Actually Rooferman sounded pretty bad. He was hacking up a lung while Blondie put LB’s coat on. She wouldn’t make eye contact with me, let alone say hi.

I then proceeded to tell him that my mom has offered to pick up our daughter from daycare on Thursday since we both will be in court. He tried to pull the ole’ switcheroo again,  but I reminded him that we have to go back to mediation on Friday.

“WHAT?” Blondie shrieked, “You went to mediation last night!”

“Uh, it was rescheduled for Friday,” Rooferman fumbled.

Then I realized I had let the cat out of the bag. I looked at Blondie’s spastic face, while she continued to yell. “The judge said you had to go once, not twice. You are NOT going back to mediation. We can’t afford it!”

“We’ll see what the judge says on Thursday,” Rooferman said meekly.

I decided that was my cue to leave.

I really wanted to tell her that it wasn’t any of her business what we did, that THEY were the ones who filed for a new judge, and therefore prolonging this whole ugly ordeal.  I wanted to tell her that lawyers cost a whole lot more than mediators, and if she wants to push this thing to trial then she should get ready to file for bankruptcy.  I wanted to tell her that maybe she shouldn’t have put herself in a situation where she and kids were financially dependent on a man who’s got too much on his plate. I really wanted to laugh and say “welcome to my past” but I didn’t want a scene from Jerry Springer to transpire in front of my daughter (and hers!).

Blondie probably thinks I’m ruining her life. Its Christmas and yeah, EVERYONE is broke.  Everyone is scared about how they are going to pay for rent, let alone presents. $100 per hour definitely hurts, but its also going to help. Its for our daughter’s welfare. Its necessary. Unfortunately for Blondie, Rooferman has been wrapped around her finger and has been focusing on her priorities until now and she’s pissed about it. She’s probably scared too. I used to be scared all the time when I was with him.

Court should be interesting tomorrow. I’m expecting a crazed blond girl to jump over the bar and claw my eyes out if I even mention continuing mediation.

I really don’t want to hurt another single mom, but I have to do whats best for my daughter. I hope she can understand that.

Mediation or Therapy?

They cancelled school today because of the 3 feet of snow we were handed overnight. As I heard my cell phone go off at 5 am, I knew it was my boss going down the chain of school district command, notifying her employees of the snow day. Then my other boss called at 5:30 am. Then I received the “official cancellation” message from the Public Information Office.

I rolled over and snuggled into the warmth of my blankets. LB had thrown a little sleepover party in my bed at about 3 am, so I was really not looking forward to getting up. Remember Bobby McFerrin? Simple Pleasures are the best.

I know everyone wants to know how Mediation went. So here goes.

It was intense.

 It was good.

It was only the beginning.

This Mediator isn’t a typical court-ordered “Dispute Resolution” Mediator. He’s a family counselor with legal expertise. He’s been teaching parenting classes for 14+ years and is smart and kind. He’s also able to see right through Rooferman’s BS, I might add.

Rooferman is very adept at making a good show; flashing the pearly whites, professing “I just want to see my daughter” and “I’m doing everything in my power to be a good dad.” He’s usually a pro at buddying up to other guys, but it didn’t work last night.

Mediator Man told him straight up that young children automatically bond to their mothers as their primary caretakers, and if there is no mother to fill that role, they find what they need in their fathers.

Rooferman immediately started preaching the Joint-Custody-What’s-Right-And-Fair-To-Me Shakespearean monologue, to which I countered, “I understand that joint custody is ideal in situations where the parents get along. We can’t even have a conversation with each other, how are we supposed to share custody?”

“Good point,” said Mediator Man. I wanted to cheer.

The dude went on to explain to Rooferman that LB is going to suffer the consequences of his hostility towards me. At one point, he asked Rooferman why he hadn’t continued going to Love & Logic classes. My ex glared and pointed at me.

 “I would love to go back and take the class, but when she’s not in the same room.”

Yeah. I learned a lot about the depth of hatred Rooferman (and Blondie probably) has for me. He told the Mediator that he had “as much access to his daughter as he wanted” before he started dating Blondie. Then after that, I started limiting his contact because “I didn’t like him dating her.”

I of course clarified that Rooferman HAD no contact with LB before he started dating Blondie. He saw her maybe 5-7 times in the 9 months between me moving out and him telling me it was over.  Only when he started dating her did he show interest in regular, frequent contact with our daughter. At that point it had been so long since LB had seen her dad, I wanted to start off with supervised visitation at his parent’s house and work our way up to a normal visitation schedule. I did NOT want our daughter immediately staying overnight at someones house who I had never met.

I also learned a few things about the custody situation with Blondie’s kids. Apparently both daughters have the same dad, but only one daughter has contact with him. THAT confused the hell out of me.

Rooferman also calls their dad a “prick” who fills his daughter’s head with lies when she goes back to his house on the weekends. I wanted to scream “YOU MORON! How would YOU feel if LB was calling someone else “daddy” and he was just playing along with it. Don’t you see how DAMAGING you are to this poor little girl? How angry and confused she must be? Let alone how her REAL dad must be feeling?”

Remember my bubble philosophy? He really is living in one.

Mediator Man asked when our court date was. He then proceeded to give Rooferman a severe tongue lashing on how irresponsible it was for him to wait until the last minute for him to “magically” resolve our issues and make a parenting plan.

“I’m not that good. I don’t even want to know about the issues between you two,” he said. “But I want to help you.”

So we’re going back again this Friday.

Maybe there’s hope? Maybe he can get Rooferman to listen? Maybe we can actually get along one day?

Either way, I needed this day off.

Mediation Monster

Halloween was fun. LB was surrounded by adoring grandparents, aunties and friends as we hiked for miles around the freezing cold neighborhood. As was to be expected, she was hopped up on candy until about 9:30, when she passed out in the car on the way home. Then the demon revealed itself when I tried to get her into bed. It was a good time, and it made me realize how many amazing people I have to love my daughter and support me.

Rooferman drama was not fun. Saturday, I sent him a certified letter letting him know that I had consulted a mediator and that we could meet with him about our parenting plan on Tuesday before court (since this was obviously what the court wanted). He called and left a very angry message saying I should have consulted him on the date and he wasn’t going to be able to make it. I did NOT call him back, knowing nothing good would come of it. Instead I sent him a text message asking him if 6:00 pm would be better than 5:30.

He then proceeded to send me a flurry of enraged, hateful text messages, telling me to “cut the s***” and “stop playing kids’ games” and “I will see you back in court.” He even went so far as to say that “He has a family” and he couldn’t change his plans for that night.  I told him his daughter is his family too.

Now I just need to figure out how to print text messages from my cell phone before Wednesday. The nice man who agreed to mediate us (he’s also a family counselor) told me to come anyway and if Rooferman doesn’t show, he can “focus on me”. Maybe he can tap every meridian point in my body. 

I can’t wait to go back to court.