I need to purge today. Ben left for his dad’s on Sunday and is supposed to be back tomorrow. I have been deeply involved in a DIY project. I decided to do something about my kitchen and on a VERY small budget of $200, I feel happy with my new look. I redid the counters (Rust-oleum Countertop Paint), painted the walls (Dalen’s Ducklings), and the cabinets (Ultra White), plus aded a gorgeous backsplash, which was the inspiration for the countertop color. I ran into some hiccups – the previous owners had painted over wallpaper, so that had to be removed and then some wall damage repair. I am still finishing touch-ups and the cabinet doors, but I learned A LOT!! I learned that I like to cut in and am pretty good at it so long as the edge is over head and on my left, so I can use my right better :). I learned that I enjoyed the meditative quality of it. I found myself often in silence. No music, no TV, just silence and I liked it. This is odd for me as I tend to lead a pretty fast-paced, “noisy” life. I learned that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was and I generally enjoyed myself.
So, I call Ben a little while ago to see how his Christmas was and, of course, find out that despite creating wishlist that you can check off once things are purchased, his dad has bought him things that I bought him (from Santa and since he knows EVERYTHING, how do you explain that??). This is the third Christmas that I have been without Ben and it is so hard. It is hard whenever, but Christmas is more difficult for so many reasons. It is the right thing to do as it allows Ben time to spend with his family that he would not be able to see if it were not a holiday, but it is hard. This is the third Christmas that has ended in a fight with his dad.
Ben is supposed to be back in South Carolina tomorrow at 3:30, the same time as pick up. Side note: His dad was able to get him any time in the morning and asked for a morning pick up. The night before pick up, changed it to noon. At 11:30am, the day of pick-up, I text him to be certain and he changed it to 3:30. This happens EVERY TIME. It is infuriating. Then he asks for “Leeway;” he ALWAYS wants leeway for something. I did not answer that email in writing and am so glad that I did not. So, I call Ben and ask him about his gifts. He is so excited and is excited to come home and see me. I already had the call earlier this week of Ben melted down and wanting to come home. I talked him down, much to his dad’s chagrin and got him back to good. He is ready to be home. He found out his dad is having a baby with the girlfriend and I can tell he is trying to find his way around it by some of the things he says.
So I said to Ben, “are you all getting ready to head back down here to come home?” and he said, no. This instantly makes my mommy hairs rise. It is always a concern that my ex, because he hates me so much and truly feels like I ruined his life, will not return Ben just to spite me. Scares me to no end. The entire time he is gone, I am on pins and needles. So I finish up our conversation and ask to speak with his dad. . .
I ask, when are you leaving? and he tells me not until tonight. I said, how are you going to return him to me by 3:30 if you do not leave until tonight? and he says, and I quote, “I will get him there when we get there.” What?!?!? No, sir. That is not at all acceptable and the reason that I want Ben to fly back and forth because it is always something. I was enraged and said, I am positive, things I should not. He said, I only got him for 5 days and I am supposed to have him for seven. I said, “You are also supposed to pay child support, but you only want to go by the divorce decree when it suits you.” I told him that it is by my mercy that he is not in jail for back child support and if he wasn’t happy, to please call the court and pay the court fines and take me to court about it and explain tot he judge why he thinks it is okay to fight me over this when he is not supporting his child. Then he told me if he did that, “we will sue for full custody.” I laughed. It was rude. It was not mature, but really?!?! You have not paid child support in three years – THREE YEARS – and you think a judge is going to give you full support??? What world are you living in?? Not to mention the myriad of other issues that have come up in three short years. So, he calls me a “fucking idiot!” and I hear Ben in the background saying, “Don’t yell at my Mommy!” I told him to put my child back on the phone.
I get that a child should see both his parents, which is why despite the fact that my ex refuses to support his child, I do not fight visitation much. Ben loves his dad and I encourage him to do so. I have him call his dad after big events and email his dad videos and pictures all the time to keep him in the loop. I have Ben call his family on important days – birthdays, holidays, just because. I have never received a picture of Ben on Christmas morning. He has never called my family on Christmas when he is up there with his dad. Ben comes home and asks, “why does daddy not like you?” He asks, “Why does daddy ask me all these questions?” Apparently my ex asks Ben questions about my and my life and who is around. But this is evil. At what point is it not okay to abandon your child and not support him, but still make so many demands?? The man is 40 years old with a Master’s degree and “no job.”
I have purged. Back to work. I may have to drive up to Michigan today, so I need to get on top of this. Before and after pix are below: