March 10, 1999
I guess it's time to play catch up.
Found my therapist through my church's social services, which is nice because once I sketched out what I've done and who I've worked with during the past year, he accepted my decision to leave without question. We did talk about possible senarios and what my goals should be.

My husband has been calling on Sundays and talking to the kids (listening is more like it... according to the kids, he doesn't ask any questions--he just says "uhuh"), while I was at work. I called him the first Sunday evening. He wanted me to send the medical bills to him because his company has just changed insurance providers. Whatever... I'm asking the hopsital and such to mail them straight to him. I have been playing with the idea of just paying them myself, but my sister insists that it will be better to do this way. Anyway, he said that he will be calling the kids every Sunday from now on. Call me cynical, but I suspect that someone has had a talk with him about not even trying to talk to the kids.

Anyway, I spent some money on myself and got a pair of high quality dress shoes. I use to wear this brand when I was a lab technician and I had to be on my feet all the time--they are very comfortable and durable--all leather. Next month I'll get a purse to match. My last purse from this company is still intact after 12 years, though it looks rather battered ;-) Then I got two nice outfits to wear to work.

About a week later, one of my husband's brothers and I had a talk. He hasn't told their mother that he and his wife have been in contact with me since I left with the kids. I told him that I didn't mind him sharing my side if he thought it would helps matters, but if it created a rift in the family - not to bother.

My husband told his mom that he had only stayed with me for the sake of the children. I don't know what else he said to his mother because my brother in-law changed subjects on her when she casually brought it up. Pretty strange... I would have expected her to harp on it--heaven knows, she harps enough on (one of her daughters) and her husband--but she just let my brother in-law change the subject. I'm not even sure the rest of the family knows. What's really weird is that she has told My husband on more than one occasion in the past three years that he was lucky to have me for a wife. God knows, she really approves of how I've raised our children. They're the only polite grandchildren she has. Even his younger brother adores them. Once he had a chance to meet them in person, he doubled the amount he sent for their Christmas gifts.

I remarked to my brother in-law's wife that it sounded like my husband was hoping that I would get so fed up that I would leave. She said that it sounded that way to her too.

So, I guess it's over. I'll probably file for divorce at the end of March. I had promised the kids that I would give their dad some time to repent of his ways, but there doesn't seem to be much point to it now. They took the news rather well, especially since I told them that they could talk to him on the phone whenever they wanted to and after the divorce goes through the courts, we would set up times for them to visit him.

All those strange little hurtful things he has been doing during the past seven years finally make sense now. He wanted me to leave. Things were okay until I needed him to be there emotionally and then he decided he didn't want to be in a relationship anymore. But he couldn't let everyone find out what a selfish immature bastard he actually was, so he stayed and tried to drive me insane. I swear, if he was standing before me right now, I would slug him. Here I was trying to create a strong family and now I realize that there was nothing I could have done to change his mind. He often said that once his mind was made up about something, nothing changes it. God forgive me for this, but I hope he burns in Hell for what he's done. He promised to be my greatest ally and instead became my worst foe. Words cannot describe the betrayal I now feel. If he were to die right this moment, I would rejoice.

One good thing though, I mentioned my sadness over leaving my book collection and such to the same friend who has probably been coaxing him into doing stuff for the kids. She told him about it, I'm sure because I didn't say anything to my in-laws and when some other friends went to the house to get some of the kids stuff, he had all my stuff carefully packed. Didn't want anyone to accuse him of being spiteful. But he did complain about everything he could complain about and it looks like he's spending most of his time on the sofa, because it was surrounded by dishes and fast food stuff. He keeps complaining about the finances, even though the kids and I aren't there. Apparently, he had to pay insurance on our van--even though it's not running yet (a guy at work is working on it in his free time). This is the first time I've known my husband to carry insurance on a vehicle before it was drivable. Either he's lying through his teeth or he's taken total leave of his senses.

Meanwhile, I received this from A.B. Normal:
Hello Lady Fribble -
I hope all is well with you I am doing ok I've decided to go on a mental quest to find who I am. How would I start this? Or have I already began by facing my past? I found a cyberfriend and she wants me to keep her updated on my progress :) I've decided to come to (a big city) as of June 1st. Last night kind of decided it for me. I went to work and (the father of the kids she sits) walked in and told me that his new partner and him were once lovers the guy's name is Larry. They now work together and he is also trying to set me up with Larry (GROSS!!!) I'd rather take my chances with (strange AOL friend)!!!! Then (the father) told me he was kidding but when I told (the mother) she said he was not that that was probably true. (He) also wants to give me a pay increase just to keep me in (hometown). Sometimes I think there is some perverse god out there why else would I meet the jerks and my brother gets married. It's not fair. Any advice will greatly appreciated.



March 14, 1999
I wanted to be very selfish today. It has got to be one of the weirdest feelings I have ever had. I mean I didn't want people to bother me and I didn't want to be alone, nor did I want to be asked to do something or be challenged on my beliefs and actions. I just wanted to be conforted and felt quite resentful.

I did my best not to show how I was feeling, especially since I couldn't justify it even to myself. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. I do know that I'm quite annoyed with my real life brother. He saw our mother perpetrating some physical abuse on our father. When I asked if he knew what lead to it, he said that Mom was attempting to discipline my children (they spent spring break with their grandparents--I figured one week wouldn't cause too much damage) and Dad wouldn't let her. Concerned, I asked what my children had done and he told me, "Oh, you know, they're just at that age where the only person they listen to is their mom." First off, I have *never* heard of such a developmental stage in my entire life--and second, my children mind my sister and her husband and according to their teachers, they are the most well-behaved students in their respective classes! I know they're not perfect, but for heaven's sake--they're children, not little robots!!!

What really ticked me off, was that later when he described the episode, he said he just walked into the kitchen and saw Mom stabbing Dad with a fork. There was no conversation taking place. Now, my brother isn't the greatest narrator, and maybe he left out some important detail, like maybe some argument happened just before that--but still I didn't appreciate him inferring that the incident was my children's fault. Especially when they already blame themselves a little for their father's erractic behavoir! If there is one trait my brother and husband share that I cannot stand, it's this need to put the blame of everything that happens on someone else. And not just anyone, either. They usually have to blame someone who is unable to defend themselves against the accusations. Damn cowards! Right now, I wish that both of them were removed from my life completely--and my mother too.

My mother wants me to move up there with them and go to school. Of course, I am suppose to work a job too, so "we" can have a maid come in and do the cleaning. Even if I had totally lost my mind and considered letting that psychopathic bitch watch over my children for any time period longer than a week, when am I suppose to have time to be with them? Forget it! I'd move us out of the country first. I hear it's nice in New Zealand....

But seriously, I will never move in with my parents. I have a job and come May, we will have our own place. I'm also teaching myself the basics of the investment industry so I can apply for a better job with another company in a few months.

Now, I just have to get off my duff and find a lawyer to help me with my divorce.

March 19, 1999
Okay. I have to wait another six weeks before I can file and I'm going to need at least $1500 to start the process. My husband wants the truck, the kids, and for me to get stuck with the house. Too bad. According to the legal precidents--I keep the truck, the kids, and even though I was the one who wanted the house in the first place, it's not going to do me any good when my job is three hundred miles away. To quote the laywer, "Life's just tough, isn't it?"

The kids surprised me a few days ago. They told me I need to marry someone who would be nice to me. My brother in-law treats my sister like a queen and I think they want their mom treated that way too. They even suggested that I pick one of my male friends who I know would be nice and marry them. I almost lost control of the truck. I explained that I had to divorce their father first and that one shouldn't rush these things. They wanted a time frame, so I stuttered something about "a year or two".

My daughter wants to visit her dad, but her brother doesn't. In fact, my son has informed me that we're getting a kitten once we move into a place of our own (his dad wouldn't let us have one because of allergies) and he has been asking me when I'm going to get the divorce. Both kids told me that I could get a second job, so we could get a house instead of an apartment. They want to stay in the same school. Maybe I could find a place to rent, but I doubt it--this is a very old and expensive neighborhood. Heck! There are even estates around here. It's too bad I can't afford to buy the house from my sister and her husband. They're planning to sell it this summer, but the going price for a house like theirs in this area is about $125,000.

Oh well, better save up for the divorce first....

March 28, 1999
Things are looking up in many areas. First, I've found an apartment I can afford within walking distance of another sister who is quite willing to watch my children while I'm at work. Because I haven't been working at my current job for long and not making quite enough to make the apartment company happy, I needed a cosigner. I talked to my dad, but he didn't seem too hot on the idea. He called the sister and talked with her some. After she assured him that she did indeed want to watch my children, he called me back and happily agreed to cosign for me. What's even better is that the elementary school is right next to the apartments. The only problem is that I may have to put off filing for the divorce for another 3 months. But my kids come first and having a place of our own and a babysitter is more important right now.

Next good thing is that I finally got a hold of an old friend at the company I used to work for before I had kids and there's a possibility I may be able to get another job there in the same city my apartment is in. Tomorrow I will talk to another old colleague and see if she can help me too.

I am showing some signs of stress, but I've been able to spot the excess stress and keep it under control to some degree. I've decided that I can put off trying to lose weight for awhile and just concentrate on keeping everything running as smoothly as I can.

March 30, 1999
Today has been rough. My dad now wants me to submit a budget to him, so he can make sure I can afford to stay in the apartment he has agreed to cosign for. I am so angry about that. He didn't have to pay anything when he cosigned for my car, but I guess that doesn't count. I wish I could just tell him to go to hell, but I couldn't possibly find another place that would fit my needs as well. WHAT THE HELL DOES HE EXPECT ME TO DO??? Move into a trailer? I can hear it now, "It's not safe there! I can't believe you would subject your children to that environment!" He told one of my sisters that he didn't want my children and I living with them, which is fine with me--I don't want to live with them either. But my sister's kids are coming this summer and there's not room enough for all of us, so I have to get a place of my own and all I want him to do is sign a stupid piece of paper. I've never left my father in a financial bind before and I sure as hell am not going to start now! How dare they use this as an excuse to try to run my life!

To make things worse, my husband sent the kids an easter package, filled with all sorts of things he wouldn't let me get for them when we were still living together. Damn bastard. My daughter misses him terribly and no longer remembers what it was like when we were back there. My son does, however, and has been refusing to talk to his father. I told my children that it is wrong for parents to complain about each other to their children, but I'm beginning to wonder what I am sacrificing for the sake of ethics.

I'm not going back to him. In fact, I believe I have lost my heart to someone else.

I also believe that my decision is going to make my daughter hate me, even if I am doing what is best for her too.

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