Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An explanation

I've been so quiet lately. If you know me well, you know that is weird. I'm NEVER quiet. But, lately, I haven't felt like writing much. I've been feeling strangely quiet and private and guarded. But, I feel like I need to explain some things. Here we go.

Here's the deal with Macey. Back in May (or was it April?), when her bio dad and I decided that she could try living with him, we made a deal. My big stipulation to this living situation was that he moves out of his parent's home and live on his own by the end of the summer. Period. It was not negotiable.

Why is living with his parents a big deal? Well... I'm sorry to say that it's for a LOT of reasons. His dad is nuts. Like, untreated massive OCD nuts. He's also a recovered alcoholic and drug addict. His mom is not in good health. She had a brain tumor removed a year ago, and it's becoming clear that she's dying. Slowly, mind you... but she's dying. On top of all this, their famiy is dysfunctional in a way that makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I mean... almost all families are a little dysfunctional, right? But their brand of dysfunctional is pretty severe. It's not a dangerous situation, but it's not emotionally healthy to be there either. I'll just leave it at that.

Macey's bio dad has been living with his parents for the last 2+ years. He's been telling me that he can't wait to get out of there for ages. And since I know that he'd had time to save his money for deposits and such, I figured that he might actually DO IT. He might actually move out and start a life with Macey... and make her happy.

Thing is, it's been months, and Macey and bio dad are STILL living with his parents. About a week ago, I talked with bio dad about this, and we both agreed that maybe this "living in Illinois for a year" thing might not work out. I gave him another week and told him that we just need to focus on what's best for Macey... even if that means coming back to Kansas. He actually agreed with me.

It's still summer technically summer, so why is this such a big deal NOW? Well, school enrollment is in 2 weeks. I have to plan (and pay for it.) There are school supplies, moving her back home, and all the other stuff that goes along with a change of this sort. So, it's kinda now or never, ya know?

Well, I gave him the week that we agreed to. And then I called Sunday. He thought he *might* have a place lined up, and was trying to put off the decision even further. I had to put my foot down. No concrete plans? No place to live? No Macey. It's simple. This is the very last thing in the whole world that I want to have to do, but he HAS to be responsible. He can't put this off anymore. He agreed to this. Time is up.

And, of course, because I had to put my foot down, the conversation led to him telling me what a terrible parent I am. I'm a fat, stupid bitch. I'm controlling. He's convinced that he's paid more attention to Macey in the last 3 months than I have in her entire life. I don't deserve her. And best of all, I should just come get her so that he doesn't have to deal with the likes of ME anymore. *wiping away the tears* And the really bad part? Macey agrees with him,except for the coming to get her part. She refuses to come home no matter what their living situation is. She hates me. She won't even speak to me. At all.

Well, just hours after this gut wrenching conversation, he has a confirmed place to live, furniture to sit/sleep on, and every one of my demands met. They are moving in less than 2 weeks. One minute, he tells me to come get her, and then, it's all worked out and she's staying. Ugh. Really?

So, that leaves me in a place in which I have to figure out exactly what to do from here. I gave my word that I would let her live there as long as bio dad has his own place. And, at the 11th hour, he does. Do I go get her and MAKE her come home anyway? Just because he's a name calling jerk that insulted me in a way that no one deserves? Or do I let her stay there? I promised, after all. And then there is the fallout of my decision. Will Macey have the right not to speak to me if I haul her home? Will she just make everyone here in Kansas absolutely miserable if I go get her? It's a no-win situation for me, really.

The best compromise I could come up with is a contract of sorts. It's not a legal document, of course, but it puts in place some very concrete demands on her parenting and living situation. For instance, she has to maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average. (She's never had less than a 3.5, so this should be cake for her.) I must have a copy of her grade cards within a week of them being sent home. She must continue to live in a safe, clean, comfortable house and NOT with his parents. She must not be left alone on an everyday basis for more than 2 hours at a time (I don't have a problem with a latchkey situation, but refuse to let her spend the majority of her time at home completely alone.) That sort of thing. The rules are broken? I'm coming to get her no matter what day of the year it is. The expectations are clearly laid out and are not at all negotiable. Basically, if he screws up, I don't have to be the bad guy anymore. HE will be the bad guy. HE will be the one who broke the rules and it will be HIS fault. (I'm not delusional enough to think that Macey won't still blame me on some level. But, you can't have everything.)

So, there it is. It's hard. It sucks. And I'm sad. But, I'm powering through it. It's all I can do, really.


  1. write it down, both of you sign in (and have Macey sign it too if you wish), make it a legal document. Otherwise he has an argument that you can't just come and take her away after you agreed to let her live there. Put phone calls in there if you think their way around it is going to be not to call you. Cover your own ass (and hers). Don't give him an inch of wiggle room in adhering to the document, not because you're a mean heinous selfish bitch (because you're NOT) but because you know him and you know he will use anything other than strict rules to his advantage and against you.

  2. I'm not sure if a man who would call a woman a "fat, stupid bitch" is adequately equipped to parent a pre-teen girl.

    This situation just sucks. I'm so so sorry.

  3. ((HUGS)) That's so heartbreaking. I think the contract is a good idea; maybe get Macey to witness it and give her a copy too? Maybe she can help keep Dad on the ball?

    Perhaps a clause about not speaking poorly about the other parent in the presence of her is in order... did Macey hear all the awful comments he made?

  4. As I was reading along, I kept thinking "oh, if they'd put it in writing..." and then that's where you went! Smart lady!

  5. Wish I could reach out and hug you. You have thought this over and you are ready to follow through. No one else can know how hard this is on you. This decision just shows how much you love Macey. Hope you know how much we love you and how proud we are of you!!! Mom

  6. Big hugs, love. No one has Macey's best interests at heart like you do. And no matter what names he called you, he knows it too.

  7. What an asshole. I'm so glad you're not with someone who thinks you are anything less than amazing, least of all someone who dares call you insulting names.
    And hugs. You are doing everything for your girl. At some deeply suppressed level she knows it too. I'm horrible to my saintly mum sometimes, sometimes I take out all my jerkiness on her BECAUSE I know she will always, always love me anyhow. I'm sorry you are having to absorb so much of Macey's anger that might not even be about you at all. You are awesome, and an awesome mum. Hugs. As for bio-dad, I hope that abusive jerk learns some manners fast.


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