Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Custody & Visitation: The Downward Spiral

Hindsight is 20/20.
I should have posted something about Mother's Day if for no other reason so that my first post for this week would have been about something positive instead of the tediously-frustrating-never-ending-bullshit-drama involving Maleficent and Prince Charming and the loathsome Custody. And. Visitation. Stipulation. A document that I have read more times than my own wedding vows. A document that I hate.
(The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that Maleficent hates it more. Neener-neener!)
Prince Charming should have taken a different approach with Maleficent. Taking a consistent stand with the Rules put in place at the courthouse almost a year and a half ago. As
Sandra so brilliantly commented:
"Just like a toddler clear limits have to be set. Once she sees over time and with tons of consistency that nothing is going to bend or budge in her favor...then the BS will stop. "
(You hit the nail right on the head with that. Talk about a lightbulb moment for both P.C. and myself!)
Instead, to his credit as much as our detriment, P.C. tried giving Maleficent the benefit of the doubt. Hoping against hope that she was as committed as he was to Keeping the Peace. And making things work. So he gave in to her every request for extra time.
He's realizing he was wrong.
Maleficent continues to disregard court orders.
Continues to ask forgiveness instead of permission.
To make up her own rules, and direspect Cinderella's rights.
attempted to lay down the law last month but caved.
He's now attempting it again.
His efforts are currently being met with passive-aggressive avoidance and spitefulness.
She's refusing to answer his calls. Dictating now that all communications are to take place in email only.
(I read that little nugget this morning. Before I even had my coffee.)
Maleficent was supposed to pick up Cinderella from her after-school program yesterday.
A day not cited in the original Visitation document but that P.C. has been allowing b/c he is nice like that. It's also a day she is losing come next week when P.C. enforces the schedule as it's been layed out in the Document From Hell.
Pick up usually takes place at our home. Scheduling conflicts prevented me from being home at the designated time and I am finished being accommodating.
Maleficent does not respond well to not getting her own way and was not happy with P.C. telling her when and where she could get Cinderella. Instead of making the most of an extra day with her Daughter, she called Cinderella AT SCHOOL yesterday to tell her she woudn't be coming to pick her up.
Maleficent did not notify Prince Charming or myself of her decision.
Cinderella was effectively abandoned at afterschool program without any means of getting home yesterday.
Luckily, I was there and she found me before I left to come home.
Today is a normal visitation day. Maleficent will be coming later this afternoon to pick up Cinderella at our home. I am trying to disengage from the rage of emotions I am currently feeling in order to ensure a pleasant interaction.

I am dreading what's to come.
And struggling with trying to find a way to preserve some civility with Maleficent.


clevergirl said...

I would like to recommend a book that I found really helpful as a stepmom. It's called "The Courage to be a Stepmom" by Sue Patton Thoele. It is full of stories and advice on handling being a stepmom.

I hope you check it out.

Good luck!

jenn said...

Situations like what you described are why I'm glad to be a LDNC stepmom. We have enough battles with 14 hours in between and only two visitations a year...I believe life would be hell if we lived closer. The phone calls we get now are bad enough.

Sandra said...

Aww..thanks for the kudos:-) Setting up boundaries is hard in the beginning, but will save you TONS of grief and trouble later on down the line. I speak of this from me. Love your blog...ADORED the section on breastfeeding..its strange but I lament my children growing so quickly, and dread the time that they're no longer babies, when one is 2, and the other not even born yet:-)