For the Low, Low Price of a Kimono Robe

I have a good new/bad news situation going on. The good news is CF has been sniffing around lately; the bad news is CF has been sniffing around lately.

Seems that since CF modified his child support payment on his own he has a bit more in his pockets and for some reason he’s choosing to spend that on his daughter. He asked her if there was anything she needed and coughed up $200 to go towards a new laptop and then ordered some sheets, a body pillow cover, and decorative pillows that she wanted for her room.

The other day a package came in the mail. It was a white waffle weave cotton kimono type robe with her name embroidered on it in pink. She later tells me he’s also sending her a tumbler. She doesn’t know why because she didn’t ask for either of the two latter gifts. I have my suspicions.

First the good news. I recognize that it is generally a good thing when a child has two involved parents. I know that basically being abandoned has been difficult on Rock Star. I think I pointed out once before that both kids were extremely pissed off at their father; I feel comfortable saying they would have loved to have lashed out and hurt him, rejected him, told him they wanted no part of him and his whore cousin. That was stolen from them. How can she possibly reject him when he has already rejected her?

On a selfish level for my own self every dollar he gives her and every item he buys her is one less thing I have to purchase. Rock Star is going away to college and she acts like she now must furnish a 2500 square foot home. Apparently they no longer provide linens at the college. You must buy them. She also needs a comforter, a mattress pad, storage units, a shower caddy, more towels…. you get the picture. It can all easily add up. I’m just thankful I won’t need to do it all over again next year!

If he wants to toss $200, $300, $400 her way, be my guest! I don’t want to get my hopes up but I’m hoping she will tell him she needs an extra thousand or two to pay for tuition and he’ll be willing to help her with that as well.

Unfortunately, we all know what happens when you take money from the devil. He owns your soul.

I hope that Rock Star can maintain her boundaries and resists the lure of easy money because here is the bad news: I don’t trust him.

This is a man who calculated child support for her down to the half hour on her graduation day. I don’t need the extra few dollars that actually paying through the entire day would have brought me, but there is something seriously wrong with a man who does that and then turns around and wants to lavish gifts upon her. He wants to be seen as a hero and not as the selfish, greedy ass that cut his daughter off seconds after she walked across that stage, diploma in hand.

This is a man who still has not sent his son a birthday card, much less an actual gift.

This is a man who wrote his old address on her most recent cards instead of having to admit he had moved with the new fam. I know this because I noticed an envelope addressed to him. At first I thought it was a thank you note but upon closer inspection it was obvious it was a graduation announcement. I suppose he asked for one after buttering her up with cash and gifts, and she obliged. I had to laugh and tell her that the address was incorrect. It was then that she told me it was the one on her cards. “The ones he just gave you?” I asked incredulously. Oh, yeah. That’s how I know he put the old address on the cards he gave her for graduation and her birthday this year.

Go ahead and call me a bitch because I told her he had moved his new family into a new house over a year ago, one that looked very much like our old house in Virginia. I’m not sure she knows yet that he got remarried. If she does she has not said anything.

I have been honest with my kids when asked questions. I have not rushed in to tell them things that would hurt them. I am not infallible. I did disclose, very early on, the fact he had made waffles for not-his-kids. I finally did tell Rock Star about the $300 dress he bought for Harley’s daughter after she was looking online and planned to order a dress from China so that it wouldn’t cost much. At that point I said, “Oh no! If your dad can spend $300 on not-his-kid’s dress, he can spend that kind of money on yours. You will have a nice dress.” I did not, however, reveal that the same month he didn’t have the money to buy her a Homecoming dress, he had $4200 to spend on an engagement ring for Harley. I might have mentioned he promised her daughter a car; I think I did, but I’m not sure. I don’t believe I ever told them about the puppies he bought for her kids, although I might have. I never outright told them that while they were learning to do without he was sharing a bank account with Harley and she was blowing through five grand a month on herself and her kids. Maybe they never really thought about where all of his extra money was going, but if they did I’m sure they could have figured it out. I never told them about how he spent exactly the same amount of money on them at Christmas that first year as he did on his fake kids, or him going to Show-n-Tell with her son, or celebrating their birthdays out at dinner with them, or playing hero daddy at the hospital, or going to the zoo with his new family, or wearing a t-shirt with not-his-kid’s school mascot, or how he told someone he felt it was very important to show up and support not-his-kid at her competition, or going on family vacations with them. Up until the other day I didn’t reveal that he had moved them into a nice new home that looked like our old home, complete with a neighborhood pool. I also didn’t tell them he had flown to Vegas to marry Harley.

No, I didn’t tell them these things because I figured it would only hurt them.

Also, contrary to the narrative that the betrayed wife must always be bad-mouthing the ex and spreading vicious rumors and lies, I said little about him. As Chump Lady would advise: I gave facts; I did not editorialize. Your dad is in Kentucky with his girlfriend. Yes, his family knows about it; yes, they’re okay with it. Your dad lost his job; we are going to have to move because he is not sending me anymore money. Back when he was still paying no support (followed by what he felt like paying once he got a job): No, I cannot take you shopping; my two jobs pay our bills and allow us to eat. Now: I cannot do this/buy that until I get the support money. Once I get the back support your dad owes me I can help you with buying a car; I cannot do it until then. We cannot fly down to Orlando because I did not receive the alimony or child support in time.

Small side rant: When I took the parenting class that was court ordered way back in the beginning, one of the things the instructors cautioned against was talking about child support. I think that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I believe there is a difference between complaining about the amount you receive (We can’t have nice things because your parent is a cheapskate that fucked me over in court!) and letting them know certain things will have to wait until you receive the money you are court ordered to receive. In that respect it’s no different than telling your kid you can’t buy them the new X-Box or go to the movies until after payday. I have already said that my days as his PR manager are over. I’m not falling on my sword to protect him, and in that case, I’m not hurting my children by being truthful. FYI: I have never asked that man for a dime above and beyond what he is ordered to pay me. My kids will never hear me say, “I would buy you X but your dad won’t give me any more money. I guess he’s too busy spending it all on his new kids.” Nope, never! I will, however, without one bit of guilt, tell them we cannot do something because he has not sent me the support yet. Rant over.

Not only did I not badmouth him I will also once again point out that I actually reminded them of things he had done with them, trips he had taken with us, times he had way more patience with them than I did.

You want to know who badmouths the other parent? Big twist- it’s him! He has never missed a chance to bash me and try to make himself out to be the victim.
And that scares the shit out of me.

Each and every time he has come around looking for sympathy Rock Star has shot it right back at him he’s responded with: Let me tell you about how bad your mom is.

To date the excuses are I never loved him and I never took care of him with the added bonus that one day he’d like to talk to her about all of that.

He even pulled that crap with Picasso his first weekend back after being outed. I had taken all of his money. I had a lawyer and he didn’t. Yes, he had a girlfriend but it was okay because we had grown apart.

When Rock Star went off on him about Harley posting on Facebook about how much she missed the comfort she had grown so used to, i.e. I miss having my married lover in my bed, he sprung into defense. “I don’t know who told you this, or what you think you saw, but she’s not like that. She wouldn’t do anything like that.” Yes, it must be me spreading horrible lies to my children and not his beloved whore actually behaving like a whore. Even worse is the fact that once she sent him a screenshot of what Harley had posted he ignored that. He cried that he hadn’t been lying; he had truthfully never seen that. Never confronted the fact that Harley did indeed post such crap, just said he hadn’t seen it.

So this is what I think is happening and how I see it playing out. I believe he thinks that now she is 18 she is suddenly independent and out from under my thumb. I think he figures that once she’s off to college he can communicate with her and she won’t say anything to me (or more likely that I can’t check her phone, not that I do that anyway). My guess is that he’ll continue to offer money and gifts, and then eventually he’ll ask about coming up for a weekend so they can spend some time together.

Maybe he’ll rush right into his big defense; maybe he’ll give it a visit or two. Eventually though I think he will try to start spreading his own narrative. He’ll do his best to paint me as the perpetrator and himself as the victim. I was a horrible wife. We weren’t well suited for each other. He hadn’t been happy in years. I treated him like a wallet and a handyman. I never loved him. I didn’t take care of him. I didn’t care about his PTSD. I was only in it for the money and the lifestyle. You know the drill. I was awful and evil and he was my poor, bullied victim so what else could he do when this angel of love and understanding appeared before him? It was fate. He’s happy now. Don’t you want him to be happy, Rock Star? Isn’t everything so much better this way? Forget about your shattered life- the end of gymnastics, leaving behind the only life and friends that you remember, being moved thousands and then hundreds of miles twice in two years, leaving behind all of your new friends and this great life you had formed for yourself, moving in with your grandmother, having no home of your own, having to start all over your junior year of high school, not getting your license on time, feeling like you were nobody, basically losing your mom because she worked 50-60 hours a week, having few friends in this new place, having a crappy graduation party because no one knows you here. The end result is I’m happy and isn’t that what’s important? Now let’s talk some more about how your mom sucks and she’s the real reason you’ve suffered through all of that!

I know my daughter pretty well. I would like to believe that she wouldn’t fall for his crap and wouldn’t even entertain it.

“No, Dad, my mom doesn’t talk about you. She doesn’t go around telling us about all your faults as a husband. She gives us facts when we ask; facts that can actually be verified. She doesn’t badmouth you. She has actually defended you. YOU are the one that is constantly badmouthing her.”

There is always that possibility though that she will be so ecstatic that he is finally paying attention to her that she’ll allow herself to be bought over with the lies. He’s a pretty good liar; I mean he convinced me to move 20 hours closer to his mistress. I bought the pack of lies about how Anne was some crazy stalker that he had tried to help. I believed him when he said Harley was the biggest mistake of his life. If I could be fooled in my 40s, how can I be certain my daughter won’t be fooled when she’s only 18? He’s her father, for crying out loud. Much like I wanted to believe him back then I’m sure she wants to believe him, too.

As I said a few days ago I can accept her having a relationship with him, even if he’s telling her lies about me. I would like to believe she would ask me about it and not just run with it.

I can accept her having a relationship with him even though I sincerely believe he won’t be content just having a relationship once again with his child. I believe he wants to destroy me in the process. Call me crazy but he’s acted like the victim throughout this entire ordeal. Again, I will have to trust that my daughter is smart enough to see through that. To be able to look back on her own life experiences with him. To remember which one of us was always there and which one abandoned her.

Unfortunately, in addition to him trying to destroy me, what I see happening is him trying to slowly integrate Harley into Rock Star’s life as well. If he’s looking to destroy me what could be a better way than to find out my children think the whore is fantastic?

“She’s really nice. She really wants to meet you. She cares about you and your brother. It has broken her heart that you haven’t given her a chance. I know you’ll love her. She’s great. Can’t you just give her a chance? One meeting. That’s all I’m asking for.”

If that happens and she acquiesces that is the point at which you will see my head spinning faster than Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist.

I cannot and will not accept that. My kids were old enough to know the hell I went through because of her. They are old enough to remember the upheaval they experienced because of her. Yes, I know he was my husband but he’s also their father and I may have to eventually accept the possibility of them having a relationship with him. I do not have to accept it with her so she’s the one I’m focusing on. That bitch knew he was married, knew we had just moved, knew I had followed him all around the goddamn country and had been a stay at home mom for the last 15 years. She knew I had no way of supporting myself or staying in my house long term. She knew that when she began her affair with him she was going to destroy my life; she knew I would be left with nothing.

She blocked my daughter after Rock Star tore into her father about his whore’s shenanigans. Didn’t apologize. Nope, she’ll just block her and post about fucking a married man until her heart’s content.

My kids are both old enough to know what the hell happened, how I was duped and betrayed, and how my life has been one long struggle since that day. They are also old enough to be able to tell their father, “I want a relationship with you but I want nothing to do with her. If you want to have a relationship with me then you’ll respect that. If not, well, looks like once again you are putting her ahead of us.”

I’ve had people tell me that’s unrealistic or to say I can’t expect them to eschew Harley while they have a relationship with the mobster. To that I say, “Balderdash!”

The mobster didn’t break up my marriage. I wasn’t cheating on their father with him. The mobster has never blocked my daughter. We’re not where we are because of the mobster.

Funny story. I hadn’t planned on introducing him to my kids anytime soon, if ever. I thought this would just be “our” relationship. It wouldn’t involve our kids at all. We’d get together here and there and talk and text, but our relationship would be with one another.

The first weekend we met up I didn’t bring him around. I don’t remember if it was that weekend, or the next time we saw each other in person, but I do know I asked him if the next time he came up to my town he would like to meet my kids. I remember explaining to him that their father had never bothered to introduce Harley to his kids; he had to keep her a secret. He had to keep both of those lives separate because of what she represented- the destruction of his kids’ lives. I didn’t want my kids thinking that dating after divorce was a big secret. I didn’t want them to think that I was ashamed of him or didn’t want them to ever meet up for some reason. I wanted to be open and honest.

I think he’s been around my kids six times now- only five for Rock Star because she wasn’t here the first time I introduced him to Picasso. I asked both of them if they were interested in meeting him, and let them both know it was completely up to them. I was willing if they wanted to, but I would understand if they would rather not. They both chose to meet him.

He and Picasso have a lot of similar interests. Ok, really they both just like to play video games. There was one time that I asked him if he would talk to Picasso about something, which he did. They occasionally text back and forth.

The mobster has been very sweet and supportive of Rock Star. He texts her before important events, wishing her good luck. He sent flowers on Valentine’s Day. He bought her a Keurig for graduation and her birthday.  She has even said it’s almost like he’s her stepdad; she said one time that she wonders if this is how it feels to actually have two supportive parents.

I don’t feel like a hypocrite when I say that while I’m fine (obviously) with the mobster being around my kids, if Harley is around them and wants to start making memories we are going to have some serious problems.

That’s what scares me. It’s not simply that he will fill Rock Star’s head with lies and try to convince her that what he did was no big deal. It’s that Harley will become a part of Rock Star’s life. I don’t worry about Picasso so much because it seems pretty apparent that CF isn’t having anything to do with him. Picasso has also surprisingly been much tougher on his dad than I ever imagined. I thought he would have a much more difficult time with everything that happened; instead he was pretty much, “I can’t ever trust my dad again,” and “My dad is dead to me.”

I worry that Harley will attempt to turn on the charm and try to buy my kid. Between her and CF they will always have more money. They can afford to give her things. I worry that she and Harley will become great buddies; they’ll go shopping together, grab lunch together, get mani-pedis together. Her and her daughter and my Rock Star can form a sweet little trio, full of inside jokes and shopping and vacations. Maybe she would wonder why I can’t make as much money as Harley does. Or she’d find herself thinking, “Hmmm…. Harley managed to work and still be involved in her kids lives. Why can’t my mom do that?” I stupidly worry that when Rock puts us side by side and compares us that I won’t measure up. And I know that’s stupid because I’m her mother and she will always love me. But as I’ve always said, “I don’t share.” I certainly am not willing to share my kids with a whore that fucked my husband.

It turns out I’m quite selfish when it comes to my kids. I realize my kids are older so they don’t require the constant supervision they would if we had divorced when they were, say, 2 and 4. But I’ve never felt jealous of those people who talk about how they have entire weekends or weeks to themselves. I’m glad I get every day with them. I’m glad I don’t have to split holidays. I get every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every Easter, every birthday. Then again, I didn’t walk away from my kids. I didn’t move six hours away from them without saying a word. After I had already moved them.

I have to share with him. I won’t share with her. I am hoping that my daughter cannot be bought for the low, low price of a kimono robe, or even a few hundred dollars.

(A Long) P.S. I ended up talking to Rock Star right before I finished this. I warned her that with the money would come strings. She replied, “I know; that’s why I didn’t ask for much when he offered.”

I did end up telling her my fear was that as they talked he was going to start weaving his tale, playing victim and trying to make me look like the bad guy.

She’s a pretty smart cookie. She has taken screen shots of their text messages as proof that he has offered all these things. I guess he has also told her that if she ever needs anything to just ask. How kind and generous of him after all these years.

I also brought up Harley and told her it was quite possible that once her dad began sending her money that he might begin asking her to consider meeting the new wife (which as far as I know Rock Star does not realize she is his wife). She replied, “No thanks.” She is quite adamant that she doesn’t want to meet her. I asked her if she really thought it would be possible, with her dad giving her money, to stand her ground and maintain her boundaries regarding being introduced to Harley. “I’m not scared of him,” she told me. “And he’s offered all these things. That’s why I’m taking screenshots, so that if he ever tries to insinuate that I asked for this and should repay him by meeting her I’ve got proof he’s offered. I’ve got proof where he’s told me if I need anything to just ask.” Fat lot of good that will do if he’s in one of his tizzies, but it makes her feel better.

It was a good conversation. At least it alleviated some of my fears.

P.S.S. Another update. Another box of goodies. Face masks, nail polish, body scrubs, a make-up bag, a loofah, and loads of other toiletries.  He is going all out for some reason. This is the man who still has not sent his son a birthday card, much less a gift.

I did cave and told her he had married the whore. She was telling me how she thought all his comments and such were because he still loved me and couldn’t believe I had moved on. I assured her that was not the case and that he had most definitely moved on. She kept going on with the ol’, “I know but…” so I finally told her that he had gotten married. “To her?” she asked. Apparently she didn’t think it was legal to marry relatives. You would think, huh?

Anyway, she didn’t seem too affected by the news. I still wish I had kept my mouth shut, though.

4 thoughts on “For the Low, Low Price of a Kimono Robe

  1. One of the reasons why I’m addicted to your posts is that you have patented the art of a suspenseful narrative. Your PS and PPS’s are the reward for nodding and agreeing my way through the initial narrative. So strictly from a writing standpoint, well done. 🙂

    I’m not a parent, so take my words with a healthy grain of salt. But re: CF’s sudden interest in bribing, oops, I mean splurging Rock Star: I think playing the long game here will serve you well. Yes, the first year of college is expensive with all the things needed to outfit a dorm room. But the sheets, pillow cases, throw rugs, etc. from this year will be “oh, so last year” in her sophomore, junior, and senior years. And then at some point, of course, she’ll transfer from the dorm and into an apartment which brings a whole new set of expenses and needs. Let’s see how well he can sustain the current interest and generosity he seems to have. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry but screw him for the disparity not only in the way he treats your kids as opposed to her kids (I have experienced that pain first hand and it SUCKS) but screw him double for the disparity BETWEEN your kids. My heart breaks for Picasso. Poor kiddo.

    As for him bribing her, you just expressed my EXACT fears. Tinman is currently in a jail about 300km away from us. He earns nothing, contributes nothing and through his own choice has no contact with our kids, but he is a manipulative jerk and I wouldn’t put it past him at all to do this, and unfortunately even though my kids will be 13 and 14 when he gets out I worry that like Rock Star they might not see through the game that he is playing, after all it took me YEARS to see through it all….

    Like

    1. She’s a funny kid. I think she does see through his crap. But she’s also a bit of a mercenary. She figures if he wants to give her stuff she’ll let him. Hell, there are days when I say to myself, “Why not? It’s one less thing I have to buy!”

      My biggest tip is to simply be honest. The parents that seem to have the toughest time are those who try to protect the kids from the other parent’s antics. It usually ends up biting them in the ass.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The bounty of unexpected personal gifts – that smacks of a woman’s shopping, not CF. Stay strong, Sam. You’ve raised exceptionally realistic children who know who they count on and who is always there for them. That’s certainly not their father.

    Liked by 1 person

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