Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The post that has to be made.

Writing this makes me feel sick to my stomach, but new years mean new beginnings. Early this month, Pdad served me with divorce papers less than twenty-four hours before I had to be in court. He made early attempts to have the kids removed from my care with an emergency hearing. As far as I could see, his only reasoning was that my illness prevents me from being a good mom. He didn't win that hearing. Right now, we're splitting custody and trying to find new normals. I won't pretend to know why he's doing this and why he chose to do it at Christmas. I'm sure I'm not a perfect wife. I'm sure the last few years have been disappointing for him (dealing with the limitations of an illness, four kids, and the pressures of life). I've sat on this for weeks because I'm not proud of it and I know some will take pleasure in reading this. My kids had to be and will continue to be the first priority. Pdad did mention this blog (by the "Atheist in a Mini-Van" title) in papers with the negative intent. I need to use care with what is said here. If your comment doesn't make it through, please accept and respect that.

The possums are adjusting. Staying two days away is hardest for the little possums. Christmas was difficult, but we tried keeping our traditions as close to normal as possible. They had a good Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. :) A person I used to respect would always say, "take it a day at a time". That's what we'll do. This is going to suck, but it will make us all stronger people. There's no alternative.

I appreciated the e-mails asking if we were okay. I wasn't sure how to respond.

Here's to new years and friends.

71 comments:

Phoebe Caulfield said...

oh wow. I had no idea that there were any problems from your writings, let alone that your husband would do something so low. I truly hope that everything turns out well for you and your children. I am so sorry to hear that you must go through with this. We all love you and care about you. Big hugs from the blogging community.

Gizmo said...

I'm sorry to hear about the issues that you have had to deal with. It's always a hard time dealing with problems such as divorce and the only thing that you can really say is hopefully in the end it will be better for everyone (though I am sure thats hard to see sometimes). Hopefully 2009 will be better for everyone compared to 2008.

Cari said...

Oh wow. I'm so, so sorry. I feel sick to my stomach FOR you. I'm so sorry you and the little Possums have to go through this! My thoughts are with you all.

yanub said...

I am sorry, so sorry for you and your children. I can't imagine that your blog can be held against you; you've never said anything negative about Pdad or the kids. May you find reserves of strength you didn't know you had.

Karen said...

I'm very, very sorry, too. Christmas is a tough season to get through under any circumstances, and this really makes it hard. I hope that you can settle into your new "normals" and keep your lives going as well as possible.

Traceytreasure said...

Please know that I wish you and your kids well. I am very saddened by the news of another family breaking up.

Please know that I think only a sick person would feel pleasure in reading about your situation.
My heart goes out to you and your kids. I'm so happy to hear that they are your first priority.

I hope you know how lucky you are to have your kids. They will help you through this rough patch. I too, believe it will make you all stronger in the long run.

Big hugs and love to you and your kids.

Joanna said...

Wow - I am completely and totally gob-smacked. This, to us, the readers, has come out of nowhere. Perhaps for you too. I feel so badly for you and the children.
I hope you find the emotional and physical strength to cope with this new chapter in your lives. Hugs from Joanna in the snowy Northeast:)

ArtK said...

I'm so terribly sorry to hear this. Hugs to you and the little possums. I hope that 2009 will be better.

Rean House said...

PMomma: my thoughts are with you through this difficult time. From reading your blog I can see that you're a super mom and that the possums adore you. I hope everything works out for the best for all involved. Stay strong and if you ever need anything, from a kind word to a casserole, shout.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry. 2008 has been such an awful year for many. I wish you all the best and wonderful new beginnings for 2009!

Carlie said...

I'm so sorry to read this; it must have been so difficult to write. Thank you for sharing with us, and although we're just readers spread out over the country, please let us know if and when we can do anything to help - even if it's just letting us know when you're having a hard day and need some encouragement. I hope you make it through everything and have lots of support people around.

cognitive dissident said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this...I hope that you and the possums are doing as well as possible. I know it's tough, especially during the holidays, but take care of them (and yourself) as best you can.

Best wishes for a healthy resolution.

Amanda K. said...

this is certainly the last thing I expected to read, today or ever. I'm totally blown away, and quite saddened. I hope you find strength and eventual peace and I hope those who find it within their capacity to help you will do so. you'll be in my thoughts.

Dawn said...

Oh I am so sorry to read this. How very saddening for you and your children. All I can do is send out my love to you and wish you and the children well. This has been a very tough year for you and the entire family. Ending it this way was NOT a good way to do it. I hope 2009 is a much better year for you and the little possums.

Allyson said...

I am so sorry for you, Pmomma. Of course, I know that we can only glean so much from people's blogs, but I never would have suspected this. My thoughts are with you.

possum_momma said...

No one expected it. The kids and I were totally shocked and, like I said,...less than 24 hours notice. He's been planning this for, by most accounts, a year. This is complicated. I don't think now is the time to go into it. The kids come first and as tempting as it is, slamming their dad isn't going to happen now (or probably ever). I understand the comments left by a couple of you, trust me I do, but I can't post them. Please remember that there are little hearts who might read your words down the road.

@Phoebe and Jo, you had no idea...I had no idea. I didn't think we had bigger problems than other couples. Big hugs in return.

Ami said...

I'm so very sorry.

I applaud your decision not to bad mouth or slam the father of your children.

I see children of divorce all the time in my job, as well as having several family members who have gone through it. The healthy, well-adjusted children are the ones whose parents have agreed that they'll never say a word against the child(ren's) mother or father in front of the kid. Ever.

A child should never have to choose between parents, or even appear to.

I hope you will be okay.

Robert said...

I'm very sorry for you, I grew up through one such "stealth" divorce, and while it was weird at the time in the end it really did turn out better for everyone.

It did take awhile though, it certainly put my mother through 3 or 4 years of turmoil before she was back on solid ground.

I wish you the strength to endure, this and the inevitable tide of schadenfreude from the "others."

Poodles said...

Wow, just wow. That sucks. But in the end it will be for the best, no matter what, the kids would know something was amiss even if either of you tried to pretend, kids are smart. It is good they are your main concern, that is how it should be.


*Hugs*

Jadehawk said...

omg, this is horrible, I wish you all the best. I remember the breakup with my ex-husband happened around christmas-time, too. it's such horrible timing!!!

I hope you'll get through ok, and that the possums will be ok. I have nothing nice to say about the soon-to-be-ex, so i'll refrain.....

just letting you know you have friends here with us internet strangers :-p *hug*

vamp said...

I've erased what I want to say THREE TIMES.

Just know, I can be there, anytime you need.

Pam in Taos said...

I been a reader for a LONG time. I just read this post to my husband and we both cried. (I've told him about your blog along the way.) We'll both be thinking of you and wishing for the best.

Hortan said...

I.. I cant really describe how I feel reading this, how you and your family are dealing with this I cannot fathom, this is the most heartbreaking I've read in years..
I hope you and your family as it is, make it through this with as little damage as possible.

invisible dragon said...

Oh, PMomma; I'm so sorry to hear this! Hang in there and stay positive, for yourself, as well as the possums.

My thoughts and hugs are with you.

Annie said...

Oh, yuck. I don't even know you or anything, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry you're going through such an awful thing. Don't have any advice or platitudes to add.

Perpetual Beginner said...

I'm so sorry to hear this Pmomma. Arguing that an illness makes one a bad parent seems to be fairly common in a bunch of different circumstances, yet it's such malarky.

Hugs to you and to the possums. Best of luck with getting through this.

Seven Crows said...

Well that is sad news. I hate to hear that things like this happen. I know that every relationship goes through rocky times and I always hope that people will try to weather them rather than cut ties and run.

I hope that you and the kids and Pdaddy can all come to a place of peace with each other in the new year. I do not believe that platitude that "one door closes and another opens" because it implies some greater plan in the works which I know is not there. However, I have found in my life that my attitude about change can make a difference. So chin up, girl! Look for the bright spots in this dark time and you and the kids can get through.

It may not seem like it now but Spring and new growth is coming.

Psychodiva said...

oh Pmomma I am so sorry to hear this- my thoughts are always with you and hugs from across the atlantic coming your way ((((HUGS))))

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I still have trouble believing this has happened to you. I still struggle with the manner in which he chose to carry out the divorce. Surely, if it had to happen there were more tactful and sensitive ways of acting.

Let us know if there is anything we can do, as a group or as individuals.

Tanya said...

Hi P-Momma,
I'm so sorry that you have to go through this.

I can't believe that p-dad would use your illness or blog against you. I feel this is probably a scapegoat for what is actually going on in his life. You've never said a hurtful word on this blog and are, obviously, a great mother.

I commend you on your refusal to say anything against him and your children will grow to greatly respect this for you if they don't already.

Many hugs your way,
Tanya

Amanda said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to you, especially at this time of year.
Kudos to you for understanding that putting the children first will help them immensely in getting through this, and will lessen the negative impact in their lives now and further on... I hope Pdad understands that too. I have seen kids used as a way to get back at an ex (husband in that case) and it was sad.
I'm hoping the new year will bring many good things to you, more than enough to make up for this.

bonobobabe said...

I read your blog occasionally, but I don't comment very often. I wanted to offer my condolences.

I don't understand what your blog has to do with anything. Isn't your husband an atheist, too?

Gramomster said...

PMomma, I am soooo sorry! I too am blown away.

Best wishes for strength, and peace of some sort, and lots and lots of virtual hugs for you and all the possums.

Poor little ones....

Ian said...

Dang it gal, haven't you had a crummy enough 2008?

Well my thoughts are with you, certainly, and I hope that you and Pdad can work out how to disentangle as painlessly as possible.

I'm really sorry to hear the news, and I do hope that it gets sorted quickly.

possum_momma said...

I don't understand what your blog has to do with anything. Isn't your husband an atheist, too?
If he's not atheist, he's strongly agnostic. He's classified himself as "weak atheist, strong agnostic" in public, in the past. He was even a charter member of the ACB. He did a lot to get to the podcast rolling as well and never had a problem with my lack of belief...until he went before the court in a conservative, highly fundamentalist population. He mentioned my blog title because it had the word "atheist" in it for, I believe, shock value. Just a week before I had jokingly said, "If we ever got divorced and you mentioned atheist in a Bakersfield court of law, I wouldn't be shocked if it became a point of contention." We'd just read a news article about a guy who used his wife's Wiccan beliefs against her in Kansas. I said it as a joke and he turned around and actually did it. I have to say that the children's attorney was very level headed about that part. She said it wasn't an issue.

Zoofrog said...

I was so sorry to read about this and I wish there was something I could do beyond saying my thoughts are with you. I hope you all make it through the process quickly and with as little heartache as possible. I commend your decision to refrain from going all out with some of the things you will probably be feeling in consideration for others and I'm sorry your illness and the blog have become tactical issues. I'm sure there is light at the end of the tunnel although it's probably difficult to see at the moment. Good luck with finding your new normals and know that you have touched many people with your writing who will be wishing, as I do, they had a more tangible support to offer. Shout us if there is anything we can do.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
paul [silentsanta] said...

Hey...

so sorry to hear :( hoping all the best for both you and the possums. I don't imagine there's anything I could say that would make this any easier on you, but please know that all of us readers care about you and are wishing you the best.

John Morales said...

PM, delurking to say this is awful.

I feel for you; you have my best wishes.

Be strong.

Joe said...

I'm so sorry for you and the possums. I've gotten divorced at Christmas as well and it was a stunner for me when it happened. Of course the timing couldn't be any worse.
My best thoughts are being sent your and the possums way.

Thump Thump Eyes said...

Dear PMomma, I'm also de-lurking to say how sorry I am to hear what is happening to the most wonderful possum family.

Wishing you all the very best of everything for 2009 and beyond.

jesslla said...

I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. Is there anything I can do to help?

CrypticLife said...

How terrible; I hope things go better for you and don't get too contentious.

They talk about pendulum swings in the financial markets, but these kinds of swings can happen in life too. Things can get better.

Hugo said...

That sucks no matter when it happens, there just is no correct time.
My parents divorced when I was 6, I hope you'll be able to get through this without really fighting each other, it may be selfish but I'm really thankful that my parents were able to deal with it without involving me.
Lots of strength and I hope you will come out of it stronger!

Hugo said...

Just reading through the comments, it really sucks, I hope we will not be reading about your divorce in the newspapers because some journalist thinks there's a "new atheist" angle he can exploit, it's bad enough without publicity.
I will not be spreading your post around.

wh44 said...

My sincerest condolences. It makes me feel ill. Regarding "I didn't think we had bigger problems than other couples" - most other couples divorce. Almost all of my friends my age (47) have been divorced, some multiple times. It always hurts - and it usually hurts the kids the most. I'm glad you are making them your top priority. Here's hoping that you get closure quickly.

-Bill

reddhedd said...

Well damn. Not what I expected to see when I found a new post. This sucks, and I'm sorry.

Seems a bit heartless to dump this in your lap at xmas...divorce often hurts, but this way is really insensitive, and displays a lack of concern for the children.
My thoughts, sympathy and support are with you and the kids; P daddy can go find his own elsewhere.
I'm clear across the country, but if I'm able, just ask for whatever you need; money, e-hugs, words of encouragement...and in the immortal words of one of my favorite authors:

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." Christopher Robin to Pooh

{{{hugs}}}

spyderkl said...

Oh, Pmomma, I'm so sorry. Honestly, I had no idea that the stuff you were referring to in the last couple of posts was anything like this.

I can't imagine what sort of sick a** would take joy in hearing about something as awful as this.

Sending all our love and good thoughts to you and the pbabies.

possum_momma said...

Karen,
One of the mods approved your comment, but I don't think that it's a good idea for it to be public. I hope you can understand.
Thank you.

mumfie said...

I'm sorry that this is the post that makes me comment for the first time.

I'm sorry that things have deteriorated between you so much. This is a horrible thing to deal with and it can't be easy for you or pdaddy. Best wishes to all the family to get through this with the minimum pain possible.

The Nerd said...

Wow, this has to be so tough. I am currently going through a divorce myself, but nothing of this magnitude. I hope you can get through this, and I wish you the best.

Ginny said...

I wish I had something to say other then sorry. Good luck to you in dealing with this!

I hope nothing from this blog negatively impacts you, it would be very unfair. Especially since part of why I read you is that you seem like such a great parent!

Randomfactor said...

Hoping for the best for you and your little ones. May 2009 be a damned sight better for all of us.

Jose said...

So sorry to hear that. Best wishes to your family.

Xena said...

So sorry to hear this. Like all the others that only know you through your blog, this was not something expected.

I know in the end this blog will only be evidence of how much you love and care for you children and how capable of a mother you are.

Stay strong.

Joy said...

I am so sorry you and the kids have to go through such a awful experience. The feeling of betrayal must be overwhelming. I hope that you find better times in the year ahead.

Mrs. Refney said...

I'm sorry this is happening to you and your family. I've been married for almost two years, and I just cannot fathom holding the desire to divorce for almost a year before letting your "partner" know your feelings.

I understand the need to keep most things private during this time, but I'm sure you know your internet community will be aching to hear from you from time to time...even if it's just a mundane internet meme. :)

Take care.

Phewd said...

Pmomma,

I'm sorry to hear that you and your family are going through such trying times at what is supposed to be a very joyful time of year. You sound chipper enough, so it seems redundant to tell you to keep your head high.

As a child of divorced parents m'self, I can tell you that it'll suck for you kids, no matter what, but you're doing the best job you can to minimize the impact. Keep your priorities as straight as you are now, and they'll thank you for it in the end.

Take care!

Country Wife said...

PM, I'm so sorry! I really hate that he is trying to use your blog against you. If it makes you feel any better, or at least gives you a good snicker, my ex kept a disc of my poetry "just in case". Turned out he could never prove that bad poetry = bad parenting.

Thranil said...

Wow. I'm so sorry that you and your kids have to go through this.

Interrobang said...

I'm really sorry to hear this. I'm not a regular reader, but I try to keep tabs.

I can't say I was surprised, however. In cases where one partner has a chronic or terminal illness, divorce is often the result, especially if the ill partner is the woman.

K. David Ladage said...

My deepest sympathies. I am going through a divorce right now (15 months and counting since I filed) and things got very ugly in the courtroom. My soon-to-be-ex-wife paraded my blog entries about as ammo against me; my blog is designed to help me deal with stress and act as a sort of theraputic journal with positive feedback from those I trust. It was painful to have my words twisted and used against me as they were.

My recent bouts with faith (and current continuing slip into atheism) was also used against me as my wife continued to declare herself a devout christian (despite not being able to recall which Lutheran denomination she belonged to). My kids are too young to understand the events taking place.

All I can say is hang in there and keep your head up. This blog is one that I was pointed to by friends as I struggled with my faith. You give me hope, Pmomma. Know that there are those that are thinking of you and hoping you all the best.

CyberLizard said...

I'm quite surprised; from your posts it appeared that your husband was supportive of you through your illness. My sympathies. My parents didn't get divorced till I was an adult, so I (fortunately) never had to go through the split during my formative years. My wife did, however, so I completely sympathize with your attempts to keep things stable for the kids.

Best wishes in your continuing journey.

Rowan said...

Dear Possummomma,
Oh no! I am so very sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your children.
Very best of luck, and best wishes, in dealing with this difficult event.
You are a star.

manchesca said...

I haven't read any other comments yet so I hope I don't completely repeat the rest. I am so sorry you are going through this. You've been through a lot in the past few months and I truly wish you the best. You've certainly been an inspiration to me, and I'm quite sure many others.

All I can really do at this time is let you know that I care, regardless of the fact we've never once spoken.

I hope whatever happens ends up being for the best.

Thanks for being such an inspiration.

Ginger said...

Possummomma,
I am very sorry about this. :( Divorce is hard for everyone involved, but I think that you and the possums will be strong enough to deal with it. You've shown your strength already, in not saying anything negative about him. Such actions show your character and, if this blog is reviewed by the courts, I hope that they will see this and all of the rest of the evidence of what a wonderful person and mother you truly are. I know you have plenty of people to talk to, but if you'd like one more, please email me.

NinaB said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. I hope for the best for all of you especially the children. Most courts don't really care about the religion or lack of it in a divorce. It only became an issue in ours because my ex tried to actively prevent our kids from going to church. However, using a disease as a reason for a divorce doesn't usually work very well. Filing at Christmas also looks bad in light of the children. My ex also pulled the disease card. I ended up with full custody plus alimony. The judge's reasoning was that if I was as sick as the ex said then I must need funds to provide household help.

copperdog said...

There's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said. So...
(((((HUGS)))))

dc-agape said...

Oh Pmomma,
I feel your pain. I hope that I can give you some hope with this:
My parents also divorced. I was a ripe age of 12 and my mother had polio on her entire left side. We struggled, I was never part of the in-crowd, but now I am getting my PhD at the University of Tenn - Knoxville. Things do workout.
Good luck and best wishes!

Martin said...

Hang in there, PMomma. I've spoken to Kazim over the phone about some things related to all this, and hopefully he got the message back to you that you can call anytime. You've been there for me when I was in a tough spot, the least I can do is return that friendship in equal measure.

Corbie said...

I've been dealing with my Dad's health issues and haven't been reading many of my favorite blogs in a while. I pop in and...I'm...in shock. I really and truly don't know what to say other than I'm so sorry, take good care of yourself and your kids, and hugs to you all.