Relationship Partner with BPD (Straight and LGBT+) => »»Family Law, Custody, Co-parenting, Divorce => Topic started by: ForeverDad on February 14, 2020, 01:43:51 AM

Title: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: ForeverDad on February 14, 2020, 01:43:51 AM
Remember how you're told, "One day you'll be able to look back and tell yourself the worst is over?"  I guess now's my time to transition.

When I arrived here my son was still 3 years old.  That was 14 years ago, last month.  Very soon he will have aged out of the court system.  Yes, he will be an adult.  A lot happened along the way.  Though it took years, there were progressive steps forward.  I went from alternate weekend dad during the two years of separation and divorce process.  The attempted Shared Parenting and equal time didn't weaken my ex-spouse's entitlement and control demands.  In her mind's perceptions her being Mother trumped my being Father.  So back to court and I became Legal Custodian.  The GAL was reluctant to grant me majority time, hoping Mother would be glad to have child support.  So a couple years later we were back and with the school's input I was able to get majority time during the school year.  Since then, six years ago, the entitlement/control balloon was weakened and we never went back to court.

I had been an elder in the congregation until he was two years old, I was encouraged to take care of my family.  The family conflict sapped or broke my energy, sadly I never succeeded in resuming my former activities.

I lost my job (of some 15 years) a few years ago but found that most employers weren't looking for an aging expert in older, now unpopular programming languages.  Even taking a programming boot camp didn't help.  Last year I had a major health event that sent me to the hospital.  I'm grateful I'm alive but I believe it'll be harder now to find the strength to work.  So as long as I can pay the bills I'm in retirement and looking forward to more vacations in the Rocky Mountains.  If the virus concerns overseas don't make travel too risky.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: jdc on February 14, 2020, 07:17:52 AM
Quite the journey.  Head up, step out smartly on your new adventures.  Good luck!! jdc

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: worriedStepmom on February 14, 2020, 09:45:19 AM
Congratulations on your retirement.  Even if it wasn't your choice of dates, the fact that you were mostly prepared for it is terrific :)

You've done a good job leading your family.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: Meridius on February 14, 2020, 01:23:53 PM
Thanks for the share and perspective.  You sound like you’re a strong man who wanted to be a strong father.  And made it.

Enjoy the beauty of the Rockies and retirement. I’m envious. 

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: zachira on February 14, 2020, 04:41:29 PM
Congratulations on a job well done with getting majority time with your son after several years of challenging the courts' decisions on custody of your son. As the daughter of a mother with BPD, I have so much respect for you in how you fought to get majority time with your son, and how much better off your son is emotionally and for life because of all your efforts.
Additional congratulations on your retirement. Having to deal with a family member with BPD is extremely taxing both for our physical and mental health. I am glad you are free now to pursue what you enjoy, and hopefully you will do some traveling.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: MeandThee29 on February 14, 2020, 04:55:44 PM
Yes, congratulations!

My kids were older by the time it all fell apart, so no custody issues. It's still unpleasant, but I'm indeed past the worst of it. I had to put down another retainer for close-out, and I'm expecting that I will have to refresh it soon. Even in close-out, everything is far more difficult than it should be.

But I relate to the the problems of being jobless and older in the IT field. I put in a huge amount of effort job-hunting and did some certifications and academic work, but nothing. I was a finalist a dozen times, and they always hired someone else. Some were subtle but did ask some age-related questions, which I know is illegal. But it's a reality.  I considered a coding boot camp, but one I interviewed with admitted that my age might be a factor no matter what I did. So I shied away from that.

Thankfully I've been able to up my part-time work to keep us going and the pensions should be coming in 2020. So I'll be just semi-retired.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: Sluggo on February 14, 2020, 11:01:47 PM

I have appreciated and learned a lot from your posts and from you guidance with me and others over last 10 years. 

Thank you!


Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: kells76 on February 14, 2020, 11:30:20 PM
Thank you for welcoming me when I arrived here and being a kindred spirit on these boards. While it's sad what brings us all together, I'm grateful that you care about what's going on with me and my family. Thank you for devoting so much of your time to us -- it sounds trite to say this, but I hope you know that you've made a difference in my life.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: livednlearned on February 16, 2020, 09:45:03 AM
FD, you're an important part of my life and story. During the worst night of my life, during ex's worst psychotic episode, you walked with me here on these boards. I am here because it's the only way I know how to thank people who meant so much, who mean so much. It's hard to communicate it through words on the Internet so I try to express it through actions.

How is your son doing? Will he join you in the mountains?

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: momtara on February 16, 2020, 08:43:55 PM
You have honestly been so wise and comforting and helpful here. You've improved the lives of many. I understand the need to take time for yourself. I hope you and son are doing well and that despite the pain, you know you've done a lot of good.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: whirlpoollife on February 16, 2020, 09:20:06 PM
Glad you are alive !
You have helped me too with the understanding of what I was going through. Your advice stayed with me though the lengthy divorce. 

LnL same goes for you, posts directly to me and in reading the many you reply to for others.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: ForeverDad on February 17, 2020, 01:08:17 AM
My ex's pattern is to behave better when I'm ill.  Too bad I wasn't ill very often in the past. :(  Recently she's been much nicer.  I believe, besides my weakened state, the fact that son is grown has made a difference.

I did go on vacations in the past with my son but a few years ago I took him out west, a drive of two days, and as soon as we got to Colorado Springs, he said he was bored and wanted to go back home.  I then took him to the Cumbres-Toltec railroad (narrow gauge and coal driven steam locomotives) but his complaining (no constant internet in the mountains) got me so frustrated that we returned home and I returned alone a couple months later at the end of summer.  Since then I've traveled alone.  Turned out very inexpensive since I put the back seats down and sleep on a camping mattress in back.  I even have electric air conditioning if it's hot or bugs flying around.

However he did say last summer he would later on go with me on vacations.  But now I like the freedom to go where I want at my own pace.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: momtara on February 17, 2020, 01:57:57 AM
That's frustrating about the vacations, and I experienced the same thing last year when my son (for the first time) spent a whole vacation complaining about wanting to be on his video game system and not see any of the sights of the city we were in. I want my kids to see the beauty of the world and not only rely on screens for happiness.

We took a nature hike in fall and my son just kept asking what time lunch would be. But I'll keep pushing forward, try to instill in my kids a passion for nature and road trips without being overbearing. There has to be a happy medium.

Title: Re: Looking back over 14 years here...
Post by: jdc on February 18, 2020, 02:13:15 PM
HA!  I took two of my kids into the Grand Canyon one winter when they were in High School.  It was very cold and hiking the canyon is physically challenging even for young athletic high school kids.  I heard many complaints.  Especially hiking out in the cold wind.  It was a very hard hike to be honest.  There is no substitute for modern lighter weight equipment that we didn't have at the time.  But both of those kids have hiked the Canyon two more times on their own, and my son is planning on hiking an off-corridor Canyon trail in October, his second off-corridor trail.  And he's now an avid cross country skier.

My brother used to take his kids on two-night backpacking trips with no electronics allowed.  His goal was to hear "I'm bored" and that goal was always achieved early in the trip.  He would always say "Good.  Now figure out something to do while I take a nap."  His kids talk fondly about those backpacking trips and do not remember being bored.  I spent one trip teaching his kids how to skip rocks on a very small pond. 

It's good for kids to get "off grid" to experience life IMHO. 

It's definitely a challenge putting up with "whining", but hopefully, you can find a way to endure the complaints and expose your son to much of the beauty this country has to offer.  Good luck!!  jdc