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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2013, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbs View Post
I'd like to address other things you fine folks have spoke of as well, because I don't want to veer off-topic.

I guess my big issue is the "Divorced Dad" trope that I'm slowly becoming. My kids love 'The Simpsons', but when we watch it and Milhouse's Dad shows up, I see myself.

The hardest thing about the spiral down (for me, at least) is not being able to relate to most people anymore. All of my coworkers are married with houses and all the standard benchmarks for people in their 40s and 50s. And I have an apartment and a cat. My life savings and my childrens' education fund are long gone.

The worst part was the other night when I was invited over to some acquaintances' place for a beer. I didn't know them very well, and they asked about the divorce and where I live and whatnot, and then I got what every Divorced Dad dreads:

That uncomfortable look of pity. All these nice guys with nice jobs and nice wives and nice houses and nice cars looked at me like a sad cautionary example.

THAT my friends is a very tough pill to swallow.
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Originally Posted by Stubbs View Post
Another thought...

I have a hard time with counselors. It's probably because in my work I deal with problem-solving in a very fast-paced and practical environment (it's airport operations and emergency services).

I've talked to counselors before, and while they're always sympathetic I've found that they never have any empathy. They're all well-to-do and married, and I've asked if they've ever been truly "poor" or not been allowed to see their kids or have lost everything and the answer is always "no".

So when I'm paying $120 an hour to someone who drives a BMW, telling them how I had to go to the food bank to feed my kids, it does little to help put things in perspective and I usually feel a bit worse for it.

Do I sound like a crazy person here...? I hope not...
You're looking at it all wrong.
Do not compare yourself to what others show you. Often times the 'show' is far different than the 'reality'.

There is no shame in using the food-bank, etc.
You (as a parent) do what needs be done.

There is absolutely no shame in getting the job done.
Too me, that is what being a parent is all about.

You swallow your pride and provide, by any and all means available.
Just like you would hold your nose and change a particularily messy diaper in those days. It's not fun - but it is required.
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 10-27-2013, 04:34 PM
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I get what you mean about not really wanting to talk to people who have perfect lives. If counselling isn't your thing right now, one possibility is to check meetup.com for a divorce support group near you. There was one in my area which was really helpful especially in the early days. You may find people who know exactly what you're going through and won't pity you or look embarrassed. (It all depends on the leadership of the group - support groups can also be counterproductive whine-fests. The leaders of the one in my area were excellent).

If you keep showing up, you can see other people slowly work their way out of the morass, and then slowly you start to become one of those people. (At the first such meetup I went to, one of the leaders introduced himself as "the guy about whom you can say 'well, at least I'm not *him*' ". Five kids, married for decades, flat broke, ex and her brothers tried to burn his house down on Christmas Day. By the time I heard the story, he could actually laugh about it).
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:14 PM
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I'll have to look at meetup.com. I'm not sure I've ever even seen that site before. I've checked Kijiji and whatnot, but here in Kitchener there doesn't seem to be a very thriving community of socially-minded people.

I agree though... I would be far more comfortable talking with other people in similar situations as opposed to another counselor.

These past few days since my ex told me her intentions not to settle with me I've managed to move from the "grief" stage onto a more productive "anger" stage. Not meaning *angry*, so much as *focused* on dragging her back into court one last time and forcing her to comply with whatever a Judge decides.

Since I've been doing this for a few years now, I've learned to make copies, take notes, remember dates, etc...

And it doesn't hurt that a hobby of mine is writing, so I've been able to help my lawyer represent my interests best by drafting briefs which utilize the facts to put me in the best possible sympathetic light without using emotions or personal attacks against my ex.

After all... I went from a weekend Dad paying $1000 a month to a fully-involved parent with his children 10-11 nights paying $465 a month. It hasn't been easy, but now that I think about it, it's a pretty big accomplishment.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbs View Post

I DON'T WANT to hear anyone to give me the speeches about why I shouldn't kill myself. I don't want to kill myself.

I DO WANT to hear from anyone who's gone through this (or knows someone who's gone through this) and if they managed to bounce back by themselves. Or anything that helped get out of the spiral. Or any mistakes they made that should be avoided. Or ANYTHING to help reverse this.

Please remember that I'm not independently wealthy and I'm on my own here. No family or friends will be factored into how I can make this any better.

Thanks for reading, folks.
If it's any comfort to you, I am certain that many of us here have harbored such thoughts (myself included), we WANT to live, just not like this!

The only advice that I can give you is to try to simplify your life in any way that you can, get a clear picture of your priorities, find joy in any little thing that you DO have control over.

Nowadays I equate success with having grown more tomatoes than last year, giving away the 'junk' that was cluttering my life, taking time out everyday to just walk my pooch and 'really' talk with my neighbors, learning to do things for myself that I thought I could never manage alone.

As others have written above, your children will eventually grow up and will be in a better position to chose where they live - hold on to that for now.

It's not easy .... there are still times when I wish that none of this had happened, I still wonder why and question what I could have done to avoid the whole miserable mess - it's best not to go there, the future is all any of us have. You have a future, don't ever doubt that
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:48 PM
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Good to hear that you recognize the big accomplishments regarding increasing your time with the kids and changing the support amounts to better represent your individual situation... That is huge!

Yeah, your right... The tri-town area does not have an obvious divorced/single parent community... I'm sure it is there but I suspect required an effort to find it. Only you can decide if you think such groups would be beneficial for you. If you think they could be then it is worth the effort.
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