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An update on my life.


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Appreciation

Though I'm still not able to go into detail publicly, I want to thank everyone for prayers, advice, and generally your support throughout this situation.

Denial of certain things has been my biggest problem, and when faced with certain things I didn't really want to think about the possibility of happening, I focused instead on the relationship end of things.

Now that I'm past the denial stage... I'm faced with acceptance of many things, and the difficulty of facing myself when I look at some of the things that I have denied or rationalized away. Now that I'm focused on the children, and have pretty much lost interest in what my ex-wife is about... my perspective on everything has radically changed.

Love is blind... perhaps too blind.

There are a lot of things that I've ignored, rationalized, or explained away... and reading over some of my posts over the past month... it's scary how I ignored what was really bothering me in favor of jumping back into a bad situation to escape it.

Well, I will keep everyone updated when the time is right, and would ask for continuing prayers, pats on the back, etc.

Sincerely,

Dan

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An Upbeat Update


Was offered that job in Birmingham today. Have not accepted it yet, but will next week probably. Starting salary will be 30k+ per year. Could not count my chickens before they hatched, but things that have gone down in the past few months have opened many doors that I otherwise would have ignored had I stayed mired in the drama.

I honestly must give credit to God, and my faith in him has brought me into the light to be able to see what is right, and to do what I must to better my own and the children's lives. More sadness has been uncovered... but determination and knowledge that I am taking the correct path has kept me able to cope.

God bless those of you who gave me support, and who continue to pray for my family. Will keep everyone updated on the UPHILL slide of my life from now on hopefully.

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Short Update: Long RANT


Will be keeping the children an extra week for Thanksgiving... haven't heard from the ex-wife since Wednesday so everything is moving along fine with me.

I still have my good days, and my bad days. I've got friends and family to help me through everything, and will be taking this job offer sometime this week.

Sometimes it's been confusing to deal with everything... but it's always nostalgia that blinds me to what was really there to begin with. I've spent far too long dealing with an expert mind-manipulator... who is busy manipulating someone else, who's family will suffer, for no better reason than to appease her curiosity.

And it's been a painful process... first because of the loss, rejection. Thinking that somehow it must have been my fault. But as time has passed, looking back, I realized that I had never truly accepted who she was... and that created a lot of friction. And further things that I have come to acknowledge and accept that are going on currently... give me an uneasy feeling as to how far I was willing to blind myself to things that were right in front of me.

I don't know what to think anymore... I don't know how I was able to open myself so fully to someone who was nearly sadistic in her dealings with me throughout the better part of our relationship. I feel used almost... cheated.

I've tried so hard to understand her actions not only now, but throughout our relationship... and if there is one underlying constant... it's that it's so frustrating because it's impossible to understand the actions/thoughts of someone who seems to be ill mentally. And I'm not just talking about the starting reason for this thread, there is more to it...

There has been far too much ignored/rationalized away by me that my relationship with her was doomed from the get-go. She tried to do the socially acceptable thing in trying to be a mother, and trying to be a wife... but only for appearances sake. She would be doing nothing, scream and yell at me, and when I was upset over it, she would explain to me her side of things... which was so totally opposite of what reality was, yet for some reason I bought into it. She would scream at, shake our son because he was crying... and the next day she'd be on the phone with her friend talking about how great of a mother she is. When my family complained about her behavior, I made excuses and accepted my ex-wife's view that my family was just "out to get her".

Eventually I had pushed my family away... to the point where it was just me, my ex, and the two kids. And after a point she didn't want them any more either... and was abusive verbally and possibly in other ways to them.

I bent over backwards in trying to give her what she wanted our entire relationship... sometimes I was so frustrated that I'd just want to sit at home and think... but she'd want to go do something and if I didn't go she would scream and yell about that.

It doesn't matter... anything I did was never "good enough". I closed on our first home at 20 years old... but that wasn't an accomplishment for longer than a few weeks until she felt she had more to complain about. Eventually it got to the point where I felt that my life was going nowhere... she was dragging me further and further down... and all I got to hear about from her was the complaint that it was ME dragging HER down!

At 18 years old, she told me she was pregnant. And my upbringing, moral values, and responsibility came into effect immediately. I wasn't shocked, or saddened. I looked directly into her eyes, and I told her that I would be there for her, because I loved her. When we went to a Christian parenting center (had set up the appt myself with no one else knowing but me and her) and she was getting her pregnancy test done... I prayed that I did not know what God had in store... but that I was ready to accept the responsibility if that was what He intended.

When she got the results and she was pregnant... I wasn't apprehensive or anything. I had a calm demeanor, and the next day told my mother, and the day after that, my father. Naturally I got b****ed at a little bit, but for the most part they were amazed at what I had already set up as far as appointments, getting a job, etc.

I bought all my g/f's clothes, groceries, taking her to the dr appointments, everything. With a smile on my face. She cheated on me with my (then)best friend because she "wasn't sure what she wanted". Then she didn't tell me about it until 2 months before she was due to have the kid, and only because I knew SOMETHING had happened from my friend's gossip to other friends.

I wasn't perfect or really happy from that point forward. I went out drinking a lot before Chad was born... and got arrested one night for public intoxication. My mother was scolding me (she didn't know about what my g/f had done), and I was in tears wanting to straighten up for my baby. About two weeks before Chad was born, I told her that I still wanted to marry her, and I was there throughout the entire delivery, held her hand the whole time... told her I was proud of her. And for the first few weeks everything seemed to be going good.

Then I walked in one night to see my wife holding Chad in her arms (he was only a couple months old at most) and shaking him and screaming in his face "SHUT UP!!!" because he was crying. This was a far cry from the act that she put on while I was home, where she was 'busy' going from task to task although nothing ever really got done...

Of course my mother had been talking about my ex-wife doing that for about a week and a half before I had seen it... but every time I was home she was all loving and caring towards him. So I didn't know what to think... naturally siding with my wife.

Another time I came home from work... she was sitting on the couch watching a soap opera... and my son was in his crib, covered in ants and had about 30 ant bites on him. Another major argument, and another round of family throwing in all their 2 cents... but again I sided with my wife on the understanding of "it won't happen again".

I convinced myself that she was:

A. YOUNG

B. IGNORANT OF COMMON SENSE

C. MISUNDERSTOOD

D. TRYING HARD

But never once did I allow the possibility that she was being abusive/neglectful enter my mind. When everyone in my family was pointing it out, I was denying it along with her.

And I overlooked a great many other things... things that are becoming all too clear now that I've removed myself from worrying about her 'victim' mentality. Her thoughts (and sadly mine for awhile) was that everyone in my family was "out to get her" and it was me and her against the world... not because she wasn't doing what she was supposed to do... but because from some reason "the world" hadn't seen her doing it.

I always convinced myself that she was getting better, and working harder... even though looking back she wasn't doing much - in order to continue backing up my denial of my family and other people pointing out what she was doing wrong.

And when other types of accusations were made against her... I denied those as well. Not even hearing any evidence for or against, I denied them out of reflex.

As much personal integrity, honor, and values that I try to exemplify whenever I can... I was sorely lacking when dealing with my own wife's issues... and making excuses, blinding myself to her actions only out of love for her.

I didn't do anything on purpose to hurt my children or place them in a bad situation... but I did... because I blinded myself out of love. To someone who put on a false face for as long as she could... and in front of me acting one way, in front of everyone else another... it's been a long roller coaster ride.

But I think I've found myself... found my center... and focusing on the kids instead of her has been my strong point at this juncture of my life. Now I recognize and accept a lot of what she has done/has allegedly done.

Even while she still does not. She still sees herself as the perfect mom despite reality. And when confronted with reality she simply chooses to blame me for something else.

I guess this rant is long enough right now... but I felt the need to get some stuff off my chest... and to make it clear why I don't believe I've been perfect by any means.

But I've done the right things in the past couple of months... and I'm trying really hard and doing what I have to for the kids. I've stepped up and already my family and I are closer than we've been since I and Alisha were married. That should tell me something I guess.

They are proud of me... and I will do my best for my children so that they may be proud to call me "daddy" always.

God Bless,

Dan

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Short Update: Long RANT


Will be keeping the children an extra week for Thanksgiving... haven't heard from the ex-wife since Wednesday so everything is moving along fine with me.

I still have my good days, and my bad days. I've got friends and family to help me through everything, and will be taking this job offer sometime this week.

Sometimes it's been confusing to deal with everything... but it's always nostalgia that blinds me to what was really there to begin with. I've spent far too long dealing with an expert mind-manipulator... who is busy manipulating someone else, who's family will suffer, for no better reason than to appease her curiosity.

And it's been a painful process... first because of the loss, rejection. Thinking that somehow it must have been my fault. But as time has passed, looking back, I realized that I had never truly accepted who she was... and that created a lot of friction. And further things that I have come to acknowledge and accept that are going on currently... give me an uneasy feeling as to how far I was willing to blind myself to things that were right in front of me.

I don't know what to think anymore... I don't know how I was able to open myself so fully to someone who was nearly sadistic in her dealings with me throughout the better part of our relationship. I feel used almost... cheated.

I've tried so hard to understand her actions not only now, but throughout our relationship... and if there is one underlying constant... it's that it's so frustrating because it's impossible to understand the actions/thoughts of someone who seems to be ill mentally. And I'm not just talking about the starting reason for this thread, there is more to it...

There has been far too much ignored/rationalized away by me that my relationship with her was doomed from the get-go. She tried to do the socially acceptable thing in trying to be a mother, and trying to be a wife... but only for appearances sake. She would be doing nothing, scream and yell at me, and when I was upset over it, she would explain to me her side of things... which was so totally opposite of what reality was, yet for some reason I bought into it. She would scream at, shake our son because he was crying... and the next day she'd be on the phone with her friend talking about how great of a mother she is. When my family complained about her behavior, I made excuses and accepted my ex-wife's view that my family was just "out to get her".

Eventually I had pushed my family away... to the point where it was just me, my ex, and the two kids. And after a point she didn't want them any more either... and was abusive verbally and possibly in other ways to them.

I bent over backwards in trying to give her what she wanted our entire relationship... sometimes I was so frustrated that I'd just want to sit at home and think... but she'd want to go do something and if I didn't go she would scream and yell about that.

It doesn't matter... anything I did was never "good enough". I closed on our first home at 20 years old... but that wasn't an accomplishment for longer than a few weeks until she felt she had more to complain about. Eventually it got to the point where I felt that my life was going nowhere... she was dragging me further and further down... and all I got to hear about from her was the complaint that it was ME dragging HER down!

At 18 years old, she told me she was pregnant. And my upbringing, moral values, and responsibility came into effect immediately. I wasn't shocked, or saddened. I looked directly into her eyes, and I told her that I would be there for her, because I loved her. When we went to a Christian parenting center (had set up the appt myself with no one else knowing but me and her) and she was getting her pregnancy test done... I prayed that I did not know what God had in store... but that I was ready to accept the responsibility if that was what He intended.

When she got the results and she was pregnant... I wasn't apprehensive or anything. I had a calm demeanor, and the next day told my mother, and the day after that, my father. Naturally I got b****ed at a little bit, but for the most part they were amazed at what I had already set up as far as appointments, getting a job, etc.

I bought all my g/f's clothes, groceries, taking her to the dr appointments, everything. With a smile on my face. She cheated on me with my (then)best friend because she "wasn't sure what she wanted". Then she didn't tell me about it until 2 months before she was due to have the kid, and only because I knew SOMETHING had happened from my friend's gossip to other friends.

I wasn't perfect or really happy from that point forward. I went out drinking a lot before Chad was born... and got arrested one night for public intoxication. My mother was scolding me (she didn't know about what my g/f had done), and I was in tears wanting to straighten up for my baby. About two weeks before Chad was born, I told her that I still wanted to marry her, and I was there throughout the entire delivery, held her hand the whole time... told her I was proud of her. And for the first few weeks everything seemed to be going good.

Then I walked in one night to see my wife holding Chad in her arms (he was only a couple months old at most) and shaking him and screaming in his face "SHUT UP!!!" because he was crying. This was a far cry from the act that she put on while I was home, where she was 'busy' going from task to task although nothing ever really got done...

Of course my mother had been talking about my ex-wife doing that for about a week and a half before I had seen it... but every time I was home she was all loving and caring towards him. So I didn't know what to think... naturally siding with my wife.

Another time I came home from work... she was sitting on the couch watching a soap opera... and my son was in his crib, covered in ants and had about 30 ant bites on him. Another major argument, and another round of family throwing in all their 2 cents... but again I sided with my wife on the understanding of "it won't happen again".

I convinced myself that she was:

A. YOUNG

B. IGNORANT OF COMMON SENSE

C. MISUNDERSTOOD

D. TRYING HARD

But never once did I allow the possibility that she was being abusive/neglectful enter my mind. When everyone in my family was pointing it out, I was denying it along with her.

And I overlooked a great many other things... things that are becoming all too clear now that I've removed myself from worrying about her 'victim' mentality. Her thoughts (and sadly mine for awhile) was that everyone in my family was "out to get her" and it was me and her against the world... not because she wasn't doing what she was supposed to do... but because from some reason "the world" hadn't seen her doing it.

I always convinced myself that she was getting better, and working harder... even though looking back she wasn't doing much - in order to continue backing up my denial of my family and other people pointing out what she was doing wrong.

And when other types of accusations were made against her... I denied those as well. Not even hearing any evidence for or against, I denied them out of reflex.

As much personal integrity, honor, and values that I try to exemplify whenever I can... I was sorely lacking when dealing with my own wife's issues... and making excuses, blinding myself to her actions only out of love for her.

I didn't do anything on purpose to hurt my children or place them in a bad situation... but I did... because I blinded myself out of love. To someone who put on a false face for as long as she could... and in front of me acting one way, in front of everyone else another... it's been a long roller coaster ride.

But I think I've found myself... found my center... and focusing on the kids instead of her has been my strong point at this juncture of my life. Now I recognize and accept a lot of what she has done/has allegedly done.

Even while she still does not. She still sees herself as the perfect mom despite reality. And when confronted with reality she simply chooses to blame me for something else.

I guess this rant is long enough right now... but I felt the need to get some stuff off my chest... and to make it clear why I don't believe I've been perfect by any means.

But I've done the right things in the past couple of months... and I'm trying really hard and doing what I have to for the kids. I've stepped up and already my family and I are closer than we've been since I and Alisha were married. That should tell me something I guess.

They are proud of me... and I will do my best for my children so that they may be proud to call me "daddy" always.

God Bless,

-Dan

P.S. Please continue praying for me... it is needed now as always.

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New job, New things, Life looking up? *knock on wood*


First the job news:

I have accepted the new job in Birmingham... will officially start working for that company on the 15th of December. So will be turning in my notice at my current job this week and move from the $15,000 a year job to the $30,000 a year job.

It was a strange (but nice) coincidence that the resume I sent in several months ago was acted upon right when I had emerged from the depression I was in. The offer came at about the right time, where I had accepted my decision to focus on me and the kids... because if it had come up a month... or even a week sooner... it would probably not have been acted upon by me out of the regret and responsibility I felt towards my ex's actions.

----------

Renting out my home...:

I have still continued praying, and a little bit of bad/good news happened... my friend who was fixing to have a job overseas had his job offer fall through... but both he and his roommate has their lease ending on their apartment at the end of next month... so they are needing a place to live. So while it was bad news for my friend as I was really hoping the best for him... it's a little bit more coincidental good luck for me as now I don't have to worry about my expenses here in lower Alabama as they will be renting my place out from me. And while I feel bad for my friend as I think he was really looking forward to his new job... I think it may be a blessing in disguise as he was really apprehensive about going... and the only reason he was adamant about going was the money... even though he knew he'd be away from all friends/family for about 4 years. The good news for him is that his rent is about to be about $300 a month cheaper than his old place.

----------

Loose ends?:

I'm not sure if it's due to recent events or not but my ex-wife has cut off all contact with me and the kids, and has refused to help out with the kids. Her mother has fallen into line behind her, saying that if she's not wanting to see the kids, she shouldn't have to help with them.

PLEASE OH PLEASE SAY THAT IN FRONT OF JUDGE JUDY...

So anyways, her mother tried telling me that she's not made enough money over the past 3 months to pay me the $200 she owes me, or to help out with the kids. I informed her mother that wasn't my problem... she had enough money to buy concert tickets and go to a concert, and if she wasn't making enough money then she needed to get a new job... one that paid enough to get me the $200 she owes and has owed for nearly 4 months now. She doesn't have any other expenses currently.

There have been some other disturbing revelations about my ex-wife, but at this point these problems will be taking care of themselves and I will do what I have to in order to protect my children and move past this difficult point in our lives.

I ask for continued prayer... and any applicable advice to my current situation(s) whether it be job/renting/ex-related.

I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around... aren't I supposed to be the @sshole father who doesn't want to have anything to do with his kids and a deadbeat who doesn't want to help support them and pass them off to other people?

At least I know I'm doing my gender a credit that feminazis will hate... maybe I can get back into political debates soon enough if I feel lively.

Will continue keeping everyone updated... mostly for my sake as this is kind of a journal now as well...

Here's looking towards the future... and maybe all my bad luck/unhappiness over the past few years will be reversed.

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$ilk I've been reading this thread on and off since you started.

I am sorry to hear of your problems. I don't know what I would do if my wife and I split and we were argueing over the kids. I'd like to think I would be responsible like you and look after them.

Congrats on the new job and renting the house (although sorry to hear about your friends job) and considering what you've written you are probably better off with your Ex staying away from you and the kids.

Oh and your right the Femnazis will be choking on this one. Congrats to you, you have shown that not every man out there is a heartless SOB who cares nothing about his children. You are a credit to the Sex!

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Thank you for your kind words Emmett. I do what I can... and I have made mistakes... plenty of them.

A Rant to prove it

I had sent at least 10 [email protected] emails similar in size and scope to some of my posts to my ex-wife throughout the month of October which were not at my best... some were rationalizing her behavior to make it look like I was in the wrong and was looking to her for acceptance so that she might come back to her family. Reading over some of them... I feel pretty stupid. But as someone noted earlier... it's something that I felt strongly about, and it's something about which I was willing to try anything to fix... even if it meant playing devil's advocate and mirroring her own irrational back to her as if she were the one who was doing the right thing. I took it upon myself as her irrational behavior, and destructive actions towards the kids were my fault for not:

A. Taking her to dinner more

B. Giving in to her arguments

C. Doing whatever she wanted me to do regardless of impact on the kids

----------

But at least I learned some things

But time fixes a lot of things... and looking back objectively at what she has/hasn't done to and for the kids and her behavior as it relates to them helped me to look back and correct the biggest mistakes I had made... the biggest of which was worrying about her irrational behavior instead of focusing on what was really important.

So yes I've made mistakes regarding her, but God willing no longer. There is so much that she has done throughout our relationship, marriage, and after our marriage that I'd made too many excuses for... and she's even believed that she's been the greatest person... because I never called her on any of it. But it's not time to rehash the past either... I need to learn from it so as to never repeat it again either.

-----------

But there's always more stuff on my mind...

I don't know exactly what to think about her behavior recently... but it's almost as if I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop... it's always like that with her. Nothing would surprise me really... it's sad knowing that someone that you loved is capable of doing very terrible and stupid things.

It's even sadder knowing that we can't/may not be able to work together for our children. I wanted her to be a part of their lives before... even while she didn't at all hardly want to. But the things my son has said and her actions over the past year and more that validate what he said have put me in a protective position over my kids... or should I say overprotective since I'm always protective?

It's hard also coming to acceptance... and believing what you didn't want to believe for so long. Not because you want to believe it... but because facts prevent you from denying it any longer. And it's even harder knowing that you share some of the responsibility, if not for what happened... by not doing something about it sooner.

I don't know what, if anything can be done by those I have reported it to... but I have to concentrate on my children... and make sure that they are taken care of regardless. They deserve no less. I've tried to understand why I've reacted towards my ex the way I have... she's done things that were outright abusive and hurtful towards the children, and while I would argue with her and tell her not to do things again... I kept telling myself that when we got the kids back this year... she would change, etc. When she had never tried changing.

It should have been brutally obvious by her behavior this year... and she hides behind all kinds of rationalizations and half-explanations as to her behavior... eventually coming back to the "It's all Dan's fault!" de-facto argument. I don't know at what point I allowed my personal boundaries to fail... but it happened so gradually that I didn't really notice that I had given in to her ranting and raving... accepting blame for what was most certainly not my fault.

But as I said, prayers, thoughts, and advice is most welcome... as I am moving on, and God-willing most of the 'bumps' are in the past, and the most serious things I have to worry about in the future for my children will be becoming a grandfather by the time I'm 38...

Here's hoping... and though I have little hope that the road ahead is without it's bumps... big and small... I have faith that I will be led across them... and will do the right things, and make the right decisions for my children.

God Bless

-Dan Cooper

a.k.a. $iLk

Your prayers and advice are always appreciated... and I want to thank you all for the support you have given me throughout this situation. 99.9% of the problems are in my head now... so it's just finding a way past them. Everything else I've come to grips with and believe and have faith that it will work out as it should.

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Looks like things are looking up Dan!!

Good to hear it.

I have been gone for the last 2 1/2 days for thanksgiving with some family down south, got back here, and whew, all kinds of exciting things while I was out.

Anyway, congrats on the new job, good job on the house, and this is probably the best thing for both you and your kids. And if you can get her to say that in front of a judge, you'll be happening BIG time!!!

Good luck, and have a great weekend!!!

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Going to Birmingham later today


But that's not the sole reason behind this update.

As I've stated, and as I believe... things in my life are coming together... I've got a really great job that will pay more money than I've made since two jobs ago... that will have a steady enough schedule that I can have my children with me... and that I can get a good head start on continuing my education after remaining stagnant for quite some time.

I've started enjoying the smaller things in life again... tonight I had a great MP game of Battlefield 1942 with several of the forum members here, and have started getting back into programming my Neverwinter Nights module since leaving it on the backburner after all this nonsense sprang up in my life.

So I'm going to Birmingham tommorrow, will be dropping off my paperwork for the new job (tax stuff *groan*) and attending a party with some of the office staff up in Birmingham.

So while professional life looks awesome, and personal life is looking better by the day... I still feel a sense of regret that things turned out this way.

But it's not my responsibility. I cannot control the fact that throughout most of our relationship my ex-wife was not the most "sane" person around. I cannot change whatever she has done to hurt my children. I cannot change what she has done to hurt them. I cannot make her change to be there for them.

It's regret because it doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel right that their own mother is too blind and selfish to even give a damn about what she's done and is doing to their lives. I was a good trooper... whenever she told me she was pregnant up until now I have stood by those children 100% and while I wasn't always the primary caretaker... I've been there as the breadwinner when I wasn't. I did what a father is supposed to do. All I've ever wanted was a wife and a mother who was willing to step up to the responsibility that I have.

I don't think that my demands were unreasonable at all... perhaps for liberal Amerika or the feminist movement... but all in all, I think that a mother who cares about her children and does what she has to, and doesn't have to be kicked in the ass every time she needs to do something, but instead kicks everyone else's ass out of the way so that she can do it asap is what my children have deserved.

But the moment I criticize my ex-wife is the moment the phone gets slammed down, or the moment that she tells me to F off. Even if I do it in the most nonconfrontational way possible. I have studied healthy discussion habits... never saying "YOU" but instead personalizing my complaint with an "I feel that", and all the other things that you are supposed to do. I went to solo counseling for awhile trying to learn how to talk to my wife to get her to understand not to argue... and tried taking her to counseling... which she threw in my face as B.S. and saying that everything with her was fine... while she was screaming, yelling, and banging her head into walls when she didn't get her way.

I did my part... I made mistakes, but I did what I needed to in order to move past them. My ex-wife was like one ticking time bomb that was always waiting to explode whenever she had the opportunity.

But what's the point? It's pretty much time I point blank realized the short, simple, truth. My ex-wife was not a good person to the children. She was not a good person to me. She went halfway as a wife... she fixed me food, drinks, and watched movies with me and all that. But when it came time for an important discussion, or a problem came up, or I did something she didn't like... she began screaming, yelling, making life total hell.

Eventually it frustrated me to the point where I was acting just as spiteful as her in our arguments... which naturally made me even more miserable.

So I was miserable with her for 90% of the relationship... and the times that I did enjoy with her were spent with the anticipation of the other shoe dropping. I couldn't ever feel comfortable because I didn't know when Miss crazy would explode again... so even the happy times weren't so grand.

But I did love her... very much. I just wanted her to accept and run with the responsibility that had been thrust upon her just as much as it had been upon me. So while I loved her... she didn't really do what she needed in order to deserve my love.

Not that I need to be all egotistical and act like my love should be worth a damn to anyone... but I think that anyone would agree. I'm not tore up about loving her anymore... but I don't know if it's that I feel that I wasted a part of my life with her... or if it's because I feel stupid for not seeing these things about her because of my love...

Either way, my goal is me and my kids... and even though I've got these things in my mind... I need to focus on protecting and taking care of them, and focus on my new job... and work towards a bright future.

I continue to ask for those of you who are praying, to please keep at it... the next custody hearing is December 9th. I ask for prayer for the judges and lawyers to have the wisdom to do the right things... and I want to thank those of you who have given me advice... and those of you who have been there for me to talk to.

For now, good night, God Bless, and Happy Holidays.

-Sincerely,

Dan Cooper

a.k.a. $iLk

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An update on life Dec 6


(I've started sectioning my posts so you can stick to a topic of interest if you want)

The trip to Birmingham

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I arrived back from Birmingham about 4:00P yesterday afternoon, but I had to work last night at Target also *groan*. But I was going to let everyone know how things went... and throw some light humor of the situation.

Birmingham is about a 4 hour drive from my house, and I left my home Wednesday around 11:30AM... and arrived around 3:30PM something like that. I got introduced to everyone around the office that I will be working out of... they showed me the office that I will be working out of (I get my own office! Yay!), and I filled out and handed in my tax info and everything to the guy who hired me.

Then I spent a little while getting lost around Birmingham trying to find the Summit Club which is where the cocktail party or whatever was being held at. I love the way Birmingham numbers their streets... you don't just have 6th Avenue... oh no. You have 6th Avenue North and 6th Avenue South. And for some reason (Maybe it was because of the twisty turns) my sense of direction got screwed up and I was heading South instead of North like I was supposed to be.

Anyway I eventually found the place... it's the top floor of the Amsouth HQ building... (Click for picture) I think it's the tallest building in the city - 32 floors... I felt pretty high up. Beautiful view. I felt a little uncomfortable because a lot of the people there were "Big Shots" or whatever and I'm just the little peon blue-collar who snuck into a white collar position without a degree... got the server to whip me up a couple Gin & Tonics and calmed right down.

Everyone was extremely nice... I got introduced to everyone... even the main guy for the company I work for now. Everyone seemed impressed and happy with my manners, politeness, and all (thanks mom & dad). The food was nice... although I could've went for a nice greasy burger instead of all the finger foods... it sticks to your ribs and let's you know you've eaten well.

At the end of the party I stayed at the Mariott in Birmingham... and the next morning had breakfast and discussed things with my mom. Here's the bad part - I lamented the fact that even though life was looking great, it wasn't the life I had pictured and I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop... my mom has been listening to everything that I've talked about for the past few months... and she told me straight up that good things are allowed to happen.

My ex-wife

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I'll tell you straight up... this has been one of the hardest years in my life to deal with, and I've been praying and trying to do the right things by my children... and I've been rewarded with a nice opportunity and most of my problems seem to be working themselves out. The previous 3 years of my life have been one good thing or another eventually falling apart when the "other shoe drops". I feel like Al Bundy in the "Luck of the Bundy's" episode. My 'bad-luck' streak didn't start until I had become involved with my ex-wife... and now that I'm no longer with her... this is the best good luck I've seen in quite some time...

It almost feels wrong because I'm so used to things going downhill after high school and marriage. And I will say that even after what she's done in regards to the children, and what I think she's done to our oldest son... I still try to compute through my head what she's done... what she's hoping to accomplish... although this time it's different.

I feel like I'm on the outside looking in, and she's one big temper tantrum of self-destructiveness gone amok. She's focused on one thing... getting this guy to leave his wife and come to her... thinking that will make her happy. She's thrown away family, her children, her responsibilities... everything in the name of getting this one thing. The guy who left his wife of 10 years because a young girl offered sex to him. Talk commitment.

She's ignoring the lawyer that's been defending her this year... she's ignorning new charges against her, she's ignoring everything. And I'm just watching, open-mouth in shock as it feels like her entire life is fixing to collapse... and she's not even noticing. I almost get the feeling that she's on such a high horse, she believes she's invincible and can have whatever she wants on a whim, and hurt those who have tried to help her... against all odds. Even though she has done terrible things in regards to the children, and even after what my son said about her... it still makes my stomach turn to see her like this... her true colors I suppose... and I fell perplexed that I was with her for so long and noticed it hardly at all because I didn't want to.

And I married this? Love is truly blind I suppose...

The ride back from Birmingham

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I got a coincidental piece of luck I suppose on the way back. One of my friends who I haven't seen since September because he's a truck driver happened to be stopped in Montgomery, so I got to see him and talk to him about everything on the way back home. Ate lunch at a crappy Waffle House (Waffle House itself is not crappy... this Waffle House was crappy).

He was supposed to be coming home for a week... but as it turns out, it was probably lucky that I saw him because he received a shipment headed the exact opposite direction of home... and doesn't know when he will be back now. Even his own mother hasn't seen him since September.

Other than that, the ride home was uneventful... got to see my friend and that's about it.

The future: Plan - concerns

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I start my new job on the 15th... and it's likely that I'll be out of touch for a little while due to moving, phone disconnecting, email addy probably changing. But my plans for the future seem to be coming together... my grandparents who I've been fighting all year are extremely cooperative... and everything looks to be good. If all goes well I'll be in Panama City through Christmas, and in Birmingham no later than February.

My only concern at this point is what last hiccup of drama remains to be seen from my ex-wife. The custody hearing is coming this Tuesday... December 9. I don't even know if she'll bother showing up. Even if she does... this custody hearing bodes ill for her, and for me I'm not sure.

I don't know if the MS court will drag things along... or if the judge will see what is going on now for the children, and will see the right thing to do. One thing that I do ask -

Those of you who pray, pray for the Judge, and the lawyers involved in this case to make the right decisions... what is best for the children, and what is best for their future. I'm afraid that my custody will be interrupted or superceded by the court in Mississippi. I only hope that the judge has the wisdom and the ability to see that the best interests of the children remain with me.

I can only hope that the judge takes this into account when making his decision. But I have faith that even if things don't turn out like I want them to... it was for the best. I fought with why things were going on as long as they did in MS... it was technically a jurisdictional question, and the case should have ended early this year... but by not ending, it gave my ex-wife time to act out... had it ended earlier, I was intending to sign over partial custody to her... imagine the drama then. And know also that I prayed for the same thing throughout this hearing... for the judge to have the wisdom to make the best decisions... and while I disagreed with his decisions throughout, and questioned God as to why the drama continued... I feel that I now know.

I know some of you are not believers... but if I ever doubted... I no longer do. There is too much that has gone on and worked through, probably in the best way possible... even though it caused me major heartache and ill-will towards members of my own family throughout. Now me and my family have mostly repaired our emotional damage... my ex-wife is for the most part out of the picture... free to wreak havok on someone else's life for the time-being. Even though bad things have happened... even though I didn't understand while in the thick of things... it seems as though there were a purpose in everything looking back in hindsight.

My obligation to my family and to God, and my continuing purpose, is to carve out and create a new life for me and my children... a better life. Without all the heartache and unhappiness of the past.

I will take everything I have learned, to never repeat those mistakes God willing... and I will take everything that I am, and put forth effort and determination into making this a hopefully successful career... and having a good family life for my children. My values, determination, and character, while mocked by my ex-wife for my flaws (she fooled me and got to me despite them so I have to say touche'), they will be an asset in being the best father I can be for my children, and the best worker I can be for my new employer.

It's a long hard road ahead... but I have faith, and I hope that things continue to work out as they have seemed to. God bless those of you who have offered prayers and advice... and the occasional pat on the back for this young single dad. My life is really just starting... even though I've already been through so much. God willing, I will look back on the bad things... and realize how it made me even stronger in the face of adversity... even though it might have took awhile.

In case I don't get to update here again for a bit, God Bless, and Happy Holidays to everyone.

-Sincerely

Dan Cooper

a.k.a. $iLk

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Bham itself isn't too bad when you get used to it. There is a Division Avenue that splits the city. As you have seen there is a north side and a south side. The numbers increase the further away you move from division avenue. Streets are numbered incrementally all one direction. (I'm pretty sure, I haven't gone down to first street and crossed over to see what happens. ) Anyway 13th thru 22nd street on 6th ave south is UAB. The numbers increase up to the 90's as you move towards Roebuck and Huffman.

I grew up to the northeast of bham in Center Point. It had everything I needed so I never learned the outlying areas of bham like Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Homewood, and the like. The Summit is over that way I guess as is the Colonnade.

At least I know how to get to the Galleria and the nearby Comp USA.

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$ilk, I too have been out of touch due to some personal issues of my own, but you and your children are high on my prayer requests. I know things will work out the way they should tommorow, you just have to have FAITH.

This is a big turning point in your life and I know you will be guided and protected. Keep your focus and all will be well.

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Scratch that hearing


Got to have the drama

My ex-wife unleashed her ┬® Big Plan of Doom today by calling our mutual lawyer and citing a conflict of interests because she didn't want to have the children, but she didn't want me to have them either, so she told our lawyer she would rather my grandparents have them. One day before the hearing so that I would not be able to hire a new attorney to continue doing what I need to for the children. Naturally.

I'm not sure what to feel about this... I'm a little concerned at my loss of representation... but at the same time, I'm hoping that I and my grandparents can reach a resolution amongst ourselves, as they have stated and continue to state that they want the children to end up with me, and everything to go as I have been working towards.

My only concern is that it appears that I know more about how the law in Mississippi works than do my grandparent's lawyer... because their lawyer is trying to tell them that even though they are wanting to work things out with me, that they should try for partial custody, or something else... that there's really no reason to have since they state they want me to have the children with me in Birmingham.

Hopefully I will be sitting down with their lawyer and them sometime this week and trying to reach some kind of agreement in regards to how the children will be taken care of while I get situated in Birmingham. My grandparents state that they want the children with me in Birmingham, and all they will need until then is a Power of Attorney or whatever.

I can't say that I'm surprised at my ex-wife's action... but in reality it hurts her far more than it will affect me in the long run. She has basically cut off her own access to the children, while allowing me to continue providing for them and taking care of them as I have been... even though the custody situation is not yet resolved. But I've had faith that things were going good regardless... and I just want things to be over. I'm not sure what else I can do now but continue praying and hope for the best.

I'm not scared... I know that things happen certain ways for a reason, so I'm just going to sit back and do what I have to do... and keep faith that my children will be protected and taken care of regardless of whether or not there is a piece of paper stating I have custody again. I'm looking for good school areas... good daycares in the Birmingham area. And looking forward to carving out a good life for my children.

Is this a bad development or a good development? I've reached a point where I just know that it was meant to happen this way and couldn't have happened any other way. I'm not going to get sideswiped for her irrational... because it's predictable from her at this point.

It saddens me to an extent... because she's shown herself to be a P.O.S. mother... but it feels wrong because it's not supposed to be that way... it's not how I was raised. So it's sad, but unfortunately it's reality at this point. No sense in wasting any more time fretting over it... my children deserve far better anyway.

I know that my children will be loved and taken care of far better than they would have been had she and I gotten back together. Because there was too much between us that caused problems... and she was a terrible mother during and after the marriage. And I wasn't willing to step up and do more of the house stuff because I relied on her to do it... even though she showed herself to be a bad person.

Legal stuff is always complicated to get out of... but I'm hoping that everything works out for the best... soon.

Well, just thought this would make for a fitting update... God Bless everyone. And if anyone is up for some gaming tonight... just let me know.

- Dan Cooper

a.k.a. $iLk

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Those annoying loose ends...


The custody situation in Mississippi

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According to my grandparent's, they are telling me that they want me to have the children now that I have taken steps to protect the children from my ex-wife's behavior and actions, and tell me that they want to "work things out" and have the children live with me in Birmingham once I get settled up there.

Something still doesn't feel right about it. I haven't sat down with them and their lawyer yet... but from what they've told me their lawyer said, they aren't withdrawing their complaint for custody just yet because they want to see about their lawyer telling them that I should share custody with them, that I should let all these orders be entered over in Mississippi... even though supposedly they will only be watching them the next couple of months.

My gripe:

1.) Sharing custody with my grandparents? Why not just share custody with my whole damn family? Because they aren't the parents. In the future if I get married again, that will be the person that I share custody with... not my grandparents, not my parents, not Santa Claus. There is nothing that custody would give them for two months that a limited power of attorney wouldn't. Nuff said.

2.) Two courts cannot share jurisdiction... by continuing to try and press things in the Mississippi court, they are only making things harder on me, and they aren't accomplishing anything for the children. If the MS court establishes jurisdiction, I will be unable to seek child support, protective orders, or anything in the home state that the children will be living in - Alabama.

3.) It's part of the reason why it was so easy to take my ex-wife's side on things... regardless of the good things my grandparent's did in seeking custody, they also threw in a lot of unneccessary things such as preventing me from having any contact with my own children, trying to hit me up for as much money as they could, etc. It took me awhile but I finally got all that broken up and watered down. The only thing keeping the judge from returning me outright custody and dismissing the case was the fact that I was also defending my ex-wife from the accusations against her. My grandparents have always been opportunists when it came to "something for nothing".

Now - this has been a major gripe of mine the entire year... but my grandparent's tell me they are interested in working things out. If that's true, they shouldn't have any problem establishing things as they were, instead of continuing to press things and make them more difficult on me. I will not allow any permanent order to be entered in Mississippi, and I will not allow my grandparent's anything on paper - you don't see me making agreements on visitation/custody in court with the rest of my family - why should they be special?

I am truly appreciative of the steps that they took to protect my children, and taking care of my children throughout this ordeal... however, if they wish the family healing process to continue, it's time to drop the B.S. that is only affecting me at this point.

My ex-wife

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She pretty much wrote herself out of the situation in Mississippi. She told me it was because I hadn't let her see them when she wanted to see them - so naturally she makes it to where she will probably never see them again if they end up in MS. It makes sense in my ex-wife's logic... but she ought to know what she's really done. She didn't want to help with the children, she didn't want to pay child support, she didn't want to do anything that a mother does - so she tries to keep me from getting custody. Hopefully it will ultimately be unsuccessful, but regardless she's only hurt herself more than me... at least if you count priorities like I do, children being first. If you take her priorities - she saved some money.

Regardless, she has not been willing to accept responsibility towards her actions with the children... and the accusations my son made against her she treats as though she doesn't care. Either way, she's no longer in-the-loop so to speak, so this will enable me to take actions which she has no ability to disrupt or try and manipulate. And if I am successful in working things out with my grandparents, by that time I should be in Birmingham, a full 4 hours away from my ex-wife so disruptions should be at a minimum unless she's feeling particularly spiteful. She doesn't try and make much effort into striking at me though... it's mostly disjointed rambling and veiled threats against disrupting the children's lives... and sadden me more than scare me. I've offered her the opportunity to go about her own life, sign over all her rights, and she won't have to pay any child support... but she won't do that because that would be admitting that she's failed as a mother. It's much easier to cause problems for the children... that means she's being a real mother.

So a mother who does not care one way or the other about her own children is not a mother in my book. It makes it that much easier to deal with everything... although it's still an upsetting thing just because my children deserve better from their biological mother... but hopefully I will meet someone who will be their REAL mother... even if she's not the biological mother. I have faith that everything will work out as it needs to.

My new job

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The only grip I have is that allowing the above two subjects to occupy my mind is probably going to assist in sabotaging my new job if I continue allowing them to consume me.

But on a lighter note, maybe keeping busy will help get my mind off of things. I will probably not be available except via email or maybe ICQ, MSN, or Yahoo for the next while... I start my new job on the 15th, and will be in Panama City Florida for at least a few days... from that point I will possibly be heading to Dothan Alabama to "discuss some initiatives", and from there will probably be travelling all over the region for at least a little while.

That's the end of this update

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So I may be in contact, might not. When I get an opportunity, I will post updates. Until then I ask those of you who have encouragement, advice, or telling me that I'm wrong, for your input and thoughts on this whole roller coaster ride of drama some of you have been able to witness from a nice quarantined distance . I want to thank those of you who have given me advice.

I also ask those of you who have been praying for me and my children, to continue, and I pray that I have the strength, and the wisdom to continue doing what is best for my children, and to continue taking steps to protect them throughout the rest of this ordeal and the aftermath.

It's not what I thought was waiting on them at the end of this mess... but I think that given time, I will find a better place for me and them... and God willing I will someday post another update on my life complete with wedding pics... but don't count on it for a WHILE...

But my children do deserve someone who is going to be every bit the mother that they deserve... and while I'm usually not big on saying that I deserve anything except what I earn... I think that someone who is not a raving lunatic/psychotic isn't too much to ask for...

God Bless, Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas Time

Sincerely,

-Daniel Cooper

a.k.a. $iLk

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  • 4 years later...

Hey, just wanted to add my prayer to the list mate. You probably don't know me (I'm pretty sure I don't know you ;) ) That doesn't mean anything though, I can still pray for you if I want to. It has been round 9/10 months since you updated us so I really hope things are going alright here. I've got two small children and a strange family myself so I can't even imagine what you must be going through with all this. I couldn't take it if someone took my children away and it would only add sting to it if it were my grand parents. My wife's mother threatened, before my daughter was even born, to call child protective services on us because our apparment at the time was a mess. With both of us were working full time and there were no children in the place, it was clean and sanitary it just had a lot of stuff piled up. At that point I wanted nothing to do with her but over time we've got back on good terms. She still makes remarks about how dirty it is every time she sees our house but from what my wife tells me we do a much better job of keeping things clean than she did when they were growing up :P I don't know what I would do if she suddenly took us to court and tried to steal our children away, I would probably have a break down. I admire the fact that you've handled yourself as well as you have and I pray that things go your way and your childrens way mate. Good luck!

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Hey, just wanted to add my prayer to the list mate. You probably don't know me (I'm pretty sure I don't know you ;) ) That doesn't mean anything though, I can still pray for you if I want to. It has been round 9/10 months since you updated us so I really hope things are going alright here. I've got two small children and a strange family myself so I can't even imagine what you must be going through with all this. I couldn't take it if someone took my children away and it would only add sting to it if it were my grand parents. My wife's mother threatened, before my daughter was even born, to call child protective services on us because our apparment at the time was a mess. With both of us were working full time and there were no children in the place, it was clean and sanitary it just had a lot of stuff piled up. At that point I wanted nothing to do with her but over time we've got back on good terms. She still makes remarks about how dirty it is every time she sees our house but from what my wife tells me we do a much better job of keeping things clean than she did when they were growing up :P I don't know what I would do if she suddenly took us to court and tried to steal our children away, I would probably have a break down. I admire the fact that you've handled yourself as well as you have and I pray that things go your way and your childrens way mate. Good luck!
Talk about threadnomancy (and a huge coincidence).

After some recent events, I had decided to come back here and reflect on the past and noticed someone was reading this thread also. Much to my surprise, they posted as well.

My children are fine, and I have a daughter now, as well as a new wife. (One tends to follow the other)

My ex-wife has been convicted of Aggravated Child Abuse and Child Neglect in the state of Florida, and is awaiting sentencing in October. She faces 30 years in state prison.

Reading this thread again, I sort of shake my head at the bullet I dodged by her acting psychotic instead of friendly.

I'll check in at some point for replies, but you can contact me via myspace (myspace.com/danielcooper2006) or YIM dc2005silk or AIM dc2004silk or MSN ([email protected]) or email (mcooper7470 ((AT)) charter.net)

God bless.

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That is FANTASTIC News and so quickly too :P I pray that your new wife will be everything your children deserve in a mother and hope you many blessed years. Congrats on your new daughter ;) My new born son is suddenly 7 months old and my first born is close to turning 2 so I know how exciting it can be. The first time she said " I love you too daddy" nearly broke my heart lol.

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