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Messages By: profmaryann

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July 15, 2007, 12:40 pm CDT

Definitely Bizarre!!

Quote From: wsantelope

OK. THIS is strange.

I believe your estranged husband (Bobby) is the man responsible for one of the strangest experiences of my entire life.

About 12-14 years ago when I was single I believe I met this man through a singles connection for horse-people. 

He was an outdoor guide / outfitter in the northwestern US.  (I'm leaving identifiying information out here).

I was a professional rodeo athlete.

We saw each other's profiles, exchanged pleasantries and then fell in love through the least I thought we were in love....this was before email was real big.

We decided we needed to meet as we were talking about the possibilities of a life together.
We decided that I would drive the two solid days across the country to meet him and that he would pay 1/2 of my gas and expenses to come.

I was excited and drove to the beautiful mountains of the northwest and when I got to his place he wasn't home (But a roomate / ranchmate was and he showed me around and said this man would be along in awhile) ... which I thought was strange.

I remember this weekend as if it were yesterday.

When he finally showed up I joked with him and said that he took so long that I had fallen in love with his roomate.  I was being real cute about it but I guess he didn't think it was funny.
After this I think he said only 7-10 WORDS to me in the two and a half days I was there.

We went packing on horseback to a hunting camp with a couple of horses and mules .... silence the whole time.  I got scared in the night because I heard a large "Varmit" in the food tent they had me sleeping in as he slept in a tent with the guys (And I'm not a wimp either - been camping my whole life).  He did NOTHING to comfort me, acknowledge me or anything.
The next morning I demanded that he pack me out of that wilderness and told him that I was leaving.
We rode the several hours home in silence the entire way and I told him I had never felt so decieved in all my life to which he said.....nothing. To top it off he was very reluctant to give me the gas money that he had promised me before i came and at the time I didn't have any funds to spare. He refused to pay for the lodging completely.

I didn't back down....he paid up and I left shaking my head.
It was so illogical that I had to just not think about it as it would never make sense.
I recognize that face as if it were YESTERDAY.

I'm GLAD you're getting out of this situation as this was, as I said, one of the strangest experiences of my life. What a strange man.

How strange your marriage must have been.

I feel like if someone drives across the country to meet you .... if you decided you weren't interested upon meeting them you could still be decent enough to show them a good time.

I'm reasonably attractive and had only said one sentence when he stopped talking so I hardly thing things could have changed so much between the letters and the face to face meeting.

It still makes no sense.

I just wanted you to know you're not alone.
(BTW, I'm very happily married ... going on 10 years. Thank GOODNESS Bobby didn't talk to me that weekend or I could be the one in your shoes getting divorced!)

Best of luck for your future!


Your wisecrack (taken badly) may have saved you years of misery!


Lucky for you!!


BTW, best of luck to you, Darlene, as you move forward.



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July 15, 2007, 2:30 pm CDT

It may not be whether, but how they get destroyed

Quote From: onemorestory

        I have a very long sad story that everyone has seen and heard a hundred times before.  My ex husband and I do not get along and we have 3 girls together.  He is re-married and so am I.  We went through the courts and we have a joint-custody agreement with me being primary caretaker.  When I re-married I moved a little more than 2 hours away from him and his wife.  My husband is in the Navy and we live on the military base.  After I moved my ex got mad and took me to court trying to force me to move back closer or me to give him custody of the kids.  That was in 2004 and the girls still live with me.  We were both ordered to take parenting courses and counseling and place the kids in counseling.  My husband and myself did a in-home parenting  course that was 16 weeks long.  Our parenting adviser became someone that turned to for advice and our children began to trust her.  She is still involved with us to this day.  I have placed the kids in counseling to try and work through the problems, but no matter what we do nothing works.  My ex has told my daughters that everything they say to the counselor is told to us.  When one of my daughters said that she was afraid of being at her dad's and she shared this information with the counselor he told her to get out of his house.  She was 8 years old and he placed her in his truck and drove her to my parents house and left her.  He told her that she was not welcome at his house anymore until she stopped saying that.  The other 2 sisters were there and were told to take all of her clothes and toys because she won't be back.  It stayed that way for over a month.  He called and demanded me to bring his daughter to him so that he could take her to the counselor that she told this stuff to.  Eventually my daughter decided that she would go and apologize and say that she made it all up so he would allow her back in his house.  My daughters come home with horrible stories of how he makes comments about wishing they were boys and not girls.  When they go their to his house most of the time he isn't there and they spend it with the step-mom.  It continued getting uglier and uglier and the kids were feeling it all the time.  I just gave up and tried to work with them as much as possible.  We had been doing that for almost a year but everything is getting ugly again.  My youngest daughter has had problems her entire life.  She wasn't an easy baby and was a very difficult child.  A few years ago I took her to a doctor and they diagnosed her with ADHD and saw many signs of ODD.  She was placed on medicine, but my ex didn't approve.  He refused to give her the medicine and said it was my parenting.  I worked with the doctor and the school and I would just give her the medicine when she was with me.  It seemed to work for a while but eventually that stopped also.  I took her to another doctor and they did multiple tests on her.  My ex seemed at first okay with it.  I asked him to come to the appointment and to write down any of his concerns.  He did nothing.  I ended up faxing him the questionnaire so he could put his input in the whole thing.  I took my daughter to the first appointment and she refused to go in there by herself so I went  in there with her.  The next appointment she was able to go by herself.  The report came back with her possibly being bipolar and that she the world as a very scary place.  Her doctor saw that her case was very rare and very serious.  We were told to see this new doctor.  My ex demanded to go to the appointment with us.  After he was told what the findings were he said he didn't believe it and that she was making it all up.  He got on the phone with my daughter the night before the appointment and told her she was a liar and that she didn't see any of the things like she said.  We went to the appointment and my ex goes into his Jekyll and Hyde act and acts like he is on board with it all.  I took her to the next appointment and we talked about how much the medicine helped her.  Summer vacation came and my daughters spent a month with their dad.  I got phone calls from them and they said everything was going great.  When I got my daughters back they told me how they didn't get any of the medicine and that Dad said they didn't need it.  My daughters told me how they blamed everything on me and that they didn't feel the medicine worked.  5 minutes later my daughters sat there saying that they said all of that because dad made them afraid.  My youngest daughter said that she pretended she made up all of her illness because her dad was disappointed in her and she didn't want him to think bad things about her.  My oldest daughter has acid reflux and has been prescribed prevacid to be taken daily.  I sent her a new prescription for that month and the entire time she was given 7 pills and not even on a continued basis.  She cried about how much her stomach hurt so he took her to the doctor and now he is having all these test and procedures done without telling me anything.  I have no idea what to do.  I know the things he did to me when I was married to him.  I know how he looked like the picture perfect man on the outside but was cruel and emotionally abusive to me.  I know the pain and hurt my daughters feel because I lived that life.  I have no where to turn.  He has money and will lie cheat and steal to get what he wants.  If we go to court I know that it will get so ugly and the kids will be destroyed in the process.  I have seen him promise my daughters he would buy them horses if they would go to court and say that they wanted to live with him.   I just need help from somebody anybody

Your situation is already very ugly. If half of what you say is the straight poop, your ex- is hell-bent on destroying your children (and you) regardless of whether you get the cojones to take the SOB to court, call Child Services, whatever.


He may already be anticipating something, if he covered his tracks by taking the one daughter to the Dr. behind your back. BE READY. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.


Ask yourself this: What more do I have to lose by holding him accountable for the shabby treatment of our children? What would the children stand to gain?



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July 18, 2007, 10:45 am CDT

Cynically Speaking

Quote From: familias

 I recently wrote to ask questions about a child and family investigator, step parent roles and other issues that were going on with my grandchild. Well the parents did go to mediation and it seemed as everything was worked out except child support. Papers have not been signed yet thank goodness. My grandchild's father works fulltime and also has a business but knowing that his child support was being reviewed he decided to put the business into his new wife's name. Is that legal? I don't understand how he can get away with that. Now they are saying that daycare expenses will be more for him even though he doesn't use daycare. Family members do the daycare. Can they use daycare expenses if they have not occured yet to determine child support?  Makesme think that he is just not wanting to support his child since his current order is around $20.00 per month. Crazy amount. If anyone knows anything about the questions I just asked please let me know. Also thanks for the info on step parents.



I'm going to interject my two cents into this discussion (apologies to bact).


So the mediation appears to have done some good.


When it comes to child support, I for one am VERY cynical. $20/MONTH?? WTF??? What does he think this is, a GOLDFISH?? Unfortunately, the father's putting the business (and any other assets) in his wife's name is totally legal. From what I've heard, it's done all too frequently to "hide" assets from courts. I do not have first-hand experience, though, as Bozo (the civil moniker I use when referring to my ex-) has no assets to speak of. I would also imagine that the reverse is true, as well. Of course, it would serve him right if she took off with his $$!!


Don't have the first clue about daycare expenses. I imagine how that's counted varies considerably from state to state.



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August 8, 2007, 6:12 am CDT


Hi, there.


From the posts, you seem to be a veteran, and de facto expert, on things academic in middle school. My daughter will be entering 6th grade in less than 2 weeks, and I could use a basic primer of "what to expect." Her elementary school was pretty demanding (on average > 1 hr of HW/night since 3rd grade, oftentimes closer to 2 hr), and I've already heard the horror tales about middle.


I've also heard that the first impression, right or wrong, carries a LOAD of weight with the teachers. How can I impress upon my daughter the importance of hitting the ground running so she does NOT get "branded"?


Thanks for any wisdom.

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August 8, 2007, 5:39 pm CDT

Comparison & Contrast

Quote From: mustbecrazy

In our school district, the kids have one main teacher through 6th grade, and then in 7th grade, the kids get a different teacher for every subject.


It is a huge adjustment for kids to go from one teacher to six...they feel much more anonymous...much like one of the large crowd.  It is easy for the teachers to fail to see when a student is struggling.  Plus, our expereince has been that every teacher assigns homework as if they are the only teacher the kids have.


Does your daughter have any learning disabilities or ADHD?  If so, then she should have a 504 plan, or individual education plan in place.


Your daughter needs to know how to use class time wisely...many teachers give enough time in class to get a good portion of that day's assignment done, with the rest becoming homework.  Our middle son does NOT use his class time wisely, and he pays for it in the evenings. 


If your daughter has "no homework", be suspicious.  Email the teachers and find out what the assignments are for the week.  You have the right to communicate with the teachers, whether or not your child has a learning disability.  Drop in after school once in awhile and say hello to the teachers.  If your daughter is falling behind, set up an appointment for a meeting with the teacher(s) involved.


Communication is the most important thing.  Also, does your school district have a website where you can check your daughter's grades on a regular basis?  Our district site is updated once a week, so I can check for missing assignments.


Because of our son's ADHD, we have a 504 plan for him with accomodations that the school needs to make for him.  The biggest one is that he has to CALL ME if he doesn't turn in an assignment when it is due.  I make him do all of the work that I know about, and I will take him back to the school to get his books and homework if he "forgets" it. 


Don't pass on the "horror tales" to your daughter...she needs to come into her new school with a good and confident attitude.  Kids can adapt to having multiple just takes time.  Are there any parent volunteer opportunities at your daughter's school?  I volunteered in the elementary school for 10 years, while we had kids there.  My youngest is now going into the intermediate school, 4th grade.  I will be checking to see what volunteer opportunities there are at his new school.  Being present as a volunteer lets you observe closer what is going on in your daughter's classes, and gets you more visible to your daughter's teachers in a positive way.  Field trips are a good volunteer opportunity, plus making copies, correcting papers, decorating the classroom...etc.  Anything that shows that you care about your daughter's education, without being overbearing, or too demanding, is helpful.


Most of all, keep up on your daughter's progress...make sure that she is getting all of her work done.  Pay attention to the progress reports that come home from school.  See if the teacher posts or prints out what the upcoming assignments are.  Middle school is middle son is moving on to high school this year...I already know all of the teachers because our oldest son just graduated from high is helpful to know the teachers.


Our school starts September 4th, right after Labor Day.


I don't know if there is any way to impress on kids that they need to do their work...they can't see beyond the "right now".  Our middle son wants good grades, but he fails to relate the need for doing his daily work to his overall grade.  He aces the tests, but he ended up with a few C's last year because of late and missing daily work.  He would have ended up worse if not for my communication with the teachers.  Again, if I know about the assignment, I will make sure that it gets done.


I am hoping that our middle son will buckle down and do his work...from 9th grade on, his grades will be on his "permanent record", affecting college applications and scholarships.  His older brother messed around in 9th & 10th grades, and then finally turned himself around and ended up graduating high school with honors...but his 9th and 10th grade marks affected his overall grade point average.


Good luck...Becky

We start Aug. 20, end a week and a half after Memorial Day. Orientation/Meet the Teacher is Friday a week.


In the elementary school, the students start teacher-swtiching in 4th grade - one for reading/Language arts, another for math, social studies, & science. It will still be a jump, going from 2 teachers to 6, but not as dramatic.


The school has a Website, but the updating seems to be a bit spotty. Individual teachers may or may not have their own sites, in which course curricula, policies, and often assignments are spelled out. However, there is no single site at which to access a student's grades at any particular time.


My daughter has had a "forgetfulness" problem in the past - let's hope that's where it stays!


I'd better buckle myself in and be prepared for a wild ride...LOL


Thanks for the wisdom.

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August 9, 2007, 6:41 am CDT

School Issues

Quote From: mustbecrazy

Our kids have one main teacher starting in kindergarten, with switches for PE, computers, library, & music...they rotate through the "specials" so that they go to each one once a week.  There is no homework in the "specials" classes.  There is no separation to another teacher for math or reading.  Although, my youngest son's 3rd grade teacher split the class by reading level into 4 different groups, and she had teacher's aids help her with that. 


In 4th grade, the rotation is one quarter of music every day, one quarter of PE, one quarter of computer tech, and one quarter of health class.  They have a different teacher for this, but the same teacher for math and reading.  I wish that they would split them up for reading and math because the kids are at such diverse levels that the ones way ahead and the ones way behind are cheated out of getting the education that they deserve. 


Our youngest son, entering 4th grade, may be gifted, according to his 3rd grade teacher...there is no point in testing because our district is too small to support a gifted program.  I just hope that the teachers can keep him challenged.  I want him in the mainstream classes, but he needs to be allowed to work at his own level in certain areas.  I know he will enjoy music class...he is learning a little bit on the clarinet in anticipation of 5th grade band.  He wants to go into it knowing how to read music and a little about how to play the clarinet.  I am a trumpet player, so we are learning the clarinet together.  We are not doing lessons outside of home at this point...just letting him practice as he wants to.


Our middle son has the forgetfulness problem...that's why I keep such close tabs on him.  High school will be another big change for him, but it is in the same building as the junior high...just different wings of the building.  So he will know his way around...won't be getting lost or anything.  I just hope that the high school teachers are willing to communicate with me...I will be doing emails from day one.  The meeting to set his 504 plan for the school year won't happen for a few weeks...grrrr!!  I wanted it in place before school starts, but the counselor won't be "able to get to it" until after school starts and is "settled down"...we'll have to go off of last year's plan until the meeting happens. 


The junior high has six class periods during the day, but the high school only has less homework there...our middle son's elective is band...trumpet of the best players in the band, according to the band teacher...I make him practice every day...if he's going to be in band, he had better be dedicated.  He has "band teacher" on his list of career choices...he has some time to decide, but that would be a great choice for him.


On the ADHD thing...I think I've posted before that many kids with ADHD symptoms actually have a sleep disorder causing the problems...our older two boys both have Narcolepsy (newly diagnosed for the middle son), and the middle son has Restless Legs Syndrome on top of the Narcolepsy.  Our youngest son has Restless Legs Syndrome, and has the early signs of Narcolepsy...he is having a daytime sleep study done in a couple of weeks to see if he needs treatment for it yet.  Frequent daytime sleepiness and sudden falling asleep are not the only symptoms of Narcolepsy.  Our son (the youngest) drops things out of his hands when startled, and has the disconcerting experiences of his body falling asleep while his mind stays awake...I have Narcolepsy, and I have these symptoms too.  They are both classic symptoms of Narcolepsy.  Our youngest son has times when he is just too tired to do anything, and after school, he crashes for a nap before doing homework.


For the forgetfulness factor in our middle son, MOM will show up at school in spandex leopard print pants if there are too many missed assignments...I have them, and I WILL wear them if necessary. (If that doesn't get results, then we'll have to send DAD in with the leopard pants on!!LOL)  In the mean time, I'll just show up after school to pick him up,...mainly to check out the posted assignments, and to make sure that he has his books and materials "I don't have any homework" excuses...I don't believe him when he says that.  I hope that the teachers will respond to my emails with the week's assignments in advance...then I am armed with the info needed to make him do the work.  I would prefer that he come home on the bus, with all of the materials and books in hand...we'll try it for a few days...but...those missed assignments will add up in a hurry, snowballing into a huge mess.


AND it doesn't stop with high school...our oldest son is scheduled to start culinary school in October, but we're not sure that he is quite ready to be that far away from home...he has spent much of his Summer earnings, which were supposed to be saved up for his rent and food for when he goes to school...we have custody of his checkbook and debit card for now...he's already proven not to be responsible enough to have it...I balanced his checkbook for him, after he received 7 over-draft charges...he hadn't made entries for MOST of what he spent...they were on the bank statement...he's in for a huge talk this weekend...he's away at the local YMCA camp for his summer job...comes home on weekends.  We could make him wait another 6 months before starting school...working at a local job, or something...but I'm not sure what that would do to his health insurance coverage through my husband's work...they will let him be on the plan until age 25, as long as he is a full-time student...we'll have to check on that one...he is an expensive medication for the Narcolepsy...would cost him a lot to have to pay for it out-of -pocket.


Well...gotta round up the kids for their showers and getting ready for bed....the rollercoaster never ends...woo hoo!!....Becky

I didn't mention the specials du jour, starting in K - thought that went w/o saying.


OMG, spandex leopard pants! Dunno which is the more jarring mental pic - MOM showing up, or Son's reaction!! But RLS & Narcolepsy must be tough to deal with, esp. in the "trying to figure out what's going on" process.


SEVEN overdrafts?? Does he realize he's not making 50K? That's a lot of "oops" in a fairly short time - no wonder the debit card is on ice (perhaps literally? I've heard of people doing that to make them think about whether a purchase is truly worth it). Dunno whether another 6 mo. would make that big a diff in oldest's financial habits - it may be that the only way for him to learn "how" is to "do" - and deal with the consequences of screwing up.


g2g - 2 y/o is SCREAMING over who-knows-what.

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August 23, 2007, 7:58 am CDT

Do NOT Give In!!!

Quote From: gr8wmn

 I have been divorced now for 6 years.  I was in an abusive marraige.  My ex threatened me with never seeing my son again in order to give him sole custody.  I finally gained my strength back 2 years ago and got joint custody during mediation.  Now my ex is threatning to have me arrested if I don't give him back sole custody again.  He says I had him falsely arrested and kidnapped our son two years ago, which is not true.  He also said he doesn't want me calling my son anymore.  I have a lawyer, but I am all alone and scared.  He has a partner that he considers my son's step-father and they are both attacking me and threatning me in order to take my son away from me.  My son is young.  Any advice?

Ignore the threats. Period. End of sentence.


Your ex- is threatening you now b/c it has worked in the past to get what he claims he wants. I would keep EXTREMELY close tabs on son's whereabouts these days. It would not surprise me if there are plans on Dad's end to take the boy and run, having that accusation against you as "justification." (sounds like Dad didn't like the "new world order" imposed 2 yrs ago when you got joint custody - boo-hoo!)


You & your lawyer should check what your decree/state law says, but generally you have the RIGHT to telephone contact with your son when he is with Dad, just as Dad has those rights when son is with you.


Lean on your lawyer. HARD. That's what you are paying him/her for. S/He will advise you if the situation warrants further mediation/court action.

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August 28, 2007, 6:19 am CDT


We have survived the first week of middle school! YAY!! She "only" forgot 2 items that needed to be turned back in, but I don't think one day late will threaten her academic career. She had HW over the weekend, & I told her flat-out to get used to it and how she'll need to pace herself, especially if it's a writing assignment that should go through at least a draft or 2.


She's actually in a couple of "advanced" classes (reading & language arts, a bit of a surprise) and seems to be holding her own so far.


You all don't go back until next week, correct?

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August 29, 2007, 1:52 pm CDT

School Issues

Quote From: mustbecrazy

Our boys go back to school on Sept 4th.  We are looking forward to our 14 year old actually getting his work done this year.  The doctor thinks that he may have bipolar disorder, based on behavior problems...still having official diagnosis of ADHD, since the two disorders have such similar symptoms.  He just started on Lamictal...we hope that this is a successful med for him.  I take it for my bipolar disorder, and it works very well.  I will be keeping in close email contact with his teachers, to keep myself informed of what assignments there are, and whether he is doing his work.


Our 9 year old starts at the intermediate school in 4th grade.  We will find out tomorrow who his teacher is.


Wow, advanced classes, that's great!!




I'm as surprised (pleasantly so!!) as anybody. I'm not sure on what they base the placements; I'll have to ask around. At one of the open houses, they mentioned that FCAT scores influenced placement to a large degree. So my question would be, which FCAT scores, the Sunshine State Standards (SSS) part (which was what I thought) or the norm-referenced segment, is used to assist in placement? Her scores were good-to-excellent all the way around; however, on the SSS, her reading score (high "Level 3") was not nearly as good as her math (high "level 4"), whereas on the norm-referenced portion, she scored in the 89th percentile in reading & the 76th in math! Go figure!


Are you happy w/the teacher your youngest son is getting? When does culinary school start for the oldest?

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September 3, 2007, 3:56 pm CDT

We don't get it until 9 PM ET

Quote From: ceildh1

Personally, I didn't really change my mind even after seeing it.

Don't know about you, but I thought this board would be hopping a bit more, time zones and things like that I suppose.

Hehe, can't wait to hear from the guests themselves how their words were twisted and how they were misrepresented and all that, honestly, you air your dirty laundry on an international TV show, what do you expect ? Seems to me if you are being misrepresented, then you are lying on the tapes.

Anyway, guess I'll check back later.

So I can't form a real opinion until I actually get to see it. Besides that, probably a LOT of folks are enjoying the last hurrah of summer & don't even realize it's a new ep. today.


Should be interesting, though -- like you, I nearly HURLED over the "mother" who was proud of people thinking she was intimate w/ her son. How could that sort of statement be "misrepresented," I wonder??


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