Tag Archives: conflicts

The Guilt Trip

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So I was right! I knew there was no way that Christine was just going to be ok with Kierra leaving the hospital with us.

When Husband picked up Kierra for her weekday visit she told my husband about Christine trying to make her feel guilty for wanting to come to our house after she’s released from the hospital.

Christine sobbed to Kierra asking her why she just can’t come home with her and visit us later in the week. Kierra stood her ground and told Christine that was her time to be with her dad anyway for the spring break vacation.

Husband decided to call her to make sure Christine was aware that he would indeed exercise his right for spring break with Kierra. Christine was livid. She asked him why he was springing this on her now and why they didn’t have a discussion about it. Husband said that was what he was doing at that moment “having a discussion with her.” He also said that we just found out about the surgery two days ago and he was more concerned with the surgery than going back and forth with her about his rights.

Then Christine launched into her dramatics saying that he only called her at work because he knew she couldn’t talk. (She doesn’t know how to talk if things do not go her way. She yells curses and then hangs up the phone). Husband told her that if he would have called her at home she wouldn’t answer. And if one of the girls answered the phone she would not accept his call. (She only talks to him when she wants something). So calling her at her job was his only option.

Christine asked him why Kierra couldn’t go home with her. So he asked why she couldn’t come home with us. She went on and on about how she was off work and how she could take care of Kierra while we were at work. He let her know that everything had already been taken care of. He told her that I was off for spring break as well. Christine said that Kierra had went home with her the last time. He replied correct it was your weekend and there was no need to discuss who she was gong home with.

He said in this case you can not give me a valid reason why you want her to go with you instead of me. She just kept going on and on about how he was not right for calling her at work because she couldn’t say what she wanted to say. (In other words, she couldn’t scream profanities at him and slam the phone down in his ear).

Well Christine did just that minus the profanities.  She hung up on Husband after he made it clear that Kierra would come home with us.

Christine’s Ex

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The Ex dated Christine for about a year off and on.  Kierra liked him and at times she didn’t.  He seemed to be good for Christine because she wasn’t so bad when they were on and not off.

The Ex has a daughter and a son by different mothers.  His son’s mother lives in our city and his daughter’s in another state.  We figured he had a lot to do with calming the fires with Christine since he was is the same position as Husband.  Kierra has mentioned that his son’s mother acted “crazy” with him sometimes.  She said that the mom would cause problems if she knew Christine would be around. 

I used to wish that Christine would meet someone like her so she could feel the same things we did when she acted out towards us.  Well, I got my wish.  Not that I took joy in her discomfort, I just wanted her to open her eyes to the unnecessary conflicts that she was starting with us.

We also figured that Christine told the Ex horrible stories about us especially my husband.  Right again…I’ll explain later.

As she became closer to the Ex he became more visible.  He attended Kierra’s performances at school.  The first time Husband went and introduced himself and shook his hand.  Each time thereafter we saw him; Husband would speak and held short conversations with him.  Christine seemed to be flustered that they were talking.

During their last break up Husband ran into the Ex alone.  He said, “Boy did she paint a pretty bad picture of you!”  They both had a good laugh.  He told my husband that he was nothing like Christine described him to be.

At the hospital my husband learned quite a bit from the Ex about Christine and her shenanigans.

Christine made it seem like they were back together (her and the Ex).  After Kierra’s intial doctor”s appointment she promptly called the Ex and asked him to accompany her to the surgery.  She told him that she didn’t want to go alone.  He said he came to support Kierra because his daughter is the same age.

The Ex questioned her when he got to her house only to learn that her oldest daughter didn’t go to school so that she could be at the hospital, too.

He said that he used to tell Christine about herself all the time for the way she acted towards Husband.  She knew the drama he went through with his own son’s mother.

He told my husband that she complained all the time about Kierra coming to our home for visits.  He said she would try to bribe Kierra to stay home with her so THEY could be a family.  When Kierra did stay or go with her when she was at our home for summer visitation, Christine would try to act like she was so tired so she didn’t have to bring her back.  Kierra caught on.  He said he encouraged her to let Kierra spend extra time at our house.

He also told Husband that Christine said that Husband harrassed her all the time.  She told the Ex that Husband ran all her boyfriends away because he didn’t want her to be with anyone.  (Husband and I got a good laugh about that one.  They had not been together for over twelve years at the time). 

At one point the Ex and Christine were supposed to buy a house together.  They were looking for awhile and Christine seemed to be very happy.  Apparently they got into a huge fight about his son’s mother and things went downhill from there.

The Ex broke up with Christine because of her ways.  He said she was always going off about anything without letting him speak.  (doesn’t that sound familiar!)  He couldn’t deal with the way she treated Kierra knowing he was going through the same with his son’s mother.  (Oh, and the best one…)  She lies a lot. (Really?  Who would have thought!!!)  He said Christine was a cool person to hang out with but he could not be in a relationship with her.

Kierra said the Ex and Christine have gone to the movies from time to time since then.

I’m now wondering if Christine will call and ask him to go with her again to Kierra’s second surgery?

Fire Starter

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Most people know at least one person who likes to bring the heat and keep things unbearably hot.  That person could be a coworker, family member, friend, or neighbor.   In my case it was Eliza.   I  try to distance myself from heat seekers because I enjoy living a balanced, uncomplicated life. 

But how can you maintain your equilibrium when someone is constantly trying to singe you with fiery combat?  Obviously you can’t control the actions (and sometimes upbringing or mental status) of others.  And apparently they missed the memo when you play with fire everybody gets burned. Well, personally, I like my skin texture and tone just fine, thank you very much! 

Here are a few things you can do to avoid getting caught up in the smoke:

The Devil’s in the Details:  I had to learn the hard way that it was best not to give Eliza too many details.  My husband was the expert at this.  He knew that any information beyond what was necessary would just feed her desire for fire.  She burned me a few times before I learned this painful lesson.  Eventually I figured that I was only responsible for keeping her informed about important issues and nothing more.  I stopped trying to soothe her  febrile ego or provide “helpful” commentary.  Anything other than the basics is breeding ground for combustion.  Do yourself a favor and stick to the bare minimum.

Heated Hubris:  Overly dramatic folks love to get your emotions flowing and once you get this way, you tend to lose control quicker.  This also lends to a lot of irrational bantering so avoid responding to any emotional buzzz words and stay on the topic.  Address the issues and not the person by keeping your emotions intact.

Sizzling Sasha or Calm Callie: If you are not normally vindictive and crazy don’t allow yourself to imitate that persona.  Fire Starters are stoked you when you to take on their traits.  Then their fireballs will really become fast and furious as you’ve given them the ammunition needed to fight fire with fire.  Because fire starters are really martyrs at heart, they hate when you refuse to be the victim and resist their blazing darts at the same time.

Be An Extinguisher:  While you might not have started the fire–you can be the one to put it out.  This entails knowing when and when not to fight battles.  Let’s face it, everything is not a life and death matter and some things are just silly to expend energy on.  If I had to do it all over again, some things with Eliza wouldn’t have even been an issue.  I would have let her have her way, which would have taken the wind from her sails.  When you are an extingusher you make the choice not to do things to push their buttons.  Even though they might deserve it (and it might even feel good momentarily) you know that it won’t help put out any forest fires in the blended family tree.

Install Smoke Detectors:  I quickly learned when Eliza was going to fire up and would therefore take a backseat to allow her rage to fizzle.  Her spells usually centered around special occassions such as holidays and birthdays.  During these times I did not give her any information that I knew would aggravate her already inflamed state of mind.

Stop, Drop, and Roll:  We all learned this drill in elementary school and it is still applicable with today’s Fire Starter.  When it gets too hot:

  •  stop trying to reason or argue with the person,
  • drop out of the picture for awhile,
  • and roll on with your life. 

You don’t have to entertain a fire-loving drama queen for trifling matters.

Fires Eventually Fizzle:  Like with most things in life (from flora to fauna to foe) if not properly fed; they cannot survive.  If you quit kindling the fire it will soon become an smoldering ember.  Fire Starters know this, which is why they will do everything in their power to keep things smoking.  No fighting=no fuel.  Sooner or later they will direct their ire somewhere else.

Fire Power: As hard as it may be, try to focus on something positive about the Fire Starter.  Although fire has the potential to destroy, it can also be used for good(cooking and heat to name a couple).  This approach can help you “warm”  up to them.  They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I have to thank Eliza for turning me into Hercules!  She has drug me through so much that I have come out stronger for it.  She has also inspired me to be a better person.  I never want to hurt people in the manner that she has. 

Fire Proof Yourself:  A Fire Starter thrives on breaking you down, cauterizing you in the process. They will use very weapon known to man to do so; especially words which are flung like Molotov cocktails to defame your character.  It is to your advantage to develop a firewall so you won’t be devastated by what these dragons breathe into existence.  Know ahead of time that tongue blisters will be apart of the vocalized revolution against you; so don’t take their every heated word to heart.  The odds are in your favor that they wish they were in your shoes!  It’s never too late to erect that firewall for protection.  When Eliza slanders me I know in advance that the real issue is with her.  Therefore the “hot fire” that she spits cannot char me.

Ring the Alarm:  Arson-the crime of deliberately and maliciously setting fires.  When the actions of the Fire Starter become scaldingly criminal, it’s time to alert the authorities.  There are some things that you just should not tolerate and criminal activity is one of them.  I would also suggest that you document any forms of harassment.   Sometimes it is even necessary to get a trace placed on your phone (we had one successfully traced back to her residence).  I have a huge binder that I have kept over the years to create a papertrail on Eliza and her many attempts to annililate, annoy, and torture us.  The contents proved to come in handy, too when combating her scorching lies in different situations.