Last Tuesday I was in Sacramento for my elder daughter's high school graduation. Even though Jackie graduated early at the end of December she still wanted to do the ceremony this spring. I'm glad she did. I'm really proud of her and she looked really sharp in her cap and gown. I had a lot of fun taking pictures during and after the ceremony and going to Sacramento Brew Pub for dinner afterward with her and Shannon. Jackie came to Livermore to spend a day with me after her graduation and the two of us had a picnic out at Del Valle Reservoir and she, her boyfriend Joseph, Shannon, and I caught the new X-Men movie when I took her back to Sacramento on Wednesday. It was Shannon though, who gave me a really nice surprise while I was up there in Sacramento. She told me that she was interested in coming down for the summer to stay with me in Livermore. At first, I was kind of dumbfounded by the idea. I've kind of gotten used to being here by myself and that would represent a big change, even though a positive one. I was also concerned that she might get bored here at home all day while I'm at work because she doesn't know anyone in town here. Nevertheless, the idea has been growing on me and I was really getting enthusiastic about the opportunity. Shannon is loads of fun, almost all of the time, and I love the company of my daughters.
This evening I called Shannon to talk about various things, namely about how the planning and scheduling is going for the move down here for the summer. Shockingly enough, Shannon seemed to have cooled down on the idea and revised her ambitions downward. She told me that it might be better if she only spent a week down here or so. I was surprised after she had seemed so sure and eager a few days ago. After talking with her a bit she admitted what was really going on: her mother had discouraged her from following through on her plan and laid a guilt-trip on her. Bravo, Crystal. You know, her infidelities during and preceding our marriage I can forgive, or at least make some effort to understand. When a marriage doesn't work out sometimes people are driven to things that they wouldn't do otherwise in some misguided attempt to escape or deal with the untenable situation into which they may feel they have gotten themselves. I can speculate that she cheated because she may have felt trapped or hopeless. At least it was for her, specifically, and involved only her and me. I find it so much harder to understand how she could cavalierly sabotage the plans I made with Shannon. I just find it hard to grasp that she would stoop to something so treacherous. I can only speculate on what the motivation(s) might be.
- She doesn't want to lose Shannon's babysitting and "gophering" services.
- Parental jealousy: Shannon has some academic make-up work over the summer for some credits she missed during the school year and she's afraid that I might have more success in helping Shannon with her schooling than she has had.
- She fears that she cannot afford to "kick back" some (I didn't even ask for more than a fraction) of the child support money I pay her for the next two months so that I can buy groceries and supplies for Shannon.
- She's afraid that Shannon may come to like it down here and get ideas about making the move permanent. Again, this comes back to the money.
- Who knows? It's Crystal. If I were an expert at figuring her out my whole world might be different now.
Regardless of motivation, I just can't believe that she would do something so low. What's worse, it was done underhandedly! Oh, she didn't dare object in front of me when Shannon and I told her what we had in mind, no, not directly to my face, where the course of action could be fairly debated among the three of us. No, she waited until she got Shannon alone and gave her a bunch of baloney, guilt, and sob stories to get her to change her plans, hoping to obscure completely her little role in the change of heart. Why does she have to betray me every time I come to trust her or start feeling okay, and even fondly about her again? What is wrong with this picture? To where in the hell did her senses of integrity and fairness take a vacation lately? This is just grotesque. I would never have expected this of her. At first I was merely furious when I heard the news. Now I'm also sad and hurt. I'd love to believe that I have some reasons for believing in this woman who has claimed such a significant portion of my life, that I have not been a total fool for sharing a significant part of my life with her. How could she behave this way? Sometimes, I think the woman hardly considers the consequences of anything she does, as long as it makes her feel good or allays some fear of hers. I am sick with disgust and disappointment and I don't even know who I could talk to about it. Damn it all.