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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

I don't want to be angry no more, you know I could never stand for this

Being alone is an inconvenience I can handle and one to which I can even become accustomed. It's betrayal with which I cannot deal. Damn it, Crystal. She was my wife for twelve years, my friend for five years before that. She is the mother of my daughters. She was my partner, the other half of a foundation for the family we tried to build. She has been so many good things to me. She has been someone to whom I have been attracted and who has many good qualities I have cherished. Is there something wrong with wanting to feel good about someone with whom I have shared many good scarce precious years of my life and of whom I have fond memories, despite the fact that we are now divorced? What is wrong with people? How can they be so damned mercenary?

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.


  1. She doesn't want to lose Shannon's babysitting and "gophering" services.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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Ugh sorry to hear about the drama, but hopefully Shannon will change her mind again. Here's to hope and CONGRATS on having her graduate!! Very cool. :)

That is really...well, it's really wrong. :(

I hope Shannon decides to stay longer after all.

That's shitty and you deserve better.

Even if this visit does end up being only for a couple of weeks, I suspect your morals will do a better job of rubbing off on Shannon than her mother's. From what you've said, it seems like you've got a couple of sharp young ladies there.

I can't stand it when parents use their kids as pawns but it happens more often than not. And it's not like you can tell your kid, "Look, your mom is just using you as a means to her own ends. She doesn't have your best interests at heart, only hers."

I'm sorry. I hope there is resolution--and positive, at that--soon.

Oh, there will be a resolution of some kind. I'm just angry, surprised and disapponted.

Oh, it's not that I think for a second that she doesn't have Shannon's interests in mind, its just that she doesn't give a damn about my interests when they conflict in any way with what she feels like doing or wants to have happen.

Have you asked Crystal why she's discouraging Shannon from staying awhile? At least if you can discover the reasoning, it will be a starting point for negotiation and understanding. If she's actually trying to betray you out of spite, she's succeeding. But, "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"... or mere ignorance, even. I'd wager it's not about you at all.

You're right, she's not acting with integrity... in the sense that she's not looking at the whole picture and your place in her life. Sometimes people don't know the meaning of integrity because they've never experienced it. Since she's being underhanded, it's on you to be the one who brings integrity to the table. Show her what it means to NOT be underhanded, that you can be trusted with the truth without freaking out about the content. Possibly you won't get what you want out of this situation, but that doesn't mean you can't get a foot into the door for civilized dealings in the future.

If at first you don't communicate, try, try again. If you try every non-judgmental tack you can think of, and still can't communicate with her, then try to keep things on a detached level. At least you would have given it your best shot. You don't have much to lose if the relationship is already a complete wash.

Anyway, that's my advice :).

Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.

She had five or six answers that didn't add up to anything. My best speculation is a combination of #1 and #3 in the speculations above. This isn't about malice; that's just not her at all. It's about things she wants or fears (like having to help get groceries for Shannon while she's with me). The problem with her is that she is so conflict averse she behaves with moral cowardice — she accomplishes things with deceit and weaseling if it keeps her from having to debate or negotiate. I can't count the number of times while we were married she just went ahead and did exactly what she wanted to do anyway, no matter what my opinion was or how it affected me, when she didn't feel like negotiating or when she knew I wouldn't support it before hand. That was one of the things that drove me crazy during the adventure, and I had almost forgotten what it was like to be on the receiving end of that with her. It's frustrating. She would have never put up with out of me the things she dishes out.

Re: Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.

Well, if it's simply a matter of money, I guess the question is: if it had nothing to do with Crystal, would you be willing to pay that money to spend time with Shannon (that which has real value.)

It reminds me of when I used to try to get others to help me get the house cleaned. It wasn't fair that I had to do it all, but no matter what I did, no one would help me. Ultimately it came down to what I really wanted: a clean house. I ended up spending more time and effort trying to get others to help me when I could just be getting it done... so I gave up the point of pride ("it's not fair") and just did it (or not) according to how *I* felt about it.

Re: Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.

I hear you. Yes, and I do pay it. In fact though, perversely enough, some of the reason I do is because it involves my ex. The thing is that after I got over being furious with her for about a year after she left, I found that I still had some small part of my psyche that didn't want to see her suffer, even for crap she's brought on herself. Like all of us, in the end the woman is just looking for happiness. It can be a difficult thing sometimes, especially when we stop to consider that it isn't something that is found in the first place but something that is practiced. Anyway, I have a perverse streak that provokes a sense of satisfaction when I am able to get between someone and "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," sometimes, if I care about them. Yes, I do realize that this is unrealistic and often makes problems for me that I wouldn't otherwise have. Perversity, anyone, bad habits? Heh.

Re: Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.

Well, Robert, that just proves that you are a good guy, which we all know. And that you're mature and realize that putting forth the effort to maintain some sense of easiness for her also means easiness for your kids, which I think is the real motive. I'm not sure you'd be THAT generous if it were just alimony, per se. BUt who knows, that's just hypothetical.

I agree with antalya though for sure. If it's not a financial burden for you to have Shannon AND keep things as is for the 2 months in terms of support, maybe that would be a compromise that would work for her.

I am a little baffled though because doesn't she have another husband now ? I would think things would be easier financially on her end.

Re: Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.

Thanks for the kind words, Shelley. I've since discovered that things are a little more complex than I thought when I first posted. I'm not sure what to think of it yet, but money may not be all that's involved in the issues. I've yet to get to the bottom of things but at least I've had a few more conversations since this little surprise cropped up. Feh. At any rate, to answer your questions: yes, she does have a husband, but no, their finances are entirely whacked. Other than me, I'm not sure where they are getting money at all. Neither of them have a real income, presently.

Re: Yes, I asked, for all the good it ever does me.


well, i hope whatever it is that is making this harder than it has to be works out. i think it would be great for you to have a whole summer with your girl!

so very very lame, whatever the motivation is. sorry you're having to deal with that. my advice is to be completely open to whatever shannon wants to do and let her know she is welcome to stay with you as long as she likes. she could come for that week and stay longer if she wants to. her mom can deal!

I don't blame you for being disappointed, and I hope that Shannon ends up staying more than a week, even if it's not as long as you'd hoped. As for the idea that you could have been a total fool as regards your ex, I think you should discard that notion quickly. Even socially brilliant people can have trouble reading others, especially when they're intimately involved and not detached from the situation.

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