Thanks everyone! I feel pretty good about things.
Bits of the story that I didn't mention... just before STBX left he decided that I needed to replace my paid for vehicle with a leased one. Well... that lease came up and so I had to get a new vehicle. I paid dearly for ending the lease with the overmileage (which stbx knew would happen)... I had just gotten paid for a surprise contract job and so I got the truck I needed for my family, my work, and my hobbies (its one that will be here for 15 to 20 years). STBX is really angry and vindictive that I managed to keep the house and get on with my life. I learned to NOT answer any emails; he has had absolutely no contact with me for about 9 months.
STBX has done NOTHING he was supposed to in the mandatory settlement agreement. He has failed to sign the shares off in the corporation, he has failed to refinance the motorhome in his name only so I am no longer liable for it, he has not reimbursed me for his share of the out of pocket medical expenses for the kids (now up to $2000.00... he demanded the original bills/statements and I sent him copies of the cancelled checks and he still says it doesn't prove that I paid it), he failed to make an appointement with the counselor so that he might be able to have some visitation with the younger D, etc. He fought to have the equity money to be stored in an account instead of dispersed, then when he needed the money, fought to get it out and while he and his attorney were fighting numbers with my attorney, he went and took out his share. His attorney then never signed off the lien on my house and we had to fight to get him to do that 3 months later.
He just backed down on fighting to lessen child support payments (after costing me several sessions with a forensic accountant) and he wants me to drop the stay away order. The last things to do to finalize were that he was fighting about was child support, attorney fees and the stay away order. So child support is done, we are letting the judge decide attorney fees (and hoping that he sees who caused all the crap and finds accordingly), so the stay away order is the clincher. Since we FINALLY got an order with the appropriate language, stbx did stay away, but since he's been a good boy for about 6 months, the judge probably would not see fit to continue the order. I will make all the reservations I can be known, and then will probably drop it. At that time, the moment that stbx steps onto my property I will call the police and file for a full out restraining order. I still have the preceeding orders for no contact, and he has absolutely no reason to be anywhere around us.
Thorned Rose... we are still finding out what all happened to my daughter. It is like peeling off layers. The flags are all there, but it may be a long time, if ever, we learn the whole truth of what happened to her. In the meantime, I have the best counselor I can to help her out. She is a bully, both to me and her sister, and that has made it even more difficult as I need to be careful about leaving the two siblings together alone. If she hurts the younger D, I would be liable. Makes me wonder how the courts think we are supposed to actually try and make a living when we have all the rest of the stuff to tailor our schedules to. There is absolutely no way I could hold a "real" job with what went on the past 2.5 years; I am so thankful I was able to learn to run and build a business on my own (well, with some good mentors along the way).
I feel good... yeah, I need to work on a few things, but overall, I have grown so much and I think I have faith in myself finally. I knew enough to pull away from a relationship last year that wasn't heading anywhere and still remain friends. I know I won't just idly sit back and let things I feel are unacceptable bury me. I won't stay in a relationship that is not a good one, I'm thinking of dating some again, but I am really too busy to care whether I do or not. I met a very nice guy recently and we will see where that goes, so far just phone calls and email, but we are planning to get together for a meal soon. The kids have taken it upon themselves to try and fix me up with a fireman
so it has been interesting, to say the least.
I feel good about being 40, feel like I went through enough to have my opinion counted. It's been good to be able to use my education and training in my business, although I am still a little shocked when I am referred to as an "expert". Why is it that women always seem to not be able to accept what they have worked for and deserve?
I feel good about being single, with 3 dogs and a cat on the bed at night, certainly am kept warm. One dog (the youngest)snores, the cat purrs loud enough to be heard one room over, one dog is 80 pounds and takes up a lot of space, so not missing much there.
Seriously, I have a pretty full life right now, and I'm just learning to try and balance it all. To add more to it would be too much to handle... see, I have learned!!!
Writing a book, should be giving dogs a a bath and doing laundry. We have the weirdest weather right now in CA, so it is a great time to be outdoors, and I have gardening projects that need tending to. Oh, I have found that one of my favorite magazines (found it in doctor's office, then subscribed) was Oprah's O. It is uplifting and gives one hope when trying to rebuild oneself.