Didn’t THEY See the Signs?


You know, it occurs to me at this pivotal juncture of my life that the past few years have taught me a valuable lesson: Namely, there is a wrong way — and typically anywhere from one to a shitload of right ways — to approach many of life’s pesky little obstacles. Here’s just a quick sampling of examples:

Wrong way: Cheat. And leave a brick behind as evidence.

Right way: Take ownership of your issues, communicate about the problems, commit to giving the relationship time to heal or die. Sucky? Yes. Easy? Hardly. But it’s only right.

Wrong way: Buy Splenda at your local Ralph’s or Safeway (that shit’s expensive!).

Right way: While at your favorite coffee house, after purchasing your venti low-fat iced caramel half-caf mocha with extra ice (hold the whipped cream), stealthily slink around the counter, pretend you’re grabbing extra napkins, and fill your pockets with as many handfuls of Splenda packets as possible without being discovered. (I just may happen to know someone who knows someone whose personal record is 46.)

Wrong way: Disrespect/disparage/disregard/treat the other parent of your child(ren) as though he/she is dead.

Right way: Acknowledge that your child(ren) came from the womb/sperm of the other parent, thus making that other parent inherently deserving of respect.

Wrong way: Make potato salad with copious squirts of mustard. (Ewww.)

Right way: Make potato salad with mayonnaise only, hold the French’s. (You know, I just realized: the words “sperm” and “mayonnaise” should NEVER appear in sentences that live in close proximity of one another. Just sayin’…)

Wrong way: Pose for your online dating profile picture while sprawled on a SpongeBob SquarePants bedspread. (Seriously. I once received a “wink” from a guy clearly posing on a toddler bed surrounded by SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy Cheeks and the whole gang. Ewww…yet again.)

Right way: Have someone take your online dating profile picture while you are fully clothed, not drunk, not in the vicinity of children’s cartoon characters and not holding a fish (Don’t ask me why, but there’s a disproportionate number of men who pose with a fish — so I figured it was worth mentioning.)

I could go on and on, but you probably get my point. And yes, I realize I may know someone who knows someone who may be a Splenda klepto, but the first step in beating an addiction is admitting it, right? I’ll have to get her to work on that.

Anyhow, notice the pic above does not show me standing in front of a “One Way” sign. And there’s a reason: There are many ways to approach a problem. There is just, oftentimes, a universally wrong way.

And Marilyn and my ex are heading the Wrong Way. In CAPITAL LETTERS. Maybe even underlined. With italics. And in bold.

Which brings me to the title of this blog post: Didn’t they see the signs? And if you’re new to the details of my bat-shit crazy life, please check out the inspiration for this post’s title here — cuz you kinda hafta read one to understand the nuance of the other. It’s much cooler that way. Trust me.

So the signs — ah yes, the signs. I got a big ol’ sign in the form of a legal motion a few weeks ago. This motion was attempting to do a few things, including make a significant change to custody of my two amazing children and add a clause that would prevent me from publishing or blogging about my life, post-divorce.

But I mean, come on: Didn’t they see the signs? Don’t they know me well enough to know how I’d respond to this?

I’m not the type who will just quietly sit back and give in, especially with so much at stake. That’s clearly not my style, and it hasn’t been my style since I was about 6 years old and in Mrs. Campbell’s kindergarten class, when Mean Ramona told the teacher I had eaten the entire ear of Indian Corn from the Thanksgiving cornucopia.

Did not!

(And for the record: It was merely a tiny nibble, and it was neither tasty nor corn-like. Thus I was innocent of her accusation, and I made sure Mrs. Campbell knew it. So Mean Ramona had to clean Bugsy-the-gerbil’s cage in penance. Which was totally awesome to watch…)

Anyhow, back to my point: I’m a quiet person, but I also know my rights. I know that just because they don’t like that I’m blogging, this doesn’t mean I must cease and desist.

So just for grins, let’s examine a few of the roles I fill in life, all of which easily could serve as loud and clear signs about how I would respond to their legal motion:

1. Mom (and they know that — certainly no mystery there.)

2. Writer (and they know that, too. I’ve been a writer for longer than I was married. And I was married for almost 1/3 of my life, so you do the math on that one.)

3. Journalist (and they know that. In fact, my ex used to sit with me on the couch, quizzing me on case law from my Media Law text book while I was studying for my master’s degree.)

4. Hoarder (and they know that. They’ve seen the cards left behind by my ex, after all.)

5. Blogger (and they definitely know that. They kinda tipped their hands the moment Marilyn wrote a blog in response to my blog in which she attempted to mock my blog  – in a textbook case of blogger envy.)

So taken together, the combination of these individual signs looks like this:

Mom + Writer + Journalist + Hoarder + Blogger =
I’m not going to shut the fuck up without a fight.

And really, they should have known better. I mean, I’m the exact same girl I’ve always been – well, perhaps a little more jaded, a little less trusting, a little more leery of bricks and alarmingly gender-ambiguous rock stars. But deep down, I’m still me — and they should have seen the signs.

I’m not going to sit back. I’m going to continue to write, talk, inspire, share and relate. I’m moving on, moving up and healing in the best way I know how, surrounded by awesome friends, incredible family and a virtual blogging community that is telling me to NOT shut the fuck up.

Now, I know I’ve been quiet for over a week. And if you’re back, reading this happy little post, I want to say thank you kindly for returning. I plan on making my voice heard loud and clear for as long as I can, and in large part the strength of my voice is inspired by your vocal and numerous comments of support.

So you wanna know why I’ve been so quiet?

Because I’ve been working on the most important piece of writing of my entire life. And the end result looked like this:

Their 27-page motion is in my right hand; my 277-page response to their motion — and my very own counter-motion — is in my left. While size doesn’t matter in the eyes of the law, I felt passionately about fully and accurately explaining my positions regarding their “requests.”
Translation: I did not shut the fuck up.

Didn’t they see the signs?

Wrong way: You see a happy, loving, Mama Bear courageously caring for her cute and cuddly cubs. You run up to the babies, greedily snatch them up in your paws, stick your tongue out at Mama Bear, shove a gag down her throat and go running at break-neck speed toward — oh I don’t know, let’s say — Oregon.

Right way: Back away from the Mama Bear, her big teeth and beautiful babies. Slowly. Gently. Respectfully.

So, as it always is at this part of the post, it’s your turn: Tell me about a Right Way or a Wrong Way you’ve found yourself heading in response to a break-up, separation or divorce. Or tell me if, in your opinion, I seem to be heading in a good direction.

As a woman with zero internal compass, I may need your help identifying if I am, indeed, on the right path.

84 thoughts on “Didn’t THEY See the Signs?

  1. emjayandthem says:

    I’ve missed you and am glad you’re back 🙂 I have many wrong way/right way moments, just have to think of one that’s pertinent … from one Mama Bear to another .. grrr 🙂

  2. laavventura says:

    Your certainly going down the Right Way. The signs were always there, they were just to stupid to see it, or maybe belive it. It’s your right to speak, it’s your life after all. I think he needs to shut the fuck up and have reality slap him across the face. Nice to see you keep things anomymous but your point is direct. Thanks.

  3. dnici says:

    You are definitely headed in the right direction. They have obviously handled everything in the wrong way and you are trying to do your best to handle it in the right way. They have no right to try and take your children away. I commend you for keeping such a cool head about this whole thing. If I were in the situation, I would have shot them by now. So I admire how you have handled all of their bull sh*t so far. You go Mama Bear!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much! I’m doing my best, but sometimes, my best just doesn’t seem good enough.

      I constantly shake my head in bewilderment that this is even my life. Bizarre…

      I do appreciate the feedback! 🙂

  4. gvanguard says:

    Keep on writing. Alot can happen when your truths are exposed for all to see. Your ex and new transparent wife are definitely barking up the wrong tree. Seriously a gag order, that’s really lame. It just goes to show that when people are ugly, secretive, and do despicable things it always has a way to come back and bite them. I think that’s called Karma. Please keep us up to date you have lots of us who support your freedom to blog, dance in the rain, and possiblypose with fish if it suits your fancy.

    • Tara Fly says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with gvangaurd …

      Only people living in deception are afraid of the Truth.

      Keep being honest, and the Universe will fall in line behind you. It sometimes takes time and patience waiting for justice to be done… but the proverbial axe will fall and their heads will roll eventually.

      – TaraFly

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Excellent. On my way to buy a trout tomorrow. And it rained last night — too bad you couldn’t seem me dancing! (actually, that’s probably a good thing…)

      Thank you so much for the support!

  5. Normanomicon says:

    Beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are in the right, you are doing the right thing. You have a right to freedom of speech.

    I have always enjoyed the following quote from Sean Connery in The Untouchables:
    “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!”

    I know this isn’t the movies, and I know (at least I HOPE) this won’t turn to guns and/or knives, but you can say the same thing with legal proceedings.

    Fight the good fight.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      AWESOME quote … and totally appropriate!

      And no, I don’t anticipate this will turn to guns and knives…but words are pretty powerful weapons themselves.

      Thanks so much for the feedback — much appreciated!

  6. markp427 says:

    Wrong way: not communicating with your ex at all, even though you share custody of the kids equally.

    Right way: opening up a dialogue with her, and even attempting to maintain a friendship with the ex’s beau, even though said beau was the cause of your breakup in the first place.

    It’s very much a balancing act.

    BTW, Oregon is a wonderful place to run to! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      A balancing act? I’d say you’re a friggin’ saint! Good job on doing the RIGHT thing. Seriously.

      And Oregon is the place they’re trying to run — so I’m not thinking it’s so beautiful right now… 😦

  7. Phouka says:

    As best I can tell, you’re not doing anything wrong. You’ve taken media law, so you know that truth is defense against libel, so they can’t get you there. Your brief certainly looks professional in your picture; as long as an attorney has reviewed it/offered their 2 cents worth, there’s nothing wrong there, either. You haven’t said if you have a vicious, blood-thirsty divorce attorney, so, if you don’t have a vicious, blood-thirsty divorce attorney to attack them and dance on their bones, *that* would be wrong, but otherwise, I think you’re good to go.

    Keep your chin up, gal! You rock.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much for the vote of confidence! I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be surrounded by great friends and family, amazing blogging colleagues and a virtual shitload of vicious, blood-thirsty attorneys, all standing by to help.

      Well, plus or minus 10…


  8. Anonymous Reader says:

    First off,
    “a significant change to custody of my two amazing children”? This drives me crazy. Based on your blog your ex and Marilyn should not have any custody without your supervision. If you use the kids to fight you don’t deserve to have the kids.

    I found you the day before Thanksgiving and read your entire blog. Then I didn’t have anything else to do so I did some super-sleuthing and found a pic of “Marilyn” SHE DOES LOOK LIKE MARILYN MANSON! haha..

    Love your blog, Mikalee. Keep it up. Stay strong. You seem like an awesome lady.

  9. patridew says:

    I like the way your mind works! I can NOT believe (well, yes I can, but it’s an expression to show awe, but you know that) you compiled your MostImportantDocument since your last post. That’s an incredible mother statement and when your kids are teenagers they can never argue that you are a wuss! They will love telling the story of how your fought for them.

    And BTW, that green jacket is gorgeous.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I’m so glad you read the post — you are, after all, its inspiration! And thank you for the support…

      Yip, MostImportantDocEver was a biggie. With any luck, it adequately and successfully illustrated my position, which is all about serving the best interest of my incredible children. I’ll keep you all “posted.”

      Get it — “posted”??? Blogging humor… 😉

  10. Teri says:

    First, you are a fabulous writer (not that anyone needs to tell you that, but I think I feel the need to mention it EVERY time I read your blog for some reason.) The humor you are using to approach this situation is PERFECT, I would only be worried for you if the anger consumed all. I love how you are approaching this with a combination of fight, humor, and moxie. Bravo to you.

    You have tons of support.


    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Aw shucks, Teri … I’m blushing! 😉

      Seriously, I’m so grateful for the support and feedback. My writing has been a key to my healing throughout this entire ordeal, and I only hope I might be able to encourage others to share a bit while healing themselves.

      Fingers crossed…

  11. J. Eric Smith says:

    Right = Doing the things that you know, in your heart, are best for you and your kids.

    Wrong = Doing what a random collection of assclowns on the Internet (self included) tell you to do on your blog. Domestic carnage makes for better entertainment than domestic bliss, so our interest in your story and your own self-interests might not overlap, namsain?

    You really are a great writer, and I’m happy to have stumbled upon your blog here, and am equally glad you have such an outlet for sharing some pretty heavy shit in a light-hearted fashion . . . but we’re all the peanut gallery here, and shouldn’t really get a vote . . .

    So do the right thing, no matter what anybody here says to you.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Aw, but I love love LOVE Internet assclowns! (yourself included…)

      Haha…just kidding, of course. You know, this entire situation has routinely made me question my reactions and sanity, so having a virtual peanut gallery has been completely helpful.

      And really, if I’m being honest, I know I’m heading in the right direction for me (and for my children, first and foremost). But my insecurities sometimes get the best of me, inspiring me to seek feedback.

      So thank you for the feedback! And please keep it coming…

  12. Founder of Changesational says:

    Hi Mikalee,
    You certainly are heading in the right directions!!! I think that when all this is said and done, you are going to have some great material for a book!! Or have you already written one??
    Whatever you do, keep on blogging – how dare they try to make you stop !!!
    Your story,your problems (and solutions) are yours – keep hanging on to them, Mama Bear.
    Also, thanks for visiting and commenting on my freshly pressed post. I’m glad you did!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      LOVED your post, Mon … and thank you for the compliment of a return visit to my blog!

      I’m in the research phase of my book, so I definitely consider myself on my way. And this blog has been great personal inspiration as well as a place for others to share their stories, which also serve as inspiration. All in all, totally DIGGING the creative outlet!

      Thanks again for stopping by, and hope to see you around here again!

  13. Karena K. Dunn says:

    As I have told you before – there is a price to be paid for silence. Just ask Tiger Woods! Unless your ex can pay you the millions Tiger paid Elin to shut up, I think you keep fighting the good fight! Love you!

  14. Bob says:

    You are correct on the right way and wrong way to do most things. I think a great deal of people spend the day walking around the planet with their heads shoved forcefully up their asses. Not seeing the signs or caring if they do.

    Only caring about themselves and fuck everyone else, I am glad that you are not taking the legal aspect of this lightly. You have an outlet and by God you should use it!! Is his ego so fragile that he can’t take a little post cheating ribbing?? I think you have earned that right to give him a few well placed shots to the ego.

    Keep it up Girl!!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Awesome insights, Bob … thank you for sharing!

      And I plan to use this outlet as long as I’m allowed. Hopefully, that’s a very, very long time…

      I’m so glad you stopped by and commented! 🙂

  15. Cat says:

    As far as directional headings go, I went to bat for my rights and the protection of my children during the aftermath, literally until the money ran out. Lawyers are supremely expensive. Even though I have a legal court order protecting my FULL CUSTODY status, right to recieve allimony and child support, I have not been able to gather the funds required over the past 9 years, to go back to court and get the finale of the Divorce Decree. It seems to me now, that the greatest tool was and is the court order, while a piece of paper with “divorce” written on it seems like a formality. There comes a point in everyone’s life where they are faced with a battle over what’s right. Whether or not they embrace it depends on their mettle. You are both brave and courageous, and you have just enough “scary” in you to get the job done! I have no doubt that you will succeed in winning your legal battle or die trying.
    On another subject: I get the distinct feeling that “Marilyn” was jealous of the fact that you married the man she expected to marry, you had the children she was supposed to have and that you lived the life she was supposed to live. That is why she tries so hard to both erase and replace you. She’s sick. I’d try to feel sorry for her but she’s too laughable. Hugs!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You know what’s a little eerie? The fact that you can so NAIL the underpinnings of this “jealousy” while not even knowing the entire situation. You are amazing!

      Perhaps it is your own experience (or watching others in similar situations) that lends such amazing insight. Whatever it is, you must channel this innate ability. You really are good.

      I wish you endless luck and success in your own situation. I can’t believe the difficulty some men and women face in simply securing a divorce. Un-friggin-believable.

      Take care, Cat! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      You know, the lawyer advised that might be just a bit brazen… 😉

      But that didn’t stop me from posting it all over Facebook and everywhere for the world to see, and talking about it ad nauseum as well. That, my friend, is awesome stuff, and BEGS to be shared!

      BTW, thanks for your help with my spammer. Ugh…

  16. gus3 says:

    Hmmm. I just noticed (I mean really noticed) something: your claim to be “a woman with zero internal compass.”

    I beg to differ. Insofar as your maternal instinct has come out in full force, I believe your pointer-to-north is unimpeachable, at least at the moment. Whether or not it will stay that way is up to you. My only advice is that you not go overboard with the penultimate sentence in your “About” statement.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Aha … perhaps I need to clarify:

      If you plop me down in the middle of town blindfolded, I have no idea which direction I’m facing. Actually, if you give me a compass and orient me to the nearest Interstate (which runs East-West) and the intersecting major highway (which runs North-South), I’d STILL have no idea about the direction I’m facing. Seriously. It’s that bad.

      However, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my internal maternal compass. But it’s always good to check yours against others, just to make sure no funky magnetic fields (or bizarre exes and step-parents) are interfering with your navigation abilities.

      Thanks again for commenting! And you, btw, used my FAVORITE word in the English language: penultimate. That earned you my blogging commenting gold star for the day. Congratulations.


      • gus3 says:

        Ah, hahaha! Okay, you really meant your terrestrial navigational compass, and not your moral compass. I can fully sympathize with that.

        And be glad I didn’t work in “antepenultimate.” Would you have enough gold stars for that?

        I give you this for your reading, uh… pleasure?

  17. haroldwoodcrafting says:

    Love your blog and attitude! You go girl! I am Teddy bear/gentle Ben to your mama grizzly, but don’t start pulling out my stuffing or “TeddyBen” becomes riled. You better not be in his eye sight.

    You are on the mark. There are right ways and wrong ways and usually common sense can figure it out. Unfortunately common sense is not had or used by some people. Seems like “marilyn” is a prime candidate. A lack of respect seems to go with the other lack which may come from insecurity. I wonder where that comes from? DUH!

    I have read all your posts to catch up. Keep it up! You seem to be helping yourself and others. Don’t stfu! Even though I don’t like the f word and others. (part of my Teddiness)
    Yip I think I just made that one up! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well personally, I appreciate your Teddiness … even if you don’t like my swearing. Sorry. Nervous habit… 😉

      Actually, I’m a big fan of dichotomies, and I am one of the most professional, dedicated women you’d ever meet. So my swearing completes that “other” side of me — the rebel that never fully matured.

      Thank you for reading and commenting … and I will welcome TeddyBen’s perspective any time! 🙂

  18. Lindsay Dunn says:

    I’ve started following your blog. You got my attention with this post. I’m very interested in the idea of their being right and wrong ways of dealing with things: Namely, huge life changes. I’m admittedly not the kind that deals with these very well but I am more than 3 years separated and there is a child in the mix.

    Long after I had left Nick for the second to last time and started dating Chase, he left me after a misunderstanding that made him believe I was sleeping with Nick and I had run off with him. The very next day, my psychotic/sociopathic ex-best friend called me to let me know that she needed to do her own thing and move out of the apartment we shared. Not two months after that, Chase ended up living with said disgusting bitch. He got her pregnant and was promptly aborted from her pathetic life along with the fetus. This is something that left such a gash in me that I fear I will never be fully healed.

    But I blogged about it, as I have been blogging about everything to with my life since I was fifteen. I’ve written close to 2,000 entries and I’ll never stop. Under pain of death, no one can make me stop writing. I don’t write very well and no one reads it, but it’s there and it’s always going to be. It’s where you can find my deepest secrets, the closest thing anyone will ever get to seeing into my soul. I’m glad to see that you don’t entertain the idea of EVER keeping quiet. It’s important to know that someone else feels the way I do.

    And to respond directly to your inquiry…

    My Wrong Way was not fighting for what I knew was right, for what was mine.

    My Right Way has been to earn the peace I have within me by doing and saying what I feel which includes never backing down from a challenge.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Wow, Lindsay … thank you for sharing this! I can only imagine there is a whole lot of healing left for you, as I know there still is for me. Unfortunately, I’m finding trust is an elusive little devil … once it’s gone, that is.

      And from one committed blogger to another: Keep it up! It does help, I’m convinced it is a necessary step toward healing for those of us who are passionate about writing, and it does provide a necessary outlet. Otherwise, I might explode. And that wouldn’t be pretty.

      Thank you for the amazing comment! 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I’m sure trying. Sometimes, their sense of entitlement makes me question myself — I mean, I think to myself, should I just sit back while they run over my life?

      But then I snap out of it. Eff that…


      Thank you for the comment!

  19. She's Not That Cool says:

    I’m supposed to be facilitating a meeting – but as you can tell, I’m quite distracted instead. I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts – especially about your bat-shit-crazy divorce, since I’ve got one of those of my own too…that I’ve been blogging about…I actually *just* started blogging to get the bat shit crazy divorce shit out of my head =)

    Looking forward to more!

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Ah, the bat shit crazy divorce … it’s a mighty bizarre thing, isn’t it?

      I’m glad to see others blogging about it, too — I think we can all learn from shared experience.

      Thank you for reading — and for commenting!

  20. LL says:

    Wow. I arrived at your site after you left a nice comment for me about a month ago. I spent quite a bit of time on your blog just reading your crazy situation (until almost the wee hours of the morning. Good thing I didn’t have work the next day.) I don’t have any good advice to give, but I do encourage you to keep being so strong.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much! Some days I feel much stronger than others … this fight requires quite the stamina. Just hope I have it in me.

      Sorry about the late night — but I’m happy to “virtually” connect with you! 🙂

  21. Young dad says:

    I am…firstly, amazed at the size of your legal response. How do you have that much to say? That’s astounding. They must be utter A holes.

    I mean…In general that already sounds exactly like what they are.. The stone thing blew my mind… I mean A) How careless (Purposeful?) B) I know you initially found it endearing but…Seriously? What kind of romantic gesture is a stone? It’s not cliche I’ll give him that… C) You poor…yet amazing, strong, fantastic woman.

    Keep on kicking. You rock my metaphorical socks.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Keep in mind a giant part of the response was a printout of my 12 blog posts (with comments) … considering they are trying to make me stop blogging, I had to provide a copy to the court.

      The motion itself was about 30-some pages, and the exhibits mostly comprised email exchanges between us for the last few years. And yes, there was a LOT to say.

      And in response to your other questions/observations: A.) Exactly. I wonder to this day if he wanted to get caught because that was the only way “he’d” end it (even though I technically ended it…). B.) I only found it endearing when I thought it was for me! Haha…of course, being a metaphor girl, the notion of love inscribed in stone is pretty cool. But now, the whole idea of a fundraiser brick at their old high school … ick. C.) Thank you!

  22. comdude says:

    Hi, Mikalee. I’m no lawyer but if the ex is hoping to cross state lines with the custody issue, isn’t he the one who’s fighting uphill?

    You’re pretty awesome. I have to wonder what he was thinking, when he made that dumb decision to take up with Marilyn. My experience is that we don’t make those decisions using our brains. Then we spend a lot of time arguing for that decision that we didn’t make with our brains. If the new wife/girlfriend wants to put her spin on it, we end up arguing for that too. It gets really weird.

    So right about now I bet your ex is wondering what he was thinking too, when he made that decision. Did he know he’d be trying to take custody to another state? Wow.

    I am impressed with your stack of paper. Any time you can generate pounds of paper to support your position, that’s very intimidating to the other side. Keep cranking it out whenever you think it’s a good idea.

    I’m not sure you need to print your blog for the judge. The judge has a PC and can see what we’re all saying here. It appears to be Marilyn and the ex who have the uphill battle. It’s good to impress the judge with how disturbing all this is to your children. This is part of why taking custody out-of-state is difficult.

    It also involves another jurisdiction that has to recognize the whole thing. Just because you have so many fans in other states does not mean a judge in Oregon is going to want to recognize the ex and Marilyn and you (and read your whole blog) so I’m thinking you’re pretty safe right now. You’re walking tall, as usual, anyway, it’s just the way you are.

    The only thing I can think of that might make your case stronger is if you were to edit any unseemly things about yourself from your online journal. For example, if you had a pyramid of empty wine bottles and you posted a picture of it on your blog, you might want to remove that. But you seem to be doing well. Keep an eye out for unmotherly things that might creep into your blog, like that. Post nothing that Marilyn and the ex can use to impair your position for His Honor to see on line.

    Keep up the good work. I am behind. I must go read your next post now.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment — your insights are much appreciated!

      As for the idea of jurisdiction, the initial motion from my ex indicates that while they ultimately plan to relocate to Oregon, that initially he and Marilyn plan to be the ones to move to Oregon and then back to Nevada for custodial weeks with the kids. However, as you can imagine, that’s not sustainable, so I’d imagine this is merely the first step.

      As for the blog, my attorney recommended that I print and supply a copy — for the sake of ease for the Court. With any luck, the judge does review it online, and can easily tell that this has nothing to do with revenge and everything to do with healing and helping others through similar situations. There are so many of us out there under similar circumstances (this blog has really opened my eyes to that), and yet there is a huge societal pressure to merely sit back and STFU. As you may be able to tell, that just isn’t my style, and I’m happy to spearhead the cause of talking, communicating and healing on behalf of ex spouses everywhere. In the spirit of the season: “God bless us, every one!” 😉

      And thankfully, no pyramid of empty wine bottles yet. Just lots of F-bombs…

      Once again, Comdude, thank you for the great comment and support!

  23. Mark says:

    Good luck with your ongoing fight. As an attorney, however, I will warn you that the long response is usually less useful and less likely to actually be read by the Court than a far shorter and more concise rebuttal. Also, be sure to check your local court rules for page limits — there often will be some. This warning is probably coming too late — I just found your blog today, but I couldn’t let this entry go without a comment.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Hey there, Mark … thank you for stopping by and commenting!

      Your advice and perspective is much appreciated…the motion itself was indeed concise (just a few dozen pages), as it was the exhibits that formed the bulk of my response. And the biggest “bulk” of that response was a print-out of the blog, which my attorney asked that I submit out of respect for the court (so the judge didn’t necessarily have to go to the website to read it, though we both suspect she will if she chooses to scan the blog).

      And I did look into page limits and was well within requirements.

      So … thank you again for the feedback. I have an incredible attorney who is guiding me in the process (though I drafted the docs on my own), so I feel like I’m in great hands! But I’m also grateful for the watchful eyes of commenters like you who are helping to add perspective.

  24. joaquinbarroso says:

    You probably don’t remember but I’ve commented on your blog before and just for the record: I like it, love your writing style and I sympathize with you. I’ve read most comments for this post but not all, so excuse me if I ask something someone already asked.
    You talked about showing respect for the father of your children but then agin, don’t you think this blog itself could be perceived as disrespectful to him? Don’t get me wrong, he was waaaay more disrespectful to you, that is clear to me, but one day your kids will grow, and go into the internet and will find this blog, with your signature, with your pics and your words about your thoughts. It will definitely bias -to say the least- their perception about their father. What do you think about that? Did they already use this argument against you in order to make you cease and desist blogging?
    Once again, we could say I’m on your side, I just want to know if you have thought about this other variable in the equation. I know nothing about law so I wouldn’t know if this blog sets some grounds against you holding full custody and stuff like that. Sorry if I seem out of line.
    Best wishes

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Well hello there … and I’m more than happy to tackle your comment (wow…that sounds aggressive and kinda mean…which is totally not my style, btw).

      Anyhow, I can understand how this may be a perception, and I certainly can’t hope to “win over” all readers/visitors with my tongue-in-cheek brand of humor. Certainly, I handle some serious issues in this blog, but the bottom line is this: These are my experiences, and I have every right to share. Now in terms of respect, I submit the following: If only my ex treated me with respect, I’d have nothing to complain about/dish about/offer up to the reading masses. It’s a classic chicken-and-egg argument, except we know which came first.

      I have approached the dissolution of my marriage with as much class and dignity as can be expected given the manner in which this has all come down. And even in the aftermath, I had faith that we would not be “that couple” that devolved into a bitter, ugly situation. But it is what it is, and I feel a responsibility to let others know that despite your best efforts and intentions, the level of respect you receive is not always commensurate with what you give. So I share.

      My children may someday read this blog from start to finish. But they will read with the following knowledge: 1. They will know that I never presented any of this to them — I never aired my snark about the ex and his wife with them, never attempting to predispose them or influence them or campaign against them; 2. They will know I was strong in the face of some seriously ugly issues; 3. I hope they will see that I tried to make the best of a truly unfortunate situation. What I present in my blog is the truth, and if anyone deserves to be ashamed, it is my ex and his wife for how they have treated me, the mother of these two amazing souls. I am simply using my voice to share, heal and grow. I will never be ashamed of that.

      OK…here’s me, climbing down from my soap box. Thanks for the question, and I do appreciate the support — and even the fact that you’re playing devil’s advocate and posing some serious questions. It helps me, too — yet another part of the healing! 🙂

      • joaquinbarroso says:

        I think I have to say “good answer!” I don’t intend to play devils advocate as to judge you, it is just what I do (I’m a scientist so every theory I lay down goes through this process of getting ripped by myself just to see if it’s solid).
        Once again, I’m on your side. Your blog provides an insight to what I’ve been asking myself: “how is the ex doing after I was an asshole?” I honestly hope and wish she is fine and better off.

        Congratulations to your kids, they have an awesome mom.

  25. CherieLynn says:

    27 page motion vs. 277 cross motion! That’s fantastic!
    I’ve read your blog, beginning to end. I’ve had similar run-ins with my own John and Marilyn; however, my story is much worse. It entails physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Assault, battery, robbery, burglary, prison sentences – you wanna talk bat shit crazy? I should blog, although I’d likely end up with carpal tunnel syndrome before I could finish the story! Thank you for your posts and your perspective. The more I “surf the net” the more I see a change in the way society is viewing us, the biological mothers, the one’s who have given life to these children – I’m not sure if you knew this but apparently we’re all jealous, obsessive, control freaks! Oh and we should be THANKFUL for our children’s “other mothers”! You know, those women who come into our lives, uninvited and start making decisions for our children, correcting everything THEY believe that WE are doing wrong. Is it just me or is it suddenly Mom and Stepmom parenting these children? Now, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the opinion of others, I do. I’m not incapable of accepting a little constructive criticism. I guess I’m just slighter averse to accepting the “advice” of a woman has no children of her own. Especially when it’s nothing more than mere contradiction and her attempt at inciting a power struggle. I love the classic “MY house, MY rules” response – don’t you? ME, ME, ME, MY, MY, MY – hhhmmm? what’s missing here? oh yes…the CHILDREN!

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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