As you all know, Nichole stays in touch with Katie. So, this means I get "updates". Katie has told Nichole she is done with M. Now she told her this back before her lease was up for renewal.......and yet she renewed the least with evidently HIM on it. So, whatever. When Nichole pointed out she'd missed yet another golden opportunity to get rid of M, she said well she's looking really hard for work, trying to hide back money to start school in the fall. (she has a 250.00 or so fine to pay from not going last time she was here) And she's working on getting her driver's license. Now neither of us got excited over these new goals, because Katie may want to do these things but there is never any follow through. Not to mention, I don't see M letting her keep a dime for herself the way he likes to blow money. No trouble seeing him finding any stash and blowing it. The last 2 letters have got our attention. She invited Nichole to come down and visit with her and the kids, but specified that she didn't want M there when she came. Interesting. No, Nichole is no fan of M, but Nichole has told Katie repeatedly whatever she decides as far as M is up to her, no skin off Nichole's nose one way or the other, she doesn't have to live with him. Nichole has never given the slightest hint she'd prefer M not to be there when she visits. (although of course she would) Then Katie stated she's really worried about her health. (nothing new there) BUT she asked Nichole if she would go to the doctor with her!! Ok, now I know M has always gone with her before. And like Nichole said, it's sort of hard to make stuff up with Nichole sitting right there in the room to call her on it in front of the doctor. Odd. Not to mention her biomom is living with her.......so why hasn't she asked biomom to go with her? Hmm. Interesting. So they made plans for Nichole to come down this weekend and visit. I was going to give my letter to Katie to Nichole to hand to her in person. (no, I don't trust biomom and I don't trust M and I don't know who's getting the mail from the box Know what I mean?) But with the horrible heat, Nichole was afraid to make the trip. Her sils car just locked up in the middle of the freeway due to the heat, so it made her nervous. So, since Nichole can only contact her by mail (she lost her number due to something with her cell phone) , Nichole wrote her and explained she wouldnt' be coming. But she knew M would be working, because Katie specified the time of day because she didn't want M there when Nichole came. Ok. Got that? So we know M had to work this weekend. Well in the response letter Katie told her that a neighbor had wanted them to go camping with them this weekend at the state park we have just outside of town. And she apologized repeatedly for not being able to visit with Nichole this weekend due to it (obviously hadn't gotten Nichole's letter yet). Now we were both shocked. Katie is NOT and outdoor person in any sense of the word. For one thing she is a female clone of her dad and she burns horribly and quickly. The mere thought of her camping blows my mind. But she explained it was an opportunity to do something special with Kayla and Alex for their bdays (last month)......instead of M promising them King's Island trips that of course they can never deliver on. So obviously M is NOT camping with them. And yeah, I already thought it is probably to escape her biomom for a couple of days too. Because biomom and Kayla fight like crazy, Kayla hates that grandma with a passion, and biomom nags Katie to death, always has. Still it stuns me that she managed to go off and do something fun without M! I swear I think this is a FIRST! Hmmmm. A good sign? But not getting excited over it, because there is no way to know if she actually went camping. Saturday it was 103 degrees without heat index which was at least 110-115 down here.....and by the lake would be worse. Even today it's mid 90's and I dunno what the heat index is but the humidity is sky high because we're due for storms this afternoon/evening. Still, I hope she and the kids went without M and somehow managed to have a totally wonderful time, despite the heat. Nichole is going to schedule another visit since it's supposed to cool down. She also told Katie that the letter writing needs to stop and they need to start talking via phone because she does not want to risk the written word being misinterpreted anymore. Katie told her in this last letter she's getting a house phone again this week. (cooperation? reaching out?) Oh, and katie told Nichole she hasn't reached out to me because she's afraid of upsetting me. Okkkk. So, decided the letter I was going to send with Nichole I'll just mail tomorrow. If I don't get a response, because I told her I want to talk to her, not read something........I'm done with this whole communication by the written word ****, we live in the same town for pete's sake.....I'll just assumed biomom or M intercepted it, and send a copy along with nichole when she visits. And yes, biomom would intercept the letter. Biomom is so co dependent on Katie she is terrified of losing her, always has been......and I'm sure being dumped in St. Louis only made that fear worse. Being outside the situation and mostly just observing..........I'm pretty sure we're dealing with some heavy duty domestic violence / control. Not saying Katie is not a difficult child....... But we'll just say I've gotten a different perspective and if what I suspect is true, it explains an awful lot of her odd behaviors. If there is even the slightest chance I can help her leave that situation.....I will. Shoot, I'd pay that school fine in a heart beat if I thought she'd bust her rear to get to every single class and pass. (she could get grants for the actual classes) And I wouldn't just give it to her, I dont' think I'd have much trouble finding something around here for her to do to "earn" the money. But I need to talk with her to get some idea of where she is really at in her heart and her head. I can't get that from the darn written word. I need to see her body language and facial expressions and hear the tone of her voice to judge accurately. In my letter I invited her out to lunch. I'm hoping it will sort of jump out at her that I'm certainly not going to "yell" at her in a restaurant. She is terrified I'm going to yell at her.......which tells me something. I have yelled at her once as an adult.........with good reason......there was dog **** and cat **** in the kids' cribs. I never yelled at her as a child.....because I'm not a yeller. So why would she be so terrified I'm going to suddenly start? Yeah. So, we'll see. Maybe some teeny glimmers of hope here.