I don’t usually engage in conversation with my ex. Most of our communication is limited to text messages. Why? Because he is selling crazy and I am not buying.
In recent weeks his level of crazy has increased by alarming proportions. First there was the domestic violence arrest. He received felony charges, was jailed for 30 hours and then bemoaned the abuse he was suffering at the hands of his wife. He claimed that the charges were dismissed, that the judge had said he had done nothing wrong. He played the victim and blamed everything on his wife.
This is the game played by emotionally abusive men — and women. They destroy the self -confidence of those around them. They torment, degrade, and intimidate … and then they play the victim. In situations of divorce with children they manipulate the court system, deny any wrong doing, depict the other parent as crazy, neglectful and abusive … and they win.
Those of us who have experienced this recognize the common thread. We feel betrayed and are unfairly judged by others. When I meet people I know that they assume horrible things about me. I try to not let it bother me, but it does. Sometimes I can see in their eyes the thought, “What is she hiding? She must have done something horrible to lose her children.” Yes, I did. I chose a narcissistic bully to be their father.
Immediately following their father’s arrest … did I mention that his arrest was hidden from me? My oldest son was told not to tell me by his grandmother. As soon as I found out I packed my toddler into the van and we drove to their city to pick them all up from school. I was stunned by the reaction of my older daughter.
She loved her step mom. She even would write her step mom’s last name on her school papers — that stung a little. When I told the younger kids that their dad and his wife had been arrested for domestic violence my daughter responded with, “Well, she started it.” Whoa! I started to wonder what her father had been saying about his wife to cause such a drastic change of heart. Quite frankly, it made me sad. This was their second step mom in just 4 years and I had hoped that things would work out so they could feel secure.
Their father was charged with felony assault. I heard from my 8 year old son that this wasn’t the first time there had been a physical fight. He had seen them slap each other and he saw his dad stand on his step mom’s chest. I decided that there was no way I was sending them back. I hoped that their father would be detained in jail and sentenced to several months.
Beyond all comprehension, he was released.
This began a series of texts and phone calls wherein I insisted that my boys would stay with me because they didn’t feel safe. All the excuses and the displacement of blame were staggering. I called b.s. on so much of it. I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of his claims, his distortion of facts and his declarations of enlightenment.
In the meantime, my kids had returned to his home. My older son and I talked about moving forward with the parenting plan modification.
(I cannot complete this right now. Too much to process.)