I’m afraid of my ex.
He’s a highly functioning drinker, but ultimately, I couldn’t handle his love affair with Johnny Walker. It’s a long, sad story which I choose not to tell at the moment.
I wrote about some of his antics the other day, but lately I am feeling more and more worried that his raging behavior and invincible attitude is escalating and that I am the prime target.
I had asked my daughters not to tell their father our new address – that I would tell him when I’m ready. It was a risk, because of course I don’t want to put negative ideas in their minds about their dad, even though they are beginning to see his true colors. I did not tell them why I wanted to keep the information secret.
I told them this on a Saturday, and on Monday, I informed my ex officially in an email that we would be moving to Happytown sometime in July, and that the children would be attending Happytown schools and I would provide more details as things unfold.
Three days later, he had the children for dinner and began the interrogations.
The girls came home and immediately told me that he had some website up with maps, and he was insisting that they try to remember the street names near our new home. I felt horrible for their position, but hoped he would drop it since they had told him they really didn’t pay attention to where it was exactly (which is really true).
Just two days later, on a Saturday, my older daughter texted me from her dad’s car and said they were in a tight spot and dear old dad was driving around Happytown, obsessively insistent on finding the house, despite the kids saying they were tired and didn’t feel like it. (They had just done a 3-mile fund-raising walk for their father’s girlfriend with their dad and the girlfriend, who was also in the car.)
I called his cell and told him my house was none of his business right now and I would tell him the address in plenty of time for him to figure out how to get there before his first visit to pick up the kids. He remained eerily calm and and said he thought it was his business to know where his children would be living. I asked him not to put the children in the middle, and confessed I had asked them not to tell. I could hear the smirk on his face as he said, “Ahhh… now it all makes sense.”
I texted my daughter back and told her not to worry – I had told her dad that I asked them to keep quiet and I took the responsibility for it. She texted back, “I know. He had you on speaker phone.”
Later in the week, I would get a more colorful account of the girls’ story. They said he just wouldn’t let it go and that he was scaring them. I wonder how the pathetic girlfriend felt, since she lives 3,000 miles away and came for a visit, only to have her boyfriend preoccupied with me.
The girls were grateful for the ability to text their fears to each other without him knowing what they were saying.
One part of me feels really smug and confident that I was able to accurately predict his behavior. The other part of me is terrified for the very same reason.
He is very good at disguising his controlling behavior as “concern.” Since the divorce, he has assumed the role of loving Catholic father, and I think a lot of the community buys into it. He tries to make me think I’m crazy (which is not new – he did that for the entire marriage.) He even called me paranoid in a recent email. I used to think I was, but not anymore.
I just hope I don’t end up as a mystery on 48 Hours or something. It would be the perfect story; you would find him so charming and believable – you would want to take his side, despite all the evidence against him. If I end up missing, please call the NJ state police and tell them about this blog.