Voicing my fears about my ex gave me a temporary sense of safety and security. I don’t know why. I guess I figured addressing my fear and sharing it with others gave it less power.
But it seems my original assessment of my ex’s mental condition was on the money.
He showed up at my house this morning (Sunday) at 8:45, expecting to take his son for a few hours to celebrate his birthday (which was on Friday) and turned into a frightening, raging bully when he realized we didn’t know anything about his plans.
(Background info: The parent who does not have custody on the day of a child’s birthday is entitled to 3 hours with the child on that day. He originally was scheduled to have the kids this weekend, but instead he traded with me so he could have a long Memorial Day weekend with them. During that time, he had two birthday parties for Joey, inviting every child in his class for one, and his entire family for the other. I wasn’t invited to either. I should clarify that we have no set schedule for the 3 hours, and it must be negotiated between us each time. I had heard nothing from him about wanting to see his son, and in fact, he was in Chicago on Friday at 5:00 p.m. when he called Joey to wish him a happy birthday.)
He says he sent me a total of 5 emails on the subject, beginning on May 24th. Surprisingly, I never received a single one of them and I told him so. He accused me of lying in front of my son and proceeded to chew me out. He did leave a voice mail yesterday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. and said he wanted to talk to me about confirming plans for today, but I neglected to check it last night and didn’t hear it until after he left my house today. He never leaves messages for me – just for the kids.
On my front porch, he insisted he had 3 hours due him with his son and demanded to know what I was going to do about it. I told him we had plans today and I could call him when we got home, but I didn’t know what time it would be.
He went nuts.
I slammed the door shut and locked it. He screamed, “I want to see my son!” and then called me from his truck and yelled at me some more.
I hung up.
He called again, but I didn’t answer.
By this time, the girls were awake and scared. They had heard it all from their open window. The cat is out of the bag. They know their father is unstable and scary, and I spent 2 hours talking with them and listening to their fears and trying to calm us all down.
We finally decided to go about our plans for the day and have a good time.
He sent me a humongous email, lecturing me about my fault in this situation. I feel compelled to share some of it here, because I found it rather humorous in a disturbing way:
…this all just seems like a lie to me. It is, at best, yet another sin of omission. You had enough info about this situation to know that not hearing from me didn’t make sense and wondered about it enough to even ask the kids about it. Yet, you didn’t feel enough ownership to follow through and see what was going on by directly getting in touch with me to reach a solution.
I tried the avenues I usually work with you through in order to communicate with you on this. I got no response. I have to believe you could have done something, anything, and this would have been a smooth event. Your lack of action makes it seem to me that you wanted this to be an issue. As bizarre as that reads, I can’t come up with any other conclusion.
You own half of this problem any time it occurs. We have joint custody of the kids so we share the responsibility of executing the custody agreement. You have a responsibility to support my getting my time with the kids just as much as I have a responsibility to pay my child support and alimony. If you aren’t sure what is going on you are obligated to find out. In this case, I was attempting to get in touch with you aggressively and often. It didn’t work via email or phone. You did nothing except feel very surprised that “you hadn’t heard from me” though you admit to at least getting a phone message from me on this and having heard something about it from Joey. Your lack of ownership of your half of the communication channel is concerning and unfair at best.
So, the girls pretty much want nothing to do with him right now. Joey appears to be oblivious, but I have to believe he’s soaking up some of this bullshit, too.In the end, I did email him upon our return and offer him the time slot of 5-8 p.m. this evening. He brought my son back around 8:30. That was my message that he’s in charge, not me. I call it FU behavior.
I warned the girls that things might get worse before they get better, but hopefully it will all calm down sometime after we get into the new house.
I suppose maybe I’m being dramatic, but he scares me to death. I found myself mentally reviewing my life insurance while I was in the shower this morning, and I was nervous when I took the dog out – looking around for his car and remembering he owns a gun.
I finally sent a short email response last night to clarify my position on a couple of his points (for future legal reference, if needed), and I told him the only thing I did wrong was to neglect to check my email on Saturday night, and I’m pretty sure that’s not a sin of any kind, even in the Catholic church.