Do you think this process has hardened your heart?
Good question. No, not at all. I'm definitely feeling beaten down and weary, but not hardened. Having boundaries about what I will and won't accept doesn't mean I have a hard heart. It means I have enough love, respect and care for myself to remove myself from a bad situation. Unfortunately I failed at that yesterday morning and had this unpleasant encounter with H.
He was late for his morning visitation which makes me late for work. Once again he failed to inform me that he would be late. He accused me of "blocking him on everything" so he can't contact me. Untrue, he can reach me via email, phone or text. He then switched tack to say that I never respond to him so why should he send me a message? Untrue again, I respond to things requiring a response. He brought up his request to change the parenting plan and argued a few points that he didn't like. I said you need to work with me to do what's best for S1 and respect the coparenting relationship if this is ever going to succeed. He said that I haven't shown him any respect so why should he? My jaw dropped at that one.
He said I didn't have the decency to reply to his message about his grandmother's death. He accused me of going behind his back to send his mother a message in sympathy. I told him I don't have anything to say to him unless it's about childcare or divorce. He told me I caused this (!) so I said no, he needs to own his decisions and the consequences thereof. He retorted "I left my family because you are a crazy psycho b!tch spreading rumours about me". I think he was referring to an article about adultery that I shared on FB. He's blocked but I guess it got back to him, most likely via his family.
He started laughing and said "You want to hit me, don't you? Look at you." I admit I was shaking like a leaf trying to hold it together, not particularly angry, just overwhelmed. He kept taunting me. I should mention that I was holding S1 the whole time.
Eventually he came toward me demanding I hand S1 over because I was stealing his time from him. He haughtily informed me that the reason he drops S1 off late is because he has to make the most of every minute with him. I snapped back "Oh, so that's why you cancelled on Christmas Eve and NYE?" Not my finest moment and I should have just stopped engaging with this argument, but it was true nonetheless. I told him it was his choice to spend these holiday moments with someone else instead of his son.
Things took a turn into bizarro land when he demanded I pay him the settlement money. I said I'm trying to - just sign the consent orders and you'll get your money. He claimed that he never received them. However I was bcc'ed onto the email my L sent him in December, so I know for a fact he got them. I just said okay, I'll get her to resend. He mocked me for having "such a great lawyer who doesn't know what she's doing". He then switched tack and said he would refuse to sign and force me to sell the house instead. I didn't respond to that, mainly because I was speechless from these brazen lies and attacks and abrupt topic changes
After he left with S1, my mind was struggling to process what had just happened. His demeanour was so unstable, alternating between rage, smirking, threats, self-pity. I was frightened. It was crazy to witness the manipulation at work, but I can see it for what it was - panic and desperation at his web of lies falling apart. Blameshifting to avoid responsibility. Gaslighting to make me question my own integrity. Intimidation at coming up against my boundaries. Sad, sad, sad. I have to try harder to avoid situations where I get drawn into these conversations.
W32 X30 S2
June 2019 | Runaway husband May 2020 | Legal separation Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing