The Gift That Keeps On Giving


Not so long ago, in the fairly recent past, I believe I spoke of the calm before the storm, and did some fancy wordplay about the storm before the calm that was coming up. basically: PC was behaving, being civil even, but I predicted that it was just a mirage that was giving me a bit of respite before the real storm.

Well. That storm has arrived. Full-blown, unpredictable, and with a wide range model that has no discernible ending. The PC we all know and hate is back.

What can I say about this? I knew it was going to happen. I knew, for all his narcissistic tendencies that his quiet behavior was nothing but a bullet point in his plan, likely headed with Get Her To Let Her Guard Down By Not Being a Dick for Approximately 4-6 Weeks. 

Did I let my guard down? No. Not exactly. Did I react as anyone might react when things are “ok” for an extended period of time? Yes, in the sense that I grew used to it. That I could not comprehend that PC, no matter how vile he is inside, couldn’t see and agree that being this way was better. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t singing kumbaya or making small talk or making any talk at all.

Actually, to really get down to it, nothing changed aside from the fact that PC stopped tormenting me with nasty texts, insults, name-calling and harassment. He responded to questions about picking up the kids like a regular human being would, with words like okay instead of fuck you I’m taking you to court if you don’t do x y z. We compromised a couple of times.

Otherwise? Nothing changed. We still did not speak to each other in person. He still not even acknowledge my presence in public, in front of our children. He ignored me the one time in 6 weeks that I attempted a conversation about one of our children being sick. He actually turned his back and walked away as I was talking. He complied to letting me take the children on his time to a family event….

And the moment his psycho flip switched and the crazy came back, bright as ever, that was the first thing he brought up oh you’re welcome for that weekend. Along with multiple comments reminding me not to “forget” how “kind” he’d been, as if he wanted a medal for being a decent person. A reward. Well, of course he did.

He wanted a reward for being well-behaved for a measly month, and the second he didn’t get that reward (because you know, being PC, he wanted to be rewarded a pass from the legal system for the cessation of being an asshole)…the second it became clear that I wasn’t willing to trade in my future, he immediately reverted.

And here is where I fucked up. I did let my guard down. I walked into a court ordered session that he had stated he would not attend and saw his car there. I thought to myself Okay, that’s good. Maybe he was going to give compromise a shot. Then I said to myself, nah.

I walked in expecting him to be difficult. I walked in expecting him to act as though this was a waste of time. I expected some argumentative behavior but I thought, hoped, that perhaps he would, however begrudgingly, muddle through it and make some sort of progress. That’s what mediation is for, right? And certainly, he must be in agreement that communication being civil is more desirable, right?

Wrong. Dead wrong, girl.

I walked in to PC in full form. As if all of his pent-up rage from the past 6 weeks exploded out of him. He launched in a verbal tirade against me, his stupid forehead vein throbbing, his words making no sense. On top of that, I couldn’t even get a word in, hell…I hadn’t even taken my coat off before he began to rant about my inability to compromise, my inability to move on, my inability to be punctual (which is so fucking far from the truth its laughable.) And of course, in true narcissistic style, he projects his own refusal to be on time on to me.

He then stormed out, leaving me shaking and the mediator slack-jawed and saying nothing except, wow.

If you think this all sounds insane, that’s because it is. It’s not logical, it’s not rational. Its like dealing with a two-year old who throws a tantrum because his cookie is round, but instead of a toddler we have a grown-man with a flagrant ignorance of the most fundamental aspects of just being a goddamn human being.

So yeah. I’m a little shaken. That day shot me right back into a life I left behind a month ago. Right back into a weekend fraught with nasty texts, threats, and refusals to parent our children properly. A weekend back to logging things in my journal and screenshotting texts. A Tuesday that will open bright and early with a conference call to my lawyer.

My lawyer reminded me that the things PC is doing, however stressful they are for me, are ultimately to my benefit. He’s tossed the shovel he’s been digging his hole with and rented a backhoe. As we contemplate our next move, my lawyer joked that his contemptuous behavior is really like the gift that keeps on giving.

Still, its hard not to feel like the images on the Tower card (if you don’t dig Tarot we can’t be friends, sorry.) It’s a card of big, giant, forceful, out-of-control change. It represents something rotting that is crumbling, and in the spiritual sense, something that must crumble in order for something new, stronger, better to be built. But the ride is emotional, rickety. I sort of feel like the people on the card…leaping from a burning building into the unknown. Or something.

But it’s also a card of blessings, though they may be in disguise. Whatever the “tower” is that is crumbling, whatever the storm is, whatever battles must be fought, the simple, unavoidable truth is that they must be fought. Must be weathered. Must be disintegrated for new growth.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself tonight.


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