The Never-Ending Story is a great movie. Its also how I feel about the PC-part of my life right now. Or its like Groundhog’s Day (also a great movie)…as though I’m stuck in some loop and every now and then I circle around and crash into PC and his insanity.
Insanity is not a strong enough word.
After months of being civil, semi-normal, and non-combative, PC has reopened the hatch to his demons, so to speak. In particular, the one that like to harrass, threaten, and generally fuck with me.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, in his months of being “civil” he was still a dick. Its not as though he were polite, caring, and thoughtful. So when this all started up again I pretty much just swept it off my back. Whatever. Just PC being PC. His words mean nothing to me.
But I have to be honest…it’s wearing me down a bit.
In the past month, shockingly coinciding with the weekend that PC and Trollup tied their knot of misery, he has:
- Driven intoxicated with one of our kids
- Pulled the other from counseling
- Screamed at one child for something he, PC, the adult did
- Has apparently had issues with Trollup’s child as well
- Has resumed harassing and threatening me via text
- Forced one of our children to apologize to Trollup after she physically disciplined him in front of a huge crowd
- Has threatened to cancel our son’s private school tuition if I do not do XYZ
- Has threatened to stop the vacation I had planned with the kids if I did not do XYZ
- Has threatened not to allow the children to attend a summer camp if I did not do XYZ
- Has threatened to take me to court for full custody if I did not do XYZ
- Has called my parents to scream at them and tell my dad he was going to “Fuck you over!” based on…nothing.
- Has been seen and spotted at bars by myself and others, with and without the kids, in the mornings and in the afternoons
- Has reverted to baseless threats and comments that I believed he had retired from his repretoire months ago.
The last one is particularly interesting to me. First, I think it should be noted that a year, a year and a half ago, all of PC’s threats would have had me in a tailspin. The difference now is that I understand how things work and just as I cannot “make” anything happen quickly in a legal sense, neither can PC. And also, 99% of PC’s threats are never followed through with. In addition, nearly a year of working with my amazing therapist has me at a point where I understand that I cannot control PC and therefore, worrying and stressing about “what if” is pointless.
And I do believe nothing enrages PC more than when I will not fight. Hence his regression to throwing out the statements that used to cause smoke to emerge from my ears and my anxiety to rocket off into space.
Referring to my house as “your father’s house” as if its an insult that my father helped me finance the home his children live in.
Repeatedly stating that I’m “on video” that “people are watching you and reporting your behavior”. Okay. I wonder what henious things I’ve been seen doing? Hiking with the kids? Binge-watching The Office on rainy days? Gardening? Spending afternoons at the pool? Reading?
Reminding me that I’m “an outsider” in this town. As if its 200 years ago and I’ve entered a clan of wild people from the civilized world.
Repeatedly reminding me that I should be sending the kids with him whenever they are not with me. Including, but not limited to, times they spend with friends, times they spend with family members, and times they spend doing social activities. Apparently, my children doing any of these things is considered by PC as me “hiring a babysitter”.
Repeatedly telling me that he’s going for full 100% custody. Despite the fact that he’s still in contempt of custody, showed up drunk for co-parent counseling, quit co-parent counseling, and continues to do every single thing he has been instructed not to do.
Tells me that he will not pay for counseling for the kids nor will he be paying his portion of medical costs because “you get enough”. As if the things that are written in our divorce decree regarding the children’s medical expenses are just a suggestion.
Reminding me that Trollup is now the children’s stepmother and she has rights to parent them however she sees fit.
While all of these statements are ridiculous and insane, and they mean nothing, its still wearing me down. My anxiety is still creeping beneath the surface, and that old jolt whenever my phone buzzes unexpectedly has returned. There’s a part of me that can predict that sooner or later, PC will cycle through this manic bender and calm the fuck down. But its only temporary.
The other part of me in angry. Shouldn’t I have a right to live without being harassed and threatened by a crazy person? Shouldn’t there be something I can do about this? Shouldn’t I be able to reclaim more control over the choices that are made about my kids? What experiences they take part in, what friends they spend time with, whether they can get counseling they so desperately need without having to file for a court order to do so?
The answer, apparently, is no. No, I cannot do anything about PC because he is my children’s father and he hasn’t broken the law (yet.) I do have legal options but the cost and time and the price of how much it will enrage PC is daunting. But on the opposite side of that coin is the knowledge that its been nearly 3 years. PC hasn’t improved or changed at all. He has made no effort whatsoever.
In fact, PC hasn’t changed anything. Something so telling to me: Trollup’s yearly vacation. Three years in, and PC still hasn’t joined. Of course he hasn’t. He never went on my yearly vacations with me either. Quality time with family–including your children–was not big enough to trump the fact that he wouldn’t be in control. He never went with me, and he never goes with her.
But while she’s gone? He does just what he did when I was gone, which is basically to go on an alcoholic bender. Often I came home to the remnants of some disaster. Often, halfway through my trip, he would start guilting me about being left alone and being bored…even though he chose not to come.
With Trollup, I can’t say if that happens. But I do know for certain that (1) he spent an awful lot of her vacation drunk and (2) he texted/called/threatened/harassed me, the kids, and my parents NON-STOP during the time she was gone.
What does all of this add up to? A feeling of crushing oh my God this is never going to end. Its really not. The divorce being final didn’t change things. PC remarrying didn’t change things. The kids getting older didn’t change things. Time has changed…nothing.
Also, a feeling of its time to go big or go home. PC has had every chance in the world to shape up and be a good father. He’s had multiple resources at his disposal to learn to co-parent. He’s had multiple warnings against his behavior. He’s had many, many chances to improve himself in the eyes of his kids.
And he hasn’t even tried. Maybe mental illness and alcoholism prevent him from trying…but maybe not.
And so back we go, to the never-ending loop of court. Meetings with lawyers, the exhausting process of going through countless texts containing threats and statements that show he does not consider the children’s best interest to be important. Its going to be a wait, a building of anxiety, and–if history is correct–a heavy increase in the amount of harassing PC does. I’m stronger now than I was before, and I didn’t back down then. I didn’t break, and I won’t this time.
But at some point this has to end. I deserve peace as much as anyone does. My children deserve peace, safety, and not having to worry about adult problems. My parents deserve peace from a psychotic ex-son-in-law screaming obscenities over the phone on a Sunday afternoon.
I would even venture to be as kind as to say PC deserves peace too. Peace from his demons, peace from his addictions. The difference is, I have no control over what he does to me, other than placing boundaries. He has every chance in the world to fix himself, and he chooses to torment, harass, and alienate instead.
This entire situation is one big never-ending ride. The problem is I want to get off, and PC keeps spinning, faster and faster.