Its interesting, when one looks back, how each season of your life has a taste, a specific flavor. A song jolts the epitome of the time period, the way “Wildflowers” or “Everybody Hurts” can take me immediately back to my teenage self, full of innocence and fierce wanting of things that had no name and concepts I didn’t understand.
And even more specifically, the past (nearly) three years of my life can be divided up into so many chapters, so many particular time periods of days/weeks/months within those (nearly) three years. And unlike what everyone has told me, there really isn’t a beginning, middle and an end. Its more like a Stephen King novel, where the story that took 1000 pages and frightened the crap out of you could have been sufficed in 300 pages without all the unnecessary words and horror.
Welcome to my life.
PC continues to be a motherfucker, and I cannot find another word to express this right now. Is he a dry drunk? Is he truly having some type of psychotic break that’s causing him to act so crazy? Is he on drugs? I don’t know, but if it were me, and MY poor choices and MY infliction of trauma on children had caused me the consequence of losing parenting privileges, you’d better believe I’d be doing everything I could to fix that. I’d be helping myself, I’d be asking for help, and I would certainly be bending over and kissing ass to the person who has had to clean up my mess, the person who is raising my children without me, and the person who is in the driver’s seat right now.
What’s PC doing? Ignoring his daughter, fighting with me via text over supervised visits (every detail, every aspect). Treating me with zero acknowledgement in front of my children on said visits, as if skywriting your mother is not important enough to matter, let alone speak to or even look at. He is demanding things of me. He is rebutted every suggestion I make, all of which are coming from a place of what is best for the children.
Leave your monopolizing step-daughter at home with her mother so you can actually focus on your own kids? You’re causing problems for my wife. Suggest your mother be the supervisor because its cutting into my soul and undoing months of therapy to be around you? She’s 71 years old! (But yet you, yourself, suggested her just last week!) Adjust the time period for the visits around the kids’ schedules and needs? This is not a game this is the kids and you’re not thinking about them. Newsflash, you motherfucker. The kids are ALL I think about. All I live and breathe, literally, 24-7 without a break thanks to you and your inability to be even a half-assed father.
And just like every part of the past (nearly) three years has a tone, a mood, a feeling…so does now. In the beginning months, everything was dark…toxic…broken. I was living like a prisoner in a house with PC in the basement, and a prisoner within myself because I had no power, no belief, and my whole world was crushed. It was the 4a.m. hour of the soul.
And then there was the months that followed when I moved into what visually appeared to be a fixer-upper but in reality was my dream home. It was days of tirelessly laboring and music blasting and Labatt’s beer and anticipation of summer coming and the feeling that maybe, just maybe, things would be okay.
More months passed, a whole year, bits and pieces marred and mangled with PC’s never-ending bullshit. Every time I felt I could breathe he’d reappear like an infection that just won’t die, inserting more pus and gangrene. There was the abysmal co-parent counseling that could best be described as me sitting in a room while PC berated me with derogatory insults and the counselor tried to pick her jaw up off the floor.
It was PC leaving me in the lurch with a house that closed in the middle of an ice storm on the side of a mountain and left me fully responsible for everything (which, fun fact: is still one of the most despicable things he’s done, in my opinion.) I still remember sitting, defeated, on the front porch while The Plumber (back when he was still just my plumber) looked at me helplessly as I stared at the mess PC had left me.
And then there was the summer of 2018, the lovely magical turning point in which I felt stronger, happier, calmer. It was the lovely magical rebound-disguised-as-falling-in-love. It was moon parties and dreams and love and warmth that all sort of died slowly and sunk me into winter. And just as much as the summer was mesmerizing and invigorating, the winter was cold, bleak and dark. It was depression and sadness. It was mourning The Plumber. It was medication and therapy. It was dealing with all the things. It was, SURPRISE!, PC being a motherfucker. It was the soundtrack of “Shallow” on repeat and the reunion with smoking, like a lover you’ve only met once but dreamt of for years.
Then, there was a quiet period. A very long, peaceful, this-is-finally-over quiet period. PC behaved. We spoke civilly. We compromised. As mentioned, he was still a dick but not in a psychotic/drunk way but just your normal run-of-the-mill dick. The days of lawyer calls and nasty texts and shaking a little internally seemed to be of the past. Maybe it was true, what everyone said. The tide eventually changes. The world keeps turning and things can’t be bad forever. There was a little bit of lightness in my heart. There were possibilities peeking up like spring flowers struggling to open. There was strength.
I would call this time period a fragile ceasefire. The calm before the calm before the biggest storm yet. A point that I should have known better. A point that Trollup should have seen what was coming. A point where PC could have chosen between two paths and one was calm and normal and the other was going to throw him right into the Summer of 2019, his longest bender ever.
So now? What is this time now? The culmination of weeks of anxiety as I watched PC spiral out of control from afar. The roller coaster ride of my position on top and PC’s volatile attempts to remove the car from the tracks in his own efforts to gain control. The panicked feeling of overwhelming responsibility for my kids–physically, mentally, emotionally and all the other important things like making sure gym clothes are packed and cloroxing the toilet before the gray ring turns black.
The feeling of being defeated. Of being punished. Of intellectually recognizing that the reins being put in my hands are yet another blessing in disguise but drowning. Drowning in the bitter, horrendous situation of having to spend hours with PC “supervising” him with the kids while Trollup frolics about and her poor, precious child subconsciously battles mine for attention.
Its the feeling of my mind being blown that PC has the audacity to continue holding up his weapons: his cutting words and insults and constant, never-ending blaming of me for his failures. Its a weariness and as if I’m watching my jadedness grow, like frost covering a field. Its the sense of losing steam, of desperately searching for something you cannot find.
But also? Its a realization that as much as I don’t want to and as much I wish I didn’t have to and as badly as I long for peace and security…I’m handling it. As a wise woman said, I’m dealing with the devil and his accomplice. So when I look back, what will this be? This culmination of summer, PC’s bender, and there finally, finally being some sort of consequence to his stupid and terrible choices?
PC doesn’t know it yet, but he can’t keep fucking with me if I don’t allow him to. Its a time of go-big-or-go-home. Its a time where finally, I am in the drivers seat and not just kinda maybe sort of-ish…but for real. Although PC snorted (well he texted but I imagine him snorting indignantly) to me: you’re not calling the shots here Charlotte…I am! he is not, in fact, calling any shots.
So this. This is me for right now, and maybe from here on out.