I made a mistake last week.
I thought my Sunday shift was from 7am to 7 pm. It was actually 9-9. It was not until after I got up at 5:30 am and got ready and went into work that I realized my mistake. Instead of a 12 hour day it was 14 hours. It was not the end of the world, but I had agreed to my former husband’s request to return the kids early. I would not be home at the agreed upon time of 8:00 pm. I emailed him to inform him of my mistake.
Now the custody agreement which I strictly adhere in order to keep drama in check has specified the time at which the kids are to be returned and also designates him as sole transporter. He agreed to that at the time, but it did not take long for that to become an issue.
But as the mistake was mine, I agreed to meeting him somewhere on my way home from work. This is the first time I have done this. I still maintain a no-contact-except-for-email policy. I specified ahead of time that I did not intend to fraternize but simply exchange the kids and leave. Despite initial resistance, he complied.
Interestingly, I received an email from him later. It warrants some scrutiny because of the mindset it embraces. It is a mindset that has been present since the beginning and is common among his type. It’s not me. It’s you.
The exchange went perfectly. I believe I followed your expectations exactly as specified by you. I appreciate your willingness to do this for me, and I hope that in the future you may be willing to work with me at other times as needed.
I am not sure what has made you so hesitant to do things like this in the past. I think you have been telling so many people for so long what a horrible monster I am that you are actually beginning to believe it yourself. I hope tonight helped you to realize that all of this is just in your head.
First of all, I do not tell anyone he is a horrible monster. I really don’t talk about it him at all. I suppose one might consider this blog as such, but this blog is not about him. This blog is about sharing my experience and through it helping others see that their situation may be more common than they think, that they are not crazy, and that they don’t have to keep living their life just trying to get through one day at a time.
Second, he sounds so amiable doesn’t he? But that is no antidote for the poison at the end of the arrow.
“I hope this helped you to realize this is all in your head.”
Yes. It’s been “all in my head” for a long time now. I have said I would write a post about gas-lighting. I really need to do that soon. He congratulates himself for following my expectations and having done this once proves it is all in my head. And it is said so nicely too, almost as if he were complimenting my new haircut.
He finds me too restrictive or rather I should say the parenting plan too restrictive. I adhere to it; he says it is a general guideline. I wonder can a notarized document that had to be signed by a judge that assigns holidays and visitation days and pick up and return times be considered a general guideline? The problem is once you start moving the lines around where does it stop? Oh no. I’ve been there before. I have legal backing as long as I stick to the parenting plan. Once you start improvising you lose backing.
That old familiar trying to convince me I am crazy creeping up again. It is just said nicer this time. Sugar coated poison is still poison.
“I give you bitter pills in sugar coating. The pills are harmless; the poison is in the sugar.” -Stainslaw Lec