That's what J just said to me. About X. I think the straw has broken this camel's back.
I have an appointment tomorrow night - for a consultation with a child psychologist. The appointment is at 9 pm. The kids are usually at X's on Wednesdays; so I felt comfortable making that appointment. Also, it was the first available & I just want to get this all taken care of already...
X called me today. Can I switch days? Could he take the kids on Thursday instead of Wednesday? He is moving Thursday morning. (I have asked him time and again when he's moving.... with no answers...) I told him I couldn't - I have that appointment. I said I would see what I could do about finding somebody to stay with the kids - but wasn't too optimistic.
In thinking about it I realized I did not want my parents to come stay with the kids. I didn't want them here when I got back, asking me all sorts of questions... (my dad has already told me not to tell the school that Max will be going for therapy -- that it will follow him on his school record! And these are "enlightened" people!!)
So when I got home from work I phoned X. My parents cannot come. They have plans. You will have to take the kids. He's all "the apartment will be a mess, we'll be taking apart the furniture, there will be no tv..." and whining and complaining.
I start to feel anxious.
I say yes, well, see you Saturday at Little League. He asks what time the games are again. I tell him 9 am for Nathan; 1 pm for Max. AND - if he cannot take them to let me know - that I will pick them up. Then he launches into this tirade how it's so much easier for me - how everything is in Forest Hills... how it's all so difficult for him - how he has to hang around between games.. how it's so difficult with Hebrew School... that's why he doesn't take Max.
I mutter something like "ok. fine." and he's all "You have no empathy! You have no idea how difficult it is for me! You just don't understand!"
Wait a minute! What just happened here?! Did we just swap positions?!?
It continued like that for a while & I hang up. I'm feeling really anxious. I just don't want the kids to go there. I call my parents. I tell X. I tell him I will keep them for Thursday, too. I tell J. And rightly he reminds me that the kids like to be with their dad. That they need to sort out their own relationship with him.
He's right. So I'm left here feeling... well... like I gave in. Which I guess I did. X sees that I give in this time, and he'll do it again. I totally went with the anxiety & should have waited a bit. Talked it out. Something.
I talk to J later & he's all riled up. "He and I are going to have words this Saturday!" Huh? What? "This has been building for a while, and how he didn't help during Max's crisis... this is between he and I. But we're going to talk."
And that sends me into another panic. You CANNOT argue with X. You just can't. He doesn't follow the normal rules of logic and engagement. And the idea of my boys seeing the two of them arguing.... does not sit well with me at all.
I suggest that perhaps he will calm down by Saturday... but J informed me that it is unlikely.
He says that I should hire a sitter for tomorrow & "make" X pay. And I lose it. That's what everybody says -- just "make him" take Max to Hebrew School. Or "make him" pay for camp. But that is NOT reality. He will not. Sure, he might if I get a lawyer and pay the huge bucks to force him to.... he might do lots of things. But that will put the kids in the middle & it will be ugly. I'd have to take things away from him, restrict his visits with them, make him give me more money... and the tension and turmoil it would cause --for the kids and also for me -- I'm just not sure it's worth it. In the end you cannot legislate behavior & personality... and unless I have sole custody of the kids these things will just keep happening.... and in the interest of sanity (mine) I just cannot think about it. It might seem like a huge cop out... and maybe it is. But like I've said - X does not work by the normal rules. He has a different way of seeing the world.
(Doesn't this seem like the worlds longest divorce? Even though we've been legally divorced for a while now... I just don't get why things can't calm down. Maybe I answered it above: X does not play by the rules. He does what he wants & the rest of us have to work within those parameters..)
This is all new for me. J having words with X, me giving in to X so easily and quickly - I had gotten really good at standing up to him... but I think I've lost even more faith in his parenting ability.... this whole feeling anxious about having the kids there -- that's not so good, either. At this point I'm not quite sure how I feel. I'm kinda all jumbled. (Just like this post!!!)