Monday, September 29, 2008

The X gets the apartment building

X got out before we could move. Which just happened to be right before the holidays.

By this point, I was noticing the pattern. X tends to fall apart the most around that time of year. It's part of what makes me believe that his problems are not just drug-related, but seriously deep-rooted psychological problems.

My therapist (as I was going quite regularly during this time) told me to think of him as I would a disabled person. That I wouldn't expect a paraplegic, for instance, to be able to use their arms and legs, and of course, I wouldn't get frustrated with them for their inabilities. It's a great concept, and probably pretty accurate, but it doesn't always work.

I had to go through my sent emails from an old account to get a better picture of how things went down from here.

I found an email I'd sent to his family, pleading with them to tell X (because he didn't have a phone number) to stay away from our apartment building. He'd already promised me he would, but I heard from others in the building that they'd seen him around. Our home just no longer felt like home to me anymore.

So our apartment manager helped me find a new place in another building of the same owners. I was most excited that we went from a 1-bedroom to a 2-bedroom and I could have my own room! The girls weren't crazy about moving, nor did they know why and that probably didn't help, but I couldn't very well tell them the whole story. They also didn't like the fact that I said X couldn't visit us anymore, and I couldn't really explain that one, either.

Wow. I hadn't really realized until just now how confusing that must have been for them. But I don't know how I could've avoided that. They couldn't know the truth about my fears with the 'veiled threat', and I wouldn't lie to them.

I just tried to sound really excited about it and they probably saw it all as a very selfish move on my part - that we moved just so I could have my own room, and to not allow X to see them as much.

But moving wasn't all great stuff for me, either. The hike in rent put me in a really scary position. So much so, in fact, that I started working a second job (as well as going to college part-time). Most of the job could be done from home so it helped.

I also got the most fabulous news at the beginning of February (2006). I was finally, officially, legally divorced! Because he never filed a single paper, I got everything I'd petitioned for - sole legal and physical custody, and all of my stipulations to visitation. After a lunch with my boss to celebrate, my dad and I got to work on my will so that if something happened to me, X would not get custody of the girls.

A week after that, I was on the phone with my sister. She asked if there was any X news, and I realized it had been a while since we'd last heard from him. On a whim, I decided to check the LA Sheriff's website - I believe this was on Valentine's Day. Sure enough, he was listed as incarcerated. I had to laugh!

But my laughter stopped when another unknown person called, per X's request, to inform me. He knew how furious I had been about the whole 'veiled threat' incident, and yet he was still giving out my phone number to his acquaintances. I felt better knowing that they didn't know where I lived, at least, but it still bothered me. Not to mention, of course, that I now had the fun task of deciding whether or not to inform the girls.

I told his family so they could find out more about what was going on. We found out it would be at least a few weeks until his court date, even, as he had pleaded not guilty. (Whatever.) At that point, I was fairly certain the girls had to know.


Meg said...

Certainly does sound like he has psychological problems.

I've done a bit of research on different disorders and I often wonder (and believe in some instances) that things may have been different if your ex could have gotten a diagnosis and treatment as a youth (and of course lived in an environment where his focus and energy was directed in positive ways).

That's not to say he still isn't a asshat.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a story!

Suzie said...

Wow. I dont know hoe I would tell the kids that you are a strong woman

Anonymous said...

I wonder if my ex will follow the same pattern of disapearing until next year, and then demanding his rights, which is what he did last year. Only this time I will have documents filed with the court.

Thanks for continuing with your story!

Kori said...

I am really, really enjoying following this story, and hope that it is healing for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this April, I'm enjoying getting to know your past and how you came to be a single mother.

Tara R. said...

I can't imagine how difficult it was to keep most of this from you daughters. You are a good person to not take your anger and frustrations out on X when it could hurt your kids too.

Shiona said...

There probably was something that should have been taken care of earlier on.

That's a great analogy from your therapist but you're right, it doesn't always work.