It was just one phone call from my ex, but it left me with hours of anxiety.
It started with what I thought was a harmless text. HA! I should have known better. After all of these years, it should snap that a text is merely a fishing expedition. Throwing out the line to see if I bit. Silly little clown-fish me bit.
You see, I’ve been trying to get medical and dental insurance from my ex. According to the divorce degree (and standard Texas child support laws), The Ex is supposed to provide the insurance. That hasn’t always been the case, since he spent some time out of work. Once he started working again, he did the right thing and signed them up for insurance. Unfortunately for me, he chose the cheapest insurance option, which means big out-of-pocket expenses. LoverBoy has been complaining of a toothache, so it was time to bite the bullet and contact The Ex again for the insurance cards that he never wants to share. I asked last week and again this week. He called me the other day with some run-around explanation that they must have screwed some things up because they can’t find him in the system. They are looking into and will call him back. Obviously, I’ve been holding my breath.
Then the other night, out of the blue, I get a text telling me that he should know something pretty soon. I should have clued in that the text was bogus because obviously, he wasn’t at work at 8:00pm and wasn’t discussing his benefit issues with anyone. I simply responded, “Thank you.” Within minutes, the phone rang. Light bulb…you screwed up.
He called to tell me that he is having a problem getting LoverBoy to return his texts and phone calls. He has called and texted repeatedly for several days and “crickets.” I know that he tried the day before because he pulled MonoBoy into the middle of it. He called him and sent him to his brother’s room to tell him that he was calling him. LoverBoy was busy fighting with his girlfriend on the phone, and we all know what the priority is in that situation. Then The Ex sent MonoBoy snapshots of his texts to show him just how many times that he had texted his brother. Essentially, recruiting him to his side.
(Oh, did I mention that he called MonoBoy crying because he was looking at baby photos of them and he just missed them sooooo much? That’s the only reason that he wanted to talk to LoverBoy. The Ex swears that it wasn’t to hound him about a ski trip that he wants to take them on during spring break. Yeah, right.)
I suggested that MonoBoy try to stay out of it as much as possible. There was a time that he and his dad had problems, so he didn’t need to get upset with his brother over this. “I know, Mom, but Dad puts me in the middle.”
So The Ex goes on to ask if I knew what was going on. Is there a problem that he needs to know about or is he just being 16 and running wild? “Because if he’s just running wild, then we need to talk about it. All of the counselors and all of the people who I have talked to agree that he could at least send a text.” He rambled more, but I had to interject.
“All of the counselors that you have talked to? What counselors have you talked to?”
“You might not believe this, but this kind of stuff really tears me up, so I am personally seeing a counselor to handle just these types of things. I’m a good person. I have a big heart. I mean, I know that I made some bad choices in the past, but I know that I was always a good person. I don’t think that I still deserve to be punished for that. I’m trying to be a better man, but you keep punishing me for what happened in the past. You won’t recognize that I have changed and try to help me with my kids.”
At this point, I couldn’t even remember what the phone call was about. I was mad. All phone calls ended up with him bashing me, and I am SO TIRED of hearing about what a good person he is. He spent years begging me to help him out of this situation or that one because “You know me. You know that I have a good heart. I just made a mistake. I need help.” These are the words that he says when he wants to pretend that he is taking ownership of his actions. He’s not. He’s making excuses for them. He refuses to take responsibility for the fact that his “bad choices” hurt people. Many people. For many years.
“I’m going to stop you right there. I don’t appreciate that you chalk up everything that happened to ‘bad choices.’ There are other ‘good people’ that didn’t deserve what happened.”
“You mean the divorce?”
“No, I mean the marriage.” Why does this man so easily forget everything that happened? Sure, the divorce Sucked (notice the capital S), but let’s be honest, the marriage was probably worse. He doesn’t seem to remember his pregnant wife waddling into a bar, begging him to come home, only to have him hand over his house key in front of everyone. He doesn’t seem to remember when my mom called me to tell me that our toddlers yelled, “A big truck is taking Daddy’s truck.” He doesn’t remember when the bars or police would call the house because he walked a tab or abandoned his truck at a gas pump. He doesn’t remember the cops coming to the house because of our fighting. And why should he? He just made some bad choices. Ten years or more worth of them.
Anyway, it took me quite a while to recover from the phone call. We are back in one of his phases where he is trying to convince the world that he is the good person and that I am the evil one. I know this because in one of his follow-up texts to the phone call, he said, “You’re evil and only look to punish me STILL TO THIS DAY.” I know that if he is saying that to me, he is telling the world the same thing. All the way down to the nonsense about seeing a counselor.
It bugs me. All of it. I don’t care to punish him. I want KARMA to do that for me. I just want to live my life. I’d be happier if my life was a little bit easier. Similar to his.
You know the word I’m thinking, right? UNFAIR. He doesn’t worry about homework and car insurance and setting a curfew for a school dance. He doesn’t schlep a kid 25 minutes each way for a 55 minute basketball lesson. As a matter of fact, when he was in the full swing of blaming me for his life’s woes on the phone, of course he brought up the basketball game that he missed because I didn’t tell him about a schedule change. He’s now expanded the argument to say that it’s my responsibility to inform him of EVERYTHING because I have the “luxury” of picking up our son from basketball every day.
Yes, that’s right…LUXURY. I left work EVERY DAY last year at 3:00pm to shuttle kids from high school to various places. Then went back to work until those activities ended and it was time to shuttle them home. That’s the new definition of luxury??? Geez, I don’t need any more of those luxuries in my life.
Nor do I need any more phone calls.