Geez! Down the Rabbit Hole wasn’t supposed to be prophetic in any way, but it was, sort of. There are other lines to cross other than pedophilia and guess who crossed them on Friday??? Go on, guess.
Jeff got mad and decided to hit Nate in the head with his cellphone, twice, leaving two knots. This crosses that all important line of actual physical abuse. Nate hasn’t seen him or talked to him since. Monday I went to the Courthouse and got the 25 reams of paper necessary to file a motion.
I’ve also been reading a book called, “The Gift of Fear.” Its so very, very interesting and I read two particular chapters, one dealing specifically with “Intimate Relationships,” protective orders, and the like. There’s an old saying in the mountains that you never poke a sleeping bear… from the fear the bear may awake and maul you to death. Guess I’m not one much for old mountain sayings, cuz I’m pokin’ the bear.
T-Bird and I have had numerous, and humerous, conversations about this entire situation and her situation with her sister not being a parent. We both keep telling each other to stop dicking around and just do it. When, actually, we both suffer from the same affliction – hope.
I’ve hoped for years that Jeff is going to suddenly wake up and realize what he’s doing and how his actions are affecting his relationship with his children. His daughter walking away didn’t do it because he just blamed that on her mother. And he’ll blame whatever happens next on me and that’s okay. Breaking the cycle of domestic violence is daunting and not for a bunch of namby, pamby petunias.
I have two degrees in Criminal Justice and its taken me quite a while to catch on to the parts of the cycle in my life, and even more so, having the courage to break it. I did that by reading my blog. Its much easier to see a bigger picture when you read about it and notice dates and then you realize you’re reading the same thing, just in a different month of a different year, but with the same results.
The Cycle of Violence includes a tension or build up phase, a battering incident (I see this as verbal abuse, emotional abuse, as well as physical abuse), and then the calm after the storm, the honeymood phase.
Yep, I’ve seen it, lived it. The first step I took with Jeff was destroying the honeymood phase. After a blow-up he would want me to “help” him in some way, normally by looking at a legal document for some litigation he’s involved in, or looking something up on the computer for him. When he started this crap a week ago or so, he was slurring his words, talking about how he wanted me, as a friend, to read the letter from his lawyer, that he did not understand, and explain it to him. This was the day after the incident where he was yelling at me on the street, strutting around with his chest puffed out, bullying, with aggressive body language, accusing me of starting a fight in front of Nate and getting “burled” up.
I told him I didn’t want to read his letter and I walked out.
That effectively ended the “Honeymood Phase.” This started the “Tension-Build Up” part of the cycle much faster. The arguing (or silent treatment) continued. It came to a head with him hitting Nate. At first, he said that it happened inadvertently and he hadn’t meant to. This was meant to placate me, “See, I didn’t really mean to do it. It was an accident.”
No, it wasn’t. Being logical drives him crazy. Being calm and pointing out the flaws and errors in his “non-sensical” reasoning, makes him pretty angry, which he was by the time that conversation ended. Especially after he admitted that he had in fact hit Nate in anger and there was no accident to it.
It also makes his chest hurt. He was wheezing and so choked up by the end of the conversation that I was actually scared, not that he would die, I feel as though he was just trying to gain sympathy from me about how much this situation upset him and diminish what he actually did (another true mark of an abuser). It frightened me because he was that mad and it frightened me because I didn’t give two shits if he keeled over from a heart attack or a stroke right there on the phone, and thought of poking that bear some more. Because I’m evil that way.
T-Bird and I cross-examined the conversation and I told her about the book I had been reading about recognizing the markers of imminent physical danger, and I’m not talking about getting knocked in the head with a cellphone, I’m talking about my imminent death. The most dangerous time for a woman is not when she’s actually being abused (physically, mentally, etc.) but when she stands up and says, “NO MORE!”
I don’t even really believe this is about Nate. Certainly what has happened in his life has been very real, but he’s not the REASON. The reason is, Jeff cannot accept that I left him. His conversations with me about Nate, especially after an “incident,” move to, “Why did you leave me? Why aren’t we together? I still love you.” GET A GRIP!
Jeff uses Nate to keep me in his life. He uses Nate to try and control me. Its sick and pathetic.
I told Nate, calmly, that his father struggles with alcoholism and mental illness, nothing to be sneezed at, and very real challenges to the most stalworth of individuals, which he is not. However, having compassion is different than accepting abuse. Loving someone has nothing to do with allowing them to treat you like shit, especially when they’re the ones that are supposed to be protecting you.
On Friday, Nate indicated that his dad did not want him to be there over the weekend (Ha! As if that was going to happen anyway!), and he didn’t want to pick him up from school anymore (Ha, As if that was going to happen anymore!). However, Jeff called Saturday morning, at 6:30 a. the fucking m., to ask me if I was working and if so, when would I be dropping Nate off. My response, “Nate’s not coming this weekend. I know what you did and I fear for my son’s safety with you.” There was more said, but I was very clear headed as I had awoken at 4:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep.
Part of that conversation happened as I still lay in bed, and part of it was me sitting in the floor, tethered to the wall socket, since my cellphone was dying. When I went back in to lay down, Nate was laying in my bed, looking at me. That’s pretty damn early for my little snoozehound.
“Did the phone wake you?”
“Yep, and I heard what you said and I could even hear Daddy before you went into the hallway.”
“Really? So, how did I do?”
“You were awesome, Mom.”
Mom doesn’t feel so awesome some days and the entire weekend was a trying, hellish mess, and it has continued through today and continues even now. T-Bird asked, “Why didn’t you just file a domestic violence petition?” My answer, “Because he expects me to, and I will do nothing that he expects. My best defense is to keep him guessing, this throws off the cycle, this buys me time, it may even buy my life. A DVP is a piece of paper and thousands of women have been killed while carrying them around in their pocket, believing they are safe.”
Jeff may have killed a considerable number of brain cells in the past few years but he knows what I’m doing. He knows, surely as I sit here typing on my computer, I’ll file for full and complete custody of Nate, he just doesn’t know when. Even as surely when I told him that Nate will be spending the summer at YMCA camp, that I’m limiting his contact with Nate. And deep down, somewhere in the mess, he knows exactly why – because of his actions.
T-Bird and I are trying, we’re trying very hard, to let go of the hope, and get real. Hope has gotten us no where. We must see people for who they are, not for who we hope them to be or become. We can only hope in ourselves for the strength, courage, and intelligence to see through the right course. Not the course we had hoped for, but the right course. The course to keep our kids healthy, happy, and secure.