I will not negotiate with terrorists.
A phrase I repeat over and over weeks like this.
When I said my wedding vows, I never knew it would end up like this. Negotiating demands. Making chess moves.
These are the weeks my Ex is a bully. Mostly through text and email. I think the days where he leans over a bench and whispers, “I do evil things to you,” as a tactic as a way to shake me up are few now. Honestly, his tactics don’t bother me anymore. Not really. The person he is haunting is not the same one here today. I changed. Ironic in a way… he always thought I would. He just was never around to see it. At this point, the only thing he takes from me is my time as I reply back and forth to his emails. He argues with my ghost.
This week, Dimples turned one. We are celebrating on an upcoming weekend. The party cuts into Ex’s visitation with Miss M. As it stands right now, unless I agree to something outside our court agreement, he won’t agree to change his visit for that day. So,He has her every Saturday. I couldn’t get everyone together another day of the week. I tried. So, you know, it is pretty much a pain in the ass.
So far in the past five days I have been called, “unreasonable,” “entitled,” afraid of losing control,” “ridiculous,” “a fool,” “martyr,” and some other stuff. Yet, I am not the one making demands. Or digging up the past.
I loved him once. Yet, I would never want to again. Not that I know this side of him. The one where all life’s mistakes are other people’s. Not now that I have experienced the calm waters of loving Match. When I think of the miserable arguments I used to have with Ex. The begging to choose me. The way we spoke to each other. The sometimes physicality of it. Honestly, I thought that was love. That that was the price of loving someone so much. Sometimes you hated them as well.
I know better now. If Match and I ended today, I would be able to know love. Easy going, hard working, genuine, heart-felt love. Plus, you know, he’s a seriously piece of eye candy who is great in the sack. It is just a far-cry away from my old life.
I still am amazed my old life doesn’t send him running away. There are so many stories, I have forgotten them. Luckily, my friends haven’t. They tell them for me. Which helps me see my past in another way I might not have gotten previously. Puzzles pieces that shift into place. Panoramic views of a landscape I used to know so well… now a sad memory.
Ping. An email. Again. I read it. Sigh and bury my head on Match’s chest. He doesn’t even look up. He knows. I had let him read some of the correspondence. I can see his jaw clench when he reads certain lines. I clench mine wondering if today is the day my baggage is too heavy. We were on day four or so of the back and forth. His voice steady, like usual, “Email the lawyer. See what she says. Maybe that will shut him up.” I will. Although, I know the truth. Nothing will ever really shut him up. Ex lacks an off switch. It is just full speed ahead on the crazy train once it leaves the depot. Asking to switch days or split a visit so Miss M could celebrate with us– well, he thinks he has me over a barrel, that he is doing me a favor, and that I should do something for him in return. Or he won’t make a change in the visitation schedule.
The only one who really can be dragged along and hurt by the crazy train is Miss M. Somehow he can lose her in keeping track of whom-owes-who, whom-did-what-to-who, whom-needs-something-from-who– all points and scores from so long ago that it seems irrelevant to the simple issue. Miss M need him to change his day this one week in six months.
So, I remind myself: I will not negotiate with terrorists.
Ping. A question is stands out, “Who the f– do you think you are?” I know exactly who I am. Her mother. Her voice. Her best interest. The person who thinks your an asshole for trying to leverage half a visit for something still contested in court. The person who can’t just sacrifice for Miss M because that’s what parenting is. No, you need to make me pay something for it as well. I am so done with it.
Today is my day. Mother’s Day. That’s who the f— I am, Ex. No, I am not negotiating with you.