Why I Stayed

Even today, having been out for almost 2 years, I still find it hard to believe that I was played. He seemed so sincere. Even looking back over the last 2 years, he’d talk to me and tell me something and I totally believed him. I’m not naive. I’m not an idiot. Of course, by then, I knew not to believe it, even when I DID believe it. I’d wait it out, put off the decision or answer he was seeking. Inevitable, when I DID believe him, he was lying, or plotting something against me (like a lawsuit, for example). Now I know that when he is being nice, he is up to something. He’s either trying to get me to do something for him or he’s doing something bad to me. Now I know and I can almost always stay one step ahead of him because I know his games and his moves. I know what he will try because I know how he thinks in regards to what he can get and I know how to keep him from getting it. The truth, and proof of it, is my weapon. He triumphs in the grey areas, but loves black and white. He is an extremist that walks a fine line of breaking the law, just inches away from being caught. He breaks the parenting plan agreement by telling my daughter lies about me. (Mommy doesn’t love you. Mommy says she loves you then feeds you candy. Mommy doesn’t love you because Grandma didn’t hug her as a child and she can’t love you. Daddy took Mommy and Grandma to the cops. The list goes on.) He knows the parenting plan is hard to enforce because it’s hard to prove he has said these things. I know he said them. Our daughter knows. He knows. I know because he told me some of the things he’s now telling her when we were still together. She was only 2 at the time we separated. I never told these things to anyone. She’d have no way of knowing if he hadn’t told her. When my mother told me what my daughter had said, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he had in fact said them to her. A 4-year-old wouldn’t be able to make this stuff up. I couldn’t make it up. I try to remain neutral to her. I don’t want her to see that I’m upset by what she tells me. I don’t want her to stop talking about it and keep it in, or worse, wonder if I love her and if what her Daddy says is true. What kind of sick moron TRIES to cause emotional harm to the child that they profess to love more than anything? I believe he loves her, at least, as much as he is able, but how can he not see what he is doing to her?

After a local child welfare agency had been called after our physical altercation, and we were informed about it, he stated that the only people that could have called the agency were me or my mother. He went on to say, “Don’t you think whoever did this should be made to never do this again?” I asked what he meant by that. He never would say for sure. He always liked to keep up appearances of being a good guy in his own eyes. He liked to say without saying. but judging from the look in his eyes, I thought he meant that they should be murdered or severely beat up. I said, “No. If someone thinks we are doing harm to our child, I’m glad there’s someone out there looking out for her. We didn’t do anything wrong, so what’s to worry about?” I, of course, was worried, not that they would take her away from me, but that he would find out that I was the one who inadvertently caused this call to be made. I hadn’t made the call. It never even crossed my mind that it was relevant. Our daughter was not physically harmed, though I never dreamed she would have to go through something like that. I had reported it to someone who did, and it was NOT my mother. I went to the police. They sent me to talk to someone. So, it was my report that had caused the call to be made. And I was scared as hell when I had to tell him that they wanted to speak with us. He took it okay at first. As it festered, his anger grew. When I asked him “Who is going to make them never do it again?” He replied that he “knew people.” He had bragged about his late father’s possible mob connections. I’m assuming this is what he  was talking about. He mentioned again that the only people that could have said anything were me or my mother. Is he going to try to have me killed? If he never “wins” the custody that he wants, is that my “fate”? Was this a scare tactic all along?

But, how can I look into his eyes and still see the good after all of this? When I look at him, I see a poor, pathetic man with a wounded soul. I see pain and hurt. Not the pain that he has caused me but the pain that he lives in. I stayed for a long time because I saw his pain and I wanted to help him; and for a while, I did… some. I still feel sorry for him. I still try to spare his feelings. Not for the pain that he will undoubtably  cause me when he feels it and tries to get even and hurt me back, but for the pain that I know he is feeling. No amount of hatred can overcome that feeling of guilt. Guilt that I didn’t stay, that I couldn’t take it, that I abandoned him in his pain, even though he was causing me much pain and taking my soul. I chose to be with him and I abandoned him. And I’m glad I did. I feel really guilty about that.

I added the second paragraph a while after writing this article when I was reminded of an incident that I thought was a good example of his walking the line of saying anything that could be used against him. Grey area, I call it. I was struck by the contrast between that and the third paragraph that was part of the original blog post. (The part about my perception of his pain). This is perhaps the best explanation of why I have labeled this blog “Torn”. For years I felt torn between these two emotions, even before the last stages which were increasingly more fearful. Looking back, I remember the feelings of that day after child welfare services was called, and the 3-day-weekend I spent as his prisoner. But just moments before, I had been remembering the feelings of pity for the man I once loved.

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