It’s been a long while, over a month. I’d like to say that I haven’t written because everything has been smooth sailing. But it hasn’t. It hasn’t been horrendous, but it hasn’t been exactly easy.
I’ve struggled through the self-defense class that I wrote about in my last post and it was incredibly rewarding. However, I didn’t participate in the final scenarios as a student. I couldn’t. I knew I won’t be able to without freaking out. I told one of the instructors a very general “I just got out of a very bad relationship, and I do not know how long I’ll be able to stay in class today.” And he let me volunteer to hold a camera to video the scenarios for the other students so they could see where they did very well; he hoped I’d be able to see that I could handle it and should participate. That was almost too much. Because of the structure of the class, students are welcome to repeat the class as often as they like. I will be doing the class again.
There have been incidents with Sam and Ingrid. I hesitate to even post most of them here, because they should feel trivial. Would they BE trivial if they didn’t involve an abusive alcoholic and his enabler? I don’t know. Would they be trivial if I were in better control of managing triggers that slide me right back to feeling stuck in the dark, threatening life that Sam kept us in? I don’t know. Would they be trivial if it wasn’t a constant barrage? Most likely. But they are – or I should say “were” now, more on that later – constant. Never ending accusations of being a manipulative, b-tchy ex-wife who is taking all of Sam’s money. Accusations of lying in court, of only wanting Sam back because he is such a good man and father… I can laugh at them now, but at the time they were flying, not so much. And the court wouldn’t do anything about it because the cr-p was coming from Ingrid, not Sam, and therefore not a continuation of his verbal assaults.
How does one explain to the court that the words may be coming out of the girlfriend’s mouth, but she was wound up and the words given to her by Sam? You don’t. It wouldn’t do any good. This is the person who was supposed to be the unbiased 3rd party making sure Max is safe while with his father. This is the ‘unbiased’ 3rd party who was supposed to report to the court if he was drinking or using, or being angry – not just in front of Max, but at all. Maybe I misunderstood, though, I don’t know. I don’t see how the court could honestly expect that of her when she has / had a very vested interest in Sam NOT being an alcoholic or abusive rapist or abusive father. (After all, what would that say about the self-styled “overprotective mama” who let him move in with her the month they met?)
Any way, I think I handled my responses back to Ingrid well, without devolving into the childish name calling that she resorted to. But am I really a good judge of that? Hmmm…
The night of Saturday, October 29, 2011, Ingrid and Sam both showed up to pick up Max. (I can’t even remember the last time Sam got off his bottom to help pick up his son.) I head out to spend the evening with a friend and his son; try to call Max to say good night. No answer, but at least the phone was on – which wasn’t the case the previous weekend. Max called back about an hour later and all is cool.
Except that it wasn’t. Ingrid called my phone twice, left no messages, at least none that came through that night. Then she called using Max’s phone. She had left her home and was at a friend’s house because Sam “was in a mood.” She took Max with her, thank god. After hanging up the phone, I was shaking, because I know what Sam’s “moods” are like. My friend was able to calm my panic enough so I could make the long drive back into town; I called my sister and I picked her up before we went to pick up Max.
To Ingrid’s credit, Max did not know why he was at Ingrid’s friend’s house and was asleep by the time we got there. She kept him shielded from Sam.
On Halloween, after trick-or-treating, I get an e-mail from Sam saying he left Ingrid because of how she treated me (*riiiiiiiigght*). In the following days, I get e-mails from Ingrid (to me, Francine and Sam Sr.) saying she kicked Sam out. Had the final melt-down not started when Max was there, it would have been funny. Ingrid’s e-mails pointed out that Sam is a liar, that she’s never known any one who can lie like Sam can. That the reason she kicked him out had nothing to do with me, which is what she’s certain Sam is telling every one. She laid it all out like it was a news flash. Breaking news: Sam’s a liar! Don’t believe anything he says! Don’t be swayed! (*insert warning beep noises here*)
Oh_my_goodness. Say it ain’t so! Never! Sam lie? Pfffft! (I’m being completely facetious here. Maybe hard to hear through text, so I thought I’d just be clear.)
She ended the e-mail saying he’s a lost cause – she can’t help him. Next e-mail was asking us to never mention her to Sam again, because she has enough fear in her life.
Which was weird. I think. Just saying. Because if I was fortunate enough to NEVER have to deal with Sam again, I’d have no fear in my life. Worries, yes. Fear, no. But whatever.
Short side of that long story is: Ingrid is gone – out of the picture – no longer spewing Sam’s hateful diatribes at me.
Sometimes I am so happy about that fact that I feel like dancing. And other times, I’m crushed, because it means we’ll back to Sam no-showing and failures to comply with the schedules and Max will be crushed.
By the way, I think it’s just sick that I’m sad that Ingrid will no longer be around to make sure Sam sees his son and by extension, will no longer be around to manage / deflect some of Sam’s abuse.