names have been omitted in this post
this post contains some language
this post is an important one because it shows that all the crazy-making tactics narcissistic exes use to create chaos (specifically related to child custody) can and do affect men as well … not just women
"Hey…" I smiled at him and we exchanged warm hugs.
"Hey" He grinned back. The hostess confirmed there were two of us and turned to lead us to our table. We thanked her as we slid into the quiet booth located in the back of the restaurant. There were't any other patrons around so we had the area to ourselves. Sitting across from each other, she then handed us each slick laminated menus and told us our waitress would be with us momentarily.
I surveyed the IHOP menu wondering what I wanted… I knew him well enough to know he probably wanted an omelette… it would be just figuring out which one. I usually ordered the 2x2x2 but today wanted something different. He was debating which omelette and I finally decided on two eggs over easy, sausage and hash browns. Setting our menus to the side, I spoke "So how's it going? Tell me about your week." I prompted him.
He grimaced, "She's being the usual. She's petitioned a bunch of stuff that I shouldn't get any scheduled phone time with him on her weeks." He told me, referring to their son who they shared custody of.
I practically snorted. "Please. Good luck with that… " I shook my head. "No judge, no matter how terrible is going to go for that. You are each entitled to phone time on each other's week and you haven't abused it. You're not harassing her. You're following the days and times that were agreed upon." I stated.
He nodded "I know… but try to tell her that. It's just a phone call. I should be able to talk to him, ask him how his week is going, what he had for lunch, what he did that day… you know, those types of things. But instead she wants to petition a bunch of stuff and shut me out. I don't see the judge going for it either. My attorney is not agreeing to it. We want her to reimburse me for having to deal with all her filings."
"Hopefully the judge will go for that… but I'm not sure. It's pretty hard to get reimbursed for court costs because one person is acting irrational and filing stuff just to be difficult. It shouldn't be but unfortunately often is. Hopefully your attorney will be successful with it." I told him.
The waitress appeared with my water and his orange juice, took our orders and promised our food would be out shortly.
"So… she took him out of soccer… which he loved, by the way…"
He added. "And now she has him in baseball."
I raised an eyebrow "But why? Why baseball? Did he want to try it?" I asked.
He shook his head, his blue eyes looked tired. "No… he didn't. She chose baseball because she knows I like soccer… I played it when I was a kid. So she pulled him from it. He's at baseball practice and the games and he's off in outer space during them. It doesn't hold his attention like soccer did. He was really good at that."
I sighed "Geez… I'm sorry. Poor little guy. So petty."
He shook his head, "She doesn't care. She doesn't. She only thinks about herself. " He took a sip of his orange juice "And at one of the last games she made a scene."
"She did? What'd she do?" I asked.
"She was getting ready to leave… it was at the end of the game and it's her week, right? Well… I always stay on the opposite teams side during the games so I'm not near her. I see that their leaving and head over that way so I can tell him bye. That's all I'm wanting to do… is tell him bye. I'm about to them and I start to say I just wanted to say bye when she turns around and begins screaming at me:
"IT'S NOT YOUR F-ING WEEK!!!!"
I stare at him in utter shock, "What???! She said that??!"
He nods, "Ohhhh, yeah. She did."
I give him a look of disbelief that anyone would do that.
"I know." He tells me, seeing my expression of horror. "So, she screams it and I'm like kinda hanging back now cause everybody just freezes and is staring at us. I mean, they are STARING AT US, Jennifer." He stresses to me. "I mean, people at the OTHER games on the field are staring at us like who are these people??? You could've heard a pin drop. Everyone just stopped what they were doing. The coaches, everyone. I was so embarrassed. I wanted to die right there. I told her that I had just wanted to tell him bye and she grabs him, practically DRAGGING him to the car and just throws him in the backseat. By now, he's crying and screaming for his Daddy…"
"Oh my God…" I murmur and run my right hand through my hair.
The waitress made her appearance with our plates of food and we thanked her. Digging into my eggs the yolk dispersed into the hash browns making a yummy mess of deliciousness.
He glanced at my plate, "Runny eggs in your hash browns?" He asked.
"Yeppers" I replied and stuck a forkful in my mouth. "They are great this way." I informed him. He looks uncertain about that but smiles and shakes his head in a I don't really think so but you're cute kinda way and continues…
"So I'm trying to talk to her and she just gets in and drives off. Won't let me say goodbye. He's crying and screaming for me and all this could have been prevented if she'd just let me say bye." He says and takes a big bite of his omelette with bacon on top. I was amazed at the amount of food he could consume. Kinda in awe of it really. I liked that he liked to eat… food took up a lot of my thinking… if I wasn't eating a good meal I was certainly thinking about the next one.
I shook my head "Well, yeah… this is what happens. You're just trying to say bye and she's making it out like you're going over there to have an altercation with her… like you're trying to take him or prevent them from leaving. She's trying to make you look bad when it's all her." I sighed "It's all ridiculous. So… did you whip out your phone and video tape it?" I asked him.
He looked disappointed "No… I didn't. I wish I had. I had my phone on me but I was SO shocked I wasn't thinking clearly. I couldn't believe she'd do that. I mean…" He shot me a knowing look, "I SHOULD have believed it… but I didn't."
I nodded "Oh, I know. Just when you think they won't do something… you let your guard down and they do some of the craziest stuff." I sat there chewing and pondering "So… What if you got statements from the coaches? I would ask the coaches for statements that they witnessed what she did and then take them to court. You can use those." I told him. He nodded, "That's a good idea. Thank you. I will. I'll text them… I'm sure they'll be happy to help… they were pretty horrified. "
"I'm horrified. " I told him. "And I wasn't even there. Ugh… I'm sorry you're having to deal with that. And for him… He's being treated like a piece of property by her. These people have no idea that eventually the kids will realize what's happened to them… how they were treated… and one day they won't want anything to do with the parent causing all these problems. These parents will one day be alone and they won't have anyone but themselves to blame."
He nodded "So true. So tell me about you… how are things going?" He asked before he took a bite of his hash browns alongside his omelette.
"Good… things are good right now… " I smiled. "He's keeping to himself for the moment which is always good." I remarked, referring to my ex. "Hopefully it will stay that way for awhile. He's getting married end of July so maybe that's a good distraction." I told him.
He nodded with a smile "Good…I know it's stressful. If I could do something to change it or fix it I would." He offered.
"Thanks, me too." I replied. "Just ignoring him and only communicating when absolutely necessary seems to work best." I pointed out.
"Yeah…" He affirmed. "Well… his loss is another man's gain." He smiled at me warmly. "Don't take this the wrong way… but in a way I'm kinda glad he screwed up… I thank God everyday that you're in my life." He smiled and reached across the table and squeezed my hand affectionately.