After a peaceful weekend with the kids, enjoying the park most of Saturday afternoon and then a hilarious dance contest, snuggling, and joking with each other the rest of our time together, dropping them off this evening was an abrupt and complete change of tone.
Dropping the kids off this evening turned into multiple threats to call the police, accusations that Gary takes too long to say good-bye to the kids, accusations that the kids crying when Gary is leaving is completely Gary’s fault and could be prevented if he would just say good-bye in the car, Gary’s ex’s father threatening both Gary and me, her father bowing up and planting himself an inch from my face as he ranted hate, Gary’s ex shrieking at me to “shut up” and “You’re not their mother”, her father telling me I am “nothing”, Gary being told more than once to “control” me, and trying our best to comfort and calm the kids in the middle of a scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nestcrossed with The Twilight Zone.
The diabolical, horrifying, unbelievable offense that set all of this off?
I asked Gary’s ex why the kids have not been permitted to read e-cards that I have been sending to Wolverine’s e-mail address.
Oh, and we took Dove for a much-needed, long-overdue haircut.
The explosion that followed was so over-the-top that it would have been comical.
Except the kids saw and heard all of it.
Except the instant Gary’s ex’s father started shouting, Bear grasped the front of Gary’s shirt and cried, “Daddy, I’m never going to see you again” and burst into tears.
Except the kids cried through the whole ugly, unnecessary mess.
Except the kids now believe they are doing something wrong by wanting to say good-bye to their father.
Except the kids’ love for me and for their father was yet again trampled on, disrespected, and brushed aside as inconsequential.
Except the level of hostility and anger was so far above and beyond normal that, more than ever, we question the kids’ safety.
Except scaring the hell out of the kids was absolutely no deterrant whatsoever to anyone but Gary and me. It was as if they do not matter as human beings with feelings.
Except the kids were still shaken, crying, and stunned when we left.
Except that each time Gary’s ex’s father bellowed “Call the law”, Bear cried even harder, sobbing, “Grandpa, don’t!” clutching the sleeve of my shirt tight.
Except when Gary called on the way home to check on the kids, he was subjected to yet another diatribe from his ex’s father about how he needs to “control” me and how he put me up to asking the question about my e-cards not being shown to the kids, mingled with other gems of bile that, yet again, the kids overheard.
Except the kids have been sacrificed, victimized, shoved aside, used, dismissed, toyed with, and hurt over and over again far too many times already.
What the kids saw and heard tonight was beyond shameful. True colors burst forth in the ugliest, vilest, most disgraceful display of behavior I have seen in a long time.
*”Anger” image courtesy of leeyoungheui.com*