Sometimes, events happen in your life and you just have to get away for a few days. It can be with loved ones, close friends or just by yourself. But the key is to turn off from the world – social media, text messaging, phone calls, emails, work.
I’ve decided to take a four day cruise out of Long Beach to Mexico with my children. The best part is there is no cellphone reception while out at sea. I sit here writing this after I decided to go for a nice jog on the treadmill as they sleep so peacefully.
This trip was suppose to be a family trip. The kids, the ex and myself. The ex didn’t make it… in fact, he probably won’t make it to any other family trip. Yesterday, I lost my best friend. Not to an unforeseen death but to pure narcissism. I spent 10+ years under his verbal abuse. And to be honest, I didn’t even realize that I was still being subjected to it after I had left him. Don’t get me wrong, here and there we would have little arguments but as soon as he started to try to take the argument to a dark place I would tell him I wasn’t trying to argue and then he would calm down and we would attempt to talk it out. That was until the day before we were scheduled to leave on vacation together.
My ex is a functional drug and alcohol addict. He’ll NEVER admit this to himself or to anyone else, for that matter. Every time he goes back to Denver for a few weeks he goes on bingers. His emotions are up and down. He loves us and calls us every other hour and then we won’t hear from him at all for days. It’s nerve wrecking, to say the least. I have to make excuses to our kids. I’m constantly trying to make him out to appear the good guy.
“Oh, he must be working”, “I talked to him earlier”, ” daddy, says he loves and misses you guys”.
Now, he’s not always like this. When he’s in LA, I keep him clean. We eat right, we are active, there’s no drugs and minimal alcohol, if any. This man that comes to LA is my best friend. He is the man I had spent most of my 20s with, the man I married, had a child with and the man that knows all of my secrets. He’s an amazing father and friend.
I tell you all of this just to paint a little picture of the kind of person he can be.
Back to the day before we left on our little getaway… He flies into LAX at 9pm. I pick him up and we head to my place where the kids are waiting to see him. Per usual, I’m Chatty Cathy. I’m filling him in on everything that’s been going on. I talk about his new grandson and how his visit went with his son. He states he’s tired. I then say, “have you even had any sleep the last week?” OH MY GOD! Had I knew what was coming to me for asking that question I would’ve never uttered a word! He blows the fuck up! Begins to scream at me and clap his hands. I’m speechless, at first. In shock. We are driving on the 405 while he begins his crazy outburst. I finally tell him to calm the fuck down. I should’ve never said that either… more screaming. I get upset and tell him to shut the fuck up as I am now getting angry myself at the dumb shit he’s saying. I shut down. I don’t say another word. Slowly tears start to slide down my face as I use all my strength to stop my lip from quivering. We get to my house, walk upstairs and pretend that none of it just happened. The boys think the world of him and shouldn’t be subjected to our chaos.
We don’t speak. He falls asleep on the couch.
Next morning I go to talk to him about what had happened. The boys are sleeping. I thought perhaps he was drunk or high off something and doesn’t remember. He exclaims he remembers everything and then again starts to belittle me. I tell him I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to go on the trip. I suggest he and the boys make it a guy’s trip. He’s ok with that. Boys are now up and I’m getting them ready. I tell them I’m not going. Of course, they want to know why. But, I can’t throw their dad under the bus. I explain to them that my fear of being on the cruise is overwhelming. So, I again make myself appear weak to the two most important men in my life. They are extremely upset at me and don’t understand. I’ve never let fear stop me from doing anything and they know this. I force them to start getting ready. As they’re showering and getting ready, their dad and I start arguing again. I am so confused. I don’t know if I had angered him previously or what the hell is going on. I’m tired. I hate arguing or getting upset. I finally tell him that when they get back from the trip he is no longer welcome as a guest in my house. I’ll have all his stuff ready to go. (For almost a year he has been bringing his belonging to my house.) This makes him even more irate. More verbal abuse is thrown my way. During the argument he says he doesn’t even want to go on the fucking trip. GREAT!!! He says this right as my older son walks into the room. I look at my son and tell him I’m gonna go and not to worry, just continue getting ready. My ex immediately says “you’re too scared to go, isn’t that what you said?” I just smile at him with tears filled in both eyes.
I packed all of his stuff. I place it by the front door. All the while he is on his phone. Not lifting a fucking finger. I tell him he needs to be gone before we leave on our trip. He has an hour. He bitches and complains. I stand my ground.
And as childish as this next part may seem, I had to do it. Not for him. For me. I block him. From everything. Social media. My cell phone. My emails. As far as the kids are concerned, they have their own cell phones. He will contact them directly.
I now realize that I have continued to enable his behavior. By forgiving him every time this has happened, for lying to my children so he doesn’t appear to be the bad guy, for being honest with him but excusing his behavior. For staying in his life despite all the abuse.
He has had so much control over my life. I have put so much of my life on hold for the sake of trying to make him happy. I ignored the fact that he is unhappy with himself and therefore unhappy with life. Nothing I do or don’t do will make him happy. I say I’ve lost my best friend but I didn’t. I’m wrong. HE lost his best friend. He lost the person that takes care of him and his children. HE lost the person he can tell anything to. HE lost the person that would be there for him through anything. HE lost ME! And this breaks my heart… However, I sit in my cabin looking at my beautiful boys sleeping and know that this decision had to be made to ensure that they have the best mom that I can be…