Still in the 90 day waiting period for D (6/1 lets get a move on!).
Still preggers and due 6/5 (baby hang on until the school year is over 6/6!).
Getting BETTER and better at navigating breaking up with NPDstbX but still in the same house (what lessons in strength!).
One strategy has been the "grey rock" strategy. Its been essential in getting through the end of my college p/t job, my grad school semester, and maintaining my f/t employment and sanity with a busy 11 yo boy.
But yesterday I blew it. Used to be that would send me into a worrying, crazy, emotional, scared, mess. Not this time.
Last night NPDstbX is supposed to be helping ds with one part of a major school project while I am helping him with another part. X helps about halfway then ups and stops, begins changing clothes, and readying to leave. He didn't tell ds he had a time limit/needed to leave. Ds starts to stress. Says "what are you doing? are you done helping? I didn't get this, this, and this that I need to make the next part" (craft supplies that are ds's but that X controls like a drug cabinet). X won't answer him. I know I shouldn't have but I butted in. I asked what he was doing. No answer. I asked where he was going (thinking maybe we were out of something ds needed and he's running to store which might calm ds if he just said so). He says "none of your F'in business" (last time he said that to me I filed D papers because the none of my business questionable activities of his on the internet scared me for how it might be tied to me.)
Then he walked out. Ds began to have a mini-meltdown (he's been so sensitive through all this but strong at the same time).
After I calmed ds down and got him back on track I went to see if I could find the supplies he needed. I could not. We finished the parts of the project we could and I sent him to bed. I thought whenever X got back I'd go out and buy the rest and help ds either this morning or this evening.
The more I thought about it the more angry I became.
So I went to the only computer in the house that X can still use (all the rest pw protected by ds and I), I'm the admin, and I changed all the passwords for my, ds, and X's user accounts. Then I left a note on the computer that said "When ds is a priority for you I will worry about your net access being a priority for me". Then I went to bed.
I shouldn't have. I know it now. I blew the great effects of my grey rock strategy. I blew a peaceful next few weeks- just walking on egg shells getting by until school is over and baby comes and I leave to go stay with family.
First it was yelling and ranting about what does his net access have to do with not helping with ds's school project. (First let me say he's never had this reaction to ANYthing that has happened in the last 2 years since Dday). I said "not much really except your help and this project were very necessary and important to ds and you couldn't respect that, when I thought what might be THAT for you, I thought net, so there ya go". He started threatening then "You leave me no choice...." the vague open-ended OMG what is he planning nothing threat I've learned is either total hot air or usually nothing I can't handle. Then later it turned into "Don't LOOK at me! Don't TALK to me except via email...and oh, I can't get that so don't bother at all!" (felt like a ds tantrum from when he was 5). I said "great! Isn't that what I've been asking for since D-filing 3/1 when you spent 2 months being so mean to me? Good night!". Put my ear buds in and kicked back in bed watching my prime instant video tv show.
Went all this morning following his instructions for not looking at him or speaking. Not even the usual little "are you getting ds breakfast or should I", "are you picking ds up after school for swim lessons or should I rearrange my workday"? Just let it all go and DID it all and left him out. DS loved it. It was one of most peaceful mornings all school year.
Getting ready to leave for work and he just appears, ready to drive me (we've only got 1 car - mine) so he can get ds and take him to swim and then get me from work. I say "where is the spare house key". He starts to fight. I simply say "not fighting, you want the key ring with the car key and house key give me the other house key. He makes SUCH a major production I wonder wth and almost get the giggles. I eventually get the key with much mumbling I can't hear.
Normally I'd be sitting here at work freaking out wondering IF X would be grabbing ds and running with him today (happened long ago when he was a baby that he TRIED, didn't succeed thanks to my friends being ds's daycare teacher), wondering IF X would bother to pick me up after work or if my pregger big butt would be walking 8 miles home, wondering IF I will be able to get in the house later tonight (noticed new deadbolts on the doors the other day). But you know what? I'm feeling fearless! All my efforts at being LESS of a worrier - not very productive. Just anti-me I guess.
Know what makes me fearless now?
I'm out of isolation. Since sharing openly what I've been through with X, friends I didn't even know I had are there for me, family is there for me in ways I would never have dreamed. I've found resources to counter almost any worry (cabs and ride offers from friends when worried about him ditching me kind of things).
When you stop living in the darkness of hell you begin to see all the light that is there, you learn you don't have to be afraid of the dark, just flip a switch.
If I would have known how easy this was so long ago would I have fought to "work on this" all alone for so long? Why did I let X brainwash me into believing I was alone and stuck?
Am I lucky to have family that will come pack and move me and give me a place to stay at a moments notice? Yes. Do I HAVE to have that to be less scared? No. There are friends from ds's after school program - X told them a bunch of shite I didn't even know and then THEY all turned around on him and offered ME help and I didn't even know what was going on. The baseball mom's he tried to bs - guess who had lots of hugs and offers of help for me when I finally saw them all again at the first game (missing practices when working my 2nd job). People watching out for rental houses for me, people offering to help with ds (afterschool peeps offering help with the baby even over summer), people asking me every day or every time they see me if I need anything...its amazing.
There is no pity, only genuine concern and goodness. There is no gossip and weird small town drama junk, only friendliness and helpfulness. X has no clue how wrong he is about people and he has no understanding of how his attempts at manipulating people have backfired.
It is really nice to see.
So of course I had to share.
Don't be ashamed, don't be afraid, share and hope for the best and you might be surprised. Then you might get to experience what it means to be fearless and feel strong, knowing how much you can handle whatever comes and knowing even that you can offer so much to someone else too, just because of what you've been through.