After the graduation (last post) I was so proud that things went off without a hitch, meaning he didn’t storm off, he didn’t throw a tantrum and he didn’t get into a physical altercation. It was still clear that he was trying to assert power in many instances, but I had prepared myself for this and I was not going to let it interfere with my son’s day. When it was over, it was a huge relief and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see him again for awhile. I was so wrong.
The next day after chaperoning the grad party and then cleaning up, I was running on about 3-4 hours of sleep and I could feel that I was emotionally drained. We decided to head down to my favorite place and camp for the night just to relax and unwind. A few hours later, I received a warning that my ex was going to be at the same place and would only be a few hundred yards away from me. Panic set in. I calmed myself, but I knew that my youngest daughter was feeling the same way that I was. I told the girls that their father was going to be arriving soon, and my youngest started to vibrate and asked why. I asked if she thought she could handle it and would be ok, or did she want to leave? She sat and said, I’ll be ok but then proceeded to lock herself in the camper with her older sister and a friend. It was heartbreaking to watch. Her friends and sisters rallied around her, and it was only an hour or so and she was feeling that she would be ok if she ran into him and they went off and played. I shut the door to the camper after they left, and I fell apart. I can be strong for her. I can help her through situations because it takes away from my own fears and thoughts, but the second I didn’t have to be strong I fell apart.
My chest was tight, I was panicking. It was about 11 months ago when I was in the same place, he trapped me in my camper. Blocked my exit and yelled and screamed at me for hours. Immediately, I was back to that day. Scared, not sure if this was the time that he would become physically violent. Scared that his anger would be the end of me. It felt scarier this time, as I know much more now about his moods and how they factor into predictors of violence. Now I know that many of his behaviors are a huge warning sign that physical violence is very possible. If something agitated him, would we be safe? That day, 11 months ago, I backed down after awhile. I told him what he wanted to hear, I played into it just to get out. But at that point, I knew what he wanted. These days I am not sure I can predict his behavior as it has been a bit off lately in general. Not to mention, I know I won’t say what he needs to hear, I am not that person anymore that would fuel his rage if that same fight were to happen again.
The thoughts in my head were going crazy, why can’t he just leave me in peace? I was so emotionally exhausted that I couldn’t think straight, I was debating where I could move that he would finally leave me alone. How far would I have to go? Do I sell this camper and buy some secluded cabin somewhere so we can enjoy summers where he can’t find me? My thoughts were racing, and I began to cry. I have never been so thankful to have my mom there, she is strong as a rock and tried to calm me down. She was there for me 11 months ago, she witnessed some of the fight, she witnessed what it did to me and she witnessed the swing in moods and the unpredictability. And then this past weekend, she has seen what it has done to my girls, how they speak about about their dad, their fears and now she saw again me, scared and in tears wanting it all to be over…. still.
Trauma is an interesting thing, your fight or flight response is on crack. You are not rational. In your head, all of the things that have happened in the past are all flashing as potential outcomes of what is before you, even though nothing has actually happened. You don’t know if you should run, or hide and you can’t think rationally. It is the scariest thing to experience. You don’t even know what is real and what isn’t. It is like you are under attack from all angles, but not even sure what is attacking you. You just want to do whatever it takes to make it stop.
I can’t be sure as to the reason for the visit, but I call BS if he would claim it would be to see friends. He never called or texted his kids if he was wanting to see them, so why show up when we have just talked about how it upsets your daughters when they are not expecting him? Why this location? I can bet he didn’t talk, I bet he would have sat there quietly and I can put money on the awkwardness could have been cut with a knife. Why did it need to be so close to where I was?
Over the past year, all I know is that one thing is for sure, he often aims to do things that will put fear into me, show his dominance and intimidation. I think that was the exact reason for why he showed up at the time and place he did. I have noticed when he talks to me, his daughters, FB posts, snaps or when I saw him at the grad, his ego is large right now. In the past it has been delusion, his world and the good things in it, don’t often exist or they are not how anyone else would view it, if that makes sense at all. His perception is often not the actual reality. That inflated ego has usually been a cover for something not going as he had planned in his life. In the past, this has been when he as been the most dangerous and unpredictable. In just this past weekend, we had 2 instances where he showed up where he shouldn’t have been, just to make his presence known. Which is odd considering we haven’t seen him in 6 months. This makes me fearful in so many ways, but the main one is that I just don’t see this ending anytime soon. I worry that if his relationship ends with his girlfriend, that events like this weekend will become my life. There was stalking in the past, used every excuse in the book to justify where he was where he was. This weekend, it felt the same as before when I believed he was stalking me.
Right now, all I know is that me and my daughters were all upset by his random appearances this week. I pray to god that this won’t become our lives once again. Only time will tell.