Baby Daddy generates a lot of conflicting emotions in me. It would be simpler for me if I thought he was just a bastard. But I truly believe he is ill. I still care about him deeply, despite past hurts. He has given me one of this life’s greatest gifts. I feel an obligation to him for Daughter Number Two’s sake. Weeks like this just break my heart.
I had anticipated hiccups. School holidays have thrown the routine of contact visits for Daughter Number Two out a bit, with the venue being unavailable this week. Also visits become more complicated because I have Sons One and Two home from school.
At 7.50am on Tuesday there was a knock at my door. Although I have made it clear, verbally and in writing, that I am not comfortable having him at my home anymore Baby Daddy was on my doorstep. He had realised that a doctor’s appointment conflicted with the time we had arranged to meet for a visit. Baby Daddy’s mobile had been temporarily disconnected so he couldn’t call or text me from it. He had left me a message online which I had received, but which he had no guarantee I would see. Baby Daddy had been worrying about me not knowing why he hadn’t shown up and about Daughter Number Two being disappointed that he wasn’t there.
When he is in this head space it is almost like he is on fast forward. His anxiety levels go through the roof , he speech is fast, thoughts and emotions are exaggerated, his sleep is chaotic and minimal, he is smoking even though he is supposed to have given up, reactions are over the top and out of proportion and he can’t seem to slow his thought processes enough to grasp simple solutions to problems. Like walking to a public phone and calling me to make new arrangements for a visit, instead of landing on the doorstep after catching an extremely early bus at an ungodly time of the morning and making the half hour trip over here in person.
Baby Daddy seems to have no idea how inappropriate his behaviours are either. Later on in the morning we were in a park in town. I’d arranged for him to take Daughter Number Two to a show but Son Number Two and I were waiting with them until the show started. We came up to a bench and I said to Daughter Number Two ‘We can’t sit on it because it is wet’ . Baby Daddy said ‘Don’t worry. We can use Son Number Two to dry it off!’. I thought he was just making a joke in poor taste but as I turned around I saw him grab Son Number Two by both upper arms and wipe him along the seat. I yelled, as did Son Number Two but the smile never left Baby Daddy’s face. Despite my obvious anger and Son Number Two’s discomfort Baby Daddy then proceeded to make ‘jokes’ to Son Number Two that he had wet his pants.
A friend asked if it was possible to talk to him calmly and rationally. While he is in this state it is not. I mean, I can be calm and rational but I run the risk of enraging him, like I said above his reactions and emotions are heightened, and he doesn’t really hear me. And he really has no clue, no grasp of the concept that turning up on your ex-wife’s doorstep early in the morning, when she has specifically asked you not to go there, is wildly inappropriate. Or that manhandling a child and causing him discomfort, followed by belittling and humiliating him, is just not on and not funny. When I have tried to discuss things with him before I have been told it is all in my head. That I am imagining things. That I am exaggerating things. I can almost hear him protesting that he was only joking around, he was only playing with Son Number Two. That he didn’t want to worry or inconvenience me, or disappoint Daughter Number Two by not being at the appointed place and time.
Throughout our marriage I begged him to let me come with him to a doctor’s appointment, to share with the doctor my observations. Because how can you get help for a problem that you cannot see yourself is there? But Baby Daddy always refused. Which is the part that breaks my heart. Because I want to believe that this is not the person he wants to be but part of me thinks it must be, because no matter what I said or did it was always more important to save face than to accept he needed help. Now we are no longer together it is too easy for Baby Daddy to believe that I don’t really care about him, that I do not have his welfare at heart. He can write me off as a vindictive ex-wife just trying to bring him down. But I don’t have to try to bring him down because what goes up, up, up just as surely goes down, down, down and when this full on mood ends he will crash and burn in usual spectacular fashion. Because that is what happens. That is the pattern. And all I can do is watch.