I sincerely hope this is the last post about all that happened during the four nights and five days Jerry was home. I’m going to do my best. Moving on . . .
Basically, every day, multiple times a day, Jerry would look as though he was upset and angry over one thing or another. Whenever I wanted to try to get him to talk to me about it, he would not look at me or speak to me OR he would snap and raise his voice in agitated frustration. Luna was constantly telling him to, “calm down, daddy, calm down,” which only agitated him further. Things culminated and came to a head on Monday, the day he was scheduled to leave. He had continued to create self-fulfilling predictions of anger and problems. He would make if/then statements that would identify what he didn’t want to have happen and state how he would negatively respond. Example: If things didn’t get straightened out regarding equipment on his truck, then he would be angry, fed up, and done and he would pack his stuff, take it off the truck and quit. If this person continued a specific behavior or made a choice other than what he wanted them to make, then he was going to have a bad reaction. It finally culminated after a series of delays and frustrations in getting last minute things taken care of in preparation for him to get back on the truck and go back on the road.
LaLa had stated a couple of days before that she was going to need me to help her get to storage during the day on Monday, so she could get moved out of our space in into the space her friends would have ready for her by then. I had been under the impression Jerry was going to be going back onto the truck at 7 am on Monday, so I was prepared to take Luna to school and then go help LaLa. When I started to try to explain that to Jerry, he went off on how Luna wasn’t going to go to school the last day he was home and that if the company didn’t take care certain things he wasn’t getting back on the truck. So, I never got a chance to let LaLa know I wasn’t going to be available. Partially because she did her best to make herself scarce in order to avoid being around all the negativity and angry feelings. Which upset him more because he interpreted it as her avoiding dealing with her clutter.
The morning of his departure, we were getting ready to take care of the final errand running, using his mom’s car. I realized that I was going to wind up trying to deal with Luna and the car seat on public transportation or have to leave the car seat with his mom, since she’d loaned out the one we kept over at her place. I said something to him about it and he basically said that LaLa could go with us and ride the busses back to help me. Zero ability to consider that a) she had other plans and b) she was completely asleep and not able to really respond when she was woken up and “asked” (read: TOLD) she needed to do this. By the time we had dealt with the car almost breaking down and other complications, we were on our way back to pick her up and he was spoiling for a fight and stated that if she wasn’t ready to go he was going to be angry and he would be done with her.
Of course she wasn’t awake and wasn’t ready.
There wound up being a verbal battle royale where they each went back and forth, after he instigated it, yelling and getting in each others’ faces, pushing the envelope of personal space boundaries. Never actually touching, but with such mutually menacing body language that I was scared someone was going to make one wrong step, go off balance and then one or both would wind up hurt. Neighbors came out of their apartments. Luna was still in the car and so I had to stay down in the parking lot, watching two of the most important people in my life engage in mutual destruction. It was heartbreaking and terrifying to watch and frankly I was completely angry with both of them, but mostly him for creating the situation and instigating the problem. She reacted badly, but she was on the defensive. How is it possible for him to hold her accountable to a standard he isn’t able to meet?
When he finally walked away and came down to the car, I went upstairs to “use the bathroom.” But it was so I could touch base with LaLa. She was very upset and agitated. Angry with me because it’s my fault Jerry is a factor in our lives. I did the best I could to validate her feelings and make sure she was going to be ok. I gave her the key to storage so she could still get her things without having to be dependent on waiting for me.
Once that was over and he had taken some of her things and tossed them out on our balcony patio and spitefully grabbed the laptop out of sheer pettiness so she wouldn’t have access to it, we were finally on our way out to his mom’s to return her car and for him to get on the truck. He wanted to argue with me and go through his internal script of how I always take my kids’ side over his, and how now he can’t trust me not to try to take his daughter away from him, and on, and on, and on. I did my best to deflect and de-escalate the situation. In the meantime, Luna has gone from telling her daddy to calm down to telling him to stop treating her mommy that way. So then he decided that I’d been brainwashing her.
Several hours later, Jerry had gotten the equipment issues with his truck resolved and a load to pick up.
Luna and I got home and LaLa had removed almost all of her things and left the storage key on the kitchen counter.
There have been several text conversations with Jerry where we rehashed some of what happened and he admitted how wrong he’d been and that he realizes he may have irreparably damaged his relationship with LaLa. And back and forth like a yo yo from accepting responsibility to shifting blame. Him finding new reasons to feel ostracized and angry at my adult kids and him trying to dictate how I interact with them in regards to Luna. Me making it clear in calm and constructive ways that I’m going to choose when and how to interact with them and let them interact with Luna. Finding the balance in showing him that I’m not going to abandon either him or them. Finding ways to validate his feelings without leading him to believe I’m ok with how he chose to express those feelings.
LaLa isn’t really interacting with me. She did initiate contact today because she wants me to give her bus fare tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. I have sacrificed my relationships with my two oldest children in order to salvage the relationship with Jerry and work for Luna to be able to grow up in relationship with him. Jerry didn’t do this, I did. So, I have to evaluate and decide how I’m going to make the changes in myself, so that eventually they will feel “safe” to be around me for more than brief periods of time. I don’t expect that to be easy or happen quickly, especially since I haven’t and am not going to give up on the relationship with Jerry. So, the path I’m choosing is much more difficult than most believe it should be. Remove Jerry from the equation and from our lives and problems are solved. No, remove Jerry from the equation and trade one set of problems for a whole different set, especially for Luna.