Friday, May 15, 2015

Our Story (9): Stepping Into The Lion's Den

“The Demand Man is highly entitled. He expects his partner's life to revolve around meeting his needs and is angry and blaming
if anything gets in the way. He becomes enraged if he isn't catered to or if he is inconvenienced in even a minor way.”
- Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -

I've divided this week’s ‘Our Story’ post into two sections because it is quite long. I tried to condense it, but because it’s such an essential incident, I found it next to impossible to do so. Part one is uploaded today; part two will be up this evening or sometime tomorrow or Sunday.
(update: After doing some more writing, I'm dividing it into three posts. The story is much longer than I anticipated.)

(continuing from last time...)

So my ex and I finally separated (the divorce would come later) but because we had very young children it was impossible to disengage from him completely. We were going to be co-parenting for a very long time. And I was okay with that. What I wasn't okay with was that he continued to have a high sense of entitlement, expecting me to carry on the practice of meeting his needs. There were many such moments, but I’m going to share a very crucial one.

For a few months after we split up, my ex continued to drive a car registered and insured under my name. Without a license. The monthly insurance bill was sent to me and when my ex came to pick up the kids, he’d hand me a cheque to reimburse me. A week later. Two weeks later. After a month. Whenever he cared to. I continuously requested that he find someone else to register the car to and remove my name from it. He never bothered.
Despite some of the tough times,
my single mom years were wonderful.

In addition to the obvious legal problems for me with this setup, there was the huge financial burden. Instead of returning to the tourism industry, which I had experience in, I decided to change careers for better job prospects. So I applied for a student loan and returned to school that September to study computer programming. This would prove to be a great decision but in the meantime my financial situation was difficult. Therefore, that monthly insurance bill caused me a lot of stress and anxiety.

Some of you may be asking why I didn't just repossess the car or cancel the registration and insurance or be more firm about this. For those of you who have never interacted with an individual like my ex, you have no idea what it’s like to go up against someone like him. Someone who becomes enraged if he isn't catered to. Someone who will explode if he is inconvenienced in any way. Someone who I once witnessed tear an entire wooden door into small pieces with his bare hands during one of his fury-laden episodes. If you decide to challenge such a person, get ready for the intense battle that will ensue. Be prepared for the ugliness that will follow. And it will get very ugly. Very quickly.

But that autumn when the registration for the car was coming up in addition to yet another insurance invoice, I couldn't take anymore. I threw caution to the wind and decided to step into the lion’s den. I called my ex and told him that I’d had enough. That I was tired of paying these bills. That I was fed of up waiting to be reimbursed. That I was giving him till the end of the month to find someone else to register the car to. Which I kept asking for and he kept ignoring. And that if he didn't, I was canceling the insurance and the registration. I was pulling the plug on this convoluted arrangement and there was no room for negotiation. None.

Then I hung up.

I knew that he wasn't going to take this lightly. That he was going to be furious and annoyed and frustrated. I knew that he wasn't going to simply get someone else to accommodate him and quietly change ownership of the car. And I knew that he would confront me the next time he came to get the kids. With anger. Resentment. Hatefulness. Disgust. And remind me yet again of everything that was wrong with me and how I pushed his buttons and how I was the reason our relationship failed and how no one would ever want me.

Yes, I knew how he was and I expected a tornado to inevitably arrive. But what I didn't expect is what happened that evening. Although, looking back now, I should have.

To be continued... (click here)

37 comments:

  1. oh shoot, can't wait to hear the next installment.

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    1. And it's now into three pieces. This story was a long one. I had so much trouble trying to condense it.

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  2. Thank God you got out, Martha! That image of him furiously ripping a door apart with his hands is a powerful image! I so get why you hesitated to engage. My ex pulled a gun on me. Fortunately I got out in time too. I can't wait to read the next part. Happy Friday!

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    1. Forgot to say, what a darling photo of your beautiful (and cute) daughters!

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    2. Oh my gosh, Louise, that is horrible! Thank goodness you are okay. It is dangerous to engage with these types of people. You never know if they're ever going to snap with their volatile tempers.

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  3. Lovely photo, and this part of your story was as intriguing as the previous ones.

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    1. The whole relationship was a series of intense and drawn out moments, which is why the story reads like this.

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  4. I'm so glad for you that you got away from him. What an awful human being. Often, divorce makes me sad. I don't think it's wrong, I just think it's sad. Clearly in your situation, it was the only thing to do. For your mental health and well being, and that of your children. What an awful, spiteful human being. And what an understatement...

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    1. Divorce makes me sad, too, but sometimes its necessary. And I'm grateful for it! My ex and I do not fit well together, at all. I'm happy all this is in the past.

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  5. I kinda dread reading part 2 of this.

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    1. It's not as horrible as I make it sound; just a little intense.

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  6. Another well-written though I'm with Debra ... part two ...

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    1. No need to dread it. It could have gone badly but it turned out okay.

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    2. It's that, to be continued ....

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    3. Story of my life at the time...always to be continued :)

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  7. I have been reading through your posts and am up to date now on your story. I am enjoying your writing style even if your story is a little painful. Waiting for part 2

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    1. It's a long time ago and the wounds have healed. As I write, I find it so hard to believe that this part of my life actually existed. It seems like a different lifetime. Or someone else living it.

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  8. This is turning into a very well-written script, Martha! Not at all making light of what you went through but I am realizing how far you have come along considering the abuse you withstood and cathartic this must be to get out in to the open!

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    1. Not to worry, Jim. I do not take offense at the comments my blogging pals leave. I enjoy what they have to say. Yes, I have come a very long way since then. Once you are out of a situation like that, and if you're eager to move forward, changes happen very quickly. And eventually it all becomes crystal clear.

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  9. Your daughters look happy. You must have been a good mother in spite of the many challenges you had to face. I am glad you finally decided to lay down the law about the registration/insurance regardless of the unpleasantness you knew you with which you knew you would have to deal.

    It is very encouraging to see how you are today a strong and happy woman even after going through so much. I have a friend not much older than myself who is already separated/getting a divorce (and with good reason). She's had some tough times, but I hope and pray she'll make it through to find happiness in life.

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    1. I'm sorry that your friend has gone and most likely is still going through tough times. She will definitely find happiness if she takes the time to heal and let go of the past. There are better days ahead.

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  10. what a cliff hanger. I'm also dreading what comes next!

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    1. My whole life during that period was a cliff hanger! :)

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  11. This was irrational behaviour and irrational behaviour is impossible to deal with although we don't know it at the time.

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    1. Yes, definitely irrational behaviour. You cannot argue anything with someone like this. They are beyond that.

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  12. oh you left us with another cliff hanger. I think you were wise to get out of the situation with the car, but I'm thinking it all didn't go well

    betty

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    1. No, it didn't go well. But it could have gone much worse.

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  13. ~~~ leaving us hanging like that!!

    You should write a book ~~ seriously ~~ this might just be the answer (monetary, heck why not) and he couldn't do anything about!

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    1. I've often thought of that, Ron, but it would open a whole can of worms and take away my privacy, which I value. Sometimes it's best to let things go. I am writing a memoir for my daughters to inherit. And I will eventually volunteer my time to shelters and other areas that will help women who face/have faced similar situations.

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  14. I'm curious of how this story is going to end.

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    1. Not well. But it could have been much MUCH worse.

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  15. Been there, you know, i know what it's like to have an extremely extroverted whom everyone loves, and would never believe, that he could throw a fit kick you, break an antique mirror that I love so much and still I didn't call the cops. But I left after 5 years, just being in the same room with him, I felt all of his negativity to the point of despair. I understand you one hundred percent.

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    1. I know you understand. Anyone who has had a relationship with this type of person understands completely how this all works.

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  16. I've been enjoying your blog lately and decided to go deep this morning. In reading I'm finding our first husbands were much alike. I totally understand where your coming from. I had to get protection orders after the divorce and 26 years later they are still active. Thank you for sharing. Our daughters need to know these stories to help them with their relationships. Bless you and your strength and courage to share.

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    1. That sounds awful, Melinda! I'm sorry you had to go through all that. And continue to do so. Thank you for reading my story. And for your lovely comments. I will click on your name and see if you've got a blog!

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