Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A First Draft

The first draft of the letter I want to send to her relatives and several of her friends.

You might be wondering why I’m writing to all of you. It’s because you need to wake up. Some of you don’t know what was going on for months between STBX and I, but a few of you do, and those few of you should be ashamed of yourselves. Several of you know that over the course of our marriage I supported STBX in several strange circumstances, including when she thought her ex-boss was going to try to kill or hurt her. Some of you are not aware that there was a long period where STBX was threatening suicide. I continually tried to get her help – we went to marriage counselors, but she fired each one (the second after one session) as they started zeroing in on some of her behavior as being abnormal. She became violent towards me which was addressed in counseling. I spoke to a couple of you directly about her behavior. When she found out that we had spoken (she did not find out from me) she went on a tirade, and instead of being honest and voicing your concerns then, you pretended either to know nothing about it or claim that I had been trying to enlist you in a scheme against her. I don’t “know” what you said because I only have her word to go on as to your words. The fact remains that several of you knew she was threatening suicide and was being violent towards me, and more importantly, that she was having what I suspect to be paranoid delusions. If you believe that she was not having these delusions then you’d have to believe that her ex-husband XXXX had attacked her, that her ex-boyfriend was stalking her, that her ex-boss was out to hurt or kill her, that her mother was actively organizing the rest of you against her, that I was having multiple affairs with different women (including at least one of you), that I had murdered people and hidden their bodies in the past, that I owned handguns. That’s besides believing that I was planning to poison her, stab her, or otherwise kill her (as she claimed in counseling and to at least a couple of you) and that I was a physical danger to Little Guy. You’d also have to believe her claims that I was mentally ill. The only mental illness I suffered was depression from the ordeal (even before she did all of this) of dealing with her unhealthy behavior.

As all of you are undoubtedly aware, STBX had me served with divorce papers last year. They were accompanied by an ex parte restraining order, forcing me from the home with literally five minutes notice. The fact that I got five minutes is unusual. The Marshall who served me had no obligation to let me into the house to get a change of clothes or my shaving kit. He did not even have to let me back in to get my car keys. I found out a few minutes after that that our checking and savings accounts had been emptied. I had no idea what had been said about me until the next morning, and I only got a glimpse then. I was told by a police officer on the phone that he wanted to talk to me about how I had my “hands around STBX’s throat”. Since I had no idea what he was talking about I had nothing I could say to him.

I only found out later that the police did not believe her because she had no bruises, no defensive wounds of any kind – they knew she was lying, which is why I was never charged with abusing her. However, when that did not work she changed tactics, claiming that I was a physical danger to Little Guy. This is what disgusts me the most. I have heard from many of you how apparent it was that I loved Little Guy and how caring a parent I was. I don’t believe a single one of you actually believe I’ve ever been any kind of danger to him.

Many of you knew what I was going through before all of this happened. We talked about how STBX was acting, how I could stop her from thinking about suicide, how I could stop her from being violent. Some of you commented that I had unbelievable patience. I never complained when she lost her job or was unable to find another. I supported her decision to start her own business painting murals, short as that was. I did not let the constant allegations of infidelity or her vicious behavior get to me.

What I don’t understand is why none of you have done anything. Anything at all. I could have gone to prison for her accusations if she had not over exaggerated just a little bit. As it is I’ve had to fight for every moment I’ve spent with Little Guy. I’ve paid far more than I needed to in order to support him, only because I don’t want him to suffer. I gave her half of my pay for approximately 8 months, which is almost 3 times what the child support guidelines would have required I pay. I had to fight at the beginning of this all to get seven (yes, seven) hours a week with Little Guy. I’ve tried to get more. I’ve been met with bizarre accusations, implying that I would hurt him or kidnap him if I got more time with him. I’ve heard her say that she was suspicious that I was not asking for more time with Little Guy, forgetting that she fought me for the little visitation I received. When I asked for more she suddenly reverted to the “I’m afraid” defense, trying to prevent me from getting more time with him. As it was I had to ask for mediation because she refused to allow me more time. Is this fair to me? To Little Guy? The only time any of you took any kind of stand against her behavior is when I left Great Grandpa and Grandma’s 30th wedding anniversary because of her attacks. I had no intention of going back, but one of you called me and told me that you knew what she was putting me through but that it would hurt Great Grandpa and Grandma to not have Little Guy there. Going back there is my biggest regret – I should never have trusted any of you to do anything after that. I would not have been put through this ordeal.

At what point are you going to take some kind of stand to get her help? I’m not asking you to commit her, just find a way to get her to a doctor and get treated. If she is schizophrenic (she’s 13 times more likely than a person without a schizophrenic parent) then with treatment she can almost certainly lead a normal life. I’m not trying to change the custody arrangement – though if she gets worse instead of getting help I’ll have no choice. I don’t want you to believe me – go and do the research yourself. Go talk to some professionals with experience in schizophrenia. One thing they’ll tell you is that a hallmark characteristic of schizophrenia is a “lack of insight”, meaning that a schizophrenic will be literally unable to see that there’s anything abnormal about them.

I really don’t care if I hear from any of you or not. I feel betrayed that so many of you I considered family would so easily abandon me, not caring that I could have been imprisoned for things I did not do. Not caring what effect that would have on Little Guy or my relationship with him. Not caring how hard this has been on me or Little Guy or my family. Do you think the problem will go away if you ignore it long enough? Even a small bit of research on your part should remove that idea.

Despite all of this, I wish you all well.