Monday, August 29, 2005

Another Round of Paranoia

I had a fantastic day with my son yesterday. It started out interesting, however. I was strapping him into his car seat and the STBX decided to start an interrogation. She does that every so often, and I typically just give noncommittal answers and get out of there as soon as I can, mainly because there can be no right answers. Usually when she does this she’s not trying to get information, she’s got something she wants to accuse me of and she’s trying to give herself an excuse.

It started with questions about where I was going to take him. I told her that I hadn’t decided yet, but that we would probably start at the mall. She then asked me where in the mall I was going to take him. While she asked this she had her arms crossed and she was clearly in “suspicious” mode. I told her I didn’t know again, and she then said “Are you taking him to your house?” I told her no, I wasn’t taking him to my house since I don’t want to spend the majority of my time with him in the car driving. She doesn’t believe me and says “He’s been telling me that you’ve been taking him to your house”.

For those of you who might not have read all the archives, the STBX has long suspected that I was going to try to kidnap our son, especially if I get more visitation time or take him to my house. Several months ago she asked me why I had never told her I had taken him to a local pizza place. I told her it was because I’d never taken him there. Personally, I can’t stand the place and never go there. She claimed that he told her that I took him there to eat. Since I don’t normally inform her of the places he and I eat I don’t know why this one was so important to her.

So now I’m getting accusations based on things my two and a half year old son is saying. Since there is no problem even if I did take him to my house I’m not too worried about it, it’s more annoying than anything else. It’s my opinion that my son thinks that my brother’s house is my house, and is probably what he is referring to, assuming that he’s talking about any real place at all.

As funny as this is, it’s not the end of the story.

As I drove away, the STBX was watching (as she usually does) from inside the screen door so she and our son could wave goodbye to each other. Nearly at the same instant that I pulled out onto the road my son starts telling me that he wants a car. I look back and he’s dropped the car he had and has nothing to keep him occupied. So I decide that I’ll pull over and give him a car before I get onto the highway. I pulled into a parking lot and took care of it, then got onto the highway.

A few minutes later I notice something up ahead. It’s the STBX in her car. At first I wonder how in the world she managed to get in front of me, then I remember stopping to give my son the car. For her to have gotten in front of me after that short delay, however, would mean that she would have had to hop into her car almost the second I left the parking lot of the condo. I momentarily wonder if it’s possibly somebody else with a similar car, but on closer inspection, it’s definitely her. Her car is missing the front hubcap and has a really bad temporary tint job on the back driver-side window. I don’t remember her plate number, so I take a look at it and decide to do a final check later on (it turned out that it was indeed her).

The next thing I see is that she’s getting off the exit for the mall, but not the one I’m going to. I realize that she’s going to the mall to see if I’m really going there. She certainly wouldn’t go to the mall dressed as she was when I left and there was no way she had time to change.

As I drove by the exit I laugh as I imagine her driving around the parking lots searching for my car and not finding it. I was actually expecting a call making all kinds of accusations later on, but it never came. The crueler side of me imagined her reaction if I asked her (with exaggerated nonchalance, of course) if our son had a passport.

As much as I joke about it, this whole thing does worry me a little bit. Many schizophrenics experience cycles of improvement and decline. I’m hoping this doesn’t mean that she’s entering a declining part of that cycle.

Addendum: I never mentioned what happened when I dropped him off. She immediately started asking our son where we had gone and what he'd done. He told her we had ice cream for lunch to which I got an angry glance. I asked him if he'd had chicken nuggets for lunch and then he remembered. Since it was raining she didn't really get the chance to ask me too much, so I was saved from an interrogation, but I'm sure I haven't heard the last of this.