Yeah right. But you know, the Mental Health Crisis Team spoke with him 'over the phone' and said yeah - doesn't seem like he's about to kill himself or anyone else.... Except that's what they said last time and within the hour the shit hit the fan...
The man is Bi-Polar and has ticked all the boxes of another Manic Episode. OK he's probably not in an Acute Manic Episode yet, but he is intelligent and cunning enough to "present well" as his first psychiatrist told me (during his apology for releasing him form the psych unit).
So What? They have a chat with him and it's a case of: just wait until he's running on all fours through the streets naked chasing cars and biting tires?
Scary week this week.
He's not been getting his own way and like a crazed toddler he's been throwing the mother of all tantrums escalating his hostility and aggression towards me.
As was the case last time he's all about Lawyers and firing off dozens of threatening emails and text messages each day using big words and legal sounding vernacular.
He likes writing; he can seem controlled after some editing; except there are snippets of deleted words and sentences here and there. But for the most part they read like something resembling a normal human being. Something not entirely unlike a rational sane person, but just falling short of the mark.
I followed Pollyanna's advice, in discouraging any ideas he might have about showing up, and sent him the following email:
"You seem to have misunderstood; I did not say to you ‘no access to Lily' just that under the circumstances we take a pause on overnight care.
I’m disappointed that you’re taking a combative attitude and you still appear to be favoring intimidation in your dealings with me. But that being the case, if you come to the house unannounced and give me cause to feel unsafe I will have to call the police.
I was very happy to hear you started the ball rolling with a Parenting Mediator with a view to working on a parenting plan. I’m told it’s a good process-lets trust that, work through it together and try to turn down the heat on any further discussions."
He has countered that with a lot of 'noise' and a grab bag of threats and ultimatums and deadlines but this one's a pearl:
"Likewise if you come unannounced like you did last Sunday, I will ask you to leave immediately and call the police if you don't."
Well that's fine Mister Hyde because Easter's over so it's highly unlikely I'll need to drive Lily over to drop off any more Easter eggs.
Actually that would make a great comedy sketch: call to 911: "Send round a squad car right away! There are two intruders on my property threatening me with a giant chocolate football and what looks like an egg carton but could be concealing a weapon!"
God I have to laugh sometimes; if I didn't I'd go mad myself.
So he cut off child and spousal support agreed to with the lawyer. Then when that didn't get a reaction, he changed what's left of his mind and tried another tactic; backing down and feigning conciliation. He wanted Lily all weekend but would let her sleep at home picking her up first thing.
Lily said no.
"Lily has asked to stay with me this weekend, she told me she doesn't want to go to your flat. I asked her if she wouldn't just like a visit with you ; to go somewhere nice and she hugged me and said "I want to stay with you mummy, please."
The reason I wanted you to have a session with [her therapist] which you seemed to think was my avoiding a parenting planning session, was actually about Lily's most recent sessions with her. Lily gave her permission to tell me what they'd discussed and I'm probably breaking some sort of protocol (her trust at least) passing this on without her permission, but I don't think you realise that your temper is damaging your relationship with Lily.
Lily has apparently been problem solving with her therapist around your 'getting so mad so quick'. Lily told her she wants to ask family members like Nana or Auntie Kate for advice on how she should talk to you "so you will listen to her and not get so mad and shouty".
(I have to say I'm struggling with that myself). She also told the therapist you both "had a fight and her hand got hurt." When her therapist asked her about it, Lily said she didn't want to talk about it, which as the therapist commented, was unusual for Lily.
So all things considered, I have to let her choose where she feels safest and most comfortable.
If you do come to Karate this morning, would you please bring Bobo Bunny and the tiger you bought her the other week, that will definitely earn you points. And please keep it light with her; without reproaches, She's a very perceptive little thing and she's quite fragile at the moment.
As to your cutting our funding then changing your mind so as not to impact her.. well it already has. Anything you throw at me to pile on the stress and hurt affects her too, not only does she see my initial emotional reaction,it exhausts me and it takes time away from her as I field emails, calls to the Financial Distress team at the bank, lawyers etc. At the moment she needs a lot of reassurance and full engagement - she needs me to be really present and in the moment with her, not checking my phone constantly responding to email alerts. We both need a breather from all of that.
As to your only having this weekend, You told me you were going to push back your flights so you weren't gone for the school holidays?? If that's not the case and you are leaving next weekend, would you please drop off the zoo passes so we can use them over the school holidays.
PS who will feed her fish while you're gone?
He gave no response but he came and he brought Bobo bunny and tiger.
After her Karate class, her body language with him and reluctance to even give him a hug was awful to the point I felt quite depressed. She literally shrank away from him. I waited while he walked her to his car (to give her something he said he'd bought her), she ran back to me.
So feeling awful for both of them, this wonderful bond they had that nowseems lost, I opened another discussion with her about having time with him.
I suggested a 'soft option' that maybe we could meet him in a park and they both could play football while I stayed close by with the dog.
She said no in fact she hugged me and pleaded: "Pleeease mummy I want to stay with you."
To cut along story short:
"she told me you got a gold football so I am trying to talk her into playing football with you in a park somewhere tomorrow"
"[Using my full name which he's never uttered once in16 years],
As I told you many times before, I love my daughter more than anyone in the world. I also know she loves me and needs her dad. I want to spend as much time with her as I possibly can so she can have her dad by her side as she grows up. So yes I want to see her this weekend as I made it clear several times over the past few days. Let me know the time I can pick her up tomorrow.
This is ironically the first time he's mentioned the word 'love'. Up until now he could have been ranting about me depriving him of his golf clubs. And still it falls short of sounding genuinely heartfelt. Where's the "I miss her? I need to be with her. She's funny and she makes me smile."
And this constant using of my full name is weird - we used to joke that the only time anyone ever used it was my dad when I was a kid and I was in trouble! Which wasn't often either!
Anyway back to the texts:
Anyway I'm working on it & it makes me incredibly sad when she seems disengaged from you & she says no to my suggestions of her spending time with you. I never wanted that for either of you. But you must be patient with her, especially when she gets difficult- that is how trust is built. But I can't force her and I'm still working on it"
"What I can do is tell you we'll be at the lagoon walking the dog in about 30-40 minutes, if you showed up with an ice cream it couldn't hurt....We'll be in the water near the park where the Easter hunts were held."
"[still trying to wind me on the name]
As per my previous text, let me know the time I can pick up Lily tomorrow."
"Can u stop being pigheaded - I'm trying to help you here. What are u intending : dragging her from the house screaming? You have trust to rebuild with her. I attached the picture she drew with [her therapist]- can u not get it? I'm doing my damnedest to set something up for you but as always everything has to be on your terms. How about Lily's? If you love her.."
"I'm turning my phone off now- we will be here for another 45 if you'd like to have a nice moment with her- but fielding your messages is spoiling her time with me & she deserves my attention. "
"[formal name again],
I am asking you to stop sending me abusive texts and emails. My lawyers will be in touch with yours early next next week. Given your ongoing refusal to give me any access to our daughter, I will not take Lily tomorrow Sunday.
Signing off now"
Next time I feel sorry for him I"ll just read this over to remind me.
I need a full empathectomy.
Meanwhile I'm working on my financial fall back: we'll not only be fine, better than fine.
I have removed all of his leverage; he just doesn't know it yet.
I'm expecting another round or two in the ring, and although I'd rather not have to- I'm up for it.