I'd been trying to escape him, in all his terrible forms, and keep my little girl out of his grasping reach.
In my dreams his madness was unrestrained by clever legal advice and in addition to the pounding of my headache, the pain of which had woken me, was my blood pressure making rhythmic crumping sounds in my ears.
He'd sent another email. They come at bedtime or wake me during the night or 6am. Sometimes he'll send hate-email at midnight and a text at 6am.
In addition to the one the day before accusing me of theft, this one was informing me he had cut Lily's and my maintenance payment to 40%.
I've been in far worse financial shape so that wasn't what bothered me, it's the venom, the spite. The endless lust for to hurling hurt after hurt at someone who treated him like a king for fourteen years, that last four at great personal cost.
Destroying me has become his religion and last night and today I almost broke under his fervor.
He first took exception to my reaction to his decision of cutting off all support, where I quarantined what little cash savings I have access to in our mortgage offset account. On legal advice, having no way of preventing him from wiping out its contents on his next vindictive whim, I created a new account in the same bank still linked to pay the mortgage, balance untouched. I told him this.
The second email reducing our support payment by 60% was revenge on my quarantining money saved up from support payments. He made wild accusations regarding money I (don't) have stashed away, seemingly making up the amounts as he went along.
I have canceled gym memberships, charity donations, stopped buying lunches on the road, got the home insurance down by $100 per month, replaced all our light globes with energy savers, turned off the heating when I normally wouldn't have. I've scrimped and done without so I can fund us a couple more months along until I can find some part time work.
That job hunt's not going real well I might add.
But moving that money from what he used to call my account, this week re-branded 'our joint account', made him mad. Very very mad.
He doesn't like the loss of control, he doesn't like being prevented from inspecting my purchases, he doesn't like my exercising initiative. He resents my very existence.
I'm still working on my legal and child protection case which includes an audit of the c. $200,000 dollars he did steal from his family over the past two years. And trawling through the files, I keep coming across letters to doctors and psychologists dated two years ago almost to the day, that apart from the hospitalization (which clearly should be happening again), they could have been written this week.
To Northern Psychology
Dear Dr T,
Thank you in advance for the appointment this Thursday. I have tried to fill out the forms as best I can. But in some areas the answers now will not give you an accurate picture of what is going on.
You are probably aware that my Husband Claude has been diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder and after a recent Severe Manic episode where he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act on April 2nd 2014.
Released on April 16 he is under ongoing psychiatric care.
Initially I had high hopes for reconciliation, but since his release, His behaviour towards me is unpredictable at best; at worst I find him manipulative and sneaky and I’ve been caught out several times.
The doctors tell me “he is who he is now” which is quite a different person from the man I married. It was suggested to me, and I’m convinced of it, that he has been experiencing depression for a large part of his life.
The theory is that this condition could have manifested a different personality; more affectionate, more needy, more cautious.
His treating Psychiatrist explained to me that he is struggling with distortions in his recall of recent events and older memories because of the mania and the affect it had on his brain function at the time. He says Claude is quite convinced of his version of recent events and may never be able to reconcile or accept the discrepancies.
Claude seems to need me to validate his memories and becomes angry when I present him with physical evidence to the contrary.
The Doctor asked me if I could continue the relationship while he believes I am to blame for his troubles.
I cannot/ will not validate things that aren’t true just to keep the status quo, it’s not in my nature and I don’t believe it’s the kind of role model I want to set for my daughter. Aside from that he’s made it clear from his recent behaviour towards me and comments to friends that I could expect a sort of emotional punishment 'installment program' for my ‘crimes’.
I guess at this stage, I would hope that Claude and I could work out an amicable way forward and learn to communicate effectively kindly and honestly for our daughter Lily’s sake.
I look forward to meeting you on Thursday
PS please forgive the glossy paper – I have a prolific little artist who regularly raids the printer for supplies.
I remember feeling quite angry with the doctor who suggested Claude's depression could have manifested in the more affectionate, more needy, more cautious personality I'd lived with for years.
I thought at the time: "Ive had my future ripped quite brutally out of my hands, don't you dare try to steal my past as well. It wasn't fake, he did love me all those years..."
Now I wonder.
He's on his second 'serious' relationship (that I know about) this year. Lily tells me its true love (after 7 weeks). It makes me think that his doctor was right on the money and he's now desperately trying to cater to his needy narcissistic self.
I hope this one doesn't have to call the police like the last one did to get rid of him. Lily says she's really nice and I'll bet she doesn't deserve the grief and ugliness any more than I did.
Some men should come with toxicity warning labels tattooed onto their foreheads.
I am lucky though in many ways:
My friends have been awesomely supportive and also forgiving of missed catch-ups. And even the school mum I barely know who greeted me in the dog park this morning and cared enough to ask "is everything OK?" because she could see that it wasn't.
My big sister who calls from interstate at least twice a day being my life coach, cheer squad and email editor.
And my rock-star mum who is hiking up her blood pressure, staying with me for moral support, hugs and help around the house and babysitting, pet feeding etc. Lily and I are both waiting with baited breath for the day she loses it with Claude's reign of terror and hits him over the head with her walking stick.
If Claude died tomorrow, I couldn't stomach attending his funeral.
Besides I might not be able to resist the temptation to dance on his grave and that would not be good for poor little Lily, even if she does think, with increasing regularity, that he deserves to face The Wrath of Nana!
They're nice images to go to bed on though, maybe sweeter dreams tonight?
Anyway thanks for letting me confide.. :0)