Return to Sender

I have video court tomorrow because the x filed an emergency motion declaring that me not allowing him to watch our daughter while I’m at work results in ‘neglect to the extreme’.

And tonight when he picked her up, he asked me if I had any mail for him.

He messaged me a week ago that his forwarding order had lapsed and to just save any mail he might get.

He moved out a year ago.

Six months ago I told him to get a forwarding order after he accused me of stealing his mail.

In particular, he said I stole tickets for a Slayer concert. It was sold out.

I immediately taped a notice to my mailbox stating not to deliver any mail for him. The false accusations had only barely begun at that point, but I knew the only way to protect myself was to ensure his mail never ever ended up in my mailbox.

A week later, he still went to that concert. Flaked on his one night that week with our daughter to go.

So. He must’ve found tickets.

The only sound I heard from him was crickets.

Apologies aren’t things narcissistic people know how to give. Unless they really need something from you and then they fake one. I’d made it crystal clear months before that I wasn’t someone he could get anything more from. So cats and dogs would literally have to fall from the sky before there’d be any chance he’d apologize to me. At all. For anything.

I’d given way more than I ever should have and I was (am) done.

He sent me the message about holding onto and then passing over any mail he might get here again amidst a barrage of attacks and condescending messages this month on Mother’s Day. As my daughter was with him.

This one: cordial and sweet. The others sandwiching it: demanding and full of insults.

I replied that I would post a notice on the mailbox, as I had done last year, with his name and instructions to not leave his mail.

And that was that. No characteristic snap back. No gaslight gymnastics to turn it around as something unfair and ridiculous and proof of what a cold, controlling bitch I am.

When there’s silence, there’s always something.

Like clockwork.

Tonight, he asked for something I’d already said that I wouldn’t consent to have for him.

I said, with a smile on my face so my daughter wouldn’t feel any tension, none will be delivered here – I let you know that.

And then I kissed my daughter one more time and told her to go with daddy.

But why? It’s just mail?

I said, please don’t create conflict at pick up. And then: See you in a bit, mija.

It’s just my mail. Why won’t you just give it to me?

I told her to have fun and went to close the door.

What’s the big deal? You just have to give me my mail?

The door closed.

I started up the steps.

It’s as predictable as the sun setting.

A boundary was drawn. And he pushes it.

After he asked for something no normal person would ask for after a year. Certainly not someone who had spent most of that year smearing every single thing about you and telling more lies about you than you could have even imagined.

Threatening to file federal charges for mail theft. Harassing. Berating.

Filing ridiculous court motions in hopes of scaring you. Knowing it would at least cost you a lot of money (and time).

The boundary was clear and concise and communicated.

So he pushes. In a smug way that allows him to, just with the inflection in his voice, make it clear that you’re being really unreasonable. Bitter. Mean.

By the time I got to the top of the stairs, I could hear my daughter yelling at him. A loud No. Then: I changed my mind!

And then the doorbell.

I opened the door and had to block the entrance to keep her from running upstairs and away from him.

He’ll never see it. The straight line between those games he plays that he thinks prove anything other than that he’s intellectually and emotionally stunted and that create his daughter’s repulsion for and fear of him.

People like him think everyone is stupid. Think they’re smarter than everyone else.
So he can’t admit that even his own five year old daughter can see, even though she doesn’t yet have words for it, the cruelty and contempt in his words.

She feels it.

If I had a dollar for every visit she’s been ok to head for the door for and then has run back to me and hid behind me and tried not to go after seeing and hearing him, I wouldn’t owe my lawyer a penny.

It’s devastating to know she will know these things about her father. But it’s terrifying to think of her not knowing.

I won’t tell her. I won’t need to, sadly.

She already sees it.

Who he is. What he does.

What counts for love in his broken soul.

I coaxed her to go. I blocked the door and got down to her level. She slumped to the ground and I crouched lower.

As she hugged me and whispered, I love you the best, I kissed her forehead and said: go with daddy, ok?

My heart aching because she shouldn’t love one of us best. She shouldn’t have to.

And from him: I’m going to have to ask your mom not to open the door anymore after she’s closed it.

No thank you for helping. No good job, mama.

I wouldn’t even dream of expecting some version of that.

Those are the dreams that kept me abused for nearly a decade.

Tomorrow: court. And hopefully a quick and dirty dismissal of his already denied ex parte order.

Whatever happens, after drop off tonight, I get two days uninterrupted with my daughter before he brings whatever bullshit to the porch he will bring.

I think we’ll go get ice cream. And maybe flowers.

Published by UnGastheLight

I write to be able to live and live because I can write to make sense of it all.

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