I thought I was over that, dammit.

Tonight is my younger daughter’s birthday.  The ex had claimed her time tonight to have her birthday dinner with her on her actual birthday.  She didn’t want to go but I told her she had to.  He BBQ’d for her at his apartment, she send me pics of the ribs and personal sized pecan pie he served her which I thought was hilarious because she doesn’t like beef or pork.  She barely eats chicken and loves seafood.  But I digress…

Earlier today I had lunch with my older daughter and asked if she had told her future step-mother that I would like to be friends with her.  I don’t find this an unreasonable request since she is going to be a second mother to my children.  I’m not looking to be best friends with her but I don’t think we should be strangers either.  Both she and my ex have blocked me on Facebook so I didn’t feel comfortable communicating this request through him, that made the next logical person to ask was my older daughter. But we’ll come back to this…

At lunch today she happened to mention that she “stalked” my second Facebook page. (Her word.)  I created the new page about a month after I left her father so that I could still be friends with both of them and yet have a place to vent and share my feelings that they wouldn’t see because I knew that some of the things I would post were going to hurt their feelings if they saw them.  The ex noticed the second page right away, send me a friend request to the new page and then withdrew his request and unfriended me on the old page.  I guess I should have expected that but I didn’t and it hurt me.  My older daughter has not yet unfriended me on the original page but I’m frequently afraid she will and I’ll lose that last, tiny glimpse into her life – even though she doesn’t post much.  She also doesn’t ask me any questions about my life so I was surprised to hear she looked at my other page – she’s never given any indication of caring about what I do.  I asked her if she wanted to be my friend on my new page and then I hesitated and asked if she would show my new page to her father.  I said “If he wants to be my friend he can ask me but I don’t want to be stalked.”

I said that because my younger daughter continually tells me that her father is always asking her if I’m really moving to Montana “because I’m not known for keeping my promises”, where I’m living – and he pressures her for the exact address and when she said she didn’t know it he said “It’s OK, you can tell me” as if she was hiding it from him and most recently she told  me he asked what day I was leaving, what time of day I was leaving, how long it would take me to get there (he knows how long it is from here to Montana, we’ve done that trip lots of times) and when I would arrive.  She said she didn’t know exactly when I was leaving because I’ve been busy and we hadn’t had time to get together for a while.  His response was “How can she be busy?  She’s been out of work for a week!”  Which tells me that my older daughter tells him everything I’ve told her and he’s definitely keeping track of me.

My best friend asked me if I felt like he was being a creepy stalker yet…

After lunch with my older daughter I had birthday coffee with my younger daughter, went and bought nail supplies from my Vietnamese sister’s store and then went to dinner with my sister.  During dinner my ex calls me.  My cell is at 15% battery so I go sit on the floor next to an outlet to talk to him while my phone is plugged in.

He does not seem to realize that I can tell he is on speaker phone and since he never liked to use speaker phone I guess that his fiance is there, listening in but I don’t say anything because I don’t have anything to hide from her.

I can tell that he is upset, the entire conversation his voice was loud and raised in anger.

He starts off with why do I want to be friends with his fiance and why did I put my request (twice) through our daughter and not him.  I explain my reasoning (listed above) for asking our daughter to relay my request. He is baffled as to why I would even want to be friends with her because “it’s not like we have small children and need to co-parent”.  He says this about four times during our conversation…  I finally manage to get it across that I thought it was the right thing to do, the nice thing to do and he interrogates me about what do I want?  Her phone number, Facebook friends? What?  What?  Finally he says “Thank you for extending the olive branch” and that he will introduce us at our younger daughter’s graduation in February but I can tell he still doesn’t believe me, I’m now sorry I ever asked and realize that no good will come of it.

He said “What do you mean” when I told our older daughter I didn’t want him seeing my new Facebook page or “stalking me”.  This, I think, is the true reason for the call.  I’m sure that one little word pissed him off so much he couldn’t see straight.  I didn’t respond to that and he moved on quickly but I could tell he was very angry about it and possibly hadn’t even meant to say those words out loud.  We were married almost 21 years, after all, and knowing when he is angry is something I mastered early on.

He next addresses that we have very different ways of dealing with our younger daughter.  I agree but do not make any attempt to continue that conversation any further – I am smarter than that – so he moves on to say that he is upset with how I’m dealing with our older daughter.  I stop him right there and ask him what I should be doing.  I take her out to dinner once a month, text her every couple of weeks – in spite of her telling me she only wanted me to contact her once a month – and I have been doing her nails for free since the middle of October or so just to spend more time with her.  I ask her questions and she doesn’t answer them.  Just what exactly does he think I should be doing more, better or different?  He clearly has only heard her side of the story, which is that all of our meetings are superficial and I won’t talk about anything important, she thinks I’m just meeting her out of obligation and duty so this throws him for a second or two.  He acknowledges he doesn’t really know what to tell me except that my abandoning her has severely wounded her and damaged her ability to have friendships and relationships and that she is just a child.  He repeats several times “Her mother abandoned her” and continues to state how wounded she is.  I tell him I want to talk about it but she has flat out told me she didn’t want to talk.  He finally concedes that she may have to work on forgiving me…  which leads me to believe that she is not there listening along with his fiance or he would have never said that in front of her.

And for the record, my oldest “child” is 21.  She was 19 when I left him.  Him.  I left him, not her.  And she wouldn’t have anything to do with me in the last couple of years before I left anyway so I thought she would be happy I was gone.  Apparently I was wrong.

He tries to wrap up with “In the future we need to deal with each other in our business, not go through the girls”.  I ask him if that means he will stop asking our younger daughter about me.  A slight pause and he asks what I mean.  I say that our younger daughter is frequently upset after meeting with him because she says he is “always” asking about me, where I live, what I’m doing, etc.  He says he “doesn’t care” about my actions and then corrects that to “I have no interest in what you’re doing”.  He says he has asked about me from time to time but not every time they meet.  I say that she feels like it is all the time and it really bothers her, and told him about the “It’s OK, you can tell me” conversation she shared with me.  There was a noticeable pause, which I found significant – especially knowing his fiance is there listening – and then he tried to brush it off saying “I was interested in the general area they lived in because I knew they moved from the country to in town”.

That sneaky bastard IS stalking me and doesn’t want his fiance to know!  OMG!  He’s creeping me out a little bit now…  I wish now that I had told him the quote about how could I be busy because I hadn’t worked in a week because that might have opened his fiance’s eyes a bit but I didn’t think of it at the time.  I’m also really torn because I offered to friend my older daughter on my new Facebook page but I don’t trust her not to show it to her father.  What do I do, what do I do…

I managed to have the whole conversation without falling apart or bursting into tears but after I hung up I couldn’t help myself.  I cried in the restaurant and my sister tried to help me by asking me to identify why talking to him made me cry but I wish she just would have let me go for a little bit.  His anger still affects me so much and I don’t know how to free myself of it’s grip.  And he always seems angry with me so I avoid communicating with him because he still makes me cry