If you read the “About US” post– my first on this blog– you read my introduction to the players in this drama– one of whom is the architect, if you will, of all the problems that my daughter and I are dealing with right now. “Crazy” is the nickname that my family and friends have given to my ex, the mother of my daughter Maya. As I’ve mentioned before, the nickname– while to some may be rude or inconsiderate or counter-productive– is the best, and most polite, way to describe this woman, and the things she’s said and done, and CONTINUES to say and do.
While talking to my lawyer the other day (going over one of the MANY court dates of 2013), he asked me how “crazy” and I met. Simple enough– we met on Match.com. I remember her profile picture vividly– she was walking up the stairs of her apartment building, carrying her mountain bike, smiling. I saw that she had a “pretty” smile, and big, beautiful eyes. In fact, the nickname that I had for her while we were dating was “pretty”, because she was surely that.
We dated for about 2 and a half years before I broke it off. I broke it off about 2-3 times, actually. I started seeing the signs that this is a woman with some problems. She was smothering, needy, co-dependent, suspicious, jealous…and beyond that, quite frankly, kind of dull. However, I thought she was nice, and the sex was pretty good…
My first red flag came after I witnessed, for the first time, “crazy” fighting with her mother. We were in my apartment, and she was on the phone with her. After she hung up, she was RAGING. She said the following, verbatim: “I hate my mother. I HATE MY MOTHER! She’s a FUCKING CUNT! I wish she was DEAD! I wish it was just ME, my BROTHERS, and my DAD– THAT’S IT! I fucking HATE that CUNT!” Once again, that was an exact quote. I know the quote well because 1) you don’t forget someone saying something like this about their own mother, and 2) because she would repeat that phrase, in several incarnations, for years to come.
I was shocked, I have to say. I have NEVER known ANYONE that had such animosity toward their own mother. I was thinking to myself “My GOD, what the hell did that woman do to her daughter to create such ire?!” As it turns out, that was the wrong question. Sort of.
It took me about 4 years to get this story tied down– no one ever really gave me straight answers to my questions, but over time they let out enough information so that I was able to form a narrative. I will try to be as coherent with this explanation as possible, as there are a few twists and turns along the way:
When “Crazy” was 16 years old, her mother left the family to be with another man. As anyone could imagine, that was a VERY painful and confusing time for the family– horrible, even. But after a few months, mom came back to the family, she and her husband reconciled, picked up the broken pieces, and moved on. But not “Crazy.”
“Crazy” NEVER forgot that. In fact, she flat-out REFUSES to forget it. Decades later, nearing 40, she is emotionally trapped in that 16 year-old’s mindset. From that moment, she adopted a word and theme that she would continue to use through her adulthood: “Abandonment”. That is EXACTLY how she feels when boyfriends break up with her. When I broke up with her, she would say:
“Why are you LEAVING me?”
“Why are you PUNISHING me?”
With Maya, it’s:
“You left US.”
“You ABANDONED US.”
“I told her that YOU LEFT US.”
She is pushing unchecked emotional and psychological issues onto our daughter, and using HER problems as a scapegoat to spin a false narrative about how, since I left “Crazy”, that means I in turn left Maya. Those are the things she says to my daughter, among MANY OTHER toxic sentiments– regardless of the fact that I have been there from pregnancy, to birth, and throughout the life of my daughter, unless otherwise interrupted by “Crazy”—which is FAR TOO OFTEN.
These are the kinds of things that you have to be mindful of when you are dealing with an uncooperative ex. Granted, these are things that we should be looking out for BEFORE we either marry them OR have kids with them (I never married “Crazy”– I’m dumb, but not stupid).
The thing about people like this, with emotional or psychological problems, is that they try VERY HARD to mask their issues. “Crazy” is a social worker, with a specialty in Childhood Forensic Psychiatry. She is, in fact, the ONLY social worker that I have EVER KNOWN that does not go to therapy herself. Therapy is like Kryptonite to “Crazy”. She reacts to it like a Meth addict at an intervention. I’ve seen her go to therapy ONCE. Her dad started seeing a therapist, and wanted “crazy” to come with him. She was DISGUSTED by the idea. Maya was maybe 8-10 months old at the time, so I went to the office with them since I was on my way home anyway…I’d just sit with Maya in the waiting room while “crazy” and her dad went in for an hour-long session. Not 7 minutes later did that door swing WIDE open. “Crazy” storms out of the room, saying “…fucking BULLSHIT! We’re leaving! Such a stupid FUCKING waste of time!”
“Crazy” has problems. She has A LOT of problems. The abandonment issues are just a small part of them. There are also several anger-management issues that she needs to contend with, not to mention the sociopathic nature of her behavior. I can’t tell you how many times the police were called– by her OWN FAMILY– because she was raging out of control, hitting, throwing mugs and furniture…and her mother doesn’t help things, either…
Her mother is mentally ill. That’s all I can say, because they have all been very hush-hush about what her problem is. All I know is that 10 years ago when I met her, she was an RN, actively working. These days, she’s bed-ridden on bad days, listless and out-of-it on some, and on others…oddly “normal”. I say “oddly normal” because that woman and I DO NOT get along. She made it clear. I asked her nearly 7 years ago why she had such a problem with me. She said, “You know, Charles? Some people just don’t like each other for some reasons.” I told her that I didn’t dislike her, but “now, you’ve given me a reason to.” Since then, my interactions with her have gone from combative, to chilly, to mild civility. In recent years, I just avoid her all together, don’t really talk to her– I acknowledge her existence when she’s around…otherwise, fuck her. At Maya’s dance recital last year, I hadn’t seen her in MONTHS. I had my mother and my aunt with me, who are WELL AWARE of all the goings-on with this family (more on that in upcoming posts). When “Crazy’s” mom spotted me, she said “Hi Charles!” and came over, hugged and KISSED ME. I. Was. Com. Plete. Ly. Stunned. WhatEVER medications she was on not ONLY made her friendly, but also anxiously and annoyingly chatty. (My aunt, who sat next to her at the recital, said “That woman was talking a mile a minute, and wouldn’t stop!”
“Crazy” reminds me somewhat of Mel Gibson. We’ve all seen the stories in the news, about is wild ravings and rage problems. Here’s the thing about Gibson, though– after his outbursts, he always expresses some remorse and is actively seeking help to deal with these problems. “Crazy” not only does NOT acknowledge her crazed outbursts, she will BLAME YOU for…whatever, name it. It’s these rage issues, and abandonment issues, that she is exposing to Maya, and validating it to her by blaming ME.
A sociopath is identified through the following behavior:
2. Inventing lies and exaggeration of psuedo-facts
3. Obsession to dominate and win conflict
4. Incapable of shame, guilt, or remorse
6. NEVER apologizes
Example– “Crazy” makes a claim– ANY claim. Start asking her questions about it. She will give a bullshit explanation at first. Upon follow-up questioning, it’s “I don’t know.” Upon MORE questioning it’s “forget it”, or “I don’t have to answer to you!”, or “You’re not a lawyer!” OR…the most common one I hear these days…”Stop harassing me!”
This is a woman that SWEARS she is right about EVERYTHING she does or says. It the bubble of misinformation and bullshit that she has built around herself and Maya, she is able to shield from the truth– from things that will bring her little self-imposed fantasy existence to the ground. The bubble is impenetrable by her friends and family, mostly because they don’t want to be bothered with what will ensue when you challenge her. The only way that bubble can burst…in a court of law, where EVERYTHING SHE SAYS will be held up to scrutiny. That is where her short-sighteness is her downfall.
She is the kind of person that will start a fire, and yell “ARSON!” She’s a kind of person that cries “RAPE!” even though she’s never been touched. She is the type of person that will tell you the last 15-20% of a story, in hopes that you don’t ask about the other 75-80%. She is spinning a narrative representing a world that does not exist, and cannot survive in the real world. It is a world that is, unfortunately, effecting my relationship between myself and my daughter. It’s a world that is toxic and unhealthy for Maya.
When you are dealing with someone that behaves this way, you HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE in making these things known. We ALL have cameras and audio/video recorders in our pockets EVERY SINGLE DAY. Use it! Document EVERYTHING on your smartphone. BACK IT UP SOMEWHERE, either on your local computer or on the cloud, or email it to yourself. If the behavior gets out of hand, CALL THE POLICE. You cannot engage with someone that is not in their right mind. A visit by the cops will SURELY calm all that shit down. Take journals– write EVERYTHING down. Most importantly, as my grandfather would say, “Always remember the 11th Commandment: PAY ATTENTION.” Listen to the things she/he says, watch the things she/he does. Even when she/he is not talking to you, LISTEN. AND WRITE IT DOWN OR RECORD IT.
I’ve used this comparison before, and I will say it again: BE BATMAN. You have to be a detective to put all the pieces together, THEN you have to be a superhero to rescue your kid(s) from this person. It is UP TO YOU.
Crazy is difficult to deal with, for sure. Crazy is what keeps you up at night, it’s what gives you stress and anxiety. You know what else crazy is? Sloppy. Crazy people WILL fuck up. They will slip up. They are so busy acting out, that they are somehow unaware that what they are doing is actually detrimental to them AND, most importantly, the child(ren). In my life, “Crazy” has been doing things that are hurtful and harmful to Maya…but she doesn’t see it that way. Somehow, she sees this as a way of getting back at me for “abandoning” her. She is so wrapped up in it that she has NO IDEA that she has left a trail of bread crumbs that lead back to the fact that she is purposefully hurting her child, as a way of trying to condemn me. It’s a trail that all that pass by, who are not in her bubble, will see for what it is.
The ONLY THING I EVER did to “Crazy” was not love her. She would say to me things like, “Can’t you just say it once?” or, “I love you–isn’t that enough?!” I was always honest with her about my feelings. Somehow, through my very BLUNT assessment of our relationship, she was able to ignore that and focus FULLY on trying to sculpt a fantasy world where I was IN LOVE with her, and we would have kids and live in Los Angeles and live HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
Bottom line, “Crazy” is crazy. There is no mistaking it. When she gets to court, and when the truth is destroying her lies…it will be like a deer in headlights. She’ll protest. She’ll deny. But she will have NO ANSWERS to easy questions. No answers that will help improve her image, that is. And that’s when she will be exposed.
And that is when I will save my daughter.
TO BE CONTINUED