Monday, February 28, 2005

View from the Cuckoo's Nest

I bet our life looks pretty funny to outsiders. But holy freaking cow, the utter madness that engulfs us sometimes...

My poor husband tries to soak up most of the blast, but occasionally (like tonight) the kids and I get some of the blowback. The latest craziness really started Saturday afternoon, when #1 Son came home from playing at a friend's house and mentioned that another kid had accidentally kicked up a smallish rock that hit him in the head. There was a small red mark about the size of a dime on his cheekbone, and we pretty much let it go at that; kids get hurts and this one wasn't major.

Well, then yesterday I took another look at it and the bruising was getting darker and there was a scrape that could use some Neosporin. Remembering that next weekend was his time with "Mommy" and that it might not heal before then, I mentioned to my husband that he ought to email her about it or face her wrath when she finds the scar later. So he did. Unfortunately, he was a little fuzzy on the details, not having actually been there when the event occurred. But he gave the story to the best of his knowledge. This, my friends, is apparently called "lying" (especially if you happen to be from a Red State).

Well, Miss Thing read her email this evening and went totally ballistically batty. She called up and grilled my husband about the incident, then demanded to talk to #1 Son and grilled him. He told the same basic story, kid kicked a rock, which hit his head, he's fine except he had a headache afterward. To her questions about how he was feeling today, he said he was OK at present but had had stomach ache earlier in the day. Diarrhea? Not for a few weeks, thanks. Yes, he sometimes got headaches. Then her husband the cop came on the phone and made the boy repeat himself a million times.

Of course, then came the "Daddy? Mommy wants you..." (followed by the requisite cynical snickers from my direction). Shrill, hysterical haranguing followed, along the lines of "You lying, evil, child abuser! My baby has a concussion! Take him to the emergency room immediately or I'll report you to the police!" Husband's voice, calm and patient as always, "No, he's fine, really. It's not serious at all. No, he hasn't been throwing up. OK, I'll ask him. (Asks #1 Son.) No, he says he hasn't thrown up, just had a stomach ache. OK, I'll ask him that. (Asks about other troubles.) No, he says not. Well, I don't know what you think you heard. No, I don't think he needs to go to the emergency room. No, really....(Pause for long bit of hysterical harangue.) Fine. May I hang up now?"

He wandered in to the room where I'm tucked up in bed, scribbling away on my novel. "She's calling an ambulance." (Grimace.) He filled in the gaps in what I'd heard and I gave a primal scream. He called over #1 Son and told him not to bother getting in the tub yet, telling him that his mother was concerned about him and was sending an ambulance for him. Look of total confusion from #1 Son. "Um, why? I told her I was fine." Yes, so did everyone.

So we all snuggled up in jammies for story time and awaited the nice paramedics. Surreal was really the word. Sang a couple songs, read a story, then the doorbell rang. It was a nice police officer with a flashlight. Chuckling, he said the dispatcher had opted not to call out the busy and very expensive ambulance until there was some verification. I found myself musing about whether Domino's ever does this with prank pizza orders. Nice police officer shone the light into our boy's eyes, asked him about the incident, asked how he felt since then, asked my husband how he thought the misunderstanding occurred, then asked if there was any "bad blood" there (between him and the ex). That'd be a BIG yes, but of course, my man played it down, trying to stick to his policy of not talking smack about the biggest psycho on the planet for the good of his child...

Anyway, police officer took himself off, wishing us all a good evening, and we celebrated with brownies. Got the kids peacefully to bed, and now we're trying to just let go of the anger and irritation all this brought on. 'Cause you know there'll just be another psychotic episode tomorrow.

21 comments:

Jessica said...

Good grief, Scone...I really feel for you and your family.

My ex-husband had a son that was the result of a one night stand. I loved this kid as if he were my own and was with him from the time he was 6 mos old to nearly 5. His mother made it so difficult for us. After she would pick him up from our house, she would call the second she got home and hit my husband with questions about me, "Is she changing his diaper? I don't want her changing his diaper! Could you please tell her not to hug him bye in front of me when I come to pick him up?" For Pete's sake. By the end of the marriage we had been awarded custody but dealing with her sure took a toll on our relationship.

sallwood said...

Get a copy of the report(or get the police officer and dispatcher to give a signed statement), and add that to your motion to set aside due to the email on religion, which proves her purgery. You can win yet. She's getting sloppy in her arrogance. Good for you.

Kory O said...

Damn, sallwood beat me to it.

I wouldn't necessarily ask the dispatcher to make a statement. I'd get the tape of the call instead (it should be on tape...standard operating procedure). That way you've definitely got what she said, how she said it, etc. Try to weasel your way outta that one.

Get a statement from the cop ASAP before he goes on five million more calls and forgets the details. Yeah, it's a pain in the ass, but if you ask nicely, he or she should get it to you quickly.

Just my 2 cents as a former civvie on a police department.....

sallwood said...

Good call Kory O! Although the statement mentioned about how the Dispatcher hesitated calling is also useful. This does need to be done on an emergency basis though. Kory O. is right, even another day gone and you may lose precious details. I've not worked as a cop, but am married to a lawyer and have also dealt with a psychotic ex. I was not so lucky though. She got me because I could not prove how her child had had a bruise and after much prompting ( by much, at least 4 times said I don't know then when she said "You can tell us if Sallwood did this" the child said I did it. This happened the day of my biopsy. She apologized later, when she realized (he admitted, but not until it was over and I had been interrogated by police and CPS) that it was actually my ex(and hers) that had bruised him while rough-housing. It was too late for our marriage (and I'm glad cuz my new husband is an absolute dream and no kids with his psychotic ex).

My two cents is to not speak with her on the phone. If she wants to speak with Son 1, fine, hang up when she's done. If you don't have caller ID, get it. If it is her, just have Son 1 answer. Insist that all communications are in writing. Waivering on this point may sucker punch you later. And believe me, X will try to keep from documenting this. You can save most IM conversations, and documentation is always better than he said, she said and is admissible in court.

Scone said...

Thanks, Jessica. Fortunately, and what the psycho ex doesn't understand, our relationship has actually grown stronger with all the garbage we've gone through together. The worse she makes it for us, the closer she's driving us together. Ha.

I'll get the man onto the police report and dispatch tape ASAP. At least, I'll try while he's burning with this need to collect evidence. I wish he'd been this motivated before the trial, but there's no sense being frustrated about it now, I guess. Thanks for the expert advice, ladies.

I totally agree with the "not talking to her" idea, S. We've tried it before; in fact, she agreed to it in our first court conflict. But of course, she lies. When we did this a couple years ago, she'd say "Oh, my email's broken," it's too urgent for a letter," and "I don't know how to send a telegram." OK, a desperate move on our end. I don't know what her excuse was for not going to a library and using free email from the computers there. There's always some reason she can't be reasonable. And if he won't talk to her, she screams insults about how immature he is. Totally batty. Which is not to say that it's not a good idea, but one of her major complaints about this custody situation is that "He never tells me anything!" which is to say, he doesn't instantly call her whenever #1 Son does anything or has anything at all happen at school. It's not her son she's trying to hold onto...

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