Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I won't buy that girl a pencil!
As I've written about on this blog, Kalie, Rob's younger daughter, boycotted our wedding after a big argument. Around Christmas, they made peace and she started doing her typical rotation of one week with us and one week with her mom. That arrangement only lasted about four months before Kalie told Rob that if he drank around her again, she would stop living with him. And, true to form for an alcoholic (or at least an alcoholic like Rob), he drank in front of her and a few days later, Kalie announced that she would no longer be living with Rob.
After Kalie told Rob she wouldn't be living with him anymore, Rob was served with papers. Terri, Rob's ex wife, was taking Rob back to court for full custody and for a re-calculation of child support. That sent Rob into a bigger drinking tailspin and me into a total panic. When we had purchased our big house, Rob reminded me that his financial obligations would start minimizing. For one, Nicole would be graduating a year later so his child support would go down in half. And then a few years later, Kalie would be "off the books." If Terri got full custody of Kalie, I knew that child support wouldn't decrease in a couple of months, but it would increase exponentially for a few years.
Rob started saying even worse things about his ex wife and daughter. "Terri only cares about Kalie because she represents dollars!" and "Kalie only goes to her mom because she's buying her love."
In my mind, I was thinking: "You drank in front of her when she told you she hated it. Look in the mirror, buddy."
In August, Rob went to mediation with Terri, the mediator also interviewed Kalie. We got the report and the mediator recommended that Terri get full custody of Kalie and child support was recalculated. Instead of Rob's child support going down to about $500 per month after Nicole graduated, it increased to about $1,400 per month. Rob was livid.
"That's fine! Just wait and see. I won't even buy that girl a pencil when she goes to college! I hope Terri saves for her college fund!" Rob screamed in a drunken tirade.
When he calmed down, he wrote Kalie a letter and asked that I give it to her. "Tell her that I recorded the mediation session with her mom and the mediator railed against Terri because she's alienating Kalie from me." Was that true? Rob said no but I wasn't sure. Since Kalie and I were still on speaking terms, I asked if she wanted to go to yogurt with me. I picked her up and we sat outside the yogurt store while Kalie read Rob's letter. I wish I had a copy of it but the gist was that Rob told Kalie that her mom cheated on him, that he was a victim in their marriage, that if she didn't have a father, awful things might happen to her... Kalie cried while she read the letter. I felt like an idiot but I was still Rob's champion and really sincerely wanted Rob and Kalie to have a good relationship. I didn't understand such animosity between children and parents because I had literally never seen it or experienced it. I was baffled and confused and horrified.
Kalie looked at me and said, "You don't even know. You have no idea. I just love my mom so much." And that's how she left it. I couldn't "talk" her into wanting a bigger relationship with her dad at that time.
When I told Rob, he was disappointed. But a few weeks later, after a few drinks and that glassy look again, he tried to blame me for it. "You should never have given Kalie that letter!" he screamed at me. Oh no he did not!
"Stop right there, Rob," I said. "Don't even try to blame me for something you asked me to do. Look in the mirror and for once take responsibility for your actions."
He started screaming at me some more, in that high pitched ridiculously horrific voice of his. I grabbed my keys and went to Shannon's house while I called Todd and talked to him the whole way over. How the hell did I end up with this guy with the beer gut and soprano scream?
Soon, Rob became even more "in your face" when it came to Terri and Kalie. They became the number one enemy. Every time Rob saw Kalie with a new cell phone or Rayban sunglasses, Rob became angry. "I can't believe Terri is taking my money to buy Kalie all this stuff!" When Terri purchased Kalie a convertible Mustang for her sixteenth birthday, he texted Kalie, "You need to thank me for buying you that car." One day, we saw Terri and Kalie driving that car and Rob tried to drive faster than them down the road.
The icing on the cake was the following year during health enrollment season. Terri asked Rob to cover Kalie on his medical plan. Since he was already covering our entire family, adding Kalie would have cost him not a penny more. He refused. Instead, he had me cover the family on my insurance plan that year so that if Terri took him to court, the judge would not be able to order me to cover Kalie's health insurance. When Rob and Terri went to court and the judge asked why Rob didn't cover Kalie's insurance, Terri responded, "Out of spite." True.
I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that if he can do what he did to Kalie, then he can do it again. His dropping Morgan and Siena and cutting off all contact with them should be something I expected. Children are of no interest when Rob's true concern is doing things that make him feel good and are fun. And, frankly, using children as a weapon to punish his ex wife is something Rob tries to excel at. Well thank goodness that courts are established to address and rectify at least some of those problems. Since this is the month of giving thanks, I'll give thanks to that.