This morning our old neighbor texted me to tell me that the gargoyle was having a garage sale. Although I’d been expecting this, I still felt bile coming up into my throat, as I thought of him selling the children’s bikes and the one I’d ridden for years, the corner cabinet my mother had passed on to me, the kitchen stuff I’d bought and treasured for years, maybe even the beautiful Monet room divider I’d bought for a steal when we lived in Germany. Even though it had been two and a half years since I had seen any of those things, I still felt the urge to grab my keys, drive to the house and confront him so I could get them.
Then I took a breath…
And another breath…
And texted her back…
“It hurts, but I’m telling myself that these are just things and I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of a confrontation. There’s so much more important stuff to worry about.”
A year ago, he had told our 16 year old daughter that he was planning a garage sale and that he was going to sell her bicycle. That night she’d cried like I’d never seen her crying before, hiccuping out huge racking sobs at her father’s betrayal. The bike was one she’d had for a few years and she loved it. A letter from my lawyer to his ensued and the matter died down.
Now, he’d finally done the deed, while our daughter was overseas, working as an aupair for friends of mine. Our family home, which he was living in, was about to be sold. Our divorce had just gone through, so he could now sell whatever he wanted without having a lawyer jumping down his throat. There really was nothing I could do unless I wanted to spend a thousand dollars to retrieve a few bikes and my mom’s corner cabinet. I didn’t want to give him undeserved attention by going round there and demanding back what was rightfully mine and the kids’. I let him have his own victory.
I’d wondered why he’d been uncharacteristically nice when he’d asked to have our two younger boys this summer. He’d missed the May 1 deadline to give me the dates when he would have them for four weeks and in his request on May 7, he’d said that I could choose convenient days that fit my schedule. He also didn’t complain when I said that I would also have them for four weeks straight, although that hadn’t been explicitly written in our divorce agreement. Reading through this text again, I realize that an outsider wouldn’t describe it as super nice, but for him it is. I wondered what was coming, because the gargoyle’s tone generally tends to be a trifle more overbearing and condescending than this.
Now I knew, or at least I hope I knew. If he was being “super nice” because he was planning a garage sale, I could live with it. Maybe he hadn’t sold our daughter’s bicycle, but I wasn’t holding my breath. He hadn’t had any contact with her for over two months, after she’d sent him a message calling him out on his most recent egregious attempt to use her to get at me (that’s another, really long story, so I’ll keep it for another time).
My neighbor sent me a text asking me if I wanted her to go buy the bikes from him and I said no, I didn’t want to put any money in his pocket.
Bicycles are replaceable – but the trust of your children… never!
Now, I’m off to look for second-hand bikes online.
- Subject: Dividing Stuff From Marriage
- Co-Parenting With a Narcissist: What to do When Your Children Are Being Emotionally Abused
- The Narcissistic Father During And After Divorce
- The Sins Of The Narcissistic Father Are Laid Upon The Children
photo credit: 1950 Girls Schwinn Spitfire via photopin (license)
Janet Miick says
Please save the other story entirely. This article was nothing more than complaining, valid or not, it has no advice or uplifting guidance. These aren’t articles, just “look what happened to me” in semi-public written form. There is never justification to call another person a name.