Remember that cartoon where the guy is out on the street not doing much and a piano falls out of the window onto his head? Elmer Fudd shooting Daffy Duck and his beak spinning around? Wile E. Coyote falling for one of the Road Runner’s tricks and falling off a cliff?
If you were a kid with a TV in your house, you likely remember one of those.
Cartoon violence, at least in those cartoons, is designed to get a laugh from the audience and nobody really gets hurt.
I’ve written a few blogs about my ex – he’s a narcissist, mentally ill, and although he loves my children (or at least I have to convince myself he does), he makes sure that every co-parenting decision right down to the day to day transfer of the children is as tense and difficult as possible. I have no doubt at all that the man would drive the Pope himself to violence. Dealing with him is like dealing with an endless amount of co-parent nightmares.
My Christian upbringing (whether I still swing that way or not) means that I feel guilty about ever wishing anyone actual harm. Doesn’t mean I haven’t thought of it. Just means I feel guilty about it.
There are oh so many ways I’ve thought about terrible things happening to my ex. I definitely would not consider doing it myself. Bad karma and all that.
But I can’t help but think sometimes that what if…what if something happened to him that wasn’t my design.
Articles in the paper about someone his age and general description always catch my eye. One day, someone was found face up in the lake.
I closed my eyes when I read it half way and thought…
Come on…come on…mommy needs a win.
Then I read that it had been deemed not suspicious. And given the contentious nature of our relationship, I knew it wasn’t him – because the police couldn’t declare it not suspicious without talking to me first. Even if I’d never do it. Ever. Aside from the whole Christian upbringing thing, he’s still the father of my children.
But I’ve visualized that too. A police notification. And I really don’t know how I’d get through that. Especially in suspicious circumstances. The only thing other than hopefully having an alibi that I’d have going for me is that I’d be surprised – and hopefully it would be their first impression. Because if I was surprised, I couldn’t possibly have been involved, right? Even if I’m smiling and trying to keep from jumping up and down?
The idea that I could be linked to something bad like that – especially when I have no actual intention of ever, ever doing anything like that, is frightening to me. Because there’s so many people who might believe it. My friends, my family – they know what I go through.
But really, I’m sure anyone who’d ever spent more than five minutes alone with him has probably felt that way. (Side note – lest you think less of me, he’s gotten worse since I married him…and much worse since I divorced him).
It’s horrible. Terrible thoughts. I feel incredibly guilty just for even writing this article. Really. What if something happened to him while he was with the kids? Perish the thought. I’d feel guilty FOREVER.
And so now, when tension is almost too much to bear, I take a brief moment for myself. I close my eyes and think about the piano plane. Silently. The kids don’t know about it. My husband does. But not the kids.
It’s a big plane. It delivers pianos. It’s flight path leads directly over my ex’s house. And somebody didn’t close the cargo door all the way. Or maybe the pin that holds it comes loose. And pianos have wheels on them to make them easier to move right? There’s a bird and the plane suddenly has to bank to the left? And then…ooops.
Because cartoon violence isn’t real right? Why should I feel guilty about that?