Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"What a Creep"

Dealing with the Swine has proved the greatest challenge of my adult life. Every day a new struggle. Remember back in January of 2006 when I was surprised with court papers? Well fast forward to August of 2008 and it was much the same. Only this time, I wasn't as surprised. When someone does something so dastardly once, one can hardly put it past them to repeat such dark actions.

And so it was that I was served with papers at my last job. Papers full of deep, dark allegations and which brought to light a betrayal by the one that once inspired me to write that I would never love another. The Swine had started gathering his "wow great dad" declarations in March, but it wasn't until Steve, with whom I'd been struggling until I finally had to break up with him, gave the Swine just the lies he needed to seal the deal on his second grand attempt to remove me from Audrey's life. From accusing me of having an eating disorder to beating Steve (um, what?), the Swine's court papers described a person I didn't even know, much less be.

By breaking up with Steve, I'd made him hate me, by going to Wynn's wedding then staying the weekend with my mother, I sent him over the edge. Convinced that I'd run away with some dude from Cabo, he contacted the Swine and filled his ears with everything the Swine could hope for. And of course, rather than questioning it, the Swine built it into his case, and it was a nightmare of epic proportions.

That the Swine was trying to figure a way to get Audrey and that Steve had a mental and emotional breakdown at the same time was a coincidence that I'd never have foreseen. But as is the norm, I was concentrating on one challenge while ignoring the sleeping giant. So all of a sudden I was confronted with challenges on all fronts: job, boyfriend, ex-husband, and more.

Getting rid of Steve was a blessing. There was a reason I couldn't bring myself to marry him, and I'd always cited the horror of the ex that is Swine as the prevention for my wedding again. I'm not sure if that is the complete reason, but whatever it is, I dodged the second divorce bullet. And I'm completely free. But it is so hard to believe that someone that I'd loved so much could be so bitter that they would be compelled to actions that not only harm me, but an innocent 7-year-old as well.

There is no getting rid of the Swine, however. And dealing with him and this everlasting case has become like a second job, a constant struggle. Compounded to that is the child herself. The struggle she herself is going through is heartbreaking, and no matter how much I reach out to the Swine, he maintains his horrid manner with me.

I can handle going through this trial, because I pray at the end of this Audrey will indeed be the recipient of a schedule that actually works for her and not her father. But what I can't handle is my daughter's heartbreak that her life is split between two completely different worlds - worlds that have no intermingling at all.

I helped coach my daughter's soccer team this past fall. The Swine was there nearly every Saturday. He said maybe one word to me despite my attempts to reach out to him and have a civil conversation. And on and on to school events, social events - we stand at opposite ends of the room and the tension is palpable.

He married that daycare worker by the way. She quit her job after she was knocked up (they had a healthy baby boy - how nice for them) and they got hitched. Now she's practically my daughter's stay-at-home mom. No, I don't care for her. Even before they married, she was cold to me whenever I'd pick Audrey up. She never even gave me a chance, and tonight my daughter was crying because she is confused about who her real mother is (drive a stake through my heart) and the two people that care for her the most are too different and aren't even friends. I tried, but the Swine always prevented us from talking, even though she was caring for my daughter after school. Tension has been the order of all of our relationships ever since my return from England.

When I told my mom tonight about Audrey's struggles, she brought up that trip to England. As if that would help things. I have no Steve, and I have no Oliver. I struggle to maintain my rights to my daughter. My reasons for going to England no longer exist, but the repercussions of that trip will affect Audrey for years to come, and I say Audrey because she was the one crying tonight. And I told my mom about how the Swine closed the door on my face this afternoon when I picked up Audrey. He never said a word to me. "What a creep," she said.

Yep, that about sums it up.