“All my kids”…

For years, I had Ex’s husband blocked from my social media accounts. I also had Ex’s children blocked. It was mainly because I didn’t want them screwing with us and collecting information. Then, sometime last year, I unblocked most of them. I didn’t actively go looking for information on anyone, mainly because I wasn’t interested anymore. Bill’s daughters are grown now, and one of them speaks to him willingly. It turns out she’s not as toxic as her mother is. I’m not as sure about Ex’s third husband. Is he toxic, or does he actually believe her bullshit?

Ex’s husband has a fairly common first and last name, but somehow he was still easy enough to find. It doesn’t appear that he spends a lot of time on Facebook anymore. From what I could see, back in 2012, he was very active and had a lot of public posts. A few were about Mormonism. Ex made him convert when they married. He had quotes from Mormon leaders and clips of church talks. There was a closeup of his face, which reminded me that the quality of Ex’s three husbands are like a bell curve. He had a lot of posts about video games, which doesn’t surprise me. When the kids did speak to Bill, they mentioned that he spent most of his time playing video games. For the first few years of his marriage to Ex, she was the sole breadwinner… well, with help from the $2550 a month Bill was sending her.

Then, there were a few pictures of the children… Bill’s two daughters, and Ex’s other three kids. They all sat together, all escapees from the same womb, fertilized by three different men.

Ex’s husband was referring to Bill’s daughters and Ex’s oldest son as “his kids”, when in fact, two other men fathered those children and both had wanted to raise them. In 2012, Ex’s husband posted public pictures of them. In one photo, all five of Ex’s kids, along with her oldest son’s wife, were sitting at a table. It looked like the picture was taken after Bill’s older daughter got some kind of diploma. He’d captioned it “All my kids.”

In another photo, there was a picture of Bill’s younger daughter with some Mormon guy. She was dressed as if she was attending a fancy dance. I’m pretty sure it was a church function, since Ex made the girls quit public school and “homeschooled” them. The caption for that photo said something along the lines of “the name change will be final soon”. 2012 was when Ex managed to get Bill’s daughters to legally change their names to their stepfather’s, although she did not get them legally adopted by him, as she’d promised she would.

I couldn’t help but think these photos were made public intentionally. Ex was probably hoping we’d see them back then and be wounded by her actions. We knew what she was up to, although we both thought the name change stupidity was a waste of time and money. She did the same thing with her oldest son, changing his name to Bill’s. Later, he had it legally changed back to his original surname.

Just a few years after that “ceremony”, younger daughter married. Not long after her wedding, she and her real father– my husband Bill– started talking again. She calls Bill “Dad” and even speaks to his mother– her grandmother– a delightful woman whose company she’s been denied for most of her life because Ex hates Bill’s mom.

Now that Bill and his daughter are speaking to each other, we’re learning the truth about the facade that was put out there. It was a facade we’d mostly missed when it was relevant. Now we know that what was put on Facebook for us to see– and the reality of the situation– were two totally different things.

A lot of people think I’m the crazy one. I’ve posted about this situation for many years, mainly because it is crazy. Writing about this– and most other things that upset me– helps me process. I’ve had a lot of people who don’t understand the full spectrum of the situation tell me that I’m “unhealthy” or hateful for putting this stuff in print. I don’t think these people realize just how awful it is when people try to silence you from speaking your truth on your space. Even if they think my truth isn’t the whole truth– or they think they know better, when they don’t even know the people involved– they try to tell me what I should write about or talk about, or how long it should take me to “get over” something. They assume the people in this story are perfectly normal people– people who think it’s okay to lie to their children about their past, their other parent and his family, and to the public.

One thing I noticed on Ex’s husband’s page is that he doesn’t have a single public picture posted of Ex. There are pictures of his two kids, their backs turned to the camera. There are several pictures of Bill’s daughters– the ones whose diapers Bill changed, who were held, protected, and fed by Bill when they were tiny, who were supported by Bill’s timely child support payments for years… Those pictures were likely put out there for Bill to see and be wounded by. It wasn’t enough that Ex kept Bill’s daughters from him and talked him into having surgery that would prevent him from having another family with me. She had to get her husband to publicly gloat about stealing Bill’s children from him.

How funny it is that the joke is now on her. Her oldest children know their mother is crazy. Two out of three of them have done their best to get far away from her. One has stayed behind to help raise the youngest child, whom Ex and her husband are apparently neglecting. We learned from younger daughter that she showed up to college with nothing… nothing from her so-called “dad” who referred to her as one of his children. Nothing from her so-called doting mother, who let her daughter go all the way across the country with nothing more than the clothes on her back, so that she had to get help from the LDS church. Not even a phone number for her real father or her grandparents, who cared very much about her and would have helped if they’d only known she needed them.

Ex gets very angry when her children do things she doesn’t like. In 2006, her eldest son started talking to Bill again, looking for support. She became determined to ruin the relationship. The connection lasted three years, until Ex found a way to sabotage it. Bill hasn’t spoken to his ex stepson– the boy he’d once called his own son and paid child support for– since 2009. We’ve heard that he’s now contrite about the way he treated Bill. He realizes it was wrong. I don’t know if they’ll ever reconnect, which is a real pity.

Younger daughter said her mother found out she was talking to Bill and threw a fit. She berated her for being disloyal and connecting with Bill, whom she’d claimed had “really hurt her”. How? Because when she asked for a divorce, he consented to granting it? That response wasn’t in the script. He was supposed to grovel. So, instead of manning up and working with Bill so that the children would be spared some pain, she did her usual thing… forcing her children to split from Bill, too. It was a case of “if I can’t have you, you can’t have the children.” Bill’s kids were part of a package deal. Bill wasn’t in a position to force her to cooperate with him, and it probably would have been a waste of time and money to try, anyway.

Ex had nothing to say for her repeated abuses of Bill… the scars of which he still physically bears. I guess she thinks she gets a pass. She has nothing to say for the way her abuse has affected so many people, some of whom have never even met her. I am among those people. So are her children’s significant others and their children, and other extended family members.

I’ve been affected by this toxicity myself. I can’t take abuse anymore. I am saturated when it comes to abusive people. I’ve come to hate people who mistreat me or Bill, even though I realize that a lot of people who are abusive were once abused themselves. I am capable of forgiving people and getting over things, but it takes me a lot longer than it used to. I am a lot less inclined to let things slide than I was before I encountered Ex. When someone screws with me, I remember it and hang onto it, no matter how many times I get told I should “let it go”. I’m like a dog who gets slapped one too many times and starts biting back. That’s where I am now.

It won’t be too much longer before Bill has a new granddaughter. I hope he’ll get to see her at some point. I hope she’ll be spared her grandmother’s wickedness. Life is hard enough without having someone in it who goes out of her way to fuck things up for everyone.

This post is more serious than I meant it to be. I saw those photos yesterday, not really feeling angry or sad at the time. I’d say I felt more “bemused” by how things have turned out. I have been angry about this stuff for years, but I knew there would be a reconnect at some point. I just wasn’t expecting it to be as gentle as it’s been. It still makes me heartsick to know that my wonderful husband who is a fantastic father has missed 15 years of his daughters’ lives, all because he had them with the wrong person. I wish like hell he’d had them with me, instead.

I wasn’t expecting younger daughter to be so much like Bill is. She didn’t show those tendencies when she was younger. If she really is like him, that’s a comfort. There will still be a part of him out there when he’s gone someday. I wish I could say the same for me… then again, maybe not. At least my distinctive laugh won’t be passed on to some poor descendant.