Abusive and Controlling Emails – Email Traps 3

So as I discussed in my previous emails regarding my father’s email with his topic of ‘You, you you… but this is about God’ and how familiar this was sounding to emails from my ex-husband.  One of the emails I received years ago were regarding sending our daughter to therapy because she was having tantrums, difficulty in school and was complaining her vaginal area hurt.   I have written about that time in my post titled Abusive Warning Signs – Something is Wrong with more details on that unexplained situation and there are a string of emails that really remind me of this bizarre exchange with my father. We will call my ex-husband ‘Dick’ and I have changed my daughter’s name to ‘Our Daughter’ and such.

Previous Posts: Email Traps 1 and Email Traps 2

Ain’t  You Tired Miss Hilly?

At this point I am almost finished writing this long exchange and it is really exhausting. I can actually still feel my frustration with dealing with him to this day. It actually reminds me of the movie The Help where Abilene is stating Miss Hilly is a Godless woman who tries to scare & lie to get what she wants.  Then Abilene says to her, “Ain’t you tired Miss Hilly? Ain’t you tired?”  I feel like saying that to my ex-husband, “Ain’t you tired yet?”   Maybe that desire to have power & control just keeps them fired up?

The Talent Show Exchange

May 10, 2005 6:13pm – Email I sent to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

The talent show is this Friday and tomorrow is the last day they are having practice and it is at 5pm at Joan’s house (by your house).  What are your ideas about that?

[From Me]

May 10, 2005 6:30pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

Ironic…. after all the emails you sent yesterday you send me this.  If you take her to practice do you stay with her?  I cannot remember what I had sent ‘yesterday’, perhaps that will be my next post.

I have no problem with her going to practice but I do want to see her but this limits my time with her as well as her missing gymnastics (I pay $55 per month whether she goes or not).  I would trade days so that I can get her on Thursday for a couple of hours but I may not be able to get her by 6:00.  If we choose this route then we can play it by ear otherwise I can suggest you bring her after practice but that seems distracting to her…. the quick visits.  I say we push for Thursday but don’t mention anything until I contact you regarding my return from my 4:30 appointment.  Other than his initial comment ‘Ironic…’ he is not completely unreasonable here.  

Let me know.

[From Dick]

Today,  I doubt I would allow a conversation to go on for this long. It is entirely too long and drawn out. I allowed him to suck me into his control.

May 10, 2005 8:48pm – 2nd Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

Please let me know asap so I will know if I am going to see her tomorrow or the next day.

[From Dick]

May 10, 2005 8:48pm – Email I sent to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

I know this rehearsal came as a surprise.  I don’t always get a lot of notice where school functions are concerned.  I agree it is important for our daughter to go to the talent show practice tomorrow so on Friday she will feel comfortable doing this with her friends.  I am willing to exchange Wednesday for Thursday this week.  I have to leave the house at 6:30pm please pick her up by then.  Then can pick her up at your house on Thursday before 8:30pm.

Also, our daughter has been invited to Andrew’s (across the street) birthday party on May 15, Sunday at 12:30pm-2:30pm.  She is really excited about this party and I don’t have any problems taking her since it means so much to her.  I do not have to leave the house until 3pm so if you would rather drop her off and I can take her and then you can pick her up at 2:30pm.

[From Me]

May 11, 2005 2:20am – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

First of all I am ALWAYS flexible with you when it comes to our daughter, however, it seems that you are not following your own advice.  For the past two days you have sent me somewhat stern emails regarding our daughter’s time with you and me “trying” to disrupt it.  As you know I was not trying to do that.  Remember, there are times you can call me to see if you can take her to McDonalds when I have her, there are times you call me to pick her up when I don’t have her because you are on your fourth step and need some time alone.  There are times when you get a babysitter for a Friday night yet you don’t call me to see if I could watch her, which you did this past Friday, yet you make a big deal about this weekend and how your time is your time.  I always seem to accommodate you.  He is being forceful by using the capitalization and I can’t remember him ‘always’ being flexible over the past 8 years.  I do remember him making every ‘yes or no’ conversation into this long drawn out ordeal.   I actually remember now this ‘big deal’ I made about that weekend.  He had decided to leave a voice-mail telling our daughter he would pick her up on Mother’s day to spend time with him.  We had to have this long discussion about that being Mother’s Day and I would prefer he make arrangements with me instead of our 6 year old in the future.

I suggested switching days because I am aware of how important this school function is but I also mentioned that I am cramped on Thursday.  If you must know the appointment at 4:30 is for laser surgery and it can’t rescheduled at this juncture   I will pick her up but since I am being flexible don’t  dictate what time I have to pick her up by.  I will do my best to get her by 6:30.  Funny, his comment ‘if you must know’ regarding his appointment, I didn’t ask.  Even looking back now it seems he will be flexible as long as he is in control of the situation.

Regarding the birthday party, as always I am flexible but not sure about the picking up and dropping off and picking her up again part.  This is very upsetting to her and disruptive for me.  I have limited time with her and believe it or not I go out and do fun things with her lately it seems every-time my days with her have to be altered due to some event.  As ALWAYS I am flexible but I am a little thrown off by the fact you blasted me for Mothers Day if you recall you blamed me for potentially hurting her feelings.  Remember she called me and wanted to have breakfast .. just the three of us.   Did not see you jumping in there and defusing the situation.  When she does that to me I always diffuse it.  He repeats the statement he is ‘always flexible’ a few times in this email.  It is also funny that he comments on the back and forth but in a few emails he suggest the most confusing ‘back and forth’ schedule adjustment.  With regards to the Mother’s Day situation I actually remember pretty clearly.  To this day he still won’t let her have friends to play with ‘on his time’ or attend birthday parties/functions that fall on his visitation day.  Now that our daughter is older she mentioned one time to me, “Mom, my dad says I can’t have friends over on ‘his time’ but you let me have friends over when I am on ‘your time’.  My dad invites his friends over but I can’t invite mine.”  You know I didn’t have to respond to this statement because she has made her own conclusions based on his actions over the years.

Bottom line, in the future if you need to alter or exchange days/weekends then that is perfectly fine with me.   Please read the last sentence again so there won’t be a misunderstanding.  Let’s both keep in mind that we consider the other schedule as well as respect the others time with and without her.  Let’s also not set any expectations to her such as certain events like quick visits or parties if we don’t’ have her.  He uses ‘bottom line’ or ‘for the record’ kind of statements all the time.  Kind a ‘My Way or the Highway’ statement.  

Fair enough?

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 7:14am – Email I sent to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

I will not be here after 6:30pm which is why I said that.

I cant change my plans every time our daughter’s activity happen to fall on your parenting days but I am willing to accommodate so she can attend these functions.  I would think you would welcome the opportunity to participate fully with her in school activities and meet her classmates.  It will give you an opportunity to know and participate in whatever she is involved in, and meet her friends.  That’s part of being there for her as a parent, which I am sure you enjoy.

The other options is you can take her to both of these:

You are welcome to pick her up a few minutes early, at 4:45pm and take her to Joan’s house for rehearsal.  Rehearsal is only 30 minutes.  If you do that, then she will not miss gymnastics and you can bring her home afterwards as normal.

Andrew is our daughter’s friend across the street.  He came to her party and brought her a present and it would be a good experience for our daughter to do the same.  In addition, it would be a good experience for our daughter too about social reciprocal behavior.  And as if that were not enough reason to go, they are having hamburgers and hot-dogs for lunch!  LOL I am sure you two would have fun!

[From Me]

May 11, 2005 9:50am – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

I have a solution.  Need to discuss with you but since you do not like speaking with me then I will break it down.  No, I didn’t like speaking with him and I still do not, his controlling attitude is really hard to stomach. To this day I hate having to involve him on anything and have really put the situation between my daughter and him, “You will have to ask your dad about the party because that is his weekend.”  I also do not say it with any malice.

I have a business engagement that I need to attend on Friday… I have cancelled it since I have our daughter.  I suggest I get our daughter on Thursday and she spend the night with me and I take her to school on Friday.  She stays with you on Friday and I come get her Saturday morning.  Sunday she goes to the party and you take her and pick her up and bring her by (since you have to be somewhere at 3pm).

Note to Reader: This is really the turning point for me when I decided it was time for us to go by the decree. Firstly, Dick has me doing all the footwork regarding our daughter’s activities that fell on his weekends. He wasn’t willing to take her to any school functions but he was willing to have me pick her up, take her and then return her to him. See above on the schedule he created even after he had already stated earlier he felt all the back and forth was bad for our daughter.

Secondly, the flexibility always seemed to be one-sided and create excessive emails & conflicts.  So after a discussion with a friend who brought that to my attention that this flexibility was working for him but not for me.  She recommended going by the decree to end our conflicts because it had become very clear that this was some sort of ‘game’ he was playing.  Any email that could have had a simple ‘yes or no’ always turned into this type of ordeal full of chaos and drama. I think my ex-husband really thrives on this chaos because of his desire to control. So in going by the decree we would no longer have to have any future discussions regarding schedules.

Understand that I am aware things come up for both you and I and we have to be flexible but this seems too difficult for whatever reason.  Hmm, I wonder if the reason has anything to do with trying to co-parent with an abusive & controlling ex-husband?

If you don’t agree to any or all of this then let me know and I will pick her up today at 5:00 and I will pick her up at 6:00 on Friday and bring her back by 7:00 on Sunday.  This is not a strong arm tactic… I am just growing tired of the complexity that has materialized.  I just want what is best for her as always and I do miss being with her.  If this weren’t a ‘strong arm tactic’ there would be no reason to say that, would there?

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 12:55pm – Another Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

It is almost 1:00…. I need to know what you have decided.  I have a meeting I am trying to reschedule but I can’t until I know if I am picking her up at 5:00.  Let me know… if I don’t hear from you then I will see her at 5:00.  Thanks for leaving me in limbo.  I am trying to be patient here but I am not getting much help from you.

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 1:16pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

I just got home and I just had time to review all your emails.  Now I am really confused at what you want to do and what you want me to do at this point.  All of this comes around not being based on the decree.  So at this point the decree is what is best for our daughter.  Your next visitation is Thursday from 6-8pm, after that you know what the decree reads.

[From Me]

May 11, 2005 1:23pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

Not trying to confuse you.  Are you not taking her to the talent show practice today?  If so I can pick her up tomorrow by 6:30.  As for the weekend I can get a sitter or take her to the child play center if need be.   Please confirm we are switching today for Thursday.

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 1:53pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

Please refer back to the decree.  At this point I am not willing to go here, I want to go by the decree.  I think that is what is best for our daughter.  Our communications seem to cause more conflicts than solutions.   At this point the decree is best because it takes you and I out of it and we can focus on what is really important here, our daughter.

Our Daughters’s counselor gave me his card to give to you.  He said he would love to meet you.  He said she is very guarded about her feelings but she doesn’t seem to be depressed, her behavior exhibits anger over our divorce.  Her next appointment is June 6th.  I will give you his card along with the school pictures tomorrow.

[From Me]

May 11, 2005 2:05pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

I will pick her up at six and bring her back by 8.  On Friday I will pick her up at 6:00 and bring her back at 6:00 on Sunday.  Just want to confirm so there is no misunderstanding.  See her tomorrow.

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 2:30pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

You misunderstood, according to the decree, you do not have her this weekend your visitation is the following weekend.  I am aware that sometimes this is going to work in my favor and sometimes it is not, so be it.

I will continue to take her to gymnastics.

[From Me]

May 11, 2005 2:38pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

You told me I could have her for the next two weekends!!! Due to the Mother’s Day deal.

[From Dick]

May 11, 2005 2:42pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

That was when we were being flexible, now we are going by the decree which starts today.

[From Me]

Guilt and Threats

May 11, 2005 2:49pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

I have your email that confirms you agreed to this… you actually proposed this.  The day will come when you need something.  Next to the CPS thing, this is the worst thing you could have done.  You are trying to hurt me but in turn you are hurting our daughter.  Going forward you can give me all correspondence regarding our daughter via email, don’t’ expect a response.  I will send all bills, etc with her via back pack.

I should have seen this coming.


May 12, 2005 2:41pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

 [To Dick]

For the month of June I would like my summer weekend to be June 3-5.

[From Me]

May 12, 2005 2:49pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

Do you mean the month of July or are you saying that even though June 3-5 is the first weekend of the month (which is mine) you are awarded her by the language of the decree

I do know that there were certain dates that written notification had to be done by (4/16).  I also know that i have her for the entire month of July (unless I or you gave written notice).  Needless to say I will look at the decree to see if it states any language regarding to your response.

I will pick her up at Joan’s house at 6:00.

[From Dick]

May 13, 2005 6:48am – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

I am not sure how you are reading my emails but when I write you these emails I am taking great care in trying not to create any problems, anger or communication errors between us.  I am trying to keep you informed and involved with our daughter.  There is a huge communication problem between us that seems to create unnecessary conflict.

The reason I opted to go by the decree is because it is in writing and it leaves less room for problems.  If we can come up with something in writing that is outside the decree; like Wednesday instead of Thursday, I would be willing to do that.  I think we need to stop the conflicts.  Perhaps we can start with one year, then we can rethink next year as it comes.

Would you be willing to compromise for a solution?

[From Me]

Blocking and Diverting

May 13, 2005 12:02pm – Email from my Ex-husband: Here is where he blows his stack!

[To Me]

Please read the email below that states “thats’ when we were being flexible… now we are going by the decree which starts today”.  How can I misconstrue the meaning?

You promised me that I would have her this weekend as well as the next (due to Mother’s Day). You have a history of going in and out of the decree which is based on how you feel towards me on that given day.  If you recall I have been flexible throughout this period.  I have moved days to Wednesday to accommodate your pool league, I was late picking her up one day and you no longer want her spending the night on weekdays and I agreed (you pulled the decree thing on me again), I chose your CPA to do the taxes, I gave you money for the dishwasher, paid for her furniture which I did not have to do (per your attorney), I was willing to take her when you went on your Alanon trip, I am always willing to take her if you have something come up or need to switch and I allow you to take her on my weekends and weekdays to go to parties, etc.

Note to Reader: We went to my CPA because the prior year he signed my name on our income return, hid the money in a secret account, and lied about it for 2-3 months. He agreed to pay for the dishwasher and daughter’s furniture during our divorce 6 months before

If you also notice, ‘he allows me to take her on his weekends to parties, etc…’  This is stuff that he should be doing.   

With that being said you have returned the favor by throwing the decree at me every time you are mad, you take her to a therapist that we did not agree on, you say you will not communicate  with me unless I go to therapy, AA, etc. and the last but not least you accused me and filed a report to the police on the CPA situation.  I WONDER WHY THERE IS A HUGE COMMUNICATION PROBLEM!!!

Note to Reader: Regarding the Child Protection Services comment, our daughter had complaints of her vagina hurting for months after many visitations with her father. After taking her to the doctor repeatedly and found no medical reason for these complaints the Pediatrician told me I had to call CPS or the doctor would call them. Read additional details in my post about this topic Warning Signs – Something is Wrong. According to the Domestic Abuser Counselor if something were happening and I did not make the call then I was risk of losing my daughter.  

You only hurt our daughter when you do these things!  Read my email below that says the day will come when you need something… if you have read the decree then you know that you do not get her for an extended weekend since you did not provide that in writing prior to the deadline.  I am tired of you using the decree as leverage, PER YOUR REQUEST I WILL HONOR THE DECREE!!!

[From Dick]

May 13, 2005 2:20pm – Email to my Ex-husband:

[To Dick]

I am done, perhaps we need a third party.

[From Me}

May 13, 2005 2:22pm – Email from my Ex-husband:

[To Me]

Bring it on.  I can read and I know what the decree says.  Have your attorney call me or my new attorney.  I welcome it. Who is discussing attorneys? At what point did I ever say we needed to call an attorney?

[From Dick]

Related Posts: 

One thought on “Abusive and Controlling Emails – Email Traps 3

Add yours

  1. Mind boggling how the syntax sounds so much like my SBTX. How they manage to turn stuff around and re-create to their own distorted sense of reality is incredible. My heart goes out to you.


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