Tomorrow is garbage day. Tonight, getting things ready to take out before bed, a few things happened that were really quite devastating - not just because of what he did, but of how strategic and deliberate he was in hurting us, and how despicably passive aggressive he is.
I could see my daughter was upset about something, but she wouldn't say what, just "I'll tell you later". But I saw it for myself. In the doorway to our kitchen, a large and quite full recycling bag sat fully open at the top, as though someone had pulled the plastic to make a perfectly round opening as wide as it would go. Right on top of all the garbage, there were two strategically placed items that had clearly been seen by my daughter (as planned, no doubt). A few years back, my husband went on a business trip to Prague. Along with a tour guidebook for the city, we'd given him a card we made - on the cover a heart framing a photograph of me and the two kids. Inside, it said that we would miss him, and couldn't wait to hear all the stories when he came home.The card and tour guide were strategically placed on top of the garbage so it could be plainly seen. As I tied up that garbage bag, my husband called from the family room, saying he'd forgotten to get the garbage from the ensuite bathroom, and would I please get it. My daughter begged me not to, holding my arm so I couldn't go. I assured her it was okay, that I do that all the time (forget one little pocket of garbage) but she was adamant that I not do it. Finally, she said she knew why he'd asked me, and that there was something in the garbage he wanted me to see but that I shouldn't have to look at. I went down and opened the garbage can and found that she was right. A friend had taken a lovely photograph of my husband and I with the two kids at my 50th birthday brunch, and I had it made into an 8x10. This was crumpled up and thrown on top of the garbage, but opened enough that you could see which photo it was.
My daughter was beside herself. "He just wants to throw our family away", she cried. I tried to explain that he is hurting terribly with all that is going on, and that he would never have done something like this with the purpose of hurting anyone. She disagreed. She said, rightly, that "I get it that he doesn't like me now that I am a teenager. But I wrote that card when I was a little girl. My printing in that card should be something he wants to keep but he has thrown it away. This is the meanest thing ever. And don't tell me he didn't want us to see it, or for you to see the one of our family in the other garbage. That is what he wanted, to hurt us by throwing us away." She was inconsolable, and would not speak to him for the rest of the night. I expressed my dismay to him that he would have done this, especially to the kids. One thing to put it in our bathroom garbage, but the other one was so clearly to hurt the kids. Of course, he denied it all, saying he hadn't even noticed what he was throwing out, he was just clearing out things that don't have meaning for him anymore. He is mean, and nasty, and this is exactly why I cannot continue to live with him or subject my kids to this kind of mind-messing crap. I never thought I could say this about him, but I can't wait until he is out of my life.