My best friend Sue called me this morning and told me about her latest ordeal with Tim.
She was divorced 8 years ago, but the ripple effect has been causing ocean swells way over her head for years.
She moved on with her life, but her ex, Tim, is constantly rocking the boat.
Tim can appear as easygoing as a jellyfish just floating by, but his tentacles are far reaching and have a poisonous and painful sting.
He has abused police departments and legal systems to carry out his vengeance, while hiding behind a cloak of poor innocent victim.
Tim repeatedly petitions Family Court to make Sue pay, (financially and emotionally)… to fill this bottomless pit of debt he believes he is owed.
And worst of all, it is their children who have suffered the most. It is they, who have the deepest scars and are truly the innocent victims.
For years, Tim has masterfully created mosaics of his reality, built with jagged pieces of his lies. And even though this reflection is a compilation of only truth fragments, somehow with a swipe of his gifted skill… he masterfully fills in all the empty spaces with a glittering substance which tricks the mind and the eye to perceive it all as truth.
But it is not the truth… it is only his truth.
Those who are driven to look deeper, can clearly see the disconnect in the picture of reality he spins. Apparently, the only reality Tim himself chooses to believe and will tell anyone who cares to listen.
Sue told me about an unusual phone conversation she recently had with Tim, which better illustrates this mosaic I’m trying to describe.
“I hadn’t spoken with him in years, you know our conversations never end well.
But he recently needed my signature on a legal matter or else he’d be facing a foreclosure on some property,
therefore he needed to speak with me.
So, I took the opportunity to discuss a matter which was very important to me, our 18 year old’s college choices. This is a monumental decision and I hoped Tim and I would be united in helping our child make a good decision… one which would inevitably have long lasting implications on her future.
At first the conversation was cordial, and then he said something that stopped me dead in my tracks. He was trying to prove a point and said accusatorily…(with 100% confidence in his voice)
Well, you’re the one who asked for the divorce.
I literally laughed out loud. What?!?!, I said… Are you kidding me right now?!?!
I found it extremely odd he’d even say such a thing, . And not only was his comment a blatant lie, but he said it to me…(someone who Lived The Truth) which was completely absurd.
My thoughts shot back to a day I’d rather forget… Thursday May 1, 2008.
The day we sat on our marriage therapist’s couch and Tim said he wanted a divorce… And then went on to describe how the time he spent with a special someone on his latest business trip to Montreal helped him make-up his mind that our marriage was over… and He. Wanted. A. Divorce.
I remember it felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Even though we both knew the appearance of our marriage had been enhanced with smoke and mirrors for years, I believed we shared a mutual understanding we’d stay ‘married’ until our youngest went off to college. I felt betrayed and was shocked at how coldly he stated such a life-changing decision”.
I told Sue, I too remembered that day like it was yesterday. That evening, after she had put her kids to bed… Sue ended up out in her car, in my driveway and I sat with her as she cried and sobbed. We both knew Sue wasn’t crying from a broken heart, she wept for the uncertainty and pain her children were now about to face. She could no longer shielded them from Tim’s pervasive pattern of manipulation…. his greed and desperate need to achieve a desire for importance, and entitlement at all cost. She knew her children would ultimately end up paying that debt, because Tim’ greatest flaw was his of lack of empathy for anyone else… including their children,
I also reminded her about what Tim had said only a couple days later. That Saturday, our group of very close friends got together to watch the Kentucky Derby. Sue was still a wreck, and someone questioned how Tim’s decision to get divorced might negatively affect the kids and Tim smirked and said… ‘The kids will be fine. What doesn’t kill them, will make them stronger’.
It was at that very moment, our group of friends were completely disillusioned and disturbed by Tim’s cold character. And from that day on, it was Sue who had our continued friendship and our unconditional support.
“Yes, I totally remember it all” Sue said.
“And that’s why I literally laughed out loud. His comment was absurd. But then I remembered one of my kids telling me their dad had told them, I asked for the divorce… At the time, I thought little of it… but suddenly his comment made me realize he’s been telling these lies to our kids and my protective mamabear instincts kicked in.
So, I pressed him about his— (‘Well, you’re the one who asked for the divorce.’ ) — comment, which we both knew was a boldfaced lie.”
“Holy cow, you wouldn’t believe how defensive he got….
He said, he was over-it and didn’t want to discuss it… there was no point rehashing it all.
But suddenly there was this flashing red flag right in front of my face… and it became crystal clear to me that his comment was just one lie that was covering up a whole toxic pile of lies… and he certainly didn’t want me pulling that cover off.
So, when I asked him, if he was kidding… he actually shot back with the craziest answer. He said, Well it’s your name that’s listed at the top of our divorce agreement… you are the one typed in as the “Petitioner”. So, I have proof in writing that proves… you asked for the divorce!!!
OMG!!! My jaw hit the floor. He was right.
When the divorce agreement was getting finalized he asked if I had any objection to his lawyer typing up the actual agreement.
And I said, I didn’t care who typed it up… I was worn down and depleted at that point. When I received my copy of the agreement, I remember noticing his lawyer had typed my name in as “Petitioner” but thought nothing of it. I figured it didn’t really matter who was listed as “Petitioner”, it was a moot point.
Plus, I had bigger things to worry about.
I was more concerned with reading through and trying to understand the hundreds of pages of legalese and documentation that dissolved our 23 year marriage and illuded to provide a fair distribution of assets and resolution for all.
Which we know now, was in fact, not fair and only benefited Tim, not me or our kids.”
Then Sue asked me a question:
“Do you think he’s been telling people that lie for the past eight years???
Do you think people believe him?
You know Tim’s a master of manipulation.
It took me decades to see the way he’s always spinning a web, always plotting what tactic will give him the best results…
He even brags about every move he makes is always two steps ahead, he always has a motive… an angle.
Do you think Tim actually had my name listed as “Petitioner” on purpose?
Why would he do that, go through all that trouble?
Why would he bother to lie about who asked for the divorce anyway?