Originally Posted by emilyrose
When I said I was not going to allow him to bully me anymore he said he wasn't going to allow me to bully him anymore, either!!!!!! I have no words for this. I seriously think he believes he's a victim and I'm out to get him, and that the only way to deal with me is to do what he's doing........
He is deranged! My ex started constantly saying that he couldn't trust me, couldn't trust my word. This made me absolutely NUTS!!! Never in my life had I lied to him... his stack of lies was like an abyss swallowing him up! I said something in frustration to my lawyer once and she told me that happens all the time. People who are dishonest, who lie, cheat, manipulate, bully, etc. assume that everyone else does it too. And also, on some very deep level that may never come to the surface, he knows how terrible he's being. And he knows that you are a good person and a good mother. And he can't face himself in the mirror right now. He is deflecting on to you because it's the only way he can live with himself and his choices and the abyss he has dug for himself.
In the end, Emily, your life will be better and his will be worse. Not that you are seeking misery for him or anyone. But life catches up to people who operate this way. He can't possibly be happy deep down or he wouldn't be this cruel and irrational. You will grow into a new and wonderful happiness over time based on truth and integrity. And he will be stuck in his own meanness, insecurity, etc. You will not be the last person he treats this way.
Another thing to remember: Bullies continue to bully the poor, scared, wimpy kids on the playground who are too scared to stand up for themselves. They leave the confident ones alone. It will take time... and may not have immediate results... but I imagine if you continue to base all of your decisions on yours and your DDs best interests and just calmly, clearly, and firmly stand your ground continually AND NOT LET HIM SEE THAT HE IS AFFECTING YOU IN ANY WAY (easier said than done, I know!), gradually bullying you will no longer serve any purpose for him and he'll move on to someone else.
Some helpful lines when you are not sure whether or how to respond to him:
"I'm sorry you feel that way." You can say this one over and over for thousands of situations!
"Hmmm." When he threatens you with something.
"I've got to run, but why don't you send me an email about that." DON'T agree to ANYTHING on the spot with him right now. He has too much power over you. I had to do this for a good year, and still do it a lot. Even something as simple as a schedule change. I'd be trying so hard to have a positive interaction and be agreeable and then realize later that I wasn't at all comfortable with what I agreed to. Just say you'll get back to him. Even if it's later the same day. AND, you never know what might be helpful to have in writing from him later on.
It sounds like you're doing great, even though it all must feel so incredibly terrible right now. And it does sound like he is not nearly as confident as he is trying to come across. Which, explains why he's trying to scare you.
If you have to stay with your parents and they are uncomfortable, just have a designated meeting spot to exchange the DDs. Or have him text you or something when he's 5 minutes away and say you'll always meet him in the driveway.
I hope you found someone to be with you when they came over. That is very good thinking.
Maybe have a heart to heart with your lawyer. Tell him how scared you are... see how open and honest he is with you. My lawyer was very honest about what she couldn't promise but what she thought was reasonable and likely, etc. It scared me, of course! We mommies want promises that we can keep our babies safe. But it gave me more confidence in her. She also have me good tips on how to deal with him. Which sounds like not really her job, but it makes her job easier, in a way. These lawyers see the crazy all the time. Good ones have helpful ways of handling it for the best possible outcome.
Lots of hugs. You are SOOO strong. Your DDs are so lucky. I really admire you. Hang in there.