I have these neighbors who have a deteriorating relationship. Originally it was the husband, wife, and two kids living there. I guess now it is over now because just the husband is there.
I’ve lived here about a year and a half and their fights have gotten worse and the police were coming more frequently. Around a month ago the wife and kids moved out. The kids come to visit him on the weekends.
It has been really quiet since they left. I had not seen the police here at all. Until today. This morning I heard angry yelling and a door slam. Then a little while later the police were at his door talking to him. They left and I thought that would be it for the day.
Nope. A couple of hours later I was opening some blinds while I was cleaning and notice the wife at his door with another woman. The wife was on the phone and he was yelling at the other woman through the window.
Yep. The cops returned. The wife went downstairs, I assume to speak with them and then they came upstairs to the guy’s apartment. They went inside and a few minutes later the youngest son came out and ran into the woman’s arms. I am guessing she may be the wife’s sister because from a distance they look similar.
I moved to clean a different area so I don’t know how it all ended. Though I have seen him around later the day, but not the kids.
This is all speculation on my part, but I think he didn’t want to return the kids to their mom. That is what it looked like.
First of all, he can’t say he never gets to see them because they’ve been here the last three weekends. Considering most custody arrangements are for alternating weekends, he can’t bitch. Secondly, considering how often the cops were here and how he was frequently yelling abusive shit at the wife and at them when they lived here, I don’t think he should see them at all without psychological supervision.
My family of origin was a dumpster fire. They have many divorces between them. I was witness to nine of them before I cut off contact about a decade ago. I don’t count my mother’s first divorce since I was not alive yet.
I know how nasty it gets and how people get vengeful and use their kids as weapons because they are bitter about the turn their lives have taken.
Yet all those parents would claim to love their kids. I bet this neighbor claims the same thing.
My question is, how can he believe he loves them when he is inflicting trauma on them? Trauma that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives.
By sheer coincidence, I sat down this afternoon to read a self-help book I had gotten recently. Not too long into it, the author is telling this awful anecdote that he thinks proves his entire premise.
He entered some race for which he did not properly prepare himself physically. Then he ate a bunch of junk during the race at some rest stop and got violently ill. His small children were hysterical at seeing him so sick. His wife essentially forced him to quit the race.
Then later after he was feeling better and his family was already sleeping, he woke them up and dragged them back to the racecourse so he could finish.
He was all proud of himself. He thought he was teaching them a lesson to never quit. The lesson should have been, if you want to do something, plan properly so you don’t get your stupid ass sick in the middle of it and traumatize innocent children.
He came in last by the way.
After reading through his description of his children sobbing and screaming throughout the ordeal, and as someone who has a basic understanding of trauma, I closed the book (it's on my kindle, so I closed out of the file) and just sat there shaking my head wondering what the hell is wrong with him.
He even tried to say that when he contemplated who he was if he didn’t finish the race, he was actually thinking of his family. No, asshole. You were not. You were thinking of yourself.
A truly loving functional parent would have sat his family down the next morning and apologized to his children for what he put them through. Then explained to them that it was his own fault because he did not train for the race as he should have. By letting them see that he made a mistake and had consequences for it, he could have taught them a powerful lesson if he signed up for a later race and showed them how he prepared responsibly and was able to finish that race.
This was not a tale of someone who overcame insurmountable odds and should be held up as a lesson to us all. This was a moron who didn’t train properly for a race and tried to pass it off as a feat of endurance rather than a selfish display of idiocy.
I know both my examples were men, but it just worked out that way. Women can be selfish shitty parents as well. My own mother was awful. She was manipulative and a compulsive liar so her relationship skills and parenting skills were crap. I also have a relative who is an addict and I fully supported her baby daddies’ taking the kids because they were much more stable — what with being employed and not abusing substances.
So this was not meant to target fathers. It was meant to discuss people who think that their love for their children is about them. There are too many parents like that and it can help explain why there are so many screwed up people in the world.