So this morning my ex husband called me as I was on my way to work. He said he was giving me the "heads up" that he would be taking the two younger boys on a day trip with his girlfriend and her mother, at the mother's request this Thursday, so they would be missing camp. My initial physical reaction was a tightening and wanting to immediately say no.
Last week we were in a very heated argument because he had called the 9 year old and told him that he wanted to pick him up early for his visit that day. I took the phone from the child to talk myself and find out why he wanted the earlier time. He didn't have any specific reason, he just wanted extra time with them. I told him I needed 5 minutes off the phone to think about it. When I hung up the phone, the kids came to me and said they didn't want to go. When he called back I told him that we had conducted a democratic vote and that it was decided that we would stick to our regular time. When I came to drop them off at his house, he came outside and started to yell at me. He said that I should never put the kids in the position of having to choose between parents and that I was a manipulative, self-righteous b****. He then told me to get the f*** off his property and went inside and slammed the door. (The neighbors loved it!) For the record, its generally assumed that he has some mental health issues (bipolar) coupled with on again off again substance abuse problems.
So today for him to tell me that he's talked to the kids and they want to skip the camp they are in to go with him on a day that he's not entitled to, is a little irritating, to put it mildly.
But, I thought about being Generosity and I explained that if he was interested in reimbursing me for half of the missed money from the camp, I would be fine with them going. Well he argued that I've already paid the money anyway so its irrelevant whether they go or not blah blah blah. I explained that I had given him the dates of the camp before I paid for them and also a list of dates that they would not be at camp that he could make plans for, but that seeing that this was the best day for all involved, he could feel free to split the loss with me. He turned it back to, yah whatever, all you ever care about is money, so if it makes you happy then fine, very "holier than thou-ish".
Its true. I think about money all the time. Will I have enough to heat my home this winter? Were almost out of food again even though I just shopped Saturday (Da** those growing boys!!!) The laptops broken . . .
So anyway. I tried being Generosity with him but he scares me. In the past he has not hesitated to use an exposed vulnerability to hurt me. How can I be generous and open and protect myself at the same time??