Story of my Life: Part the Sixth

Posted: April 30, 2008 in Calvin, Drama, Headspace, Journal, Memory Lane

(Read previous installments: part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.)

I ran out of the house, barefoot in a t-shirt and undies, certain that my ex must be right behind me. I jumped in the car and backed out of the driveway just as he was opening the front door. He hollered something indistinguishable as I drove away.

There was only one safe place that I knew of that I could go, at 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, in the condition I was in. Minutes later, I pulled into Calvin’s driveway. When he answered the door and saw me standing there, shivering (it’s damned COLD in January in Arizona), he exclaimed, “What the hell?” and ushered me in. He grabbed a robe for me to wear while I told my story to him and his ex.

Let me pause here in the telling of this tale to mention that, despite everything that came after with Calvin’s ex, and my current opinion of her (and vice versa), I am still grateful for that time in my life when she and Calvin opened their home up to me and gave me a safe place to stay.

So. It seemed like I no sooner stepped into Calvin’s house that his phone began ringing. It was my ex, who knew that Calvin and his ex were the only people I knew well enough to drop on their doorstep like I did. I didn’t want to talk to him. That message was relayed. And yet he continued to call until Calvin took the phone off the hook.

The next day at work, the phone calls continued. I took the first few, but since my ex was vacillating wildly between contrition and abuse, I stopped taking his calls at about mid-morning. Which is when he showed up at AcronymCo, insisting to the security guard that he be allowed to pass so he could go to my desk. The guard, of course, refused. My ex had to be escorted off the property, without seeing me at all.

That evening my ex showed up at Calvin’s. Calvin’s ex went out to speak to him (Calvin was still at work) while I stayed in the house. I could hear my ex, wailing on the front stoop, while Calvin’s ex tried to talk sense into him. Finally, my ex went into some weird sort of collapse. An ambulance had to be called, and my ex was taken away for evaluation. It was a quiet handful of days while he stayed in the psychiatric ward of the hospital. But he bounced back in full force, calling me that evening from the hospital and sounding in fine fettle.

I stayed at Calvin’s for a short time, long enough to convince my ex to leave our house and stay with his sister, so that I could be allowed to “have some space to myself, and sort things out in my own home”. I caught him at a moment when he would grasp at the slim hope that I would “come to my senses” if I just had enough time, a fallacy that I fully enabled at that point, just to get him to cooperate. The first evening I went back to the house, I was met with an absolute AVALANCHE of discarded beer cans, dirty clothes, fast food wrappers, broken stuff, and dirty dishes. I’d never seen the house so destroyed in my life. I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning cleaning up and changing the sheets and blankets on the bed.

After about the first week I was alone in the house, I changed the locks on the doors and the mailbox. My ex had been coming and going freely while I was at work, and was being selective with which items of mail he’d leave for me. Since his psychosis-by-phone had not abated in the least, and had in fact grown worse, I felt distinctly uncomfortable with the thought that he could just waltz in whenever he wanted – perhaps even at night while I was asleep. Plus, by this time AcronymCo had banned him from any of their campuses, worldwide, as he continued to try to push his way through the guards and into my building.

He’s still banned to this day. Security has his picture in the “mug book”. Heh.

The day after I changed the locks I received a call at my desk. The caller ID said the call was coming from inside my own home. I answered, and my ex spewed forth the vilest diatribe I’d ever heard. How I was a bitch for pushing him away. How he could prove that he could get to me wherever and whenever he wanted. That there was nothing I could do to stop him from getting into his own home. That I had every reason to feel unsafe, because I wasn’t safe at all. Plus a lot of other, more colorful observations from his perspective.

When I got home I saw that he had broken into the house through a window in the side yard. I called “the guy” to come fix it, then immediately drove myself over to the courthouse and filed for a Temporary Restraining Order. I hired a very nice, speedy process server who successfully tracked down my ex and served him that very evening. More vicious phone calls ensued.

The flowers started arriving the very next morning. Day after day after day, for several weeks, my ex sent bouquets of flowers to AcronymCo. Each time I either threw them away or gave them to the security guards to decorate their stations. At the same time my ex would leave me voicemail messages (caller ID is so glorious for avoiding people you don’t want to talk to, but they can still leave messages). Some would be weepy and conciliatory. Some would be angry and threatening. Some would be songs recorded from the radio that apparently reminded him of me. Some would be just him crying for several minutes before hanging up. Some would be long strings of epithets, barely discernable in his raging voice. Some would be just silence, then a click.

He even tried getting through to me by calling my boss – a practice that she put a stop to in Very. Short. Order.

My ex and I were still seeing the counselor, separately. The problem was, my ex knew when I was going to be at my appointments (as I knew when he would be at his). I asked the counselor to walk me to and from my car when I had a session, but the counselor blew me off as being overly paranoid. So of COURSE one evening after a session I walked out to my car to discover my ex leaning against it. I reminded him that he was in violation of the TRO. He responded quite sunnily, making small talk and refusing to directly address what I was saying to him. He wanted to “go somewhere and talk”. He wanted to “get our friendship back”. He wanted to “go back to the beginning.”

He wouldn’t get out of my way so I could get in the car and leave, and even grabbed my arms when I tried to move past him. So I bumped the remote and set off the car alarm. People in the parking lot stared at us, so he let go of me and moved away from the car door. I got in and locked the doors. He started pounding on the window and hollering. I drove away. He got in his car and followed me. He harassed me all along the streets, swerving at me, racing to cut in front of me and then slowing abruptly, following so close behind me the bumpers touched. I drove toward Calvin’s, knowing it would be foolish of me to drive home where I would be alone and trying to race to safety into the house.

As soon as my ex saw where I was going, he peeled away, shouting and flipping me the bird as he passed me. So, I went home. I called the police and let them know about my ex’s actions. They tracked him down and gave him a warning to follow the terms of the TRO and stay away from me.

There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I should divorce my ex. Really, there hadn’t been a doubt since the night I walked out, but I was hoping to settle things peacefully and amicably, without the lawyers and the drama. Well, drama I already had in spades, so I decided to file on my own. I got a divorce kit from a stationary store, filled it out, filed it with the court, and then hired my trusty process server. I told him the date and time that my ex would be at his next appointment with the counselor. I figured that would be the safest place for my ex to be served, because he would surely flip out when he received the paperwork.

Maaaaan, was I right.

To be continued…

  1. cariskicker says:

    Yay, for quick next installment!
    Can’t wait to hear the rest….

  2. Jayne says:

    I’m just thinking of you, at age 22, having to deal with this hell all alone. You clearly have tremendous inner strength.

  3. Taoist Biker says:

    I completely agree with Jayne. That took a hell of a lot of guts for somebody so young to start the ball rolling AND to maintain it in the face of such resistance from someone you’d been forced upon whom you’d been forced to depend for years.

  4. Taoist Biker says:

    Hah! I pulled a written Porky Pig on myself. How humili…humidia…humilia…er, how ridiculous.

  5. Laura says:

    Cariskicker – It’s coming later today! (Who is Caris, by the way, and why are you Caris’ Kicker?)

    Jayne – Fortunately I was brought up by my Grandmother to just pick a direction, go forth and accomplish what you set out to do. Once I decided on what needed to get done I just kept going until it was over.

    TB x 2 – Well, what helped a lot was the knowledge that I had been really taking care of the two of us for years, so I already knew I could do it on my own. But yes, now that I look back I’m proud that I was able to get out of that relationship. And I must speak Porkanese, because I understood you just fine.

  6. Jean says:


  7. Jean says:


  8. Laura says:

    Jean – Ask and ye shall receive…

  9. cariskicker says:

    Caris (Rhyme’s with Paris) is my daughter’s name. We called her Cariskicker as a baby when she was in that ‘kicking in place’ phase of baby-hood. Now I’ve kind of stolen it for my online identity. I’m a thief. 🙂

  10. […] to read the whole sordid tale, here’s part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven, and epilogue. Keep in mind I was still using nom-de-nets back […]

  11. Oregon Sunshine says:

    Still very similar, creepily so!

  12. Oregon Sunshine says:

    Still very similar, creepily so!

    (and now wordpress doesn’t want me to leave this comment claiming it’s a duplicate!)

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