Random snippets of real life drama with an ex-husband who lived to lie and cheat and cover his tracks and situations where he financially, emotionally and physically abused. As in many things in life, the truth was buried…buried deep within the layers of the infamous cheater who we will call Onion Boy (O.B. for short). We will strip away the layers for all to see the loser is not the victim but the man who believes he can lie so well that he will never be caught…
During my daughter’s first years, Onion Boy (her father) was seldom seen at family occasions…let alone other days of the week. Despite having taken up residence a mere 10-15 minutes away. The door at his parent’s place where I lived with my daughter was always open to him (as in subsequent years when I moved out). I often wondered at the type of man that couldn’t make time for his only child. Where work and play outside of his family obligations were ranked so high that he just couldn’t manage to schedule time. Nonetheless, I kept on keeping on. I’d ask him if he would be coming to _______ and he’d say sorry, I have to work or I’d love to but I’ll have to see. So many wasted hours were spent waiting for him to arrive at the events that he’d promised to be at, I honestly lost count. There would be the heartfelt apologies and the tears and then the dreaded “it’ll be better soon, I promise”. Worse yet were the times he’d actually favour us with his presence only to have to run out due to a phone call or an emergency situation. The so-called “emergencies” he claimed were as a result of his mistress tracking him down and finding out that he was actually not where he had told here that he was going to be. Confused yet? ‘Cause I sure as hell was. Hindsight being 20/20, I’ve acknowledged the fact that my ex was a weak individual. A slave to his own pleasures and the rest of us that he claimed mattered so much to him….well I guess we just took a back seat to HIS needs.
Alarmingly enough to me, my daughter would start speaking his name and would, of course because she didn’t know him) call him by his first name. The first time she did this, I realized just how much of an impact this absentee father was going to have on her life. I’ve had many reminders over the years of just how badly this affected her and her self-esteem. It’s like a punch in the gut to have this happen and there are numerous times (too many to mention) where I’ve felt a failure in my duties as a mother. If I had a nickel for the many times I’ve thought in years since that I should have picked up and left when I first discovered his shenanighans, I’d be a wealthy woman by now. But love and the hope that he baited me with kept me on the hook for 10 years. I wonder if my leaving the city for home earlier would have made life easier for my daughter. It’s hard to know what the right choice would have been; for me, it seemed that for the years invested in our relationship, it was worth the wait. Now, given what has all transpired, I’m not so sure.
So the days went, first tooth, first words, first steps….a whole lot of firsts that only a parent can understand. Except good ol’ Onion Boy. He was off doing whatever Onion Boy wanted, which as it turned out was a whole bucketload of crap that I would only find out the truth much later….too late to change my path. I was effectively snared in his version of the truth. In fact, I believed him so totally and blindly that I missed several signs that I normally would not have let slide through the cracks.
I remember a trip to Brooklyn, my daughter was 18 months old. It was to be the first family trip in….I’ve no idea how long. Away from the “clients” that were always calling, away from the mistress’s prying eyes and time with our daughter – together as a family. To say I was excited would be a severe understatement. While the days slowed ticked by, excitement was replaced by dread of the shoe dropping. The bottom dropping out or whatever handy euphemism you choose. Afraid of that awful call that would change our plans: “I’m so sorry, I can’t go.” or “I can’t get away.” It’s a mind-numbing and debilitating way to live. When you’re at the mercy of someone making such bad judgement calls…you’re just along for the horrific ride. Of course at the time, I wasn’t aware of the bad judgements, he seemed like such the victim in all of this, that taking pity on him seemed only fair. How shocked was I, years later, to find out the length and breadth of his abuses and scheming. Numerous women, so many in fact, that the mistress was tracking his whereabouts. Not a wonder now when I look back that she seemed to find him at every occasion. The abuses heaped on this woman were horrific and terrifying to say the least. But that’s another story for another day.
The call came, the night before we were to leave. He couldn’t go to New York with us because his mistress had threatened to call the police on him knowing that we were going on a family trip together. It was at this time I found out that he was not the owner of the car. In fact, his mistress was. He said that he would fly down part way through the week. In my mind I said “Here we go again” but outwardly said Okay. This meant that suddenly I had to foot the bill for a rental car. My car was older, so was his parents car. His car would be with him. Rental car it would have to be for the long drive. And so we left, his parents and me, with toddler nestled in the car seat for the trip. Uneventful and long trip. Lots of time for reflection in the overnight hours we chose to drive.
We arrived in Brooklyn, which was always a treat to visit. Family there was always warm and receptive to me. And they loved seeing the wee one. We had happy times in the pool and visiting for meals. A few days later, Onion Boy arrived. It was like he wasn’t even there. He spent countless hours on housing plans and layouts…Why? I guess to gain pity that he worked so hard that he had to spend his vacation working too…not sure, but if there’s one thing I have learned is that he does nothing unless it gains him something. Whether it’s credibility, or a foot in the door with someone new…you’d spend a lot of time guessing. His motives are seldom without perception of financial or manipulative gain.’
So the few days we had together passed, my daughter and I did things together and Onion Boy spent his time with his plans. Go figure. So a golden opportunity to spend some quality time uninterrupted with his daughter have effectively gone out the window. Of course, when the whole family was there, he made a big show of being a great dad and wonderful, hardworking husband. Pfft. What a frickin’ actor. And the oscar goes to……ONION BOY!!! Cue the music.
When I spoke years later with his mistress, I found out an interesting tidbit. When he flew out, he had his cousin covering his tracks. His cousin and he were thick as thieves at this time. In years since, he has been very vocal about not having any use for him. But at this time, he played a key role in trying to keep the mistress from realizing that he, in fact, had flown down to the U.S. to spend time with us. He had his cousin checking his answering machine on his cell and giving him updates when needed. No wonder he kept his cell phone glued to his side the whole time he was there with us. Oh the deception. Wish I’d learned not to trust him a little bit sooner, it might have saved me some tears, heartache and worry.
But that was not to be. My journey had just begun.….Welcome to my life with Onion Boy. What a great guy. Lied, cheated, stole and manipulated his way in and out of women’s hearts. The sad thing is that I didn’t know the half of it. Yes, my journey was just beginning.