My son looks bigger and older now. He's back from the kids' visit with Brad. It's only been three nights, but somehow he seems different to me. Cassie looks the same, though, sweet as ever.
I got through the days without too much stress, I started missing them the second night, but I had a lot of house clean up and organization activities to keep me busy. I tried to focus on staying active, not on missing them. On the up side, I cleared out a bunch of old toys and made room for Christmas stuff.
It seems the visit with Brad went well. I was half expecting a panicked phone call sometime in the middle of it since this is the longest time he has spent with them, ever. I have mixed emotions about the fact that it went well. On the one hand, I'm glad they got along and there were no major blow-ups (that I am aware of), but I also know that there are blow-ups coming. Brad is just incapable of controlling his emotions in the long run, based on the past.
He called me Saturday afternoon while they were with him, basically to berate me again for being five minutes late last Saturday. He thinks I am putting my 'friend', as he calls him, over my kids because of that five minutes. It's just ridiculous - we had a huge fight and I got very angry. I got some things off of my chest, though, and Brad has uncharacteristically taken responsibility for the divorce. He seems to understand, at this moment, that his abusive behavior and his drinking were the problem. He still maintains that it happened because I did not, or could not, love him the way he wanted me to. But he realizes that his reaction to this was inappropriate.
It seems he's had a major breakthrough and I really hope it sticks. I've been through this before with him, though, and he usually can't hang on to the feelings for very long. His anger, his sense of betrayal, and sense of loss from the divorce all come crashing back when something does not go his way.
I tried to explain to him that threatening me does not make me want to talk to him or cooperate with him. He said he understood, but I'm not really sure. In the past, he has gone back to his old abusive and mean behavior pretty much instantaneously when I don't agree with him.
Only time will tell.