That night my girls and I slept all in one bedroom. My daughter on her bed with a million pillows trying to make her comfortable and my younger daughter and I sharing a twin mattress on the floor. We were all livid. I couldn’t sleep, I had to do something, it was bordering on insanity at this point. I couldn’t function and all the rules, the boundaries, the things we put in place just a few weeks prior apparently were all out the window and it was everyone for themselves. The next morning my older daughter woke up and said flatly “I can’t get better here. Not like this, not in this environment.” I knew I had to do something and I had to do it immediately. Everyone was tip toeing around in the morning. Jolly guys youngest daughter steering clear of me, jolly guy and I avoiding each other, his sister was overheard telling her daughter to stay away from my daughters and I and it was a giant cluster fuck. Thankfully within minutes of us getting up, jolly guy took his sister and her family to the airport, jolly guys mother arrived and took his two daughters and it was just myself and my girls for the remainder of the day. Later that day while it was nice and quiet my older daughter began getting text messages from jolly guy. “Mom, he’s texting me about you.” Seriously? I asked “What’s he saying?” Apparently he wanted her to agree that I was out of control and that he wanted her to know all this wasn’t him, it was me. I always find it interesting how men that have been in my life feel the needs to get approvals or recognition from either my friends or my children, mainly my oldest as to it needed to not be their fault. They wanted someone from my camp to be able to say that it was in fact me and not them. This however, no matter which way you spun it, no matter what you tried to convince me of, was not me. He did not get the response he was hoping for from my daughter. She merely told him to grow up. I’m sure that hit him like a ton of bricks. What I find most often happens in a relationship is one person needs to be absolved from blame and the other needs to be at fault. In my mind, I was not concerned with whose fault anything was, I was no longer concerned with making things work, I was only concerned about protecting my daughters and getting us to a place where she could recover in peace. He arrived home a while later and ignored us all. I was fine with that. I had never been so emotionally exhausted in my life that I felt like the cells in my body were beginning to break down one by one. It was almost like I could hear them snapping, one, by one, over and over again, taking away any possibility of me being able to be a rational human being. I could feel the fight or flight mentality begin to wash over me. The decision had been made in those few minutes of me listening to the popping sounds of my own human existence. He asked to speak to me out on the deck to which I went reluctantly. He told me “things needed to change” as if I was to stop helping my own children and get back to the nanny, housekeeper job he had placed me in. I agreed and responded with “You are right, something does need to change.” And then he sat there and stared at me. I’m assuming he was waiting for me to apologize? Or say what I was going to do differently? All I know is as I sat there, the feeling of hatred and resentment and disrespect and heartache and rage began to creep into my frontal lobe. I could not bear to look at him one more second as he sat smugly waiting for something he would never receive from me. I stood up, without ever having my eyes leave his and walked away. Grabbed my kids, went into that same bedroom and devised my plan. It was time.