Flotsam is up to his old ways again.

I wish I could request he just go away – but that would be unfair to his son, Buddy.  At least, on the surface, that would be unfair to Buddy.

The reality of having Flotsam in our lives is a much more complicated subject.

Recently, I was scrolling through Buddy’s text messages, just doing my motherly duty.  I won’t apologize for this and told Buddy upfront that I have free reign of his phone while he’s still a minor.  He understands (thank goodness!).

One of the things that happened about a month ago was Buddy gave Flotsam his cell phone number.  I didn’t have any issue with that, but cautioned Buddy to let me know if anything was said that concerned him.  He said he would.

But…..

Then I found the text message.

Scrolling through the conversation between Flotsam and Buddy was an eye-opening experience.  It was difficult to figure out who was the adult and who was the teenager.  One side was short, concise, and to the point; spelling was relatively accurate, and rules about life were being relayed and explained rationally.  One side rambled, misspellings galore, flitted from subject to subject in the same message, turned sulky in places where answers were not liked and ending in guilt and cussing.

I was shocked that Buddy is spelling as well as he is (not his strongest subject) and proud of his level-headed responses to the irrational tirades sent forth by his father through texting.

The last text series from Flotsam is what really raised my eyebrows though.  At two separate times, the recent about a week ago, Buddy informed Flotsam not to text him during school hours as he will get in trouble (and relayed what school hours are).  Both times, Flotsam ignored this request and proceeded to send a long, rambling texts that were HUGE!  I didn’t even know a single text message would come through that length.  The last text before Buddy’s last request was also very obvious that it was meant for Buddy.  It was also time stamped during school hours.

Again, Buddy responded after school and asked him nicely:  “Dad, please don’t text me during school hours”.

Flotsam’s response:  “Whoops I thought you were Candy*.  Candy is a hell of a lot more supportive than you are.  Obviously I have heard you say this before and I really don’t gine a flying f@!”

Ummm……excuse me?…..I don’t think so!

I found the text just one day after it was sent.  I asked Buddy about it.  You could tell by his body language that he was thankful I had found it.  When I pressed, Buddy stated the text concerned him, but didn’t know how to handle it.

We talked for a long while about what Buddy’s choices were and possible consequences:

  • Ignore the texts and only respond when he got out of school.
    • Possible consequence – Flotsam would continue texting while Buddy was in school, increasing the chances of getting in trouble with the teachers.
  • Block Flotsam’s number during school hours.
    • Possible consequence – Flotsam getting angry that his texts are being blocked (depending on his provider of course – not all are informed).
  • Give Flotsam a call from me with a warning that any more texting during school hours would have his number blocked.
    • Possible consequence – Flotsam getting angry at being told what to do, but Buddy would understand that his father made the choice of being blocked, not just a random decision.

Buddy chose the choice of giving his dad a warning, with me making the call.  We decided that I would place the call on speaker so Buddy could hear the responses and speak with his father if necessary.  We also decided that Hun would also listen in (and not speak), just as another adult witness to the conversation.  Buddy thought this was a good idea and his body language said he was relieved.

That call finally happened tonight, since Flotsam has been ignoring my messages to call back.

The conversation started out with me informing Flotsam that Buddy was listening and attempting to explain why I had called.

Flotsam interrupted and asked if Buddy was ready to apologize for the rude text he had sent him.

I asked for clarification.

Flotsam went on a tirade about how ungrateful, rude and self-centered Buddy was, how he totally ignored the original (long, rambling) text and instead chose to spout “rules” at him and how he wasn’t going to acknowledge Buddy until he apologized to him.

Once again, I attempted to explain why I had called when Flotsam paused for a breath.

Once again, Flotsam went off on how selfish and narrow-minded Buddy was.  How he was totally ignoring him and his extended family and only focusing on me and my family.

The word content was probably for every one word spoken by me, Flotsam spewed at least 100.

At one point, sitting there bewildered, confused and flabbergasted, Buddy tried to interject, “Dad, please, listen to what my mom is trying to tell you.”

Flotsam again went off on how I was attempting to control Buddy and by extension Flotsam by having all of my “rules” (said with a sneer).  He spoke with venom in his voice and contempt in his attitude – it oozed through the phone.

Hun sat there listening, just shaking his head, amazed that a father would say some of the things he was saying.  It was delusional to say the least.

I was finally able to get my entire sentence out – that if Flotsam continued to text Buddy during school hours, his number would be blocked.

Flotsam, yelling at this point, screamed it didn’t matter as he had deleted Buddy’s number from his phone and wouldn’t bother answering any more calls from him until he decided to show his father the proper respect that he deserved.  He ended the conversation by saying he would “think” about making sure I was continued to be paid child support (woohoo – one whole payment in over a year and he’s now father of the year!) and hung up on us before we could say anything more.

Have I ever mentioned that it cracks me up when the exes hang up on me?  Like them hanging up on me is going to hurt my feelings in the least.  NOT!

After the click, Buddy and I sat and talked for a little while longer.  About how we cannot control what his father chooses to do or not and we can only control our own responses.  Buddy told Hun thank you for sitting and listening to the conversation and he thanked me for trying to help him figure this all out.

He knows this isn’t the last he’s heard from his father.  I know it’s not either.

*Candy is Ursula’s oldest daughter who is in her twenties.  I’m not sure how much contact Flotsam still has with her.  This would make her a step-daughter to him, with no blood connection to him now that her mom has passed away.

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