“He won’t give it to me.” I explained to the receptionist for the fourth time. She was just doing her job, trying to get insurance information so my son could be treated. I grew increasingly frustrated as I texted my ex yet again. Every time I asked for insurance information, he refused. Finally, I suggested he call the immediate care center so they could at least have the information.
The receptionist suggested I ask him. She said it matter-of-factly, and I did in fact know that normal people, divorced or not, would not be so petty as to withhold that information. She just couldn’t quite believe it. Like I was making it up, being dramatic, you know how women are.
Did you know it costs three hundred dollars to compel your ex to hand over insurance cards? Insurance he decided to change without telling me, even though I am paying for half of it.
He of course blamed me. In a predictably contemptuous email, he said, “well, this is the first time you’ve been interested in the children’s insurance.” No, normal people would understand that if you make an agreement to pay for insurance, and then renege on that agreement, and then legally require your ex to pay half, that you would bear responsibility in making that happen. No adult should have to babysit you while you don’t keep your agreements but unfortunately, that is the fucktard way.
A couple of years after our divorce, he made an issue of not getting the kids vaccinated. We had agreed to do further research and hold off while we were married. But in the divorce, he forced the issue and filed a motion to compel the children’s vaccination, to make me look bad. Then, when I went to the pediatrician we’d been going to for years to get a record, they refused to give me any information about my children’s care or allow me to make medical decisions. My ex had dated the pediatrician, so I’m sure he painted me out to be the crazy ex. They acted positively hostile towards me.
They didn’t believe me that I had rights as my children’s mother. They didn’t believe me.
People will have these reactions. They will either not believe it is possible an ex husband could be so petty and cruel, or they won’t believe that you could be so sane and credible.
I Googled “women who weren’t believed” and as it turns out, I’m not the only one. check out this list of results that includes a black ob-gyn who was prevented from giving timely care in an emergency to a person on a plane because she was not believed. My judge didn’t believe me. My mom didn’t believe me. My dad wasn’t around to believe me.
What to do when you are unfairly accused? When narcissist-sized lies are spread about you? When you are marginalized because of those lies and the smear campaigns? What do you do when a lot of it is cultural, and we hold these narratives about crazy and vindictive women we want to believe? What to do with social retaliation for his crimes?
Just learn. I get so triggered by not being believed. It goes back to my childhood: not seen, not heard, not important. Yes, it is unfair and I can do what I can to address it. Go to court to get insurance cards. Go back to the pediatrician and give them ten pages of the order that proves I am able to make decisions. Write a letter to my ex in-laws, standing up for myself. Let them have their hatred and misunderstanding.
And then inwardly hold my little child who needs so badly for me to validate her, who gets so sad at the unfairness of it all, and my teen who wants to rail and crusade against injustice. This is good anger to have, and I can only do what I can do, which is heal, go to the spaces deep inside me that are hurt and love them.