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"I was wrong."

it's like a broken record.

"I was wrong to do that".

he acknowledges he's wrong when he's confronted, but he'll do the same things again and again and again. it's a pathology. say he'll do one thing, but when it interferes with any impulse, plans get changed with no thought toward ethical decisions.

still fighting to maintain boundaries. still pushing back.

we were in mediation two weeks ago and I explained what it did to us when he decided to quit his job and stop paying child support, and delay finding a job to go on vacation. he fought, he yelled, he sounded like he thought it was none of my business what he does with his time and money.

well, true. I don't care what he does with his time unless the kids are with him. I do care about getting the money he's supposed to contribute toward raising the kids. I tried to explain the responsibility to him. the mediator had to jump in and ask Scott if he understood the differences between the financial obligations I was talking about. finally Scott stopped yelling at me.

then he said "I was wrong to do what I did."

just like he said a few months ago "I was wrong not to give you money when I got it from my trust fund".

a few days ago he informed me he was laid off. in response to my concerns about child support evaporating again when my situation is so precarious he said he could have made it easier on me and the kids before.

yes. over and over again.

he was wrong to hit me in front of our children.

he was wrong to call me names in front of our children.

he was wrong to tell my son not to cry or be angry, ever.

he was wrong to tell my kids that boys should live with their fathers and girls should live with their mothers.

he was wrong to abandon my kids because he wanted to hurt me.

oh yes, he could have made things easier on us. yes he could. so when he says "I was wrong" I feel a sense of wonder that someone who can't sense "wrong", who doesn't understand that his actions hurt people, could have learned to say "I was wrong" so glibly and with such impeccable timing. it's quite an amazing thing, and it works.... for the first few dozen times if you've been conditioned as I have been. other people don't fall for it so easily.... but it's getting old.

really, really old.