November 7-9, 605
Trigger Warnings: Domestic Violence/Verbal Abuse
“I need a lawyer,” Sandy Bruty said, hoping Alexis would be able to help her.
“I don’t want my child’s father to be able to come around anymore.”
Alexis looked at Ms. Bruty. Her first thought was, “that’s not happening.”
“What makes you think you have grounds to deny your child’s father’s parental rights?” she said, instead.
Sandy looked at her like she was crazy, like it was as obvious as the fact that the posh appointments of this office were paid for by chasing ambulances.
“I should have realized it earlier,” Sandy started. “Zane was always trying to control me. He would get upset when I went jogging… he even yelled at me for talking to the neighbors when they brought a fruitcake.”
“He didn’t like it whenever I was out of his sight.”
“I tried to work it out. I thought, once he knows me better, he’ll be able to trust me. After all, we’d only been together since I found out I was pregnant with Zach, two-and-a-half years ago. When I tried to talk with him, he acted put out. “It’s not a big deal,” he’d say.
And refuse to talk about what was bothering me.
Sandy went on. “Lately, Zane’s been having trouble at work, with his anger. Last week, he even insulted a customer– a police officer who was eating lunch at Captain Jack’s while Zane was managing the floor.”
“Sometimes, Zach, our son, needed to come to the restaurant with us. When daycare’s closed, and when both of us were on duty, Zach would come along. The staff love him, and they help look out for him. But Zane started yelling at Zach. He’s a toddler, for crying out loud.”
Our wait staff told me, Zach went and sat down at the booster seat they’d put out for him, and started coloring. But Zane came over and kept berating him for being “underfoot.”
Ximena, one of the waiters, tried to intervene. She told Zane, “Mr. Roberts, let me get him straightened out.” Finally, Zane walked away, in a huff.
Ximena looked at Zach. “How about some milk?” she asked, kindly.
That night when he got home, Zane tore into me.
He said all kinds of hateful things to me, about how I’m a slut, flirting with the customers instead of keeping an eye on my child.
Zach was in his room, and he was scared. He was talking to his teddy bear.
I tried to calm Zane down. I know that overhearing yelling and screaming affects toddler’s brain development, and I tried to reason with him.
“Zane, I was in the kitchen. You can ask the staff. Please stop yelling.”
I offered to fix him some french toast, hoping to calm him down so Zach could feel safe. I was starting to feel scared for both of us, in this house, alone with this raving man. What if he really lost control?
While Zane ate his french toast, I asked what he wanted to do about Zach’s childcare.
“You’re always trying to make this about Zach,” he said. “You don’t care about him, you’re just trying to make me think you’re a good mother.”
I was totally at a loss. Where was all this paranoia coming from? I’d never cheated on Zane. I’ve been asked out since we got together, but I’ve never followed through.
I walked away, feigning cleaning out the fridge, so I could collect my thoughts with my back turned to him.
A little while later, Zach came in. “Mommy, I’m scared,” he said. I comforted him, and hugged him, and took him back to his bedroom.
Thankfully, Zane didn’t try to come into the bed that night.
Early the next morning, I woke up early and felt like it must have blown over by now. I went to the living room, still reeling from the verbal abuse and wondering if I should accept an apology from Zane or not. Looking back, I feel crazy for even considering accepting an apology from him, but at the time, I was still in shock.
I sat down next to him. “How are you this morning?” I asked.
Zane was still angry, and he glared at me.
I took the trash out, and realized the can had been kicked over.
As I cleaned it up, I vowed to myself I wasn’t going to let Zach live like this anymore.
“So, you can see that it’s not good for Zach to be treated like that by his father, right??”
Alexis just looked at Sandy, trying to think what to say to her.
She explained that if they tried to limit Zane’s visitation with Zach, the burden of proof would be on them. And in her experience, the other parent would probably get a lawyer too, and then it would get really ugly. Alexis didn’t think their chances were good.
When Sandy got home, she told Zane, “I want you to move out.” She didn’t know what would happen from here, but she knew she needed her and Zach to be safe in their own house.
Zane had some choice words for Sandy. He tried to make her feel like she was the one being unreasonable.
“Get out, or I’m calling the police,” she said.
Suddenly something switched. Zane realized she meant it.
“C’mon, baby,” he said, “C’mon, let’s work this out. Give me a chance.”
Sandy shook her head no. Zane turned and left. Her knees almost collapsed underneath her.
Zane found a rent-by-the-month place in Three Rivers. As he at his cereal that night, he vowed to get Sandy back. No one was going to take his family from him.
The next morning, on the way to work, he went by the house.
He knocked. Sandy came out and told him she was filing for a restraining order. It was in his interest to leave peacefully. She said he’d need to get a lawyer to clarify what his rights to see Zach were.
- Sims 4 Zane Roberts has the following traits: hot-headed, jealous, and ambitious. That combination brewed up a perfect storm– I played the household for three days and he was constantly stressed over his jealous feelings, stressed over a lack of promotion, and angry for no apparent reason. He took it out on the customers, the staff, and Zach at work, and he took it out on Sandy at home. Even when I set up their household, and the welcome wagon came over, Zane fussed at Sandy for chatting with their neighbors. Sandy would not put up with that, I am certain, and having been on her own most of her life, I don’t think fear of being on her own would hold her back. Her main concern is limiting Zane’s influence on Zach from here on out.