My daughter Emma Katherine Roey, now Emma Buchheim, lied about a friend being raped and attempting suicide, claimed to have been molested by a priest, and then, just as her attorneys were about to file a law suit, Emma accused her mother (me) of physically abusing her and later of poisoning her with DDT. Emma claimed to have a toxicology report to confirm that her mother (me, again!) poisoned her, but would never turn over this report to my attorney. If you read through the blog, you will find many other examples of Emma’s lying. At one point, she even complained about the way her dad touched her and that he called her a “bitch” and a “slut” everyday. (I refused to listen to her when she talked about her dad like that.) As long as Emma continues with the lies, I will tell her story. Emma and her husband, Tyler Buchheim now live in Frisco, Texas where Tyler is studying to be a Full Stack Developer at the Flatiron School. Love and thanks to all of you who read and have written to me. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please continue to share the blog with others.
Phill, Emma, and our dog, Spike when Emma and I went to watch Phill fly his toy RC airplanes one afternoon.
The Apology That Never Came
I saw a headline recently to an article, that was something like, “Men Don’t Get Over It, They Just Move On” I’m sure that’s not quite right, but that was the gist of the title, and I thought, “Yep, that’s my husband.”
I think I confused Phill’s work ethic with his character. Phill has one of the strongest work ethics I know. Maybe it’s because his parents divorced when he was just a toddler, and he watched his mother struggle to take care of him and his brother, frequently counting on her mother to babysit while she worked. Maybe it was because when he was older, Phill’s dad bought a diner, and his mother went to work there, and later both Phill and his brother, Andy worked there after school as well.
When Phill worked for UPS, he started out loading the trucks, then driving the big brown trucks, and later driving the tractor trailer trucks. When he told me he had to “pre-trip” the truck everyday, which is checking everything out on the truck before you go anywhere, I always knew Phill would not cut any corners and would do what he was supposed to do each and every day. That was just Phill. He could be very thorough if he needed to be.
When Phill and I met, we were both students working part time in a huge liquor store. I was sent into the big beer cooler to stock on my first day, and Phill, a scruffy looking Grizzly Adams kind of guy, was back there and showed me what to do. Phill was often treated like a manager (although not paid like one) because he’d been there a while and proved to be very responsible. Phill used to joke that it was, “Love in the Beer Cooler” when someone asked how we met, and I often joked that we met, “in a liquor store” letting people think I let Phill pick me up buying booze, just to see their reactions.
Once, when Phill decided to wallpaper our bedroom and bathroom, he researched it, learned how to do everything, and made sure he did it right. I didn’t know how much there was to wallpapering until he showed me. That was Phill. Phill was the same about painting, and did all the time-consuming prep work, and did the job right. Because he was also a procrasintor, sometimes he didn’t finish, but that’s another story.
When I took our little dog to agility classes (just for fun, I wasn’t really interested in competing) Phill looked up all the specifications and made me some jumps, a dog walk, and an A-frame and even painted them to meet the specifications as if I were competing in competitions. That was just Phill.
When I graduated from college, Phill and I talked about I could work to support us if he wanted to go back to school. (He had gone to Georgia Tech, majoring in Electrical Engineering, and flunked out, not because of his grades, but becaues he quit going to class.) Phill would work like a dog if he was getting paid, but when we talked about him going back to school he said he knew he wouldn’t do the “busy work” the he saw me struggle through. He could do it if it interested him and it pertained to what he wanted to do, but he didn’t like wasting time on classes or assignments he thought were unnecessary, and he knew he just wouldn’t do it, so there was no point in going back to school.
I had a hard time understanding this. I’d seen my husband work so hard at some minimum wage paying job if he were getting paid, but he couldn’t think ahead enough to understand if he got through some of the BS that school entails, it would be worth it in the long run. So, that was why Phill stayed a UPS driver.
I can’t remember exactly, but when Phill went to work driving the tractor trailers, he had to train on the weekends, so he drove the brown package cars 5 days a week and then spent two weekends training with the tractor trailers, so that was, I think, about 19 days in a row with no days off, and we aren’t talking 8 hour days, either. But, it was for the job, and he was getting paid, so even though he was worn out after it was over, it was what he wanted, and so he did it. A few years ago, between my two jobs, I worked 17 days in a row and could barely get off the couch on that 18th day, and my jobs aren’t/weren’t near is physical as Phill’s job working for UPS was.
When UPS went on strike in the 90’s, Phill went to do some construction work for one of his coworkers, Kevin O’Gorman. Kevin always had side jobs going on and was known for buying a home, living in it and fixing it up, and then selling it and moving to the next fixer-upper. UPS being on strike was a little frightening, but I knew with Phill’s work ethic, he would do whatever he had to to take care of his family.
Another thing I admired about Phill was that he could do, build, or fix almost anything. Even before computers, he would do the research to accomplish whatever task he was contemplating. I never understood how he was so handy with tools when he grew up with a divorced mom who was rarely home except to sleep, so where did he learn how to be so handy?
These are just some of the examples of Phill’s work ethic. Emma loved to say her dad “just sits on his butt in a truck all day” and I really hope now that she’s been in the working world a little bit, maybe she appreciates her dad’s hard work a little more than that snotty teenager she was being at the time (but honestly, I doubt it.)
I guess because I thought Phill had such a good work ethic, he would be as hard working in the rest of his life. Phill was always easy going, but I never saw that as a flaw, until I realized he could be pretty passive and I joked with him that he was sometimes passive aggressive. If he really didn’t want to do something, he might not do the best job. It was ok. When it comes to flaws, I have plenty of my own, and probably a few more than my easy-going husband.
It wasn’t until our marriage was ending that I realized how passive Phill was. I always thought we were a team. We discussed decisions, usually at my insistence, and Phill would do things like research a mortgage and decide who we were going to go with, but any difficult family decisions were left to me. Phill didn’t want children, I was the one who wanted a baby. (Although he was thrilled when the time came.) I had to be the disciplinarian, decide Emma’s medical issues, choose Emma’s schools, camps, extracurricular activities, decide on homeschooling, public school, etc. If Emma wanted to attend an activity, or go on an expensive trip, it was up to me to say yay or nay. I could talk to Phill about anything, but he always left the decisions up to me. When Emma claimed to be molested, I was the one that thought she needed to talk to someone other than me, so I was the one who had to interview therapists. I always did my best in making these choices, but Phill left it all to me.
My husband, who was such a hard worker, let a 17 year old take over and run his life. His marriage vows meant nothing. There was a new sheriff in town, and her name was Emma.
After I found out that Emma had lied about “Lacey” being raped, and “Lacey” never attempted suicide, never called Emma from the ER up in Dalton, Ga., so there was no catalyst for Emma’s repressed memories of being seually molested when she was 12, I began investigating other stories. You can read back through the blog about many of the lies. Emma claimed to be babysitting and had to call 911 on a bipolar child, Emma has the toxicology report to prove her mother poisoned her with DDT, Emma’s one-act play competitions was ruined by another school tampering with their sound equipment………. Big lies and little lies. Emma’s whole life was full of them. Emma would say something about someone, and I would talk to the person and bring up what Emma had told me and find out Emma had just made up story after story. Many of her lies were harmless, and some were hilarious. Some lies Emma took from something she read, like the Reader’s Digest, and others came from something she saw on the internet. Being a loving mom, I just excused Emma’s stories thinking she misunderstood something someone said, thinking she just got the story wrong, or maybe I was confused and got the story wrong, but then when I would check with Emma, she would re-confirm what she had said, and, well, no……………..I wasn’t crazy. She could sure make me feel like I was though.
We had a friend, Emma’s “Aunt Janice” who swore like a sailor at times, but then cracked us up when she said things like she was letting her dogs out to go “pee-pee-doodle,” so one day Emma told me about Aunt Janice swearing “Jimminy Crap-Shit” at pet adoptions. I thought that was pretty funny, and when later I said something to Janice about it, she said, “I never said that.” It sure sounded good though, didn’t it? Emma has a great sense of humor with her stories.
Emma claimed that at her youth group one day, her crush, Evan and his mom were there, and Evan’s mom was talking about how she made the boys (a high schooler and a middle schooler) use sippy cups in the living room so they didn’t spill on the carpet. Emma claimed Evan got so angry at his mom that he stormed out of the church and Emma looked out the window a few minutes later and then said, “Ummm, Miss Megan, your van is driving away.” and then Evan’s mom went running out of the church to catch up to Evan. Great story, right?
Until I started digging, I had no idea how much of a problem Emma had with lying. I know kids lie, but when is lying a problem? Looking back, in Emma’s case, she lied more than she told the truth. I had absolutely no idea that there was something wrong with Emma, and it wasn’t that she was sexually molested. There was something much more going on. I wonder now, has Tyler Buchheim started to catch on? I know he’s busy with school and all, but living with Emma, you would think he would start to notice that something is not quite right with his wife. Does Emma gaslight Tyler the way she did me? Hiding things and then acting like I was the crazy one who but the math book in the bathroom cabinet or the cordless phone in the refridgerator? Is it possible Emma will outgrow her lying habit or is is just something that is part of her personality forever and ever, amen? It will be interesting to see just where Emma is in a few years and what else is going on with her.
I remember when Bill Clinton was president and was sometimes referred to as the “liar-in-cheif.” On second thought, maybe Emma should get into politics. She might have quite a career there.
I’ve gotten a little off track in writing about Phill and the apology that never came. I have a little more to say on that and will continue in the next post.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
Love to you all.