Tuesday, June 4, 2013

sunshine and shadows

sometimes i wake up and i can't believe in the new world that i've created.  i'm scared that it will collapse in on itself.  a life free of the terrorizing, the never knowing when the other shoe will drop. 

because, even while we have 'escaped' our abuser, in the eyes of the court, he is still entitled to being part of our family--he is still connected to my children.  which is complex.  of course i want the children to love their dad--it's never been about that.  it's been about making sure that time is safe.  and i know deep in my heart that my girls love their father, that to them, he is daddy.  just like i am mommy.  we breathe and we live and we hug and sometimes we feel hurt.  but children love their parents whether they hurt them or not.  and when they hurt who is there to comfort them...?  that is my job.  to care for my two little hearts.

the best that i can do for them is to build a home without the unspeakable, unliveable threats and terror.  the explosions that happened for no reason.  or for a reason such as a dropped grain of rice.  or for crying at the wrong time at the wrong space.  (how do you keep a baby from crying?  the answer--you don't. you just do your best.  but that's another conversation).

at any rate, sometimes i get bogged down.  laden with the weight.  as if parenting is not a full plate itself that i gladly sit down to every day, but living in the shadow of what used to be...is a burden that i'm still working through.  the 'battle' is won, in terms of procuring our safety and protection.  however, my therapist has told me that even though he has 'lost' the legal battle--a battle of his own creation, since i tried numerous times to settle--he still has not lost his focused compulsion to gain control.  there has been a line drawn in the sand--he can no longer threaten us, break our things, swear and yell at us, beat up the family pet, push or shove the children--not in my house!  he can no longer call me and swear into my voicemail.  he can no longer send me threatening, accusatory emails.  instead, it comes out in educated nit-picky statements, the emails now contain subtle accusations, or his manipulative games with time-sharing...those are all ways that he digs his fingers in to control.  I call it negative campaigning.  he sends long novellas of information on how he is so wonderful and so concerned and of course includes two or three statements questioning my abilities (i.e. i forgot to pack something, i forgot to mention something, i have been negligent in buying shoes because the children complain about them--while they have never complained to me), then he cc:s the counselors involved in our case.

good ole, basic, negative campaigning.

so my job is--to live a life free from reacting to it.  my focus has been to 'disengage.'  if he sends me a long diatribe email--i glean the few things that deal with logistics of coparenting--pick up or drop off times, clothing/health/education of the children.  then...i come up with the fewest words possible to respond.  and my response may be five sentences.  or less.  sometimes, it can be:  hello, yes, i agree with a.  no, i do not agree with b.  sincerely,

the line has been drawn.  i am thankful for the distance.  and instead of trying to fight the negative campaigning to the people connected to us, i suppose i am writing about it here.  i ride the high road every where else.  here, i suppose i can ruminate about how it is so.unfair.that.he.gets.away.with.saying.stupid.shit.  enough said.

most of all though, i can see that my children appear to be adjusting well to the transition.  there is no negative campaigning on my part--having committed myself to never speak ill will for their sake.  that even though there is a terrifying past, the present, and the present of the last year or so, has been much improved.  perhaps the limited time assists in this--there isn't time for him to lose his temper.  his mother is always around, so she does the 'grunt' work.  that my sweethearts seem untouched by trauma...that is what i am most thankful for.

keep shining sun, please keep the shadows at bay.

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