co-parenting PITA vent alert
just because the litigation is over does not mean PITA co-parenting issues are miraculously gone. it does help that the case is closed, however, the pressure of an open-ended case has brought relief that's akin to a thirty-ton elephant suddenly jumping off your back. yay. i can breathe again. the life is no longer being crushed out of my lungs.
at the same time, a tiger doesn't change his stripes simply because he was struck down in court. if there is no remorse or responsibility taken for his actions, he will continue on as if nothing has happened--i.e. still do everything he can to gain/re-gain control, victimize himself, lobby for sympathy that the world is against him, or even better, that external forces have colluded to ruin his life. or even better, that that i have ruined his life. or something like that. whatever.
i've been working hard in therapy over the last two years to get OUT of his head. unfortunately, knowing this information is merely helpful when dealing with current and/or potential future encounters.
for example--dealing with veiled nasty emails accusing me of 'losing' the girls underwear, clothes, towels, etc. we no longer do drop off/pick ups at each other's houses (thank goodness), everything happens now at school--one parent drops off at school in the morning, the other picks up in the afternoon. i am in agreement that it is reasonable that items be returned to house of origin, but are we down to counting pairs of panties, now? should i be emailing and demanding the ice packs that have disappeared over the last two years? how about checking with the pre-school/school for items first, before excessive, over-the-top, litigious record keeping emails? le sigh.
realizing small details like this are the least of my worries. and i must be thankful i do not have to talk or see him anywhere. i have been instructed that these types of communications from him are attempts for me to 'engage.' i am choosing not to engage by not sending emails about the lost ice packs.
so a word about co-parenting communication, if you get a diatribe: look for the crux--is there a coparenting issue in there? does it have to do with drop off, pick up, medical/education, scheduling? if not, don't respond.
if you feel like you need to respond, give yourself a challenge: use as few words as possible, and focus on the information. keep it businesslike, as if you're conducting a service request for a business transaction. do not engage. don't respond with sarcastic or barbs of your own (i.e. really, we're counting pairs of underwear now?). you've moved on with your life and should you be getting messages along these lines, it is very sad that your ex has not. you have no control over how he is, but you do and can control how you live your own life! (waaaay easier said than done).
i do pray for the day when my reaction to things will be: meh, whatevvvs.
until then, you can only do the best that you can.