It started with a phone call from my mom. It was near bed time and Grant and Kristy were getting ready for bed. She said “Are you ready for this??? Your grandma just called me, Ted’s name was in the paper as marrying a girl named Betty last weekend.”
I quickly went over the events of the previous weekend. Grant and Kristy were with me, and we had a full weekend.
Nothing made sense.
My mom was still on the phone while I stepped into the bathroom while Kristy was brushing her teeth. I asked if dad had a girlfriend named Betty. She quickly replied he did. I asked if she knew he was getting married. My mind was racing so much, I didn’t even THINK before it blurted out, because I typically don't like to question them. Surprised, she replied she didn’t know anything.
Then, my heart sank.
No, not for the reasons you are thinking.
My heart sank because I had no clue he was seriously dating ANYONE. I wanted him to be dating SOMEONE….ANYONE!!! Many people told me over and over “Once he gets a girlfriend, he will change focus and not come at you so much.”
Ted's behavior over the previous 6 months had been worse than ever.
I spent years trying to figure out Ted’s behavior which fast forwarded to borderline insane after I left him. I HATE labels, but the more I researched narcissism, realized I wasn’t TRYING to pigeon hole him into that label, he easily waltzed there all by himself. Ted embraces the perfect text book definition of covert aggression, and exhibits most characteristics of a Hostile Aggressive Parent. Ted hits every point of a high level brainwasher. He will stop at nothing to hurt me, even if it means hurting Grant and Kristy in the process. He wants nothing more than for Grant and Kristy to hate me and to extinguish me from their lives.
A few weeks I he remarried I received an email from him about the marriage new. It was the night before Grant and Kristy had a day off from school, when in the past they would be with me on those days…
“The kids want to spend the day with their step mom so I won't need you. I have included the below for your reference.”
(an article showing in our state, that step parents can take the right of first refusal away from natural parents )
He finished with “The same holds true for Christmas break and next summer.”
In three short sentences I went from seeing Grant and Kristy any time the school was closed, and most of summer break to about 25 days during the summer, total. The extreme feeling of loss and depression enveloped me yet again.
I would not just roll over. I couldn’t. I called the police the next morning and the officer explained he could meet me at Ted’s home and ask Ted’s wife to turn over Grant and Kristy to me, but he could not force it. He understood my reason’s for being upset, explaining he was going through a similar situation with his children’s mother, and would find out what he could about this woman.
The officer spent about 10 minutes talking with this new woman thrust into our lives. He came back to my car and shook his head. He told me she refused to let Grant and Kristy come with me, and that she was not American. Her Asian English was very broken and she did not understand much of what he asked of her. He had to explain his questions multiple times for her to understand.
I fumed. I found out over the next few months Betty was in our country for about a month when Ted married her. They had been introduced by the parents of a friend of Kristy’s and had an internet relationship until she came to America.
I did not bash this new “step mom” but was clearly not embracing yet another person in this world trying to keep my children from me. I explained to Grant and Kristy that they lived with her too, so needed to develop a relationship with her… but at the same time I thought she was a bitch for coming between us and I didn’t have to like her because I didn’t have to live with her.
Yes, I know that wasn’t one of my finest moments as a parent, but it’s also very easy to stand on the outside criticizing when you aren’t living it. I have since apologized to Grant and Kristy for saying that.
Once I calmed down and stood back, I refocused on what is absolutely most important. Grant and Kristy and their feelings and emotional well being are absolutely what’s most important. I am determined to create a life filled with positive memories as much as possible. This means building good memories with my shrinking time with them, and not allowing MY feelings toward yet another person coming between the three of us to get in the way. My time with them is so precious, I will not let ANYONE turn it negative. Ted tries his hardest, but that’s for another day.
It has been over a year now since that email from Ted. Ted continually tries to throw the new wife in my face as much as he can in his emails. I just laugh because I really could care less. I WANT him to move on and be happy and focus on something else.
I don’t waste my time with Grant and Kristy concerning myself with what happens at dad and step mom’s house. If they want to share, that’s fine, but I have a new life with new challenges. I choose to focus on positive ways to better my new life and help others. I want to live my life as a positive example to Grant and Kristy. I don’t want to talk about being a good person, I want to show them ways I try to be a better person.
It’s very difficult when your ex ‘s sites are set on your every move. I still feel like I sometimes have to do damage control to make sure Grant and Kristy know the truth about certain situations, but over the years have learned to let go of a majority of it and choose now to let my actions speak louder. Everyone says Karma will come back around and Grant and Kristy will see. I just pray Grant "sees" before he becomes a narcissist, himself. I really don’t believe karma exists, anyway.
Betty is now pregnant. I foresee many new challenges, with emails “Grant and Kristy want to be with the new baby instead of spending time with you” coming. Ted already planned the ultrasound on a night of one of Grant’s basketball games. Grant is a starter on his varsity team, yet didn’t want to be the only one not in attendance at the ultrasound, so blew off the game.
I can’t change other’s behaviors, but I can carefully choose how I react to those behaviors. I choose to educate myself and behave as a positive role model for Grant and Kristy. I choose to show them my love in positive, emotionally supportive ways. I choose their emotional well being over all else and although I am human and stumble, will continue to focus on them. I don’t choose war or acceptance, I choose Grant and Kristy.