I was talking to a friend who is in the midst of a nasty custody battle the other day. My heart broke for her as she started preaching at me. Not to me, but AT me, then blaming her first husband for the failure of her second marriage. For a moment it scared me because I saw a glimpse of the brokenness and anger in her that I see in my ex, Ted. He scares me a LOT because it is that level that rips kids to shreds and turns them into objects, not allowing them to stay children.
During my two and a half (eternal) year divorce, we went through psychological testing to determine if the custody arrangement the magistrate designed was indeed the best for Grant and Kristy. Hind sight is always 20/20 and I will always blame myself for much of what went on.
“Why didn’t I see that coming?” and “Why didn’t I do that, or that, or that differently?” are phrases that still run through my head. Three years post divorce I still beat myself up. One of my biggest regrets is how I reacted to the lies Grant and Kristy told the psychologist. They were only doing as they were told to do by their father. They had no idea what they were saying could have an effect on how often they saw me. I screamed, I cried, I asked “how could you?” what seems like hundreds of times when the results of the evaluation came. Our relationship after that was at rock bottom. I didn’t trust them and Ted tried his hardest to convince them not to trust me.
They know now. Our relationship is much better today… Farrrrr from perfect, but better. They also know any shred of any information they share with Ted about me WILL be twisted until only a fraction of truth remains, and used against me in a court of law.
I used to blame Ted for everything. It’s easy when your ex is an obsessive, condescending, manipulative, controlling, lying, emotionally abusive psycho. Now I know I must take responsibility for my choices and I cannot change his choices or behavior. ALL I CAN CHANGE IS HOW I REACT. That is in all caps because boy, that one took me a long time. My greatest healing came when I started living those 8 little words.
I now make sure Grant and Kristy know the truth, matter of fact tone, with no name calling. I tell them their father loves them dearly, they need to love him and he is not a bad person, he just chooses bad behaviors to hurt me. This took years to master with any kind of sincerity and without gritting my teeth.
We all blame and it is one of the worst things we can do. We all need to take ownership in the bad choices we have made and find a way to heal. I am always looking for ways…websites, devotions, anything I can to help me heal or at the very least understand a little better. I feel so strong one minute and within seconds crumble into a pile of fear and uncertainty. It’s going to eventually be ok. That is just life and we are moms. We can do this.