names have been omitted in this post
this post contains language
"Girl... what are you eating?" My mother asked me from the other end of the couch.
I was curled up on the opposite end with a slice of chocolate cake adorned in colorful sprinkles. "Chocolate cake." I replied happily.
She raised an eyebrow "I thought you were trying to be good."
"Oh, I am... I had broccoli for dinner." I said and took a bite of cake. She looked at me incredulously so I added, "It's all about balance. I'm on the extended plan on cutting out sugar completely. Baby steps." I explained.
She shook her head with amusement but I knew she had just as much of a sweet tooth as I did. It was in our genetics... chocolate addiction. She turned on the tv and selected the DVR scrolling through the listings to find the latest episode of the Bachelorette.
"I like this season of the Bachelorette. I love Rachel... she's so strong and has a great spirit about her." I smiled as my mother turned on the television "She's by far one of my top favorite Bachelorette's."
My mother agreed "Yeah, I've enjoyed this season more as well. I liked that guy Bryan at first but that home town date was awkward... his mother is very protective." She grimaced.
"Yeah, there's no way I'd sign up for that. I like Peter." I said, "He's attractive, appears to be kind and I like that he's such a deep thinker. He'd probably write you poetry." I smiled and she laughed. "I think it's good he's wanting to take things slow, "I added. "I know she wants a ring and engagement but I like that he's 'on the fence' about that right now and just wants to date awhile. He just wants to be sure." I took a sip of my cranberry juice and smiled "If she doesn't pick him maybe he'd like company on that fence... I can be 'on the fence' a long time... " I grinned and she laughed at that.
"I can't wait to see who she picks." She replied as she fast forwarded through the initial commercials. "I wish we'd hear something on a final decision from the judge on custody." She told me with a concerned glance.
"I know... me too. It's taking longer than expected." I said and then added, "But then again... I submitted what? Over two thousand pages of evidence. Between the blog and Our Family Wizard messages."
"I hope she's reading it all. There are a lot of things that have been issues that weren't covered in court. Like the fact he keeps her passport and won't return it, he won't change her birthdate with the insurance company and the day after court he took your son to see your dad and left him unsupervised after being told she didn't recommend him doing that. He has a history of just doing what he wants in regards to the kids. " She pointed out.
"Yeah... true. She was like 'Well, you two can't co-parent.' I wanted to tell her 'Look, if you'd give me more custody that wouldn't be such an issue'... No, he controls everything... he makes it impossible to co-parent. Instead of focusing on the real key issues in court the amicus was focused on social media. Instead of her looking at his behaviors. If she had done her job correctly and effectively she would have gone through the blog posts and made notes on each of his behaviors and then called him out on them on the stand. But she didn't do that. Instead she's asking if I'm willing to have a family photo taken with him and his new wife at each event from here on out... and go meet his new wife. Talk about not addressing the real core issues of the case. Talk about not adequately representing the children. Dang I could do a better job at that job.... it's ridiculous. They were all indignant that I had deleted my personal Facebook account. 'Spoilage of evidence'... whatever. Focus on what's f-ing important." I replied as I took another bite of cake. "Look at what he does and then ask yourself if you were dealing with this bs how you'd feel. Ask yourself what your child would need. I realize it's a lot to go through but once you do this isn't rocket science."
"Yeah. Well, it was past time to delete your Facebook with all the issues." She replied.
"Yeah.... I really hated losing all my connections. Some people I had re-connected with from grade school. And I hated losing all the posts about the kids. But I just got sick and tired of the harassing and stalking from people who know him." I told her referring to my ex. "Granted, some were blog readers that popped up... that didn't bother me."
"I don't blame you, " She replied "It was getting to be ridiculous. You had blocked dozens of people. In court no one was pointing out his Facebook or his new wife's daughters social media all over Youtube."
"Yeah I know. I'm just ready for all this to be over with." I replied.
"Well... we will see what the judge decides. But he lied on the stand... he said she had been reading the blog," She said referring to my ex and our daughter " ...and then later we come to find out she never has. This better go in her best interests... meaning you get more time. Because time and time again he gets away with his behavior. We can't know if she's reading everything you submitted or not... I hope she truly is." She told me.
I sat there a moment in silence then spoke, "Let me put it this way... "I replied as I carefully plucked another bite of chocolate cake with my fork, "It better be the right decision and I get more time. Because NO ONE can read everything I submitted and believe for a split second it would be in our daughters best interests for him to have her more. It's not possible. If this doesn't go in her best interests I will cry foul, I will raise such hell... I will blog, I will write letters, I will do everything need be to expose the system's corruption." I took a sip of my juice and carefully set my glass back on it's mosaic tile coaster, "That's the thing about living this hell for so long and worrying about the narc's effects on your child... you don't shrink anymore. It's more like...buckle up... it may be a bumpy ride."
When it comes to personality disorders I've said it time and time again.... the family court system should have to take continuing education classes on these types of disorders.... narcissists, sociopaths, all kinds of manipulation and abuse they need to be schooled in all of it and understand it thoroughly so when they see signs of it in a case they will recognize it. The court system may not like those of us writing about the cases... but what they may be failing to recognize is the ROOT of the issue... this person's continued unrepentant purposeful behavior that is not in the child's best interests, that is causing the other parent much grief and stress not to mention the child... who is undoubtedly suffering... granted, they love the toxic parent and want to spend time with them... but at what cost? At the cost of peace of mind, of emotional health and well being? The other parent cannot force them to behave. If I was capable of making my ex behave we'd likely still be married... but I can't keep him from cheating anymore than I can get him to hand over the passport when he's back in the country, give me a detailed itinerary when he travels, stop blocking our daughters phone calls and texts, actually eat dinner with her instead of drinking on the deck and leaving her to eat alone, stop our son from bad-mouthing me to our daughter and actually encouraging a relationship between us, change our daughter's birthdate on the insurance and actually listen to her when she speaks instead of shutting her down... plus a litany of dozens of other behaviors. Man or woman we can't make someone change. They have to want to. And we know that those of a personality disorder cannot be rehabilitated. I read somewhere the only time a woman can change a man is when he's a baby. That is so true.
It's a tale as old as time... the whistleblowers, the talkers, the fighters, the dreamers and doers... the ones who believe it's worth it to speak up even if their voice shakes are often the ones who are ostracized, scolded, told to sit down and shut up. But with those voices change is possible... perhaps the only way change is possible.... either with spoken words or written. Regardless of the receiving of those words they are important... as they represent an outcry-need for change, justice, evolvement, insight, awareness, understanding and more. Shame on those that enable the poor behaviors of those with personality disorders, turn their heads or act like the target is the issue in the situation. In a world where no matter what you do no matter how well-intentioned you are then deemed in the wrong as you react to these toxic behaviors... that should not be happening.
The perpetrator needs to be and must be held accountable for his or her continued abusive, lying, manipulative antics... there must be real hard consequences to their behavior... they have to pay for all the costs leading to court and attorney/ trial fees for both themselves and the other party. They should be fined for perjury in family court and then their time with their child should be less. There need to be more real consequences to send a clear message to these abusers that their behavior will not be tolerated. Until that happens this crazy cycle will merely continue much to the dismay of the other parent and unhealthiness of the child.