names have been omitted in this post
He and I if having met at another time (timing is often everything) could have foreseen a great relationship together... he was now with someone... he'd met someone amazing and was so happy, he texted me. I read his words as I sat in my vehicle absorbing them before I started the ignition to depart home from Tom Thumb... I'd felt happiness for him and was genuinely thrilled for him... he was handsome, had a fantastic sense of humor, by all accounts appeared to be a good provider and most of all had a caring heart... he had been very encouraging to me in regards to my writing and launching the new website and as we all know empathy and encouragement are a must for a boyfriend or husband to have. Yet in that as I drove home I couldn't help but feel a piercing pang of
"Gee... I hope I have that one day."
Once home I tossed my sunglasses and keys onto the counter top and proceeded to wash my hands and rinse off my face, feeling the cool splash of water on my cheeks. My mother glanced up from the couch in the den nearby and asked about my day. After updating her I mentioned how my friend had met someone and was ecstatic about his connection. As I made my way across the room and took a seat on the couch beside her I pulled off my light grey shrug and draped it across the back of the couch. "I just don't know that when the time is right I'll ever meet the right man." I told her. I had a real problem with trusting that God would send a Godly man my way one day.
She spoke "I don't know why you'd want to.... you don't want another liar and cheater... we don't know anyone with a good marriage." She told me and finally added "I think the blog drastically reduces your chances of ever finding someone. They are either going to read it and be whoever you want them to be and you risk getting tricked again... or they will read it and run...."
"I think anyone who runs is not someone for me." I grimaced.
She murmured agreement "I agree... I think you have some more time to heal from everything... you're not there. Do I think you may meet someone about the time you're fifty? Yes.... that's what my gut tells me... someone who was in a bad marriage and waited till the kids were grown... by then someone who truly wants companionship. I could see that." She told me.
Anyone who has gone through a toxic marriage, nasty divorce and then child custody litigation all while trying to fight parental alienation by an ex knows that all that nonsense is more than enough for anyone's plate. A relationship? That seemed just too soon as what I'd found was that just companionship (dinner, a concert, etc ) was never enough.... they always wanted more whether it was sex or marriage or both. The truth of the matter is.... after being with someone who is a liar and a cheater (you can't be a cheater without being a liar as well) trusting anyone is near impossible. I find myself somewhat leery and suspicious... if someone doesn't appear transparent and genuine and instead seems to exude a façade of cheerfulness that seems put on I keep my distance. If someone has a lot of questions I wonder why and regard their motives. It's reflexive that my antennae goes up and my gut instinct jabs at me like a persistent kid with a pencil in school. Anyone who has gone through this darkly treacherous and isolating passage of being with a sociopath; being love bombed by someone only to marry them and realize they are not the person they tried to make themselves out to be... but instead now seems to be a representative of the devil himself knows what I'm talking about... it all starts oh so lovely and ends oh so horribly awful... with that being the understatement of the century of course.
We have to go through the healing we require before we can be the healthiest us possible after living with abuse... often emotional and verbal abuse and even physical abuse.... before we could even remotely consider getting into another relationship. Since my divorce in 2012 I've had two very short lived relationships (a matter of 3 months or so each) and I can say having those I realize I'm not where I need to be. Maybe you're not either... and that's okay. I think it takes courage to say to oneself: "Hey, I'm not where I need to be... BUT I'm evolving and getting better ... and that's okay!" The alternative to rushing into a relationship too soon is we haven't had the necessary time needed to sit with ourselves and embrace just us... just sitting alone in a room and asking "Okay... what do I want?" It's vital for us to reflect on what mistakes we've made, what we could have done differently in our marriage (even in abusive marriages there are things we could have done differently; should we have practiced more self care? Gone on that trip with the girls we wanted to go on? For a man should he have made more time for his health and taking better care of himself? What about work? Did he work too much? These are all questions we can ask ourselves and determine if we were to marry again how could we write a better script for ourselves and our spouse.
One big issue is if we rush into the next relationship we risk one of two things happening... either we pick out exactly what we had before... another abusive partner... or alternatively we do well and pick out an empathetic person yet we haven't fully healed so we end up projecting(!) everything our spouse did onto this new person and creating issues where there maybe aren't any.... ultimately causing a lot of unintended hurt and damage. Either way... we have a new mess on our hands.... and we don't want that... healing and self care are not selfish choices but absolutely necessary. Healing: It's a long ever-evolving process that takes time and like a death is not linear but often many steps backward then forward then backward again. It requires patience and a personal willingness to put the time in without jumping into the next arms of someone because we don't like being alone, because we want to be held, comforted, nurtured, made love to, etc. If you are looking for true love the Bible says that we must not be unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14). Christians are commanded to not marry someone who is not a believer... and that is why we must remain cognizant of those wolves in sheep clothing... taking our time; several seasons to get to know someone and not rushing into the next relationship.
As if healing from our divorce wasn't challenging enough and guiding any said children through that process as well and the therapies involved we are now likely dealing with the after affects of abuse from the family court system... that after-effect may very well be in the form of PTSD symptoms because of having your child snatched. If you've divorced a sociopath you know you've divorced the equivalent of the devil... and he (or she) doesn't just go away. They, like a mosquito keeps coming back for another bite and no matter how much you try to give them a swat that sends them permanently away it's futile. You can beg and pray to God for them to leave you alone... you can pray for protection for you and your children. There is evil in this world and for some reason that little saying of "the good die young" often correlates to evil living way long. You cannot control another human being... all you can do is control your reaction. Let's not dismiss the power we have. We have a personal right to limited or no contact with our ex. The family court system is a toxic abusive one that enables the manipulative parent who often seeks more custody not because they care but because they have an agenda to control and punish you and because they have more money. Even if you are following limited contact you cannot keep your ex from pursuing aggressive litigation which they thrive on. I know the aggressive litigation my ex has done has been purposeful with the intent to hurt and destroy... with the court system enabling him to do so... the court system is just as guilty as he is of heinous actions and I believe they will all one day have to answer for their wrong doings before God.
My story is one of hundreds of thousands... there are countless good parents who are living without their children or limited time with them due to 1.) Parental alienation and 2.) A corrupt family court system. Yes, I'm a hell raiser... I will continue to raise my voice and awareness about this situation we have on our hands until something positive is done to fix it.... because there is no way there is such a huge outcry of parents who have had their children TAKEN, STOLEN from them due to terroristic court tactics for it to be mere coincidence. We have a war on our hands, folks... we need to be focused and that focus needs to be on spreading the word about our individual stories within our communities by sharing flyers, etc and why not to vote for said judges... sticking to facts and what they said and did... we need to clean house and take the trash out... we need a complete overhaul of our system. The abuse we may have endured during our marriage just seems to continue by the dirty hands of the judges, ad litems and amicuses... no wonder it takes us so long to heal... because we continue to be re-traumatized by these very people who are supposed to be looking out for our children.
Recently my daughter cried to her father how she wants more time with me. His uncaring dismissive answer was evident: "This is just the way it is." He's a cold uncaring heartless person based on his words and actions. She cried to me regarding his reaction wanting me to fix it and I simply threw it back on him where it belonged and told her: "This was HIS decision. I did NOT file a motion to change custody. He chose this. And he can change it at any time. We can go back to 50/50 or he can give me more time than that. We don't need a judge to do that. He knows you want to be with me more. He can reinstate the 50/50 and child support at anytime. He chooses to do what you don't want. He knows what you want and yet doesn't change it. You have more power than you believe... don't be a doormat... stand up for yourself." I told her.
It's undoubtedly a weary journey to guide our children through the aftermath of a divorce and continuing custody battles. This battle that he's instigated toward me is affecting her.... I don't believe it's healthy to coddle our children and let them believe it's okay to cry about their situation and yet not speak up for themselves... we do not want to raise children who become adults that have no backbone. It may have taken a long time for us to find OUR voice... by God lets not enable and raise a new generation that cannot speak up for themselves. Yes to fighting for our children but I'm not going to send a message of: "It's okay... I'll continue to fight for you while you are silent." No. Once a child is old enough to speak up and articulate what they want which they likely did with the judge as mine did yet were ignored (between ages 10-13) they should and need to speak up if physical safety is not an issue... there are plenty of children that upon exchanges with the other parent just flat out refuse to get out of the car. Good for them. They are finally standing up to a parent they have no desire to see or as much. Sure, that abusive parent will likely accuse alienation... but at some point children need to learn they have more power than they think... them not believing they have any is part of the fault of the toxic parents conditioning of wrong beliefs they've instilled in their child to gain control over them... and partly ours... due to our much needed learning boundaries maybe for the first time and gaining our voice... we have to be the example our children need.
It goes back to we have to spend so much emotional energy into dealing with the after-effects of our toxic ex, the court system and our child's new custody arrangement that who on earth would have the time and energy to delve into a new relationship? Likely we are spending much of our newly free time dabbling in what brings us renewed joy... and enjoying what little time we have if any with our children.... our time is precious and the thought of potentially creating a new family life with someone new may seem exhausting... which is understandable... you've been through so much... much more than anyone should have to bear... and with that it's not selfish to take care of you.... in fact, it's absolutely vital. You've earned your wings to freedom fellow warrior.... there may be those "what if's" to ponder on when it comes to the potential of love... I believe everyone deserves someone who truly loves them warmly and cherishes them more than anyone else on earth... the kind of love written of in books, poems and song of solomon that our hearts long for... but if we haven't sought God and yes, loved ourselves first... we won't ever know if were choosing someone because we really love them or just want to be loved.