Leaving But Not Yet Free

I left him. I left his house. But we have two children who need two parents. I may have left but I'm not yet free of him.He and I have children together. I am connected to him for the rest of my life, through them. Although our vows to love, honor and cherish fell by the wayside, “for better or worse, ’til death do we part” holds strong. Some promises can’t be taken back.

I wish I could say I was all right with that. A part of me would like nothing better than to never ever have to see his face or hear his voice again; the other part of me knows that is impossible. By court order, we are to discuss visitation via email or text. But what about the rest of it? What about when I have to drop off the kids and he comes to the car to talk to me? What about when we’re face to face and he’s saved every ounce of information about our children to pass on to me at that point, verbally? How can I be pleasant to him in front of our children if I don’t speak to him?

I’ve told him that he should “put that in an email” and he tells me that he’s on his computer all day and doesn’t have the desire to waste his time hunt and pecking emails. He says my texts are taking up so much space on his phone that he can’t receive anymore and he’s been told that he can’t delete them until our “bullshit drama” is over. I think he doesn’t want to write because he wants to talk, face to face, and work his magic via word twists and blaming…but who am I to assume to know what’s in his head?

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The other night, he sarcastically said, “Way to go, Mom!” and gave me two thumbs up because he thinks he’s found out something about our son’s vision problem that I “never took the time to look into.” He wants me to believe that the efforts I’ve made with doctors to diagnose and protect our son’s vision were half-hearted (at best). He wants to go to court and prove that, on his watch, the boys are better off than they’ve been under mine.

My only question was “Where the hell were YOU all the time we were married?”

To which he answered, predictably, “At work! Doing my JOB!”

He doesn’t seem to understand that he COULD HAVE BEEN this involved with our sons’ health and welfare from the beginning. He could have taken the time at any point in their lives to do all that he’s trying to make up for now. Instead, he wants to twist his frustration with how he’s squandered his time with his boys into belittling me, because blaming me for how I’ve done MY job as a mother is far better than accepting that he hasn’t been doing his.

I am a wonderful mother. I have my shortcomings as all people do, but I’ve raised those boys with little more than financial support despite being married to their father. He spent the past years telling me that I was twisting their  minds, making them lesser men instead of taking the time to teach them his views. He’s taken every opportunity to try to make me doubt my ability to parent properly, all the while seeming to undermine and poo poo the efforts I’ve made.

Nevertheless, when I see my boys for who they are in their hearts and minds, I see two young men who are strong, capable, smart, and willing to make decisions about their own lives. I am comfortable with the people they are and I know I am raising them well. I admire them for the way they seem to be handling their parent’s divorce and how they’ve bounced back from living in a house where their parents fought too much and deprived them of peace and comforts of a real home.

My ex and I created a house full of tension and demons. Now the boys may have two homes, but at least those homes are without the anger and violence emitted by the parents who were supposed to protect them from such things. I know my home is peaceful. I hope I am setting a positive example. I hope my boys can see the wings of freedom sprouting from my shoulder blades. I am striving to do what’s right for me, and hoping that doing so spills over to them. They’re capable of seeing for themselves, when they’re ready, the rest of the story.

Yet for me, the rest of the story is yet to be played out. I still have four years in which a judge holds levy over who is the more capable parent. Behind the scenes, I still must practice self-control and step outside of myself to witness the twists and turns of his mindful abuses instead of feeling them as if they were true. It is difficult. Sometimes I want to revert to the old ways and scream at him “That isn’t true!” But it’s not worth it. I know it isn’t true, and I’m learning to detach myself from his sabotage. I’m leaving, but I’m not yet free.

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About Kellie Jo Holly

Kellie Jo Holly passionately advocates against domestic violence through her writing and mentoring service. She loves helping women cope with abuse while in the relationship and supporting them as they leave the relationship and begin to heal. You can also find Kellie on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. You can buy her books from Amazon.

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