I recently met a woman who reminds me of myself 2.5 years ago. She is in the beginning stages of her divorce and she has the same look I used to have– the scared, caged animal look. The constant fear— always looking over your shoulder. Never knowing where the next “assault” was going to come from– email, text, phone or in person. Never knowing if “he” was going to be lurking in my neighborhood or peering through my window. It’s not a fun way to live and my heart goes out to all of the beautiful woman who have recently taken their first steps on this journey.
I don’t have the answers but I wish that I could explain to these women what I do know: You will look back on this one day and feel strong. I wouldn’t have believed it at the time but I know it as truth.
Today, I feel strong. (Yes, that warranted a “BOLD” command)
I opened my email this morning and there was an email from “him”.
Not too long ago, I would have cringed at the sight of his name in my inbox. My heart would have started pounding as I skimmed the email for anything important. I would have started shaking as I read the series of assaults– attacking my looks, my weight, my significant other, my family, my job, my lack of a college degree, etc….on…and….on. I would have forwarded it to my family members and then I would have been “on edge” for hours. Shaken.
Today, he doesn’t have that power. I am strong.
I opened the email and it was almost predictable– an intro about tomorrow’s visitation and then a series of threats and attacks.
I had emailed him this week about calling me T-Rex in front of the girls. My email was very brief– I said that obviously, he is entitled to feel anyway he wants but please don’t talk poorly about me in front of the girls.
He acknowledged that he calls me T-Rex and then dove straight into his normal ramblings and threats:
- He accused me of quizzing the girls about their visits so they feel they must “tell” on their dad. They are confused. That is why my daughter told me about his name-calling.
- I am purposefully creating a Parental Alienation Syndrome.
- He is planning to report me to Child Welfare Services since the judge won’t listed to his complaint about my blog.
Why I know I am stronger– I see through him. I can almost predict him. He doesn’t affect me any longer. I opened his email and it didn’t bother me at all. In a way, I feel pity for him.
1. He spins everything back and is unable to accept fault for anything. This is who he is to his core. He admitted to calling me “T-Rex” but then spun it around so that it is my fault that my daughter told me about it. I watched him do this in every situation through our marriage– with employees, banks, family and friends.
2. His threats don’t work anymore. Child Welfare Services? Parental Alienation Syndrome? Please.
3. He then went on to attack me for still using an email with my married name in the address. “Do you have another email that does not have (my name) in the address? The judge gave you back your maiden name months ago”.
I saw the email…I read the email…I closed the email. No feelings elicited. No heart pounding. Nothing.
I see him for who he is and I’ve given up on the hope that he can act in a healthy, rational manner.
I have come a long way from that caged animal look that I once wore. I am strong today and I will be strong tomorrow.