Okay… so I was being a complete bitch… but OMFG! I’ve sent him the address a dozen times. He NEVER sends the kids back with all their things. This parcel had the Wizard’s shoes and favourite shirt. It’s been circling for weeks trying to find the right address – because he also didn’t bother to write his own address in the return to sender section – ‘Oh well, he should remember his own things!’  

I’m usually far more passive these days. I try not to bite. I certainly don’t attack. It’s just not worth the fall out the kids then suffer. But my god… it’s so damned hard… and today… well… it’s been a crappy few weeks. 

He’s been quiet this week, but the two weeks before he was in fine form! Constant attacks on the older two. The Princess just looks at her phone these days and mutters – what have I done this time?!? The Knight still struggles… the attacks range from full frontal assault to subtle manipulation… two days ago, he saw his bed for sale on a buy swap sell page… those little things… the attacks on his sense of belonging…

A friend has promised to drink champagne and dance on his grave when the time finally comes! ☺️but in the mean time… it’s sucking it all down deep and doing my best to ignore the attacks and minimise the damage. Taking the higher road… 

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When you kick your child out of home…

Okay, maybe he didn’t kick him out if home… but…

It’s been going all week. I knew the peace couldn’t last, but this week has been crazy. I think he finally realised he’s lost control. 

The Knight tells me that his father never thought it would last… I’m confused – why wouldn’t it?? Oh… because history was rewritten. I forget this. I forget the claims that I beat my child up. That I picked him up, threw him against the wall and punched him in the face. I learnt this week that I left holes in the walls because I threw him so hard. And it was more than once… This week though, I’ve had enough, and I make it clear that the lies will stop. Or the truth will be known. 

I’m done with this week. I’m shattered. I don’t know where my kids find their strength. I’m in awe of their resilience. 

So today. I wouldn’t allow them to travel on the train for 3 and a half hours without an adult. A train with people coming and going. No adult supervision. In frustration… because I am the bad person now… I say I will drive them. A six hour round trip today. A six hour round trip to collect them on Monday. All for his family Xmas. 

The week has already been insane. The threats and accusations. The abuse. The endlessness of it and the randomness of the targets and the bullets fired. 

But today. My patience is shot. I’m a mess. I drive for 3 hours. 

And I come out of the shopping centre to this. My Knight’s belongings piled on the side of the street beside my car. 

What’s this? I thought he was keeping his room? I have nowhere to put all this stuff. He doesn’t want it in my house. My Knight tries to reason too. 

But there’s no reasoning. The room is still his room… but with none of his stuff… and he can’t actually sleep in it because it’s a guest room… so he’ll be sleeping in a tent in the backyard with the Baby Dragon and Wizard… 

I bite my tongue. Hold back the tears. My Knight is shattered. I watch his chest cave and his back bend… his shoulders slump as his heart crushes… 

The kids pile in the car and I smile. Wish them well. 

Then sit on the side of the road amongst everything and hold back the tears. 

The day hadn’t even ended. The last information I had, the Knight has ‘run away’ to his best friends house and I’m buying a train ticket for his return. The two younger are refusing to sleep in the tent alone. The eldest just shakes her head sadly and says – they’ll work it out mum… they’ll get there…

And the day goes on… the week continues… and I’m bewildered and shattered and searching for answers in all the psych books and articles at my fingertips… searching for answers as to why he does this and why I couldn’t see it for so long… because that sword cuts both ways… 

Life is actually quite good… but it has some really terrible moments… and they’re the ones I need to write about at the moment…

The kids and I found some super cheap flights to Hawaii… over Christmas….

So…. bit the bullet and asked the teen son if he wants to join us….

and…

all hell broke loose with their father…

because technically, he is entitled to have them from Boxing Day until New Years Eve.

He is ONLY entitled to have them every second weekend, and that 6 day period over the Christmas break…

I pointed out that I gave him longer at Christmas, a week in October, his wedding (not his allocated weekend), Easter…. These are basically the only times has has seen them…

As his time with them is obviously flexible and has no set pattern, this shouldn’t be an issue. He can have them over New Year for the same amount of time. Longer even.

But no…

He has to argue…

Because that his is need in life… the fight…

I blocked him on my phone – so he’s now emailing instead…

He told me he’s planning to go to Germany for Christmas. I countered by saying – well that’s great, you won’t be around anyway so the kids will be in Hawaii… No… apparently he’s not going if the kids aren’t going to Germany…. Umm, the kids were never going to Germany….

So he wants to stick to the letter of the parenting orders… Okay, so teen son will spend holidays with me now and you will only see them on the set weekends and that 6 days over Christmas – that’s it?

Oh no… of course that’s not it… He wants me to take the kids to see him when he wants to see them…

Umm, no… you left here to be near a girl you’d known for 2 weeks…Yes, he’s since married her, but he’d known her 2 weeks and moved 5 and a half hours away from his kids to be near her. I don’t have to drive them anywhere…

So here is my question… why do I engage? He only wants the fight. The kids will be going to Hawaii because they’ll talk him into it. Why can’t I break those old habits though? Why do I give him what he needs?

And why does my teen son now hate me once again? Because his dad is upset and that is my fault…

At these moments, I can’t do this parenting thing… I really can’t. If one more person tells me I’m a great parent, I’m likely to throw something solid at them. Because when they say this, all I see is my kids in turmoil and my teen son in particular… I see the tears and the heartbreak… and I know that their father is the one picking the fights over everything, but I have to take some responsibility here…. Oddly though, my son’s most recent mental health team were adamant that I shouldn’t be blaming myself… which is so nice to consider… something to clutch in those darkest moments… Because I see that I should have left… that I should have taken them and run so long ago… that I should have taken the risk of dragging them through the courts so it was documented… that I should have gone to the police when it was all fresh and the evidence was there…. I can’t go back in time and make him accountable.

And people can’t seem to see his manipulation… He says things and they believe him. Just like that. They believe the lies he spins.

I tell them stories to explain it: Miss 9 Facetiming him and saying goodbye. He says: I love you sweetie. I wish I could see you every day… but someone took you away from me.. didn’t she?

Or Master 8 – mummy, you have to give back my birthday money because daddy said you steal it.

The older two, it’s different… he says things to Miss 16 such as – wow, you’ve finally lost some weight (she’s always been thin)… or, this is why you have no friends (she has dozens)…. To Master 14 he plays best friend – how could you dog me, mate? I thought we were friends….

With them all, he plays on their weaknesses…

My son sent me texts abusing me – swearing, name calling…. identical to the ones his father was sending me… so I assume they were sitting beside each other on the couch, as they do, sending messages, laughing and attacking…

So how do I do this parenting thing? I want to run away… I am so exhausted by the tightrope… I can’t keep everyone balanced and happy… and when he isn’t getting his way, it’s always my fault…

I was talking to someone the other day about living in a country town. That everyone saw the nice guy and told me how lucky I am, what a great guy he is…. The friend I was talking to about it looked at me and laughed and said – oh come, on… no-one actually said that surely… as if they would!

Another friend I tried to explain it to told me that at least I hadn’t experienced real domestic violence…

He told me himself once: Oh come on, you’re being a drama queen. You should be grateful. I never put you in hospital, although I wanted to…

He’d tell me: the only reason I don’t hit you is because if I start, I know I won’t stop until you’re dead… and then he’d punch a hole in the wall beside my head… sometimes with a hand around my throat… smash the door down to get to me if I locked it… throw things at me… smash anything near at hand…

When we broke up, at one point, he claimed he didn’t have a temper. The house was three years old and the car was two. I pointed out all the broken things and holes… Over the next two weeks, he fixed them all…. so none of it ever happened…

We lived on a farm… no neighbours… no witnesses…

The kids still tell stories of what he did to the animals… I didn’t do the farm stuff so I didn’t realise… but they remember….

But no-one else knows… because most of it was mind games…

And now his eldest son does the same things… or tries…. and I find myself confused and frightened once again… I lose myself in those feelings and memories… I wake some nights unable to breathe… Some days there will be a memory and I panic… I hear a noise outside or a creak within, and it all comes flooding back… I run a mile from any guy who might even vaguely, possibly, kind of have a temper or any need to manipulate and control…

But I’m fine. Life goes on. I’m strong. Ask anyone. They’ll all tell you tiny snippets of things they might know or may have heard… but none of them really know… and you tell me there’s no such thing as PTSD from DV….

I am angry. I am furious. I am fed up. I am done.

If only saying the words was as effective as making them true.

Eleven years of schooling left. Eleven years of his manipulation left.

This time, it’s Easter. He sold them old. He took the money and left me the kids. That was the deal.

But of course it wasn’t the deal. It wasn’t enough.

Because he wants whatever hurts me most. Whatever still allows some control.

Easter is mine. As is Christmas. And birthdays. But he only wants the ‘occasions’. He wants to tell the world he’s having the kids for Easter. And he wants to hurt me because these occasions matter to me…

I said no. The parenting orders clearly state no. The courts are on my side. There’s nothing he can do about it…

Ho… ho… ho…

FaceTime.

Oh… yes he did…

Mummy! Please, please, please can we have Easter with daddy?! We never get to see him and he can see us that weekend!

Umm, why isn’t he here this weekend? Or next? Or the one after? The one before Easter? The one after? The school holidays?

But mummy…. he’s promised to take us camping and fishing and on the boat and there’s going to be loads of Easter eggs and all the family will be there….

So, yes… there is something he can do about it. Not legally… but he is the king of manipulation after all…

He tried to speak to me as they FaceTimed. I replied: You’ve never done Easter in your life. You weren’t even there for half of them and when you were, you were asleep.

He didn’t even try to deny it… I thought he would. He lies. Incessantly. He rewrites history. But he just agreed…. and that was somehow worse…. because he KNOWS he doesn’t care about Easter! He KNOWS it’s just so he ‘wins’. Just to hurt me because Easter DOES matter to me….

And I hate him… I can’t even begin to describe the deep seated hatred I feel… that I try to quell and ignore… I want him to live until he is old and alone and to die a painful, miserable death… I want him to suffer for all eternity…. and even that won’t be enough after the hell he put us through for all those years… and yet, they were young enough that he has re-written history for them and they think he is amazing. Because it’s so damned easy to be an awesome parent when you only spend a weekend with them every 2 or 3 months…

And I want to believe in karma. I want to believe in an afterlife. I want to believe that somehow, he will get what he deserves….

But I don’t believe in these things. Not enough. The kids think he is incredible. He is so much fun and he’s never grumpy or mean. And if one more person tells me they’ll realise when they’re older, I think I will actually hit them. I really do… because there is absolutely NO guarantee that they will realise when they are older! He is favourite uncle. Disney dad. He is awesome and fun and always happy.

And so… I doubt myself… maybe it was me… maybe I am all those things after all… maybe… maybe… and I hate him… so very, very much.