I must admit to catching some shit about my last blog post and the compliment paid to my ex-husband. How could you say a kind word about someone that did such awful things to you?! Especially by the people that know all the dirty details.
It’s an easy question to answer, but I had to fake it ’till I made it: He’s my child’s father first and my tormentor second. That is how I get through each day and every interaction with him.
In my phone, I don’t use his name, I labeled him as “son’s father.” When I feel like saying or texting something unkind, I think of the impact it might have on my son, who’s name is right there on the screen. Then I stop and delete the text, starting over with the right frame of mind. It isn’t easy to put my personal feelings toward the man aside, when he was so hateful and destructive, but a mother’s love knows no work that is too hard.
It was difficult to forgive the man that never asked for my forgiveness, about that I cannot lie. But when I was able to put the tools into practice to let my anger go and fill my heart with compassion and forgiveness, slowly things started to improve. He didn’t have to do the awful things he chose to do, but I did make bad decisions that essentially handed a loaded gun to a broken man. Accepting responsibility for that was key.
When Owen is not with me, he’s with his father. Do I want my son to be around someone who’s miserable? No, I don’t. That’s why I smile and treat him kindly. I never underestimate him as an adversary and I’ll never let down my guard, I can’t afford to ever do that again. But adding kindness and compassion to the equation hasn’t made me a weaker target. Hopefully, it takes the target off my back entirely.