In the Game of Courts, your attorney versus his attorney, you must be willing to suspend disbelief and all sense of what you know as truth and logic, in order to survive.
Much like you do when watching a popular HBO series.
You must also retain the ability to blithely travel back and forth in your history, even to other lands, as others will rewrite and redefine everything you have known, even about yourself and your child(ren) as truth.
Much like a character in a popular Showtime (or is it Starz?) series.
Anywho – fun! Right? WRONG
At the end of it all, going through a divorce with an abusive spouse is as ridiculous and insane as believing any of those television shows is true.
Yet, throughout the entirety of the process, you will be surrounded by people trying to convince you, no, actually, DEMANDING that you accept time travel, zombies, dragon-riding queens, and magically clean/fully-toothed Scottish warriors from the 18th Century, are real and accessible.
They will insist that you are anxiety-ridden, overprotective, and therefore incompetent parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)
They will insist that you are sexually promiscuous, potentially introducing your child(ren) to a pornographic lifestyle, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)
They will insist that you are the one who has abused your child and your spouse, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)
They will insist that you are a lazy incompetent willfully unemployed person who is reckless with money, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)
They will insist that you are unstable and unreliable in all areas of your life, and therefore an unfit parent (all the while your future ex sits there smugly and accuses you of these things)
Divorce from an abusive person is a disgusting disorienting process.
Because abusive people are disgusting and disorienting.
This is how it came to be that every week, I am court ordered to pay penance for my compliance in allowing an abusive and ill man to father my child.
Every week, I have to send an email to MrexH, MrexH’s caregiver, SonHerisme’s attorney, and my attorney. The email has to include facts and positive comments about SonHerisme. Including a picture is optional.
Every week, I sit down and compose the same email, with a sequentially numbered attachment containing 2 facts and 2 positive comments about SonHerisme. Each school report card period, I attach a photo of the report card (at the request of SonHerisme’s attorney). I have also, on occasion, included a photo of SonHerisme’s school work.
SonHerisme has been asked many times over the past few years, by Social Workers, a variety of Therapists, Attorneys, Counselors, Friends, and Family members, if he wants to say something to his father, send something to his father, or hear something from his father. SonHerisme has always been consistent that he does not want to do any of those things.
Because of this, I have never felt comfortable telling SonHerisme that I am obligated to do this weekly penance.
I have never sent pictures of SonHerisme.
After our divorce was final (FINALLY), I stopped including pictures of SonHerisme’s work. It just doesn’t feel right.
If SonHerisme doesn’t want to send copies of his personal works, I do not feel it is my place to override his wishes. Since MrexH has a legal right, as SonHerisme’s parent, to have access to school records, if he chooses, so I do include SonHerisme’s report cards.
My weekly penance typically looks something like this:
Facts about SonHerisme:
- SonHerisme attended school every day this week
- SonHerisme was healthy all week.
Positive comments about SonHerisme:
- SonHerisme made progress with his math works
- SonHerisme is proud of his forms
This is court ordered under the guise of me maintaining my cooperation in keeping MrexH informed and a part of SonHerisme’s life.
See how cooperative and encouraging I am?
I have sent 39 of these reports to date.
So still up to me to maintain, negotiate and navigate this relationship *sigh*
(Here is where an attorney would threaten me with having to pay a professional to do weekly evaluations and reports, or lose my sole legal and physical custody, if I cannot comply or if I speak about how ridiculous this process is)
I am sending information about my young child to someone who is basically a complete stranger to us. Someone who is so ill and unstable that he is unable to care for himself. Someone abusive, with a legal trail of court recognized abuse.
These are things that might never occur to you to consider before your life is ripped apart.
Sometimes I feel like an asshole sending this report.
Most of the time, it feels like my punishment.
A weekly grim reminder of the truly unfortunate and sad circumstances of our situations.
My weekly penance.
Love, Ms. Herisme xo