Fear is a feeling I’ve been examining and thinking about a lot in my situation.  I find that I do things out of fear of my ex, for fear of the court system and the judge, for fear of being judged inaccurately by anyone. Over time, I’ve gotten more confident in myself – as a person and as a parent.  In my situation, I do tend to come off as pretty self confident to begin with, and the judge said in our transcript that “the mother doesn’t know everything” (or something to that affect).  Previously, my confidence was because I’ve read many parenting books, and I’m open to learning about parenting.  I speak with others to get their take on it in general or for specific issues.  However, the judge knocked me for a loop when he viewed me negatively for being someone who is trying their best as a parent.

With my ex, fear comes into play now not because he is overtly threatening.  Previously he hit walls, shoved me up against them, or leaned into me threateningly.  On occasion, he hit me.  Now, he uses our kids.  His narcissism was hurt badly – first when I wanted a divorce, and second when he was judged as a father in court.  When many people discussed the flaws in his parenting (that he’s quick to react with anger, has poor judgment, etc), his reaction was to continue being in our children’s lives to prove them wrong.  Parenting is the one place where he’s finally gotten positive reinforcement from his negative parents.  His mom literally tells him “I thought you would be a terrible parent! You’re such a jerk!!”  But, then she adds “you’re such a wonderful father, I’m so proud of you.”  In other situations she calls him a jerk, an asshole, a dick.  (this is where my son learned to tell me “Mom, you’re a dick.”).   She says these awful things to him (which are actually true), with a deceiving smile on her face.  So why wouldn’t my ex want to use parenting to get his narcissistic needs met?  For him, it serves a dual purpose.  He also wants revenge on me for breaking up his image of having a family like everyone else.   He knows I want my kids with me, and he isis taking them and spending the time that he “earned in court” with them to get even with me.   He also knows other ways of getting even – like withholding phone calls or passively taking things from the kids that they brought over with them from my house.  Fear now comes from the fear of my ex putting our children in the middle of the conflict and using them to get even with me.

I like reading my daily bible quotes that I get through my “DailyBible” app on my android phone.  I find that many times they might be scary specific to exactly what’s going on in my life.  For today, for example, with the CPS investigation pending, I feel fear about how I will be perceived by CPS.  Will they understand that I am not falsely accusing my ex?  Will they understand that I’m not even accusing him at all at this point? I have these things going on with my kids that don’t add up – redness on their bottoms that I cannot explain through other means, and indirect comments & behaviors from the kids that make me wonder why they would say or do that.   At this point, I’ve sought help from my pediatrician to try to explain the red bottoms, and from my daughter’s therapist to help with her behaviors.

I’m also feeling fearful of my ex’s reaction to the CPS investigation.  He’s bullying and passive aggressive.  However, he has the capacity to come off as though he’s a perfect father who wouldn’t even trim his children’s fingernails for fear of hurting them (uh, no… that’s not really why… he’s just lazy… but he would tell others something like that so they have a sweet image of him and feel sorry for him).  I can imagine him seeming so sweet to others.  Recently, he seems like a normal, wonderful ex-partner in his interactions with me.  Instead of how he normally holds the phone calls over our heads, he’s been having them call and even helping them to make sure the phone is working right.   Now, keeping in mind, that my daughter has her own phone with her but is afraid to use it around him because he’s ripped it out of her hands in the past and taken it away from her …. Right now he’s letting them use his phone sweetly to call me in the one call a night that he allows us.  (see how normalcy is forgotten?  The kids should be able to call either parent whenever they want, but instead our reality winds up that we’re just grateful that he lets them have one phone call each night, and we forget how it really should be!)

The daily bible quote today, Isaiah 41:10, reads:  “10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  I will be doing my best to remember in the days that come that I can rely on my strong faith and in the Lord to help us through the CPS investigation.

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