– A journey of Letting Go
A lack of boundaries invites a lack of respect-Unknown
Before the calm comes the storm. For some reason, I thought if I played nice I would reach my calm a lot quicker. Ha Ha, jokes on me. Playing nice just left me looking weak in Mr. Ex’s eyes. He had no problem trying to take advantage of it.
Initially, we agreed to follow the parenting time guidelines. Being a former litigation paralegal for family court, I knew these guidelines like the back of my hand. I had no problem adhering to this as when they are properly followed everyone seems to win. The first few weeks that is what happened. The kids got plenty of time with both parents and things were running like clockwork.
Then one day, my youngest child came home with his ears pierced. Now, this was something that Mr. Ex knew I wouldn’t approve. I wanted to snatch the earrings out so bad. I was fuming. I also didn’t want to be the bad guy. My son’s puppy dog eyes didn’t help much either so, I let him keep them. Next thing I knew, Mr. Ex said to hell with the guidelines.
He started calling the kids to make arrangements to pick them up on my days. At one point I even intercepted a text at 2 in the morning from him telling my oldest that he was on his way to come get them (wasn’t his day either). Of course, I texted back telling him no. He proceeded to curse me out through text on our son’s phone. Trying to be the adult and play nice, I just erased the text and turned the phone off for the rest of the night. The next morning, my son shows me a text from Mr. Ex insulting me to my son and saying I was keeping them from him.
That sent me straight to the edge. The gloves came off and I was done playing nice. I let Mr. Ex know that if his visitation was not within the guidelines then it wasn’t happening. He decided to test my “nuts” on Martin Luther King Day. According to the guidelines it was my day so, I planned all kinds of educational outings for the kids with my sister and her child. When dropping the kids off that Sunday, he advised that he would be back to get them Monday afternoon because the school was out. I told him no it was my day. He didn’t have much of a response so I figured he got the point.
The next day, he decided to come to my home and demand I let the kids go with him. Again I said no. The next day he decided to come to my job and demand to see me. Thank God I was off work that day. I was still embarrassed as my manager told me of the scene he made. The next day I spent the day ignoring back to back calls from him and nasty voicemails. Later that day he decided to pop up at my job again. This time I was there and he let the insults and threats fly. He was escorted off the property and I was admonished and warned that next time I would be fired.
The next few days were filled with nonstop insulting and threatening calls. I knew I could not control his actions but, I felt responsible for it getting that far. I never set real boundaries with him before so, when I finally did he lashed out. He had no respect for me as a person let alone a parent. After ducking and dodging harassing calls and pop-ups, I had been pushed over the edge. It was time to set some real boundaries so, I did what I had to do and drew the line in the sand. I filed for and was granted a temporary protective order, too bad it didn’t come with respect.