Putting our children in the middle of fights is abuse
One thing I am eternally grateful for is the fact that my mother never once spoke badly of my “father” or as I like to refer to him my sperm donor in front of me. No matter how psychotic he was she Left it up to me to form my own opinion of him. I was never used as a weapon in their split and I never heard anything negative about him. For the couple years that we actually had contact with him, she dropped us off with no incident. It is very clear to me now that it must have taken incredible will power to avoid such temptation and mask such deep feelings for the benefit of her children.
As I grew into adulthood it was very clear to me the level of low life he was. I have no anger as he simply does not deserve even that, however, I also have no doubts of my feelings towards him because I was the one who determined what he is. Most parents give into the temptation to speak negatively about the other parent in order to gain what they think is the upper hand in a divorce and an in hope of being the favorite. Putting down your child’s other parent may seem harmless but you are fooling yourself and quite frankly damaging your child because at some point your child will grow up and begin to question if you had bad intentions.
Remember a child may believe everything you say but the long term effects will include distrust, lack of respect, anger and much more. If you’re doing this simply because you’re angry the relationship did not work, do you really want to possibly deprive your child of a bond with their parent? How angry will they be when it is realized they lost a mother/father for no reason but selfishness? If physical, psychological or sexual abuse is an actuality then you should have a professional speak to your child because odds are you are not qualified.
Eventually, the time is right
I don’t remember my exact age but I was in my 30’s before my mother ever really spoke to me in depth about some of the horrific things he did to her and his family did to us. The majority of what I was told I had kind of figured out on my own, definitely not to the extremeness, but I saw so much emotion in my mother’s eyes and heard so much relief in her voice that night. I was home on a visit after a couple glasses of wine I guess she just decided it was time or maybe it was the questions I asked.
I heard things that made so many childhood memories make sense. Things I would not wish on any woman or child. It is not my place to speak of the details. However, because I came to my own conclusions I had no doubts about what my mother was telling me. In fact, I still believe she was holding some things back.
True Strength is doing the right thing
For how strong I always believed my mother was, I realized how wrong I was. She is much stronger than I ever imagined she was or truthfully thought I could be. Now that I am a father in a similar situation I realize I am that strong. Like any good parent would be, not because I was taught or told but because a good parent just knows that their love for their child will give them the strength to do what is best for them even if it hurts us.
I do believe it turned me into a good parent. Instinctively I would do what is best for my daughter no matter what. It also taught me that no matter how difficult or painful it maybe to watch your child have to discover a dark truth on their own there is light at then end of the tunnel. The end result is the unbreakable trust, love, respect, and loyalty of your child.
In my case
My situation differs from my mothers. Kiara is subjected to nothing but negative things being spoken to her about me on a regular basis. She is told I am evil, I am abusive, I am a liar as well as other horrific things. As hard it is to hear those things at least I already know taking the high road has paid off. The bond we share is stronger than most. Her trust in me is so incredible it is almost too much pressure to handle. I take solace in the fact that I know she knows I will never betray that trust. For that, I have earned her never ending loyalty.
When she is told she has to lie to police, dcf, doctors etc… she always tells them the truth. Despite the psychological abuse used to try and make her lie. Even though I am not the abuser she is absorbing it to protect me and return the favor. For that, I may never get over the guilt. No matter how strong people say she is I know the truth. I see the hurt inside but I also see her doing it to protect our relationship. Kids are much more observant then parents tend to realize. A child can sense negativity, a child eventually realizes that they can not trust you if you are always trying to make them hate someone or choose someone over you.
When Kiara comes home saying bad things I always bite my tongue. I tell her she is too young to be worried about those things and even defend her mother to an extent. She knows I am holding back. She knows I am not abusing her trust in me by corrupting her childhood with the truth. I can see the appreciation in her eyes, I also see that it takes some of her sadness away.
Am I lucky? It is a tough situation.
I am lucky in the sense that I know my ways are benefiting Kiara, my mother had to wait years. I still don’t know how she did it but I am forever grateful.