Someone tried to take my voice again last night. He didn’t realize what he was doing. He was trying to help, to smooth things over, to find some middle ground and help things out so everyone could move forward. I understand he was trying to do good things. But that does not mean I will let him take my voice.
I reached out to a family member of the ex’s who has been a powerful ally in all of this. I explained the truth of a situation that arose this week because I was going to have to enforce consequences, and I knew that lies would erupt about me as a result, so I wanted to lay a foundation of truth first. At least, the truth as I saw it. I had not been reporting the ex for the protective order violations again this week because I was trying to be nice again. I know, I have problems. Then I discovered that, despite my kindness and despite being told the opposite by my ex, he had been reporting me for imagined custody violations and basically trying to get me thrown in jail. Again.
My lawyer advised me to report the violations. The police advised me to report the violations. I will report the violations. I informed the familial ally of this. He called me back later and tried to “make a deal” with me. He informed me that he had spoken to the ex and the ex had “promised” he would not violate the protective order from now on if I would not report the violations of this week. I snorted into the phone. The family member became frustrated. I understand why. But I will not make a deal to silence my voice. He was wrong to try to get me to do so.
He became frustrated with me and told me I was also playing games. That I was to blame for the protective order violations as much as the ex because I was allowing him to get away with them. I tried to be sympathetic and understand his situation and frustrations, but I did not back down. I did not make a deal to silence my voice. I tried to understand him.
But here is what he did not understand:
He has been dealing with the ex for a few months. In those few months he has been lied to, brainwashed, harassed, manipulated, and overwhelmed by obsessive behaviors. If he takes that and multiplies it by ten, and then takes that and multiplies it by ten years, that is what I have put up with.
I dare anyone to handle any of this with as much grace, patience, kindness and love as I have. I dare anyone to experience the level of trauma my kids and I have experienced and not become jaded and angry and bitter. I dare anyone to live my life and transform the evil into light, the hate into love, and the hurt into joy as I have done time and time again.
I am exceptional.
I am also human and very imperfect and I mess up all the time.
I want to see my mistakes. I want to know what I did wrong in that situation, in that conversation. I want to know if I need to apologize, what weaknesses I need to recognize so I can overcome them and stop repeating them. In this situation, the only thing I recognize so far is that, once again, I tried to be too nice to the ex in not reporting him for the violations immediately, and it blew up in my face. Again. I tried to trust someone and reach out and instead lost a powerful ally. At least temporarily.
I can take this situation and choose to see that kindness and trust don’t work, but that is not who I am. I am kind and I am trusting. What I need to work on is becoming more discerning in those regards as well.
Overall, I am pleased with me. A man I respect and trust tried to manipulate and essentially intimidate me into keeping my voice silent. He did not mean to do so and I already forgive him for it, but I did not allow him to succeed. I will speak out and stand up for what I believe is right. If what I believe is right turns out to be wrong, I will apologize and learn and grow and continue to move forward.
This situation is difficult. That conversation was painful, but as always I choose to learn something powerful and beautiful from the pain:
I am finally learning to protect and trust and love and accept the most important person in my life: me.