Lynn Terry (professional blogger and super affiliate) posted something today on Facebook that I’ve heard before.

“What worries you most?… Ask yourself: What’s the absolute *worst* thing that could happen – and how bad IS it, truly?”

And my fingers wanted to fly. But it was a Social Media page…not about me.

Shit!

The life I live now!!!!

Yeah, it’s not horrible – I love the Locksmith. I love my little business. It is not the worst disaster one could ever imagine (if you want to get all technical about it) because not everything is falling apart at the same time the way it does in fiction.

But….

my heart is not whole and I’m living through a nightmare that I don’t even think I fully gave credence to in my Worst Case Scenario projections about what life after ODTBX would be like.  I thought about it tons and tons and tons over the years. I imagined what life would be like after the dust had settled.

The vision never changed. Me with the boys most of the time, with weekends “off” where they’d go with their dad and then come back to me…you know like normal fucking divorce situations with sane people who just happened to not be able to live as a couple anymore.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Oh maybe I’ll have to live in subsidized housing or go to the food bank because I’ll fail in business and be unable to scrape the money together to pay the bills.

Yeah, that was my worst case scenario.

It never entered my mind that he would end up with physical custody of the children.

That only happens to junkies and alcoholics! Moms who maybe need a little help before they can be a good parent…maybe moms like my mom who are mentally ill.

In the interest of transparency, yes…I’ve smoked weed. I am not going to sit here and lie when any number of people could attest to that. But they’d also have to say that as for other drugs, I seldom touch an Advil or Tylenol…let alone anything that ought to lead to not being an everyday mom.

I think most people who saw me in action as a mom would have judged me to a good mom (most of the time…) – I think. I don’t know – because honestly you don’t just go up to people and ask “do you think I was a good parent?”

It’s not something I’ve observed sane people to do.

And I’m not mentally ill, though yes, I have suffered from bouts of depression. It’s been treated over the years with medication, exercise and diet…never more than an overnight hospital stay and the occasional bouts of really, really rough days.

Yes, I’m a lousy housekeeper. At least I was. It’s hard to tell anymore because the Locksmith takes care of all the cooking and cleaning.

But never hoarder style…more – a spill on the floor that’s not wiped immediately, the blob of jelly on the counter, more dishes than there ought to be piled by the sink, too many toys on the floor, a little too much laundry to be washed or waiting to be folded. Not gross, except maybe to OCD types. I think.

Again, not something I”ve come out and asked any but my closest friends. And if they thought different, they didn’t tell me. All the friends with clean houses had relatives or a housekeeper…there was only one that had small children and a clean house without help. She was amazing.

Certainly (at least in my mind) nothing I could imagine could threaten my role as a full time mom. Other than the fact he once threatened it.

But he threatened a lot of things.

I was more inclined to believe he meant the one where he said if I left him he’d just quit his job and do nothing so that I couldn’t get a penny of alimony or child support from him…he threatened that one a lot more often.

But he meant the other one.

The one where he takes the boys and never lets me see them.

Well he’s done the first, but not the latter.

And I am grateful for that small mercy. Truthfully, I am. And I’m almost afraid to express that now for fear he will follow through and take the rest away somehow. But I can’t live my life in fear, right?

A fear I never even knew I could possibly have until I watched him woo the boys away from me – one visitation weekend at a time. Telling them that I was never a good mom and that I never loved them. Bribing them. Making them feel sorry for him and his medical issues. I’m not entirely sure the things he has told them.

I only knew when it was done. When they came to me, my boys, 15, 13 & 9 at the time…and told me they wanted to go live with dad.

I know for sure that he told my youngest that I was a bad mom and it showed in how I didn’t keep the house clean. I know because my youngest told me one day “Dad says you’re a bad mom and that I would be better off without you and that’s what we have to say when you make us go to court.”

Only I haven’t done that yet. A year later and I haven’t fought yet.

I should’ve fought then. I know that now. But I was in shock.

And then digging at me…when they’d chosen to move to the city with Dad. “I wouldn’t have been able to convince them if you weren’t worthless as a mother.”

Among other things.

Just too much utter and heart-rending shock that my babies could choose him over me. I’d read about it happening, but…ODTBX wasn’t that…mean, petty, evil…

He wasn’t the kind of man who would take children from a mother. But he was.

And he’ll say that I was trying to take children from their father – that he’s given me what I offered him.

Except it’s not.

And this is the worst that I could have ever imagined happening.

Except I never imagined it.

And now I’m living it.

One day at a time. One step at a time.

Just trying to hold on to the hope that my kids have guardian angels as good as mine were through my awkward, abusive childhood…and that they’ll be okay eventually.

Even if it does take until they are forty to fully escape from the abuse and abusive mindset. (Not saying I’m fully out yet…but I’m on my way further away from abuse each day…)

But I’ve always believed they are much smarter than I ever was and hope they’ll come to the conclusion and start living a full life much, much sooner than I did.

Worst case scenario. I failed as a mother and I’ve doomed another generation to abuse.

But I’m going to do everything in my power between now and when my story ends to prevent that…

And to prevent it happening to anyone else.

 

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