On my last post, I had a reader comment:
Continue to be the bigger person, keep holding back. ~ Jassy
I understand this sentiment – I really do. I’ve been holding back for the last 15 years.
When I stated I was going to live up to the names I am being called – that is only in their eyes….not mine or anyone else’s.
I’m not sure what made me think of this from all those years ago, but here is a short story on why I decided to go in the direction I’m now going in with Jetsam:
This had to have happened around 8-10 years ago…..
Flotsam and I were “arguing” one day on something having to do with Buddy. I don’t even remember what we were arguing about, but he was getting frustrated that none of the tactics he was trying were working on me to allow him to do whatever hare-brained scheme he was trying to convince me of. I’ve since realized that he’s probably a sociopath, but at the time, I had no idea and was just as frustrated with him because what he was saying wasn’t making any sense to me.
After about 15 minutes of the conversation going nowhere, in frustration, Flotsam blurted out, “You’re being a BITCH!”
This hit me at my core, I straightened myself up, looked him directly in the eyes and calmly stated, “You and I both know I am not being a bitch, but if you call me that again, I will live up to the name.”
He promptly backed down, apologized, and went another direction with his tactics.
This memory made me realize that I had never done the same thing with Jetsam when she hurls names at me. I had never stood up for myself and calmly let her (and the kids) know that I’m not going to put up with that.
Hun and I talked. We decided that it is past time for both of us to stand up for ourselves and not put up with the abuse.
Here is an example of an event that happened recently. This was part of a larger conversation where Jetsam was once again blaming us for all issues related to Monkey misbehaving:
In talking to Hun in front of Monkey, Jetsam started spouting off (loudly) that we lied to gain custody of the kids (really?? She keeps bringing this up – we’ve had custody for over 8 years now).
Hun stood up to her and said, “You stood right here on my property and told me that your boyfriend was beating the kids hard enough to leave bruises and doing drugs. You were fearful that his drug buddies would come by and shoot up the house because of how many problems he was causing! What was I supposed to do, ignore that?”
Jetasm: “I never said that!”
Hun (loudly and in her face): “YES YOU DID! You did TOO say that! You were either lying then or you’re lying now – WHICH IS IT?”
Jetsam never answered his question, but instead changed the subject.
I pointed out to Hun later, after Jetsam was gone and we were in bed, that I was very proud of him for standing up to her that way. He was upset that it happened in front of Monkey. I agreed that it shouldn’t have, but even if Monkey never acknowledged it, she heard him standing up for her and heard her mom not answer the question.
The last conversation I had with Jetsam (also in front of the kids), where she was basically telling Hun that Monkey didn’t have to respect me, I told all of them, “Let me step in here. You all keep calling me these names – bitch, whore, cunt – well, I’m going to live up to these names. I’m not going to put up with it anymore.”
Rowdy happened to be in the car with his mom and tried to spout back, “No one is calling you those names today.”
Me: “Doesn’t erase the fact that all of you have called me those names both to my face and to my back. I’m just giving you what you want – me being a bitch.”
Jetsam (flapping custody papers in her hand): “I’m taking you two back to court to get custody of Monkey.” (Monkey, at age 15, is the only one she would be asking for custody at this point – Rowdy will be 18 in less than 60 days.)
Me: “Go ahead, that is your right. We’ve always told you that – we’re not stopping you. Just like it was Hun’s right to ask for custody in the first place. Just don’t give up on them this time like you did last time.”
Jetsam (angry now): “I did NOT give up on them! I have joint custody, just like it says in these papers!” (rattling papers at me)
Me: “Tell the truth – yes you did give up on them. The court said we had temporary custody for a year and after that you had to show you were stable. Those finalized papers show 6 months from the point of temporary custody until the time you signed off on leaving the kids with us permanently. We never went back to court for another hearing – the judge didn’t make that decision. You gave up on getting custody back.”
Rowdy: “I’m not listening to this crap any more, I’m going to the park.”
Jetsam: “You will stay right there! You will not leave!”
There was a whole bunch more to the conversation, but that was the part I wanted to emphasize in this particular post.
Jetsam made Rowdy stay and listen to the rest of the conversation. The part that she couldn’t dispute was the finalized dates on those custody papers she was so proud to wave around – like she knows more about it than we do.
In talking with Hun afterwards, I pointed out to him that Rowdy didn’t speak much after that. He’s a smart kid; he knows that what I said was the truth. It wasn’t said with intent to be hurtful, but it was stated matter-of-factly and to the point.
Who knows. Maybe going this route isn’t the best idea. Maybe I will regret it one day. I can’t say for sure.
What I do know is this – ever since I have made the decision to not worry about what I am saying, I have had more peace than I’ve had in a long time.
Only time will tell.