Shared by an OMB Follower for the #IJustWantPeace
After two years, four months, and five days (not that I’ve been keeping track), D-day has at long last arrived. Can a heart be both heavy and light at the same time? For as relieved as I feel to finally be able to sever the legal ties that bind, I am deeply saddened by the way the legal system has time and again failed to grasp the concept of emotional abuse and the ways it has, and will continue to impact my babies.
I am disappointed the court has chosen an abuser’s rights over the rights of two innocent children. I am disappointed that despite telling multiple professionals they don’t wish to spend any additional time with their abuser, they will be forced to do so anyway. I am furious as hell that my babies’ voices have been silenced time and time again when they have worked so hard to FIND their voice and learn to speak up. What does this teach them? What message does this send them?
Before all this, I believed in justice. I believed people were mostly good and trustworthy. I don’t believe that any longer. This process has taught me trust must be earned, not given freely. It has also taught me about the amount of corruption, bias, and lack of understanding present in the court system. It is inherently flawed. Set up to re-victimize victims and protect abusers. I must admit, this is a hard truth for me to swallow. The reality is, justice does not always prevail. The good guy does not always win. Sometimes the bad guy gets released from prison, only to abuse again. Sometimes the bad guy violates a court order repeatedly, only to get away with it. Because let’s face it, bad guys have little regard for the law, while the good guys live in a constant state of fear, keenly aware of the bad guys disregard for right or wrong. And if one more person tells me to stay positive or that things could be worse, I will throat punch them.
I find myself at war. Unable to reconcile everything that’s happened. It doesn’t make sense. It isn’t logical. I can’t put it to rest. It’s wrong. It’s unjust. I have a problem with injustice. It makes my blood boil. It awakens the rage that normally lays dormant inside of me. It awakens my fight response. Because it’s wrong.
If my child was being bullied at school, no one would suggest she go spend the weekend at the bully’s house. That would be idiotic. No one would suggest she forget it and try to build a relationship with the bully. Our schools have No Tolerance policies for a reason, yet the courts do not. Our schools understand the importance of having policies in place to stop bullies in their tracks. They understand the need for swift consequences to prevent further bullying. They understand the lasting damage bullying can have on a child’s self-esteem and sense of self. BUT FAMILY COURT DOES NOT.
Instead, they believe the bully has more rights than the child. Kids count! Kids are people! They have a right to be kept safe from further bullying. To be protected, especially when the bullying has caused anxiety and PTSD. I feel discord deep inside with the fact that although we escaped, I am not allowed to protect my kids from further bullying at the hands of a person who should love them as I do. A person who should have their best interest at heart. But perhaps person is too kind of a word.
When I left, I unknowingly put myself in a position of allowing virtual strangers to decide what’s in my children’s best interest. Strangers who have spent the least amount of time with my children. They see but a small snapshot of time. They are not present when my kids have fallen to the floor sobbing because they feel like no one listens to what they want. They weren’t there every time my son teared up at the thought of spending additional time with his bully. They didn’t overhear the conversation between them where they discussed how, out of fear, they’d stay up in shifts if they were forced to spend the night, in order to protect one another from the bully. But I did. I heard all of it. I saw all of it. I reported it to the people I was supposed to report it to. So did the kids. But here we are, and to them it’s unconcerning. It’s blamed on their love for me and their fear of hurting my feelings. Bullshit excuses.
I can escape but they cannot. How can I accept that as a mother? How can I explain it to them?
I have been told many times to let go of my anger. To forgive. Perhaps that would be possible if the abuse had stopped. But it hasn’t. It’s just directed at me through the kids now and that’s worse. Why should they have to absorb someone’s hatred for me? That’s what I’ve fought to protect them from.
So I will keep my anger and use it to continue fighting. Domestic violence awareness has begun to gain momentum but there is still a long way to go. It’s an issue that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 18 men. When a gun is present, it increases the chance of homicide by 500%. The statistics are horrifying. So I’m going to keep sharing stories about domestic violence. I see them nearly every day in the news. If I can help spread awareness or help even one person get out of a situation like ours, then that’s a start.
I will never stop fighting on their behalf. I will continue to teach them to stand up for what’s right and tell their story. I will continue to remind them of their importance. I will continue to remind them their voice counts, even if it doesn’t seem so. Even when it feels like no one is listening. I will continue to teach them that no matter what, they know their truth.