Fearing a parents spite

Fearing a parents spite

The day I called the police for the last time during our relationship was the day he was charged with Intimidation and I was granted an interim AVO.

It was the day I decided I wanted to leave my relationship alive instead of in a body bag.

My AVO included not approaching me, contacting me or coming within 200 metres of my home and workplace.

At first my children didn’t have any contact with him. I was beyond scared and I needed to process what I’d been through and how I was going to live safely and move forward.

After a short period of time there were phone calls, and I allowed them, because I didn’t want to stop contact or hinder the relationship. He was their Dad after all.

I would leave the room because I didn’t want to hear his voice and he often asked them when they were coming to visit him. I never gave them definite answer to begin with because I was nervous, scared and worried that something might happen to them to spite me.

It’s a thing. Parents sometimes do things to spite the other parent. Both genders are guilty. None of it is right.

But I did keep them away to begin with because the fear was real to me.

My son said to me one day “I don’t want to talk to Dad anymore” and when I asked why he replied “Because all he does is ask about you, he doesn’t even want to know about me”

Because I would leave the vicinity of the phone I never heard their father ask my children how I was, if I was seeing anyone, if anyone had come over, when I was going out, what I was doing and the questions were obviously enough that my young son picked up on it.

When I wanted to take them on a cruise into International waters their Dad refused to sign their passports. As the departure date drew near with no sign of a passport resolution I got my kids to call him and ask why as a final desperate exasperated plea.

He told them to put me on the phone and not realising he was on speaker said “Do you want to know why I won’t sign their passports? Because if they don’t go then you don’t get to go” and hung up.

My children were devastated and it was in that moment that my worry of his level of spite felt valid.

It’s been over 7 years since the day I left and my children see their father when they choose to. I never stopped them from seeing him completely but there were times I didn’t agree to a school holiday visit because of circumstances involving drugs, violence and other undesirable events at the house that I was made aware of.

The feeling is less and less now that they’re older but was I worried he would hurt them to spite me when they visited?

Every. Single. Time.

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day in Australia. It’s a beautiful celebration of everything that mother’s are and do. I spent a few hours with my own Mum, had lunch and honoured the incredible impact she has had on my life. I’ve also reflected on my own role as a Mother and how I’m raising my own children.

My children said Happy Mother’s Day today and we’ve spent the day together. Having lunch, eating cake and chatting away. They’ve done their own thing, bickered and argued over the tv. Pretty much a normal day.

I gave myself permission to sleep in this morning. And by sleep in what I really mean is I laid in bed awake until I couldn’t wait any longer to get up and go to the bathroom. That was just after 7am. But I did jump back into bed straight after. That’s as good as it gets for a sleep in here.

I’ve spent many hours and days wondering if I’m doing a good job as a mother. I think I’m doing a pretty good job actually but it’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I don’t have as much mummy guilt as I used to because I acknowledge that I am human and I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

And this is a really beautiful place to be in.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you incredible Mum’s, step Mum’s, foster Mum’s, Mum’s to be, Mum’s in waiting, Mum’s of angel babies and every woman who loves a child like her own. You are amazing.