So my nine year old daughter (first marriage) decided she had enough of her father’s terms of engagement.
Enough being left in her hotel room while he hung out at the bar and drank.
Enough bad-mouthing of Mama, enough of the suspect moral girlfriend, enough of chatter that kids are too much trouble, go to your room, be quiet.
She wanted to be home with her three younger siblings and her step-father (who is Daddy) and me, and get an Easter dress for the first time since the visitation rules started and not be a part of all that negativity and ire.
So instead of going along at the handover (where Ex and Suspect Moral Girlfriend had Lawyer-of-Ex, slime factor around 11), said daughter threw a diva tantrum and refused to go quietly.
RIP, passive females in our house.
All this time, I believe I was fighting my own fear, and trying to help her confront her own fears at the same time. We were a team, but neither of us had much confidence. Pumped up by lots of prayer support and a determination way beyond 9 years, she did it. She went with him, then refused to go and jumped back in our car.
They wanted to have us arrested for contempt of court, for not handing her over. My husband thought quickly and called the police. The lawyer tried to bully us, but faced with police moderating this handover, he advised them to let her come home with us.
After all, we tried to hand her over and we tried to make it work, but she wasn’t having it. So they voluntarily and in the hearing of the p0lice sent her back home with us.
She hasn’t done anything unusual since returning, it is her spring break so she is playing and reading and doing crafts, all her usual things.
It is wonderful to watch.
Mama had some tremors in the run up to this very tense encounter. I am not actively afraid but I do not like exposure to the seedy family courts, the litigation, the endless lawsuits, the horrible sleaze in his refusal to pay anything to support this amazing child. Yet he insists on invading our lives and trying to control everything. Quibbling the size of her suitcase, protesting not enough clothing packed. While not buying any clothing for her. Trying to bully, intimidate. Lawyer doing that sleaze routine of not exactly saying taking her home was illegal, but certainly not admitting they couldn’t do anything.
He did not succeed.
I do not have the strength or the courage to face down my abuser. But I can discern that is what I must do. Walking it out, heart pounding, the courage and the determination came to both of us. I did not lose my temper. I did not say swear words to any of the evil trio. I simply took my daughter home.
It wasn’t a model handover. The police lady was nice, she took notes, she agreed that I should be prepared with the blotter if they try to take us to court.
There will be more of this, I am sure. He has never grown up and admitted he messed up our marriage. He cannot allow his pride to say that she is well cared for, and where she needs to be. He wants me to be punished.
But day in and day out, he is a non-entity and I have a wonderful, strong daughter who personally witnessed me moving Girlfriend of Suspect Morals out of the way, closing the car door and taking my daughter home.
So when I am tempted to think, oh the papers from court will arrive any minute…I have to think. And if they do? The same God who pulled us through this awful event with minimal trauma is going to be there. I see Him moving much more actively, purposefully, in this child’s life. He was always there. He has always watched her and cared for her.
But now He is doing something. How exciting, that we get to watch and participate! The fight is on, the fists are out and I know Who I’m betting on.