Mama bear

On Tuesday I had to go and do some new tenancy visits Because my tenants had handed in their notice the day that I lost the court case.

I just dropped youngest son off at school via main reception so he could speak with Pastoral Care which is a normal routine nowadays. it’s quite pitiful, every morning on the way to the school he says in a subdued little voice, ‘mummy I’m going to really miss you today’.

I don’t always know how to respond to that, sometimes I kind of groan with him sympathetically and tell him something positive; other times I tell him that he will be fine because he was yesterday and he’s got his friends and I list all his positive things about his upcoming day, and other times I ask him why he’s going to miss me and I try to explore what’s the thing he’s worried about so that I can support him.

He told me last week that he told his social worker he is afraid to be left with his dad. I was really proud of him for being such a good historian. Sadly, social services are not as convinced, and spoke of how about sometimes parents tell the children what to say but that they intend to get to the bottom of it. I’m certain that they’re talking about ex husbands allegation that I am alienating the children from him, causing them to be afraid of him unnecessarily.

One really annoying thing about the social services visit to school last week is that the social services report has already gone into court and won’t contain this really useful assessment. I asked the social worker if it could be included but she said no, so I told my solicitor and asked whether I can submit it rather than social services, and I’m waiting to hear back.

Anyway, going back to youngest son, he had a particularly difficult day on Tuesday because it was his after-school club day which he finds really hard because it means it’s an extra hour away from being reunited with his mum. Also, this particular day, he fell out with his best friend and despite his best efforts to make up with his BFF (witnessed by a schoolteacher who reported this to me later) he was rejected and quite tearful as a result. So it was a hard day for him. By the time I came to collect him, I had to let him know it’s daddy’s night to look after him and I’ve got to leave to go to the flat on business and he immediately clung to me like a tight little monkey gripping on for dear life and wouldn’t let go, crying that he can’t let me go; he’s got to come with me.

I knew ex would say no and I didn’t want to fight of asking, but son was most insistent so I said that he could ask if he wanted to. He asked, the answer was no, and he ran upstairs squealing in tears.

I went upstairs to speak with him and he clung onto me hard again, crying that he has to come with me. It crossed my mind that he told me last week in the social work assessment at school that he was afraid to be left alone with his dad, and I just couldn’t do that to him. Even if he hadn’t actually told them that and they hadn’t documented it, he told me, and that was enough. I hadn’t yet had the conversation with social services to corroborate he did actually say this, but I was trusting him regardless.

I told Ex that I’m taking son with me whether he likes it or not, and eX marched straight upstairs, retrieved son out of my bedroom and put him into his own to have a chat. This was the only mistake I made that night, I should never have allowed it to happen, but I wanted to be seen to be doing the supposedly right thing by eX and respecting his right to have access to his own children to try and sort something out. I wouldn’t do it again because son told me afterwards he hadn’t wanted to go and felt trapped in there.

When Son hung onto me tightly for a third time, pleading with me not to leave him alone at the house with his dad, I informed eX that I am taking him, end of story. Ex said it’s his night and I can’t go against that because it’s the court agreement but I told him in no uncertain terms that the court agreement is not legally binding like the non molestation order is, evidenced by his many breaches of the same, and that this isn’t about ex and his needs; this is about the child and his safety. Right now, that child needs the safety of being with his mum, and I am absolutely not going to do any other thing.

Ex surprisingly backed down and asked whether I’m feeding son or not. I said I would, and then in a moment of niceness invited to have my night tomorrow to make up for his loss of night tonight. He declined.

I took son with me and we had a great time, he was safe and I was happy that he was safe, and it was completely the right thing to do.

I am however expecting ex to get his solicitor to write to mine about my heinous crime of violating the court order but I don’t care, I did exactly the right thing.

Youngest son told social services last week that he is afraid to be left alone with his father there is no way I will not respond to that. It felt right and it felt good and I’m really pleased with myself.

Getting there

Setting up this blog it’s been a tricky business! At first I managed to choose a theme but then it made it look like I’m some sort of Mediterranean property webpage with just my name at the top! Really strange but obviously needs customising in some way.

I’ve tried to look at it on my phone but it’s just not possible and I don’t think the app is as good as the webpage, although both seem to be quite confusing. I don’t know how enough I set up the last blog but it feels like a million light years away!

I’ve also got loads of other stuff I need to do instead and it can’t take a priority as much as I would like it to. but I have managed to follow some familiar faces which makes me feel like I’ve begun to move in to this new space. I did keep checking out the old site day to see whether extend his solicitor of been nosing around, they are surprisingly quiet and I wonder whether, Logs The I left on the leading up to December, are so incredibly sound and sensible and rational and everything that they didn’t want it to be that I wonder if they’ve just given up!

I know, it’s wishful thinking, chance would be a fine thing!

I will get this place sorted and I probably will change the name in due course but for the moment I just needed somewhere where I can freely be myself again, away from scrutiny of anybody and completely undetectable. The only reason they knew about my last blog was because I very stupidly submitted it to the police and to the judge in supporting evidence of his abuse. If I never mention this one then you can never be found in used against me. That, disclosing my blog in evidence has made no difference to the case. The police have thrown it out because of insufficient evidence, apparently a blog counts for nothing.

Sometimes it’s better to stay silent!

I can’t always tell whether to say nothing or speak.

I fear if I say nothing then I’m conceding to what’s been said, like as though someone could argue: she didn’t say differently so she must have agreed!

So when this text exchange happened yesterday, I fell for it.

It was Ex’s weekend with the boys and yet he didn’t want me to leave the house to run errands for the birthday party later that day. He wanted to have me ‘babysit’ (I hate when he calls it that, as I am not a babysitter, I am the mother!). He told me he didn’t want to take them to get the car with him and he would be forced to if I don’t stay in the house with them while he’s gone.

This was the same car he spoke of picking up the night before but didn’t bother to. I had forgotten he would have still been feeling pretty shitty already about the car, because he had asked if he can come to the party with me in my car and I said no, it’s not a good idea for a lot of reasons, and my understanding was that we left it he would collect his nieces car the night before instead.

And actually, it didn’t become apparent until later, but he wanted to go to his allotment next door to his sister’s house while he was there, which would explain why he wanted to get in there first: he could keep me waiting but it wouldn’t work for him the other way around. The only reason I figured out he wanted to go to the allotment was because Youngest son asked if he could travel to his party in my car but was told no, it’s my day to have you, you come with me! But when the party was over and they asked to come in my car, he said yes and announced he’d stop by the allotment before coming home to take over!

But going back to the morning before the party: I didn’t want to stop my own plans and preferred the idea of resting before the party, so wanted to do my own stuff early on. I didn’t explain all of this to ex but just said no it doesn’t work for me, which made him agitated and when I asked whats the latest he can leave for the car so I can be back in time, he began to crossly say he doesn’t ever want to rely on ME. Not for anything. The implication was that I cannot be trusted or relied upon, and this was said in front of both children who looked on awkwardly. I asked ex to stop being horrible please as it’s not necessary, and he was sarcastic, telling me, “off you go then!” In a dismissive tone, like a school teacher dismissing a naughty pupil after they’ve just been scolded.

I got to my destination and then received this:

I replied:

He wrote back, to my surprise:

By this time, I had decided I would have that breakfast after all. And I sat in my favourite cafe ordering. My stomach flipped when I saw his reply because I could see the solicitors and judges reading this and thinking, ‘oh look! He’s calm and respectful! She didn’t refute that, so he must have been telling the truth’. But I didn’t want to argue tit for tat either, so I wrote:

And received no response.

The problem with hindsight

Hindsight is 20:20 vision, so the saying goes. But it’s also a mix of a welcome teacher and a harsh taskmaster. Let me explain.

The welcome teacher part is probably pretty straightforward: we learn by our mistakes. But the harsh taskmaster part is less obvious and right now is one part of hindsight I’m struggling with. It’s the part that berates you for being such an idiot; for not seeing the writing on the wall way before it happened; for not daring to take chances because you were afraid it could have backfired, but now you wish you had taken that court and it’s too late now.

The judge said I cannot change or delete any part of my blog but that I have to provide access to all of it to my ex, for the sole purpose of him having fair access to my journal to use it against me in the same way I’ve used it against him for evidence.

Right then I should have deleted it immediately. Why didn’t I? It’s my blog! I’m rather attached to it. I was scared of the penalty of imprisonment if I don’t comply (who will look after my boys if I get sent down? I’m well and truly shafting them if I do this and they’re left with their Dad and not me, or fostered because he’s recognised as being unsuitable and unsafe), and this same judge is the one who will determine the occupation order outcome and possibly future child custody, so I had to comply.

Only, looking back, I should have deleted the password protected posts. The problem I have is that I struggle to read and concentrate with my MS and could not get a grip on it. Every word on the page swims and I can’t pin it down to read or take in. At one stage I had a vomit bowl by my side because it makes me feel very sick to try and push past my struggle reading. So ‘sorting’ my blog with any meaning really wasn’t on the cards.

I should have just hit delete on as many as I could find to delete. Because now, he knows what my thoughts and fears are. He knows I am worried he’s pulling the parenting alienation card, so what’s he likely to do? More of that. And sure enough, all day yesterday Ex was busy typing and Youngest son told me he saw that daddy was typing how mummy influences the boys against him.

They haven’t read all my blog and I am tempted to go back over it today to delete more. I have to be careful though. Number 1, if they’ve already read it and I delete it then they know, and 2, the day before I realised they had trawled through my blog there were a bunch of public posts that I hadn’t got around to password protecting. Unfortunately now I can’t remember which ones they were and so have no way of know whether they’ve printed the out and then I’ve deleted them after, in which case we’re back to contempt of court. I can’t remember what year it was, but it was some time in 2019 or 2020, the time I began eating and drinking struggles and don’t want people to know. So I’m a little stuck.

And that’s why hindsight isn’t always ‘the beauty of hindsight’, sometimes it’s hard and cold and unforgiving.

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