There are moments, when the kids are home, that leaving the ongoing stupidity of this situation and the interminable nastiness of others out in the cold becomes challenging. Snide comments when the kids are dropped off, hostile glowers, insulting e-mails and letters while the kids are with us, all need to be shoved into the virtual toilet until the kids are no longer witnesses to the drama and bullshit.

Almost every comment that begins with “So-and-so said…” ends with an outrageous lie that makes me want to sit down and just stare at the kids with a dumbfounded gape, hoping against hope that surely they misunderstood something, but knowing in my heart, knowing from experience, that what was actually said was probably even worse than what the kids remember well enough to repeat.

It’s hard not to drop to my belly and slither along to the same tune, play the same cheap game, feeding the kids rotten poison to carry back to repeat, but before the thought even tears loose from my brain, I am aware that doing exactly the same terrible thing that others do is only harming the kids. I will explain, I will make the truth known, but I will not drizzle hate-spewn acid into the kids’ heads. There is enough already there.

And it is horrifying to even be that close to repeating the same low-life behavior I abhor in others.

It occurred to me that for the kids, being home with us is like a demilitarized zone: no lies, no insults, no accusations, no endless woe-is-me recounts of imaginary wrongs carried out by the “enemy”. Gary and I have a strict rule about no badmouthing, and even as often as it is done to us, we refuse to use the kids that way simply to lash back.

I’ve wanted sometimes to somewhat sarcastically inquire if anyone else the kids know actually has any other topics of conversation besides me and Gary, since that seems to be a never-ending harangue and diatribe, and we apparently are the perpetual guests of honor at these hate-fests. I stop myself by reminding myself that anything said simply to release frustration or anger is something that never needs to be said in front of the kids.

*Photo courtesy of Brandon Stone Photography*

About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in grow the hell up, hostility, kids. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to DMZ

  1. Mean Stepmom says:

    The high road is a hard one, but you are doing great. Just think of all the wonderful, fun things the kids tell BM about you and Gary. That must really piss her off. πŸ™‚

  2. Smirking Cat says:

    The high road is crucial if we want to preserve the kids' emotional well-being and sanity. A constant barrage of nastiness and hostility is exhausting for them.

  3. Crys says:

    The high road is definitely hard. But you are so right in that it is absolutely necessary. We're no better than those toxic people if we give in to the same behavior. Good job!!

  4. Boy does it make a difference to provide that environment…we actually call our house “the demilitarized zone” too. Things are better with The Ex, but her parents are hateful, venomous creatures who do nothing but tear my husband, and me, down and Kid/Ex live with her parents. You can literally see the stress melt away when The Kid walks in our house. He can just be a kid again, and talk about farts and video games and eat his mac and cheese in peace.
    Good for you guys!!! The kids will be all the better for it.

  5. You are so right here, as ever SC. BF and I had always tried to make our home a safe place for SD, where she would never hear that kind of crap. Before we went away, I did snap, and said a few things I heartily regretted – despite them not being anywhere near as horrid as what the BM says, I still felt I had let everyone down, including myself. I hated the idea that I'd gone down to her level. BF explained to her that I was very upset about some of the things that BM had done, which is why I had been angry and spoken the way I had, and thankfully SD understood. But I will be taking care to make sure it doesn't happen again. You guys are doing great.

  6. Dijea says:

    It just makes me sad to see kids in a situation like that. They grow up to hate and be wary.

    Good for you for setting an positive example and breeding love and not hate.

  7. everyone's right.. the high road is hard as hell… but it's def. the much better road.. hold your head high and keep marching.. i keep telling myself that one day, one day it'll all be worth it.

  8. Smirking Cat says:

    Wicked Steppie, I believe it's quite all right for the kids to know you get angry about some things that the BM does. Pretending the unacceptable is okay by not talking about it is unhealthy. It also gives the kids time to talk about what they don't understand, why they are angry or disappointed, and a chance to validate their feelings.

    No one is perfect. Talking to the kids about it and letting know you wish you hadn't said it is great.

  9. Hey Lady M,

    Don't know if you remember me.It's been awhile since I last visited this blog. a lot of changes in my life. Anyway, just want to let you know that I am in the US right now. Do take care. I hope things are OK with you right now. πŸ™‚

  10. macocha says:

    Just a bit of good news in all that Smirking…

    I never thought my kids would “get it” and always hold their birth dad (my dh adopted “my kids,” on such a pedastool. Well, the other day one of my boys told me something that made my jaw drop and realize that my friends were right…he does get it and I didn't have to say or do anything negative in regard to ex.

    There is hope that the kids will get it. Just keep on with what you are doing…they will remember who bashed and who didn't.

    It is hard in the meantime though…so hard!

  11. Smirking Cat says:

    If the kids don't get it, they are leaving themselves open for heartache, disappointment, and manipulation at the hands of someone who is pretending to love them.

    If the kids DO get it, they are heartbroken, disappointed, hurt, and don't know who to trust.

    They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. It's a rotten position for a parent to force the kids into.

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