Divorce is not pretty. The more time goes on the more terrible the other person’s character becomes. It’s scary. What’s even more terrifying is that you are faced with this new person every time the court forces you to exchange the children. This ache starts to happen in the pit of your stomach, you get a bad taste in your mouth and slowly you can feel your facial expression change from happiness while being with your children to utter disgust and contempt (See the blog: Divorce? Beware, it’s an Emotional Jungle) as your feet take you closer to Jekyll & Hyde. This response is totally natural after any type of abuse has occurred. Luckily the disgust and contempt does not get plastered on your face as a permanent mask, at least this has not happened yet. Faith and forgiveness are the only practices that quickly wash these negative emotions away inside and out.
It would be nice if everything could be washed away immediately, but that is not real life. Imagine having someone verbally assault you every day and then having to face them? Or even worse, that same person comes back the next day and says, “I just want peace and whatever is best for the children. Why won’t you work with me?” The following day the insults come whizzing by your head once again. Every fiber in your body wants to scream out in agony at the pain those words cause. Silence; however, is the only loyal friend in this situation. This silence and limiting communication with the other parent is more accurately called parallel parenting not co-parenting. Without any vocal words, somehow the other person maintains their cool on the outside and the world for a moment feels safe to the one verbally assaulted at least half the time. There is absolutely no one to help in this situation, especially after supervised visitation is dissolved. Side note: qualifications are not required to be a supervisor of visitation other than a simple completion certificate, but the service still costs an arm and a leg to maintain. Supervised visitation is a story for another day.
Co-parenting with a Jekyll & Hyde type is rough. When days seem to get better this type of person wheels you back to their shadowy world with very little effort. Could be like quicksand; although, once quicksand consumes you, there is no coming up for air after. It is more like a turbulent ocean. On some days the serenity and calmness take you back to a place of peace; however, once the tide changes and the weather shifts things can get quite dangerous and you wonder if you can survive another day of chaos. Is this the happy co-parenting image that people are preaching about in the divorce industry? This is what really happens in a high conflict divorce, but I do not hear the courts or anyone else talking about it. Attorneys and the courts put fuel on the fire. Be extremely thankful you are not in a divorce with a Jekyll & Hyde person, it’s really difficult. Faith and forgiveness are the only practices that help co-parenting or parallel parenting in this type of relationship.