Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tipping or Turning Point?

He sent an email to see if we could work through our difficulties towards a resolution. 
He didn’t use my full formal name this time, which was interesting.  
I agreed on the condition it was with Pollyanna, in her rooms.

On one hand he says it’s all about Lily how he misses her. On the other hand he feels justified in refusing to see her in the company of his friends as the idea of “being supervised is offensive.”

I told him it was meant to be a compromise and an opportunity for him to rebuild his relationship with her in an environment where she’s feeling safe and relaxed. She told me that Daddy’s nicer to her around other people “he only yells at me when no-one’s around” she said.

He says it’s all about Lily and his need to be with her...except when he dislikes the setting. Well that’s not exactly the level of sacrifice he’s been preaching.

He says I only bring up his illness to: “throw it in his face”, when we argue. It was two years ago, apparently I need to move on.

Well hang on a minute, I’ve had roughly a six month reprieve, from his unpredictable volatility in two years. The betrayal and mind-boggling duplicity, bullying and manipulation have continued on and off during that entire time.

I understand that a lot of the situations he’s reacted to very aggressively, have been constructed in his own mind. Without letting me finish a sentence he’s reacted very badly to what he was sure that I would say rather than what was about to come out of my mouth. 
And even writing it down in an email to explain was still water off a ducks back.

He’s never been a good listener. Not ever.

But this is who I’m dealing with and because I’ve been dealing with this so long and it’s been so distressing I run the risk of becoming part of the problem.

I was listing to one of Lily’s favorite songs from Happy Feet Two today and this particular line really resonated with me:

       Let’s not let our anger get us lost,
      And the need to be right comes at way too high a cost.

I have to play the cards I’ve been dealt, there’s just no point insisting on another hand; life doesn’t work that way.

Insisting he take ownership of what he’s done, how he’s been behaving more recently and the ongoing consequences on Lily and I, is about as useful as insisting he solve Chinese Algebra.

He can’t.

Expecting genuine remorse and empathy is essentially expecting him to flex muscles he doesn’t have and I have to work with that.

Asking him to stop minimizing and rationalizing all of the manic hallmarks in his recent behavior, well I may as well ask him to sit at my sewing machine and run me up a cocktail dress.  

He’s just not capable.

I found this article through a LinkedIn post and it also struck a chord; explaining in terms of normal human behavior (rather than in terms or causality of Bipolar or Narcissistic Personality Disorder ) something called Cognitive Dissonance:

“What this (and dozens of other experiments) reveal is the way we filter new information when it challenges our strongly-held beliefs or judgements.

We use a series of post hoc manoeuvres to reframe anything inconvenient to our original position. We question the probity of the evidence, or the credentials of the people who discovered it, or their motives, or whatever.

The more information that emerges to challenge our perspective, the more creatively we search for new justifications, and the more entrenched we become in our prior view.  This tendency is called "cognitive dissonance". 

It’s a very interesting article; you can read all of it here if you like.

Anyway, I guess if I can truly reach and remain at a point of understanding of what I can practically expect, that is helpful, I’ll find a way to work on a through this whole mess.

A friend who has been through this on a far worse level told me this week: “The two things I always had to reflect on was the legal implications and [my child’s] best interests.”

So I keep Lily’s best interests at heart while legally covering my arse so I don’t offer him any ammunition for a coup.

One thing we did establish today was that forgiveness and acceptance have nothing at all to do with trust and I have every reason not to trust that man.

I never will.

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