2005-07-07 - 2:14 p.m.
I have really been struggling with the hurt of having been at the brunt of the attack of both WESTLEY and MYSELF by my daughter. It was EASY to not be angry or too upset at the kids when the custody battle was understood by me as adults MANIPULATING what the kids said and reading in or hearing what they want to hear. IT WAS EASY TO BE UNDERSANDING BECAUSE THERE REALLY HAD BEEN A FEW ABUSIVE INCIDENTS- THAT THOUGH RESPONDED TO APPROPRIATELY AND ADDRESSED WERE DISTRESSING AND OF CONCERN. IT WAS EASY TO UNDERSTAND THAT THOSE REALITES WERE MANIPULATED. BUT It never before OCCURRED to me that MAYBE BOTH KIDS SAID Things that were not true! I mean it was really the last thing I would ever think (EXCEPT SOREN WHO I FIGURED EXAGGERATED TRUTH- but as he is in that HABIT I wasn't really HURT by that from him at all!)
THe hurt at hearing KATERINA claim something so grossly FALSE and damaging is so intense. When an adult lies like that relationships are typically severed. Divorces happen. You end a relationship with one so toxic and damaging of your trust. Infidelity and lying was a grounds and the reason for my divorce.
But when your CHILD lies to you WHEN YOUR CHILD alleges ABUSE that did not happen, and when your child CLAIMS you failed to do anything but WATCH
IT IS SO HURTFUL.
And I have been reading and trying to focus on doing other productive things. I have been trying not to wallow in the hurt.
I am trying to accept and understand.
It hurts that she who has always been SO HONEST and who I felt was OPEN with me-- She who's feelings were always RESPECTED who I always told "YOu don't have to like WESTLEY, you just have to respect each other" SHe who I felt was NOT FORCED into a relationship but was respected as an individual--
WHEN HE WAS ABUSIVE I CALLED IT SUCH!! I DIDN"T MINIMIZE AND ENCOURAGED KATERINA IN NOT DOING SO EITHER!
YET CLEARLY DID NOT HAVE ALL HER EMOTIONAL NEEDS MET if she could then NOT ACKNOWLEDGE that I did respond and ACTS like there was DAILY hitting of her!
She HAS to have SOME GREAT FEAR to motivate THAT behaviour!
Something very sacred and important to HER core was threatened.
I CAME ACROSS WORDS I WROTE LAST JANUARY and they have been the MOST comforting of all the writing I have found on LYING
I had been writing about things people do in which they HIDE some aspect of self, and sometimes even LIE to protect that self:
" ALL those activities are a means of GAINING and HOLDING ONTO a sense of self. Those who are insecure lie to others more- I am sure out of that insecurity. And I am sure in some way their lies give them a sense of SAFETY when they feel threatened. Its the same with little kids who lie so as not to get in trouble or be judged. (WE have seen this in Soren as a big problem since he has a fragile sense of self)
So I think lying is for two reasons:
The VERY FABRIC OF THEIR EXISTANCE FEELS THREATENED.
Its not that they are at all fearful of WESTELY, or that they ARE ANGRy AT ME, or want to NOT HAVE ME IN THEIR LIVES. Its that I AM THEIR ANCHOR I AM THEIR SHORE AND THEY KNOW THEY CAN ALWAYS COME BACK TO ME, THEY KNOW I WILL ALWAYS BE HERE TO GROUND THEM AND KEEP THEM SAFE IN PORT WHEN THEY WANT.
THEY KNOW AND HAVE THAT SECURITY IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH ME.
But they are DESPARATE to have their OWN LIVES FULFILLED.
THE DO FEEL LIKE WESTLEY THREATENS THAT SENSE OF SELF. THEY FEEL LIKE THEIR DAD IS INDEED AN INTREGAL PART OF WHO THEY ARE (AND THEY ARE NOT WRONG IN THIS) THEY DO FEEL LIKE WESTLEY IS A FORCE THAT THREATENS THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR DAD (AND HERE THEY ARE MISTAKEN BUT IT IS A COMMON MISTAKE OF KIDS OF DIVORCE.IT IS UNDERSTANDABLE)
And as I wrote in JANUARY some lie to have space/time they feel is otherwise threatened.
Because their DAD did basically drop out of their lives when they lived with me, their TIME in that SPACE where he is is THE ONLY WAY they can be ASSURED he will be in their lives. It is in fact THE ONLY TIME OF THEIR RECENT LIVES he has been involved in any meaningful way.
The thought of that being ended is just TERRIFYING to them.
AND THE ONLY WAY they think they can HOLD ONTO THAT RELATIONSHIP is if they are willing to claim that they ARE AFRAID of being in my home.BUT FOR THAT FACTOR, they WOULD BE RETURNED. THE STAKES FOR THE KIDS ARE SO HIGH THAT IT IS WORTH IT TO LIE TO MAINTAIN THEIR SECURITY IN THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR FATHER.
THE ethical dilemma I have is this:
I can get over my anger and be a mature nurturing parent in this situation. I can have empathy and understanding and acknowledge my children's GREAT PAIN that they have kept hidden and they are trying to HEAL with time with their FATHER. But I also see that he indeed is absorbed NIGHTLY with his meetings. I see that they are growing and will be aware, if they are not already, of the all consuming ILLNESS he has. They will be aware, if they are not already, of the ability for someone to be PHYSICALLY present yet so emotionally unavailable. THey will be aware of his ability TO ABANDON their needs EVEN WHILE in the same home as them. They will be aware of that acute pain and loss. They will be aware of the lure of drugs as the escape that he turns to. They will be aware THAT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE IF THEY ARE IN THE SAME CITY, OR THE SAME HOUSE, OR EVEN THE SAME ROOM THE MOMENT HE IS OVERCOME BY ILLNESS....
And I guess those are realitys they have to face at some point.
But what scares me is the not knowing of WHEN and HOW they will become aware of those painful realities.
What scares me is the possiblity that should they be abandoned by him WHILE THERE that they then CANNOT turn to me.
But as KAterina said, she's not worried about that "Because I have GRANDMOM"
NOW THEY ARE AWARE of the LOVE their FATher has for them that they didn't always KNOW. Now they are aware of the LOVE of their GRANDMOTHER and they realize HOW IMPORTANT they really ARE TO HER. NOW THEY ARE AWARE that when NOT with me, my life goes on and they get letters and calls from me. And it is clear to them that when not with GRANDMOM and Their DAD that their lives ARE NOT AS HAPPY. IT IS CLEAR THAT WHEN NOT WITH THE KIDS THEIR DAD DID NOT FUNCTION!
Their FATHER acts like this is "FOR NOW" What he also fails to realize is that this is not ABOUT FOR NOW. He can't continue to act like he is taking one day at a time. THIS IS ABOUT WHERE THEY WILL REMAIN UNTIL THEY ARE EIGHTEEN AND MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES.
FOR THAT REASON I HAVE TO BE DISCERNING. I HAVE TO BE FORGIVING. I HAVE TO BE EMPATHETIC AND TRY TO HELP KATERINA ADRESS HER FEARS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT I CAN DO NOTHING IN RELATION TO HER FEAR OF THE LOSS OF HER NEWFOUND FATHER.
And while that FEAR is ACTUALLY BEING IGNORED, in its place is being STOKED a fear that the kids never really had. BUT THEY FIND IT Useful to talk of FEAR of WESTLEY hitting them. It wasn't enought that there was one incident of overboard discipline for the kids to be kept in NY. Without attesting to OTHER occassions THAT ARE CLEARLY AGAINST THE LAW, it might be possible that the kids would get sent AWAY from their FATHER!
And that SCARES the hell out of them!
So I am trying to read about what the kids need in this situation. The prevailing literature indicates that kids that act like that often ARE MANIPULATED by an adult and express THE ADULT'S fear and agenda. In this case I thik BOTH THEIR FATHER and they have been manipulated by Clara. They say DEPROGRAMMING is needed as it is tantamount to brainwashing when a child attests they don't want to see a parent due to allegations of abuse that are not founded.
IT is indeed common for the kids to be aligned with the ALINATING PARENT rather than the alienated parent. It gives kids a sense of EMPOWERMENT as they are instumental in the actual alienation itself. The literature emphasises they are not innocent bystanders in most cases. However they are motivated by desires they don't necessarily UNDERSTAND. The act of EMPOWERING kids by making what they say SO IMPORTANT in cases is a position may kids ENJOY! It gives them a sense of IMPORTANCE and VALUE and SELF WORTH AS THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THEIR ALIENATOR PARENT's/GRANDPARENT's WORLD!
I need to focus on my children HAVING That SENSE OF SELF WORTH AND IMPORTANCE AND VALUE. In a real way THAT EMPOWERMENT FULFILLS A NEED FOR A STRONG SENSE OF SELF. MY CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN HOW TO DEVELOP THAT SENSE OF SELF IN A WAY WHICH IS NOT DAMAGING TO OTHERS, NOT THROUGH ATTACKING OF OTHERS, BUT THROUGH LOVE RATHER THAN FEAR. THEY NEED TO LEARN TO REALLY FIND THEIR OWN VOICES AND NOT BE A CONDUIT FOR OTHERS
That indeed is a challenge which I willingly undertake. I just hope that from afar I can be effective.