Divorce

Is no reaction the best reaction?

Last Sunday, after I posted my meal plan for the week, I received a text from the ex. It said: “L’s underwear do not fit. I have been paying child support, you fucking bitch.What have you been doing with the money? I’m tired of turning a blind eye to your lack of parenting. I’m done being nice.” After I responded that I had just bought him new underwear and he must have accidentally grabbed an old pair out of the laundry before I could get rid of it, there was more unpleasantness, more name calling. I chose not to engage or respond. But the words stuck with me. They followed me through this week and zapped all the energy I had out of me to do anything more than work, parent, repeat.

Even now, those words sting me. They make me sad and depressed. I know I shouldn’t give them power. I know they are not true. I know that I could have said a hundred million things to refute it, but I said nothing. Part of me is proud I didn’t engage. The other part feels like I rubbed a healing wound raw once again. It makes me feel weak.

I never stuck up for myself. Words that I should have said, situations where I should have reached out, I did nothing. I waited it out. Thought we could get through it, that it would get better. That instead of him just noticing and harping on all my faults he would recognize what I did do right. I always felt guilty. I always tip toed on egg shells to prevent getting screamed at or demeaned or called names. When I decided I was done, I went about it the wrong way…. the wrong order…. I stood silent instead of telling anything. I thought that the way that I had treated people would speak for itself. That they would think there had to be something more to all of it. They didn’t. They completely believed him. He downplayed any of his faults that he did admit to. They asked me for answers. I was stung and mad from their lack of belief in me. How quickly people who I considered family and friends turned their backs. So I was vague if I spoke at all. I never said any of it.

I could have. I tried to once. I told someone, “It was worse then I ever said. I never told anyone anything because I thought relationship problems should be private. But he was mean….. so mean to me. He would….” And she interrupted me and said, “Well, I’m sure you were mean too.” I stopped. I gave up.

I felt like I stopped when I didn’t respond. The guilt and sadness I feel has been overwhelming.I could replay the tape that has been playing in my head this past week. The tape where I list everything wrong in my life and with me. BUT…. I have to stop it. No longer react. My family needs me happy and strong. I need to try and let go of things I can’t change. Create distance and cut ties where I can from unhealthy people, and I am not begging or pleading for anyone to be involved in my or my son’s life. Close the ranks and focus on making us a happy little family and dealing with the things that I can influence. It starts now. Again.

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18 thoughts on “Is no reaction the best reaction?

  1. That’s the best thing to do. I’ve realised in all these years that some people deserve no reaction from our part. We might feel like we didn’t take a stand for ourselves but in the long run that’s for our own benefit. Sometimes reacting to idiots fuels them more, some people do things just to get a reaction… not letting them get to us is the best we can do. 🙂

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  2. You poor thing well done for not engaging life is hard enough without verbal assaults remember you are strong getting stronger all will be well D x

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  3. Hi, Justine. Was “moved to action” by your post, for lack of a better description of my feelings, and wrote this: http://thefamilybind.com/2015/10/19/what-to-do-when-co-parenting-isnt-an-option/ My ex regularly complains about what my daughter is wearing. It’s…well…frustrating to say the least. My husband and I are trying to stay on high ground – just like you – and we can related to feeling voiceless and violated. Keep fighting the good fight. And keep writing about it!!!

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  4. Ughhhhh tell me about it! I ignore many of his emails and posts. But some he writes to protect himself and to hold it proof. He has this psychotic way of turning the tables around. And lying. Omg the lies he says and makes up can turn into a number 1 bestseller! And as much as I ignore many of it as much as I try to retaliate back. It never ends….

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  5. My ex is a covert narc, so he will never right out call me a name or carry on like that. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. It hurts to know the person you thought loved you actually despises you. What are we supposed to do with this?

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  6. I deal with the same thing. With me it is all about my bipolar and my depression and that I am a bad mom. I used to react to it, but now I only react with maturity. I have come down to saying if you need to get a lawyer and fight me, go ahead. Otherwise, leave me alone. You know you are a good mom. Your child knows you are a good mom. There is nothing that thinking about it will fix. You have to trust yourself and take the high road. If he wants to keep harassing you, say you will not talk to him anymore unless it is about the kid. It has taken me a long time to get to the point where his words do not sting as bad. I have faith that you will get to that point too. Good luck. And thanks for the follow!

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  7. Wow! I can relate. While I have had to cut off all communication with my ex, he still feels the need to file petitions against me and drag me into court every so often. One thing I will remember from group therapy (yeah he messed me up bad), was “don’t let him press on your orange”.

    I sounds silly but basically, the concept is you have an orange in your stomach. If you allow negativity to get in, when pressed, the juice will be sour. By being positive, non-engaging and moving on, you’ll get juice that is sweet, when pressed. While it hasn’t stopped me from having a complete breakdown from time to time, it has allowed me to front that I’m not the weak woman he used to manipulate, beat and intimidate.

    Sending you positive energy and strength. It’s not an easy road to travel with an ex like that.
    (Oh and found you on Dream Big, Dream Often)

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  8. Hi!
    Congratulations on being one of Danny’s featured bloggers. I was one of his featured bloggers too. Maybe you can check out my blog. While there, please join us at my New Years blog party.
    In answer to your question, I used to react, but it caused drama. My New Year’s resolution is no more drama, so no more reaction.
    Janice

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