When I say let go and move on I mean he’s never going to change his behavior and there’s nothing I can do about it. I too am full of rage toward him, I won’t deny that. Yeah, I feel bitter at times. My children needed their father and he chose and still chooses not to be that person, and truth is I mean by my standards and theirs.

The very thought of having a conversation with him, well let’s just say I could do without ever doing that again, though I know I will and I’m willing to accept half the blame for our conversations never working out as I hope. In my perfect world he wouldn’t scream hateful things toward me. In my perfect world I wouldn’t walk into our conversations with the preconceived tactic of being defensive. He has proven time and time again that he is and will continue to be abusive.

It wasn’t until I watched my daughter suffer from the same disease that I was even able to process thoughts and emotions toward him like that and when I say forgive I can by no means ever forget. I’m in a tough spot right now because my daughter has lied, stolen, manipulated, deceived and has shown no regard for her own well being or the well being of myself, her brother and her step father. There will always be a part of me that will struggle to trust her but I also have to be hopeful for her in order to support her and encourage her to want better for herself. She’s still not her father. She has never rampaged terror toward us and I believe she never will.

I also don’t believe my daughter has the capability to not have him in her life. It’s a cycle of abuse and as with any abusive situation he has a hold on her. She wants him to be a father. I want to throw my phone and run over it with my truck out of frustration each time I speak with him. If I didn’t have an understanding of the cycle of abuse I would never have an understanding of why she feels the need to stay in contact with him.

You and I are in similar situations in the sense that we wish things were different and we wish the other parent would get their shit together and stop treating us as if we were the enemy, but we don’t have control over the actions of others. If I were in your situation I would be pissed. I’m in my situation and I’m not happy about it.

I will always be the evil person that has kept his children from him and he will always be the person I have to protect my children from. I have no choice but to live with that. I said it’s best for me to let go and move on. I never said I conquered that feat. I have moved on, but I still have a ways until I have completely let go. I’m working on it though. I do have the option to hold on to it all and allow it to eat me alive but I choose to handle it with grace because I need to lead my children by example if there’s any hope for us healing from his wrath.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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