Yesterday, I attended the second of six workshops which Judge Kenji Machida of the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered me to attend with my “co-parent”. A series of events caused me to be nearly 45minutes late to the session, but I decided that even though I would have to make up the session, I would still attend the remaining 1 1/2 hour of this session because the intent of these workshops is to have both parents attend together and the make up session is only with one parent. By the way, you can only makeup one session before you are required to take the entire series over so I have incentive to ensure that I am available and on time for the remaining sessions.
I left this session feeling isolated and angry although I don’t believe that was the feeling subject matter intended to inspire. Let me first say that I am a life long student of psychology. From the first high school psychology class that I took in my junior year, I have been addicted, so to speak, to exploration and understanding of human behavior and the human mind. I can say without question, the study of psychology has made doing the right thing in my life easier. The unglamorous side to doing “the right thing” as best you can is that in many cases, the only payoff you will recieve is a clear conscious. In the rare instances that you recieve more, it will rarely be in a tangible form. Anyway, I digress from the issues at hand.
Through the entire session, the discussion was heavily weighted towards couples of divorce. For couples who were in mutual long term relationship the issues were the same. My daughter is a “booty call baby”. There is one very unique issue that is faced by the mother of a booty call baby that is generally absent from a divorced couple’s relations. It is only in rare instances that a divorced couple at some point in time didn’t agree to start a family. When you had that in commom when you started your family, no matter HOW nasty the relationship becomes between the parents, they will never have to deal with the “well that’s what you get for trying to trap me by getting pregnant trip”. I’ve been faced head on with the frustration of people THINKING they know who I am and it’s very difficult to tell them they are wrong without sounding braggadocious and even more difficult to do so without insulting “baby daddy” because he is such a target. Why is it perfectly okay to condem a father who is physically abusive and/or an alcoholic, but the minute you try to brand someone as psychologically and or emotionally abusive, you are branded as a bitter, scorned ex who is trying to alienate the child from their father. There are WAY to many mental health professionals who are way to ready and willing to accept that scenario. I get tired of saying no, it’s not like that, no, I’m not like that, no, I didn’t do that or no, I don’t think that at all to the faces that stare back at me with a “sure you’re not” stare on their face.
Here are the basics of what were were instruced to do in yesterday’s session
1) Forgive your ex. It’s not condoning what they may have done wrong, but it’s releasing yourself from your pain. COMPLETED, 2003.
2) Develop a business like relationship with the mutual objective of raising a healthy, well adjusted child. MY BEST ATTEMPTS WERE MET WITH SHOUTING, CURSING SAYING WELL THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR GETTING PREGNANT AND GENERALLY HANGING UP THE PHONE WHILE I BEGGED AND PLEADED “CAN WE PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT ME FOR A MINUTE AND TALK ABOUT OUR DAUGHTER!
3) Practice a style of communication that doesn’t put the other person on the defensive. Use “I” statements when speaking instead of “you” statements. PROBABLY NOT COMPLETED, COULDN’T HEAR MYSELF TALK OVER THE SHOUTING.
4) Listen actively and try to the other persons point of view. ALWAYS, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, HE NEVER GAVE HIS POINT OF VIEW. HE GAVE HIS WIFES, HIS MOTHER’S ON OCCASIONS, AND HE TRASHED AND ATTACKED ME.
I may as well admit, I read the nearly 50 page handout with worksheets and tips after the first session and I can say without hesitation, given what I had to work with absolutely NO communication as to what my child’s father wanted for his daughter, simply an never ending assult on me. Further, I have gone WAY above and beyond the call of duty to make peace and I have allowed many, MANY thing to go in the name of peace and peace isnt’ what I got. What I got was a monster who thought the more it could get away with, the more it WOULD get away with and now, the damage may be irreparable.
Of all the controversial positions I have, this may well be the most controversial. Men and women alike can have their love of a child BLOCKED by the circumstances that surrounded the conception of that child and when that love is blocked, the child is as much better off without them as they are without a parent who is violent or a crack head, male or female. His inability to walk away because of what people will think when he isn’t capible of love, is as much a weakness as my inability to terminate my pregnancy (although make no mistake, today I am very glad I did not). If a woman was raped or otherwise violated and cannot see past that violation to the innocent soul of a resulting child, the result is all the same. This ABSOULTELY is a cause to sacrafice you own pride and and feelings of inadequaticy for the better good. The good that your child doesn’t ultimately feel like in them all you see is a big mistake that you wish would dissapear.