The AoA kids have not seen the dad in just over a year. Visits had been supervised for nine months, ending after cumulative subliminal threats had been made during visits, ending with a statement to Brother that “they would be living with dad all the time, very soon”. This statement, on top of other statements he had made to Brother, in which he said he would kill me if he had to… led Brother to a complete mental breakdown.
For the past year, I have had to manage the aftermath of destruction, while trying to help Brother rebuild. It has been a long and hard journey.
Brother is at the point now, where he thinks he wants to try to see his dad….in a therapeutic setting with his therapist by his side.
My role is to provide Brother with tons of support and relaxation strategies following the visit, to ward off a potential breakdown.
I am willing, but worried….here we are at holiday time trying to do this. Besides normal holiday stress, I am having surgery in another week, and anticipate being pretty fragile for a week or two afterward.
Historically, the dad uses holidays, particularly Christmas, to play upon people’s sympathies. The truth is, when we were married and raising the kids together, he would rant and complain about Christmas. He NEVER bought gifts for the kids, and was angered by anyone who did. He threatened to shoot the delivery driver if he delivered another package, and threatened to kill my parents if they brought any gifts to our house for the kids. It was on a Christmas Eve that he walked out on me and the kids six years ago, after pacing the floor in a panic. I thought he was going to kill himself, from behaviors he had been displaying leading up to that moment.
Despite this, he has played on sympathy, even sobbing in front of a judge, about missing the kids at Christmas. There was a time when this would have pulled on my heart greatly…
Now I just shake my head and enjoy the holiday time without worrying about the safety of delivery drivers in my driveway!