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Jul 16, 2008

Taking Back the Power

battery imageMy ex doesn’t get mentioned much here, and with good reason. I don’t feel the necessity to use the energy it would take to explain him. He does things and uses the kids to get me very “frustrated” to put it nicely. He has proven himself manipulative and I am not the only one who sees that. But today I mention him here, to share what I have learned, or one of the many things I have taken, from this journey and that is the ability to take back the power. What do I mean you ask? Well just that, I am learning to take back the power that I had given him to affect my mood and to rile my emotions, which was making me into a person I didn’t like. So instead I am choosing how I react to his actions; and choosing to have a good day.

Crazy? Maybe, but if you practice controlling any affect a person has on you… you can eventually regain that power and not let what they do or what they say affect your “reaction”. Instead you can bring it in check. Now it also helps to pray about this and ask for God to give you the grace and strength to do this very thing I suggest and it doesn’t happen overnight. Remember, I left my ex five years ago this October. But as a candidate of practice in this area I have at least minimized how much I let his actions, his decisions, or his voicemails affect my reaction. When he calls thirty times in a matter of a few hours while I am at work, to get my attention, knowing I am ignoring his calls, for example, yes, the badgering and consistent attempt to get me riled can be annoying. But I have decided not to allow him to dictate my mood nor how my day will go, regardless of how much he wants to control it.

One reason I can do this is because I know I am not doing anything wrong when it comes to the kids and that I am the stable environment they have come to appreciate. So he has nothing legitimate to say about the way I am parenting when the children are with me. Any accusations would be of no substance and therefore not worth my time nor my consideration. Please understand, it is not to say I can do no wrong nor that I am perfect; but only that I have evaluated and cross-examined my own parenting practices through mentors in my life that permit me to make these statements.

How can I be sure he has nothing valid for me to hear? Because when I do listen, when I do give him opportunity to tell me something about the children, he has only proven time and time again that it is about things that were not a part of our divorce agreement; irrational changes that he wants to make concerning the children’s custody, etc. So I am only ignoring these attempted contacts with good reason. And it’s very empowering and very liberating to delete those voicemails knowing there is no substance to them whatsoever.

Lately he is making these attempts with the children, drilling them and insisting they tell me what changes “they” want to make. I hope they will learn to “filter” through what their dad says, because they have to deal with it now more than I do. So I would like for them to adopt this concept as well.

Not everyone’s ex is this way, I understand. Even in my situation, I never want imply they have to disrespect their father, so I have to be cautious how this is taught. He is still their father and I do try to instill a sense of respect that they should have for him, so I make every attempt not to insult him or lower his value in their eyes. When they come to me with mandates that he has given them to tell me, I simply say, “That is not how it’s spelled out in the divorce agreement, so it’s not an option.” To their dad’s surprise they accept that and are content with things the way they are – even if he does try to convince them otherwise.

Earnestly, I am in the process of taking back that power that I gave an individual for many years. I believe it can be done.

What do you think? Is this a false concept? Is it possible to refrain from letting the actions of others affect your reaction? Please share your thoughts on this one. I can’t say I have mastered it… just something I attempt to do each day.


Trish said...

Honestly I think you just opened my eyes to something that I have been doing.....very insightful...frustration gets the best of me most of the time and I think I see a little bit of why at this moment....terrific blog Kat!

Ms. Single Mama said...

Yep. Just let it go. Life is too short to let him get to you. Just enjoy every day. If anything - for the kids. My moods affect Benjamin's moods. When I realized that - it's when I really started seeing things clearly.

He sounds scary though. 30x a day! How long have you been divorced?

Katherine said...

We have been divorced since early 2005; I left in 2003. He is persistent... isn't he?

R said...

just passed by to see whatcha been up too n say hello :) i c my timing is..well, just about 1 post off! - just kidding:) hang in there kid!

j'adoube said...

the above comment was me..was logged into a dif email so it didn't show as j'adoube..strange! jus wanted to let ya know so you weren't scratching ur head n wondering who the heck is "R"

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