So the boys have had two visits with their dad and still my anxiety refuses to pipe down.
While all is civil and they seem to really enjoy re-acquainting themselves with him, I keep wondering when things are going to go pear-shaped.
I had an unexpected visit from Child Protection shortly after the first visit and it turns out that because the boys’ dad is on the sex offenders’ register, he needs to report to the police whenever he has contact with children and they in turn inform Child Protection who get to make an assessment of the situation to ensure the kids’ safety.
Imagine my shock at getting a visit and being told that a report has been made about the well-being of my children!
Once they explained the circumstances, it all made sense and I’m glad that there is a system in place to protect the innocent, but it sure shook me up.
They interviewed me and tried to talk with the boys, but Sam refused to have anything to do with them. He sat in his wardrobe with his head between his legs and would not say “boo!” to them. Which is typical Sam behaviour when he doesn’t want to do something. And now of course they’re worried that there is something wrong with him, but surely if they were a little more experienced they would not consider this such atypical behaviour?
So my ex has four more months on the register and then there will be no more dramas as far as Child Protection is concerned, but until then the visits have to be supervised. Of course, I refuse to be the one doing the supervising, because 5 minutes in his company is too much for my fragile nerves, so his wife took on the role. The result was a whole family reunion for my boys last Sunday at Scienceworks, where they got to meet not only their step-family, but their 3 yo half-sister.
With me so far?
If you’re wondering how I’ve managed to remain sane through all this, you probably don’t know me very well – I mean I’ve survived my life so far and it’s been far, far worse in the past. At least right now nobody is lying to me and everyone’s cards are right there on the table.
Or are they? There is a part of me wondering what’s going to happen next, especially once his 8 years on the sex offender register are up. Will they try to get more access to the boys? How will they try to screw me financially? All the latest buzz in the media about how the Family Court actually doesn’t have children’s best interests at heart and that in fact it doesn’t have a heart, have me running scared.
And then I have to remind myself that when I started all this, it was with a view to a perfect outcome for me and the boys. And that’s what I need to keep going back to. Worrying about the maybes doesn’t do anyone any favours, so I will continue to be Polyanna and think only of all the good that this is doing for us all.
I can report that I have managed myself admirably upon coming face to face with the other family, a family which a younger me would have resented. But I felt nothing when I saw them, other than relief that I’m not the one married to my ex. He exhibited undue familiarity towards me, which bothered me somewhat and yet again demonstrated his inability to understand boundaries, or indeed the effects of what he and all his cronies had done. I am not, nor will I ever be, his friend, but I am prepared to co-parent with him within clearly understood parameters. The friendship boat sailed upon the very first lie.
As to him shoving his young daughter in my arms to hold? Well. We just won’t talk about that, shall we? You’ll be pleased to know that I refused, much to her mother’s relief.
Until next time…..