Just keep swimming, OR how NOT to cope with Exie’s crap that he places on your child

And finally, the last one—while I don’t have as much experience, because we are a newly blended family, I do know instinctually, and also listening to my therapist and attorney, excluding A from the equation is the best possible way forward.  A does not need to insert himself on the conflict.  I am the captain of the parenting ship, and A is my awesome, supportive, loving co-captain.  It’s hard, I think, maybe for men in general (I’m not a gender studies researcher by any means), to take the back seat, especially if they have alpha male tendencies of wanting to FIX things or SOLVE problems.  It’s been a challenging and rough process for A to learn that the best way at winning in a situation is NOT fighting, is NOT engaging.  Remember the old school rule that made no sense as a child—ignore the bully, because then s/he has nothing to work with?  And how much that sucked?  But with someone like Exie, that’s the best way forward, to not engage and respond minimally.  It gives him less power over us.  Unfortunately, by not engaging, Exie is now haranguing the children, which tears my heart.  I have to trust that is what our awesome play therapist is for—to help DD1 cope, and also how our positive house will give DD1 room to figure it all out.  That’s what the therapists advise.  Maybe I need to go back and re-read Divorce Poison!  :(

So this is what I will do, instead of all those other four things.  I will respond to Exie that DD1 ought to have closure with her last class and note he does not agree.  I will note that the last time DD1 “took a break,” she requested to return, and will ask him to be open to hearing it should that happen again.  (I actually ran this by two attorney friends who think it’s a good idea).

Next, discuss with the play therapist, who appears to be well versed in Exie’s manipulations of the girls, especially with DD1, and is helping DD1 cope with the emotional neediness of her dad. 

And then, keep an eye open and move on, because I have two other fish to fry having to do with a special event and maintaining boundaries with Exie, and it’s likely more crappity crap will be thrown around.  Maybe not!  Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, right? 

p.s. I realize ending ballet is not the end of the world.  And maybe it’s not the end of ballet, maybe she will circle back or maybe not.  I’m lucky to have been able to send her there in the first place, I am not completely insensitive to the social disparities in our crazy world.  I think most of this post is being triggered by Exie’s need for control eclipsing DD1’s desires and interests, which is in turn a trigger to our world from before.  Rawr.  Baby steps forward.

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