December 5, 2009

Because of the Hardness of His Heart

"But Pharaoh hardened his heart again and refused to let the people go." Exodus 8.32

I have an order of protection against my husband that is in effect until March 10, 2010.
It orders my husband to:

[1] Stay away from (me);
[2] Refrain from communication or any other contact by mail, telephone, e-mail, voice-mail or other means with (me), except for issues related to the children and subject to court ordered visitation;
[3] Refrain from assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, intimidation, criminal mischief, threats or any criminal offense against (me).

On last weekend's visit he violated that order. He left the children and me shaking and trembling in fear, as he had on so many occasions when we lived with him.

Because of the hardness of his heart, he can't leave well enough alone. The visits that he has with our children are supposed to be for him to spend time with them, being a father. But I know that the visits are really just his way of digging his talons into me. They are the only strings that keep him attached to me and his only way to continue bothering me in my life.

I wish I could video tape these visits. The way he interacts with them, they could be anybody. As soon as he arrives on the scene, let the games begin! The overacting, loud voice and disingenuous laughs, come off like a clown that has shown up at a birthday party. It's like he just met these kids and it's his job to entertain them with his performance. There is a total lack of warmth and intimacy.

It's one game after another at the fun center and one exhibit after another at the science center. There's no sense of longing from a brokenhearted father that desperately misses his children. There's no time spent talking to them about them, or school, or anything that people in real relationships connect over. It's all on the surface. He doesn't talk to them the way a genuine loving father would.

In any event, keeping in character of a true batterer, even while going to Domestic Violence school for his 'Batterer No More' certificate, he just had to start some trouble on the visit last week. Abusive people aren't cured because the person they abused isn't in their life any longer. They find other ways to get their thrills with them until they find someone else to abuse.

He's got his old girlfriend back, he's free in his life to come and go as he pleases, hangs out with his friends, doesn't have to wipe one runny nose or poopy butt. He doesn't have to clean up after anyone but himself, doesn't have to cook for anyone, doesn't have to get up before the crack of dawn to get anyone off to school. He's independent and free. All he has to do is show up down here spend a couple hours playing and go home. You'd think he could just move on.

But an evil and idle mind is the devil's workshop.

"Your hands are the hands of murderers, and your fingers are filthy with sin. Your mouth is full of lies, and your lips are tainted with corruption. You don't care about being fair and honest. Your lawsuits are based on lies. You spend your time plotting evil deeds and then doing them. You spend your time and energy spinning evil plans that end up in deadly actions. You cheat and shortchange everyone. Nothing you do is productive; all your activity is filled with sin. Violence is your trademark. Your feet run to do evil, and you rush to commit murder. You think only about sinning. Wherever you go, misery and destruction follow you. You do not know what true peace is or what it means to be just and good. You continually do wrong, and those who follow (or tried to have a life with) you cannot experience a moment's peace." Isaiah 59.3-8

When you have been in a relationship with an abusive person, leaving him is like trying to leave a gang. You just can't say, "Hey, this isn't working for me, I'm gonna go now," and get a response of, "Oh, okay cool. You take care now."

No. You have to get "jumped" out. The abuser will come after you every which way he can. The courts, the kids, your family, your friends, the child support he won't pay, his other women he flaunts. If he can't get another lick in physically, he will do it psychologically, emotionally, and economically. He will attempt to grind you down mentally.

Getting back to the devil's workshop, my husband has been up to something for a little while now. He's been plotting and scheming in regards to the visitation or custody as it is set up now. The first I heard of his latest trickery was in early November when my lawyer called me and said that the law guardian for the children called her and said that my husband was emailing him. My husband was telling the law guardian that I wasn't cooperating with the visits and making problems.

I immediately told her that those accusations were not true and the law guardian needed to understand one thing first and foremost and that is, my husband is a pathological liar. I told her that not only was I cooperating but although I was only obligated under the agreement to give him 3 hours with the children, I had been giving him 5 hours.

I let her know that when he calls to speak to the kids, I give them the phone. If we miss his call, I have them call him back. I told her that the judgement in the support case had just come through and my husband was ordered to pay us a whole lot more than I'm sure he thought he would and I believed he was pissed off about it. She understood and said she would pass the info on to the law guardian.

In addition to his deceitful emails, he has been sending me text messages accusing me of manipulating the children's feelings in regards to him. When the children don't want to talk to him, he blames me and says that I am influencing them negatively by my feelings about him. I believe he was talking to some ignorant person in his life again or perhaps just came up with this latest plan on his own, to try and suggest I am guilty of 'parental alienation'. It is one of the latest tools that abusers pull out of their bag of tricks to use against their victims in court.

He believes that if he texts something to me, that it makes it true and evidence to be used against me. But what he fails to recognize and thereby crumbling the entire foundation of his position is that the children have always been with me and I have felt the same way about him since our escape - I don't like him. I don't tell them how to feel about him and they are usually okay with him. So who's influencing them to be cool with him?

I have the right to dislike someone who abused me, lied to me, cheated on me, and refuses to take care of his children. My feelings about him don't change. But the children's feelings for him fluctuate. They have their own independent feelings about him based on their personal experiences and eyewitness accounts of him and their own individual personalities, ages and genders.

I have resisted the temptation to hate him by praying for him. But I hate what he has done to this family, to our children and to me. I hate that he has left us with trauma, behavioral & stress disorders. I hate that he has left us struggling for survival. I hate that he has left us homeless, moving from place to place in search of a home to call our own. I hate that he has forced us to live like refugees.
In spite of that, the children can still be happy at times when they talk to him. They can still laugh and enjoying playing with him sometimes. For that, I get no credit. Only when they don't feel like talking to him or playing with him is it then my fault. I allow the children to feel how they want to feel about him or anything else and don't tell them that their feelings are wrong or bad. If one day they hate him or think he's mean and dumb, that's okay. If on another day, they love him and miss him, that's okay too.

I won't force them to talk to or interact with him when they don't want to. Some days they'll like him, some days they won't. Some times they feel like a nut, some times they don't.

He wants them to always act excited about him and cry for missing him. He wants them to never feel negatively about him and I guess my job is supposed to be to squash any bad feelings about daddy. That doesn't fit into his plan of being the poor misunderstood loving father. When they don't want to be bothered with him, it is a reminder and proof of who the real destroyer of the peace was and continues to be. That's evidence against him that he wants to get rid of. He thinks another person's feelings can be controlled, because that's what he understands, power and control.

Anyhoo, he thought that he had come up with a clever piece to his latest sneakery. On the visit last weekend, after about an hour and a half into the visit, he came and sat next to me - violation #1. He then began to talk to me - violation #2. He began to say things to me that were upsetting and although I went back and forth with him for a few minutes, I reminded him that he wasn't supposed to talk to me, but he kept right on going anyway - violation #3. When I got up and went to the stroller to get the baby who was now crying, he followed me, still talking - violation #4.

He upset me so much by the stuff coming out of his mouth, including another slur about Emmanuel not being his son, that I told him the visit was over, called the children and told them to put their shoes on because it was time to go. As I tried to move the stroller, he blocked me from leaving by putting his foot in front of one of the wheels. I had to ask him to move, three times before he did - violation #5.

Things got louder and chaotic as the children got involved and began to yell and say things as I tried to gather them up to leave and as he kept talking. People were starting to look and take notice - violation #6.

He got to the exit before I did, as I maneuvered the stroller in between the arcade games and other patrons. The children were up ahead of me and I couldn't see them directly because of the games that were blocking me. Just as I made my way to the front, my daughter jumps out, waving her hand frantically for me to come while calling in a panic stricken voice, "Mommy, mommy, hurry! Solomon is going out with him!"

I looked out the door and see my husband about to pick up my 5 year old who has just gone out the door to him. He picks him up and turns in a hurry toward the parking lot. I left the stroller by the door and told my daughter and 3 year old to stay right there. I bolt out of the door and take my son from him. I don't remember what we said to each other at that point, but once I took my son from him, he began to quickly walk toward his car.

After he got halfway there, he turns around laughing, holding up what looked like his Blackberry, with a red light shining. My daughter had joined me outside at this point and also saw him holding the thing with the red light. She said that her first thought was that he was laughing and holding up the arcade card to show us that he had it and now they couldn't play any more games. But then she said she saw the red light and knew that he was showing us a recorder.

It all became clear as soon as I saw the recorder. My husband sat down next to me, so that he could pick up my voice, and then instigated an emotionally charged conversation with me in an attempt to get me upset and on tape saying something that fits into this scheme of his.

Well, he accomplished what he set out to do and that was upset me. He also upset the children and frightened and traumatized them yet again. My daughter told me that her legs were trembling and she was shaking. I know what she means because I had the same feeling coursing through my body.

This was funny to him. Scaring and scarring his kids is funny to him. He could care less about the state he had just left his children in. He is despicable and diabolical.

Well I guess he hadn't thought of this, but he also accomplished something else, he broke the law. He didn't take that into account as he made his tape which is recording him violating my order of protection. It is also against the law in PA to record someone without their consent. So I don't know what good his tape will do him.

Since I never did it before, I guess he didn't expect me to do it now, but this time I called the police and filed a report. The DA called me and told me that the next time he came down here, he would be arrested. So when he showed up for the visit yesterday, the police were ready for him and took him into custody, as he waited for us to show up at the science center. We never even saw him, he was gone before we got there. The police officer that waited for me informed me that they picked him up already. I drove through the parking lot before we left, and sure enough, his car was there, silently covered in snow.

My husband was arrested for the first time ever, for his abusive behavior towards me. He wasn't arrested when he fractured my rib or nearly broke my arm. He wasn't arrested when he slapped me, mushed me, pushed me or pulled my hair. He wasn't arrested for spitting on me, cursing me or calling me everything but a child of God. He got away with committing felony assaults against me.

But today he was arrested for talking to me, blocking my path and doing this in a public place.

That is the nature of sin. It tempts us to do evil, but doesn't show us what will happen to us when we yield to it. He had this ingenious plan or so he thought, and it only ensnared him! He played himself.

He still doesn't understand that my heavenly Father told me, "No weapon formed against you will prosper and everyone who tells lies against you shall be brought to justice." Isaiah 54.17

This is the same God that he pretended to serve when we shared a life together. He clearly didn't believe God was real or that He really fights for and protects us.

So once again, I didn't have to do anything but tell the truth and watch what God did to the person who has made himself my enemy.

So I wonder, is he laughing now? God is. And I'm trying not to...

"How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you--when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." Proverbs 1.22-33

Sometimes Brain, its possible to be so smart, that you're stupid.