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Old 11-05-2011, 06:53 AM   #701
muddy otter
Directionally Challenged Parrothead
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: back to bobbing along in my kayak
Posts: 33,110

Originally Posted by scrappingramma View Post
Haaaaaaaaaaaa.... calling his bluff, good for you. It's funny how they blame us (which makes it look like we are all powerful), then on the other hand.. they try to control us... lol
Couldn't agree more on calling his bluff.

One thing that I've found helps in dealing with difficult people is accepting that they're going to play games/blame you/whatever and just doing what you need to do and using the broken record technique: for example 'oh, I thought that we had agreed to X, I don't remember a conversation where we changed those plans. Do you not want to pick the kids up on X?' repeat as needed. Someone difficult will still try the manipulation/blame etc but at least this way you stay focused on the issues.

What uber sucks is that the parent who behaves the best pays the highest price to keep things on an even keel in the day-to-day short term. What doesn't suck is that the example a parent sets by being able to do this, to behave lovingly towards the kids and put them first, even when it's excruciatingly difficult, essentially makes it inevitable that the parent who's incapable of doing just that for the kid will get caught with his butt hanging out in the breeze. It's one of those things that you can't talk about, you just have to live it. And in the end, the kids DO see who's talking the talk and who's actually walking the walk.

They don't always see it in the short term when someone manipulates and uses words to twist things, but there's only so long that anyone can spin reality before it becomes apparent that their words and reality don't line up AT ALL and haven't for quite some time. And in a sense, the only way to let that happen is to do the right thing consistently and place that trust in time and the cumulative effect of someone's choices and actions.

That's tough not just on a parent who really chooses and commits to doing the right thing and being there for the kids. It's tough on the kids, too, because they WANT to love and respect their parents, and they tend to blame themselves when things don't work out--if I were a better/smarter/cuter/whatever kind of kid, Dad would have stayed. And that gets taken out on the parent who's stable and there for them too sometimes (and I say that with memories of stuff I did at 10 or 12 that I desperately wish I'd been able to do differently). So it sucks because the person who can find the maturity, perspective and compassion to try and be understanding, fair and also FIRM with folks who don't behave well gets stuck holding that bag on their own for a good long while.

The only thing I can say is that this is where having friends and love or family or even a chat thread where you have folks who will be there for YOU makes all the difference in the world. So does giving yourself time for any and all things that give you the strength to keep going. I think it's totally OK to be a little selfish now and then about those things because if you're the one who has to stay strong, you do need that down time and nourishment. Hang in there and good luck. That new reality of dealing with someone on that basis sucks and there's just no way around that.
God sent angels down to earth in the form of dogs with notes saying 'don't judge, just love.' They ate the notes but keep trying to deliver the message.
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