We all have things that we are afraid of when we’re young. Some of our fears disappear as we grow older, when we analyze with a more mature and rational mind, that in fact the size of our monsters could not realistically fit under our beds or hide in our closets. Some monsters, however, are very real and every once in a while can find the most innocent or insidious ways of rearing their ugly heads.
Such was the case recently from my only remaining demon, aka psycho-ex3, who showed up in the form of a civil summons I received via certified mail.
My children and I have not heard from him ostensibly for more than eight years. Yet, I could not help but feel a shudder run through me as though ice water had been poured down my back. The document in my hand seemed harmless (albeit annoying) enough; it was notice of a motion filed in the civil court in Tennessee seeking a downward modification of child support.
It’s kind of humorous in a sick way, really, because truth be told this man is one of those “deadbeat dads” who has run away, changed states, and enlisted in the Army as a way of avoiding the assignment of a wage garnishment and prosecution for not honoring his court-ordered obligations. I don’t even know how much money this man owes because not only have I never really depended on it, I have chosen to distance myself in all possible ways from holding any expectation, need, interest, or energy toward the money. Suffice it to say my children and I are owed many tens of thousands of dollars.
Many of you may not know I’m a former legal secretary (this is going back a ways) and answering a motion isn’t something that leaves me feeling helpless, thought it’s the last thing I have time for right now. If you’ve been reading my blogs recently, you know I’m earnestly trying to launch my Diva Mama Aromatherapy Synergy Spray line this week in time for the upcoming CT Women’s Expo, Awaken Wellness Fair and Mamapalooza Festival.
Aside from the practical and fiscal realities this modification petition represents, or how annoyed I am at having to deal with the reality of having to again open wounds associated with one of the worst chapters in my life, my deepest reaction is coming from somewhere else. Holding this letter that came from a private attorney to my home means that somehow, in some way, despite all my best efforts, this sociopathetic (sociopathic + pathetic) predator has now discovered my home address.
A problem that many of us who use social media everyday is how exposed are we, really, when every nuance of our lives is available in one form or another. I have spent a long time really considering what it means to be as really “out there” as I am through my work, not to mention every main form of social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and occasionally, Tumblr.
As most of you know, I have been sharing the most intimate parts of my story because I believe that it’s in the sharing of our stories that we find the deepest power of connection, transformation and manifestation.
But as the Universe is fond of doing . . . just when you think you have it all together, you get a test, a little nudge asking are you SURE?
This is what I have been wrestling with since receiving the document from he who shall forever remain gutless’s lawyer. I had to decide on the one hand, just how far down the rabbit hole do I want to go? Do I want to pursue a Megan’s law judgement against him? Do I want to include in my response copies of the staggering mental health bills (quite a few still outstanding) to treat my daughter’s PTSD and my son’s behavioral and anxiety issues? Do I want to reveal information about her hospitalizations – the first of which happened exactly one year ago? Do I want to file a counter motion and finally go after the 50% he is liable for all out of pocket expenses? Or do I want to say nothing and retreat in fear… after all I have barely gotten a penny from the system on his behalf? Why start caring now?
But it begs the deeper question… do I want to step down from my social media and professional platforms, grab my children and hide under the covers? And if I do, how would we remain safe there? Do I need to refile a whole new round of legal documents including restraining orders, order of protection from abuse, protection of information?
No I do not.
I do not want to retreat nor do I want to attack. I do not want to give this man or his agenda any of my energy except the barest minimum to show that in fact my life and those of my children are still, and always will be, separate from him.
I do not want to search under my bed or in my closet for any remnant of the boogie man because he does not live there anymore. He lives in Clarksville, Tennessee and regardless of his physical whereabouts, I will not hide.
I have always been called the strong one and this is just another example of that. I don’t look over my shoulder anymore. I no longer live in fear of the shadows, I respect them. Were it not for the darkness, we couldn’t fully appreciate the light.
It is in this light that I have learned to use my voice to stand strong in my power, truth and core. So here and now I reaffirm my commitment to myself.
I know what my voice is to be used for and nothing and no-one will prevent that from happening. I will continue to sing my song as sweetly, whether as a soft lullaby to help my children continue to grow through their still lingering fears, or on the world’s largest stage in the brightest spot light. I will shout back at the darkness and welcome the light because in that light I will always find reflection, protection and inspiration.
Photo Credit: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Mother Protecting Her Child, c 1855-1858, French. Oil on canvas. 37.9 x 46.2 cm. Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum Art (http://www.philamuseum.org/), Philadelphia, Pa; bequest of John D. McIlhenny. Photograph by Graydon Wood, 1993.