Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Gray Area

Apparently, in the State of Ohio if children are involved in a divorce case, the parents are required to take a parenting class. While everyone else was moaning and groaning about it, I couldn't help but be intrigued.

Yes, the class is two ridiculous hours long.

Yes, there are other things that I could be doing.

But this class is for the better of our children. So, really, who can complain?

This class forced me to hear some things that I really didn't want to hear.  And I can stick my fingers in my ears and shout, "La La La!" all day long, but the lesson still rings true. What children don't need is to be put in the middle of a divorce case. What children do need is a healthy relationship with both parents. Since W. has told me--on more than one occasion, and once in writing--that he wants nothing to do with Jellybean, I have been hell-bent on kicking him and his entire nut-job family out of our lives. As much as I hate to admit it, this might not be the best thing for Jellybean.

On one hand, Jellybean deserves a chance at having two parents no matter how good or bad those parents are. If her dad decides not to be a part of her life, then that is something that she we will have to deal with. But if I kick him out with no chance of reconciliation, then it might not be in her best interest.

On the other hand, allowing my Jellybean to be a part of the neglectful and abusive atmosphere that comes along with W.'s family is clearly not a good choice. I certainly wouldn't allow her to be friends with people who carry on in this manner!

I am frustrated because my problem is not deciding between the right option and the wrong option; it's trying to figure out which option is which. There is no black-and-white in this situation--it's pretty much all gray over here. I am frustrated that W. can ignore Jellybean for most of her existence and even say that he doesn't want anything to do with her, and yet thinks he can just come back in and pretend it never happened.  But the biggest frustration of all is that I cannot protect Jellybean from both ends. She will either experience God-knows-what abuse in that family, or lose them altogether.

So what else can I do but lay it all in God's hands?


  1. That is really tough. I don't have any good advice for you, but you are jellybeans mother and whatever you do will always be in her best interest and she'll grow up to see that. Children really start to see at an early age who they can count on and who they can't.

  2. Hey lady, I'm catching up on your posts. It drives me nutty the different laws/rules between states when it comes to divorce and custody. Is there an option for visits with supervision? He's obviously unstable and one would think that with those worries you'd be able to at least put in a request or something. All you can do is give her as much love as you can, not trash talk them to her, and offer her an ear and a hug if she ever needs it.

  3. We have supervised visitation set up at a local "safe house" where I drop her off and he comes in to see her while under the supervision of social workers. It is the only way we can come close to a win/win for Jellybean.