Rock the boat, baby.
Rock it good and if they cry that you may rock it too much and threaten their sense of peace or safety, I say rock that mother fucking boat till you capsize it.
Some cold hard truth, I have spent the last decade of my life, sitting idly on the sidelines trying my best to not rock the proverbial boat that held my life afloat so precariously. I spent the last six years of my second marriage not rocking the boat, which only led to fights, addictions, depression, and a multitude of issues which I am only beginning to get sorted out.
I didn’t rock the boat during my divorce with my narcissistic and sexually abusive ex-first husband, he now has custody of our son. I didn’t rock the boat the last seven years, when every time my ex would drop our son off for my visits, he would call the cops and dfs on me, he would keep my son longer than he was supposed to, going as far as using several of my days, to drive from his home state of WI to WY.
Stealing precious time away to play power games with me.
Then he would pick him up early. I didn’t rock the boat and rightfully report him. My current husband would comment on this every single time. Yet still, I did not rock the boat. I figured it was good enough just to be able to have the time I had with my son, the 9 grand worth of time that my current husband paid for me to have. I didn’t rock the boat because I was terrified I would get less time than I already had with my son. Rock the boat. I was terrified, and that ended up alienating me from my son even further than my ex and his family already had.
For a few short months my ex was willing to work with me, he had managed to move out to CO and hold his own for a bit, then life hit and my ex supposedly lost his job and decided to move back in with his parents in WI instead of getting another job in CO or moving back to WY where My current husband offered to help find him housing, and jobs and I offered to watch our son so he didn’t have to do daycare. Still, he decided the best course of action as a 34-year-old single father was to move back into his parent’s house, rent free and allow his parents to raise our son. This caused so many issues, issues which eventually led me to give up my visitation rights.
Same old same old
My ex moved back to WI in Agust, my husband and I decided to move to SD in October. We had stayed in WY to keep the divorce decree and visitation set up stable. By the time my ex decided to move back in with his mommy, my marriage with my current husband was dangerously on the rocks and we needed a fresh perspective if we were going to make our marriage work.
October 1, We had just gotten settled into our new house, new job, new town, new school. But we still had the same old problems in our marriage, we still fought like cats and dogs, we still hated each other, and now we were in a new place with no friends. Then I got pregnant. Not the best thing to add to an already difficult marriage. There was constant fighting about staying together, parenting, custody, jobs and lack thereof on my part. We had one vehicle and my husband used it for work.
I started my new life off on the wrong foot.
There was a handful of times where I would ask to be moved back to my parents… and then come back. Rough times where I packed my shit up and had my husband take me to my parents in WY, swearing I was done with everything. These times really only ever lasted a day or so, the amount of time it took to get something worked out with my husband. This went on for the whole nine months of my pregnancy.
But back to the main point of the post.
We moved up in October, and in November I find out I’m pregnant and in four weeks I am supposed to have Thanksgiving with my son. I called my ex and arranged this Thanksgiving visit before we moved up to SD. I had gone by the same dates we used for the last few years and left it at that. I had not given thought to the fact thanksgiving changes days, I had a lot going on with preparing for the move and marital issues I was trying desperately to fix, so it was an honest mistake.
As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, I start sending texts and calls to make sure we are all on the same page for day and time. Only to find out that he was going to bring him on Thanksgiving day because that was the day I said because I hadn’t checked the exact date and assumed he would bring him the two days ahead like usual. I threw a huge fit and got my ex to promise more time. Lie, lie, Lies. Power and control games still in full force even after all this time. After seven years of being lied to by my narc ex, you would think I would have gained some wisdom… Anyway, Fall break with my son was cut two days short and was ruined because my ex refused to upset his mommy.
His mother refused to let her husband take my son out to me earlier like he was supposed to, instead she demanded that they wait for her to get done with her job, her freelancing job as a self-taught photographer which meant he would get there late. I was furious, yet still, I didn’t rock the boat. Even after my Ex renigged on the extra days he said I could have. I spent the next three days I could with my son. I was upset most of the time, as my son would tell me what my ex-in-laws said about me to him, by the time I was supposed to drop my son off back with the ex-in-laws, I was beyond livid.
They had the gall to bring him late, knowing when my days were months ahead of time, the gall to lie to him about me, to call me a liar and every other terrible mom name in the book especially when it is against the law to do that to a child,( it’s called parental alienation, it is used to gain favoritism with the child, most often it is used to tear down and discredit the reputation of one parent in particular), and now they were demanding that he get returned earlier so they wouldn’t have issues with her work. So I get jipped time, I get jipped the extra time my ex volunteered seeing as they were going to be late, (mistake: I didn’t get the extra time in text, ALWAYS GET TEXT PROOF), so when I bring that up they tell me it didn’t matter because I didn’t have proof.
I tried again to get my ex to work with me, he didn’t work with me at all. big surprise there. Rock the boat, rock the goddamned boat. So I did what any fed up person would do. I started to rock the boat, I made them wait an hour without returning the single call they had placed. I really should have called them back, because when I went to drop my son off at the agreed spot they had the cops waiting for me. I had intended to keep him the whole night, glad I didn’t. After that, I told my ex that if he ever let his mom come to a drop off again I’d call the cops on her for interfering and ask them to remove her as she has no legal right to be there since my ex and I are the parents. I didn’t have another issue with her directly, Christmas went off fine because I had started to rock the boat. Then it gets close to spring break.
After the first of the year, I am in contact with my son, we are making plans for Easter, he is excited. In February I make sure to start texting my ex, I was not about to let another thanksgiving issue start. He refuses to reply to me, so I start texting him weekly, then daily. Still no response, My son still talks to me and tells me he is excited to come for Easter. I make plans with my parents, and tell my son before the end of February that the plans are final and there is no changing them after this.
He is ok with that. By March 5th of 2018, a few weeks before I was supposed to get my son for Easter break, I was given papers saying my ex wanted to modify the visitation yet again, this would be the fourth time in seven years. He was bold this time, I guess moving back in with your mom at age 34 does that to a person though, he had my son tell his therapist I was abusive, verbally, that I was unfit and that he did not want to come out and see me.
This was devastating to me. I may not be June Cleaver but I am a damn good mom, I even had the judge who made the decree in the first place tell me on record that I was the more fit parent, but that he would not change laws to get me custody. Trust me I fought my ex for custody several times, and over several thousands of dollars I had to beg borrow and plead for, but the law is the law and because I did not go under parental alienation laws and instead went under change of circumstance I lost that battle, but I did get better visitation out of it.
On top of my ex having our son tell the therapist that he did not want to come out, and the therapist said he didn’t have to if he didn’t want to and that I should respect that, she stated that it upset him too much to go back and forth between parents… What kids don’t get upset when their schedule is rearranged… and Fuck you, you armchair school therapist, my son has never had an issue before I called his dad out for moving back in with his mommy and called his dads mommy out for interfering. I also spent 9 grand to get my visitation and the law is on my side, at least so I thought.
My narc ex wanted me to go from my normal visitation of each spring and fall break, half of Christmas and 90 days in summer to have to request a supervised visitation from him that may or may not be granted based solely on his mood. I would then have to drive 1800 miles by myself because my chicken shit ex would not allow my husband and daughter to come with me, all this while I was seven months pregnant. And to top it off my ex knew I was pregnant, he also knew I had two previous miscarriage because of stress, they had been his children I miscarried due to stress from him. Rock the boat.
I told him in legally polite terms that he could go to hell, and that he was still obligated to bring our son for Easter until the decree was modified in May. Well, all this time, I was working at a decent job, we had just bought a newer car, and my pregnancy was going along without issue. Then it all kinda just hit at once. I started having issues with my Dr, I was not allowed to switch providers without switching to a different hospital in a different city 50 miles away.
I ended up losing my job because I had taken off too much time during probation(two days) to deal with the legal issues, and the newer car blew it’s headgaskets essentially becoming a non-working heap of bills, my current husband and I were constantly on edge and on the brink of divorce. I was frazzled and all this time I was stuck trying to find legal aid for a different state when I had no money, no job and barely any support from my husband. I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Rock the boat. I was terrified I would lose my baby. I was stressed. I was exhausted.
The final straw was when my ex decided he wouldn’t bring my son up for my spring visitation time, I called the cops this time, recorded everything only to be told that this was a civil issue and would have to be taken up in the courts. Rock the boat. I called the sheriff where my ex lived and explained the situation, he did a check on the house and told me the piece of paper they had showing that the decree was under review was the same as a new decree and that he would not enforce the original decree that was in fact still binding.
I rocked the fucking boat.
And filed all the necessary papers with the court, then they decided I needed a guardian ad litem, that cost 2 grand I didn’t have, and the court decided I had to come out to WI to deal with this. Not possible to travel that far out when you are now 8 months pregnant with no dr and no working vehicle. I explained my financial situation and explained that me going out there was not a possibility, I asked for phone conferences, no go because it’s a civil issue and the judge would want to see me.
I rocked the boat. My health and pregnancy were at stake now, I had as much stress as I could take. From a rocky marriage, incompetent Dr’s and medical institutes, to losing my job and feeling worthless to dealing with a legal battle that should have been buried long ago. I chose to let it all go and rock the boat the only way I had left. By relinquishing my visitation rights altogether.
The single hardest choice I have ever made.
I can understand the look I get from people when they ask why I didn’t fight harder to get my son back, and honestly, I fought as hard as I could with what I had available at the time. And if you have ever dealt with a narcissist then you know the best way to handle them is no contact. A lot harder when kids are involved. because this became a cross-state issue, one where I was not able to make the court hearings, and I didn’t have the money to pay for the guardian ad litem or a lawyer I opted for mediation via phone, recorded and let it all out.
I stood my ground, I even had the guardian ad litem saying my choice was the best course of action, especially seeing as my son was almost ten and was obviously showing signs of severe parental alienation, that for me to fight for custody would cause more harm to him than simply walking away for now. And she was not too worried about my relationship with him, as we would still be in contact through phone and other methods. She was worried about me and my health.
It still was the single hardest choice I ever had to make. It was painful but it was relieving. Like I had finally taken a breath when I had been holding my breath for far too long. To top all that off, my husband’s grandfather passed away that Easter and his grandmother that May. To say it was a trying first year is an understatement.
I seemed to create excuses like evaporated water makes rain.
All this past year’s experience has led me to begin rocking the boat, I still make excuses, though not to the extent that I had. In truth every excuse, in fact, all excuses I tell myself are excuses I have to give myself to justify why I didn’t rock the boat from the start. Excuses for feeling like a shitty mom, whose sexually abusive narcissistic ex was granted sole custody of a child he didn’t care about until his overly controlling mom told him to. Mostly just excuses to give me permission to be human.
When my youngest was born in June, it was a bittersweet experience. I had a new life in my hands and the memory of my first born that I would not be able to see again for who knows how long if ever. We had the loss of two people we loved dearly, and a marriage we were still unsure of. I honestly didn’t expect my son to want to see me, not with what my ex and his family tell him about me, I don’t blame him for choosing his dads side. He did though. He asked several times when I would be coming out to see him, even after I told his dad that wouldn’t happen. I had to be the one to tell him that I would not be seeing him again for a long time because my ex is a pathetic lying narcissistic abuser.
Which, by the way, I would not tell my son. But it is my first thought when I think of my ex. It hurts still when I think about all the bull shit I went through, but I can’t blame my son too much, not when the lies and deception have been all he has known since he was three.
I blame myself for not rocking the boat sooner.
So now I rock the boat as often as I can. And I hope when you are given the chance to rock the boat or remain in a false sense of peace being used to maintain the status quo, I hope you will think on this story and my experiences and rock the fucking boat.
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