Story of my life.
When it comes down to it, when you think in the infinitesimal way one thinks when one contemplates their own space in the universe…when it comes down to it, isn’t that what life really is? Almost like it’s a game that cannot be won, and every aspect of life comes down to this: the battle between good and evil. It’s the baseline for every story, every movie, every tale ever told. Its the center of legends and biblical stories. Its evident in the world at large and on playgrounds filled with children. It exists in homes, it exists in families. It exists within ourselves.
For all the shades of gray, this is how I see it right now. Black vs white. Dark and cruel vs good and light. I can use a million adjectives to describe PC and the Trollup, but when it comes down to it, the most basic of terms seems to be the most fitting. They are not good people. They are bad, inside their souls.
I suppose it was silly of me, naïve if you will, to assume that just because other aspects of my life were improving that it meant PC and Trollup couldn’t touch me. That since things had been somewhat calm for a while, that meant the worst was over. This battle. This inherent need that PC (and now Trollup) seem to have to punish me, to hurt me, to make me feel like I’m less than they are. To use my children to hurt me.
This is where the evil comes in. Trollup: I wanted to believe you were better than PC. I wanted to believe you were just like me: his eventual victim. I wanted to believe that you also have an inner voice that you don’t listen to. I wanted to believe in the good in you because PC is that bad.
But I was wrong.
Trollup has shown her colors now and again, more so recently. She has now taken to playing the games that PC plays, and she apparently believes every bad thing he has ever said about me. Not only does she believe this (despite all evidence contrary), she felt the need to tell me about it. It was a conversation that began because of my own failure to listen to my own advice and the advice of everyone: do. not. engage. But, engage I did.
And in the span of 5 minutes on a soccer field Trollup managed to hit every single piece of my life with her poison tipped arrows, and she did so with a smirk on her face and a melody of condescending judgement in her voice. She, much like PC, spoke rapidly and left very little room for me to defend myself, or even reply, and when I did I was so shaken by her accusations that I could not properly articulate what I wanted to say.
She first insinuated that I was not a responsible mother. Both her and PC are of the belief that since I cannot clone myself and be in two places at once with my two children, I therefore am a poor parent. Despite the fact that PC was unwilling to help. She then proceeded to tell me that “they” want more time with the children for a variety of reasons: because I can’t handle it. Because I “get babysitters all the time”. Because “we want you to have more time for a social life” (Lets all laugh together at that–the idea that PC would support anything beneficial to me.)
She went on to say I’m not a good mother of MY children (who she speaks of as if she has some claim to) because I party all the time (negative.) Because I expose my children to my “boyfriend” and “its affecting them…you don’t see it but we do.” When I pointed out that said boyfriend was nothing more than a friend in my kids eyes until PC and Trollup told them otherwise she pretended like she had some right to do that. She accused me of being a hypocrite and breaking up another family (untrue). She accused me of physically hurting my children, going as far as to say that she has seen me choking them in public (totally untrue.) She made a point to state that I’m a golddigger at which point I believe I replied with, “PC left me with nothing!” and she countered that I should “get a job” and then followed up with “Oh right, you have a job…” which she fit some air quotes around.
If your head is spinning, just wait. She then delivered her grand finale of the claim that I am a terrible mother with “You can’t properly take care of your children. You can’t even hear them” which was an open and direct hit of my hearing disability. And she said this with a smirk on her face.
Trollup is an educator. Of children. She’s 40 years old. She apparently has a master’s degree, and she herself is a mother. And she’s also someone who will, in essence, use another person’s disability against them in a verbal attack. She’s disgusting and a terrible example of a human being. She’s not a good person. And yet, every 14 days I have to send my children to live with her.
Then we follow with the next day, which involved PC causing major drama with my children, to the point that instead of happily getting ready for soccer, the three of us were sitting on the floor of my son’s bedroom, all of us were in tears. It ended with both children sobbing, my little daughter shaking her head with her eyes squeezed shut, telling me that “Dad and Trollup say bad things about you…really bad things….we don’t want to say it.” I never fully got out of their sweet little souls what was said about me, but it was along the lines that I’m trying to “take them away” from PC and then the conflicting “Mom has a boyfriend now so she’ll probably move in with him and you won’t have a home anymore.”
Then, I was forced to yet again share the same airspace with Trollup at soccer, where, no surprise here, PC neglected to show up and watch his child play.
THEN, just after, my best friend runs into PC. At the liquor store. Where he is probably drunk and definitely had a crazy look in his eye. Where he was stocking up on booze (but yet, Trollup claimed, he no longer drinks). Where he accosted my friend to the point of threatening her with, “you’re on my list…you’re right at the top.” Which led to some conversations with police which led to the general conclusion that once again, PC wins. He flies under the radar and there are no consequences for his actions. The only hope left is karma but my God, where is it? In 48 hours those two made fun of someone’s disability, had two children’s little souls breaking, and made a rather confident and self-assured 50-year-old feel threatened.
Do you see? It’s as though no matter what I do, where I go, or how much good comes into my life, the evil will always be there. It will not go away and it will not leave me alone and I can’t leave because unfortunately, I have two children with the devil. That’s what it feels like to me. That no matter what good comes into my life, PC will taint it in some way. He will hurt everything that matters to me, everything that is dear to me–even his own children–just to hurt me. And why? I have no answer for this but I am reminded lately of a an old story that is so very true:
Is it that simple? PC and Trollup feed the wolf that is evil? And which wolf do I feed? I want to think I feed the good one: I’m a good person, dammit. But PC and Trollup make me feel as though I am being punished for something. They make me question myself. They make me have thoughts I am not proud of: wishing for something terrible to happen to them. Wishing for karma to really, really deliver a punch in the forms of facial deformities, public humiliation, jail, physical pain. Hurting my children to hurt me: that’s what you want to accomplish, PC, and you certainly have. And it makes my blood boil.
This is what PC wants. And I don’t know how to escape it.
And on the flip side, there is the good. There are the moments I know my children are safe and happy. There is the peace inside my home. There is the flicker of light at the end of the divorce tunnel that maybe, maybe it will over soon and just maybe I will “win.” There are all of the good people around me, like concentric circles of family, friends, and community…all of them to remind me that this battle is only a battle if I chose to fight it. That no matter how much evil exists in PC and Trollup, they cannot win if I don’t let them. I hear these words and I don’t know how to cultivate them. But I hear them.
And then, in the midst of it all, someone who is so good and light and safe and comforting and exactly what I need right now. I want to just enjoy this, to revel in it and soak it up, but I am also terrified that PC is going to ruin it. I’m not sure he can…but I’m still afraid of that evil. Good doesn’t always win the battle, because good plays fairly while evil does not. And this…this really good thing, isn’t perfect of course. Life isn’t perfect: there are jobs and children and timing and people who like to gossip and now, PC. But I need to focus on the end of the day.
At the end of the day yesterday? PC was nowhere around. Both of my children were safely sleeping and me? My day ended with kind words and warmth and, well, love. With enough safety and comfort for the moment that peace and dreamless sleep came effortlessly, as though God said, here you go. Don’t forget this part…this is real too.
And today is a new day. The battle still exists. PC and Trollup’s wolves are satiated and rarring to go, I’m certain. But so is my wolf–the good one. Fed and happy and also ready to fight the good fight: the inner fight for peace.