Am I a Bad Parent Because I Stop Fighting for the Kids?
J asks: “I feel like I am not a good mother from wanting to stop [fighting in family court for my kids).
Michelle Hanson responds: You are not a bad mother! I call it "dropping the rope". These kids are tied up in the rope being used to play tug-of-war by the alienating parent.
This is the best analogy I have ever heard for what the innocent victims of psychological abuse are going through. The parents’ stand at each end of the rope tugging while the children stand in the middle with the rope rapped around their necks chocking them. On the one hand, we do not want to give up the fight for our rights to be a parent to our children. While, on the other hand, each time we fight back, the children and we are put through horrific psychological abuse. We are pulling on the end of this rope that is tied around our children’s neck as they stand in the middle between their mother and father. The person with either the most money or most control is the winner and that is not necessarily the best parent.
I would analogous this to the King Solomon story. Two mothers claim to be the mother of one precious little boy. King Solomon cannot decide which mother is telling the truth, so he decides that the only way to solve this is to cut the boy in half, giving each mother one half of the boy. The true mother turns to the King and says, “I cannot do that to my son, please do not do this and just let the other woman have him. King Solomon knew at that moment, which mother was the true mother as she was the one to give up her precious son to save his life.
What this means to this analogy of the tug of war is that if we drop our end of the rope, the other side is going to fall flat on their backs. It may not happen right away but eventually they fall. Letting go of our end of the rope does not mean that we do not care, what it means is that we care too much to watch our children suffer. It does not mean that we have to stop keeping in contact, we just find another way to do it that is less toxic. If we drop out of the fight or tug of war, then the other side has no one to fight with.
This is about choosing which battles to fight and how to fight when we have to. It is about understanding that we cannot change the alienator. They are who they are. What we can change is how we respond and react to them. What it means is that when we are in front of that judge, we look him straight in the eye and we say, I love my child too much to put them through this. My child means the world to me, but they do NOT belong in the middle of this tug of war that has been created and that is choking the life out of my children. This is like the King Solomon story with the two mother’s claiming to both be the mother of a boy. The true parent is the one that knows it is not worth the child’s life to destroy them in this fight. All I ask is that your court order my ex-spouse into specialized counseling for Grief and Anger Management and impulse control, so that my children can move forward in a positive way with their relationship with both of us.