…#2. The Inevitable Conflict.
I hate the word “amicable” these days. It’s supposed to mean: Characterized by or exhibiting friendliness or goodwill; friendly (www.thefreedictionary.com).
What it actually means is this: Pretending to be friendly and get on, while underneath you really want to slap the other person. Hard. Or run away. Or both.
Now, this blog isn’t meant to be a public dig at my Ex (I sincerely doubt he reads this blog anyway, but if he does that suggests a whole other pile of issues we need to work through). It’s meant to be a blog discussing the inevitable conflict that arises with every divorce, however amicable, with particular reference to mental ill-health.
Conflict = one big, nasty, negative set of emotions.
BPD = a condtion which leads to exaggerated negative emotions.
Great…the perfect combination!
Now, when I was diagnosed with BPD in 2009, I was also diagnosed with Avoidant Personality Disorder, defined by Wikipedia as:
“a Cluster C personality disorder recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders handbook as afflicting a person when they display a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation, and avoidance of social interaction.
Combine the two and basically I want to avoid any kind of conflict with anyone. The thought of someone “evaluating me negatively” fills me with every kind of spooked feeling. The thought of annoying someone, of making them pissed off with me…it’s anathema to me!
So, when faced with trying to arrange a divorce, you can imagine how well I cope! The first thing to sort is The Porglets. Currently, they “live” with the Ex, thanks to my prolonged hospitalisation and the fact he can’t appear to get over the fact I’m doing a whole lot better, and then some! I want to be an equal parent. I never signed away my parental rights or responsibilities, and I want to be able to fulfill them.
I’m not asking for sole custody; just my fair share of time with our children. I won’t go into details, because then it’ll turn into a rant and that’s not what this blog is about. But, suffice to say, I’ve been trying to arrange mediation and it’s been a bloody long slog. And when you hate conflict because it makes you feel utterly overwhelmed and “want-to-hide-under-the-bed-until-it-all-goes-away”, it’s even more of a slog.
Every fibre of my being wants to forget it. The thought of having to stand up to the Ex and clearly state a rational argument as to why he should treat me as his equal…*shudder*. Do I really have to go through with that?
Well, yes I do. Because I want to be the best possible parent to The Porglets. They’re doing really well at the moment, but I want them to do better (and no, that’s not my perfectionism creeping in!). I want them to have time to do their homework each night, then play. I want to spend time with each of them, one-to-one, to talk over their day. To discuss Rainbows, Brownies and any school activities. To be there for them, no matter what, no matter when. And that IS worth the fight, the fear and the “ohgodohgodohgodohgod” feelings.
It’s all summed up in the Mother’s Day card I received this year from Porglet Minimus. Definitely worth the conflict. It’s time to roll up my sleeves and fight for what I believe in, no matter how difficult.