Growing up my mother would occasionally say no to something that seemed like a no-brainer to me. My response was always “but mom why?!” Sometimes she would have a reason and other times her response would be “because I said so”. I’m sure every person can relate to this unnerving experience but what I have found is that only a few of us will grow up and suddenly realize the reason behind our experiences.
This past week I realized the importance of following your motherly intuition. I called my ex-husband and his mother (he is currently living with her) and asked if there would be a good day Elizabeth could come spend the day because my family was coming into town the next weekend and I knew there wouldn’t be an opportunity for them to see Elizabeth. We coordinated our schedules for Elizabeth to spend Sunday afternoon with them while I worked. Saturday afternoon I received a call from her Nana asking if Elizabeth could possibly come spend the night instead of just spending Sunday afternoon with them. Now this is not unusual and normally I would have said yes because it gives me a night off and I don’t have to rush around in the morning getting both of us ready. That afternoon though something kept me from saying yes. I used the excuse that I wanted to spend the evening with her and that they would just have to settle for Sunday afternoon. I didn’t consider this to be unreasonable because the fact is that I work extremely long hours and don’t have very many opportunities to spend time with Elizabeth so I cherish every minute I get with her!
The following morning came and we got ready to go and left in time to drop her off at Nana and Daddy’s and get me to work on time. I called Nana to let her know we’d be there in about 10-15 minutes and received some shocking news. My ex had gotten extremely drunk the night before and as usual had gotten violent (unfortunately there is a pattern here…). Refusing to play the role of a victim yet again, his mother had called the police and he was promptly marched off to a jail cell for the weekend.
The news hit me hard. It had been more than a year since his last episode of violence and I had honestly hoped that the violent part of his being had disappeared for good. As a woman fully aware of what these predators are capable of I had somehow convinced myself that maybe he would at some point mature enough to be an acceptable father to our daughter.
In a flash he erased all those feelings. It hit me like a ton of bricks that my baby could have been there during his tirade and God only knows what could have happened to her. It made me realize that as much as I would love for her to have a father around, I was not going to risk my daughter’s safety and more importantly I was not going to allow her to be raised where that kind of behavior is acceptable. There are several things about being a single parent that still scare the hell out of me but my biggest fear is that she will grow up and repeat my same mistakes simply because she doesn’t know what kind of behavior she should expect from the men in her life.
While statistics show that an extremely small percentage of these men can be rehabilitated and go on to live productive lives I urge women everywhere to remember that it is an EXTREMELY SMALL percentage! Keep in mind that the cycle of abuse is exactly that, a cycle. It starts with one relationship and proceeds to repeat itself in every generation afterward until someone puts their foot down and says it will stop here. I’m hoping that by following my motherly intuition I can save my daughter from growing up expecting that type of treatment. I know in my heart that every relationship will have its struggles, but it is most definitely not the ‘norm’ to be physically and/or emotionally abused. No person (man or woman) has to be subjected to that kind of treatment!
In closing, I want to remind every person out there that whether or not you’re a parent, you should always follow your intuition. It may not make sense right then, but let me assure you that time will offer an explanation and you will feel extremely satisfied with your previous decision!