Exchange Approaches

The extended visitation is over tomorrow.  Tomorrow, I have to drive to get my children back from Bubba.  This means that sleeping this week has been all over the place.  I toss and turn and have nightmares.  This week my dreams have been peppered with more than their fair share of Celia and Butch.  Usually I just dream about Bubba.  This week, though, I’m dreaming of the FOO (Family of Origin).

Last night’s dream was particularly horrendous for me.  I stood up for myself and Celia and Butch did not react well.  It started with Butch handing me a dirty diaper (that was kind of oozy) and demanding that I take it outside and throw it away.  He shoved it into my hand so I was left holding it before I realized what happened.  I folded it together and secured it with the tapes and then threw it away right in the pile of garbage they had sitting there.  That wasn’t good enough for Butch and he started badgering me about it.

I left the room for a few minutes and decided that I was going to tell them that I was leaving.  I walked back into the room where they were and said, “I am no longer a child.  I am a grown woman and though I’m your daughter, you may not treat me like a child.  I deserve to be treated like an adult.”  They asked me where this was coming from, they acted offended that I would dare say such things to them.  Then Butch asked me what happened to his sweet little girl and why was I talking to them like this.  I told him that I was sick of them walking all over me.

Then I brought it up.  The one thing I still desperately want to know, want to understand.  I asked them how they could side with Bubba against me in the divorce.  I asked how they could try to take my children away from me. They tried to change the subject.  Celia laid down on the couch and said she had a headache and couldn’t think about this.  I was in tears, begging them to explain it to me because I want to understand what makes a parent turn on their child in that way.  They had no answer for me other than that I’d changed and wasn’t who I used to be.  Butch touched my arm.  In my dream, I could protect myself.  I told him not to ever touch me again.  He touched my arm again.  I told him I was done and that I was leaving.

I walked out of the door and texted Treun.  It was late and I knew he was already in bed, but I asked if I could come over.  That is when I woke up. I didn’t stay asleep long enough to see if Treun responded when I needed him.

The nightmares ramp up any time I approach a big exchange like this.  Sleep becomes elusive.  I tossed and turned so much last night that I’m afraid to even attempt to make my bed.  I know my covers are all over the place because I was all over the place.  Bubba has been behaving himself during exchanges for a long time now.  There is no logical reason to believe that that will change now.  However, I also know that as soon as I let my guard down, I will regret it.  If he senses any type of opening, he will take it.  I will not give him that opportunity.

I will adhere to my plan.  I will remain in my car, eyes forward, and not even acknowledge that he is there.  I will wait until all the doors are closed before I greet the children.  I will go an exit down, pull over, and kiss and hug my kids.  I will seek and maintain as much safety as I can during this exchange.  I will pray for the best and prepare for the worst.

I will hope.

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