Part I--the Bad & the Ugly
This has been both a wonderful, yet stressful weekend. I was blessed with many great things, yet I also now have to deal with the negative aspects of having gone public. I hate ending a blog post on a low key, so I'll start with the bad and the ugly first.
While things have been going great, so far, I was sitting by bed on Saturday when the phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, so ignored it in favour of continuing with what I was doing. The phone rang two or three more times before finally stopping; there was a voice mail. Thoroughly exhausted after another another day of non-stop visitors and calls, I let my curiosity get the best of me and I checked the voice mail. It was from my husband...in Egypt...telling me that he "knew everything" and was going to return to Canada as soon as he could, unless he heard back from me.
There are a few problems with this:
- He is abusive. He was abusive towards me throughout our marriage, and continues to be so when he doesn't hear or get exactly what he wants. This includes verbal, psychological and occasionally, physical abuse.
- He is abusive towards the girls. He is mostly verbally and emotionally abusive, but it's not beyond him to be physically abusive when certain buttons are pushed. Remember that these are young children! When most of this occurred while in his care, they were 6-7 and 7-8 years old.
- He is psychologically unstable. According to DSM-IV, an adult needs to meet a minimum of 3 out of seven criteria/symptoms for at least 6 months in order to be diagnosed with PPD (Paranoid Personality Disorder). He met all seven criteria.
This means that the girls had minimal contact with the community at large, never had friends, rarely got out for exercise and fresh air and if some friendly person on the bus would (of all the possible horrors!) actually say hi to them and perhaps ask their age (as friendly strangers often would ask young children), they were not allowed to answer back.
Since they were still being homeschooled (dad refused to school them because he felt that the work involved for HIM--not the girls took up too much of his valuable time. As you can see, it's not the girls' best intesest he's looking out for, but his own.
- The girls are scared to death of him. It took over six months for them to feel safe in his care and now he wants to pop up into their lives and return them to the misery they were previously forced to live in? My older daughter was shaking when she realized that his return could imply their return to his primary care.
These are only the tip of a very large iceberg. Because he is losing control over where the girls might end up (despite repeatedly "firing" their guardian and expecting me to move them out), he'd rather give up his only chance for a career in Canada in exchange for rushing back here without a job, a home, or any support network to do what? He has no plan whatsoever...at least nothing that is workable. What will he do? Take the girls and house them in a shelter instead?
It looks like your donations will find a need indeed, so to those of you who found it in your hearts to share your generosity, I thank you. I have a feeling that a lawyer may soon be required and legal aid (which is NOT free in Alberta, but they make the payments affordable) refused my previous request for help in varying the parenting order for this exact reason; not wanting to put the children through constant drama and psychological trauma.
Like everyone on this vast planet, I'm not perfect. I have good personal qualities, as well as bad ones. The difference is that I'm willing to admit my shortcomings and work on improving them. He doesn't think he has any. Like any mama bear, I will do everything I can think of in order to assure the safety and well-being of my proverbial cubs.
More about the good parts of this weekend coming up shortly.