Why I shared the info about Leo's ebook is because when I read it, I recognized the baby steps. Then I recognized how I was already practicing and seeing them actually WORK. Then I also saw how easy it was to have a bad day and forget the practice/action of it.
The reminder today couldn't have been at a better time.
The more I let go and it shows, the crazier NPDstbXWH becomes.
Before when trying to discuss kid things he'd not want to hear what I had to say so he'd start an argument that quickly devolved because I would be so incredibly flabbergasted at his warped (lying) reality and feel the need to correct it.
There is so much power in being able to see yourself walking through Leo's steps:
stbX "You don't even appreciate all those years I put you through college".
In my head "OMG?! what?! I was done with all but a year of my bachelors when I met you and I paid for that out of my 401k from work for that last year and I worked 60 hour weeks while taking two full semesters. and now - grad school - I've worked 60 hours a week to support us and you haven't worked in years and you've spent all my loan money!"
*seeing the ideal
*seeing the harm
*letting go (with love) parentheses mine because I have to remember letting go with love can mean with love for myself not asshole.
*seeing reality (or in my case - seeing the real reality not th reality that crazy man would like me to see)
And its nearly comical to sit back and watch X keep testing the electric fence of my letting go skills like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park.
It works when I feel the need to have a say for "my side" when he's being warped. If I feel he's misrepresented me to my son and its that concerning I explain to my son but most times I don't even get started and my 11yo says "you don't have to explain, I know mom".
It works when I feel the need to speak up on behalf of my son to X. There are more appropriate places to do that - with other people who are there for him.
It works when I feel the need for more rational and adult communication re: kid stuff. Now I can let it go and just realize coparenting is just another concept the neanderthal will never understand and as my brother puts it "just do whatever the hell you want, what is he going to do about it besides yap?"
It works when I have moments of weakness and let X's put downs and criticisms of me, my appearance, my health, ....mean too much to me.
The letting go doesn't just free ME - it totally takes away X's power and it SHOWS. I hope to practice this enough to get good at it so my son can adopt it as well. He is too much like me and therefore has the same problems interacting with his father but he so wants his love and approval he's willing, at 11, to put himself through hell for it. And X knows it and uses it. (isn't that kind of a definition of psychopath? or am I wrong?)
Until I read Leo's steps today I hadn't even recognized a pattern to the successful letting go's vs. the not successful ones.
There is the "compassionate" portion of Leo's message I can almost see too. Except I am actively shutting that off because I can't seem to commit to it totally without the expectation that it won't just set X off to be even more of a total tool. He views it as something to take advantage of. I haven't found the way to NOT let that happen.