Then DS,DD and I went to church, and on my way to pick up the kids from the children's area I saw the youth pastor and principal at my DD8's parochial school. He asked how I was doing. I asked, "actually I'd love to talk to you, do you have a minute?"
I asked him if WW had talked to him already. He said no. So we went into his office.
I told him as he was my child's pastor to please keep my confidence and he agreed. And then I told him. The whole thing. Tried to keep it about DD8, but went through everything, chronologically, since the church marriage retreat we went to at the end of 2012, her starting to text and talk with OM the next month, everything, up to the texts OM sent me accusing her of wanting to manipulate the court, his criminal record, and my belief that she is either NPD or BPD, and needs help.
I cried today. Big time. Men cry too.
He mostly listened, commenting on how excruciating spiritual and emotional pain I was, and said to let him know if there's anything beyond helping and giving special extra care to DD8 he could do and prayed with me. He told me he'd try to minister to STBXWW only if the opportunity presented itself and very tactfully (she doesn't go to the church anymore, but she can't avoid kids' functions at school), because they are an extension of the family. He's an extremely calm, quiet man, but I think I saw tears in his eyes, too.
Then, tears still in my eyes, we had to stop because I was woefully late to pick up my kids.
The ladies that take care of them weren't amused. But I'm getting used to dirty looks from church ladies seeing the newly divorcing man. And I had other worries in my mind.
Bad time for a relapse of anger and grief. I have my kids for a long period while STBXWW is out of town. At least they're very happy little babies, so I won't really be lonely. Tomorrow I see the L. And then after hopefully I can just think of my kids all week.
Hopefully he will be able to be there for your DD. Hope he also lets the church ladies know the reason you were a bit late ... smh. Saddens me how judgmental church people can be!
Hang tough and enjoy the kidlets!
One of the best things I ever did was tell DD's teacher (DD was then 8 also) what was going on. This teacher had been DD's kindergarten aide and had just started teaching 3rd grade, so she knew DD well. She took such great care of DD that year, and it was a tough year.
Don;t worry about the church ladies. They will soon notice that you are the one who is bringing the kids to church and functions. They will figure it out soon enough, and then you will be a hero in their eyes. But really, who cares what other people assume and think?
"'Cause there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew.
All the things you'd say, they were never true, never true "
Set Fire to the Rain
This is so that the file has the important events right away if this goes to trial, and so they have an idea of how badly they're going to fare out there and force them to negotiate.
So of course it was going to trigger all kinds of stuff.
And I have to re-review it tonight so he can have it in the morning. Take out as much emotion as I can. The judge will want to know who, what, when, why, how. Nothing else. That's what my L says. Emotions will kill you out there. But just be calm and show the evidence and the judge will get mad for you instead of against you.
Like they say, "he who cares least, wins".
I hope you feel better about talking to them.
Those ladies at church? Tell them. Not everything, but say sorry for being late the other day, that you're finding it hard at the moment & really appreciate them looking after your children. Get them on your side and you'll have some fierce supporters.
I told my DD's teacher after D-Day. She was really supportive (not to mention outraged on my behalf).
I'm glad you told the Pastor. You need to talk face to face to someone neutral.
So in order to make it clear what's really going on, to get the people around you who need to know (e.g. caretakers in your kids' lives) you have spell it out. They have to see that emotion from you. Otherwise you're right - they'll go straight to "typical divorced dad not doing it right".
And with kids, it's even more important that caretakers know the truth. Children show their stress in different ways and if caretakers don't know the full details, they'll misunderstand that acting out (or withdrawing in as the case may be).