Paper Tigers

While Mary tries to get an appointment for the two us with the supervisor at CPS, Eve is preparing for court next Tuesday. Family Court is a trigger because of all of the traumatic events that happen there. 

Most of us thought that court is where you go to find truth and protection.  We expected to be treated fairly and with respect.  As it turns out, we were lambs to the slaughter! 

 My ex-husband is delusional because he is mentally ill, but I don’t know what excuse family court lawyers, GALs, Commissioners, and Judges can use for getting these cases so completely wrong on every account.  Historically, they support the abusive parent, chastise the already traumatized targeted parent,  think that the pathological cross-generational coalition between the child and the abusive parent is a “healthy bond” and then abandon our children to the abusive parent.  Either by plan or default we were sentenced to a life of crushing sorrow without parole.  But we are trying to change that by confronting the courts with scientific information.

Eve is taking care to remind herself that she is the healthy parent, not the victim, and not the abuser.   But it is normal that when the stress rises, we are more prone to overreact.

I got this email from her a few days ago and responded with my best advice.

“Hi Kay,

I had a bit of a backslide today in energy.  I am interacting with my lawyer's office and they are scheduling a deposition for me and for my ex.  I am so full of fear as to what my ex's lawyer is going to pull.... all the old shit comes bubbling up to the surface.



I replied…

You are afraid of "paper tigers." 

A Paper tiger is a literal English translation of the Chinese phrase zhilaohu. This means that something only seems threatening but in reality is not a danger and cannot stand up to being challenged.

Think about what you are feeling frightened about.  There was a time and a day, not so long ago, when every narcissistic (borderline) ex-partner was a real threat. 

Our abusers plant helpless and frightening thoughts in our heads and cultivate them so we automatically fear them and their invisible manipulation and force field.   

Your fear is based on what has happened, not what is going to happen. 

Picture your ex as he really is;  disturbed, insecure, and desperate.   He is only threatening when he surprises you with crazy manipulation and excessive ranting.   But there is nothing left to surprise you with.  You know him better than he knows himself.  In gauging what he will do next, we might even be giving him too much credit.

You need to look at him realistically, now.  Listen to him, like you don't him.   Don’t respond; just acknowledge to yourself who this person really is.

If you’re still feel frightened then picture him as a potted plant.  How do you respond to a potted plant?   One day you simply won’t.  That is when the healing will come the fastest, but in the meantime, be the broken record of reason. 


 Any style will do.

Any style will do.

How do you respond to a potted plant?   Well, one day you simply won’t.  That is when the healing will come the fastest, but in the meantime,  don't try to make sense out of the ridiculous.  Be the broken record of reason. 

Here's an example:

Lance: blah blah blah blah lie, lie, lie, profanity, profanity... blah, blah , blah.

Eve:  What is your point?  That is not what we are talking about.   You're not making sense.   You seem stressed. 

(look at your lawyer and his, raise you eyebrows and sigh)

Lance: blah blah blah blah lie, lie, lie, profanity, profanity... blah, blah , blah.

Eve:  Can you please get on the same topic as the rest of us?  Nothing you say makes sense. 

Do you have leaves in your mouth?