The dagger of defeat, it’s a reality for a lot of us. Whether you were forced into being a noncustodial parent like I, or you’ve faced another challenge in your life that has crippled you unexpectedly and violently. Either way, it’s serious stuff, legit in its chosen method of dehumanization and involuntary take down of your very being.
This isn’t a place I chose; rather, it’s a place I was forced to enter while having to learn the art of acceptance, grace and healing.
Being a noncustodial parent has proven to be a living hell, in and of itself. On top of the mental trauma associated with that title, we are expected to become subservient to our ex’s because they were granted string-pulling power by some freakish, unintelligent, uncaring, square-shaped person in authority who failed (or didn’t care) to see the inhumanness of living life without our kids.
Harsh, yes. A lie, no.
Of course, some have branded themselves with this title willingly, others haven’t. Like me. And if you’re still here reading this, I feel safe in saying that it also wasn’t your choice, for whatever reason. I don’t need specifics and, frankly, no one else does either.
The last thing you need is another judge. Because, again, if you’re like me, 99.9% of the people you meet will immediately throw you, ever so sweetly, while smiling with sparkly teeth, into this very well-known place called Judgment Hell.
It’s the place a lot of us go when our screwed society says… if-you-have-this-title then this-is-where-you-belong. Of course, never caring, much less wanting, to hear about our story, our lives, our struggles, our pain. Besides, throwing us to the wayside is so much easier than actually listening and caring.
And you know what I’m talking about, don’t you? It’s okay to be honest. Really. It’s freeing. So go ahead, admit it. You’ve been placed into Judgment Hell by the rest of the world, haven’t you?
You’ve been bullied by your ex, or still are. You’ve been lied to by the courts and/or your attorney.
You’ve been the topic of conversation for friends and non-friends alike.
Your family doesn’t acknowledge you anymore because – how could you “walk out” on your kids?
Your friends abandoned you for more “stable” and title-less friends. It’s endless, and when it seems that no one understands, here I come out of nowhere to tell you that I do. Almost too good to be true, I know!
You’re still there, aren’t you? In the thick of it. Feeling the anger, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the loneliness, the unknown. All of it. And whether it’s only been a few hours, days, weeks, months or years, it still hurts like hell, doesn’t it? It does, it will, and if you’re any bit human like me, you will always feel it. Some days will be darker than others, just as some days will be brighter.
It’s like a double-edged dagger that has been roughed and primed, ready for pin-point insertion just under the rib cage, only to be turned and twisted so precisely that it causes you to gasp, not in pain, but rather in question as to why it chose you.
As you involuntarily reach for the dagger, desperately seeking another full breath, you are fascinated, yet somewhat bewildered by what you see – a familiar face, the person you loved, the person who you thought loved you, staring back at you, hand forcefully clutching the dagger with the darkest intent to destroy. You see this sparkle in their eye as if they secretly enjoyed watching you shrink silently under their hand of control.
Your eyes grow wide, full of anger, confusion and such a deep, deep, indescribable pain. A storm violently erupts within and you begin to experience this new kind of rain upon your tender, broken heart. It’s not just an ordinary rain. It’s a rain that promises to never end, a razor-sharp, please-end-my-life-now type of rain.
Your vocal chords have now immobilized, rendering you speechless with nothing more than groans of yet more questioning and confusion. Just as you think shock is about to carry you away, you watch helplessly as the smiles and sparkly teeth upon that dagger force themselves upward, effortlessly guided by that familiar hand, the one you used to hold and draw comfort from.
Even as shock begins to have its way, you are very cognizant of this moment. You feel the closeness of this now stranger as it hovers calmly and victoriously over your lowered form. As your eyes begin to close, you catch of a glimpse of that sparkle yet again, but this time in both eyes, oddly joined with a proud and confident smile, knowing your surrender is on their hands.
The rain has made its way around your cheekbones, over your lips and jaw, down your neck and has begun to drip… drip… drip…razor-sharp upon your gaping wound, stinging as it slices into the warmth of your dehumanized flesh. Your muscles now limp and your heart rate slowed; you know death is surely near.
Though weakness inhibits clear sight and you no longer feel pain, you follow the motions of this black form as it gently releases the dagger that is still nestled so deep within your being.
It leans forward, brushes your hair to the side and gently kisses your forehead, as if, for a moment, admitting and apologizing for the intentional pain it has inflicted.
The form now stands to turn and walk away, leaving you lifeless and begging for death in the cold, dark hands of… defeat.
And you feel that, don’t you? That dagger. Forcing upward, suffocating your will. Within a single breath, it alone has mutilated and single-handedly assassinated your every dream. Your life now resembles a living hell; days of constant heart pain, inner torment, outer afflictions and your voice remaining unheard. It’s a crippling pain, a misunderstood pain, an undeserved pain, and a forever pain. A pain that only a few will experience.
As the rain continues to drown, you lie there, curled in fetal form, frozen in disbelief, powerless, vulnerable and able to only utter one word.
But the power of your spoken word no longer has an authentic voice.
You now own a title that leaves all eyes blind, all ears mute, and all hearts turned cold.