You can call it whatever you want...
Updated: Apr 9
The fact of the matter is, the entirety of it is all just a show anyway.
I recently completed a multi month process that my state offers through the court system for parents. People who don't qualify for significant intervention but who do qualify as those who can't manage the situation without intervention. You only qualify if your lawyers recommend you and they have space for you and they decide that you are the appropriate candidates for the program.
We were supposed to do it last year, but my dad had a heart attack. Obviously that had a great impact on me and my children. It meant that child care would prove problematic and you are very literally NOT ALLOWED to have your kids around during "class".
I had many reasons to take issue with this entire process. Not the least of which was the fact that they had no appropriate parameters in place for people like me who are autistic. Additionally they made extreme points about how "irrelevant " they deem the past between partners.
That means that if you are in the class with a person who is guilty of significant and actionable offenses, such as actual assault and abuse, who happened to not be charged, they consider it an irrelevant factor. That is a huge problem for a number of reasons, but those reasons became even more overwhelming during the final class with the topic "forgiveness": of yourself and of your former partner.
As soon as I heard that, I essentially convinced myself that I would arrive at the finish line and fail class. I had to actively seek additional therapy sessions and speak at length with my attorney. The week was a nightmare. I was having anxiety attacks at the drop of a hat and was almost at the point of convincing myself that the class would have an expectation of exactly what it was I was supposed to say, word-for-word. The idea that I had to say the words "I forgive you" out loud...
to a person who assaulted me in front of witnesses and our children
to a person who committed years of intimate partner abuse
to a person who publicly outed me on social media despite the fact that they are a member of the LGBTQIA community
to a person who still actively denies having done any of those things, all of which I have evidence of and reports filed about
Yet because all of those are instances that happened in the "past history between us", I was told explicitly of the fact that I could not mention any of them. So when my former partner decided to say they forgave me "for filing for divorce", I nearly bit my tongue to the point of bloodshed to prevent myself from enumerating all of the reasons I had for filing.
I had to explain explicitly how neurodivergent trauma is handled. I had to be methodical in my word choice and very calculated in how I explained things, because no one (who is not like me), will understand that dealing with the person who caused the trauma, is the same as experiencing the trauma all over again...
It was however fortunate (at least in my opinion) that I do follow things like physics, chaos theory, multi verse, and other scientific principles. I was able to say with authenticity that I do accept there is a time in the future where a day may come that offering forgiveness to my former partner is possible and feasible. I was able to not break my moral and ethical code by stating it that way and by further explaining that at this moment and in this place it would be false and disingenuous for me to suggest that I have forgiveness to offer them.
No, I do not believe that day will come. I just accept the possibility a timeline exists where it "could".
Out of the entire group my former partner is the only one who was not offered forgiveness. While I cannot say it with any certainty, because I do not know the circumstances of anyone else's situation, I can only make what I find to be the rational assumption that none of them had to deal with actual assault and intimate partner abuse in their relationships. In each of those the people stated how much easier they found forgiving the partner instead of forgiving themselves.
I cannot realistically believe that someone who has been through such trauma as assault and intimate partner abuse, would consider it easier to forgive the person who inflicted that upon them. I base that on personal views as a survivor as well as being the child of a rape survivor.
According to the class leaders, my words were well considered and thought out and they respected the fact that we were still in the middle of our process. Whereas the other couples were further removed from it and things were not as fresh or recent for them. I was not told that I had to say those words and I was not told that my answer was unacceptable.
Meanwhile that same former partner is fighting the most obscene fights with me outside class, because the younger child is demonstrating that they have significant trauma about the last experience they had involving that person; where police had to be called because of the behavior my former partner engaged in.
First refusing to discuss the matter at all with the child claiming that somehow the memory was inaccurate, tho every other fact about what happened was accurate. (Only the child had it wrong?) Then having been called out for hypocrisy in another way (doing exactly what they refused to do at my suggestion simply because the tipic was one THEY decided was acceptable) magically decided the child brought it up and it was ok to be discussed.
And yet still, even then(!!), they tried to find ways to ask questions to implicate me and divert the topic. And when they couldn't get the answer they wanted from the child, I asked the question that they were trying to sidestep directly asking of the child because I know what the answer is. And of course the child answered exactly as I expected. "No, mama hasn't scared me."
Always know the laws of your state when it comes to recording.... I will never pass up an opportunity to protect myself and my children by recording anything and everything I am entitled to record. Too often I have had to say "well my lawyer has the audio from that event/conversation" to stop my ex from engaging in their lies.