I Am The Stream

the-missouriI thought about posting the most damning quotes from the emails received from Mark in the last few days. I thought I might even write about how Mark is telling Will that while every boy needs a mom, they don’t need a mom who poisons them with the hate they feel for that boy’s dad. I thought I’d even post entire copies of those emails. (Trust me. They far exceed the 1000 word limit that a lot of bloggers prefer.) I thought of posting his criticisms and defending myself. His writings further prove his disorder, so it certainly would be more fodder for this blog.

And when I pictured myself typing those things, I saw battery acid oozing out of my finger tips. The acid flowed over the keyboard and cemented the keys, so that I could no longer type.

I can’t type that negative stuff.

I can’t give more life to his hateful words.

It was the night before Father’s Day, when Will read Mark’s recent email out loud. The kids didn’t cry. They didn’t pace the floor and exclaim that they don’t understand how their dad could write such things. They didn’t beg to sleep in my bed because they were so hurt or bruised by Mark’s words.

They shook their heads in disbelief and confusion.

They looked at each other, and at me, and said, “What is he talking about, Mom? Do you think he has ‘mental health issues’?” (Their words, not mine.)

“Mom, he’s not even talking about the stuff we’ve been talking about. It’s all about him, and the money he makes, and the trips he’s taken, and the difficult mountains he’s hiked.”

“Mom, what does that have to do with the problems with us?”

And I couldn’t answer them.

I couldn’t care enough to answer them. I couldn’t get myself worked up enough to defend myself from his written attacks. I just looked at them and smiled and said, “Let’s not get upset about this latest email.”

And I told them more …

“We can be like streams. We can flow gently. We can flow around. We do not need to get angry. Your dad needs to write these things. We may not understand why he needs to. We may not even understand what his words mean. We don’t have to figure it out. We can flow around and through those words. We do not have to act on them. We do not have anything to apologize for. We do not have excuses to make.

We have kindly told him how you have gotten your feelings hurt. We have respectfully told him that you would also like to be treated with respect.

When he treats you in a hurtful way, you can flow around those hurts. You can’t change how he treats you. Flow around him.”

I have written this before.

It bears repeating.

The lesson for us is this:

We cannot change the treatment. We can change our reaction to the treatment.

We will try to flow around the bad treatment. Maybe Mark will one day figure out that his writing is so much battery acid on wounds that are already open and bleeding.


Yesterday I reminded them that it was Father’s Day. I did not make them call their dad. I did not encourage them to make him a heartfelt homemade card. I did not attempt to explain how his feelings would be hurt if he did not hear from them. I have done all those things in the past. I will not do those things any more.

They did not call their dad yesterday.

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  1. You climb to a higher plain all the time. And you bring your kids along with you. What an example they have in you.

  2. YES!!!!

    (I would have typed it larger if I could have).

    Lovin’ you guys LOTS!

  3. There is a sign in my office that says “How people treat you is their karma; how you respond is yours.” I may have gotten it from you – it’s a Wayne Dyer quotation.

    Wherever I got it… it’s right on…and so are you.

    Thanks for the Father’s Day company – my dear ol’ dad was in seventh heaven!

  4. Susan,

    LOVE that quote. You didn’t get it from me.

    I’m putting that one up with the others on my kitchen cupboard.

    We had a blast with you all this weekend. Thanks for including us.

  5. Yes! That is a beautiful way to put it – be a stream, flow around the hurt.

    When things were bad, my ex would write ridiculous emails. And I, of course, would write back trying to defend myself. But you can’t defend yourself against craziness. So I stopped. And the emails stopped. I can’t imagine what would possess a grown man to send those kind of emails to his kids but I guess I wouldn’t call your ex a “grown” man in the emotional maturity sense . . .

    So glad you’re getting stronger against this stuff.

  6. I’m starting to think there is nothing more dangerous than a long-winded adult, with a 6 year old’s maturity level, and an email account.

    And, yes, being the stream helps to keep our blood pressure from spiking. It reminds me of my priority to pursue a life of harmony. But it’d be sweet if the stream could flood and take Mark out with it.

    See? I’m not as evolved as I try to be. ;)

  7. Evolved?

    You are an honest human.

    And that IS evolved.

    Just keep flowing………

  8. Donna,


    (don’t know how to make that bigger.)

  9. Oh my, I am LOL…thank you for this: “I’m starting to think there is nothing more dangerous than a long-winded adult, with a 6 year old’s maturity level, and an email account.”

    In my case I would have to change the email account to a big mouth, because he is too crafty and covers his tracks so he is very careful what he says in email. He just verbally attacks behind closed doors. I keep thinking I want to secretly video tape him. Is that bad? I have this fantasy of showing him the tape and he snaps out of his NPD fog and cries for forgiveness and changes forever…and they all ride away in the sunset happily ever after.


    Thanks for the river flowing analogy. I will share that with my darling son.

  10. LD,

    I had that fantasy for a long time, too. The one where a counselor or an expert calls NPD to his attention and the planets align and all would be right with the world.

    What a huge waste of time that was.


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