> No More Secrets And Lies: Really Bad Bad-mouthing

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Really Bad Bad-mouthing

A few days later, on New Year's Eve, Josie and Grace came over to my apartment to tell me they were frightened by some things they heard their mom saying to Mary about me — bad-mouthing — but now seemingly worse than ever. They used the word "continuously." They were alarmed by what they had witnessed: their mother and their aunt talking openly about me and some money I would be getting, or something like this. They wondered why adults would be talking about these things openly, in front of them.

"Dad, they said you shouldn't be getting this money. Why would that matter to them? Why would they be talking about this?"

They were as concerned about their mom's reluctance to hide her talk about me as they were about what she was saying, and it was apparently so shocking to them, that they felt I needed to know. They were worried for me.

I knew my ex-wife had always bad-mouthed me in front of the girls, but this was different. This was stepped up. This was constant. I also knew the girls hated family conflict more than anything and seldom fanned these flames. So for them to tell me their mom was saying even worse things about me meant it had gotten so bad they were willing to risk creating even more family conflict in order to stop this bad-mouthing. They were afraid for their Dad.

And now I was afraid too. 

And even Grace, whose relationship with me was already showing the effects of bad-mouthing, was concerned by what she had seen at her mom's house — especially now that her mother and her aunt were both doing this.

I tried to imagine what these two adults might have been saying to Mary that had my two girls so alarmed. The girls had seen bad-mouthing before, but it was obvious something now was worse: that whatever it was now must have crossed a line they could no longer ignore.

And it made me wonder if what they saw was worse than bad-mouthing — like maybe threats — threats to Mary that she would be sent back to a group home if she had anything to do with me. But then, I had no way of knowing.






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