Tiger by the Tail

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I so value the hard questions because that is where so very much lies. I was surprised at my difficulty last night when I was asked some of those questions, what I thought were the answers I came to discover were just a minuscule drop in the bucket. In just over a week, my ex walked into my home twice; neither time was an invitation extended, oh to the contrary,  I have court papers dated a many years ago which are to prevent him from taking such liberties. Both times were quite a violation but the second sent me into a panic. In one of those quiet moments in a conversations when it is difficult for one to express and for the other to listen, I was asked why I allow him to continue to do so.

While I did my best to try and express the why, I am not sure I fully understood until hours of contemplation later. I suppose in the beginning when these instances were much more grey as well as more frequent, I accepted those violations albeit with fear and trepidation because I had convinced myself this would end when I was awarded exclusive occupancy of the house years past they became less frequent. For many years during the marriage I had thought his actions were beyond control until one evening when his rage shifted from the dog to me.  At that point I learned his actions were a calculated balance between control and wrath. I would assume this is the same.

As a person who has built her life around numbers, I can quickly calculate odds and probability. I have mastered the risk assessment, weighing in the benefits outweigh the potential damage; a skill learned from living hypervigilantly.  I am unsure why I was not applying the same thought to this situation. I was facing defending my privacy and security.   I had made a promise to myself  to never ever be controlled by that type of fear again and at the point I was asked I had the sad realization I still was.  I value the fact it was pointed out to me;  it took courage and trust to express something that difficult to say.  Through hours of quiet contemplation and silence I realized that I had allowed the fear I felt in every incident  to culminate into overwhelming anxiety.  I was equating the potential outcome from a confrontation about this situation into a combination of all those situations and was assuming it with certainty while in reality many of those instances were spaced apart with minimal predictability.  Although not always they were typically in the evening after some drinking and almost never in front of the children nor other witnesses.

I am waging the farm on the fact that the outcome of setting my boundaries and enforcing my right to privacy and security will have a minimally confrontational impact.  The next time he walks into my home without invitation, which shall never again be extended, I will ask him to leave reminding him he is not welcome inside the walls of my home; refusal to do so shall result in a call for escort by the brave men in blue.  The chances he will make a scene in front of the children should be minimal and other fallout will be ignored or cast aside.  Entering the premise when no-one is home will result in additional paperwork for the same men in blue.

When grabbing a tiger by the tail, one must consider all potential outcomes and I suppose there could be a few. He may respect what was said and politely comply, the least likely possibility but I suppose the law of large numbers says anything is possible.  He may be disgruntled yet eventually concede and move on to other things which is likely, but he is more likely to offer his favorite response, fury.  Finally he may take it as a challenge and look for additional ways to play his preferred mind games.  I suppose I will now a wait and see how to respond to the fallout.

“The best fighter is never angry.”  ― Lao Tzu

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