The LDS Proclamation of the Family States:
that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."
As the Father of my children, is swift to anger, and stays there for a bit, with little provocation, I've always tried to protect my children by directing his anger away from them. Well actually, that's not true. I failed in many occasions, when they were small, to stand up for them. But the day of my youngest child's last birth, a deceased grandparent pleaded with me to stand up for my children. I don't think she was happy with the then, recent suicide.
Anyway, from that point on, I was determined to protect my children, even at the cost of the relationship with my husband, that I held so dear.
Now, I was always dreadfully careful to NEVER say anything to my children's Father that would provoke him against the children. For example, our oldest was unable to process 2D information when he was small. What I mean is, he really didn't get paper, writing, pictures, so much as real physical objects. When I gave him paper and crayon, he didn't understand the process of writing on the paper. He would just make some physical 3D thing out of the paper. He didn't pic up art, and drawing until much later. Despite my fears, he turned out to be an amazing artist. When his father was away in China, I tried to show him pic of dad, but he didn't even get that the pics were of his father, or why I was trying to show them to him. The pics were 2D. It just annoyed him. But when he saw an airplane flying high in the sky, he'd say "Daddy, Daddy", and point up to the sky. Even just a few days ago, now that he is in his 20's I asked him about 2D vs. 3D. Yep, he had a very strong opinion of how the brain processed the two. Back in China, when his father asked about how he responded to me showing our son his picture, I didn't know how to explain it without his father taking it personally and hating his son. I danced around it poorly. It provoked him against me, but not our son. Which is far better in my book. Our son has an amazing ability to process 3D.
During the whole divorce process and after, I worked desperation to keep the Children in their Father's lives. I even moved the children to the community, another state, where His family lives, when his ... lived there.
Making it frustrating, I was terrified of his temper, and leaving the children alone with him. So, when the police said that Mathew would be sent to Anger Management if I cooperated with Domestic Violence Prosecution, Oh, I was all over that! When Mathew continued to try to Dominate with both a Protection Order and a No Contact Order, the Prosecution used the excuse that his Anger Management was out of State and not Certified for our State, and made him take it all over again. So he had double the Anger Management. That was awesome.
The Anger Management Classes, and the positive influence of his Sister, helped him sooo much. He started to do much better with the children. Their relationships improved, and they even wanted to go for his parenting time. The children improved. He started to take God Given responsibility for his relationship with the children.
Later under a negative influence things became far worse. Someone kept provoking him to hate and anger toward his children, and even persuades him that he is righteous to reject and neglect them. Now, as LDS we are taught that we have certain absolute obligations to our children. Something far more than just paying child support.
Only the most corrupt of human beings reject their children. That was actually a big concern of mine. When the divorce started, he showed little concern for them, and spent little time with them. One child he completely rejected. Two children he favored. After he left for China, as our precious little child was admitted to the ICU for a serious condition, I was dumbfounded by his absolute corruption. As I spent days in the hospital I pondered his condition. If a parent is so corrupt that they don't care for their children, is it better that that parent be completely out of the child's life? I mean, Darth Vader was a sucky Father. It was best for Anakin's kids to hide out during their development. So if a parent doesn't care about their kids, is it better for the child, to just let their parent disappear in China and never come back?
Or, since all he ever talked about was "manipulation" which made no sense to me, maybe it meant that he could be manipulated. I didn't understand the concept of manipulation. Looking back, to that point the only manipulation I'd done, was anger redirection away from the kids. Now, I considered "manipulating" him into caring for the kids. Just your basic "You can't have the kids". Only the worst way possible, but the only way I could see it possible to get him to take an interest in our children. It's dangerous and I'd never recommend it. "You can't have the kids, but hey, I'm moving to the community your family lives in, far way from mine." Yeah, how obvious is that?
It worked, it scared the living crap out of me. He was violently angry toward ME for a long time. But, the kids finally had him in his life. It did require state protection for me. But, he desperately did everything he could to prove to his family and the state that he was a great father to his children. He drove many hours every weekend through dangerous roads, to be with them. He made changes in his career for them. He sacrificed for them.
Again Don't Try This At Home...
That was one of my theories about him and the concept of love. We loved him freely and sacrificed for him freely. The theory that when we willing sacrifice for others, that it increases our love for them. We sacrificed everything we could possibly sacrifice for him, and his education. That increased our love for him, but not his for us. So I theorized that if he willingly sacrificed for his children, HE would love THEM more. Now, he did work hard jobs previously to care for his family, but that was begrudging, and led to hostility to the children and me.
But, "Hey, I'm a great dad, I'm doing all this for my kids." is different. Mathew worked his butt off, and this time, his love for his children improved, and made him a better man.
He made tremendous progress, and his children enjoyed the blessings of his love and caring. The children made amazing progress from his love time...
Then, an evil influence came into his life and pursuaded him to turn his children away. Much of the progress he made with the children regressed. The evil influence pursuaded to believe and entertain every evil thought possible toward his children. This hurt the children deeply.
It became next to impossible to get the kids in the car to go to Dad's house. But, I always took the blame silently for their late arrival. A mother will never, ever, allow the anger of a Father to be directed toward his kids. After all those years of protection, the evil influence, directed as much hate and anger to our kids. Only the purest evil directs hate of a man to his children.
Oh, how I have feared for my kids since. The evil words spoken to my children, has broken their hearts so many times. The cost to them has been horrific. Raising teenage children in that situation was overwhelming. So many times I regretted teaching my children to love their father so much. So many times I regretted everything I did to keep them in his life.
Oh, I have mountains of stories to tell, but I can't because it's about the kids.
God has moved mountains to protect them to. There were times, I was given a warning from God a week before. "Natalie, be careful and protect your children." The next week I had to send my son to Montana to protect him from his father. The Lord walked me as carefully as he could through that minefield. But, I still wept for my children's protection that week. I was that under that influence, he he seemed more than happy to... hurt.
I love my children desperately. Oh, how I have wept for them. I tried to find another man who would loved them as their father should have. That was a disaster. But, hey, it cured me from ever feeling lonely again.
Now, I see my children pay a terrible price. My children have lived without the protection of a father. I tried, but it was never enough. I'm horrified of all they have been through. I'm angry. I'm disgusted.
The evil influence even pursuaded him that he is righteous to discard his children and to violate his scared obligations to his children. That it somehow makes him closer to God. The hurt he's inflicted runs so deep, sometimes I wonder if certain children will ever heal.
So much time, effort, and money has been spent trying to help the children heal, when all they ever needed was a Father that cares enough to spend more than money, but TIME, and emotional sacrifice for their kids. Money is crap. Money is only worth the good you can do with it. That's it. If you can do good without the money, wonderful. You can spend time, sacrifice emotionally, and build a relationship with your child to heal them emotionally. Or you could spend money on counselors and meds. It's a simple choice. Sadly, no amount of medication can heal a broken heart. Love is sacrifice.
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
My children have always needed and loved their Father. They've always been willing to forgive them. They've always wanted him desperately in their lives.
I used to wonder how we would teach our children about unconditional love. Their unconditional love for him amazes me. But, at the same time, it hurts them deeply.
I know that all parents will be held accountable for their efforts. When we decide to create a child, we enter into a contract with God the Creator for the Love and Caring of that precious life. This contract, we can never exit from. Even in death, parents watch over their children as much as they can. Those who fail that contract, fail to even try to fulfill that contract...
I've failed in so many ways, but I've stayed in the battle. I've never quit, no matter how discouraged and beaten down. I Love My Family. I've done everything I possibly can for them. I will continue to do everything I can for them.
On one occasion, I could see a certain danger for a certain child. I prayed about it and asked God what to do. The answer I got, was the child's father. I asked the child's father, the child's father refused, and explained how his refusal was righteous while my request was unrighteous. That child needed it's father desperately at the time. The child fell into the danger and was seriously damaged by it. It was a danger only a loving Father could have protected it from. Sadly, I know that the Lord knew the child's Father would refuse. The request was just to give him accountability. He won't be able to say at the Last Day, "Oh, Natalie wouldn't let me." It's on him.
I've tried to teach my children to look at their Father, and Me, and others honestly. Look at our strengths and weaknesses honestly. Evaluated our strengths. Evaluate our weaknesses. Know that neither the strengths or weakness have anything do to with them, but who we are. Our strengths and weaknesses may affect, effect them, but is not caused by them.
Know the strengths and weakness of someone else, never depend on their weaknesses, and it will protect you. If you know your father or mother or someone always responds a certain way, that is what they do. They respond a certain way. That is about them, not you.
Don't ever put yourself in a position to be hurt by that weakness. You don't step on a bad board you can see on a bridge... Once you know where the bad boards are, you can hopefully cross the bridge. Sadly, some bridges have too many bad boards, and are impassable.
That's how to forgive a jerk of a parent. Just realize what they do wrong is not about you. It is their weakness, not yours. Give them the ownership of their weaknesses.
You cannot build a Celestial future on a foundation of the crushed souls of your children.
Child abandonment is not a parenting technique .