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The heavy darkness bore down upon me until it forced me out of bed.  Unable to sleep or even breathe for its weight, there was no place of rest to be found for me tonight.

It has been over four years since he stormed out of our home in a fit of rage.  Two and a half years have passed since the divorce was finalized.  And, yet, on Thursday I received notification from the court that he has retained an attorney and filed a motion to have his domestic violence conviction set aside.

Merely checking the mail had no longer caused me horrific anxiety.  Now, that reprieve has passed, and I find myself avoiding the mailbox once again these last couple of days.

The DA’s office does not think I have a chance of winning should I request a hearing.  “He’s kept his nose clean in the eyes of the law before and since his conviction,” they claim.  The Chief Administrative Assistant was shocked the judge denied his motion to have this conviction set aside in 2011.  But, I had a newly signed personal protection order, and he angrily exploded in the courtroom, frightening others present.  The judge got to witness the narc’s other side that he typically reserves for private moments.

What do I have new since the 2011 hearing?  She reminded me……that was over four years ago.  He is threatening and manipulative with the children.  She responded, “That isn’t illegal.  That happens in a lot of families.”  In the eyes of the law that continued demonstration of poor character does not indicate that he is still a threat to us or anyone else.  Poor character is not against the law.  They do not see the continuum here.

So, I can’t sleep.

Why is he trying once again to have this conviction set aside?  What is his ultimate motivation?  Is it simply that he wants to open up the possibility of returning to a former line of work that is easier than the work he currently does?  Or, is he setting the stage for another ploy to gain custody?

The narc and I both know that the best defense is a good offense.  The best way to defeat an enemy is to remove their ability to attack you.  I am quite certain this latest motion of his is just that.  I know he would claim in court that it has everything to do with job hunting, as he would claim the abuse was an isolated incident.  But, I know he’s really just removing his weak spot–a conviction for a violent crime–in order to thwart my ability to counter attack should he go for custody again.

If I request a hearing and plead my case before the judge who listened compassionately to a child’s testimony of abuse and then awarded the abuser unsupervised visitation……..the judge who illegally awarded the narc, with a standing domestic violence conviction, a rifle and waved off my attorney’s protests that it broke federal law…….the judge whose own pastor came to court and sat with my ex’s nonbelieving family as “moral support”……….will he have a change of heart and validate my very real fears?   Or, will he once again side with the abuser and give him what he asks for?

The known-to-be-corrupt DA’s office isn’t even supportive.  They obviously don’t want to take this to hearing.  Last time, the Assistant DA did.  He was eager to keep the record in place.

If I request a hearing anyway and enter the courtroom alone, without the support of the DA, swimming upstream and fighting against everyone, and the judge orders the record set aside and sealed, the narc will be empowered by his success.  He will know for certain he has the best enabler he could ask for….the courthouse….covering for him.  That would most definitely give him the green light to fight for custody again.

Of course, any attorney would then argue that I’m just hateful and paranoid, a fantastic backdrop for a case of parental alienation, because I’m still holding on to this “one isolated incident” from eight years ago.  I’m still trying to make the poor narc pay in spite of him being a model citizen in all other regards.  Just another bitter woman.

And, I would miss work, lose clients, fall behind on the kids’ schooling, the children would miss out on extracurricular activities, and I’d be broke, living in squalor while trying to pay a worthless attorney to plead my cause, knowing full well he’d had a friendly dinner with the opposing attorney the night before and that my fate was decided before we ever stepped foot in the courtroom.  Every ounce of energy and every dime would go to contesting the narc and his latest antics.

My only other option is to not request a hearing and just allow the conviction to be set aside.  Go on with my life with no regard to what he may pull next.  Go to work, pay my bills, run the kids to birthday parties and dance classes and piano lessons, rebuild my credit with the dream of buying a modest home….live.  Live and breathe and sleep, trusting in God that He will protect us and has a plan in all of this mess.  Focus on a positive direction for the children and myself regardless of the narc’s latest antics.

He frequently said, “Bad attention is better than no attention at all.”  He loves to fight.  He loves contention.  He’s constantly agitated over some perceived injustice because others simply don’t treat him as special as he should be treated.  So, he slanders them and creates difficulties in their lives to make himself the center, as he feels he should be.  I don’t want to hand him that pleasure by charging into a losing battle.  “Supply” feeds the narc, and I’m simply finished being that source for him.  If his nourishment is cut off here, he will be forced to look for it elsewhere.  He needs it.  He craves it.  Like an addict, he is single-minded and focused as he seeks his next “hit.”

I panic at the thought of facing him in court again.  I have tremendous anxiety over the idea of him actually having the children in his custody!  But, at some point, we must go on with our lives and not live in continual reactivity to his demands for attention.  My time and money and energy must go into rebuilding a life worth living, not struggling with the vicissitudes of a life that I’ve extricated myself from.  And, I have to let the narc see there is nothing to feed on here.  Not any more.