There but by the Grace of God go I

Everyone has their secret story to tell. You hear all kinds of horrors, you can’t imagine. It is not that I like to pry. I belong to a single parent support group and the women are not loath to share. They reveal some very tough situations and how they survived. Money is a big issue as well as an ex who does not cover the agreed upon alimony. Then there are numerous tales of how hard it is to raise children alone. I can sympathize although I try to make do the best I can. I am grateful that I am not in the same boat as many of the other mothers. The group helps everyone learn to cope and telling your story is a way to relieve stress. I wish people would report happier times, but I guess they are few and far between. I can’t imagine that there aren’t happy single parents out there making a success of it.

The worst story I heard from a mother was about her dangerous ex. It is sad that she feared him and felt unsafe most of the time. He had to come visit his daughter so she could not restrict him from the house by law. She never welcomed his visits in spite of her daughter’s need to see him. He was a nasty sort who had a criminal record. Someone you can never trust. She never wanted to leave her child with him and insisted that they visit in the house. There were often words between them that were more than intimidating. If she were not available on a day they agreed upon, he was hostile and belligerent. I am so lucky not to be in this kind of situation. I can hear the other mothers thinking there but by the grace of God go I. The kind of woman who joins a support group is usually someone in a dire situation and they need moral support. I was the least traumatized of the group. When I heard that this woman with the evil ex had a concealed carry holster for women that she always wore to protect herself, I was not surprised.

Of course, she has yet to use it but she did say that one time during a terrible argument with her ex, he threatened her life. While she was not sure he meant it, she brought out the gun and set it beside her. She didn’t point it at him as that would have been aggressive. She just wanted him to know that she lawfully had a weapon. She said the tactic worked and she didn’t hear many more tirades pouring forth from his mouth. He was taking her seriously. He promised to be better behaved, perhaps himself in fear of his life. People do rash things when they are angry. It was time to call a truce between the two of them. The weapon served as a symbol of retaliation and a deterrent.