Writing these posts churns up memories every time. Bad ones, good ones... ones that I find myself thinking about, others that I'd rather have forgotten completely.
But a recent reader comment stirred up a memory, one I'm rather proud of. The commentator attacked my mental stability and ability to raise children properly. Ten years ago, when my first custody case went to court, that same question was raised, and I found the answer.
My first ex and I had a nasty court battle. We both wanted full custody of our daughter and fought like dogs with her in the middle. The judge demanded we have psychological testing — I admit we sounded crazy, the lawyers heaping us with discrediting qualities at every turn.
Off I went to the city for multiple appointments and meetings with a very nice psychologist. She put me through a battery of tests to determine what sort of person I was, what type of personality I had, and what kind of single parent I would be.
I was more than a little surprised to hear her report to the judge that I was completely put together and in control and that, while I did tend to be emotionally responsive, I was extremely logical and... well, a bunch of good stuff. She made me sound like I could be president.
She made my ex sound just fine, too, though in very different words. We weren't the same person, after all. She also noted that his affection toward his daughter was above normal - not in a bad way. He was just clinging to what he could in a time that was really terrifying for him.
I hadn't thought about that psychologist for years. I was pleased for all of two seconds to be considered a fit parent and person that day....
And then I went back to living my life the best way I knew how, with my heart on my sleeve and my hopes held high. People would see what they wanted in me, and all I could do was my damndest.