A month ago Prince Charming filed violation papers against Maleficent.
After three years of trying to make things work in a civilized fashion, only to be slapped in the face repeatedly, he's finally taking the advice of his lawyer and Cinderella's law guardian.
They warned him after he won sole legal custody that Maleficent WOULD push the envelope and she WOULD screw up and he WOULD HAVE TO bring her back to court until she finally accepted her reality (while also cautioning that she may NEVER do as is typically the case with people suffering from untreated bipolar disorder).
Like me, he thought it could be avoided.
Like me, he thought they could work things out like adults.
Like me, he thought she would put Cinderella's needs and well-being above her own pettiness.
Like me, he was WRONG.
He tried. I tried. And Maleficent "tried" - but for only as long as she was given her own way and allowed to play the victim doing WHAT she wanted WHEN she wanted.
On the rare occasion she was told NO or expected to step up as a parent, things quickly went south.
Now Prince Charming has learned what Cinderella is being exposed to as a result of Maleficent's tantrums.
Lies. Disparaging remarks. Cursing and name-calling. Parental alienation.
His daughter is being mentally and emotionally abused at the hands of her "mother."
He can no longer look the other way or try to rationalize. He needs assistance.
Papers were filed in early January with the promise of a court date and notices being sent to our respective homes ASAP.
We waited. And I worried.
I worried that Cinderella would be with Maleficent when the court notice was delivered and that she would be exposed to her mother's rage.
Then Prince Charming was told the notices would be delivered during the week of Cinderella's late drama rehearsals. She would not be with her mother that week.
I was relieved. Hoping that would give Maleficent enough time to calm down and Cinderella would be spared any further harm.
That week came and went. No court notices arrived.
Prince Charming was then told the notices were going out the week of Cinderella's school break. Cinderella was home that week as well.
Again, I was relieved.
Still no notices came.
It took a personal visit back to the court house for Prince Charming to find out that a court date HAD been set, but that the judge changed it and NO ONE was notified. So the paperwork sat somewhere and the case was never reassigned on the calendar.
PC was promised this would be taken care of this week.
I wish I could stop myself from worrying. That I could have been spared spending the last FOUR WEEKS filled with dread for Cinderella knowing that I was helpless to protect her from any further abuse at the hands of her "mother."
(No matter what our personal feelings are, we have never said a single bad word about Maleficent in front of or to Cinderella.)
(If only she was able to do the same.)
I am trying to remind myself that everything happens for a reason.
That while this situation might not be proceeding as we WANT it to, it is proceeding as it NEEDS to.
Whatever the reason might be.
Maybe the delay is so the right judge can be assigned to the case.
Maybe Cinderella is supposed to be with her mother when the notices are delivered so she can learn HOW to speak up to her.
Or maybe it's because Maleficent is destined to do something so horrid that she will lose everything once-and-for-all.
(Prince Charming has been warned of suspected questionable activity at Maleficent and Diablo's house. None of which Cinderella has confirmed but PC is still concerned and watchful.)
This last point fills me with the most dread for as much as I would like to see Maleficent finally get her come-uppins I do not want my stepdaughter to suffer any more.
It is that fear that's kept us out of court for this long.
It is out of this fear that Prince Charming and I have done as much as we have over the years to get along with Maleficent.
And now I fear that in our efforts to placate Maleficent's delicate emotional state and protect Cinderella that we may have done nothing more than postpone the inevitable.
Of course, I could be just a tad melodramatic here!
I mean ... without the melodrama, would this blog be nearly as interesting??
I think not.