First listen to yourself as you have conversations with your friends and work colleagues about life in generally and particularly listen for the times when you use the words always or never or similarly general words. Or when you start talking about your rights in the situation? When do you use these expressions? Identify the scripts which run your life: all men are …., people let you down, everyone is out for themselves, nothing I do is ever good enough. Secondly listen out for how you talk to others – and yourself – about the arguments you tend to have with the other parent. He’s always late bringing the children back, she never tells me what’s going on at school, s/he waits till the last minute & changes the contact arrangements, s/he has to have the last word and be in control. Particularly listen to yourself and ask others to listen to you when your guard is down, for example, when you are having a chinwag with a mate over a beer or a glass of wine or in the middle of a sobbing meltdown. Also look at what you know you delete from the account(s). What you don’t say to yourself or the other party or about them? That you once had a good relationship? That they are a good father or mother in some ways? That they love the children? That they are better than you at allowing the child to take some risks? That they are better at protecting the child from risk / acknowledging what the risks are? Try to uncover for yourself what it is that pushes your buttons, how it makes you feel and what it triggers from the past. Does it remind you of the way you were treated by your parents, your teachers, your school peers, a previous boss, another partner or even this partner in the past? It may be this baggage which has you reacting in a situation and the person you are dealing with is copping it for all these past slights whether real or imagined. What decision did you make about yourself or the way the world worked when you were not picked for the netball team or did not get the good grade even when you worked hard or got caught doing something wrong and were punished? He brings the children back late – he has no respect for me, he doesn’t think I am a good mother, I am terrified he will never bring them back. She doesn’t tell me about school – I never get a father’s day card, she just wants me out of their lives, that’s why she left me in the first place. Notice how easy it can be to go from a plain fact – the what happened – the children are brought back late from contact – to an opinion about what this means – he is going to run away with the children, or he does not care about me – the story about what happened. Human beings collapse the two together all the time.