“Why do you think he didn’t show?,” asked a friend. He died. That is all that runs through my head. He must be dead, otherwise why wouldn’t he show up at the courthouse that day. Maybe he’s too proud, maybe he’s drunk or coked up somewhere, maybe he already felt he had been defeated, or maybe he’s dead. That is not wishful thinking, but rather a coping mechanism lingering in my head. If death became of him I do not have to fear him. Nor do I have to deal with the issue that maybe he never loved or cared about me. I would no longer have to worry that he would harm our son, manipulate him, or be that Disneyland Dad. I would not have to worry about what to tell our son when he gets older. Should I inform him of our dark history, or should I allow him to pass his own judgement. How far should I go to protect our son from his fathers physical and verbal abuse?