Tag Archives: divorced from a narcissist

Is the Pain of a Black-eye Easier to Understand??

Is the Pain of a Black-eye Easier to Understand??

As I was making my morning coffee my friend Sue called.  I could hear it in her voice, she was teetering on the verge of sobs… so I sat down with my cup of coffee and listened.  She said:

 

“My heart is absolutely breaking, and there are days when I just can’t bear it!  

How could a decision I made over 32 years ago, still affect me so intensely today??  

I never would have thought the man I chose to marry and have children with, could cause so much pain.  

But it is that one decision, made by an optimistic, naive young girl, which keeps me connected to a man who turned out to be so dangerous.  

There is such irony in a union giving life to three most precious souls… being the same conduit used to hurt those very same lives so deeply.

How can I so deeply regret a decision which gave me the very things in life for which I am the most grateful.

I am so torn with raw emotion, for it was this man who helped create the most important parts of my life… my children… and yet, I will forever feel guilty that I have exposed them to his destruction.  

When they were little, everything was great.  He was usually out-of-town and the physical distance from us, provided a convenient and beneficial separation.  Our exposure to him was limited and the kids and I thrived best under those circumstances.

And when he was physically present, he was never truly “available”.  He’d be obsessed with his latest project….

It was nice when this project was something to enhance our home, like building a nice bookshelf or refinishing the basement.  

It was odd when it was pushing himself in some personally physical way, like hitting golf balls at the driving range well into the night, until his hands bled from deep penetrating blisters. Or never missing a weightlifting session at the gym, no matter who or what might get in the way.

However, It was the worst when his obsession or project appeared to be for the benefit for another, and yet was truly a vehicle to entice another’s involvement to purely “benefit” HIM.  These situations were the most difficult to detect, and by far caused the greatest harm.   

And sadly, each one of my children has experienced this harm in their own individual way.  

Through the years, especially after the divorce, It became almost impossible for me to shield them from this harm.  I am only grateful… that the older they get, it appears overtime the clearer this whole phenomenon becomes to each of them.  With clarity come truth… but this is a truth no mother wishes their child to face.

Yes, divorce can be painful… yet it doesn’t have to cause irreparable harm.  

But, unknowingly, I chose to marry a man who (some 23 years later) would make sure our divorce pretty much decimated everything and everyone in its path.  

A man who got the divorce he wanted and then became obsessed with turning it into a project cause unending suffering and pain… all the while balancing the fine-line of trying to justify reasons for his “actions”.

And after years of living through all of this, and realizing he. will. never. stop… I am forced to face my greatest horror… my greatest guilt:

 

I.  was. not . strong. enough. to endure the destruction… rise above it all… shake myself off and protect my own kids from the painful, dangerous fall-out!!!

My survival instincts were weak.  

I took financial and emotional hit after hit.  I was dragged into one legal court battle after another… and with what little energy or hope I had left… I was barely able to keep our (mine & my kids) most basic needs met.

I didn’t say or do the right things to make my kids feel safe, like the smart psychologists who write articles on dealing with divorce always suggest. Unfortunately, I was in survival-mode and was functioning out of desperation.

I failed.  I failed at the only thing I ever cared about….

I failed to be the best mom I could be.

 

And for that, my heart is broken.  And there are days when I just can’t bear it!  

And I hope one day, maybe my kids can forgive me.

And maybe one day, I can forgive myself.”

 

 

 

Only an Excerpt from her Story

Only an Excerpt from her Story

My best friend Sue called me this morning and told me about her latest ordeal with Tim.

She was divorced 8 years ago, but the ripple effect has been causing ocean swells way over her head for years.

She moved on with her life, but her ex, Tim, is constantly rocking the boat.  

Tim can appear as easygoing as a jellyfish just floating by, but his tentacles are far reaching and have a poisonous and painful sting.

He has abused police departments and legal systems to carry out his vengeance, while hiding behind a cloak of poor innocent victim.  

Tim repeatedly petitions Family Court to make Sue pay, (financially and emotionally)… to fill this bottomless pit of debt he believes he is owed.

And worst of all, it is their children who have suffered the most.  It is they, who have the deepest scars and are truly the innocent victims.

 For years, Tim has masterfully created mosaics of his reality, built with jagged pieces of his lies.  And even though this reflection is a compilation of only truth fragments, somehow with a swipe of his gifted skill… he masterfully fills in all the empty spaces with a glittering substance which tricks the mind and the eye to perceive it all as truth.  

But it is not the truth… it is only his truth.

Those who are driven to look deeper, can clearly see the disconnect in the picture of reality he spins.  Apparently, the only reality Tim himself chooses to believe and will tell anyone who cares to listen.  

Sue told me about an unusual phone conversation she recently had with Tim, which better illustrates this mosaic I’m trying to describe.  

 

Sue said:

“I hadn’t spoken with him in years, you know our conversations never end well.  

But he recently needed my signature on a legal matter or else he’d be facing a foreclosure on some property,

therefore he needed to speak with me.  

So, I took the opportunity to discuss a matter which was very important to me, our 18 year old’s college choices. This is a monumental decision and I hoped Tim and I would be united in helping our child make a good decision… one which would inevitably have long lasting implications on her future.

At first the conversation was cordial, and then he said something that stopped me dead in my tracks.  He was trying to prove a point and said accusatorily…(with 100% confidence in his voice)

Well, you’re the one who asked for the divorce.  

I literally laughed out loud.  What?!?!, I said… Are you kidding me right now?!?!

I found it extremely odd he’d even say such a thing, . And not only was his comment a blatant lie, but he said it to me…(someone who Lived The Truth) which was completely absurd.

My thoughts shot back to a day I’d rather forget… Thursday May 1, 2008.  

The day we sat on our marriage therapist’s couch and Tim said he wanted a divorce… And then went on to describe how the time he spent with a special someone on his latest business trip to Montreal helped him make-up his mind that our marriage was over… and He. Wanted. A. Divorce.  

I remember it felt like I had been kicked in the stomach.  Even though we both knew the appearance of our marriage had been enhanced with smoke and mirrors for years, I believed we shared a mutual understanding we’d stay ‘married’ until our youngest went off to college. I felt betrayed and was shocked at how coldly he stated such a life-changing decision”.

 

I told Sue, I too remembered that day like it was yesterday.  That evening, after she had put her kids to bed… Sue ended up out in her car, in my driveway and I sat with her as she cried and sobbed.        We both knew Sue wasn’t crying from a broken heart, she wept for the uncertainty and pain her children were now about to face.  She could no longer shielded them from Tim’s pervasive pattern of manipulation…. his greed and desperate need to achieve a desire for importance, and entitlement at all cost.  She knew her children would ultimately end up paying that debt, because Tim’ greatest flaw was his of lack of empathy for anyone else… including their children,

I also reminded her about what Tim had said only a couple days later.  That Saturday, our group of very close friends got together to watch the Kentucky Derby.  Sue was still a wreck, and someone questioned how Tim’s decision to get divorced might negatively affect the kids and Tim smirked and said… ‘The kids will be fine. What doesn’t kill them, will make them stronger’.  

It was at that very moment, our group of friends were completely disillusioned and disturbed by Tim’s cold character.  And from that day on, it was Sue who had our continued friendship and our unconditional support.

 

“Yes, I totally remember it all” Sue said.

“And that’s why I literally laughed out loud. His comment was absurd. But then I remembered one of my kids telling me their dad had told them, I asked for the divorce… At the time, I thought little of it… but suddenly his comment made me realize he’s been telling these lies to our kids and my protective mamabear instincts kicked in.

So, I pressed him about his— (‘Well, you’re the one who asked for the divorce.’ ) — comment, which we both knew was a boldfaced lie.”

Sue continued:

“Holy cow, you wouldn’t believe how defensive he got….

He said, he was over-it and didn’t want to discuss it… there was no point rehashing it all.  

But suddenly there was this flashing red flag right in front of my face… and it became   crystal clear to me that his comment was just one lie that was covering up a whole toxic pile of lies… and he certainly didn’t want me pulling that cover off.  

So, when I asked him, if he was kidding… he actually shot back with the craziest answer.  He said, Well it’s your name that’s listed at the top of our divorce agreement… you are the one typed in as the “Petitioner”.  So, I have proof in writing that proves… you asked for the divorce!!!

OMG!!!   My jaw hit the floor.  He was right.  

When the divorce agreement was getting finalized he asked if I had any objection to his lawyer typing up the actual agreement.  

And I said, I didn’t care who typed it up… I was worn down and depleted at that point.  When I received my copy of the agreement, I remember noticing his lawyer had typed my name in as “Petitioner” but thought nothing of it.  I figured it didn’t really matter who was listed as “Petitioner”, it was a moot point.

Plus, I had bigger things to worry about.

I was more concerned with reading through and trying to understand the hundreds of pages of legalese and documentation that dissolved our 23 year marriage and illuded to provide a fair distribution of assets and resolution for all.  

Which we know now, was in fact, not fair and only benefited Tim, not me or our kids.”

 

Then Sue asked me a question:

 

“Do you think he’s been telling people that lie for the past eight years???

Do you think people believe him?

You know Tim’s a master of manipulation.  

It took me decades to see the way he’s always spinning a web, always plotting what tactic will give him the best results…

He even brags about every move he makes is always two steps ahead, he always has a motive… an angle.

Do you think Tim actually had my name listed as “Petitioner” on purpose?

Why would he do that, go through all that trouble?

Why would he bother to lie about who asked for the divorce anyway?

Why….. ?

Truth About Divorcing a Narcissist…

Truth About Divorcing a Narcissist…

There’s a common concept that seems to run rampant in the community of divorce professionals. It is coined “high conflict couple” or “high conflict divorce.” The thinking usually involves a belief that these difficult post-divorce custody battles displaying constant conflict are because both parents involved are just a bit crazy…or a lot crazy. Michael Friedman wrote an article for The American Journal of Family Therapy, 32-101-117-2004, to discuss a closer look at this notion. He stated, “The concept has even entered into what might be called family court folk wisdom: we say that Mother Theresa does not marry Attila the Hun or that it takes two to tango.”

While there is some truth that who we marry reflects our own emotional development, there is also a different and more complicated flavor involved when one is drawn into a narcissist’s world.

For instance, Mark and Marcy married. They had two children. Mark continually emotionally abused Marcy throughout the marriage as well as the children. He had no emotional connection to the children and they were not attached to him. Marcy was the psychological parent and always has been. Then Marcy decides enough is enough and files for divorce. Mark cannot believe it. He cannot imagine why she would abandon him and ruin his life. He is not aware or conscious of his bad behavior and feels entitled. He has excuses for everything and blames others for his actions. He is the victim now and his abandonment issues are triggered.

Mark is used to exploiting others to meet his own needs and he is appalled that his manipulation no longer works. He cannot be accountable. So, Mark will never let Marcy live this down. His avenue for re-gaining power now is in creating massive chaos in the divorce process using the children as pawns. Why use the children? This is what is truly important to Marcy. So everything in the divorce becomes about him. “These are my children, this is my money.” The mother and children are saying…what the? He was never involved before…he usually ignores us… Unless there’s a personal gain for him… he doesn’t really even know us!

The common thinking is that those adults with children, who divorce and continue to battle post divorce, must BOTH have major psychological issues. After all, who would do this to the children? These are the cases that exhibit increased tension, post parenting difficulties, and often need child family investigators and parent coordinators to determine parenting time.

But…. enter the condition of narcissism.

What if you married a narcissist who is all about what is good for him or her, rather than what is in the best interest of the children?

The narcissist makes unrealistic demands, is not emotionally connected to the children, may be emotionally abusive or worse, but will fight to the end to gain revenge or fight in the interest of his own needs. The fight may be economically based, or more likely what is known as a narcissistic injury. That person will never get over or forget that you abandoned them, and will continue to make life difficult for you and the children. What do you do?

Most parents I have worked with over the years, who have married a narcissist and are in the process of divorce, find themselves having to take a strong stance to protect their kids. They find they have to be involved in post-divorce assessments and battles and then are at risk of being assessed themselves as just one of those crazy “high-conflict” couples.

The danger here is that the children’s best interest may not be served if narcissism is not understood in the case. It is true that one person who is narcissistic can unilaterally cause serious conflict that causes the other parent to go into defense mode to protect themselves and the children. Given that emotional abuse is difficult to prove and not taken seriously by the courts in most states, the war is on in these cases where one parent is causing havoc and the other is just trying to defend and protect. But does this mean they are both psychologically disturbed in some way? Not always.

To reiterate, if you marry a narcissist and then divorce that person, the narcissist will not forgive and forget. They do not move on easily. They cling to “how could you abandon me or do this to me” and the anger lingers for long periods of time…sometimes years and years. To imagine that one could process through an amicable divorce with a narcissist and stay friends and co-parent in a reasonable manner is not realistic with narcissists. They do things like excessively disparage the other parent, resort to making up unfair and untrue allegations, and do not want to financially support the children because that somehow means to them that they are giving money to their ex-spouse. Their entitlement needs get in the way of fairly dividing property and money and in the end they do not think of what is best for the child or children. They think about what is best for them! “Your mother took all my money.”

Because narcissists do not have the capacity for empathy and emotionally tuning into the needs of others, the children’s emotional needs are not realized. Thriving on constant conflict is the narcissist’s way to stay connected and fight for his or her own rights rather than consider what works for the children. In fact, being oblivious to the needs of the children is usually observed.

My concern is first for the children in these families, then for the spouse who married the narcissist who is also being seen as a conflict designer. The helping professionals in divorce cases need continued education on this issue. Without a deeper understanding, we are losing the opportunity to truly assist families going through the life changing and emotionally wrenching experience of divorce.

Narcissism is a disorder that wreaks havoc in these families. If this is you, make sure your attorney is well informed. There will need to be professionals involved to assist in how to deal with the narcissist parent. It is advised that the children attend therapy with a professional who understands the dynamics of narcissism and how that affects children. Some parenting plans that reflect a good understanding of narcissistic parenting will be needed.

Why one would marry a narcissist is a no-brainer. They can be charming, enticing, engaging and easily put on a show in the beginning of relationships. They are out there for you to fall in love with. You will only know the reality as you get to know them better over a period of time. But…if you decide to divorce, reach out for some specialized assistance! You and your kids are worth it.

Stanford University Sexual Assault Case, The Perfect Segue…

Stanford University Sexual Assault Case, The Perfect Segue…

If you weren’t familiar with the Stanford University Sexual Assault Case until this week don’t feel bad.  However, if you haven’t heard of it by now, you’re seriously off-grid and might consider getting out from under that rock.

I have never read anything quite as powerful and moving as the victims 7,244-word statement to the court.  

Nor have I read anything as completely ridiculous and pompous as the court statement from Dan A.Turner, the father of the convicted abuser Brock Allen Turner.

And I’ve never heard a more inappropriate sentencing delivered by a judge.

 

WOW… this whole ordeal has been quite a study in this mess we call JUSTICE.  

 

So many have personally experienced the injustice of our judicial system clearly described by this victim’s story.  

I try not to judge those who feel strongly about the injustices they’ve suffered due to their race, religion, lifestyle preferences, economic standing, gender or the color of their skin,…  ESPECIALLY, if I have no personal experience with their particular set of circumstances.

Never criticize someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.”  

Such an understatement… So simple and true….Taken from such a valuable poem, titled Judge Softly and written by Mary T Lathrap in 1895. Surprised it wasn’t written by a wise Tribal Chief like we all imagined?   Read it Here in entirety, it’s a life changer.

 

Thank goodness the victim’s 7,244 words provided a much needed walk in her moccasins, pine needle covered and all.

She eloquently expressed the unspeakable pain she had to endure due to being sexually assaulted by Brock Allen Turner.

And more importantly her words highlighted how her pain was exacerbated by the inequities of our court system.

She clarified that the trial, the sentencing and the legal system were “irrevocably marred” by male and class privilege.

Let me add one more tainting factor… Narcissism.

Brock Allen Turner encompasses all three of these factors.

 

It is truly sickening just how many examples there are of how narcissists manipulate our court system to be their personal stage.

This is when I go all Norma Rae and want to jump up on the table tops…

 

We are led to believe our court systems are fair and just.  They are not!!   

That all juries & judges are intelligent and honorable.  They are not!!

 

Our “Judicial” system is supposed to be where courts and judges deliver judgments of JUSTICE.

It is supposed to punish the bad guys and protect the good guys.    But, our “Judicial” system is badly BROKEN.

 

And NEVER is that more obvious then when you’re dealing with a Narcissist in the Judicial System:

OJ Simpson (sorry OJ fans)… Jodi Arias… Tom Brady (sorry Brady fans)… Dan A. Turner… My ex-husband…

Aha… segue into the story I’ve started started to write hundreds of times and finally the outrageousness of the Stanford University Sexual Assault Case has sparked me to tell.

 

I have been exposed to a side of corruption and injustice I wish I’d remained naive to forever.  Because until my divorce from my Covert Narcissist Ex-Husband (CNEH), I had no idea such a lack of integrity could exist in our “Judicial” system.

He sent the police to my home so many times that the awful anxiety me and my two younger children used to feel upon seeing flashing police car lights in our driveway, eventually became replaced with an even sadder resiliency.

In the past 7 years+ since my divorce… he has petitioned the courts (Family, Criminal AND Small Claims) over 16 times… 

A few were thrown out of court, but the rest somehow wormed their way through the whole court system folly.  He had so many court actions against me, in so many different courts… sometimes 3 open cases would overlap at the same time.

(Note: each court petition takes between 6-10 months of courtroom sessions to resolve.)

If you do the math, that’s over 11 years….    140 months….     over 200 court dates crammed into the past 7 years !!!  And we have a court date this Monday…    He.   Will.   Never.   Stop!!  

It is clearly obvious my CNEH is abusing our legal court system and wasting a whole lot of their time & money… using it as a platform for his personal vendetta against me and his inability to move-on and let me go.

 

There are hundreds of articles written on this phenomenon.  And no matter how much we try to educate the court system and judges on this type of abuse… it just continues…

My story is not unique… it is sadly redundant and almost follows word-for-word with every other victim’s story of narcissist abuse via our “Judicial” system.  We all share the same moccasins, just in slightly different shades, and we will graciously offer you to walk in them if you’d like….

Because we know, unless you personally experience such outrageous atrocities in our court systems, you would never believe what we’ve endured.

 

 

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Welcome Back!

Back ? Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

There I was, minding my own business in the Pasta aisle at Walmart, deciding between Vermicelli and Capellini, when I experienced the creepiest encounter ever… like a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

 

I heard her behind me. And before I even saw her, I was transported 17 years back in time.

She was desperately trying to soothe her fussy infant in the grocery cart as her 10 and 4 year old were peppering her with non-stop questions, requests, demands and poking each-other.

 

She looked exhausted… Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.

There was a spit-up stain on her shoulder and yesterday’s mascara was faintly noticeable… adding a deeper shade to her already dark circles.

 

Our eyes met and communicated the words we didn’t need to speak.

I so badly wanted to validate her pain, so I smiled gently and softly said:

“It’s hard”.

And that’s when this poor young mother lost it.

 

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked out the words…

“It’s SO HARD.  

I wish my husband realized just how hard it is.  

But he’s never home!  

He works late hours, so I can stay home with the kids… and I never get a break!  

I’m totally drained……..

It’s just SO HARD!”

 

And then she looked at her kids who were obviously her pride and joy and as she wiped away her tears she smiled and said…

“But, it’s worth it… It won’t ALWAYS be this hard… when they grow up it’ll be much easier”.

 

And that’s when I lost it, and as tears streamed down my cheeks, I choked back the words I wanted to say and turned away so she couldn’t see my reaction.  As I stared at boxes of pasta through blurry tears, I felt an empty pain deep in my heart .

 

I wanted to tell her… “Oh my dear, you have no idea just how much harder it can get. Years after you’ve given Everything there is to give, your husband just may happen to come home after “that business trip” or “working late” one night and ask you for a divorce.  

 

He will walk away with his high paying job, executive level earning power and retirement fund, while you walk away with the job description of ‘Housewife and Mom’ added to your resume.

 

And then he just may drag you through the family court system for years, constantly trying to negotiate paying less and less in child support until he manipulates the legal system to eventually pay you nothing at all… and along the way he’ll cause you to pay thousands and thousands in lawyer fees.

 

Then just when you thought your heart couldn’t break anymore… Your kids will see you as the Crabby Complainer and their dad (who, by the way, was busy “working late” their whole childhood) as the go-to parent. He’ll hold all the cards, and bribe them with promises of buying them a car when they turn 16….and…

 

And when your teenage daughter strikes the final blow, by telling you she’d rather live with her dad because you’re barely scraping by and he can easily afford to buy her whatever she wants… including a generous makeup and clothing allowance, you’ll wonder if it was really all worth it.

 

And then after living under his negative influence for a while, she’ll be blinded by the illusion of his spin on reality and there will only be a glimmer of your sweet little girl left behind. She will gladly align with him and forget who you are.

 

But, instead I chose to wipe away my tears and simply wished her a Happy Mother’s Day and she wished me the same.

 

Little did she know, this Sunday, my Mother’s Day will be far from anything I’d dreamed of or hoped for.

 

There are many moms who may not receive that Hallmark moment of recognition and gratitude from their children they long for.

 

There are many different reasons why this Mother’s Day may be filled with disappointment, heartache and sadness for many moms.

 

Remember, sometimes simply knowing you’re not alone makes it all much easier… along with a dish of delicious pasta and a nice bottle of red.

 

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

Narcissists Do Not Like to Pay Money

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

I would guess… 99.9% of all Post-Divorce Family Court cases involving a Narcissist are based on them wanting money or finding a way out of all their financial obligations…
(Below is an interesting article by Joanna Moore)

 

Narcissists do not like to pay money that they owe

Narcissists don't willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope. If it's not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

Narcissists don’t willingly meet their financial obligations. Child support? Alimony? Personal Loans? Taxes? Nope.
If it’s not fun for them, they simply ignore it.

If a narcissist owes you money, you will probably never see it without a fight. They simply do not feel like they should have to pay for things that aren’t directly benefiting them. They just do not understand the basics of integrity and honoring commitments because all they can think of is their own personal gain and pleasure. They don’t care who they hurt and they don’t care if their refusal to pay destroys someone else’s credit.

This includes child-support. They do not care that their children suffer when they refuse to pay. They don’t think they should have to pay in the first place. If they do pay, it is almost always because their wages are garnished, and when that happens, they feel entitled to something. I noticed with my own narcopath ex, that he refused to pay for over a year and at the same time, he was refusing to see my son. As soon as he started seeing my son regularly, he started making some payments. I guess he felt like if he wasn’t seeing my son, then he didn’t have to pay. Funny, because I still had to pay for shelter, food, childcare, clothes, baby gear and more every day that he didn’t feel obligated to pay! Those of us who share a child with a narcissist have to learn to lean only on ourselves because the other parent is never going to be reliable without some benefit to them. You simply cannot depend on a narcissist for your monetary survival. Just because the law, or honor says they owe you doesn’t mean they are going to pay.

Now a narcissist might pay their mortgage, their car loans, their insurance and other things that affect THEM, but as soon as those things aren’t a benefit to them, they stop paying. For example, if you are getting divorced and the narcissist is ordered to pay for insurance for your kids, or your mortgage payment, they might let it slide. I have a friend whose narcissist husband purposely let their house get foreclosed while he stashed money in hidden bank accounts and claimed he was broke. Never mind that his children were living in the house…. He just didn’t care about anyone but himself.

Same thing with alimony, divorce settlements, personal loans, and more. While most of us feel like we should honor our obligations–especially to friends and family–narcissists are lacking that integrity. They think nothing of spending lots of money on themselves while the people they owe money to struggle, but they don’t have empathy to see what their selfishness does to others. So if a narcissist owes you money, don’t depend on it or expect it. They will go to great lengths to avoid paying you!

For a Friend

For a Friend

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

It all started a few days ago.  

I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room.  It sounded like something was hitting the window.  

 

I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window.  The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.  

 

I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.

 

No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.

 

Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!  

 

I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.  

I thought:   “Geez, poor bird.  It’s gonna hurt itself.”

 

I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.   

 

I went back to my writing.  And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.

 

Seriously?!?!  

I was shocked.  How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn???  Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.

 

And we’ve all heard the quote:

“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”

 

WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!

Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!

 

I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.  

 

So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.  

There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!

 

I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:

 

  • I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!

  • Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help.  I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!

  • Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)

  • I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.

  • Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.

By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!

 

The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!

Bang………………………………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

 

WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.

 

This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.

 

There is just one issue.  This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk.  If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:

 

Bang……………… ……………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.

 

This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.

No, I am serious!  

 

It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .

 

The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling.  My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.

 

The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.

 

I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.

And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:

   The pain and frustration we feel

by watching those we Love

repeat behaviors

that hurt them or can eventually kill them.

 

The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.  

And yet that is all you can do.  

Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

 

Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do.  It is up to them if they want to change or stop.

We. All. Have. Free. Will.

 

These past few days I learned some important reminders.  

 

Here are some things you can do:

  • You do what you can to help.

  • You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).

  • You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.

  • You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will.  You surrender trying to impose yours.

  • You eventually Let Go (and let God).

  • You remember to take care of yourself.

… a little birdie told me so!  

 

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

 

Keep it Simple…. Keep it Real.  

Sounds easy, huh??  Well, turns out (sometimes) it’s not so easy.  

Sometimes we become trapped by the Illusions of Life, and it’s hard to break free.

 

I recently had a birthday.

And like many people, my birthday’s not just a time to indulge in  

the-once-a-year-guilt-free-dark-chocolate-cake-n-mint-chocolate-chip-ice cream

it’s also a time for self-reflection.

 

This year I reflected upon the importance of “Keeping it Simple and Real”.  

Reminding myself to slow down and strive for clarity, balance and harmony.  

And remembering, sometimes the challenges in our lives, often teach us the best lessons.

 

I was a newlywed during the Reagan Era and was swooped-up into the,

More Is Better Mentality.  

Reaganomics resulted in the greatest Wall Street Bull Market since the 1920s.  

It was an Era of Great Prosperity… generating more wealth, for American families, than any other time in US History!!

 

And in keeping with Madonna’s (1985) mega-hit “Material Girl”… my lifestyle mirrored the relevant lyrics of the time:

Cause we are living in a material world

And I am a material girl

 

I checked ALL the boxes:

  • Town & Country McMansion 
  • Luxury Cars
  • Country Club Memberships
  • Black-tie Galas
  • Exclusive Resort Vacations
  • More & More & More!!

So, what insight did I gain from acquiring so much stuff during the 80s???

#1.  It was exhausting.

#2.  It made life chaotic, complicated and confusing!

#3.  Sometimes material things become a replacement for the

        more meaningful things in life.  

 

About a decade ago…there was one day that clearly put it all into perspective for me:

 

I was at a stop light and looked at the woman in the car next to me.  

She was lovely and had a look of luxury.  

Her hair perfectly coiffed, awesome sunglasses, expensive jewelry

and she had that confident smile and overall look of contentment.  

I noticed she was driving a Mercedes-Benz

and made a mental note to myself:

 

“Of course she’s HAPPY…

she’s living the dream in her fancy Mercedes,

with all of her  fancy “things”…”

 

In contrast, I felt worn-out, stressed, empty….

genuinely wanting.

It was easy for me to believe she had what I needed.

And as the light turned green, and I glanced back to the road ahead of me…

I noticed the Mercedes-Benz symbol on my own steering wheel

of my brand-new car.

 

Turns out for me, More wasn’t Better and Fancy things weren’t the answer!

 

Shortly after that day of reckoning…

I was faced with a choice between the two (material things or meaningful things), and I handed them all over in exchange for ___________.  

   (You Name It… Just Fill-in-the-Blank)

 Freedom

  Harmony

Reality

Clarity

Peace

                                                                          Truth

                                                                            Etc…

 

I handed it all back to the hollow person I shared that life with… (on a Silver Platter in fact, LoL) and I had No Regrets.

 

All of those Things were just providing smoke n’ mirrors to create an illusion and confuse me into believing, it was a Good Life…

when the truth was, I was in an empty relationship and I wasn’t living my life authentically.

I longed for something simple and real.

 

Don’t get me wrong… some people can live that exclusive “Town & Country Lifestyle”,

authentically and happily  (or at least I think they do??)…

it just wasn’t a good fit for me.  

It all became a band-aid and distraction to cover-up what was really missing…

what was truly important.

 

Of course, I still love pretty things and adventurous travel… But, I feel (at this ripe old age) the Bridges I’ve crossed have helped me to finally arrive Back  Home

Full Circle, where I belong, where I want to be.

 

Ironically, my sister sent me this Birthday Card which pretty much sums it up!!

.  

 

Keep It Simple, Keep It Real & Smile Along The Way!!!

 

The Narcissistic, the Teen and the Car

The Narcissistic, the Teen and the Car

Welcome Back!

 

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

Today is a “Guest” post shared from one of my favorite friend’s website OMB.

Those of you who know me well, may think I wrote it.
I didn’t.
My article would have included a bit of a twist, with a much less happy ending.
 
I sincerely hope some of my wise readers can provide some helpful Bridges to navigate the way Back Home while withstanding the constant destruction caused by a truly narcissistic Ex. 

The Narcissistic, the Teen and the Car

The Narcissistic, the Teen and the Car

by Lucy K. Wright

My daughter was given driving lessons by her Narcissistic father as one of many (many) gifts from him over the holidays. He registered her for the classes in advance, no communication with me, with some classes occurring during my parenting time.

Surprise? The gift, Yes. The lack of communication and/or coordination with me on this milestone of an event in our daughter’s life? No. I would expect nothing other from him at this point.

My daughter was sooooo excited for driving classes, and is now soooo excited to be at this glorious almost-ready-for-her-permit eager teen age.

I’m very excited for my daughter too. Driving? Yeah, I’m a little nervous. Ok, a lot. I probably would have recommended we hold off on the lessons – until summer at least – but, well, I wasn’t asked.

The ExN wants the glory of being the cool Disney dad who gives his daughter driving lessons first, despite any recommendations “her mother” could ever think or suggest.

——-

Three weekends of completed driving lessons for the teen are now over.   Check.

And then this conversation occurred:

“Mom, dad said he is going to buy me a car, the really cool one that I want.”

“Really honey? That’s very thoughtful of your father. And very lucky for you too.”

“Yeah, he said he will buy me a car, but it can only be driven at his house. It’s not allowed at your house.”

“I’m sorry, What??”

“Dad said I can only drive the car he gets me when I’m with him. When I’m with you the car has to stay at his home. If I drive it to school I will have to take it back to his home first, and he will bring me back to yours if I’m with you that night. He said I’ll never be allowed to have the car he buys me around you at all.”

Seriously. I was dumbstruck.

I looked my daughter in the eyes and told her that plan was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.   (I don’t know if I should have said that out loud to her or not, but the words came out of my mouth faster than I could control at that moment.)

I told her it would seem to make more sense if her father and I worked something out so she would have ONE car that she could drive to either home, or wherever she needed to go, since it was going to be HER car after-all.

She replied, “Mom, you know that would never happen with dad, so why even waste your time thinking about it.”

She is 100% correct.   My daughter is a very smart young woman.

I know her father’s twisted Narcissistic way of thinking far too well: His brand new shiny fun gift of a car is going to look a heck of a lot better to our daughter than the century-old one she is going to have to work to pay half for at my home when the time comes….

And then he’ll think: Maybe, by giving our daughter another expensive new “thing” at his home, she will want to live with him full time!… and then he can quit paying child support!… and maybe our daughter will forget she even has “a mother” and he will never have to deal with me again… ever!!…!!

I can hear his twisted thoughts in my head right now.

And I believe his Narcissistic way of thinking on this one is going to prove him wrong. Even though you could certainly never tell him that.

My counselors throughout the years have consistently told me that my kids “will eventually understand” all of this someday. It may be when they are in their mid-20’s, or even early-30’s or later, but someday, they will understand.

It hasn’t always been an easy road for my kids since the divorce, and in fact, it’s been downright horrible for them at times, especially when I hit my lowest points while still trying to maintain balance and the strength from within myself to keep the conflict to a minimum and shield them from the toxic situation.

——-

Would my daughter like to pick out a fun new car for her 16th birthday? Of course she would. Who wouldn’t at that age.

But I also know, that she knows, and is truly beginning to understand, the differences between her father’s home versus mine. I am not claiming that things are all “right” at one home, and all “wrong” at the other; but there are certainly a lot of distinctions in lifestyles, and parenting styles, when you are a child of divorce, being raised by one Narcissistic parent.

I know because I was that child once also.

It’s taken me many years “to eventually understand” throughout my own journey in this long post-divorce process.

For instance, I now know that dazzling Disney dad isn’t necessarily always going to come out ahead in the end like he thinks he might.

Vroom!

~LLS~ Lucy K.

###

The Narcissist- Buying our children...

Navigating a High Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist

Navigating a High Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist
Karyl McBride has written a guide for people trying to extract themselves from narcissistic relationships. Her book, “Will I Ever Be Free of You? How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist and Heal Your Family,” is featured in this month’s Well Book Club.
Keep reading to learn more about narcissistic personality disorder, why it’s tough to divorce a narcissist and why long, drawn-out legal battles are a playground for narcissists.

 

Unfortunately, I personally know this can be a never-ending journey.

As it states in the article:
 
They seek revenge, and the court system is an incredibly great platform for a narcissist. That’s where they can just continue the battle with the partner and continue to seek revenge, and that’s what happens.

 

I have endured Seven LONG Years, facing law suit after law suit and have truly lost faith in our Family Court System.

As it states in the article:

 

The narcissist will continue to try to blame their partner and harm their partner. They do it by these long, extended, contentious divorce cases that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We need more education for professionals in the divorce field so that the custody evaluators and family law people and therapists know what they’re dealing with. They also can be seduced by the narcissist.

 

In the end the true victims are always the children.

And my heart will forever be broken for my own children. 

But that’s a story for a another time.  

 

 

HERE’S THE LINK:

Divorcing a Narsissist