Divorce: A Narcissist’s revenge

I spent the afternoon at my lawyer’s today and she got an email from my ex’s attorney.  It is not surprising to me, but just reminds me of everything that is wrong with the family court system and affirms why I left.  I shuddered when I heard her read that if I don’t drop contempt charges against my ex-husband then they will be filing contempt on me.  It reminded me of the revenge monster and why I try and avoid court at all costs.  I try to follow the court orders to a T so I don’t even know what it could be other than a scare tactic.  Unfortunately, this time I can’t avoid court as it deals with Landry’s medical and neglect by his father.

The bullying continues and the system allows it.  We have already allowed a continuance and he has had 8 months to remedy and all of the emails from me trying to work with him and even help him before we filed.  I learned today it isn’t about working together- it never was.  It is about revenge and control of me by him.  Everything is calculated by him and all I want is what is best for Landry.  Meanwhile, I want time to fly by so that Landry can decide what is best.

I want the courts to decide that Landry can speak up and speak about what is best for Landry.  I want the courts to decide for the children’s best interests and not parental rights or mother’s rights or father’s rights.  A child is a human being and not a piece of property that can be used to get back at someone.  I have learned through this the process that divorcing a narcissist is like saying ice can start fire.

There is no rhyme or reason and there is no logical or rational thinking.  It is about control and until that person is no longer in control then the games will continue and it is the child who will suffer the most not the abuser or the abused.  No matter how much the victim tries to avoid conflict the narcissist will find a way to to drag that person through the mud, the kitchen sink and back through the mud again.  What the narcissist doesn’t realize is that at some point the abused no longer cares and mama bear or papa bear will come out.

Mama or papa bear will do anything for their child.  Personal image or whatever personal image is left that hasn’t been destroyed by the narcissist no longer matters.  What matters is the child.  When the fire is lit then there is no stopping that individual until an end has come.  An end to a chapter, whatever end that might be i.e. no more shared parenting, a child turns 18 or restraining orders.

In the end the child still suffers because they lose a parent and in some cases it is the abused parent that they lose.  The one that actually would give their life for their child.  In other cases a child may find peace, but they grow up wondering and not knowing the other half of them.  This may be the best case scenario for this child, but in the end there is still a void in this child.  Divorce is not a situation that anyone wants to go through and divorcing a narcissist is a situation that feels never ending.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in children and DV, co-parenting with a narcissist, courts, Divorce, Narcissism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Things I have learned about parenting with a narcissist

Today I thought I would compile a list of 5 things I have learned about parenting with a narcissist.  These items are in no particular order.

  1.  No matter what he will always be the better parent in his eyes and it will always be a competition.

I never thought of parenting as a competition, but anything I can do- he can do better (according to him).  While I have never believed this there are times when I have to let him think this way for my sanity.  The little things that don’t matter I might say something like- thanks for the suggestion that is a great idea. Even though inside I want to throw up and  I may have suggested that “thing” 59 times earlier.  He needs to think he came up with the idea to make himself feel better and important.  I have even told the GAL this if we come up with a solution so that he needs to accept it.  It is like leading an independent child to make the right choice.

2.  Always be prepared.  I never know when he is going to strike.

When things seem to be calm, I need to be on guard.  He is just preparing his next attack.  I enjoy the peace I have, but I know it is not long-lived.  There will be another incident, another accusation by him and I need to be on guard to protect Landry and myself. In the meantime, I also need to enjoy the peace because when the attack comes it is going to be long and drawn out.

3.  Gray Rock- Gray Rock- Gray Rock

I have learned through the years that he enjoys get that emotional charge from frustrating me.  I have learned that I have the power not to give him that satisfaction.  He cannot control me and no matter how much I want to scream and shout, I have the power not to.  By choosing the power not to, it drives him crazy.  A response like “that’s interesting” or “thanks for your input, I will consider it” sends him into a downward spiral.  He responds back being the unstable and irrational one and often asks what I mean and I just respond back with “that’s interesting” or “thanks for your input, I will consider it”.  I have cut off his supply and he can’t stand it.

4.  Document everything in writing.

I do not speak to him unless I have witnesses, everything is about Landry.  Hi Landry, welcome home etc.  Everything else is in writing.  We use Our Family Wizard and texts in emergency.  In those instances gray rock is essential.  I am not understanding, please explain…that one sends him in war as he thinks I am stupid and often he admits to things because he tries to take advantage of my “stupidity”.  It also usually gives me a laugh for the day because now I see how ridiculous things he says are.  Everything is business with him and I no longer give him my emotions.

5.  PERCEPTION:  This is my last one that I will write about today, but as I sit here and gather my thoughts, I realize that there are so many more and 5 items does not even begin to cover this topic and my experiences.

Everything is about perception, I no longer care if he thinks I am stupid because I know I am not.  I don’t care if he tells a thousand people that I am a bad mother, because I am not.  If anything his disorder has made me that much more of a better mother.  I have more empathy than I ever thought possible, because Landry is still in the fire.

I need to play nice as everything is documented and by always responding appropriately (as hard as it may be) the courts and GAL have now called me the reasonable one.  It has taken me a long time to get here and sit back and let him unravel, but in the end he has.  I have to remember the long-term and not the short-term.  If I react in the short-term then everybody that can help Landry sees it, but if I react  in a business manner to a pattern and have the documentation then it’s a different story.  My concerns are valid.  It is a huge flaw in the family court system, but it is there so I must deal with it appropriately.

I ask myself if it is worth it to bring this as an issue to the GAL or the courts or do I just document it to him.  Unfortunately, the answer most of the time is document it to him.  The courts don’t care about one time instances, but they do care about patterns.  If it is a pattern their perception is that it is purposeful and maybe even harmful.

As I finish this post, there are so many things that I now realize as I am no longer gaslighted.  My biggest fear is that Landry inherits the same characteristics as his father.  I try so hard to show Landry my boundaries and help my child set-up those boundaries not just with his father, but with me and in life.  My parenting is purposeful and while I may miss out on some things, when Landry “gets something” or sets an appropriate boundary with me, then I know everything I am doing is worth it.

Posted in co-parenting with a narcissist, courts, Divorce, DV by proxy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Life after a narcissist and co-parenting

I have taken a few months off to reset myself to recharge if you will.  I have watched so much happen in the last few years and am starting to really process it all.  I never thought that my life would end up this way, but I am not looking back either.  I am forever changed by being involved and married to a narcissist and not being able to walk away.  Being bound to an abusive man even after divorcing.  Co-parenting with a narcissist has left this desire in me to be a better mother, but no longer the perfect mother.

I once wanted Landry to grow up with the perfect family where everything had its place, but now I realize that was a fairy tale.  I want Landry to grow up experiencing diversity, but not the kind of abuse I endured.  She already saw enough abuse.  I want Landry to learn what it truly means to be loved and fully love back and enjoy being with someone.  That success is not measured by the house you live in or the career you choose, but by your happiness and compassion.

One of my biggest fears is no longer the bully that reigned over me, but the bully that has the potential to do what happened to him.  That his weakness is exposed to our daughter and that she learns that same weakness.  To not be able to love or feel appropriate emotions and to intentionally hurt someone.  Today my parenting style is even more intentional than before.

Instead of telling Landry right from wrong, I am intentionally leading my child to decipher right from wrong.  I allow my child to use her own critical thinking skills and develop her own thoughts and opinions.  I am there to love her and pick her up if she chooses the wrong decision.  I am there to help her understand and process her wrong decision if she needs to.

I teach her to be spontaneous with purpose, enjoy the little things and most importantly fill her bucket by filling others.  The bucket books were instrumental to help her understand what her father cannot teach her.  She has seen that she can make a difference in this large world and one man’s love or lack of love will not define her.  My parenting has become purposeful and intentional.  I am not perfect and I admit to her when my flaws show through that she can understand that she does not have to be perfect.

Parenting this way can is very tiring especially when the other parent makes it so difficult, but in the end I know this is what she needs.  She needs to help process what she already knows is right or wrong because her dad can’t help her do that.  As exhausting as it is,  I know that I am getting through to her when she apologizes on her own accord.  Not just an I’m sorry 2 minutes after the event, but a heartfelt apology saying what she did wrong and that it wasn’t okay what she did and most importantly an apology initiated by her.

Every time that happens, I am so taken back and reassured.  Reassured for the time being that I know that she is getting this thing called life and love even with a parent in her life that can’t love.  I know that when she fills someone else’s bucket and is so happy about it and smiling ear to ear that she can love others and for the time being my heart is happy because I know she is becoming her own self capable of love and appropriate emotions.

 

Posted in co-parenting with a narcissist, Divorce, domestic violence, DV by proxy, Narcissism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou

A powerful campaign has been around for awhile #maybehedoesnthityou.  Women are tweeting how their intimate partner emotionally abuses them and it is making more aware of the dangers behind emotional abuse.  I think it extends far past just men and can and should include women #MaybeSheDoesntHitYou.  Being a domestic violence survivor of emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse has shaped me to become who I am today, but it does not define me.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he tells you that you are fat and your BMI is only 19.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he controls your joint money and tells you you don’t work hard enough or you are working to hard and need to spend more time with him.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he engages in domestic violence by proxy with your child.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he blames you for having an affair and makes you feel responsible for the affair that he was actually caught in.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he berates you in front of your child because the bed wasn’t made even though he was the last one to get up.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he tells you that you can’t pursue your dreams and you aren’t good in business.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he won’t let you see your family members and makes you feel guilty for wanting to and not spending your family time together.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he makes you feel that those sexual assaults and rapes were your fault because you didn’t give him what he needed.

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are an amazing person who has been taken to hell and back by him.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you have so much to offer this world and he is so jealous that he is only holding you back.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are an amazing parent and you want to raise your child in a toxic free environment.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you will be able to find a way out from underneath his grip and your will become that butterfly who flies with grace and finds herself.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because he only deserves himself.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because your are awesome and he doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.

#MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou because you are beautiful inside and out.

Empower yourself and let yourself be heard.  Intimate partner violence is no laughing matter and can do years of psychological harm to you and your children.   #MaybeHeDoesntDeserveYou.

 

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PTSD is Real

My heart is breaking
I see you disassociating
I see the fear in your eyes
The sea is not calm and your heart is broken

You hear noises, but they remind you of the past and not the present
You go to a dark place
You are hiding and crying
I hold you as tight as I can
I tell you that you are safe

Your screams are real
The monsters are real
They are going to get you
Your world is so real

My heart is breaking
I see you disassociating
I see the fear in your eyes
The sea is not calm and your heart is broken

You are my baby
This was never supposed to happen
I know the signs all too well
PTSD is hell

You are referred to another doctor
No one understands this thing called PTSD
No one understands the impact of domestic violence on you
They say you were too little
Yet you can recall the most minute detail

Your screams are real
The monsters are real
They are going to get you
Your world is so real

The courts won’t believe you
They say you are too young
Yet you can recall the most minute recall
The sounds, the smells the memories they are so real

You are my baby
This was never supposed to happen

 

 

 

 

Posted in children and DV, court reform, domestic violence, PTSD | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mending a broken heart

I see your heart is aching, but I don’t know how to fix it.
I see your young eyes looking up to me for guidance and it hurts.
Your innocence was taken to young.
You are triggered and no one around you understands, but I do.

I see the fear in your eyes when a man yells.
You cower under a table or bury yourself in my arms.
I can’t tell you it will be okay, but I can tell you that you are safe at this moment.
My heart aches to watch you go from laughing to screaming all in a moments notice.

I know your screams are real.
Your screams are not about what is happening at the moment, but something in the past.
I hold you tight and say that you are safe, but I see the way you look at me.
Your eyes are full of fear and don’t know what is happening to your mind or body.

You know you are safe when I hold you, but you can’t break free from this fear.
This fear has engulfed you and is real.
My heart is aching and I pray that it ends.
I pray that this monster leaves you and that this thing called PTSD that has engulfed your mum doesn’t have a hold of you.

Too many fears, too many worries
You will be okay and I will always be there for you.
Your fears are real as the day that they happened.
Your innocence was taken to young.

I wish I could go back and change the past.
I wish you didn’t see what you did and that you found peace and never lost your innocence
I wish that you could tell me what you are feeling, but I know that you may not know.
I wish that you could tell someone else what has happened to you.
I pray that the monster leaves you, Landry, and that this thing called PTSD  that has engulfed your mum doesn’t have a hold of you.

 

 

 

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Parental Alienation Syndrome or DV by Proxy?

Through my journey with Landry I have had learned several things I never intended to know about mainly: PTSD, parental alienation, domestic violence by proxy and Cluster B personality disorders and a horrible court system.  We have navigated these uncertain waters.  These waters that were once filled with hope only to be filled with doubt and helplessness.  Thinking that a system that was built to protect would help us.  Was I foolish, naive?  Some may think so, but I refuse to give up and believe that this is the best for Landry.

Parental alienation is a new buzz word that is being thrown all around, but what it really means is domestic violence by proxy.  Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS is often a term that many don’t understand.  It is not recognized by the American Psychological Association, but often used by psychologists who are doing court ordered evaluations.  Often these court ordered evaluations often side with the abuser, because the abused is too weak to stand up or the abuser has a personality disorder namely Cluster B or anti-social. In my life, the parental evaluator sided with my ex and to this day I am not sure why.

I did learn through the process that the evaluator lied, he violated many ethics and even the law.  I also learned that often cluster B parents are favored because it will be “easier in the long run.” I will be launching a formal complaint, but in the process I have learned so much about a broken system.  I have learned that if a person truly has cluster B,  as in the case of my ex, that his or her true colors will show.  Patience, as hard as it may be, is our option right now.  I have learned if I launched a complaint immediately then the likelihood that it would have been dismissed would have been higher.  Now, I truly have “evidence” as the courts call it and I can proceed.

I often ask myself when the evaluators knowingly side with the abuser, who it will be easier for. Easier for them, the courts or the child? The child who will grow up in a house with at the very minimum psychological, emotional and verbal abuse? The child that will begin to lose his or her voice or the child that has stated their desires and they are dismissed because shared parenting is always best?

During this time, my ex “got himself together” and by that I mean, he sobered up for a month during his daily testing and put on his narcissistic charm that woos so many people.  He even tried to accuse me of hurting Landry. The one who has hurt Landry.  In his case all it did was buy him time and take my focus off of trying to show his true colors to trying to defend myself.  I have never hurt Landry, except I did not leave soon enough.  I will take responsibility for that and that is a guilt I will always carry with me.

I wanted out so bad that money wasn’t even a concern.  I would rather be a single mom in school working her way out of a failed system than get anything from him.  I was advised by the Guardian Ad Litem, not to file a restraining order because it would look like parental alienation syndrome.  Really? I want to protect my child and myself and you are court ordered to protect my child, but you won’t either?  Ironic, how he causes a public seen roughly every three months and now Landry has been referred to trauma therapy for domestic violence.  Landry is now talking about what Daddy did to Mommy, but you thought it best for Landry and that I not be accused of something that doesn’t exist?

I have learned through my journey that what Landry’s dad does is impose domestic violence by proxy on Landry and myself.  He tries to use Landry as a scapegoat or pit Mommy vs Daddy.  He abuses Landry and me through Landry by withholding telephone contact, not telling me about events that he signs Landry up for,  expecting me to do all of Landry’s homework with Landry and the list goes on.  I have learned to show support through Landry and continue to be the loving parent. I continue not to lower myself to his standards and will not talk bad about Landry’s father in front of Landry.

I have also learned that PAS is a term that was first coined by someone who associated it with pedophilia so if you have been a victim of domestic violence by proxy then I urge you to do your own research and make sure you are not hopping on a false bandwagon and instead encourage court reform and awareness of this very issue.  At the very minimum, please look at the basic definition of alienation. According to Merriam-Webster.com, Alienation is “a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person’s affections from an object or position of former attachment.”  From what I have learned on my journey, I have never tried to detach or withdraw my affections from Landry nor did I ask his father to do this.  His choices are what have led to detachments by Landry.  It is not something that I cannot control nor do I chose to control.  I don’t want that burden.

What I can do is help Landry.  I can make my shared parenting time with Landry extra special and I can fight for what is in Landry’s best interests.  I can help Landry understand Landry’s feelings through psychologists that are trained and have a child’s best interest at heart. Not my best interest or my ex’s best interest, but truly Landry’s best interest.

For more information on DV by Proxy, I have compiled a list of websites for more research and there are plenty more websites out there.

https://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/DVP.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joan-dawson/parental-alienation-and-d_b_811738.html
The Domestic Violence Variant
http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2008/01/pas-syndrome.aspx

Posted in court reform, Parental Alienation/ DV by Proxy, PTSD, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment