Divorce and Narcissism

Buon Fortuna!

Over 20 years ago, I began dating my ex-husband on St. Patrick’s Day. And up until 2015, we celebrated that anniversary every single year. We celebrated in March of 2015 and then the following month of that same year I learned he had been having a secret affair with a woman he worked with. That affair had lasted for close to 3 years, at the time I found out about it. From her husband. My ex and this woman are still together and engaged. I’m not upset or angry about anything anymore, it is just what happened. I do want to say though that I find it particularly odd that he is marrying her this year, on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. He has to remember our history but I wonder if she has any clue and how she would feel about it if she did know? Knowing the things she did and said about me, part of me thinks she does know and it’s her way of believing she is taking something else she believes was mine and making it hers. But that doesn’t bother me either because I know what she is getting and I don’t want it. Not even a little tiny piece of it do I want. So happy nuptials to them! Second for her, third for him. Once they marry they’ll have had 5 weddings between the two of them so it should be perfect- that’s what practice makes, right? 😉

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Divorce and Narcissism

Things Narcissists Say

When informing my ex husband of what happened with our daughter, where she lied and engaged in unacceptable dangerous behaviors, he actually said to me “deceit of any kind is never ok” and “just because a divorce is involved, kids can’t act out like this.”

This is coming from the man who hid an affair for nearly three years, accused me of having one and being crazy for even thinking he would do anything so ugly and awful and if I asked him one more time if he was being unfaithful, he would leave me because he didn’t deserve to be treated that way. Same guy.

This is also why it is next to impossible to co-parent with a narcissist and you constantly have to weigh what you should tell them about what your kids have done against any further damage they could cause. While my daughter and I worked on things and will continue to work on things, I truly wonder what went through her brain when she heard her father counsel her on honesty and integrity and treating those people in your life who love you with respect? Also “he is always there for us, just a text or call away.” He up and moved several states away many months ago, leaving me truly alone in every sense of the word, to parent these kids.

It was a huge struggle to handle this with calmness and poise but I made it through. It exhausted me to the point where I didn’t get out of bed for a day but I did it. Small victories.

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abuse, anxiety, depression, Divorce and Narcissism

Raising a Rebellious Entitled Child

I found vodka in my child’s room. I have no idea what to do at this point. For the last three years I have struggled with her lashing out and being disobedient and lying. I have given her everything I can, including my trust and understanding after her father and I split and got divorced. She has played me this whole time. She turns 18 in May and I am honestly considering asking her to leave when she legally becomes an adult. All the lies? All the times she has missed school with a headache or nausea? I think maybe I’ll look into substance abuse centers for teens because so much makes sense now and I do not have the skills or resources to help her anymore.

I’m just numb.

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abuse, anxiety, depression, Divorce and Narcissism

Depression Backslide

I caught a cold that’s been going around. I’ve been sick since about Wednesday and it’s now Saturday. I had to back out of a volunteer obligation last night that I was looking forward to. And there was a fundraiser tonight I also didn’t attend because I’m still too sick. I probably could have gone tonight if I took some cold meds but I was supposed to go with my daughter and she went somewhere else instead and the thought of going alone, feeling sick was depressing.

I’ve spent today laying in bed watching a Netflix series, becoming increasingly more and more depressed. I think being sick is making everything feel worse. Just reminds me that there’s no one to check on me or get me stuff if I feel too awful to get it myself. It’s pathetic. Pathetic both in that it’s true and that I feel this way. I haven’t talked to one person today outside of this house. Got my dinner alone and starting thinking, when the kids are all off on their own, this is what my life will be like. I could go days and not speak to a single person. Hard to not feel a bit depressed, and yet, maybe it’s not so bad. Still learning to deal and flex and grow and allowing myself to not fall from grace when I recognize I’m having a backslide. It’d be easier if I could breathe out of both my nostrils.

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work, manners, ethics, good character

“Just” an Anything is Offensive, IMO

May I ask for your opinion on something? Yes, you. I want to know.

I view a situation a certain way and am wondering if anyone else will.

I work as an executive assistant to the founder and director of an organization. I am also the receptionist and office manager there. My email signature states that. Today I was asked by a male board member to remove the office manager and receptionist wording from my email signature because he feared I won’t get the respect I deserve if people think they’re speaking with “just a receptionist.” I will do as asked but I am offended by his words. I find them slightly sexist as well, probably because they came from a man. “Just a receptionist” is offensive to a receptionist. I am a receptionist, amongst other things, it’s a part of the job I do and it’s written right into my job description. Using only Assistant To The Director/Founder” in my email signature doesn’t illustrate my full job or, I think, convey to people just how much I do. My last job at a different place seemed to treat this role similarly. Why is being a receptionist a position that doesn’t deserve the same respect as an assistant? And I’d like to add, prior to working at either of the places I’ve mentioned, I was “just a housewife and mother” for nearly 20 years. It took me a long time to find a job because of that. I’ve heard how valuable what I devoted much of my adult life to was, but when it came time to be hired in the professional world again, all that value was lost.

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.

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work, manners, ethics, good character

Be Our Guest!

I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a girl at work. The summary of this conversation was basically that she was getting messages from an old co-worker about where things were at her old place of employment, such as various supplies and files and the coffee for when guests came to visit. Her position at her old employer was an assistant to a high level executive and hadn’t been filled yet at the time of the conversation. She said the person who was texting her was annoyed because he made more money than she had but since her old position was still vacant, her old job’s tasks were divided up amongst several people until a replacement was found. She found it funny but also agreed with this guy that it wasn’t “right” that someone in his income bracket was getting the coffee for guests. I have a huge problem with that kind of thinking. Huge.

Upper management in many many companies is continually asking why there is a divide in offices? How can we bridge the gap? How can morale be improved? How do we obtain good “mojo?” If we are all pieces and parts of the overall success of a company, we should all help where it’s needed, when we can. I’m not suggesting we pull high level executives from big deals and time sensitive projects to get coffee all the time. I’m talking about when there’s an immediate need or a shortage or you’re simply the first point of contact and trying to make a genuine good first impression. That’s my take. If getting coffee to make your guests feel comfortable is beneath you, try telling that to your guest and see how that goes. “Oh, would you like a cup of coffee? Great! But I can’t get it for you because I make over $65k annually but let me go try to find a $25-40k worker to get it for you, because that’s in their skill-set. Be right back! But hey, don’t go anywhere and please become my customer and give me your money because we at (insert any company’s name here) will ALL always work hard to treat you right because you matter and we here at (insert same any company’s name here) will ALL work harmoniously and together as a team to make sure you are always completely satisfied! Unless you ask me for coffee”

This is more than a work issue to me. More than management versus assistants or blue collared workers. More than higher education and skill set. It’s a character defining moment. It’s insulting and it explains why she never helped in my areas while I worked with her because she made a considerable amount more than I did, even though we were both assistants. She never got a single cup of coffee for any guest. She couldn’t even be bothered to help answer the phones if I had to be away from my desk. The buyers helped. The director of finance and administration helped. Sales reps helped. But not her. I guess she figured my overall abilities were beneath her and defined by my income bracket. Her busy trumped everyone else’s busy. That mindset insulted me and every other person who did pitch in to help. It also explains why I sought employment elsewhere. That same uppity mentality was found in other areas of the company and I simply couldn’t thrive in that environment.

Is it eerie that she texted me yesterday with questions about where I used to pull info to make specific weekly reports? Geez you’d think they’d teach that at her imaginary assistant school. At least she knows where the coffee is. Whether she actually ever gets anyone but herself a cup is no longer my problem. But the cycle goes on.

I’m happy to report I now work in an office, albeit much smaller, where we ALL get coffee for anyone who wants it. Or water. Or tea. For each other. For guests. For volunteers. No matter what you earn, we are all treated as having value and worth, by every single person in the entire place. I love that. I feel like I’m home. Won’t you please come in? May I offer you a cup of coffee? Be our guest!

*Image: from Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast”

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