Divorce and Narcissism

On-Line Dating & Text Messaging

Not good. Not good at all, for me. Or maybe it’s just me who fails to state what I feel effectively. Maybe I am the problem. Whether it’s a new person, an old flame who finds you to reconnect or something in between, it’s just been a pitiful experience for me. Nothing beats face to face talks. You can pay attention. Hear inflections and see body language. You lose that with texting, unless you know the person very well, and even then sometimes there are misunderstandings. But some texts are clear. And mean only one thing. These are some of the things I’ve heard:

“Send me nudes.”

“Aren’t you very sexual?”

“Meet me tonight” said by a man who posted no pictures and would tell me nothing about his real name and then cursed me for saying no.

“I’ll smack your ass if you do that! Oh, but maybe you’d like that?”

And the best: being contacting by a boyfriend from 24 years ago and feeling excitement. He was always so special and never forgotten. No romantic love was still felt after all these years but the chance to begin reconnecting and learning who each of us had become was exciting and fun. I was still fond of him. I was nervous. We met for dinner. I had an amazing time and was looking forward to seeing him again to keep catching up. He was smart and funny and kind and polite. And yes, still just as handsome as he was 24 years ago! But I blew it. I didn’t harp on the past with him, the past where we were a couple. But I did mention he looked great, very much the same. We kissed goodnight but nothing intense. A quick kiss on the lips. I asked if it was ok to kiss him goodnight. He kissed me and then promised he would contact me to meet up again because he had a great time. And that was it. Apparently that makes me appear to want to snag him up and get married. Like tomorrow? Not my intentions. But I guess wanting to kiss a handsome guy goodnight is frightening for the guy? It’s ok for flirtatious things to be said to me by him. But me? Nope. I didn’t get that rule book. So I ruined it. Damn me.

Sad. There’s no where I can meet anyone new, in person, on my own. I took that step feeling like it was the only way. But I forgot my most important lesson and discovery: I am ok. Being single isn’t the end of my world. It’s a lonely world but I am alive and I deserve more. No settling. No filtering who I am to please others or make sure they are comfortable. No going back. I’ve learned from my past and I like the present me. The old me would have tried to fix whatever he made me feel I did was wrong. Not this time.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Boundaries

I made it through another Thanksgiving holiday and am preparing to fully enter this holiday season with all the strength and positivity I can muster.

It’s a challenge when you fight depression every day and have no place to call “safe.” Home life is stressful with my mother. Her health isn’t great. Her words are sharp and cruel and it is a daily struggle to put on my shield of deflection from her viciousness, and be able to shield my kids from it as well. One minute she says the most awful things and the next is saying how much she loves her grandkids and would do anything for them. Until they just…..live. And make their own choices. And express themselves. Then she tells us we are disgusting and if we continue to be who we are, we have to get out. We hear her on the phone with her family and she counsels them, telling the wonderful things like “you can’t threaten people and impose your will on others.” Or “don’t let differences keep you from having a relationship with your family.” I have no words. And I don’t recognize this pillar of strength and wisdom who sits before me doling out sage advice. She is my ex. In another body. She cares more about what strangers and distant family think than the people she lives with. Perpetuates the “do as I say and not as I do” movement.

But I get up every day and try to suck it up. Be strong and set a good example for my kids. I’m learning how to set boundaries and those aren’t received well by some people in my life. That adds to my depression because while I know it is necessary and healthy in the long run, the sting of the people who resist my boundaries is sharp.

My sister told me several weeks ago I am the most negative person she has ever met and that I make her sick. This was during a phone call where I asked if she was willing to have a conference call with my brother, my mother and me, because our mother wanted to discuss her estate planning. The conference call was my mother’s request. I was trying to set it up and make it happen for my mother. My brother agreed. My sister accused me of planting seeds in my mother’s head. Of wanting all my mother’s things after she dies. The more I tried to explain the more angry my sister became until we were yelling at each other and then those cruel words were said. I asked her if she was drinking because it has been my experience with her that when she drinks, she becomes irrational and mean. I am negative because I’m facing the reality that our mother is aging and should make these decisions now while she still has the mental capacity to do so because I don’t want to have to make those choices? I am negative because I vent when bad things happen to me? I am negative because I choose to stay in a house with my mom, who isn’t kind, but that’s my choice? It is my choice. But I don’t stay because I’m a freeloader. I don’t stay because I’m a glutton for mistreatment. I stay because I’m trying to help my children. And I’m here because cruel or not, my mother is getting older and her health is deteriorating and she needs help. I realize if I left, she would be alone and that she has isolated herself by behaving in ways that are unspeakable at times so people don’t want to be around her. But I am me. And I am not the most negative person ever. I have compassion and a strong desire to do what’s right. It’s easy for someone who lives far away to tell me what to do because they don’t see it or experience it firsthand. Yet when I share what’s happening, that makes me negative? No. I don’t believe that. The part where my sister said “you make me sick,” is what hurt the most. And I do worry about how negative I must sound but I vent about the negative things as a release. I need to get them out of my mouth and out of my body so I don’t cling to them and let them hurt me. Shouldn’t I be able to do that with my siblings, who know what our mother is like? Who know how bad my divorce was? Who know how hard it was for me to get a job and now have the ugly things happening at that job? I thought that was what unconditional love and support was built upon? Giving a person a safe place to vent and to be compassionate. My sister reached out a few days ago and when I expressed anxiety over speaking with her due to what happened in our last conversation, she said she didn’t have animosity towards anyone. I told her I don’t either, I’m just hurt by her words. And I told her that. Her reply was that she was hurt by words too. I asked what words hurt her. I want to know so I can reflect and apologize or further explain. Her reply to my question was that she didn’t have the energy to get into it. So very much like my mother, there is this method they follow: do and say hurtful things. Don’t speak for weeks. Then act like nothing ever happened. I don’t operate that way. We still have not discussed anything. That’s not animosity. That’s self preservation. That’s me setting boundaries. You don’t get to hurt me and then ignore me and then act like all is fine and I’m the one with the problem. Or animosity. And you’re the bigger better person because you tried to reach out to me? No. I deserve to enforce my own boundaries. And the ironic part? My sister told her daughters I hate her. Which I can assure you I don’t. But what I find remarkable is that she didn’t tell them what she said to me, what we fought about. She left out every detail that included her anger and unkind words to me yet she stressed and stretched anything I did or said that could be used as a reason to make herself the victim. I was nearly speechless when I heard this. I made no effort to reach out to my sister because I knew it would not be resolved and I was and am protecting myself. People are afraid of her. I am one of those people, but I have boundaries now.

My kids are going to be traveling to see their father right after Christmas and staying until after the New Year. It will be my first holiday being all alone since my separation and divorce. I’m sad but am trying to see some positives here. I can focus on just me and heal my mind. The thoughts of betrayal creep in. I know they are not really betraying me. He is their father and they want him in their lives. But I struggle with hearing how sad they are that he moved so far away and that they are finally at a good place with him. I want to scream sometimes. How can they forget that he was he person who put us all here? The person who chose to move away was him. And it’s easy to be at a good place with a parent when that parent doesn’t have to parent you. Doesn’t have to deal with the daily stresses and teenage behaviors. Doesn’t have to do the shopping and cooking and cleaning and running kids all around? Yeah. They’re at a good place. Well yay them! So being alone for the New Year night not be so bad. I can work on getting to a good place, with myself.

Work is still not a “safe” place for me either. The owner is a tool. A fake. And a giant child who doesn’t like being told when he has done something wrong. Instead of an apology, he turns every situation around and places the blame that belongs to him onto someone else. He has actually said that there is zero trust between him and I. He isn’t wrong. But then he said it is UP TO ME to make any and all efforts to attempt to rebuild the trust between us. And that I am never to share anything personal with him ever again because in doing so, I opened the door for him to make an inappropriate comment about my breasts to him. He one, doesn’t have to worry about me sharing anything with him ever again and two, I hope he holds his breath waiting for ME to work on rebuilding trust between the two of us. Regardless, I keep to myself and work like a champ. I get my work done plus the work of others. I help and I am dedicated to making the place a success. I’m still looking for another job elsewhere but the pickins are slim. I’ll keep at my search because I need to find a safe place. Just one place where I can be myself.

This pattern I see, of others not wanting to accept the blame for their actions that cause hurt or where they were wrong? Of ignoring the situation for long periods of time and then suddenly reappearing as if nothing happened? Of worrying about how they appear in the public eye but not even closely matching that view in private? I wonder what role I have in this pattern? My first step in understanding this is recognizing these are the people I see. I see them. I recognize the behaviors. And I am setting boundaries. Like it or not, they can not and I will not let them in any more. I don’t care if they are family or long-time friends, work associates or bosses. You may not come in. I think that is my role. I never set boundaries before. Anywhere in my life. A long time married male friend says something sexually inappropriate to me? I try to laugh it off so I don’t embarrass them. A co-worker says the same? My reaction is the same. Family or friends hurt me? I never say much. So they keep doing it. Kids share info about their father that I don’t want to hear and that hurts me? I let them talk because I want to support them. But who supports me? This is why I HAVE to set boundaries.

This blog post is a bit all over the place, so for anyone reading it, sorry about that. I just needed to get this out of my head and down where I can see it. That always helps me feel better.

So happy holidays. I am going to do my best to be bright and merry. It’s going to be exhausting and draining but I don’t want to let this depression get the best of me and I’m hoping my newly set boundaries will help with that.

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Divorce and Narcissism

#Hats

Today I faced my issue at work with the owner who says inappropriate things to me. I was nervous and scared. But I did it. I told him how I felt. I gave examples of the times he has said things to me that are “off.” The most recent is found in my blog just before this one, but it is basically him making a comment about me and a breast reduction, in response to my news of not needing a day off for a second scheduled biopsy. His way of addressing this was cold and filled with gaslighting and deflection. He remembered that I had shared a joke made by a medical person about my breast size, as in I’m small so a breast reduction was nothing I needed to worry about. I don’t even remember the specific joke but it was told. And so his reply to his comment to me was that I “opened the door on this one. Don’t you remember?” He said this in a forceful, angered, suggestive tone. There were two other people invited to the meeting. He also admitted it was in poor taste but his main objective was to place the blame on me. One person in the meeting spoke up and disagreed. He told her she had a right to her opinion but dismissed her and said it to me again.

I vaguely recalled the joke and told him that while I did share that, that was not an open invitation for him to chime in. None of the other management team members that I shared the exact same news with made any sort of joke, not one. Only him. I told him that the way he apologized to me right after was inappropriate. He was loud and drew attention to the situation, causing other coworkers to see and hear and ask me later what that was all about.

I don’t feel any good came from meeting with him today. I was able to tell him how I felt and give him examples, but my experience with people like him show me it makes no difference. He made sure to focus on what he felt I did wrong and that he was embarrassed. He he he. He even began the meeting by stating he was embarrassed and that I was about to be embarrassed as well because I invited two others to the meeting, so he had no choice. But he was the one who said we needed the meeting and that it didn’t have to be with him alone, that I could invite someone else so I didn’t need to be alone with him. So I invited his aunt who is also part of HR, and I also invited the general manager who is a strong and respected female at the business. So he started the meeting he said we should have with the “You opened the door on this one.” If I wasn’t recovering from gaslighting and narcissistic abuse, I would have been so confused by his behavior and words. I was a little confused but it was more like “what in the actual fuck is happening and how in the actual fuck do you keep on spewing such atrocious garbage from the hole in your face and not die from choking on your words?” Yeah. That kind of confusion. I saw and heard him clearly. He is a disgusting human being.

I don’t regret telling him he was wrong. And I don’t regret facing my fears. But I was shown again that self-centered people who are fake and worry about looking good to the public are rarely good in private. I had witnesses there in the meeting and while they know what happened, if I should ever think of going anywhere else with this such as filing a complaint with the EEOC, I’m sure they wouldn’t back me up. Everyone is out for themselves. He ended the meeting by letting me know it will take HIM a long time to learn to trust ME AGAIN. And that he could see I didn’t trust him. But he wouldn’t fire me over it. He “wasn’t like that.” (I had shared that I was nervous I could lose my job over this.) He also let me know that his divorce was finalized this week and he was going through a lot so this was exceptionally difficult for him to have to deal with. Gee I’m sorry. How dare I ask him to be held accountable for his words and actions when he is having a rough time of things. It’s not like I’m waiting for a biopsy to tell me if I have cancer. Or that I haven’t been through a lot. Who hasn’t? So let’s all go make inappropriate jokes and use the “my life is hard” card to get out of jail free! Fucking idiot is what he is. An idiot in a hat.

While I want so badly to post this picture for many to see, because they’d figure out it was him, I can’t post it anywhere but here, anonymously. His other business, is based on building trust and openly and honestly communicating with respect to others, focusing on the workplace. Yep. You read that correctly. So here is my picture. Hats. He always wears these ridiculous hats. He uses #hats in all of his media posts. He wears purple hats and red hats. Ridiculous hats. So I made this picture. At least I can have a good laugh here when I see it.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Things That PISS Me Off


Our justice system.

My divorce was horrible. The areas of the law that my ex broke, that were not even discussed in court or taken into consideration by the judge will always haunt me.

But recently the owner of the company where I work called a small meeting where I had to sit and listen to the details of his divorce. I didn’t need to be there. And I listened to how unethical things were permitted and of course, worked in his favor. Including his daughter writing a letter to the Judge and privately sending it, detailing things that should not have had any bearing on the outcome of the divorce but from what my boss said, were heavily considered in his final ruling. You see, his adult daughter used her relationship with the judge from many years ago, when this judge was her track coach. So he read the letter. And he ruled in my boss’s favor. And I’m pissed off. Because while my boss’s ex might have behaved in ways that showed she lacked character, she didn’t break the law. He was smirking. He admitted how inappropriate this letter was and was shocked that the judge read it. The judge gave him a copy of the letter. That smug look will also haunt me. I can’t understand anything right now.

My ex? No character. Abusive. AND he broke he law. And I got nothing from that. Not even a fair 50/50 division of assets. I wasn’t allowed to bring up the broken laws in my testimony. Even though laws were broken and there was proof.

Fact: I’m divorced.

Fact: I’m moving on. I have moved on.

Fact: I’ll be triggered by events like this for a long long time.

Fact: the world is too often unfair.

Fact: sexism is alive and thriving in 2018.

Fact: #metoo is not taken seriously.

Especially because my boss is a dick. He says inappropriate things to me all the time. Recently, I had one of two needed breast biopsies and the result of this one was good. His reply was that he was happy about that and then he proceeded to ask me if I was still planning my breast reduction surgery. I am not. Was not. Never planned that. Never needed that. Other than needing time off for this biopsy procedure, my breasts are not a topic of discussion at work, or with this man. It wasn’t an appropriate comment. He apologized soon after he emailed me the offense, on his own recognition that his comment was way off base, but made it worse by stating out of all the people at the company he shouldn’t have said it to, he definitely should not have said it to me. What the hell does that mean? Today he asked me if I missed him. How in the hell would I even answer that?

When I first started he wanted me to go to his home a few days a week to work privately with him. I refused. And he has treated me poorly ever since. I have a list of other inappropriate comments/behaviors/actions towards me. But I can’t say anything because I know how it will end. I had proof in my divorce. I got nothing. I have proof of the work harassment. I’d get nothing.

And he will, like my ex, always get away with it.

And yes. I have been looking for work elsewhere I just have not had any luck. I’m not 20. I’m 48 with kids to support so I can’t up and quit. And who would I file a complaint with? He is the owner. An outside source? It’s a joke. I have been shown that even with proof and even when laws are broken, when you know the right people you can get away with terrible things. And if I filed outside of the business, who the hell would ever hire me? I’d be letting myself be the victim in this scenario and fucking up what’s left of my future.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Safe Places & Bad Memories

There are so many details surrounding the time period leading up to and then during and after the discovery of my ex-husband’s final affair that I try to not think about. I try hard and I’ve actually made it to a point where I can get through days without thinking about it. That’s progress! I’m not thrilled with where I am in my life right now, the many changes and stresses that being a single mom has caused. My kids are wonderful, so it’s not that. It’s the financial burden and the changing everything we have known, for them for their whole lives and for me, for the past 20+ years. Change can be good, but for me it’s not, not while I’m undergoing the changes. I can’t see or feel what’s good about it. The good becomes apparent to me well after the fact. I am better off ending a marriage that was filled with deceit. I am better off being alone and lonely versus trapped in a marriage where I wasn’t alone, but I was lonely. I am better off being financially strapped rather than depending on a husband who abused me financially. (When I moved out, before I had secured a job, I was shopping for groceries with my kids and learned he shut down my credit card and transferred all our money, except for 80 cents, into a new private account, forcing me to need and be on government assistance. And forever burning into my mind and the minds of my kids, that memory of standing at the checkout with my kids and having to leave a cart full of food behind, embarrassed and humiliated). I am better off being insecure and anxious all the time, but learning to find my way out of that and building boundaries and seeing my self worth, rather than staying with a husband who berated, belittled and emotionally abused me in subtle ways that were not apparent at first. Narcissists do this. They break you down, slowly and steadily. You don’t realize what is happening at first because you were a good person before you met them, you maybe just had a few insecurities. Narcissists are skilled at honing in, like a laser beam, on those insecurities, and they lock onto the bullseye and use those insecurities to their advantage. By the time you see what they are doing, what they have done, the damage feels irreparable. What you’re left with, quite often, is the shell of the person you used to be. More insecure, more anxious, and afraid. You don’t feel seen or heard. You feel invisible and quite frankly, if you’re like me, you long for the days where you can fly under the radar because being invisible means being left alone. Why do I want to be left alone? Because while not every person who is rude or unkind or dishonest is a narcissist, the world is filled with people who see your insecurities and latch on to them. Who use you. Who are dishonest to you, to their spouses, to their bosses, even to their friends. And your distrust grows and grows and grows and the whole time it’s growing you have an internal dialog where you blame yourself and think you’re just paranoid. These narcissists stripped away your confidence and ability to make even the smallest decisions.

So I write all of this and then look back at the reason I started this blog entry. The memories that surround the abuse, the affair and the aftermath of my divorce from a narcissist…..

I have children with him. And every time they see him or talk to him, the memories come flooding back. This happens because they are damaged by what he did too. I can’t ask them to not share with me their interactions with their father. I can’t because they need a safe place. I’m that safe place. I sit here and I hear what they’re saying, because their father doesn’t listen. His lover doesn’t listen. I can’t afford to turn it off and feign listening. So I truly listen. They deserve that And in doing so, all those memories come flooding back to me. It’s hard, often, to not get upset or frustrated with my kids when they share how mad they are at this other woman but not their father. He was 1/2 the reason this final affair happened. I understand he is their father and they want him in their lives but it takes a toll on me. Pushing those memories away so I am not turned into a cold heartless monster, that much effort is exhausting. One of my kids told me she argued with the other woman over where I am in my life and that this other woman is to blame. I didn’t feel good about that. I didn’t because my kid doesn’t seem to have that same anger towards her father. I say I don’t want my kids to be angry with their father but maybe I really do? Maybe I want to feel like someone has my back? Like I have the same safe place I provide for so many people? But I say maybe because I don’t trust my emotions and thoughts most of the time. And saying I want them mad at their father seems cold and harsh. I don’t want to be cold and harsh. I just want to feel safe and be seen and heard. And I want to be mad and have someone tell me it’s ok to be mad and understand why I am mad, like I tell my kids. But I fear that I will hear, as I have countless times before, that I control my own happiness and I need to move on. I am trying and as I said way above, I have many days in a row where I feel good because I can look back and say I didn’t think about these as memories, until….bam! The kids bring it all back to me after visiting with their father. I’m out of that marriage, but I still feel trapped.

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Uncategorized

Well, That’s Grand

I have not written here for quite some time. I have been busy with the work program I am required to participate in in order to receive my government food and cash assistance benefits. And I have also been filled with so much anger and frustration that I find it hard to do much else when I do have a few free minute. I obsess. I panic. The wonderful part is when these panic attacks take over so much of me that I literally think I am having a heart attack or that I will just cease breathing right there on the spot. I need meds but I am afraid that he will use that in court and say I am not stable enough to have and raise the kids. I truly believe I am suffering from PTSD.

He has filed for custody of the kids, claiming I am abusive. He counter-filed for divorce claiming I was an awful wife…. I believe the legal jargon used was “gross neglect of duties…” Know what is gross? His dumb ass and that fact that I am weak.

I have lost friends over this . I have ruined relationships.

My daughters have allowed themselves to be manipulated by him, despite my warnings. These warnings are difficult to offer because I try hard to not speak ill of their father to them.. How can I do this?  I just try not to speak at all about him.  One day they are mad and hate him, the next day they love their lives and want to live with him.

I am a mess.

Oh, and he bought his lover a ring and my son found it. Do you think he admitted to this or accused my son of lying and diverted the conversation to him being a victim?  I will let you decide. He is lonely.  Poor thing. Lonely? Lonely is being surrounded by people but not being heard. Lonely is telling the truth and being real, putting yourself out there, yet losing friends. Lonely is being me. Lonely is having guys shower yo u with attention but as soon as you tell them you are not interested in a purely sexual relationship, they dump you as a friend.

I really have no idea what I am supposed to do.  But I am tired of hearing how strong I am. If people took the time to see me, really look at me, they would see  I am not, in fact, fine.

Friends, married males, think it is fine to speak to me in disgusting sexual ways. The non-married ones must think I am so desperate that it is ok to speak to me like I am a two cent whore.  People where I spend my “work” time to earn this cash assistance? Same. I am held to a different set of standards than so many people around me.

I do not know how much more I can take.  But I at least need to hang on until May 19th when I go to court.

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Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Blessings

Wow. This day is harder than I thought it would be. Just knowing it’s the last Thanksgiving we will all be together as the family we have all known for 18 plus years, it’s a little hard. My heart hurts. 

But I’ll remember all I have to be grateful for. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this. ❤️

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