Divorce and Narcissism

Emotional Abuse

A family member said some very hurtful things to me a few months ago. We didn’t talk for about a month. Later, around Thanksgiving time this person wanted to talk, but not about our argument, they wanted to just talk and act like nothing happened. When I said I wasn’t ok with that, based on how our last conversation had gone, and tried to talk about the argument, get them to explain why they said the hurtful things, this person said I said hurtful things too. I asked about what things I said. They told me they didn’t have the energy to talk about it. And that was that, an abrupt end to them messaging me.

This is how emotional abusers operate. They throw out statements like “yeah, well you did this too and you did that” and when asked to back it up or give examples, so a chance is given to explain or apologize, they shut you down. Why? Because there are either no examples to give or they don’t want to go down the path of accountability. They don’t want to hear that they hurt you. They don’t want to hear that their behavior was cruel and unkind. In my situation it is even more of a head-scratcher because this family member tells everyone how life is too short to be angry and they are spiritual now and there are energies and what you put out is what you attract. And to be kind. To be genuine. To be happy. Just “Be.” This person doesn’t tell anyone about the shit-storm of wrongs they have committed against family and friends. They now hide behind doing charitable work and putting out books and going on tours, being a motivational speaker. Fuck as many people as you want but claim spirituality and that justifies it all. It’s different. It’s love and openness and being clairvoyant. That’s how to live your life, didn’t you know this?

Then this person sends me the quote pictured, just yesterday. Another example of emotional abuse. How can I possible respond to this quote? I’m not angry. I’m hurt. If I say anything, explain anything, they are the bigger person because they’re going into 2019 forgiving me? Life is too short to be negative? I did reply. I said I wasn’t angry with anyone and wished them a happy new year. They wished me the best year yet! Oh how awesome is this person?! How big of them. Best part for them is they don’t have to talk about the hurtful things said to me a few months ago! They get to tell the story about they reached out to me, because spiritual people forgive! So inspiring! This person gets to dismiss my feelings because that’s what their love is all about! They rock!

I’m not angry, I’m hurt. And if this person needs to do this to feel like the bigger and better person, (I am the most negative person they have ever met and I make them sick- their words) they can have this one. I’m not angry. I’m just done. It doesn’t matter if a person is your family, if they’re toxic and continue to make you feel bad about yourself, you need to find ways to minimize contact. I am doing that. And while I’m sad, deeply sad, I have accepted this. I’ll blog to get it out of my system and then I’ll move along. Life IS too short.

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Divorce and Narcissism

Selective Anonymity and Past Reflections

The three great former loves in my life all did not turn out to be the men I thought they were. What does that say about me and my clouded vision of love and who they appeared to be? A crook, a narcissist and a man who can’t love and uses women until he admits he can’t fake it anymore. What they left behind is a woman who is now single but gaining strength daily. That’s not to say I don’t still get sad and I’m not lonely. It just means I don’t need a man to define me. And I’ll never again settle. I can only realize these things if I face my past and try to understand what led me to become involved with these men in the first place. I make no apologies for talking about it. Here, in anonymity, it’s safER. I’ve made the mistake of telling a handful of people about my blog and with that comes the associated risk of them telling others it’s me. Is it really a mistake though? One recent person did share my anonymous post, exposing my identity, as far as I can tell. But I really don’t care because if telling a criminal I know about his past made him not want to text me anymore, what did I really lose? I (we actually ) decided we would not date and had not communicated in a few weeks and then out of the blue he messaged me wanting a truce. Somewhere in between that message and when I finally did reply, (maybe 12 hours later?) I believe this person I shared my blog with this guy which talked about this criminal and she told him. So thanks for that A, it saved me explaining to him that I knew he had a record, saved me from having to listen to his excuses of why what he did wasn’t as bad as his criminal friends/associates and they’re in prison, and that he wasn’t in federal prison so there’s that. Saved me from doubting myself. Saved me from explaining how what he did affected numerous people, his ex wife and child included. And that exposing only the parts he deems necessary to share, it is still deceit. So thanks, A. You can tell him that.

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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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Divorce and Narcissism

Jinx! 

Jinx. If I didn’t believe it possible before, I sort of do now. It’s like every time I feel confident…every time I write about good things and focus on good things….keeping my head above water, so to speak, bam! Something happens to really pull me under. I have tried asking why. That does not help because I can find no answer. It only seems to make me feel worse. I am so very human. I make mistakes and have erred. But I keep coming back to “why.” I behave kindly, because I want to, it’s genuine. I’m generous in all the ways I can be. I love fiercely. I’m loyal. So why? Why are these things happening?

Not two minutes after I posted what I did yesterday, I learned from my daughter that her father has mentioned when my oldest graduates in a few months, if he is offered a job in FL (we live in OH), there’s a real possibility he will take it and move. Now, knowing him for the last 23 years, I can say with certainty, he has already put this plan in motion but like always, he is lying and posing things as “a possibility.” I know he is planning this for sure. It explains all the added trips to FL. He has been interviewing within the company, I am sure of it. And letting the company pay for that part. Smart man? Dumb man? Both. And he asked if the kids want to go with him. His girlfriend lives there. So it begs the question: why? And how? How can this be possible? How can he do what he did and feel any justification for asking his children to move away? And live with the woman he lied and cheated with for years? I’ve said that I wished he would just move away but now that the possibility is here, I’m frozen with fear. Because the allure of sunny skies and beaches to three teens? And if they don’t move with him,  the thought of being forced by the courts to make them spend every summer, Christmas and spring break away from me? And I’d have to help fund these trips? It makes me feel like puking. I can’t openly vent to them because it’s not appropriate to tell a child you will feel like dying if they leave you. I will never guilt or manipulate my children into making the choice I want for them.

And yes, it’s confirmed this woman is planning my daughter’s graduation party. Complete with a theme she is choosing, no input from my daughter. Even my ex has stated this woman is going a little over the top. Ha? But again, I can’t wish for it to be a fiasco because my daughter will suffer. It is her special time and she deserves to feel special and be happy. But there is a small part of me that hopes my ex and his girlfriend have a huge fight about tthis and the fact that they are both idiots and selfish narcissists explodes in their faces. I said a long time ago that if they ended up together for good, they’d kill each other. Because an affair must be exciting and new. Keeping secrets and sneaking around? And it’s part time, with several states seperating them? If they lived together, the romance over whose turn it is to clean the toilet, clear the dinner dishes? Hell! Who is gonna cook? I am human so I try not to think like this but it’s hard. The thought of them realizing the two marriages and combined 6 children’s lives they’ve forever changed? I hope that happens. And they end up alone and lonely.

So what’s a girl to do? Sit and wait. And wait. And see this is why he is stalling the divorce. Because if it finalizes now, he will need to go back to court and pay more money to revise the shared parenting plan that is currently written out. I can see through all of this. But legally, there is not a damn thing I can do. So I sit. I wait. I pray. He is making good on his promises to take everything away from me that I love, as punishment for not agreeing to stay married to his abusive ass, while he continued to have affairs and lie about money.

I’m afraid to talk about a man I am seeing. He is wonderful and learning how to support me through this nightmare, one he can’t understand because it’s so foreign to him. And it’s impossible for me to explain because how can I when I barely understand it myself? I’m afraid to jinx things. So that’s all I’m going to say.

I had my moment last night. I melted down. I sobbed and cried and asked why. And now I’m stronger. Now I’m praying that my kids will see what’s happening and make the choices that best benefit them. Not me. Not their father. But themselves.

But fuck. Seriously?!

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