Divorcing a Narcissist (Cluster B and other Personality Disorders)

Divorcing a Narcissist (Cluster B and other Personality Disorders)

New PictureMission Statement: 

One Mom’s Battle was founded in 2011 by Tina Swithin as she navigated the choppy waters that go hand-in-hand with divorcing a narcissist or other Cluster B personality disordered ex. In June 2014, One Mom’s Battle retained non-profit status. Tina’s story shows how one woman took lemons and shared lemonade with the world. To read Tina’s story, click here.

TO DONATE TO ONE MOM’S BATTLE, CLICK HERE.

The Mission of One Mom’s Battle is two-fold:

  • Educate the Family Court System (Judges, Commissioners, attorneys, GALs, social workers, etc) on high-conflict divorces fueled by individuals with Personality Disorders.
  • To provide a common meeting place for men and women dealing with a Narcissistic (or other personality disordered) ex where members can support one another and problem solve together in a positive fashion.

“My mission at One Mom’s Battle is fueled by the vulnerable children who are deserving of a normal, healthy childhood. The courts need to stop focusing on Mother’s Rights and Father’s Rights – a parent should not have rights simply because they have the ability to procreate. That is ludicrous and barbaric. A child’s right to be safe, loved and nurtured should supersede the rights of his or her parents. The Family Court System needs a complete overhaul because it should not be this difficult to protect a child. The Family Court System is failing our children and our families.”  -Tina Swithin

History of OMB: After a horrific 4-year custody battle, Tina Swithin took her plight to the media in an effort to shine the spotlight on her intense struggle to protect her young daughters. After four years on the battlefield and while acting as her own attorney, Tina’s battle came to an end on July 10, 2013 when she was granted a final custody order for full legal and physical custody and professionally supervised visits for her ex-husband. Because Tina is a mom, she titled her blog, FB page, and book One Mom’s Battle but fully recognizes that both men and women can be fighting to protect their children from poor decision-making by personality disordered ex-partners and by the family court system.

A Grassroots Movement: As of 2014, One Mom’s Battle has grown to reach the far corners of the Earth with the help of a dedicated group of Administrators who know first-hand the damage that someone with a Cluster B personality disorder can cause. Together, this group works tirelessly to support a Facebook page of over 10,000 survivors and over 100 Chapters (aka OMB Cheer Teams) of One Mom’s Battle which are spread all over the world.

Tina’s Books: Praised by celebrities, attorneys and those in the trenches of the Family Court System, Tina’s two books collectively hold 200 reviews on Amazon and both maintain a five-star rating.

To hire Tina Swithin as your personal divorce coach, click here.

The New Face of One Mom’s Battle- Lucy K. Wright

prayerWhen Tina’s battle came to an end in 2013, she held a contest to find the “New Face of One Mom’s Battle” and out of numerous applicants, Tina chose an inspirational woman by the name of Lucy K. Wright to share her story with the world. Follow Lucy’s journey growing up with a narcissistic father through her battle in the court system in an effort to protect her children from her narcissistic (ex) husband. To read Lucy’s story, click here.

 “Live life smiling and give it all you’ve got” are words Lucy holds very true to her heart. In honor of her mother, sisters, aunt, her own children and countless others surviving through their own NPD feats each and every day, Lucy bravely shares her story and encourages others to share theirs as we join together to make our voices heard. -Lucy K. Wright

Disclaimer: No one at One Mom’s Battle (or acting on behalf of One Mom’s Battle) is authorized to provide legal advice or mental health advice. As a group, we share our stories and assist one another with compassion and empathy. If you or anyone that you know is contemplating suicide, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE).

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“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Pigs Can Fly, and Other Such Philosophical Discussions With a Narcissist: Grab your Earplugs and Don’t Even Try

Pigs Can Fly, and Other Such Philosophical Discussions With a Narcissist: Grab your Earplugs and Don’t Even Try

7by Lucy K. Wright

For 93.8% of the population, One Week = 7 days = 168 Hours.

For 6.2% of the population suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there is a good chance for argument on that.

Let me give you a few examples:

Me: “What a beautiful blue sky today!”

N-Him: “Well… technically it’s not “blue” but you might think it is because clearly you aren’t smart enough to understand that the molecules in air scatter the light…blah… absorbing most wavelengths of light except for blue. So you are really being quite simplistic and sounding rather stupid when you make the statement “the sky is blue…””

Of course.

Me: “I can’t believe it’s already the 355th day of the year, with only 10 days more until New Years! Where does the time go?”

N-Him: “Well… as you might know, but probably not, Atomic Clocks are responsible for synchronizing time for much of our technology… blah…and now there is advanced technology with time being accurate to one second in 300 million years…blah, blah… and factoring in leap year… and well, the calculations might really add up to 366 days in a year…blah, blah, blah. Especially when that extra night, according to MY calculations, is MY overnight, and I don’t have to pay YOU additional child support for it…

Really.

I think therefore I am.  The sky is blue.  The grass is green.  Snow is white.

_______________

I filed a Parenting Time Dispute motion with the court to ask the Judge to please define what “one week of time” meant.

The motion went a little something like this:

“Due to continuous disagreement and constant varying interpretation of our current decree, I ask that the court please define for my (dear) “ExN” what “one week of summer vacation time” equates to, spelled out in both parenting “days” and “overnights” so that we may both choose our vacation time with our children fairly and equally this summer, and going forward.” (Respectfully, humbly, and embarrassingly yours… LK).

I felt ridiculous going to the courthouse and filling out a form to seek a professionally written answer to clarify, and verify, and set the record straight, that indeed, “One week equals Seven Days,” and asking someone to waste precious time on such frivolousness.

But I did not know what else to do.

The ExN insisted that his “summer vacation weeks” spanned anywhere from 8 overnights to 12 total. Mine? A standard week with seven nights.

Logic? Reason? Discussion? None. There is no such thing as “Co-” anything with a Narcissist. Don’t even try.

Our decree is written very vaguely, and subject to various interpretations by Him, which occur almost each time there is any time off from the kids’ school. Had I known back then when we going through the original divorce process, versus knowing what I know now having gone through the high-conflict post-divorce years’ worth of experience I now have because of Him, I would have never signed off on our current decree.

Life lesson learned.

________________

Within a few weeks, the Judge kindly clarified for us that indeed: “There are Seven days in One Week….”

Thank you Judge.

You have no idea how sorry I am that I asked you to spend your esteemed valuable time on this. But you also have no idea what I deal with on a daily basis, trying to be reasonable, and trying to work these simple things out myself, with someone who is probably in the top .05% of the top 6.2%. It’s impossible. And so even more, I thank you for your time.

I thought that having something in writing would help.  I thought we would now each follow the guidelines set forth by the Judge and fairly schedule our vacation time.  And…Pigs can fly.

The Ex’s response?

Fire-fueled. Chest out. Bring it on. “No one is going to tell me I’m not right.”

Because in dealing with a Narcissist, even what a Judge has to say is going to be wrong.

The ExN and his attorney immediately filed a dispute to the Judge’s ruling, contesting that “according to their interpretation” of the current decree…. “there are really not Seven days in a week’s worth of time when it comes to allocating his summer vacation.”

And so the saga continues.

_____________

Life lesson learned:

Always have your earplugs available.

And if you choose to feed the Narcissist, always be prepared to enter the battle zone.

~LLS~ Lucy K.

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“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Tina Swithin will help you to establish boundaries and regain your power. Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Turning 40 and Adjusting My Sails

Turning 40 and Adjusting My Sails

sailsby Tina Swithin

I am not a football fan but I know a good end zone dance when I see one. I am currently heading for the end zone – the end of a decade. This week, I turn 40 years old. At first, like many of my peers, I struggled with the thought of leaving my 30’s until a few things put it all into perspective for me.

  1. I lost some longtime friends over the past year. Not because of a falling out or a silly argument. It was much bigger than that. Several amazing women that I’ve known since elementary school faced cancer bravely but in the end, it succeeded in taking them from their friends, their family and this world. It felt pretty petty to complain about a new year of life when there are people unable to enjoy another day…or another breath. In their honor, I will embrace my 40’s the way I embrace everything. With life. With love. With all of my being.
  2. I could look at the negatives and dwell on them or, I could look at the picture as a whole and focus on the positives  and on all that I have accomplished over the past ten years. Here are just a few of the moments that stand out in my mind over the past decade:
  • I was handed a diagnosis of MS months before turning 30 which at the time, was a devastating blow. I then embarked on a long and windy road filled with numerous doctors, hospital stays, lab tests and various treatment plans. Through this journey, I have taken the lemons and made lemonade while trying to stay positive.
  • Weeks before my 30th birthday, I discovered that I was pregnant with my first daughter. That year, I learned what it meant to be selfless. I learned that the love you have for your child is a love that you can never describe. In April of 2005, I held my baby for the first time and my life forever changed.
  • At the age of 32, the love that I had for my daughter expanded to include a second daughter. During my pregnancy, I wondered how I could love another child the same way I loved my little girl but those concerns were quickly dismissed when they placed a 6lb 9oz baby girl in my arms in April of 2007.
  • At the age of 34, my marriage ended and I embarked on a journey that few will ever be able to understand. I am thankful that they don’t understand because it is a journey that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
  • That same year, I found God. He had been there all along. He wasn’t hiding- I had been. For the first time in my life, I had faith.
  • Months later, and very unexpectedly, I met my best friend. It just so happened that my best friend turned out to be tall, dark, handsome and the kindest, most honest man I had ever met. Thus began a type of love that I didn’t know existed.
  • At the age of 37, I had this silly little idea to start a blog. That blog has morphed into two books and a movement that I could have never envisioned.
  • At the age of 38, I married by best friend and together; we have five children ranging from the age of 25 all the way down to 7. His are grown and out of the house…mine are not. We are the modern day Brady Bunch complete with all the chaos and craziness that you would expect. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
  • Just three months after my wedding, I was successful in my plight to protect my daughters. Anyone who has been in the Family Court System with a narcissist knows how monumental this is. A full 14 months of peace ensued following this life-changing day.
  • At the age of 39, I launched a non-profit organization which will work to educate the Family Court System on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and a coaching business which allows me to educate and empower those in the trenches. I have discovered what it means to “find  your passion” and everything that has happened over the past ten years makes complete sense.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be. It all makes sense. The good times, the bad times and even the times when I waived my fists in the air and cried. The times when I crumbled to the floor and questioned my faith. It all makes sense and I am thankful to be where I am today. I am at the end of a decade and I am doing my own version of an end zone dance.  – Love, Tina

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“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Tina Swithin will help you to establish boundaries and regain your power. Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

“What characterizes an abusive relationship, even more than the physical marks, is that there is fear in your heart everyday.”

“What characterizes an abusive relationship, even more than the physical marks, is that there is fear in your heart everyday.”

restraining-order-picby Lucy K. Wright

I lay in my bed in the fetal position, barely moving for the third straight day, sobbing, not eating, wearing the same robe I had put on after returning from the court house. My head was spinning, my thoughts dark and sad as this was the first time my kids and I had ever been apart. I got the restraining order because I was afraid of him. I was afraid for my kids and afraid for myself.   Now they were with Him, and the minutes passed like hours as I persevered through the time before I knew they would be home again.

My “father” showed up at the courthouse after two weeks had passed and it was time to deal with the restraining order. He was there to “support” my ExN, his made-of-the-same-Narcisstic-mold-adopted “son,” whom he chose to favor over his own biological daughter. He uttered no words during this short court visit; he just sat proudly on the bench behind my ExN and his attorney, carefully taking notes and nodding in agreement whenever he could. I had not spoken to my “father” in over two months, and the time before that even longer. The last call we had?

It was summer, I was driving, and I was afraid.  I called him crying, telling him I really thought sometime was wrong with my Ex, that he needed help, that I was scared of what he was going to do next, and him hurting me or my kids.  I told him his behavior was irrational and I genuinely told him I didn’t know what to do and thought he needed help.  My father was, well, my father, and I thought he might actually listen to me.

My father’s response to me simply was this:  “Well, Lucy…. What you are telling me does not seem like “Ex” at all, I’m not sure I understand.  Exactly what did YOU do to cause him to start behaving like this?”

For domestic violence to exist there must be one or more of these: punishment, coercion, control, intimidation and revenge. My father punished me because in his eyes, I was just like my mother. He packed his things and left her out of the blue one random morning after more than two decades of …punishment…coercion…control…intimidation…and revenge.

This was my “normal” growing up, what I knew. And this is why I went on to marry someone who was exactly the same as him.

The ExN, and my “father,” picked the kids up shortly after I returned from the court house. I had to carefully explain to the kids what was happening, as they had not seen or spoken with their father for two weeks, and up until a few hours prior, I did not know that there would be a visit so quickly. They were cautiously excited, not knowing quite what to expect.

Neither was I.

We agreed at the court house that the kids would call me at 7PM each night they were with their dad so I could at least have comfort in hearing their voices.

The first night they left I received a voice message from my “father” letting me know that the kids “were not interested in talking with me right now” but they would try again later. About a half an hour later I spoke with my daughter for a few minutes before she was interrupted by my “father” saying “it was long enough,” and that my son “did not want to talk to me at all.”

The next night I experienced the same thing.

And on the third night I finally got to talk with both of my kids.

Punishment…Coercion…Control…Intimidation…Revenge

~LLS~ Lucy K. Wright

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“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Tina Swithin will help you to establish boundaries and regain your power. Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Magic Genie

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Magic Genie

61by Tina Swithin

My oldest daughter walked out of her therapy session today and said, “Megan (therapist) asked me what I would wish for if a magic Genie granted me one wish. I told her that I would wish for my dad to disappear. I want him out of my life.”

In my head, I wish for the same thing but obviously, I can’t say that to her.

  • We’ve had 14 months of peace since Seth walked away.
  • The nightmares stopped when he walked away.
  • The potty accidents stopped.
  • The teeth grinding stopped.
  • The fear and chaos stopped.

With one phone call, he’s back. My daughter had her first nightmare right after we broke the news. As I went to check on my youngest daughter two nights ago, I heard the sound that I remember so well – she was grinding her teeth in her sleep.

I met with Minor’s Counsel last week and provided updates on everything that has happened in the past 14-months including a new police report that has emerged (more on that later). Minor’s counsel supports my proposal for therapeutic supervision to start the process up. Minor’s counsel also gave me approval to share the full custody evaluation with the supervising therapist which will hopefully help her to understand the depths of the abuse.

At the end of this month, the girls and I will meet with the therapist who will facilitate the visits which will initially be one hour in length and will eventually move to two hours. He will be able to see the girls on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of the month from 1pm to 3pm. In the meantime, we’ve increased counseling sessions with their therapist to assist with this transition. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers – my seat belt is fastened as we embark on the latest ride with a madman at the controls.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Tina Swithin will help you to establish boundaries and regain your power. Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

 

“It’s Okay Now Mommy. You Don’t Have to Cry Now Since Daddy Isn’t Here Anymore”

“It’s Okay Now Mommy. You Don’t Have to Cry Now Since Daddy Isn’t Here Anymore”

ransackedby Lucy K. Wright

My heart was beating fast and I was fighting to hold back my tears as I faced the moment of telling my seven-year-old daughter that her daddy would no longer be living with us. It was week one of a two week temporary restraining order against my ExN, and I purposely waited until a Friday night to talk with them so we had the weekend together. I did not know what to expect or how they would react once I told them. Neither of the kids had asked “Where is Dad,” in the one week he had been gone.

The few weeks of hostile events leading up to me getting the restraining order had become progressively worse, and I knew I could not survive his anger and outbursts much longer.

During the last few weeks, he quit counseling because he said I was never willing to address any of our “real issues” so going was just a waste of his time.

He rarely slept, often wandering the house at all hours of the night and early morning.  I was not sleeping, or eating, or doing much of anything past trying to survive as best as I could and keep the conflict to a minimum by being the subservient puppet I knew that he wanted me to be.  When I was sleeping, with one eye open because of my fear and feeling like I needed to be on guard at all times, he would frequently crinkle pages of books or magazines so they made a loud enough noise for me to wake up.  After that, he would proceed to tell me things like “how lucky I was that he was even still with me at all;” that I’d “been treated like a princess for 13 years;” and “whatever mid-life crisis I was having was ruining our marriage.”

Yelling.

Anger.

My fault. My fault. My fault.

He listened to the messages on my cell phone and was irritated when he heard friends and family offering words of support.  None of them dared to mention his name, but they told me they were thinking of me, wanted to know if I needed anything, etc.  Those messages made him irate, and after two hours of shouting at me and telling me how worthless I was, I left the house to go on a walk.  It was very early in the morning, and the kids were still asleep.  I had to get away and compose myself before they woke up.

I barely made it through our neighborhood, my feet feeling like lead weights with each step I took forward being a force against me.  I was sick to my stomach and hyperventilating so much that I was forced to sit down on a park bench.  And breathe.  And cry.  I sat for a long while, my head spinning as I watched a sunrise on what should have been the beginning of a beautiful summer morning.  I was lightheaded and nauseous and I sat as long as I could before I knew it was time to return to my kids.

I got home to find him sitting at my computer, “refurbishing it back to its original state” as he abrasively told me when I asked what he was doing.  I asked him to please leave my files alone – personal and business pictures, small home based business files where I tracked my inventory, the kids’ school files, etc. – but with the click of a few buttons everything was gone.  Poof!  Gone.  Just like he wanted.

When kids got up, after I had been up virtually all night enduring him and his latest tirade, I kissed them good morning and attempted to act as normal as possible.  When I went to get dressed I found him rummaging and taking all of my jewelry because “I didn’t deserve it anymore.”  Later that day, he started yelling at me in front of our four-year-old, saying how everything was my fault, and how he wished he had never met me.  I told him we could talk when the kids weren’t around.  He said a few choice words and then forcefully pulled the wedding ring off my finger.

Somehow by afternoon that day, in my sheer exhaustive state with everything that had been occurring lately, a mysterious surge of strength brewed from within me.  As per Oprah, “No experience is ever wasted.  Everything has meaning.”

Looking back, and believing that things in life happen for a reason, I know that bolt of strength came to me on that day, for a reason.

I had a small window of opportunity to leave the home with the kids, and without hesitation, I drove to my attorney’s office and asked how to file a restraining order against him.  I told her I knew my kids and I were no longer in a safe environment and emphasized how afraid I was of him hurting me.  By that time, I was afraid he was going to hurt me so badly that I would not even be around for my kids.  Thinking of my beautiful children and their futures produced the inner strength  I knew I needed in order to proceed.  I left the kids with a friend and headed to the courthouse – shaking, scared, nauseous again – but I knew when I went through that door and signed the paperwork I needed to sign, there would be no looking back.  My favorite “job” is being a mom, and as a mom, it is my “job” to protect my kids.

The kids and I did not return from our “out of town” weekend away with friends until I had absolute confirmation from the police that the ExN was out of the house.  They said he was.

Upon return, I walked  through the front door of our home first and was not prepared for what I would see.  Pictures off the wall.  Kids rooms ransacked and belongings missing.  Trash and piles and random items left on the floors.   My daughter immediately started crying and asked if a “bad guy” had broken into our home and stolen things from us.  The kids did not sleep for several nights afterwards because they were scared the “bad guy” would come back again.

So was I.

~LLS~  Lucy K.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Tina Swithin will help you to establish boundaries and regain your power. Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Divorcing a Narcissist: Seth is Back (Part 2- Narc Decoder)

Divorcing a Narcissist: Seth is Back (Part 2- Narc Decoder)

narc decoderby Tina Swithin

(Continued from Part 1)

My email to Seth after I got off the phone with Elena from the supervision company:

Seth- I received a call today from Elena regarding your request to set up supervised visits. Since it has been over a year since you’ve seen the girls, my attorney advised that the initial visits take place in a therapeutic environment.  Moving forward, I did let Elena know that the visits were ordered to take place with ABC Supervision Services or with Jane Smith who is a local therapist. I think there was also a clause about a mutually agreed upon professional supervisor as well which I will look into further and verify.  -Tina

After locating the court order and speaking to the therapist, I followed up with this:

Seth- To follow-up on my previous email, I did verify that the court order lists Jane Smith as an approved supervisor. Since Jane is a MFT, I would prefer that we utilize her services for re-unification therapy/supervised visits. I called and spoke to her this afternoon and here is the information to get started:

Jane will speak to Piper’s therapist and then she will meet with the girls and I. After that, she will schedule a time to meet with you individually and after that, she will meet with you and the girls together.  Her rate is $100/hour and she can be reached at 805-555-5555. I will wait to receive confirmation from you before meeting with Jane however, I will sign the waiver with Piper’s therapist at the next visit to get things started on our end.  – Tina  

Seth’s response to me:

Tina- The (court) recommendation was for (NPD) Supervision Services and they never returned my emails and the voicemail doesn’t accept messages for over a year.  I called her multiple times last year when this first started and received 0 replies.  I have been trying ever since April.  I finally looked up the National Registry of approved Supervisors.

Elena is an approved supervisor. There is no way I will go to someone you have a previous relationship with as you did with the woman form the Women’s Shelter with whom you feigned an abuse issue 4+ years ago to gain her favor. I don’t see anywhere where the person you are stating is recommended.

Furthermore, the damage you have caused by using our divorce and the court system to profit from not one but two books now is unconscionable.  I purposely removed myself from all of your world because I know you were using the court system to get chapters for your first book.

Using child support money to follow me around with private investigators and going to the extreme of hiring young girls to follow me around where I live is disturbing on levels of stalking.  I believe that you are not using the child support money in the proper manner to provide and care for the girls but rather pay private investigators to follow me when I am on my own time.

Why are you still so obsessed with me 5 years after I divorced you?  Let me live my own life and move on.  Later, Seth

Don’t fail me now, Narc Decoder!  I carefully place Seth’s email in the Narc Decoder and Snap! Crackle! Pop! Decoded!

Tina- It’s been a full year since I’ve seen the girls and in that time, I’ve accidentally drunk-dialed the supervision service multiple times however, I have never once attempted to contact them while sober. Recently, my mom came to visit for the summer and put pressure on me to impress the family with my superb parenting skills. To make my mom happy I have finally decided to reach out and touch someone….you know, those people who were appointed to supervise me.

Have I mentioned that my ego can’t handle the thought of supervision but I am willing to do anything to please my mom? I probably won’t really follow through — I will take the first steps and then tell her how mean you are and that you are preventing me from seeing my possessions…errrr….I mean, MY daughters. I wrote in the email that I have been trying to contact the company since April but you and I both know that’s B.S. I just like writing things like that in case the court gets a wild hair and decides to believe anything I say!  It’s worth a shot, right? Right? You know I’m right…I’m always right!      

Elena is an approved supervisor and since I spoke with her first, I am confident that I can sell her on how evil you are…and how I’ve been wronged. There is no way I will go to someone that you have a previous relationship with because you told them the truth and you know how much I hate being exposed. I don’t see anywhere in the court docs that says the person you are suggested is recommended (I’m covering my eyes, haha!) because am choosing to twist reality to suite my agenda and needs. That shouldn’t be news to you….I love twisting reality.  

Furthermore (“Furthermore” is one of my favorite words because it makes me sound in control and smart), the damage you have caused by telling the truth about our divorce to profit from not one but two books now is unconscionable (I should probably get a thesaurus….I know I use “unconscionable” in every email).  I purposely removed myself from your world because the Commissioner and Evaluator saw through me and I could not handle it. Damn you for telling people the truth again! 

I hate the fact that you can survive financially without me. It goes against everything I’ve ever told you and pisses me off. I know that I recently got fired from yet another job and no longer pay child support. I know that my arrears is over $40,000 and I hate that you have become self-sufficient. I hate it. I hate it! I remember back in the good old days when my frequent terminations would make you cry and scramble to figure out how to buy groceries. Gosh, I sure miss those days!  

It infuriates me that you’ve used a private investigator to show my true colors. Being followed has made me so incredibly paranoid that I now think young girls are following me. They are everywhere! Blondes, brunettes, red heads! I also believe that you are not using the child support money that I no longer pay you to properly care for the girls. I firmly believe that you are obsessed with me — you are, aren’t you? Everyone else is….you are, right?!  Let me live my own life, free of rules and court orders and we’ll all be happy.  

PS Isn’t it ironic that I spent so many years correcting your grammar and mine is horrendous? Let me figure out a way to blame you for my grammatical errors and I will get back to you. I’m sure your stupidity rubbed off on me during our marriage.   -Seth 

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Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Return of Seth

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Return of Seth

hes backby Tina Swithin

My phone rang yesterday afternoon and between the fact that it was an unknown number and I was knee-deep in spreadsheet hell, I let the call go to voicemail. When I listened to the message and my stomach dropped.

Hi Tina – My name is Elena and I am with (XYZ Supervision Agency). I spoke with Seth about providing supervised visitation with your two daughters. I’ve sent Seth the intake paperwork and I need to speak with you to learn more about the case and send you some intake paperwork as well. If you could please give me a call back at 555-1234.  

It’s been one year, one month and nine days since we’ve seen Seth and now he wants to set up visits? His mother, Cleo, came to visit for the summer and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was going to pressure him into visits. Our last communication from  him (by email) basically stated that he was going to “develop the mentality of a soldier going to war and plan to see the girls when they were adults.” Cleo strikes again.

I centered myself and called Elena back. I explained a bit about our situation and that we hadn’t seen him in a year. I let her know that there was specific instructions on our order about which agency we were to use but that I needed to find the order and read it again. My recollection was that there was a different agency listed along a second option – an individual therapist who was chosen by the Commissioner and minor’s counsel. I explained to Elena that due to the length of time that had passed, I would prefer to consult with an attorney and opt for reunification therapy prior to jumping into supervised visits. Since one of the options on our court order was a therapist, I was leaning in that direction.

I found our court order and immediately called the therapist who was listed as a potential supervisor. I gave her a brief history and the most recent event that had transpired: Seth wanting to establish visits after a one year absence. I explained my desire for reunification therapy prior to just jumping straight into a visitation routine and she provided an outline of what would happen:

  • She would speak to the girls’ therapist to gain a clear understanding of our case.
  • She would meet with Piper, Sarah and myself.
  • She would meet with Seth.
  • After all of that, she would facilitate the visits.

I got off the phone feeling less anxiety-ridden than I had felt moments before. Even in this “warrior mom” image that I have gained, I am human. I felt ill while listening to the initial voicemail — my heart was pounding and I wanted to throw up. I had to re-group and find my center. I had to coach myself – that pep-talk that I would give my clients was not coming to me in the “fog” that I was feeling. After speaking to the therapist, I felt reassured. I was reminded by Rebecca (OMB) that the girls were empowered. I was reminded that they had found their voices.

To be continued…..click here for Part 2

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Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

30 Seconds of Grey: Narcissistic Manipulation

30 Seconds of Grey: Narcissistic Manipulation

puppet_on_a_stringby Lucy K. Wright

The scene went something like this:

Me, walking in the door after the 18 minutes or so I had been gone to the store to get milk (and checked on at least three times since I’d left). I immediate got the glance of “Why did it take that long for you to go to the grocery store anyhow…??”

Him, on his computer: “Come take a look at this.”

Me, carrying in the milk, quickly reverting to the controlled feeling I knew of being back in his presence after my last “18 minutes” of freedom, and never knowing what to expect from him next: “Ok, what is it?”

Him: “See this email? Read it carefully. I’m sending it to my boss. You have ruined my life. You have ruined my career. You have ruined this family. It’s All Your Fault. And now you are going to pay the price for your actions.”

Me, after glancing at the short email, my brain racing, wondering “What caused this? What is he so mad about now?”: “No, no, please don’t do that! I’m so sorry. Please don’t send that. I promise I’ll do whatever I need to do support you and help. I won’t be away anymore. I’ll do what you need. I won’t leave for so long next time. I’m so sorry. PLEASE!”

I was his puppet and he knew it. At that point of our relationship, I always obliged to whatever he wanted, because that was my only way to survive his daily demands and the hell I was living with him. My response was exactly the response and reaction he wanted. I didn’t understand the manipulation then; it was my life, the only one I had known for years with my “father” and years with my ExN: the life where I pleaded and begged for his forgiveness almost every single day, for things that happened that I didn’t even know were wrong. But I was always wrong…. And he was always right….

Him: “It’s too late. I’m sending it. And after that, I want you to start packing because we are moving out of state. The for-sale sign goes in our yard tomorrow and you better have this place ready to go. I found a house close to my parents. We’ll be moving there so they can help with the kids since you are clearly incapable of even doing that anymore.”

Me: “No, Please! I’ll change. I’ll do whatever I need to. Please don’t send that. Please don’t make these big decisions without my input. We’ll have no income. We can’t move! What are you talking about? What are we going to do?”

Him: Click. Send.

30…29…28….27…26…25… seconds… 24…23…22…. NO! Please!

 

The email was short:

Dear XXX,

Due to extenuating circumstances with my current marital situation, please accept this notice as my official two-week resignation from my 10 year career with X company.

Sincerely, ExN

19…18….17….

The email sat in his Outbox. I was pleading for him not to send it, my heart sinking as I had no idea what we were going to do. I barely survived the days as they were, together with him all day “working from home,” while I tried to take care of the kids and maintain some sanity and dignity behind the shared dark walls. No job? Why? Move? What happened? What did I do wrong this time?

11….10….9…

4….3….2….and then…

He quickly clicked something on his computer that made the email not send. What? My head was spinning. He was yelling. What was going on.

Not as technically savvy then as he (but certainly much wiser and on equal playing fields now), he snapped and told me that because I said I’d do exactly what he wanted during those 29 ½ seconds, he stopped the email from sending. He had pre-set a 30-second delay, which I did not even know could be done. I suppose he pre-calculated in his pre-meditated scheme, that I would cave and give in. And I did just that. I did just what he wanted during his 30 seconds of intense, brazen, exhaustive, manipulative rage of control.

I was holding back the tears, the “whys,” and looking at him with utter dismay while wondering what would happen next.

That didn’t last long.

Him: “Ok, now go start packing….”

~LLS~ Lucy K.

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Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

Transcripts for Court: Putting the Evidence on Paper

Transcripts for Court: Putting the Evidence on Paper

cropped-ipad-typewriterby Tina Swithin

One of the Warrior Mom’s who has been a part of my journey since the very beginning happens to own a transcription business. I am highlighting her business, “One Mom’s Transcription” because I see it as a valuable resource for so many of us.  I recently asked her to explain the benefits of using her services and this is what she shared with me:

One of the biggest things that a transcript provides is the ability to cut to the heart of a matter.  Most judges are not going to sit and listen to a 20-minute phone call of a child crying.  They’re going to refuse outright because they don’t want to commit that kind of time to listening to one piece of evidence.  Plus, audio or even video isn’t very easy to put into the court record.  Transcripts are much easier to add to the record, be reviewed in a judge’s chambers prior to rendering a decision, and ensure that everybody is seeing the same thing.  With audio, people can hear different things, and reach different conclusions, which can be a big problem.

Transcripts also create the ability to bring up numbers, which can be huge to the efficacy of your case.  For instance, with audio a parent can tell a judge, “Listen.  You can hear that my child’s father tells him to ‘Shut up’ a bunch of times.”  With a transcript, you can put in the record, “In this five-minute conversation, my child’s father told him to ‘Shut up’ sixteen times.  That’s an average of more than 3 times per minute, or every 20 seconds.”  That can make a HUGE impact on the case.

Transcripts help to reduce the level of emotion while in the courtroom.  Hearing your child cry can be heart-wrenching, and for parents who are self-represented, being overcome with emotion can really hinder actually being able to represent themselves.  The same goes for recordings of domestic violence.

Transcripts can be highlighted, whereas recordings cannot.  You can emphasize what you feel is most important/relevant to the matter at hand, and not leave it up to the judge or to the other party to determine what they think your point is.

It’s also easier for a psychologist or counselor to go over transcripts, as opposed to audio, and point out where an insidious behavior appears to have started – like with mild insults or demeaning tones – and then how it escalated over time.  A pattern of behavior can be pivotal – as you know! – but can be really difficult to outline.  Plus, if a professional tries to determine a pattern of behavior based on one party’s testimony, it can easily be thrown out of court.

You can even use transcripts to help file charges in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, harassment, and even spousal support.

If you are like me and find yourself sitting on recordings then this may be the time to contact One Mom’s Transcription!  -Tina

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Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

The Only Witness The ExN Named for Our Trial Was…?? My ExN “Father.” Of Course.

The Only Witness The ExN Named for Our Trial Was…?? My ExN “Father.” Of Course.


witnessby Lucy K. Wright

You reach a point in all of this when you just have to Stop. Trying. To. Figure. Things. Out.

There are few to no answers to the “WHY does this keep happening” type of questions. You may as well quit beating yourself up and stop asking.

Dealing with your ExN and the constant zings that keep coming your way just seem to become part of your daily routine. Get up, get the kids ready for school, grab your coffee for the long commute to work, tend to your career and responsibilities, get an email of some negative sort from the ExN, probably swing by your lawyer’s office, or call your counselor to discuss it, or maybe even take a trip to the courthouse depending on what the ExN came up with that day…

…then mentally put all of that in the back of your mind, because it stings, even just a little still, no matter how much you are told not to let it, and you don’t want it to keep affecting the rest of your life and all of the good in it, but it’s hard not to…

…then you put on a smile, continue home to kids and homework and making family dinner, and carry on just as you know how you need to. Your head eventually hits the pillow and you lay there, the first quiet of the day. You remind yourself that you are strong, and thank the higher beings above for surviving and getting through one more day. You are thankful, and know how far you’ve come with each step in this daunting, dealing-with-a narcissist-in-your-life, process. It’s a good feeling, even though some days are still really tough.

My temporary hearing is set for this summer. If that time slot doesn’t work out, there is a firm date set for next year. We’ve been going through a second PRE evaluation, coordinating with lawyers, counselors, personality tests, etc. while continuing to juggle everything else in our normal lives. An evaluation process is grueling. It’s tough on the kids, especially as they keep asking WHY we are “still talking about divorce stuff”… so many years later.

I saw the ExN recently at our kid’s school event. I wanted to shout at him and say “You would rather put us all through this hell, especially your kids, than talk to me and try to work anything out.” Yes. He would. He filed for joint custody two days before I got remarried. Three weeks prior, before he knew about the wedding and while we were attempting mediation, he did not want joint custody. It wasn’t even on his list of items to mediate.

None of this is about the kids. It’s about him always being angry and continuing to do anything he can to punish me. Still, so many years later, and probably for many years to come.

We had to submit our witness lists to the courts within a specified timeframe prior to the trial. His was late. Of course. My witnesses included a handful of the mental health professionals who have helped my kids and me. I did not want to drag my family and friends into this any more than they already have been, so I just included the professionals.

His list? It consisted of one person, and one person only. My “father.” My narcissistic “father” who dismissed me from his life many years ago in favor of his surrogate narcissistic “son.” My “father” is allegedly going to profess that he knows the children do not want to go back to my home after they have been in the care of their “active and child-centered” father.

My “father” has no relationship with two out of three of his daughters, and the third is a stretch. And he is a credible source of making these assessments and judging someone’s parenting skills…how?

Seeing my “fathers” name on a court document, again, so boldly speaking out against me, his daughter, stung just a little bit. It’s spiteful and ugly and they know it. Or do they? I often wonder.

I’ve pondered many WHY questions with my counselors; why would a father behave like this; why he would speak out against me not even knowing my side of the story because he never even bothered to ask; why does he do this and continue to hurt me when I didn’t do anything to him but try and be the perfect daughter always; why; why; why…???

I don’t know what is ultimately going to happen throughout all of this. I am doing my best, which is all we can ever do, making my case, standing tall and keeping strong. But in the end, a judge, who does not know my family or me at all, will ultimately decide. He or she will make the decisions about our future and the schedule the kids will keep between my home and his.

You reach a point in all of this when you just have to Stop. Trying. To. Figure. Things. Out. And you put your head on the pillow each night and say a small prayer of thanks. Despite the obstacles, we must remember the good. I look at my kids each day they are with me and I know they are the good, and the reason I keep up this fight. I’ve thought about throwing in the towel a few times and just saying, fine, let’s end this, whatever he wants. I’ve become tired and grumpy and difficult to be around some days, I know that and bless my family for putting up with me!   I recognize my mood swings now more than I ever have before, and they change back to positive more quickly now than ever before; before it took several days for me to make a small move forward sometimes back to the glass half full that I usually am. I fully admit that sometimes this can just all be way too much and it definitely takes its toll on all of us.

But I am not going to say the words: Ok, fine, I give in, and go that route. Give an inch, take a mile. He doesn’t even know what he wants most of the time anyhow. It changes. It’s about punishing me. It’s not about the kids one bit.

If it comes down to it, I will face my “father” in court when the day comes. It will take a lot of mental prep work, but I’ve been to this rodeo before. I was a wreck facing him in the past under these circumstances. But I have lived and learned, and this time I will be strong. I will be ok.

We all may lose a few battles along the way during our own fights against our own narcissists in life; but in the end, I do believe we will win this war. We keep doing what we are doing because we love our kids and our kids need us. They are what matter the most.

~LLS~ Lucy K.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a Private Forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com

Seeking a Divorce Coach for your high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Contact Tina Swithin at Tina Swithin, LLC

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and her new book “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” are available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries, navigate your way through the divorce and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.