Category Archives: Tina’s Story

Tina Swithin has gained international attention for her blog titled, One Mom’s Battle and for her role as an advocate for change in the Family Court System. Tina has survived a Category 5 Divorce Hurricane and has taken shelter in her blog and new book, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle. Tina currently resides in sunny California with her fiance, two daughters and three-legged tortoise named “Oliver.”

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.

 

 

 

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 

“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.

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

“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.

Divorcing a Narcissist: One Year of Peace

Divorcing a Narcissist: One Year of Peace

anniversaryby Tina Swithin

One year ago this month, I wrote my most popular blog to date: “Divorcing a Narcissist: It’s Over!” People all over the world rejoiced with me when I announced the end of my battle. I was successful in obtaining something that I had fought so hard for: the safety of my children.

This past week (July 10th) was the one year anniversary of my final court date and I spent the week on a houseboat at Lake Powell — far away from cell phones, computers and the chaos of the world. I had time to reflect on everything that had happened and how far we’ve come.

  • It’s officially been one year since we’ve seen Seth. In line with my prediction on the day we received the verdict, the ego of a Narcissist is not equipped to deal with supervised visits.
  • The small handful of emails that I’ve received over the past year evoke pity instead of fear.
  • Piper and Sarah are both thriving as well-adjusted 7 and 9 year olds free from night terrors and daytime, anxiety-induced potty accidents.
  • The girls feel safe to create boundaries now that Seth is out of the picture. They have actually refused his calls for the past four months which has been supported by their therapist.
  • Last month, Piper felt safe enough to write a very powerful letter to Seth while in her therapists office. I sent this letter to Seth at her request. Obviously, it was met with denial and twisted to fit Seth’s agenda but nonetheless, it allowed her to take her power back free from his wrath.
  • The girls have chosen to use my last name versus Seth’s last name. Obviously, this can’t be legally changed however, their school has accommodated their request at the academic level.
  • We have peace. Finally. Thankfully.

This experience and my decision to blog about my journey has united a community of the most amazing people I’ve ever encountered. One thing I’ve discovered is that narcissists target people with the qualities and traits that they themselves lack. Some of the traits that lure in a narcissist are: kindness, compassion, caring, empathy, concern, love, tenderness, faithfulness. These are just a few of the traits that describe this group of warrior parents at One Mom’s Battle. I am grateful that my journey has brought me to this group. The Administrators of One Mom’s Battle are leaders who have been in the trenches or who remain in the trenches. My gratitude is beyond worlds. We’ve come a long way, baby!

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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.

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: The $5 Challenge

Divorcing a Narcissist: The $5 Challenge

grassrootsby Tina Swithin

I never imagined that my own custody battle would have an affect on the rest of my life. My children are safe after a hellish 4.5 year custody battle but thousands and thousands of children are not safe. The Judge on my case finally saw through my ex-husband, Seth, but there are many, many Judges who have not seen the light. In fact, the vast majority of Judges are somehow, still clueless when it comes to Cluster B personality disorders.

My goal is to create change through education. One Mom’s Battle has recently acquired non-profit status and our amazing grassroots movement has a platform that currently reaches all corners of the world. It would have been very easy for me to walk away from this cause when my battle ended on July 10, 2013 but I could not do that. There are too many warrior moms and dads who are fighting to give their children a voice.

I need your help. 

The One Mom’s Battle blog averages about 35,000 views per month and our Facebook page has over 10,000 followers.

If each person who follows our blog or “liked” our Facebook page donated $5, just imagine the impact we could make on the Family Court System. This grassroots movement has already accomplished so much. Imagine what we can do together as a non-profit organization. 

I ask each of you to donate just FIVE DOLLARS.

Together, we can do SO much!  Click here to donate your five dollars!

Thank you so much- in advance.  #ittakesavillage

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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.

The Narc Decoder: Snap, Crackle, Pop! Father’s Day Craziness

The Narc Decoder: Snap, Crackle, Pop! Father’s Day Craziness

narc decoderby Tina Swithin

Why do I waste blog-space on Seth at this point in time? He has been gone from our lives for almost a full year.

Good question.

I am sharing my latest email from him NOT to give him the spotlight but because the Narc Decoder blogs are the most popular. I believe reading the pure craziness helps people to feel less alone. By sharing Seth’s bizarre rants, I am able to teach people who are new to this battle how to communicate and decode the sheer insanity that only a Cluster B person can provide.

I highly encourage you to take your power back. Turn alerts off on your phone if those alerts notify you of an email from your ex. Only open emails when you are centered, focused and in control. I knew that Seth would be emailing due to the Father’s Day weekend. I know he is escalated because my brave 9-year old warrior, Piper, has set boundaries with him. She has refused his calls since April and while in therapy, wrote him a letter straight from her heart. She is hurt and angry. It was eloquent and powerful. I sent him the letter and he of course, took what he wanted from it and refused to accept a quarter ounce of responsibility. Of course, it is all my fault.

Tonight I opened an email from Seth which promptly went into the Narc Decoder.

Tina,

Given that it is Father’s Day this weekend, I would like to see the girls at a place of your choosing for any interval of time. It’s absolutely tragic that (Commissioner) and (Evaluator) decided it was appropriate to oust me completely from Piper and Sarah’s lives because in the company of my parents on 111 degree day I enjoyed a beer.

Every restaurant you go to, you see parents enjoying wine or beer with their children present. You know this is the case and you know you drink wine in front of the children often. It is absolutely unusual and unfair punishment not only for me but for the girls that because of this the daughters no longer can have a normal relationship or any with their father.

On another note, I work my ass off to keep my job and my career. It is incumbent upon you to tell the girls that I provide enough money to you to cover rent, food, clothing and activities for my daughters. They do not seem to be aware of this.

You have won with the Commissioner. I used to say, back in 2010, that this divorce process has had almost no emotional effects on Piper and Sarah to people. The girls understood you had boyfriend and I was their Dad. Now it is clear that Piper in particular is going to have severe emotional scars from her loss of her father.

Tina, you grew up with a biological mother who had mental illness. Had your father not taken you tïo California from Illinois, she might have kidnapped you and you may not be alive had he not raised you away from your mother. What we are dealing with here is a very, very different situation. I drink high quality beer or wine as little or as much as my other friends who are parents, professionals and had working people. I do not drink every day. I exercise 2-3 hours every day sometimes 5-6 hours a day.

I am not some evil, monster as you describe me in your blog. I may have been taken by success and wanted to earn more and more money. But, that is my personality, to try to be the best in my field. It is time that you turn the mirror on you and realize that the damage this divorce has caused me has now been magnified on our daughters.

I disagree completely with the Commissioner’s punitive measures against me. I could understand if I smoked pot or did drugs to require supervised visits but he clearly hates me and you know this. Thus, you dragged me in front of him 30 times until he snapped on me permanently. He was sick and tired of seeing us and I do not blame him. This was all you. You constantly harassed me with court hearings in the middle of my work week. You cost me jobs because of this Tina.

All I wanted was to spend one week a month with Piper and Sarah. The custody evaluation buried me. Now, the daughters are in emotional turmoil.

I would really like to see the girls please. Even if we see them at the Children’s Museum and you’re there. I don’t really care. I just want to see them. 

Thank you for your consideration, Seth

As Seth’s email comes out of the Narc Decoder, I hear, “Snap. Crackle. Pop.” Yawn. Silly narcissist. You have zero effect on me anymore.

Here is the decoder version of Seth’s email:

Tina,

Given that it is Father’s Day, I feel entitled to see MY daughters. MY possessions. You know, the ones that I haven’t seen in 11 months? Seeing them on Father’s Day would certainly boost my ego and I would be able to report back to my mommy that I am a good son who cares so much about my children. Using phrases like, “intervals of time” makes me feel important. Do I sound important to you?

I think it’s completely tragic that the court saw through me. How dare they have an issue with the fact that I drank alcohol against court orders in a bar with MY possessions. Tragic. It was premium beer for God’s sake. I should receive some slack for the fact that I don’t drink the same beer that lower life forms consume. It was PREMIUM beer, Tina. Can you grab me a beer while I sit here and project my alcohol issues on you? I know you drink wine and I don’t think it’s fair that you don’t have DUIs, Drunk in Publics and Wet n Reckless charges on your record. You probably do…you probably slept with the police officers to get away with it all!  Damn you!

I am going to ignore the fact that in addition to the violation of court orders, there was a 43-page report that could make Cyndi Lauper bust into song…”I see your true colors shining through….your true colors…..”

Can you please make the girls aware of the child support that I pay? Have them send me a thank you card in the morning because they would not be able to enjoy cereal if it weren’t for me. You are all so ungrateful. Everything you have is technically mine. Did you know that? You should send me a thank you card also.

I saw the letter Piper wrote. Since when has she been allowed to set boundaries and express feelings? That’s just weird. Make her stop immediately.

This is the part where I remind you of your dysfunctional childhood. I do this in an effort to make you feel bad and in turn, make myself feel better. Do you feel bad? Is it working?  Did I mention that I drink high-quality beer?  I do so there!

I am the evil monster that you portray me to be in your blog. How dare you tell the truth about me. It literally eats me alive. Can you please turn the mirror on yourself and realize what you have done? Enough already! Give me the mirror back so I can see myself again!

I disagree with the measures the court took to hold me accountable for my behavior. How dare they do this to me! I don’t do drugs. I drink premium beer. I am not a looser. My mom said I was perfect. This was all your fault for telling them the truth about me. I believe the distorted version of reality that I have spun in my head and so should you. So should the courts. You constantly held me accountable for my behavior. How dare you!

Now that I am finished telling you what a cold, evil person you are, can we just put this all behind us and forget the 4 year custody battle? I’d love for you to violate court orders this weekend by bringing the girls to the museum so that I can pretend to be a dad on Father’s Day. Sound good to you?  Thank you for your consideration – Seth

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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.

Divorcing a Narcissist: Finding my Life Mission

Divorcing a Narcissist: Finding my Life Mission

purposeby Tina Swithin

I plopped down on a therapist’s couch for the first time when I was in my early 20’s. That visit was prompted by a severely dysfunctional relationship that thankfully, came to an end. One of the first goals I set with the therapist was to sort through my baggage and make healthier relationship decisions moving forward. More than anything, I wanted to avoid sitting in a therapist’s office at the age of 35. I even verbalized this fear to my therapist.

Fast forward to 2009 and as a 35-year old woman, I found myself sitting on yet another therapist’s couch. My worst fear had come to fruition. After a 10 year relationship to the man I originally thought was Prince Charming, I was in the fight of my life trying to protect my two young daughters in a custody battle that garnered international media attention. The wise relationship choice that I believed I was making turned out to be a marriage that was shiny and pretty on the outside but cold, dark and ugly on the inside. Unbeknownst to me, I had married a man with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

During my 4-year custody battle, I acted as my own attorney and endured the following:

  • Over thirty court dates consisting of both trials and hearings.
  • Two full custody evaluations.
  • Six-hundred plus hours devoted to trial and hearing preparation, research, documentation and court dates.
  • Twelve police reports ranging from violations of the court orders to the more severe such as breaking into my home.
  • Three investigations by Child Welfare Services which ultimately determined my ex-husband to be a “moderate risk” yet did nothing to help my children.

In July of 2013, my custody battle came to an end when I secured professionally supervised visits and ultimately, my daughter’s safety. To say that I felt a sense of relief may be the understatement of the century. All of the sleepless nights, the tears, the fear and the anxiety came to a screeching halt with one final strike of the Judge’s gavel.

Looking back, I have every right to be angry at the system that failed my children for so long. I could throw rocks at the sky and ask what I did to deserve this life altering battle. I’ve could continue to feed and nourish my anger which would ensure that the anger would thrive and leave me consumed by bitterness for the rest of my life or, I could choose a different path.

As I approach my 40th birthday and reflect on the advice that I’ve picked up over the years, I’ve always held onto a quote that made sense but I couldn’t find the connection in my life until recently: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius. Some people have light bulb moments and others, like me, have brief and sporadic flashes of light similar to what happens when a boat is searching for a lighthouse on a foggy night. Once the light cuts through the fog, the ride to shore is smooth.

This battle has changed my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. This battle has become my life because it’s given me the ability to help others by sharing my story of perseverance and providing hope. I have taken my experiences and turned them into a blog, books and now, my life passion which is to coach other parents who find themselves facing a narcissist in the uneducated Family Court System. I have taken the maps and the tools that I used to navigate the choppy waters of a high conflict divorce and I teach others to do the same.

One thing that I have learned during this battle is to lean on my faith and accept that everything does happen for a reason. Trusting that I was placed on this path to help others has been life changing. Instead of being angry and bitter, I have made the choice to take the lemons that were handed to me and to whip up a huge batch of lemonade for those who are on the battlefield of the Family Court System. I believe that there is purpose to my pain and I am using the knowledge that I’ve gained in an effort to help others.

If you are in the trenches and fighting for your children, my message for you is to never give up. I have personally witnessed the most dire cases turn completely around. I am inspired daily by the warrior parents that I meet and I am encouraged by their stories. I will continue to work diligently to bring awareness to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its affect on the Family Court System. I hope you will join me by speaking up and sharing you story whenever you are afforded the opportunity. Have faith that everything is happening for a reason and while you may not understand the reason now, it will make sense to you one day. Together, we can work to highlight the issues that are so pervasive in the Family Court System.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  -Margaret Mead  

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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.

The Narcissistic Damage: Repair Your Foundation

The Narcissistic Damage: Repair Your Foundation

collegeby Tina Swithin

For the most part, I stand on pretty solid ground. Just a few years ago, my foundation was cracked and unstable. Through education on NPD, sharing my story and hearing so many of your stories, I have repaired the cracks and rebuilt my life. Every once in a while, a “blast from the past” otherwise known as that damn Narc voice is whispering to me in the background and throws me off a bit.

Back in 2001 when I was dating Seth, he obsessed on the fact that I didn’t have a college degree and reminded me of this fact often. I allowed him to make me feel inferior. I was an entrepreneur by nature and had taken the business classes that I needed from our community college. I didn’t feel that I needed to obtain a degree to do what was doing. From there, I proceeded to create several (successful) small companies. While I was proud of my accomplishments, I often felt judged and finally decided to enroll in college to gain Seth’s approval.

I did a full year in college before Seth and I started a new business together and because of the work demands, he told me to hold off on enrolling for the fall/2002 semester. At the time, I was thrilled to step away from college for many reasons. Looking back, I was in college for all the wrong reasons. I was trying to please Seth and gain his family’s approval. I didn’t have a clear direction or passion in college, I was just going through the motions and feeling criticized at every turn.

Fast-forward twelve years and here I am. My career has taken a direction that I never planned and I feel college calling my name but for all the right reasons this time. This week, I enrolled in the fall semester of my local college with the hopes of transferring to Cal Poly to major in Psychology. In this process, I needed to order my transcripts from the Bay Area college that I attended. Sounds easy, right?

This is where that damn doubt comes in. My memory of college consists of stress and criticism. I didn’t have the proper study habits or discipline to succeed according to Seth so he insisted that I take a course on how to study effectively. He reminded me often that I needed his help. He came to my counseling appointments and micro-managed every move that I made. He dictated whether I changed from the option of a grade to credit/no credit as he didn’t want my GPA affected by a B or a C grade. Those grades were simply unacceptable.

I ordered my transcripts last week and then the doubt really set in. I remember being proud of myself but much of that time period was a blur so I was afraid to open the transcripts when they came yesterday. I almost laughed out loud when I saw the transcripts. I left with a 4.0 overall GPA.  Geeze — I’m such a failure!  :)

Don’t let those voices creep in. Lock them out. If they try to sneak in then repeat an affirmation that puts you right back on a positive track. The narcissist does not deserve an ounce of your time or mind space! Did I mention that I am going to start college?  Wooo hoooo!!!!  :)

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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.

 

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: 11 Months Post Seth

Divorcing a Narcissist: 11 Months Post Seth

narc decoderby Tina Swithin

As I sit here typing, I can hear my daughter’s phone ringing in the background as it does every Monday night. Tonight is Seth’s night to call the girls however, for the past five weeks, they have refused to talk to him. They can’t really verbalize why they’ve decided to go on strike and ignore his calls, they simply say that they don’t want to talk to him. I’ve reached out to my daughters’ therapist and was told not to force the calls. Now MY phone is ringing and before I know it, there may be a new text assault launched with fresh new accusations of parental alienation syndrome.

As many of you know, last July, I was successful in obtaining a final custody order for supervised visits after a 6-month long parenting evaluation validated everything that I had been saying for 4.5 years. I knew leaving the courtroom on July 10, 2013 that we would not see Seth for a very long time. His ego can not handle supervised visits and as predicted, we are coming up on eleven months without seeing Seth.

When Seth’s visits ended, a lot of other things ended. The girls’ nightmares came to a screeching halt. My youngest daughter’s daytime, anxiety filled potty accidents ceased within two weeks. Soon after the visits ended, my daughter’s therapist met a new child who seemed to emerge from a stress-filled cocoon and morph into a more confident, silly little butterfly. We also found peace and discovered what childhood should look like outside the confines of a high-conflict custody battle.

Last Monday night after the girls declined Seth’s calls repeatedly, I received a series of text messages from Seth such as this one:

“You’ve blocked me from contact with my daughters. I can’t text (them). You won’t let me talk to them.  I don’t have enough money left after all you get (child support) to travel, pay for overnights and pay a third party. How about I go to counseling with them? This is tragic for their little minds and hearts. Read what you’ve done. It’s clear and evident from everyone I have discussed this with. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_alienation_syndrome

The texts continued through the night:

“And you think it’s healthy for Piper and Sarah to be cut off from their dad? If you care, share this video with them, Tina. This is the last weekend they saw me.”

“I guarantee you they miss me all the time. You can reverse the damage you have done.”

Out comes the Narc Decoder:

“I have chosen to blow my $7,000 per month salary on bars and alcohol versus spending money to rent a car and hire a supervisor to visit the girls. You are probably wondering why I don’t have car any longer? It got repossessed because I refuse to live within my means. You have to understand how difficult it is to impress the ladies without a car.

I am hoping that you will forget that huge episode last year when I wanted to meet with Piper and her therapist — I know that Piper doesn’t want me to attend therapy with her but since when have I ever cared what the girls want? Oh and by the way, I’ve recently started diagnosing by Wikapedia and according to my thorough research, you have a disorder that causes you to protect our children from abuse. Damn you. 

Do you think its really healthy for the girls to live a peaceful, normal childhood far away from my superior genes and influence? Without me in their lives, they are going to grow up to be below average just like you. Please share this video with them. This video is the last weekend that I spent with them. To refresh your memory, this is the weekend that I took them to a bar and drank alcohol against court orders. After that fun little episode, I put them in the car and drove them with alcohol in my system because I am really that arrogant and as we all know, court orders do not apply to me. Court orders are for the regular members of society – not men like me. This was also the weekend my parents were visiting. In this video, you will see my stellar performance that I refer to as, “Tales of Super Dad.” I was putting on my best performance in this particular episode because my mom, Cleo, was filming and I’m still trying to convince her that I am normal. She captured my normalcy on tape!  Further proof that you are lying about me! Ha!

I guarantee that the girls miss me. How could they not?! I mean, after all….I lie to them, physically hurt them, emotionally abuse them. What is NOT to miss with this stellar McDaddy package? You can reverse the damage that you’ve done (to ME) by letting bygones be bygones and just forgetting about the past five years. You’ve always been one to hold grudges…very sad and pathetic if you ask me.”   

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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 www.tinaswithin.com

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: Advice from the Battlefield

Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield

Front Cover PDFby Tina Swithin

My goal upon publishing my first book in 2012 was to make one person feel less alone in their struggle with NPD and the Family Court System. As of 2014, we have 100 Chapters of One Mom’s Battle so obviously, I’ve accomplished my goal exponentially. I can’t even begin to describe how bittersweet that number is. That number means that there are a lot of people who feel less alone today but it also means that this issue is bigger than I ever imagined. It also means that there are thousands and thousands of children suffering– the same way that my daughters suffered.

When my battle ended in 2013, I knew that I had a lot to offer in terms of tips, advice and most of all, comradery. I’ve been there and it isn’t easy. When my battle started in 2009, I had no idea what I was up against. I was unprepared and I was terrified. Fast forward to where I am today — five years has past (exactly) and I am thriving. I’ve been through the battle and I survived. There were times when I felt like waiving the white flag and I am so thankful that I didn’t. I stayed the course and today, I am living a peaceful life.

For the past nine months, I’ve been plugging away at my new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield.” My first book, “Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” outlined my personal journey through the Family Court System and this new book takes my battle a step further by offering tactical advice and inspiration from myself and my comrades from the battlefield of the Family Court System. I’ve kept a running list of tips and ideas that pop into my head. I’ve reached out to the “battlefield” and collected words of wisdom and advice from those who are in the trenches. Through this endeavor, I’ve compiled the manual that I wish I had five years ago.

It is my hope and prayer that my new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield” will help you as you fight to protect your children. It is my goal that these two books will shed light on Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the Family Court System. It’s time that the individuals who are tasked with the huge responsibility of protecting our children will actually begin to do that.

Here are a few blurbs from some people that I highly respect. The fact that these individuals were willing to endorse my book leaves me feeling humbled:

“You no longer need to go through the ordeal of divorcing a narcissist alone. Others are facing surprisingly similar experiences and while each battle is different, the Family Court System funnels each case through the same channels. Through this battle, Tina Swithin is a beacon of clarity. With Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield,readers will garner sound advice from others navigating the same stormy waters! You will realize that you are not alone, you are not crazy, and someday you will start to whisper “thank you” to the darkness… thank you to the pain, the fear the struggle even thank you to the narcissist ….because in the darkness you will find light you never knew you had inside your heart, strength you never imagined.” -Christie Brinkley, Actress and Supermodel

“Tina’s book has become a lifeline during my custody battle. While reading her first book, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle,” I felt like someone finally understood my battle and then wrote about it. It’s very difficult to explain what happens in the Family Court System and Tina does it beautifully and honestly. I thank Tina on behalf of every one of us who struggled to articulate what we were going through. Thank you for sharing your story so that thousands of men and women feel less alone.  I believe that this book should be a required reading material in all psychology classes and in law schools across the world.” –Kelly Rutherford, Actress, Mom and Philanthropist  

“Divorcing a narcissist isn’t easy, but Tina Swithin provides many of her own tips and numerous suggestions from others to help along the way in her latest book. Personality disorders are not obvious on the surface, which is why many people marry those with these disorders and why many courts are easily misled by them — for months or years. To really understand what is going on takes looking under the surface and knowing what patterns of behavior to look for. By recognizing these patterns, it is possible to plan ahead and predict some of the problems you will face. This book will help you prepare and respond more effectively.” -Bill Eddy, Co-Author of SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder

“The central focus of judges in the family court system should be on children’s rights and protecting the children. Custody determinations should not be based on father’s rights or mother’s rights but based solely on the best interest of the child. When there are accusations of abuse and neglect, it is imperative that these items are taken seriously and investigated by highly skilled and trained individuals. The actions of a parent should be given more consideration than the grandiose statements of the parties. In high conflict custody cases, with the popular presumption that equal parenting time or 50/50 custody is fair to both parents, the children’s safety, stability and best interest are too often ignored and overlooked while decisions are hastily made due to blanket assumptions about scorned parents and limited court time. While an equal parenting time arrangement may work between two healthy parents, it absolutely does not work when one or both parents are determined to lie, manipulate, alienate and abuse the children in the name of winning at all costs. When one party is focused on self and not on the children, children suffer immensely and litigation is exponentially prolonged creating instability and a dangerous environment for children.”–Chelsea Storey, Family Law Attorney

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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 insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.