by Lucy K. Wright
Continued from: Dividing the Assets: Tales of a Personal Property Exchange with a Narcissist, Part 1
The ExN did not show up the day that the first personal property exchange was scheduled. Things were not on his terms, so despite the mediator, sheriff, my support friend, his helper friend, and a truck full of moving men out in front of my home waiting to start their work that day, he just didn’t show.
Just because. Just because he decided that morning he didn’t want to show up.
The lawyers talked, yelled, and then talked some more. The details of the exchange had all been confirmed the night before. So why wasn’t He there? Why.
Never ask why when you’re dealing with a Narcissist.
Personal property exchange day, take two.
Morning of – everyone in place – ready to go – let’s get this over with.
…he didn’t show. Again.
Something came up that he didn’t agree with. At the very last minute. People were there. Ready to go again. Same people as last time, who were all waiting for this grandiose event to take place. Same people waiting on him. Him wasting same people’s time. Did he care?
It was HIS way, or no way at all.
Never ask why.
Personal property exchange day, take three.
Morning of – everyone in place – ready to go.
With his buddy helper, and his clipboard.
He entered the garage, and presented the mediator with a 17-page list of itemized “stuff” that he wanted from the home, carefully and meticulously crafted from the video tape inventory he was allowed to take of our home several weeks prior.
Seventeen pages of an 8-point font Excel spreadsheet that listed everything he wanted, like: Six of the nine “brown washcloths,” one of the two nightstands, a few forks and spoons, half of the kitchen utensils, a few college items, the dishes, cups, the kitchen table and chairs, our bed, half the Ziploc bags, half the office supplies in the kitchen drawer, the new pack of toothbrushes, the kids’ artwork, the printer, the computer, one of the two kids’ beds, the only TV in the home, the kids’ games, toys, books, the Christmas ornaments, plastic Easter eggs, throw rugs, vacuum, toolbench items, kids’ sandbox and playhouse, and on… and on… and on.
“Stuff,” according to the MacMillan Dictionary, is this:
A variety of objects or things, as in “What is all this stuff on my desk?”
Things that are not important, as in “I’m telling him we don’t want all that stupid stuff here anyhow.”
Things that are not important.
Halfway through the third scheduled personal property exchange morning, after attempting to have a logical conversation about his lengthy list and hearing his incessant arguments over dividing dish towels, I hit my wits end.
I asked the mediator if I could talk with him alone. I told him that what ExN was selfishly proposing to take from our home would have significant impact and disruption on the lives of our kids. ExN was financially stable, and most of what he was requesting had very little value to him, if any; it was just his way to continue getting back at me. The evil wife. Who ruined his life. And our marriage. And had the “perfect princess life” with him…narcissist him. All my fault. Always all my fault.
I told the mediator to tell ExN he could have anything he wanted. He could take all the “stuff” he wanted from our home under one condition: the doors to the kids’ rooms stayed shut, and he wasn’t allowed to take one thing from either of their rooms. Leave their small sanctuaries alone through this tumultuous ordeal, that had already so emotionally impacted their little worlds, and he could take whatever else he wanted. That was my offer.
ExN thought he won the jackpot.
Out went the bed, TV, stereo, dishes, towels, spoons, items from the medicine cabinet, CDs, Ziplock bags, table and chairs. Poof, right before my eyes, over a decade of history and stuff accumulated with the ExN was gone.
But the important stuff, the comfort items and treasures from the kids’ rooms – the items that provided security for them in their own little worlds while they tried to innocently endure the ugliness of their parent’s toxic divorce – those items, their items, were not touched.
It was a grueling eight-hour day. I was exhausted as I lay on my air mattress that night in my almost empty home. I was grateful for my home, and my friends, and my family who had helped me through so much that day. And the days prior. I was grateful for my kids. I would do anything for my kids. They are my world.
Almost asleep, I chuckled at the last thing I remember one of the movers carrying out of my home. The big strong mover man, who had been lifting and carrying furniture and “stuff” out of my home all day long, was carrying a plant. In a basket. And putting it in his truck.
He had to have the plant.
But the kids’ rooms, he could not touch.
And with the day finally over, I knew the kids and I would be able to go pick out our own new plant together. And start building memories of our own.
~LLS~ Lucy K.
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