But someday I’ll be living in a big ol’ city
And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
Someday I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me
All you are is mean
And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean
Why you gotta be so mean?
(Adapted from Taylor Swift’s song: “Mean”)
I was driving to work today and this legendary Taylor Swift song started playing on the radio. I never thought about it much past it being a fairly catchy tune, coupled with the hype and discussion around Taylor’s reputation for writing songs about her break-ups. And there is nothing wrong with Taylor telling us her side of the story in her own melodic way. This song hit me today in thinking about my past and all of the steps – the difficult, grueling, true-test-of-my-resilience-and-strength baby steps – that got me to the point of “living in MY big ol’ city”… and the continuing broken-record saga of the N-Ex still to this very day being nothing but MEAN!
As the pleasers, nurturers, and fixers that so many of us are, we all know quite well that “we cannot change them.” Your N-Ex is mean. My N-Ex is mean. They are so much more than just mean, but they are always going to be this way. This is something I have to remind myself of over and over again despite the fact that I’ve been repeatedly told this (thank you counselor and friends), and know this, and understand NPD quite well after growing up with one N and then basically marrying his twin. I know he cannot and will not ever change, and I know that I cannot make him better. He is broken. They are all broken. The sooner we accept that reality, the sooner we can move on with our lives and be the mothers and fathers we need to be for our children and join forces to stop this continued cycle of abuse.
I learned a long time ago it’s easier to play the game and be one step ahead when possible than confront the N-Ex on anything. I think we sometimes overlook and do not give ourselves enough self- praise for the challenges we have successfully overcome in living with someone with NPD, or divorcing someone with NPD. Most of us can relate to the feeling that the only thing worse than being married to a narcissist is divorcing one.
I had a funny thing happen last week. I tried to add my new Mother-In-Law’s name to the school list so she was an officially designated person who could help take the kids to and from school. I logged in to the website where I would add her name, and to my surprise (but not really) found that every single slot for names, all twelve of them, were already filled with some names I had never even heard of before. Guess who? At first I was irritated, but then had to chuckle and wonder about the N-Ex’s brain coming up with this one more sneaky, devious plan and think he was going to get away with it and cause havoc for me yet again.
Why would he even think about doing this? Who knows. Why did he think he could covet the kids’ medical information without me figuring out how to get it? It took me three years, but I finally figured it out. Why did he think he could sell the house out from under us and not give me a chance to save it? I went through three lenders who flat out told me they were not willing to help me, but I was persistent and the fourth lender graciously helped me. (Sorry N-Ex, I figured this out too, and I know it made you really mad based on the email you send me the next day after the deal was done!) Why does he think he can still barrage me with almost daily emails to try and still get under my skin after six years divorced? Guess what. I scan them looking for anything that might be important with regards to the kids, but past a quick glance, they are quickly Saved to his very special, and lengthy, email folder.
We all know our N-Ex’s aren’t going to wake up one day and say “Wow, I’ve been so MEAN lately and really quite a jerk!” Speaking for myself, I know that will never happen. I used to pray each night, and thank the powers above for surviving the day prior and ask for the strength I needed to get through whatever I would face in the day, or night, ahead. It took me a very long time and a lot of courage, but I found the strength to get away from the N-Ex and get out of that situation for myself and my children. I have struggled a lot, and at times still do, but I have learned so much along the way including some of my keys to coping with situation today: being grateful for all I have, minimal contact, ignoring his rants, staying calm and positive, somehow finding some humor in these persistent narcissistic challenges, and putting my energy into doing something good for me instead of continuing to be dragged down by him.
Take a minute to think of all you have endured and be proud of yourself. We need to pat ourselves on the back and each other on the back also, for taking the baby steps that got us away from the day-to-day survival and mere existence with the N-Ex’s of our past lives, to whatever “big ole’ city” life we are destined to be living today.
~LLS~ Mrs. Lucy K.
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.