“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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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.

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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 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.

 

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.

 

Peter Cook and Suzanne Shaw Divorce: Cheating Again

Peter Cook and Suzanne Shaw Divorce: Cheating Again

peterby Tina Swithin

This one can be labeled  under, “We all saw it coming” but, I will be honest in saying that the marriage of Peter Cook and Suzanne Shaw Cook lasted much longer than I expected. Following a case like this can be somewhat boring because all narcissists use the same playbook (yaaawnnnn). In the beginning of the case, Peter took responsibility for his actions in a way that only narcissists do: I’m sorry but it was all Christie’s fault that I strayed. A half-ass apology and then victim blaming. Typical.

Peter then quickly moved on to Suzanne Shaw because, as we all know, they can’t be without Narcissistic Supply for very long. Suzanne quickly jumped on the “bash Christie” bandwagon and became Peter’s prized minion carrying out his dirty work and bashing and blaming Christie at every opportunity. The goal for Peter was to stay in the spotlight while carrying out his main agenda: hurting the woman who first saw through  him.  In predictable narcissistic fashion, Peter holds Christie responsible for the public lashing he took when it was discovered that he had carried on a two year affair with Diana Bianchi. This two-year affair was discovered when Ms. Bianchi was 17-years old. I will let you do the math on her age when the affair began.

Do I blame Suzanne Shaw? I don’t blame her because I have been charmed by an individual like Peter Cook and have since dedicated my life to raising awareness on the topic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Peter Cook was diagnosed by a court appointed psychiatrist as an “insatiable narcissist” with a porn habit costing thousands of dollars per month. Described in today’s NY Post article as “a cheater” and a “creep” along with words like “narcissist” and “desperate,” I’m not usually one to say, “I told you so” but in this situation, we all knew it was a matter of time….

This current issue with Peter Cook goes to show the depths of his illness and evil. As early as last week, he was still groveling to the National Enquirer about Christie Brinkley because at this point, that is the only media outlet who will listen to his rants and all the while, his marriage secretly ended back in February according to media reports. This man is so hell-bent on trying to destroy Christie Brinkley’s reputation and so arrogant that he hoped that no one would pick up on the fact that he continued to jump from one woman to another while sporting a wedding ring. Peter Cook is the definition of vile.

I hope this serves as a teachable moment for all women dating. Pay attention to internal red flags when dating and pay attention to external red flags – such as the words and experiences of others who have walked before you. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….it might just be a duck. If it sleeps in other women’s beds like a narcissist (while married) and talks (lies, projects and re-creates reality) like a narcissist….it might just be a narcissist.

It will be interesting to see if we hear more from Suzanne Shaw, my guess based on the statement by Peter’s attorney leads me to believe that Suzanne has been hushed with a narcissist’s most prized possession: money.

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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.