Divorcing a Narcissist: Seth on his Best Behavior

Divorcing a Narcissist: Seth on his Best Behavior

policeby Tina Swithin

As many of you know, Seth and I underwent an intensive custody evaluation last year that began in January 2013 and ended in July 2013. The report is sealed and confidential but resulted in a final custody order for supervised visits. It also validated everything that I’ve put in front of the court for over 4 years. During the evaluation, Seth tried hard to put on a good show for the evaluator. He baked me an apple pie, set up a fake apartment and even set up bird house crafts for the girls to paint while the evaluator was touring “his” apartment. I was in awe that during the final stretch, he violated court orders and took the girls into a pub where he consumed alcohol. While that grave error was only a small part of the things uncovered in the evaluation, it sealed his fate when it came to the final custody order.

I remember being SO worried that the evaluator would buy into his presentation. No matter how positive I tried to be, it was a nerve-wracking period of time. Little did I know that while Seth was on his “best behavior,” he assaulted someone in Florida while on a drunken rage. While I have known about this issue for a while now, I haven’t publicly spoken about it. Now that the police report has been filed with the court, it is public information. Sometimes I feel like I am trapped in a horrible soap opera.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Last year, I wrote a blog about gazelles — also known as Seth’s prey. It had been brought to my attention that Seth was engaged to “Gazelle #3.” There were professional engagement photos posted online of Seth and Sharon, yet when questioned by the evaluator, he refused to provide her name or answer any questions about her. He was very evasive during questioning. After recently receiving a police report from Florida, his evasiveness during questioning makes complete sense.

On Valentine’s Day (2013) weekend, Gazelle #3 ran a marathon and Seth stayed behind in their hotel room during a large portion of the race. During that time, he accessed her computer, phone, camera and social media accounts without her permission. He found things he didn’t like including communication that she had with an ex-boyfriend. Later when she tried to log into her computer, she discovered that he had password protected the computer and she was unable to log on. Later that day and into the night, he proceeded to drink heavily and around 9pm, he re-entered the hotel room (“staggered into the hotel room” was how it was described in the police report) where Gazelle #3 was sleeping. They had a verbal altercation and Seth accused her of being in love with her ex-boyfriend. From there it says, “The suspect attempted to grab the victim’s cell phone out of her hands and a struggle ensued. The suspect grabbed the victim by her left wrist and she started screaming.” Apparently, multiple people in nearby rooms called 911 and because of the screams, hotel security also responded. Hotel security then made him pack his belongings and he fled prior to the police arriving. Charges were listed as “Battery using personal weapons – hands or feet.”

This was a man on his “best behavior” in the middle of a custody evaluation. As of this week, the police reports have been submitted to the courts.

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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: Hurricane Seth

Divorcing a Narcissist: Hurricane Seth

stomachby Tina Swithin

“Mom, I really don’t want to go. My stomach starts hurting if I even think about it,” said Piper (age 9.5).

That was how our walk to school began this morning.

Tomorrow is our first supervised visit with Seth. The last time the girls saw him was July 2013 and they have refused his calls since April of this year. I haven’t been blogging about our new roller coaster ride lately because somehow, putting it out there makes it feel real. With tomorrow’s visit looming, reality is knocking on my door whether I like it or not and unfortunately, I am being forced to open it.

A huge part of me feels tremendous guilt. My daughters are safe. The majority of the OMB group members are forced to send their children to the monsters- unsupervised. I have been there and I know that feeling so well. I am trying to find my gratitude but it’s been difficult. I need to remind myself that our visits are supervised and the girls are safe. I need to remember that supervised visits are what I fought SO hard for. I need to be thankful for the 14+ months of peace that we’ve had. Then my daughter tells me that she wishes he would disappear forever and it all comes rushing back in. He is back.

I picked the girls up from school on Monday and as Piper climbed into my car she said with teary-eyes, “Mom- my stomach hurts so bad. I want to go home. I don’t want to go to the appointment.” We were scheduled to go straight from school to meet the new supervisor, Laura. I looked at Piper through the rearview mirror and I could see it in her eyes. “Honey, it will only be an hour and we can’t cancel.” “Mom, I’m really sick. I don’t want to go.”  This is my daughter who never misses school and has even tried to attend school with a slight fever. She is rarely sick and I’d never seen her act like this.

We arrived at the supervisor’s office and as we sat on her couch in the waiting room, Piper was holding her stomach and writhing in pain. It took everything in me not to grab the girls and leave. This is opening wounds that were finally healing. The girls are thriving in school and in life. I explained to the supervisor that Piper was having a stomach ache and she did a good job of trying to ease their minds about how the visits would play out and the games they could play along with the places they could go. Afterwards, I met with her alone and explained my concerns while providing as much history as I could. Like most therapists, she is of the mindset that two parents, no matter how broken, are better than just one parent. As a child who was subjected to the mental illness of a parent, I have a different and firm opinion on that subject but that is a blog in itself. On the way home, Piper said, “Mom….I really don’t want to go see him.”

Tuesday morning, I woke the girls up from school and Piper was in pain. Her stomach again. I called into the school and let them know that she would be staying home. I contacted her therapist and was instructed to use this as an opportunity to teach her about self-care. We went to lunch together and then had ice cream. We had the opportunity to talk about life and school. She spend the day reading books, watching movies and doing crafts. I hate watching what the stress from Seth is doing to her. In addition to the stomach aches, the stress is also coming out this week in pre-teen defiance which is difficult to absorb however, I understand. I have the tools to process these events and they are still difficult for me at the age of 40. She simply does not have the coping skills and I hate that he has the power to roll in like an evil hurricane and cause such discord.

As I type this, “Daughters” by John Mayer is playing in the background. Thanks, Pandora. Very appropriate timing.

Fathers be good to your daughters.”

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

 

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

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

7by Lucy K. Wright

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

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

Let me give you a few examples:

Me: “What a beautiful blue sky today!”

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

Of course.

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

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

Really.

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

_______________

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

The motion went a little something like this:

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

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

But I did not know what else to do.

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

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

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

Life lesson learned.

________________

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

Thank you Judge.

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

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

The Ex’s response?

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

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

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

And so the saga continues.

_____________

Life lesson learned:

Always have your earplugs available.

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

~LLS~ Lucy K.

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

Turning 40 and Adjusting My Sails

Turning 40 and Adjusting My Sails

sailsby Tina Swithin

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

restraining-order-picby Lucy K. Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither was I.

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

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

The next night I experienced the same thing.

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

Punishment…Coercion…Control…Intimidation…Revenge

~LLS~ Lucy K. Wright

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

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

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

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Magic Genie

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Magic Genie

61by Tina Swithin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

ransackedby Lucy K. Wright

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

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

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

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

Yelling.

Anger.

My fault. My fault. My fault.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So was I.

~LLS~  Lucy K.

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

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

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

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

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

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

narc decoderby Tina Swithin

(Continued from Part 1)

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

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

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

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

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

Seth’s response to me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Seeking a 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.

“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.