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.
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.