Tag Archives: narcissistic personality disorder

Tina Swithin survived a Category Five Divorce Hurricane and has taken shelter in her book titled, “Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle” and in her blog, “One Mom’s Battle.” Tina’s ultimate goal is to bring education and change to the Family Court System. Tina resides in sunny California with her fiancé, two daughters and three-legged tortoise named, “Oliver.”

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Phone Calls

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Phone Calls

step dadby Tina Swithin

It’s been over four months since we’ve seen Seth yet he continues to call every Wednesday night.

He often says things like, “I’m at Barnes and Noble and I’m going to buy you some books.” or, “I really miss you- I wish there was a way that I could see you.” or better yet, when Piper told him that she was going to start taking horse back riding lessons, he replied by saying, “I don’t know how I feel about that. It’s really dirty and muddy.”

My two cents:

  • You haven’t bothered to see your daughters in 4.5 months yet we are suppose to confer with you about how you FEEL about dirt and mud?
  • You COULD figure out a way to see your children. You are CHOOSING not too because your ego is bigger than your love for your daughters.

Today was a great reminder that my daughters will be okay. Better than that, they are thriving.  Today was Glenn’s birthday and Piper came into our bedroom this morning with a hand made card. The card said,

Dear Glenn- You are the best step-dad & dad ever! You are all of our dreams come true. You are the perfect Glenn. -Piper

Despite the damage that Seth can do in one phone call, Glenn and his relationship with the girls gives me hope that our story has a happy ending.

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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 insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Divorcing a Narcissist: Your Life Should be a Lifetime Movie…

Divorcing a Narcissist: Your Life Should be a Lifetime Movie…

moviesby Tina Swithin

I have heard the same phrase repeated year after year, “You can’t make this stuff up- it could be a Lifetime movie!

Yes.

It could be a movie.

About two weeks ago, I received an email from a woman in Southern California who heard my battle cry. She has the same battle cry and recently stumbled upon my blog. I receive emails daily from people all over the world and sadly, we all have the same story. There are slight variations but its the same story:

Narcissistic Ex + uneducated Family Court System = Welcome to hell on Earth.

This email was different because the writer is actually a writer. She is a television writer in Los Angeles!!!!

Four days later, she drove all the way up from Los Angeles to meet with me. I love connecting with others who “get it” – I didn’t need to explain my story because she was living my story. There is a connection that those of us at OMB share and its impossible to find anywhere else. It’s a connection that you can feel deep in your soul.

To make a long story short, I am now holding a shopping agreement in my hands. My new OMB friend will be pitching my story in hopes of turning it into a 2-hour movie!!!!!! I am beyond thrilled at the potential reach that this could have in terms of the general public, those in the court system and young adults who are in the dating world. Everyone needs to be educated on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the foundation is being laid for that to happen!

Tina

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

Seeking a private forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina at The Lemonade Club!

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

 

The Application to Marry a Narcissist

The Application to Marry a Narcissist

Dr NarcOn Wednesday, the Huffington Post ran an article titled, Deluded Surgeon’s Email Lists the Most Outrageous Requirements for a Woman We’ve Ever Seen.”

After reading the article in complete shock, I immediately thought the title should be changed to the following headline, “One Lucky Woman will Receive a Shiny New Narcissist with all the Bells and Whistles.” Many of the requirements reminded me of my own less-than-shiny narcissist, Seth.

Because I am not known to keep my mouth shut (thank you, freedom!) when it comes to this type of thing, I decided to lend my expertise to the situation and elaborate a little more on each of the requirements. I want to make sure that the lucky lady knows exactly when she’s getting into with the good doctor.

Below are the requirements and my explanation of each when processed through the trusty Narc Decoder:

  1. “Spent significant time (>1 yr) living in a city of 1 million or more.”

I need someone who appears “worldly” which makes for better conversations in social settings when I need to impress people. I also have a strong desire to impress my mom who doesn’t want me to end up with a country bumpkin.

  1. “Highly functional Type B (not a Type A because too similar, not a Type B who can’t get stuff done)”

I can’t handle an over-achiever who would complete and remove the spotlight from me. Did I mention that I am a highly-functional type A personality? Are you good at listening and taking notes?

  1. “Skinny (i.e. dress size 0-2, if you don’t know what that means (many men don’t) it means very skinny)”

A trophy wife feeds my ego and makes me the talk of the town amongst colleagues. Please be warned that I will be monitoring your food intake and ensuring that you never drink anything but non-fat milk in your coffee. Wait. Dairy causes weight gain. Scratch that.  You will live off of black coffee and salads without dressing.  You like lettuce, right?

  1. “Never does bad things because of values.”

I need someone who can provide balance because I lack values yet I like to brag about having them. I also like to shine the spotlight on others who do bad things but I am highly skilled at covering my tracks. Someone with good values and morals will make me look better and therefore, people will never doubt me.

  1. “Spent significant time in another country other than the US (either born somewhere else or lived out of the US for a total of a 6 months or more, not on a vacation, doing something like school or work)”

This helps tremendously when dinner conversations become stale and I’ve thoroughly bored everyone while talking about how accomplished I am. I need conversation topics that will impress our dinner guests. This by no means implies that I am seeking someone of another ethnic background – I would only date a Caucasian woman but don’t rush me, I will delve into the topic of racism on question #9.

  1. “Graduate degree or very good undergraduate school (more compatible since I went to 3 Ivy League schools i.e. Dartmouth, Columbia & Harvard, as well as Emory and my MBA from NYU)” –

Did I mention how important I am? Did you know that I went to 3 IVY League Schools? My overbearing mother and family would never approve of someone who didn’t fit their image of perfect genes and high intellect. Can you imagine the fine specimens…I mean CHILDREN….that our combined DNA….I mean, love….will produce? While you are taking notes, I’m going to order Mensa applications so we are fully prepared.

  1. “Wants kids in the next 1-2 years.”

With my superior genes, I am in a hurry to reproduce. I am also seeking to have 2.5 children because that is what society deems as ideal for American couples. If we are not able to reproduce within my time frame, it will of course be your fault. Something must be wrong with your eggs as someone of my caliber could never have issues with sperm count. I’ve personally had them studied in a lab and talk about perfection!  Whew! Perfect sperm right here!

  1. “An 8 out of the 1-10 scale — 9-10 is actually bad as it comes with a lot of downside.”

Someone who exudes perfection would take longer to tear down. I have some wiggle room with an “8” – I could point out the third left toe with a slight bend or the way her nose holes aren’t completely symmetrical. Did you know that perfect people have completely symmetrical nose holes? A perfect 9 or 10 would never think to eat dairy but an 8…think of the fun I could have when she reaches for that piece of cheese at a dinner party!

  1. “Caucasian (not black, not Hispanic, not Asian)”

See question #5 above. I’m a racist.

  1. “Altruistic, selfless”

Being completely selfless and consumed with my needs, likes and desires is detrimental to your well-being. Are you talking notes?

  1. “Gets along well with everyone”

I need someone who can smooth things over when I create waves. I need someone so likeable that I will be liked by association. I am a complete a-hole in case you haven’t noticed yet. I need someone who is easy-going and gets along with everyone but most importantly, me. Me. Me. Me.

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Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

“Olivia” ~ Blog 5

“Olivia” ~ Blog 5

OliviaNote from Tina: There are many faces to this battle and I am currently featuring a total of six different people who are all affected by narcissism. Some are divorcing a narcissist, some share custody with a narcissist, one is a man who is affected by his ex-wife’s personality disorder and one is an amazing young woman who is away at college but still feeling the effects of her father’s narcissism. While we are all different, we share the same story—the same trials and tribulations.  There are many faces to this battle and I am happy to share them with you. -Tina

“Olivia” ~ Blog 5

Because I am a legal adult and attend school out of state, my dad has very little control over me anymore. The only thing he has to hold over my head is money. He has always used money as a bribe, but this year he has taken it to a whole new level.

To give you a bit of background: my dad is required to pay all school expenses up to a certain amount as stated in the agreement between he and my mom. He has decided that he is just going to ignore the agreement. He has always hated spending money on someone other than himself. My first semester of college, he told me a week before I left for school that I would need to take out a student loan, because he wanted to start a new business. After that experience, he waited until the last possible moment to pay my tuition. When he finally bought my textbooks, I got a 15 minute guilt trip. I would have to agree to visit him or do something for him. He knows how important school is to me so he knows exactly how to manipulate me.

This was all happening occurring at the same time that the collection calls began.  The summer before college, my dad made me sign up for gym because he thought I was too heavy. He made me put all the information in my name however, he agreed to pay for the membership. He never paid for the gym. I was getting at least 3 collection calls a day before I finally was able to put an end the calls.

This semester, my dad has decided that he’s not going to pay for my tuition or my textbooks. He said because I am not seeing him or talking to him that he won’t pay for college. Maybe it’s because of my personality, but I don’t understand how someone can go back on a promise or an agreement. It’s difficult for me to understand why my schooling has these strings attached.  I am angry and hurt that my dad doesn’t honor his agreement. While I will never understand what goes on in my dad’s mind, I am starting to understand why this may be happening to me.

A few weeks ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest that is a quote by Louie Giglio. It said “God is using your present circumstances to make you more useful for later roles in his plan“. I am beginning to realize that having a narcissistic  Father is only making me stronger. I am learning lessons about life every time he does something horrible. When he refused to pay for my textbooks, I am learning to better budget my money so that I could plan for other things he might not pay for. I have also learned that its okay to reach out for help. My university’s minister has played a key role in helping me through this journey with my dad. My dad contacted him claiming that I am not talking to him, and I am not doing well. I went to talk to him about what my dad said. The minister guessed my dad was not sharing the entire story. He offered to help me if my dad tried to see me or if my dad refused to pay tuition. I know that I will able to use the experiences with my dad at some point in the future.

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To see the rest of the posts from “Olivia,” click here.

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Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Ramblings of a Mad Man: Inside the Mind of a Narcissist

Ramblings of a Mad Man: Inside the Mind of a Narcissist

madmanToday is Seth’s parenting evaluation- he spent yesterday grooming them.  He took them shopping for new beds (they haven’t had overnight visits since 2011) and told them how important it was to tell the man (evaluator) how much fun they have with him.  They came home concerned about the possibility of overnight visits.  I told them both that adults are not allowed to tell them what to say– that is very wrong.  Mommy should never tell them what to say nor should daddy.  I told them that they should speak from their heart and use their voice.

On Wednesday the girls will meet with the evaluator alone and then I will meet with him on Thursday.  I have spent much of the weekend preparing for my meeting on Thursday.  I have saved hundreds of messages on my cell phone and it can only be titled as, “The Ramblings of a Mad Man” — if this evaluator can view these messages and NOT see Seth as insane….I don’t know what else to say.

As most narcissists do, Seth has a “chosen” child: Piper.  This was a text message that he sent me one night regarding his belief that Piper is a genius:

I am reading a book about people who are defined as genius. Piper might be one. Please have her read nightly. I’ll send you published papers if you’d like to attest to this. This has nothing to do with me. You are an idiot if you refuse to cultivate Piper or Sarah through extracurricular education. You lack so much…and its because of your upbringing and lack of cultivation. Lacking Culture or a groomed skill. Just looks. So sad.

These are just a small sample of text messages (ten) that he sent to his ex-girlfriend after discovering that she wrote a declaration regarding his mental instability:

1. The crazy narcissistic woman’s request was denied to take my children from me .  ( this is the one with 200 pages of herself online after she cheated on me while we’re married).  That narcissist. She’s very vindictive, much like you Kasia. How does feeling full of vengeance work for you both I wonder? Stressful? Aging? Negative? All of the above. I wouldn’t know because I shun people like you two from my life. Oh yeah, and all your negative bs you wrote to hurt two innocent children and turn the court against me, all your effort to be hateful to a man you said you loved as recently as July was in vain. Hope to see you at the gym soon to laugh at you aloud. Everyone I know here will know what you did factually. That’s the truth 

2. It’s “sent Kasia”. As in “That’s what he just sent” Learn English properly before you start taking advantage of American men.  I wasted my entire day responding to the lies you gave to my X wife…a woman you never met. You’re one vindictive, selfish woman Kasia. Having the ability to affect a Father’s lifelong relationship with his children. You should be ashamed of yourself. I am.  Janusz certainly would be. How do you sleep at night?!?

3. I wish you well. It’s sad you came into my divorce with a commissioner who sees through this.  Justice will prevail. I can’t believe you sunk to that level to contact my X wife Kasia. Unbelievable

4. Tomorrow Kasia. How you can consciously justify coming between me and my daughters to be vindictive because we once were in love but lost that because Aneta came. We had our own relationship and independence. You have no right to hurt my time with my daughters. Kasia how do you sleep

5. You are a terrible human being. Kasia you went 220 miles away to give my X, who you do not even know, you didn’t even know her name and then you give her things she can use in my divorce court.

6. You have the balls to talk to my X to hurt my daughters ability to have a relationship with their father.   How dare you Kasia.  Karma will treat you.

7. I was respectable about you to the guy who thinks you’re his girlfriend. You slept around whole you told me you only were with me. Going 220 miles to affect my relationship with my daughters is vindictive, selfish, immature and uncalled for. I was recovering from major losses in my life when I met You in 2009. Loss of my livelihood, loss of a wife, loss of love, loss of a business. Loss of my children. How Dare You Kasia!!!!

8. You are a human being that lacks a conscience.  You crossed the line, you don’t even know my children or my X.  How dare you

9. Let’s just let it go Kasia. I really am Sorry! Hope you have a great life and promising career. I really do. 

10. How dare you. That’s my Mom with my Girls. A woman with integrity who told me you’re a waste of my time last year. I hope you can’t sleep realizing you’ve damaged children. Innocent children with your vindictive, ” it’s a about me” attitude. No wonder you’re single. You’re destined for a lonely life after endlessly using people for money. (Photo of Cleo attached to message)

Most of these messages were sent one after another– some just minutes apart.  His ex-girlfriend sent me all of his emails, text messages and Facebook communication.  Is this from the mind of a healthy, functioning, 40-year old man?  We will soon see what the court thinks.

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: Parenting Evaluation Continues

Divorcing a Narcissist: Parenting Evaluation Continues

evaluationI am incredibly thankful that the parenting evaluation is underway because it will allow the court to get to the bottom of the issues and accusations.  This is where my faith comes into play- I have to have faith that things are happening as they are supposed to.  I pray that this evaluator is able to see through the fake image that Seth is so skilled at presenting.  I met with the evaluator  a couple of weeks ago and the appointment lasted almost 2.5 hours.  I was able to express my concerns and then back them up with evidence.  The main difference between the evaluation in 2010 and the current one is that a pattern of behavior has been established – it is indisputable and documented.

Last night I had a bit of a pity party also known as a bout of frustration over the entire process.  Because Seth is incompetent as a father, I am going thousands of dollars in debt to pay for someone to evaluate both of us. The entire investigation centers around Seth yet I am forced to pay.  It’s just another flaw in the system.  I have taken my daughters to every school function, every single day of school, every medical appointment and every ER visit.  I have nursed every boo-boo, late night fever and bad dream.  Seth has never even set foot on the girls school campus except on one occasion with the sole purpose of  intimidating me by serving me court papers in front of our children.

Seth is scheduled for his home visit this weekend and mine was completed this afternoon.  The evaluator will also meet with the girls alone at his office next week.  I have a lot more confidence in this evaluator and the questions that he asked the girls in comparison to the last evaluator.  I have another round of paperwork to prepare before my next interview with him on Thursday.  Maybe it is overly hopeful of me but I do believe that he will see through Seth and his staged home.

We are scheduled to go to trial for a two-day review hearing on April 10th and 11th.  Fingers crossed, prayers in progress, pixie dust sprinkled and positive thoughts flowing.

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

Divorcing a Narcissist: My Safe Haven

Divorcing a Narcissist: My Safe Haven

Cloud HeartMy church has become a safe haven for me over the past four years.  Last year, on February 19th, 2012, Seth created a huge scene by showing up to the church and the morning ended with him yelling at me and the girls in the parking lot and then lying about it in court.  Traumatizing.  In court, it became his church and then he denied his outburst which left the girls in tears.  Our court paperwork now says that Seth cannot attend my church.

I wasn’t raised in the church and only began going four years ago as my marriage was ending.  My pastor is a young, down-to-Earth, surfer guy who makes me laugh and touches my heart every week.  Aside from the spiritual aspect, he makes me want to be a better person.  We’ve recently been in a series which hit home for me over the past six weeks but yesterday’s service was one that provided me hope as I enter this latest round of the custody evaluation. The message was “Running long and finishing well” and it described three hurdles to the various races of life being depleted, disillusionment and distraction.  A couple of the main points centered on concentrating on your purpose and finding your focus to finish strong.

Sometimes I feel like the person crawling to the finish line.  I have worked so hard and the evaluation is right in front of me yet I feel so depleted by the bumps in the road that I am crawling.  I need to concentrate and focus on finishing strong for my daughters.  I can do it!!!  I can!  I can!  :)

On another note, one of the things that I often struggle with is how my blog and my book –this part of my life, matches up with the direction of my church.  To be honest, I didn’t know if they would support what I am doing.  I was recently asked by one of the pastors if I would be interested in leading a divorce group at the church.  Me?  Lead a church group?  The thought terrified me and I declined.  Then, a few weeks ago I took a class at church on finding my purpose– we took personality tests, skills tests, etc and I was amazed to see that what I am already doing aligned with a portion of the worksheets: lead and encourage others going through divorce.  The class was exactly what I needed.  The insecurity about how the church would feel about my mission evaporated.

If those things didn’t tell me that my church would support my cause, I was smacked in the forehead yesterday with the reality that they are already supporting what I am doing– and I had no idea.  I met a woman in church this week that I’d never spoken to before.  She was sitting behind me on Sunday and introduced herself as someone who understands my struggles and just bought my new book– it turns out that she also divorced a narcissist.  She went onto say that she suggested my book to the church counselor who had already read it and is going to buy copies to loan out to people that she counsels!  My first thought– Oh great!  I used the “F word!”  in my book :)  Gotta keep my humor!

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narcissists and the Distortion of Reality

Narcissists and the Distortion of Reality

liesA lot has transpired over the past few days and I need to hold off on discussing the specifics.  What I can say right now: I am dusting off the “I mean business boots” …putting on the “big girl panties” and re-adjusting the “justice tiara”….being quiet is difficult for me because I process things through journaling and writing. For the time being, I will need to write in “draft mode”.

One thing that I can discuss is the narcissist’s uncanny ability to distort events and reality to suit their needs. This often leaves family members or spouses scratching their head or worse- questioning their own sanity.  This narcissistic phenomenon describes the majority of my marriage.  It began with small things and over time, it escalated to bigger things. Because our (normal) brains do not think in this distorted way, it is difficult to process or understand when you are on the receiving end of this behavior.  It took me almost a year of therapy and a lot of research on narcissism to understand that it wasn’t me—it was Seth.

My daughters, Piper and Sarah, opened up last night and released a lot of things that have been bothering them. One thing that happened this weekend was that Seth asked Piper (age 7), “Can you tell me WHY I received a phone call from the courts about HITTING YOU?” “You did hit us, dad” replied Piper.  Piper went on to bravely remind him of two different occurrences where he had hit her across the legs to which he replied, “I have NEVER hit you in my life—I moved your leg over.  I did NOT hit you”.

“I KNOW he is lying, mom! He DID hit me and Sarah lots of times.” explained Piper.  She was incredibly frustrated and I knew exactly how she felt in that moment. I know how those interactions feel but to watch him do this to my little girl killed a piece of my heart.

It brings me back to that exact same place that I try and coach other women out of: I find myself asking, “HOW” can he hurt her like this? How can he make her doubt herself and her truth? Then I remind myself: He is ill. He doesn’t operate in the same way we do. You wouldn’t expect sanity out of insanity.

I remind myself that he is a narcissist.

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Life is Like Photography: We Develop from the Negatives

Life is Like Photography: We Develop from the Negatives

PhotographyI am a really positive person by nature.  I’ve been called a “Pollyanna” — and actually had to look up the definition to ensure that it wasn’t an insult!  The mission of educating the media and the general public on narcissistic personality disorder and cluster B disorders can weigh heavily on even the most positive person. Some of the stories that I read are heart wrenching and leave me in tears for people I don’t even know.

Every week I hear stories from men and women that leave me baffled.  Common sense seems to be absent from much of our family court system.  I am told stories of courtroom corruption that would make your head spin.  Many of these stories serve as reminders that while I feel discouraged; I am actually extremely lucky that I don’t have to deal with corruption. I am faced with a system that doesn’t understand high-conflict divorce and doesn’t know how to deal with it.  My mission is to change that.

It is easy to feel discouraged by the negatives which is why I feel it is extremely important to focus on the positives as they present themselves. The positives could be the person who holds the door open for you at the grocery store or simply the sun shining after two days of rain. I am a believer that positive thoughts make way for more positive thoughts. I wanted to share something positive that happened to me this week– because quite frankly, I am still in shock and writing is how I process things:

I began a new chapter in my life on June 8th of 2012 when my best friend asked me to be his wife. Our wedding is set for the spring of 2013 and we’ve managed to take the term “budget wedding” to a new level. The one item that we haven’t tackled yet is a biggie: the wedding photographer.  We spent last Monday and Tuesday discussing this hurdle and didn’t really come up with a solid answer. I awoke on Wednesday morning to the most amazing, generous email which can only be described as “serendipitous”.

Before I explain, I need to share the back story:

When I put the word out that I was looking for guest bloggers, I never expected to discover “Olivia” — a guest blogger who holds a special place in my heart. Olivia is an inspiring young woman who gives me hope that my daughters will be okay despite the cards that have been dealt to them.  A young woman whom I’ve never met has given me a tremendous amount of hope in the one area of my life that causes me the most unrest: will my daughters come through this and be okay?

A therapist once listed to my entire life story while shaking her head– that day, there was a great emphasis on my extremely dysfunctional childhood.  She explained that children only need one strong person in their life to defy the odds…one dependable voice….or one person who believes in them and breathes encouragement into their soul. For me, that person was my Aunt Bev.  She and I were often separated by 2,000 miles (me in California and she in Illinois) but I knew that she was ALWAYS there for me.  She encouraged me. She was always realistic with me– never telling me what I wanted to hear but telling me what I needed to hear.

I have been blessed with my Aunt Bev and Olivia was blessed with her mother, “Jane”.

Back to the “serendipitous” email:

I awoke to an email on Wednesday morning from Olivia’s mother, Jane- it turns out that she is a wedding photographer.  Jane had read my blog about getting married and offered to fly to my wedding and donate her services: for free.  This is the part where I become speechless again…it took me hours to even respond to her email.  I stared at it.  I called Glenn immediately and shared the news with him.  I stared at the email again.  Speechless.  Filled with gratitude.  Honored that Olivia’s mother will be at my wedding…and hopefully, Olivia will be able to attend.  Nothing would make this day more special then to meet these two women.

This battle has been difficult but it has given me so many positive things in life such as tremendous healing, a voice (complete with a megaphone), camaraderie and immense gratitude. Thank you, Jane and thank you, Olivia!!!!!!  (((HUGS))))

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to de-code the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

 

Reflecting on 2012: Hopeful, Thankful and Excited for 2013

Reflecting on 2012: Hopeful, Thankful and Excited for 2013

2012 2013As 2012 comes to a close, I am left reflecting on all that has happened in the past twelve months.

I am thankful:

  • For my daughters. I am in awe that God trusted in me enough to be their mother.
  • For each of the 2,311 men and women on the One Mom’s Battle Facebook page. This community has been a lifeline for me and so many others. This forum has been a place of education, inspiration, tears, support and a great deal of love. The people on this forum understand what it is like to be a victim of NPD and we all have the ultimate goal of being labeled with the title of “survivor.”
  • For the press that has been generated on the topic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder through outlets such as xojane.com, The Huffington Post, Examiner.com, Yahoo.com, Washington Times and more.
  • For my latest title of “Huffington Post Blogger” and my first post to mark the end of the year: “Communicating With A Narcissist: Using The Narc Decoder“.
  • For the experience that I have gained through my day job.  Being able to make a living blogging, doing social media and public relations has given me the tools and expertise to bring this issue from the pages of my diary to the top media outlets around the world.
  • That I was able to share my story, insight and experience with the world through my new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist“.  I am thankful for the reviews that I have received so far and look forward to writing a companion book which will help others to examine their role in the toxic relationship which will help them to avoid making the same mistakes twice.
  • For the new guest bloggers on One Mom’s Battle: “An Uphill Battle“, “Claire“, “A Whale of a Tale”, “Olivia“, “A Father’s Silent Scream“, “Thrown to the Wolf” and all of the other men and women who have shared their stories.  There is power in numbers and our numbers are growing.
  • For the personal growth and insight that I have experienced over the past year.
  • That I will soon begin the next chapter of my life when I re-marry in the spring of 2013. I am content and happy in a healthy relationship that is filled with love, mutual respect, companionship and communication. I am thankful to be able to model such a relationship to my daughters.

I am hopeful:

  • That the platform that has been built over the past year will allow for continued education. I firmly believe that keeping this topic in the media will educate the general public about narcissism.  Our next generation of men and women need to be aware of the signs of NPD to avoid repeating the cycle. It will take all of our voices to be heard.
  • That the Family Court System will begin to receive education on high conflict divorce and personality disorders. My goal is to get my book in front of as many Judges, Commissioners, attorneys, GALs, Parenting Evaluators and anyone else who has a hand in deciding the fate of a child. The children are dependent on US to be their voices in this battle.
  • That the media will continue to shine the spotlight on narcissism and personality disorders.

What I have learned:

  • That I can’t save everyone. Some of the stories that I hear are heart wrenching. My instinct is to try and help everyone but I can’t. Sometimes all I can do is offer words of wisdom and inspiration– I have learned that many times, that is all that is needed to give someone hope.  A virtual hug is my go-to tool when I am left speechless.
  • That being in the media spotlight brings forth “trolls”.  I have learned that trolls are mean, bitter people and that nothing I say or do will change their mindset. I have learned that it is not worth my time or energy to try and explain my position to these online lurkers.  Do you remember when you were first learning to give a speech in front of a group?  We are taught to picture the audience naked in an attempt to bring forth humor and ease anxiety.  I have learned to picture these “internet trolls” as scary little men who are sitting in a dark room and typing in their whitey-tighties with the eerie glow of the computer screen lighting up their little faces.

I am excited for 2013:

  • To start the year with the honor of being featured as a Inspirational Luminary on  InspireMeToday.com. I have followed this website for the past year and look forward to starting each day with the inspiration and wisdom of people such as Neale Donald Walsch, Guy Laliberte and Marci Shimoff.  I am honored to be with such esteemed company and I look forward to sharing my feature with each of you!
  • To be interviewed by Dr. Carole Lieberman, M.D. on “Dr. Carole’s Couch” on January 8, 2013.
  • To have an established platform which will allow me to continue to speak out to the public, the media and the Family Court System.

In closing:

I know that we are each in different places in this battle.  Some have made it to the light at the end of the tunnel and others are straining very hard to see the slight flicker of a light. I beg you to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how difficult it seems. The children are depending on each of us to keep moving forward and to be their voice. Keep commenting when you see articles posted on Family Court or narcissism.  Keep writing letters to your elected officials and keep speaking up.

  • He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  - Isaiah 40:29-31
  • He who has hope has everything. -Arabian Proverb

Sending you love, light and hope for 2013.  Thank you for all you’ve given to me.  Love, Tina

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Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.