A Small Town and an Insane Divorce

A Small Town and an Insane Divorce

I have the lyrics to John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” running through my head right now.   Welcome to my town where everyone has 2.5 children and a happy golden retriever standing guard at the white picket fence.

This morning I threw on my very best sweatpants (insert giggle here) and headed in for my month IVig treatment which is my personal weapon against Multiple Sclerosis.  After being on this treatment for about 5 years, I don’t put a lot of effort into looking good for my nurses because I usually end up feeling pretty crappy and could give a rats arse about my appearance.  On my treatment days, I am lucky if I brush my hair and I usually avoid going into coffee shops or grocery stores where there is any chance of people seeing me.  My one stop today involved picking up my daughters from their gymnastics camp and I was sure I could duck in and out without being seen.  Wrong.

As I was walking into the gym, I saw an acquaintance from the community  who said, “Tina, can I talk to you for a minute?”.  I knew what was coming before the words even left her mouth.  I had just received the paperwork moments before from my X and his new attorney.  Basically, he went to church on Easter Sunday and cornered her husband into writing a declaration about my X’s attendance at church.  The declaration was very vague but he was manipulated into verifying that my X attends my church.  I could see it in her face- she felt horrible and didn’t realize the damage that had been done.  We talked for a bit about the situation and she took down my contact information.  I found myself in the same position once again, how do you describe three nightmarish years of insanity in a 15-minute conversation without appearing insane yourself?  It didn’t help that I was dressed like a bag lady and had an IV bandage on my right hand.  I must have looked shaken up because she got out of the car and hugged me.

While I love living in a small town, I hate that the really nice people in my little town keep getting dragged into my insane world and manipulated by him just like I once was.


3 Responses

  1. I just wanted to share with everyone that I ordered the book, “Spliting – Protecting Yourself while Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger. It seems to contain practical advice for many of us in this situation. One of the main ideas that I have found helpful is identifying and preparing for the “predictable crisis” that the N will constantly create throughout the divorce process and even after. There is also useful tips on how to explain your N spouse’s behavior patterns to your lawyer and the court without looking “crazy” yourself. Finally there are chapter dedicated to negotiating out of court settlements with N so that every issue is not decided by a judge, which gets expensive. From what I have read so far it seems very useful to my situation and since we all a common thread of similar stories in common I hope it will be helpful to other as well.

  2. Tina, I can totally relate to this article having been here myself in this exact same situation.

    This is a teachable moment for us.. the lesson is to be you and to love yourself for you. Who cares that you don’t want to brush the bird nest doo or you rather throw on comfies, it is what works best for you & I respect you for this.

    After gaining many pounds, I was treated differently by family, friends and strangers. And because I made the decision to sacrifice a career and build my life around my children for their sake, I was frowned upon.

    Status nor does appearance define us, we alone define ourselves. I have learned that many people live shallowly and have absent minds to what really and truly is important. IT is our character that we measure a person by and all that truly matters is how we treat one another.

    Perhaps there is someone above us that places us in these situations & puts people in our faces to teach us how to handle ourselves, how to respect ourselves and allows us if we will to build ourselves stronger. This might be one of these teachable moments to worry less about what others think of you and your situation.

    I get what you mean about trying to explain years worth of dysfunction in a mere 15 minutes and come out of it not looking insane yourself. I have been in this exact same spot and thought this exact same thing! Because how is it possible to tell someone for the first time about so many negative things that happened over so many years, all the deceit, broken promises, lies, manipulation, slander, let down, insults and bullying *** It is impossible to tell all this in a short span and if you attempt you more than likely are going to come out of it feeling like a basket case, scattered in thoughts, feeling very out of balance and be mad at yourself for attempting something not possible in this regard.

    There is a difference between people wanting to know you or only wanting to know about you. This is a lesson I learned and I am only willing to share with people that I know will be here on a daily basis in my life.

    So share with ones that are lifelong friends and who really care about you.And take this lesson and learn from it, prepare yourself ahead of time on how you are going to deal with things in a way that holds you together the next time you are confronted. Being proactive is the best way, find a solution, stick with it and with each time you handle it in a held together way, you will begin to feel better about things and yourself.

    Another thing I learned is that some people are blessings and other are lessons.
    Lesson people come and then go
    Blessing people are here with you for the long haul, they will help you, support you and care to be by your side. Stand by the ones that stand by you and that you stand by each other.

    I speak from experience. I am getting much better at deciphering, knowing and applying but trust me there are still days that I struggle and wished after that I said less >> Motto sometimes less is more in certain circumstances and with certain people.

    Have a great weekend
    Cristine

  3. Tina, I like your post because you point out a common problem when dealing with a narcissist. They can be charming and manipulate people into doing what they want, which furthers the cycle because they get away with lies and half-truths and this encourages their dysfunctional behavior. In a sense, they are “enabled” by others to manipulate reality. It is so important that we all be aware of this and start being authenticate, honest and direct in our encounters with everyone we encounter in our community, particularly when there is some sort of conflict going on. The only way narcissistic and borderline personalities are going to be stopped from harming others is when enough people tell them no, I won’t enable you or help you in this path you’re going down. This acquaintance of yours clearly had some gut instinct that she had made a mistake, or else she wouldn’t have been wanting to talk to you to rationalize her actions. She is probably some well-meaning person who was sweet-talked by your Ex, and now perhaps she is feeling funny about it. Perhaps she will have the courage to undo what she has done.

    P.S. I highly recommend Bill Eddy’s book as mentioned in the comment above. I interviewed him and am actually writing a post about it. Great stuff there.