“Imagine life is a game in which you are juggling five balls. The balls are called work, family, health, friends, and integrity. And you’re keeping all of them in the air. But one day you finally come to understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls…are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” (James Patterson)
I have taken a quiet back burner to writing for a few weeks. I love writing, so why did I think it was too overwhelming to try and share some of my thoughts? Because once again (albeit this is happening less and less, and with more time in-between) I let all of the current dramatic noise from the ExN exhaust and consume me. And I know better than this! He’s been on a role with the lawyers and court lately – and although I have (still) tried to believe that one of these days we really could work things out together rather than continue down this long road – I have finally reached a breaking point in realizing that us working together is never going to happen. If I’m wrong about this, then great, I will look forward to admitting that someday. But as I read each email from him with increased suspicion, wondering what he is trying to document and what he is coming at me with next, I know more and more that there is just no changing those well-defined permanent Narcissistic stripes.
Juggling five balls is about the balance in your life. You have to keep your health, your family, you friends and your integrity/spirit in the air and intact. I heard this story at a speech I attended recently for work. It resonated with me from an actual career perspective, but the more this story lingered in my head, the more I realized how dealing with the ExN over these past several years really has been my true life “work”. The work we all do to keep ourselves going in what seems like a never-ending process in dealing with all of the ExN’s of life is metaphorically the light, bouncy rubber ball; yet sometimes it feels like the heaviest ball of them all to keep in balance, let alone keep up in the air.
As I sit here preparing my financial statements again, for my upcoming court appearance again, and wondering what is going to happen when we face the judge yet again, that rubber ball is feeling more like a very heavy brick. I know I need to be as prepared as I can and do what I need to do for my “work” right now. I know that regardless of how tired I am, how much money this is costing me, how many papers I have to prepare and how much of an energy and resource drain this is for all parties involved (well, except one party, who thrives on all this), I know I need to persevere and do my best. Past doing that, I cannot control or predict anything else that is going to happen ahead. I do know that I need to be especially aware of my actions, my mood and my energy level this week so that I do not let the other glass balls in my life start to fall and negatively affect others, even a little bit.
I thought about this quote I read once: Nothing happens in our lives or in the world without purpose. In other words, no matter how difficult the situation we are all facing, there is some purpose. I have a history of a mentally abusive childhood that I didn’t even comprehend until I was an adult. Then I did what was natural to me by marrying someone who treated me the way I was used to being treated. Right or wrong, that is what I knew. And, just like the ExN and I are “never-ever-ever-getting-back-together”; we are also never ever going to be able to communicate effectively, reach agreements, or have any sort of “co-parenting” anything without the assistance of hired professional help. Sad? Yes. Exhausting? Sure. But it is what it is, and I don’t think the situation is ever going to change. I must deal with it as it is: an every day part of my life, just like getting up, making my kid’s PB&Js, kissing them goodbye when they go to school, and telling my new husband how much I love him for “getting me,” and being willing and so amazing to put up with me as I continue to learn, self-discover, and deal with this never ending ExN situation.
Take this week to remember some of your favorite quotes or sayings about things happening for a reason, the universe having a plan for you, doing good and good will come to you, and choosing to be unstoppable. Know that no matter how hard the rubber-ball hits the bottom surface with these continued ExN battles, if you do your best “work”, things WILL eventually and someday bounce back. Remember to nurture the most important glass aspects of your life – your family, friends, health and spirit – because with that balance intact, there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
~ LLS ~ Lucy K.
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