Divorcing a Narcissist: The Gifts in my Life

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Gifts in my Life

giftI am still waiting on the parenting evaluation.  I don’t see the delay as a negative by any means. I believe that the evaluator on our case is the very best that I could have ever hoped for. I know that the process is taking a long time because there is so much to investigate when it comes to Seth.

In addition to the items that were ordered to be investigated, there are new items that come up every single week.  There are Seth’s recent cancellations, the lack of phone calls and odd things that the girls have mentioned about Seth and his living arrangements. I would not want to be in the evaluator’s shoes right now as I can’t even imagine the investigative work that is needed.  At this point, we will probably be asking for a continuance on the 2-day trial scheduled for April 10th and 11th as we need more time to review the final report.

The Gift: I am still overcome with gratitude due to the gift of a complete stranger who assisted me in securing an attorney. I relayed the story to my therapist this morning by email and her exact words were, “Tina- that just gave me the chills!” Now that the shock has worn off, the sense of peace that this act of kindness brings is difficult to put into words.  I feel completely qualified to go up against Seth in court when we are both in pro se however; a two-day trial against Seth’s slimy attorney is more than I am capable of handling.  There were so many times over the past month that I have found myself staring blankly at the computer screen…too overwhelmed to even start the paperwork to prepare for trial.  I have come so far and was terrified that I would blow it in the final lap.  This generous gift has renewed my spirit and given me the tools that I need for battle.

The Gift that Keeps Giving: As many of you know, I am getting married this weekend. Glenn and I have been through so much together over the past four years.  He has restored my faith in men and people in general. He is everything that I have ever wanted in a partner but most of all, he is my best friend.  I am getting married to the most centered, humble, caring man that I have ever met.  I am grateful to be able to be “present” on my wedding day instead of worrying about my upcoming trial. I feel so confident in the attorney who is representing me that I will actually be able to let go for the weekend and live in the moment that I have dreamed of my entire life.

I will be MIA for a few days but I will be back—as a married woman! I promise to post pictures– from a follower of my blog who is flying all the way from Atlanta to photograph my magical day!  There will be lots of photos to share as my dear friend will also be there with camera in hand!   Thankful!!!!   Love, Tina

Huffington Post Udates


“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, tips 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.

9 Responses

  1. you have a wonderful weekend Tina!!! and you make me excited for my own day that is set to come in the fall of 2014. For me it’s not just about the wedding,(although that is the awesome part, marrying my wonderful man) the wedding also represents the joining of 2 once broken families (we both have ex narc spouses), the finalization of all the struggles, pain, betrayal, unhappiness, that we both endured for many years. It’s picking up the pieces, it’s the beauty of the forest growing back after the fire, it’s out of the ashes comes something even better than ever was before. We already know we can endure anything, because we have, we got through it together and we lived it and bloomed anyway.

  2. Tina, CONGRATS TO YOU on your marriage, more importantly to have truly been given the opportunity to share a partnership that is filled with so much love, respect & mutual adoration. Bought your book; could hardly put it down. My story is peppered with so many of the same experiences of your’s, including the MS (bout fell out of my chair when I got to that page!). The MS was what initially slapped me down in 2005, no longer allowing me to be the primary financial support for our family of 5. I had been successful in my career, primarily in management positions, & had earned several incredible opportunities, the last resulting in a move to AZ to hopefully improve the marriage, finances AND, overall, it was a great opp!. My babv girl was a week from 1 year. Yes, the ex “worked” but it was on his conditions, scheduled around golf, sports events, etc.; he frequently lost respect from customers when his supposed “emergency” kept him from finishing their work & they’d run into him on the golf course, etc.). My retirement bought a business that he was not disciplined enough to make successful. Up to the end of my professional career, I practiced in the mental health field (eating disorders) & at one point, took a DSM-IV book home & read the definition of a narcissist to him (no response). You should have seen him squirm when he saw me reading a book I bought from a school used book fair, NO VISIBLE WOUNDS. I stayed in the marriage almost 22 years as a result of a 2001, $50 visit to a local lawyer who told me she couldn’t guarantee I could get full custody of my kids if I divorced him. I was trying to wait until my youngest, my only daughter, had graduated high school (she was 13 when I left the house). Watching/experiencing the downward spiral of our lives financially, feeling powerless since I could no longer be the workhorse I’d always been, the indescribable fatigue & confusion I felt from the stress, the frequent sexual abuse (increasing since kids weren’t around much anymore; my boys, now 23 & 21, were both away at college) was terribly overwhelming & usually rendered me useless to anyone, including myself. The final straw was when I was driving him & my oldest son to the airport for a trip to London, to join the rest of his family (including my other 2 kids). The conversation was about how I needed to go back to work full-time as his “business” was slowing down & we needed the degree of income I had contributed for so many years. ???? No regard for my diminished cognition, the fatigue or any pain; he was sure my doctor could provide more medication to take care of all that. ???? I picked him up at the airport a week later then left the house within 2 days, never to return. Divorce was final in 2011 but IT HAS BEEN A NIGHTMARE. Due to the heat of AZ as well as harassment & stalking of the then husband, I returned to my KS hometown HAVING NO IDEA my daughter would want to stay in AZ, in what she viewed as, her “hometown.” THAT has been the most heartbreaking piece & the biggest price of all. We have a great relationship, our love is obvious & she is very strong, much more than I (your book helped lots, reading how you deal with your daughters because I can be angry at the situation at times). All 3 of my kids see their father for what he is as they have experienced his lies, manipulation, greed, etc. I call his significant other “my angel,” as I think he would focus on the spite & revenge even more than the 95% he currently spends. My kids seem to be okay with her as well. With the ex & other both around 50, I think her financial support is equal to the “good breeding stock” he claimed I was to him.
    I filed for disability in 2010. The final hearing was in NOV 2012. Disability was unfavorable but it was verified that my mental & functional capacity has changed “severely,” that I cannot function in my previous career, & that I am limited to part-time work rather than the 45-60 I chose to do 1988-2001; to validate all of that was a victory of sorts for me. Thus far, wages I’ve found aren’t much above minimum wage, yet the ex continues to take me back to court for an increase in child support, because he can only make $1500 per month (as noted by his self-employment figures) as a master plumber/pipefitter! He wouldn’t allow me into our home to get my belongings (found out he had a sale), he’s forged my name on checks, & blocked the sale of our $350K home (it went to foreclosure). He lives in a new home, with a pool, (it is his significant other’s & he “pays rent”), travels frequently yet hounds me for the $400 per month child support. We have a court date the last of May as he wants an increase to ~$730/month. I’ve been granted telephonic hearings for 2 of the last 3, mostly because I can’t afford the travel but it is also very stressful for me to be anywhere around him. The 2nd of those 3 hearings, I was held in contempt of court for not being able to make the child support payments (I was right in the middle of my disability appeal & was already “in trouble” for working the little I did…to TRY to make payments!). The commissioner issued a child support arrest warrant (cash purge of $500), & ordered me to pay HIS court fees! The worst slap of all was when the (female) commissioner HAD THE NERVE to ask me: DO YOU NOT FEEL ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DAUGHTER??? If only I had a guarantee that my daughter was on the receiving end of that money, but I know how the ex operates. During the hearing, I asked why his self-employment income was so low (I had requested a motion to have a financial professional audit his records, according to a specific statute, but, to this day, have never gotten a response from the court). The commissioner informed me I was the one they were looking at, not him. I had to “cancel” the modification hearing I had requested & paid for, which was scheduled for the following month, because the commissioner had denied my request for a telephonic appearance AND, I was TERRIFIED I would be taken to jail (again, a NIGHTMARE! NOT MY LIFE!). Besides, there was no way I could afford travel with the previous payment of almost $1000 I had to come up with for the child support payment, purge & court fees. I requested the hearing be rescheduled, which was denied, & I forfeited my filing fee; the minute entry states that I failed to appear, even though I had emailed & talked with the commissioner’s assistant. Neither the ex or I have had lawyers, which I feel makes the judge/commissioner act totally disrespectful & just try to shoo us out of the courtroom. Appears to me, many times the mountain of paperwork required is never examined. I understand the mental anguish & exhaustion it all causes; disablity paperwork is the same. OF COURSE, as the ex has informed me, if I would just follow his instructions & sign off on the agreements he proposes, we wouldn’t have to go through the court system or spend all this time & money. HA! One of his proposals was to sign off all my rights of my daughter over to him!
    While I am without my daughter, unable to see any of my kids unless they can visit, in debt, without MANY of my possessions & often feeling like I’m continually trampled on by the ex & the court system, I have 1)3 WONDERFUL kids who know I love them & they love me, 2)an INCREDIBLE, very active, 83 yr old dad that has helped me more than I can EVER repay, 3)an INCREDIBLE big brother, who like my dad,has helped me more than I can EVER repay, 4)EXTREMELY supportive family & friends (here AND in my previous community), AND 5) a “Glenn,” an old high school friend, that calls all my baggage “just noise that WE will work through.” We are coming up on 2 years of TOTAL BLISS that neither of us have ever known (my kids love him, too!). Marriage is out for now as I am so afraid of the vengefulness of the ex. Unfortunately, one of my biggest supporters, my mom, is in a nursing home with vascular dementia. The one thing she ALWAYS remembers is how much she dislikes the ex when anyone says his name! Don’t know if this was the right place to write all of this but, felt good to vent to someone that knows “the breed” AND, I wanted you to know how much I appreciated the book. Would love to talk with you, meet up with you, or at least email! I no longer use Facebook as the ex seemed to access somehow, even with me setting up all kinds of security; just not worth it. Hope he doesn’t happen on to this but…OH WELL. Not one time have I regretted leaving the ex. I don’t know that I could’ve left any sooner, especially as I look at all you’re going through with your young daughters. KNOW that I am VERY SUPPORTIVE of your cause & would do anything I could to help. Thanks for reading. Have a WONDERFUL weekend & know that someone in KS can relate to SO MUCH of what you feel & have experienced. Am SO HAPPY for you, Glenn & your daughters.

  3. Have a wonderful wedding, and fabulous weekend! You have earned it, and will put the stamp of “life well-lived” on your new family.

  4. I wish you all the best. I am looking towards a different type of trial but with your children involved it all works out to be the same. I hope someday I will be lucky enough to find someone who “restores my faith in men” as you have put it. However I know I am FAR from that happening. Best wishes **hugs**

  5. Tina, congratulations on your marriage! I remarried a year and a half ago to a wonderful man after being married 24 years to a narcissist. I have been encouraged by your blog, but even more so by the Huff Post interview with you and Dr. Malkin. Hearing your stories about your ex’s marriage proposal, and his reaction to your mother’s death so closely mirror my own experience is is uncanny. Although, I have been divorced for 3 years, and my youngest graduates from high school next month, I am still healing from the trauma of my divorce. Thank you for your efforts to reach out to all of us who have had these similar high conflict divorces. Best wishes to you!

  6. Congratulations Tina! You so deserve to be happy. I wish you and your family a wonderful time and a world of normality for a change! I have good news too and I will report to you on that another day. All I can say is persevere everyone as you can get justice and be happy in the end. (UK follower – 7 years of Court proceedings!)