Divorcing a Narcissist: Many, Many Voices in this Battle

Divorcing a Narcissist: Many, Many Voices in this Battle

The end of July marks a significant milestone for me. 100,000 views on my blog in eight short months.  100,000 is a very large number no matter how you look at it.  There are only 80,000 people residing in the City of Santa Barbara, California and I am now seeing 20,000 people per month who visit my website.  Simple math tells me that this is a subject that needs more attention.  There are so many men and women being affected by Narcissism but living in silence because the people around them just don’t understand.

I remember when I decided to start my blog at the end of last year.  I had kicked around the idea for quite some time and the goal was to tell my story- to allow myself to read it from start to finish and try to make sense of it all. I remember the feeling that I used to have when people would ask, “Why are you still fighting in court- hasn’t it been 2 years now?” — I couldn’t even form a sentence.  I couldn’t explain it to anyone.  It was too overwhelming because there wasn’t just one thing– there were hundreds and hundreds of things.  How do you sum up “Divorcing a Narcissist” in a conversation over coffee?

That is the exact reason why my heart broke when I saw Matt Lauer deal an insensitive blow to Christie Brinkley in front of millions of people.  I sat there staring at the television and I froze.  I personally become a deer in headlights when someone says, “Why can’t you both just move on?  Why can’t you put the children first?”  My new answer- I am doing that.  I am putting my children first.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is confusing to neighbors, teachers, co-workers and friends.  It is confusing to Judges, commissioners, attorneys and social workers.  The courts are uneducated on Narcissism because it is so easily masked.  The general public, media and courts are accustomed to hearing about “dead beat dads” so when a father puts up a fight to stay in his child’s life, it is refreshing AND it is rewarded.  The problem lies in the fact that he doesn’t want to be in his child’s life for the right reasons.  He wants to “beat” the mother by taking the one thing that means the most.  He wants to “own” the children.  He wants to control the children since he can no longer control his wife.

By trade, I work in social media and public relations.  In my profession it would be “hitting the jackpot” to report back to a client that their website had surpassed 100,000 UVPM in just 8 months.  The success of One Mom’s Battle isn’t the same jackpot that many professionals in my industry aspire for.  I have hit the jackpot by connecting with you, by hearing your stories and by working together to be one united voice.  Thank you for listening to my story and for sharing your stories with me.  There is great power in numbers and I hope that we can continue to speak up and make changes by educating the public.

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8 Responses

  1. I LOVE reading you blog. It’s often funny. I especially loved the one where you were decoding narcissist speak. Thanks to you, now when I get a court document full of his nonsense I translate it in to narcissist language. Me and my stepmother just this morning were doing this. We both commented how crazy they are and you can’t make these type of stories up it’s so unbelievable. Keep up the good work with your blog and keep protecting your angels as much as you possibly can.

  2. You say exactly what I wish I could shout from the roof tops. I have been battling my ex-husband in court on and off for 3 years as well. I’m buried by legal debt. We have a hearing next week, please keep us…or more importantly my daughter…in your prayers. I desperately want to help other parents and children in this position, but I don’t know how to. So few people understand. And like you said, all the narcissists have to do is play “devoted, devastated, loving parent” and they get sympathy. Yet the people that really know what’s under their mask, the spouses, family, friends, etc of the narc, are labeled bitter, angry, lying, etc. It’s beyond frustrating. If it weren’t for my daughter, I couldn’t care less about what he’s doing (although I have to admit, I feel sorry for his current (and future) target(s)). My fight is not about me, it’s not about what he did to me, it’s about my daughter and her well being. Plain and simple. If it weren’t for her, that chapter of my life would slammed shut and I would never look back, but I can’t…yet. I can’t exactly move entirely past it until I know my daughter is safe. I could go on, there’s so much I need and want to say. But in the meantime, I will keep moving, one foot in front of the other, head held high, eyes forward, unwaivering, standing tall and not letting the lies, distortions, theatrics get to me (as best I can). I will keep the fight as long as I have to. It’s for my child.

  3. Awesome Tina! Congratulations:)One mom’s battle-many, many voices. May hundreds of thousands more be reached by your voice, until the whole world sees. And may you continue to be the blessing you were made to be to your girls and to us!!

  4. I am very impressed with your website. I have sent links to several other mothers in the court system here in AZ. They have also been in our shoes. I find continually, if a person is willing to lie to the judge in family court, they get credit as if their statements are true. Well we did swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. I am so tempted to say “I do but he can’t”. I will continue speaking the truth but I am very disheartened by the damage I have seen and have personally endured along with my daughter from the pathological lying of her narcisistic, borderline w/anti-social traits and diagnosed, bio hazard….oh I mean bio father. Been in this for 3 and half years and have lost everything. Been following your blog since near the beginning. I stopped following it for a bit as you sounded like you had found a place within your case where your children were safe. You sounded like a success story and I sent the link for inspiration to my other moms in our shoes. Then I came across your blog again months later and was saddened to see your battle had taken a turn and you were fighting for your girls safety again. I am so sorry.
    Hang in there. We are running the gauntlet. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the site, Tina! It’s very helpful. It’s super impressive that you’ve been handling the battle successfully on your own, without a lawyer.

    Yes, few people understand what it’s like to “co-parent” with a narcissist. Narcissists do fool normal people (because we are SO unlike them).

    I left my ex eight years ago, and he’s been harassing me and lying shamelessly to the court ever since. I don’t react and don’t engage. It’s like he’s fighting all by himself.

    It’s frustrating to witness the court’s inaction in response to the lies (as one of many examples, he forged a “letter from a psychologist” whom I had never met, diagnosing me with depression. The GAL disregarded the letter, after I offered full access to my medical records as proof, but there were no consequences to him for this kind of behavior).

    I agree, family courts must be educated on the subject. Until then, they are not doing enough to protect the children (or the sane parent but I’ll take one step in the right direction at a time).

  6. You hit the nail on the head when you asked, “How do you explain Divorcing a Narcissist” over coffee?

    You can’t! I’ve been divorced from my N since April 2001 and we were officially living apart one year before that. Even my poor daughter told a friend once whose parents were just going through divorce that it “lasts for 8 years.”

    I could have had full custody at the beginning but no… I wanted to be fair. I wanted to be sure that the kids were not without their dad, so we went with the 50/50 arrangement the state typically orders. Amazingly, that lasted 8 years (what my daughter was talking about) but there were constant power struggles. Finally, my ex hit rock bottom (there’s a story in itself) and filed for full custody, with the kids both asking to live with him. He had them write letters to the judge, saying how unhappy they were when they were here and how they just wanted to live with their dad now, where it was a happier, healthier home. Puh-leaze! Give me a break. Okay – so there were no rules about bedtime or boundaries on how much time was spent on PS2 games. You get the idea. Long story short, I stipulated to letting him have full custody because I was sick and tired of seeing the kids used to support his cause. They were and have been totally brainwashed.

    My ex hasn’t worked since January 2005, with the exception of one four-month job he had at the end of 2008 (right when he filed for custody). Somehow, he managed to collect unemployment from that. Other than that – no income. His parents pay his expenses (as best I can tell) and he just sits at home all day.

    So it can go both ways – these N’s can dodge paying child support but they can manipulate the system to collect it too. Stick to your guns. As long as the arrears are piling up, it’s worse than a bankruptcy on one’s credit report. You can’t buy a house without having a lien on it by the state. It’s a debt that never goes away and can’t be written off in bankruptcy.

  7. Exactly! I get it! The legal system’s bias in favor of “innocent until proven guilty” is so easily manipulated by the narcissist and/or the psychopath. It has been 2 years and counting for me and I feel like I have been bludgeoned by his abuse of the legal system.