Note from Tina: One Mom’s Battle has many faces and its my honor to share them with you. My healing comes from sharing my story and from hearing your stories. There is power in numbers and our numbers are growing. It is my hope that this little “village” will be one strong voice which provides education to our court system and most importantly, brings change to our Family Court System.
I normally feature one story per week but my book, One Mom’s Battle- Divorcing a Narcissist is taking much of my free time so I’ve increased the “Many Faces” posts a bit. I love hearing stories from others and I am actively accepting stories right now. This particular “face” is different that my regular features. Rachel is a therapist practicing in Maine and she has agreed to share insite and advice through my Facebook page and blog. She has “been there” and she understands what we are all going through. Her story is inspirational and I am proud to share it with you. Like me, she has a desire to give back and help others. Welcome to Rachel!!!
*Please note: I have found Rachel’s advice to be positive and inspirational but it is not meant to take the place of your own therapist. I highly recommend ongoing therapy for anyone experiencing a high conflict divorce. I am personally going on three years of therapy and it has changed my life in many ways.
One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #20
My name is Rachel and I’m an Addictions and Mental Health Counselor in Maine. I am also a single mom to three great kids. They are 14, 12, and 9.
My background: I got pregnant when I was 17 by my ex Narcissist. I wasn’t going to marry him; I was going to be a single mom. He became abusive in almost every way imaginable. Physically, verbally, sexually, and emotionally. So after being beaten down by him verbally, I agreed to go to Vegas and marry him, where it was legal. I remember on my wedding night that as I was saying my vows, I just wanted to call home and ask them to fly me home. His abuse was overwhelming as was his N ego.
In 2000, our marriage was in the tank, his narcissistic ways were beyond words and I wanted out. I had reached out to a local shelter and to the police many times for help. He always drilled it in my head that I would never get custody of the children and that I would die alone. These words scared me so I stayed for a little while longer.
In late 2000, I finally left and filed for divorce. I was living in a battered woman’s shelter and I had an attorney that I needed to figure out how to pay for along with two children. I was scared to death that I couldn’t raise them on my own but I did it. I got myself into counseling and kept putting one foot in front of the other even when I didn’t think I could make it another step.
While our divorce was final in 2001, this was only the beginning. The judge gave us split custody meaning that he had the children for half of the week and I had them for half of the week. This was an impossible task because we lived 3 hours apart and we couldn’t even communicate with each other. It was always his way or no way.
The legal battle continued. He kept the kids from me many times. I would show up to pick them up and he wouldn’t be there. I would call, and he would say things like, “I decided that you don’t need to be around them.” There was always an excuse. He blamed my mental health problems, my looks, my weight, my profession, you name it and he came up with a reason why I couldn’t have the kids.
Back to court we went. They appointed both a GAL and parenting evaluations. At that point, he was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He stayed in control by keeping the kids from me on and off for almost two years. Sometimes I would have them other times I didn’t know when I was going to see them again. I was devastated, worn down, and just wanted to give up but I didn’t.
I got myself a new apartment close to my parents, and knew that everything would be alright. While he filed motion after motion with the court, I kept working and I decided to go back to school and I promised myself that I would make a difference. I got my certification in Mediation and I know that I make a different. And I did it with pride.
In 2004, my oldest was going to begin Kindergarten and the Judge still hadn’t ruled on Primary Residence of the boys because of his NPD due to all of his nonsense during court. Towards the end of that year, the Judge FINALLY issued an order giving me Sole Parental Rights and Responsibilities, and Sole Custody of my boys. His own evidence sunk him and made the Judge mad. He actually admitted a tape into evidence of himself quizzing the boys on what they were going to say to a counselor on the topic of why they were afraid of me. He thought that he was a genius but little did he know…
In 2005, I decided to add to my training. I went back to college to become an Addictions Counselor. I work with clients who have addictions along with their family members and those with mental health issues as well including NPD, and other personality disorders. In May of 2013, I am hoping to go to the Maryland School of Law and finish my courses to become a High Conflict Parenting Coordinator. I have my registration in, and hope I’ll have the money to make it there!! This is a summary of my story. There is a lot more to it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I’m an open book. While I am proud of where I am, and where I’m going, I never forget the road I had to travel, and the emotional toll it took on both me and my kids. It was a long road, but there is a light at the end of it if you just keep going!!
Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors. If you are divorcing a narcissist then I want to hear from you.
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