One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #3

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #3

From Tina: I recently decided to start featuring stories from other women who are in this battle.  As I said before, One Mom’s Battle has many faces.  Part of my healing has come from connecting with these other women and sharing stories, giggles and tears.  I have found a tremendous support system through this blog and it has helped me to realize that I am not alone.  I call them the “Warrior Moms” and while I know there are also many men affected by Narcissists and Psychopaths, the vast majority of my interaction is with other brave moms.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces –from all over the world.

Here is Face #3- a fellow warrior mommy from Tucson, AZ

I cannot believe I found someone who has lived my life.  I feel like I have suffered alone for so long.
I’m still crying from reading and rereading your blog.  I was married for 20 years to narcissistic man and have been
divorced now for over 6 years.  I have hidden the craziness of my marriage from people because when I did share I either got the stare of “yea right” or asked if it was so bad why did you stay 20 years.  So I stopped sharing.

I thought I was being courageous the day I walked out, little did I know that the battle had just began.
I have two wonderful boys and I saw my oldest son becoming just like his father, and I needed to save him.
I assumed since my ex had little to do with parenting when we were married that he would have no interest
after the divorce. That was my first mistake, all of a sudden he was father of the year.  He not only wanted them full time, he wanted me out of their lives.  Three years and $80,000, I lost my oldest (14 at the time) to him 3 weeks a month and my youngest would be with me the last two weeks of every month.

During that battle, I had orders of protection against him which he violated weekly if not daily.  It was not uncommon
to receive over 40 text messages a day or 5-10 page emails berating me on my behavior.  He was even arrested
4 times for violating the order for hiding in the bushes at my apartment.  That doesn’t even compare to him bad mouthing to everyone we ever knew in our 20 years of marriage, including my boys. Yes, the judge knew, but he stated that “My ex had only hurt me not the children.”

There were days I couldn’t get out of bed I was so paralyzed with fear of him and what would happen next.
But somewhere deep in me, I knew I wasn’t crazy, that I had to get up, take care of my kids, finish school, go to work,
and fight like hell.  But I still felt defeated after the judge ruled in his favor for 50/50 custody.

My oldest son is now 20 and in the Navy but our relationship will never be the same.  My youngest is 14 and really
starting to shine in life.  I pray everyday that he feels the love I have for him when we are together and when we are apart.  I know they will both carry the scars of this ordeal, we all do.

Things are still not good with my ex.  He has had numerous girlfriends living with him (5) over the past years.  He works out of town 3 – 4 days out of the week and needs to have free child care and housekeeping while he is gone.  So my son has to go to his dad’s house which is 3 miles away and stay with a babysitter even though I’m home.  Yes, the judge knew about these arrangements and still ruled that co parenting would be best.  I’m still not able to talk to my son when he is at his dad’s, in fact his dad’s house was foreclosed on over a year ago, I don’t even know where he lives.  He told my son “Don’t tell your mom where we moved.  She is always stalking me.”

The whole time my son is gone, my stomach is in knots just thinking about what he is enduring. Now that his older brother is gone, who is protecting my baby?  About 2 months ago, his dad locked him in a room with him and spent three hours telling him how terrible I am and that I ‘whored’ around on him through our whole marriage. When my son confronted me on this, I went into a tailspin.

After reading your blog I realized I can’t hide from this anymore.  My ex has the issues, not me.  I have to get my son some help to deal with this, it will not get better.  Thank you for sharing, you are an angel.


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9 Responses

  1. Oh my gosh, you poor thing, surely now you son is 14 he can speak for himself? Can he not choose not to go if he wants to?

  2. Wow…this story hit really close to home. My son, 15, has not been back to his fathers since he was locked in the basement for 3 hours about a month ago! I found my ex hiding in my basement, he would sit outside of my house for hours, and he tells everyone that I am stalking him. I have the restraining order which he tells people is for his protection. Today I got the text that he will not be taking our son on a promised trip in August unless the son starts coming back to his house….the kid is devestated as he(the kid) has alot of time and money invested in it. It just never ends.
    I hope things get better for you Tammy.

  3. Tammy- Lisa is correct, he should be able to decide at the age of 14. I think that counseling would be a good start– it will help him to process what he has been through and understand what is normal and acceptable– and what is NOT.

  4. Dearest Tammy,
    I am sorry for the battle you have had to endure alone for so long. It is hard with all the uncertainty and confusion created by the dysfunctional behavior of others, especially when we see the harm it does to our precious ones, but what a blessing it is to know in our trials and under these circumstance we can be lonely, but we are never alone. I am happy that you have began to recognize the importance and significance of that simple truth. It has been a blessing for me as it has been for many to be able to share and I also thank you for sharing your testimony. It has also been a blessing to come together with one voice(thank you Tina) and bring truth out of the darkness of this disorder. Some how someone will recognize that the exposure to it does more harm and bears more consideration than simply exposing a child to the other parent. Just keep on keepin on and don’t ever give up on your children, even if your ex has managed to turn them against you-Love, and faith in it, truly does conquer all! Thanks again for sharing.

  5. In Wisconsin the kids have NO “right to choose”. The GAL will listen to what the childs wishes are, but that is only a portion of what the GAL uses in determining their “best interest of the child”. I am fighting with an ex who the court counselor diagnosed as NPD for a kid who will be 16.

  6. It’s important to remember as well, children are not stupid. Especially if you get them theraputic help, the therapist can help them process the situation and identify what is true and not true.

    Just because one of their parents is an ass does not mean that realization should be helped along by the other parent.

    As much as we want our children to understand the situation, some things are simply not appropriate for the children to hear from their parents.

    Its important for us to remember that this person who makes us nuts is half of where our children come from. This is their mommy or their daddy. There may be some pretty horrible factual statements that children need to come to terms with, but that doesn’t mean they need to hear mommy say it about daddy, or vice versa.

    A therapist can help children make these connections without the added trauama of hearing daddy say these things about mommy–the last thing you want to do is make your child try to figure out how you are different from the NPD / BPD parent. Since they need help processing which parent is telling the truth, it just sounds like both parents are dissing the other–which makes the kids feel like crap since both of the people they come from think the other person is fill-in-the-blank.

    A good child therapist can be a Godsent resource in your struggle to raise a child with an NPD/BPD co-parent. I thank God for the day He brought my daughter’s therapist into our lives.

    My daughter’s been going for 6 months now, and the night-terrors and temper tantrums have stopped (5 min kicking and screaming tantrums, appropriate for a 3 year old–not a 6 year old). Her confidence is much better, and while it is still not where it was before her father walked out on us for the first time, it is really like watching a different person now.

    She still asks questions that absolutely break my heart, but I try to be non-judgemental and non-accusatory, just focus my answers on how much I love her and I will always be there for her, and tell her that is a really great question for Jenny (her therapist). I can call her therapist at any time and leave a message with the specifics of a situation and status updates, and in some cases she actually calls me back for clarification or to give me parenting insight on where something is coming from and if there is a better way for me to response.

    My most recent experience, my (now) ex-husband (Thank God!) was going at me before divorce court, ranting about what a shitty wife I was for about 7 mins, right there in front of the bailiff. I was trying to bite my tongue and ignore him–I’m well aware I’m not the classical maternal type, it’s not like I need someone to point this out to me–finally I snapped after about 7 mins of this, which of course was his intention. I asked him if it was at all possible our daughter was struggling so much because she repeatedly heard him threaten to kill himself last summer. His response: “It wasn’t repeated, it was one time!” Anyway, I called the therapist the next day and just asked if there was any merit to his accusations, was there something I was doing now that was really messing her up as opposed to making it better? The therapist put my mind at rest and basically said to just keep doing what I’m doing.

    A really good child therapist can be an irreplaceable ally in this process.

  7. Tammy, I am sorry for what you’ve been through. I hope you have access to a good attorney who understands personality disorders. Having people in your corner will help you cope with the difficult situation. As much as you can, do not react to your ex’s provocations, especially in front of your son. Think of the nonsense he throws your way as bait. Don’t take it. Remember, you are not dealing with a normal/psychologically healthy person. Stay strong and take care of yourself. Best of luck to you.

  8. I would like to thank everyone for their support of my post. I had reservations about doing it, I knew and there have been consequences of sharing my story. My X is very good at keeping track of what I do and always loves to bring the
    “truth” to people.

    I have a wonderful, happy life that I share with my children and my family. I did have over 4 years of counseling after my divorce to deal with the craziness I was living. I couldn’t even pick out what color dish towels to buy after the divorce because I didn’t know my favorite color. Any opinion,like,or dislike I ever had was taken from me through bullying, intimidation, and my Xs drive to make me crazy.

    I no longer have that issue. I know exactly how I feel and I’m happy everyday. My worse day after the divorce is 100 times better than any day I had married to my X.

    But for years I silently stood by and watched the boys become instruments in their father’s war against me.

    These are the things my oldest at 14 had to deal with after the divorce.
    * His father had him instal software on him mother’s computer…so his father could monitor her computer usage. (after the divorce)
    * His father had him delete that software when his mother found it and reported it to the police.
    * His father had him come to criminal court (father was charged with violating order of protection) and testify on behalf of father. He testified that his mother had called his father to come over.
    * His father had him come to court again 6 months later to testify at a hearing where his father was getting an order of protection against his mother.
    * His father would not allow him to call, text, or email his mother during his “parenting time”.
    * His father has never and will never encourage a relationship with his mother.

    I stood silently during most of this because when I did fight back, my life and my children’t life would be a living hell from my X. I was scared and I’m still scared of what he may do to me or the boys one day. He told me the day I walked out that he would spend the rest of his life making sure I had nothing, no money, no home, no children. He has kept that promise.

    He has now began his terror on my youngest son. I have watched him return from his dads so confused and angry that it takes at least 3 days to calm him down. He is unable to sleep, cries, and acts out. I have to wait until he finally spills what has happened. He is scared and feels like he is trapped.

    I don’t bad mouth their dad and never will. But I do have to address the things that are brought to me from them that their dad has told them. I have to reassure them that I love them and I would never leave them.

  9. Tammy– I have seen your X’s true colors through his blog comments. Hang in there– your sons are lucky to have you and one day it will all become clear to them.

    For those of you who don’t know, Tammy’s X created a fake profile and commented and then commented as himself. The posts were never made live nor will they be. If anyone on my site feels like their X is stalking them through One Mom’s Battle, please let me know and I will try to block the IP address.