A note 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 #5- Jenelle Marie
I played the rules of the courts only to be cut down and terrified at every hearing. Mediation was a joke where she believed nothing I said and made it clear fathers’ deserved 50/50 since there wasn’t proof of abuse, I watched her fall victim to his ‘act’. My ex would bully me, harass me and refuse to communicate. Then I began playing by the Narcissist’s rules. Think as they do, view the world as they do, think how they believe others view them and play into their ego. Learn to communicate with ‘I statements’ that make them think you are really asking for favors and help, that you cannot do this on your own. This is what has gotten me to where I am now; holding 100% sole legal and physical custody while my ex has 28 hours of unsupervised visitation every two weeks.
I realize how lucky I was to not only find proof but to have learned the hard way to document every single screen shot of evidence regarding his affairs that were happening on military time and money, that was my saving grace. His fear of embarrassment, of the truth coming out and the cold, hard, undeniable facts surfacing and smearing the image he had led everyone to believe he was, ruining his pride and life was what ultimately led to the end of all of this on terms I set.
“Two can play his game”, I found myself thinking. But I did so legally and morally all the while praying. I was careful with my words, made sure every promise was one I could live with and was truthful. It was about outsmarting the ex, watching closely what and how I said things, staying steps ahead and no longer thinking he deserved a level ‘playing’ field. This was no longer a custody battle with the man I loved, he was the enemy and he was willing and able to hurt all of us to look like the ‘good dad’ and the ‘upstanding soldier’ in his employer and the courts eyes. And I no longer was stupid enough to trust the court systems to protect my children.
Our divorce was finalized on the 27th of June. I hold my children when they come home from visitation and as they cry for hours straight asking why daddy asks if I’m dating or why he yells at them when they just want to hug him. They don’t understand why daddy tells them he will always be there but misses visitation right and left and question why he had left for ‘that month’. They have already established on their own and voiced that daddy cannot be trusted as he lies a lot and hurts them. I find myself at times questioning their behaviors wondering, “Will any of them have similar personality/depression disorders as their father? Am I equipped and able to raise them to be God fearing, loving and healthy adults if they do?” And then I look at my three children and I realize how lucky I am. I am now the creator of our destiny and God has given me EVERY tool I need to raise them. I have been given the ability to raise my children in the way I see fit with minimal interference from their father.
I thank God for life, I thank my therapist for guiding me through all of this and helping me to set up healthy boundaries and to confront and heal the issues I had within myself that caused me to pick such a person to mate with. I maintain my bubble of life which is me, my children and OUR future. I know that my story has to be shared. All it takes is one moment of realizing you can do it, and that one moment of realizing that you CANNOT give up. You cannot allow him into your bubble with his poison which leads you to the point of thinking you will not survive or you cannot escape.
There IS light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it takes a year to walk to the end of that tunnel, for others it takes us a decade or more. But you CAN walk it. You can say, “ENOUGH of your abuse, enough of your self-centered poison”. You and your children are worth it. And all it takes is the simple decision to be stronger just once. And once you make that decision you start the walk. Sometimes it’s a crawl, sometimes it’s a quick walk interrupted by an injury where you fall and get stuck. But then you start again and you crawl, you walk and eventually you are running. And you realize, you didn’t stop at the end of the tunnel . . . there was more than just light out there. There was freedom, beauty, strength, hope, faith, love and self worth multiplied in ways you never ever were able to experience within the confines of your marriage to a person with a personality disorder. And then you set out to live your life experiencing emotions and feelings in such a healthy way, that even the moments of sadness have intense beauty and you know you will NEVER be captive the way you were in your marriage. And then you find humble thankfulness for the journey.
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