Category Archives: The Lemonade Club

Holiday Reminder: Finding Peace and Joy in the Little Things

Holiday Reminder: Finding Peace and Joy in the Little Things

ornamentsI know that a lot of you are really struggling right now.

Dealing with NPD individuals and the holiday season combined can be horrible. I am not going to try to sugar coat it.

It sucks.

For some reason, the holidays seem to bring out the “best” in the narcissist. It seems like they escalate like the Grinch on steroids. Court filings seem to increase along with the dreaded emails which call for the Narc Decoder. Most holiday emails, when processed through my Narc Decoder will read something like this:

I envy that you can feel joy. I hate when people feel joy because it is a feeling that I will never know.  Because the theme of the season is ‘Peace and Joy,’ I am going to strike hard and ensure that you feel as cold, dark and empty as I feel. You are not allowed to experience happiness unless I have approved it and we all know that will never happen.

You have two choices:

You can accept the wrath of the narcissist and cave into his demands to rid yourself of holiday joy OR you can say a few simple but powerful words: “I control my happiness.

This may be an extra difficult holiday season for you. You could be in the beginning throes of this battle. You may be facing a court date just days before or after Christmas or you could be feeling beat down by the insanity of this nightmare. You may be facing the sad reality that you can’t provide gifts for your children in a way that you would like to—or maybe you can’t provide anything at all.

I want to share my Christmas from just a few years ago to give you hope.

In late fall of 2009, I spent several days in a women’s shelter which were the darkest days of my life. I honestly did not know that I could cry that hard- deep, soul rocking cries. I was empty and desperate for anyone to believe that this charming man was capable of killing me yet no one believed me. He had never physically harmed me nor had he come right out and threatened me. It was the look of rage in his eyes that said it all. It was the stalking behavior. I was rock bottom emotionally.

By the end of October of 2009, I was able to get my first apartment with the girls. I was depressed about the fact that we were going to reside in a low-income, shoe-box size apartment but I put a smile on my face for the girls. As the holidays approached, I grew more depressed about my situation. Just 11 months prior, I had celebrated Christmas in grand style. I lived in a 4,300 square foot home and had purchased the girls a dollhouse so large that they could not SEE the top floor. It was magnificent and over the top. We had so many gifts that we actually had to break Christmas up into TWO shifts. We opened gifts all morning and then ate lunch, napped and then did a second present-opening session.  2008 was over the top and 2009 was slated to be racked with mom guilt like I had never known before.

December of 2009 came and I was unable to afford a Christmas tree. Besides the money issue, I had no place for a tree in my shoe-box home. I found a small, pink Christmas tree in a box that had previously been a mere holiday ornament in the playroom of my mini-mansion. The few ornaments that I had taken with me were almost bigger that the tree itself. I had an idea- I pulled clay out of our craft box and the girls and I turned it into a fun experience- we made thumb sized ornaments (see picture above) for our little magical pink tree using clay!  The ornaments will always hold a special place in my heart because they hold such meaning. They signify where we were and where we are now. While I remember that I couldn’t afford a kitchen table, gifts or a Christmas tree, and the girls remember the fun of making the ornaments together on our kitchen floor!

That Christmas, I turned to my church for assistance in buying a few gifts for the girls and my family also helped to supplement what I was unable to do. As a mother, that was a very difficult year for me not only because of severe money issues but because I didn’t understand NPD and I was still allowing Seth to take my joy and peace away.

In December that year, I found inspiration and a LOT of tears in a song by Carrie Underwood called, “Temporary Home.” Here are the lyrics that carried me through that season:

Young mom, on her own
She needs a little help, got nowhere to go
She’s looking for a job, looking for a way out
‘Cause a halfway house will never be a home
At night she whispers to her baby girl
“Someday we’ll find our place here in this world”

This is our temporary home, it’s not where we belong
Windows and rooms that we’re passing through
This is just a stop on the way to where we’re going
I’m not afraid because I know
This is our temporary home

(To watch the video, click here.)

That song reminded me that the feelings and the apartment weren’t forever. They were temporary. Looking back, it is hard to believe that it was only four years ago. My church, my friends and my family carried me through that season and this season, I am in a place to give back to others who are in their “temporary home” – that is a feeling that is indescribable. To be honest, that Christmas also taught me that my 2008 Christmas was filled with “things” but not the things that were important. I will never again let my joy be based on “things.”

No matter what stage you are in this holiday season, please know that it is temporary and you will get through it. There is light on the other end of the tunnel.  I’m sending you joy, peace and huge hugs this holiday season.

Love, Tina

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Seeking a private forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina and the Lemonade Warriors in The Lemonade Club!  For information, please email Tina@onemomsbattle.com.

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

Divorcing a Narcissist: Your Life Should be a Lifetime Movie…

Divorcing a Narcissist: Your Life Should be a Lifetime Movie…

moviesby Tina Swithin

I have heard the same phrase repeated year after year, “You can’t make this stuff up- it could be a Lifetime movie!

Yes.

It could be a movie.

About two weeks ago, I received an email from a woman in Southern California who heard my battle cry. She has the same battle cry and recently stumbled upon my blog. I receive emails daily from people all over the world and sadly, we all have the same story. There are slight variations but its the same story:

Narcissistic Ex + uneducated Family Court System = Welcome to hell on Earth.

This email was different because the writer is actually a writer. She is a television writer in Los Angeles!!!!

Four days later, she drove all the way up from Los Angeles to meet with me. I love connecting with others who “get it” – I didn’t need to explain my story because she was living my story. There is a connection that those of us at OMB share and its impossible to find anywhere else. It’s a connection that you can feel deep in your soul.

To make a long story short, I am now holding a shopping agreement in my hands. My new OMB friend will be pitching my story in hopes of turning it into a 2-hour movie!!!!!! I am beyond thrilled at the potential reach that this could have in terms of the general public, those in the court system and young adults who are in the dating world. Everyone needs to be educated on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the foundation is being laid for that to happen!

Tina

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a private forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina at The Lemonade Club!

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.

 

 

 

Accepting the Narcissist and Choosing Your Battles

Accepting the Narcissist and Choosing Your Battles

Powerby Tina Swithin

I wasn’t home for Seth’s weekly phone call last night.  This morning at breakfast, Piper (age 8) brought up the phone call and was very annoyed with Seth. This was the jist of it:

  • Seth: Did you do anything exciting this week?
  • Piper: Yes- today I had my 2nd guitar lesson and I also got a new guitar!
  • Seth: Really? That’s neat. Is your sister doing that also?
  • Piper: No- it’s only for 3rd graders.

****Few other random interactions take place.  A few minutes later:

  • Seth: So….last time I spoke to you, you said that you were going to start guitar lessons. Did you?
  • Piper: Uhm…..uhm….yeah. I did.
  • Seth: Do you like guitar lessons.
  • Piper: Uhm…yes.

Really? He hasn’t seen the girls in four months and only talks to them once per week yet he can’t even listen to what they are saying?! As Piper was explaining what happened, she was laughing about it in a mocking way however, I know it hurts. It provided yet another glimpse into their father’s world however, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to process it.

This morning I woke up to a question that had been emailed to me from someone on the Facebook page.

For the past 15 months since I left the N, when I call to talk with my children he has a new song for me to listen to on his phone while I wait for him to answer his phone, which he usually takes his time.  The last two songs that I’ve had to listen to are, “Your Gonna Miss This”, by Trace Adkins and “You’ll Think of Me”, by Keith Urban.  At first I thought I was being oversensitive now I see it as his way to continue to manipulate my feelings.  Has anyone else dealt with similar situations?

My frustrations from last night and the email above both served as a reminder to me.

It is SO easy to get caught up in this sick and never ending cycle.

I am also guilty of this.

I think it’s so important to come to a place of acceptance which is instrumental in healing and moving forward. Was I expecting different from Seth? Do I really think that he gives a flying doggie doo-doo what the girls are saying or is he keeping up with the weekly phone calls for show? If I am holding him to the same standard that I would hold a normal, healthy father up to then I should also attempt to purchase ocean-front property in Kansas off of Ebay today.

In terms of the constant Narc manipulations which are being played out in country songs over the phone, you really have to get to the place where you can laugh at how pathetic things like this are. If you give each little manipulation too much thought-you’ll end up stuck in the cycle. Once you can except the fact that every thing they do is a manipulation or a ploy to win- it gets easier to laugh at each desperate attempt to hurt you.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a switch that you can flip to go from pain to laughter.

It takes a lot of education on the disorder and self-work. If you allow the narcissist to manipulate you then essentially, they are winning. I think it’s important to pick your battles wisely and focus on the main issues at hand. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in every little detail or you will never break free of their sick and twisted world.

Take a deep breath and then take your power back.

-Tina

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“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.

Seeking a private forum for advice, inspiration and support? Join Tina at The Lemonade Club!

Seeking insight, encouragement and advice while divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s book, Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle” is available on Amazon or through Barnes & Noble. Learn how to set boundaries and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.