Category Archives: “Other Faces” of One Mom’s Battle

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #21

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #21

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. 

This week’s story is much different from the others.  This story takes place 30 years ago and the author is a 43 year old man.  His father was a diagnosed Narcissist and this is his story of what it was like for him to grow up with someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. 

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #21

My Father: Like most narcissists, my father saw other people, especially his children, as extensions of himself. Over and over, he would tell us that we had his hands, his musical ability, his whatever. That would have
been OK if there had been something else to balance it, but there was never much curiosity about who we really were or wanted to be. He would try to share aspects of his life with us, such as playing music, or sports, or one of the programs he was connected to as part of his job at the Parks Department.  To be fair, I remember some trips to museums that had gone well, and through my father I learned to appreciate the diversity of New York City. But even those efforts at sharing were hampered by his lack of teaching ability and his failure to understand what it meant to be a child.

Music lessons could have been a bonding experience but instead were an engine of frustration. Sports were worse. I don’t think that my father understood that my tiny fingers could barely grip the football, much less throw it. Basketball was worse. I was just too young for an adult-sized hoop. So my attempts rarely even *reached* the rim. Arc and accuracy were far beyond my capabilities, but my father insisted that I keep trying. It took years for me to realize that I liked basketball. I just needed to be physically developed enough to play.

Opposition:  In those experiences and others, I remember opposition. When I was sick and wanted to stay home from school, he was convinced that I was faking. He would tell jokes and play little mind games, but we were the targets and not his comrades. When we would compete in a game, my father had to win.

It Gets Worse. Much Worse:  After a few years of dysfunctional but generally tolerable weekend parenting, my father pressed for joint custody of all four of his children. Opposing him were my mother, all four of said children, the court-appointed lawyer chosen to represent the interests of said children, every court-appointed psychologist who looked at the facts, and, eventually, the trial judge. Although my father said more than once that this opposition was based on naked prejudice against fathers, the facts just weren’t on his side. The kids didn’t want him to have joint custody because he just wasn’t very good at taking care of children. That by itself was enough to make it clear that my mother should have primary custody, and even if the inadequacy of those skills were not abundantly clear, my father’s personality was a clear disqualifier. There are plenty of hard decisions in life, but this just wasn’t one of them.

A reasonable person in my father’s position would have accepted that the children wanted to be with the parent that had actually taken care of them for their entire lives as opposed to someone who was clearly out of his depth. This reasonable person might have recognized that he wasn’t going to
get joint custody and tried to make the best of it. Plenty of people in this kind of situation find a way to grow meaningful connections with their children. For some people, this state of affairs might even provoke some self-reflection, perhaps some acknowledgement of their shortcomings and maybe even a commitment to self-improvement. But that wasn’t going to happen with my father. The same qualities that got him where he was also guaranteed that it was going to get worse. Much worse.

My father had an unshakable belief in himself and was completely unwilling (or maybe incapable) of considering the possibility that he was in the wrong. He still looked for explanations for why life wasn’t turning out the way he wanted, but those explanations were based on the bedrock premise that he was essentially correct in every way. As things got worse, self-reflection never came. Instead, the explanations got more complex, far-fetched, and bizarre. For example, the kids believed that their mother was better at taking care of them. That cannot be true, and so the kids must be brainwashed. The children’s lawyer agrees with the mother, so she must be corrupt. A court decision goes against him, so they must be biased against fathers, and so on. Later, a psychologist would diagnose him as paranoid, but I think that if he was, it was only because the belief that people were out to get him was the only way for him to explain what happened to him while maintaining his self-image.

Having a father who believes that you have been brainwashed against him makes it somewhat difficult. But what really made it intolerable was my father’s all-or–nothing mentality. One of my lasting memories of my father was a musical performance in a park in NYC. He was singing “Which side are
you on?”  To him, that was always the question. You had to be on one side or the other, so which was it?

Here are a few things that I never heard my father say:
“You know, there are really two sides to that argument.”
“I can understand why you feel that way.”
“I don’t think that this is worth fighting over.”

With my father, there were no minor disagreements. Every fight was a fight to the death, and if you “crossed” him, you would be branded a betrayer at least until you begged for forgiveness. His children could not avoid “betrayer” status unless they supported him in court. But there was no way
that we were going to do that, and so we were traitors. Well, brainwashed traitors, but still traitors. Not just us, either. His brother, my uncle, also spoke against him after the divorce, and they have not spoken
since. He was estranged from his parents. When he saw his father on his deathbed, his father could not speak, but my father reported that there was anger in his eyes. His relationship with his mother was even worse, and any hope of reconciliation was dashed when she failed to support him appropriately during the custody fight. He insisted that she cut us (her grandchildren) out of her will, and made this a precondition for having any relationship with him. To her credit, she refused.

So the list of betrayers was long. Of course, even if all of us had gone along with the joint custody plan, that would not have been enough. In time, my father demanded full custody, which made sense to him given my mother and stepfather’s status as evil incarnate. As you might guess, he wasn’t exactly suffering in silence during these disputes. And, as those of you who know me might guess, I wasn’t about to back down either, even at a young age.

My sister, was just as defiant, and as my younger brothers got older, they joined the fray, though my sister and I took the brunt of it. Actually, as bad as it was for me, my sister had it worse. I can’t do justice to it here, but the viciousness of my father’s attacks had to be heard to be believed. It could not have been easy for her to hear her father call her crazy for hours on end. As the oldest son (and he was constantly reminding me that I was the oldest son of an oldest son, I think he saw me as some kind of continuation of himself. But my sister was the other. In time, he would drop his demand for custody of her, focusing on the three boys instead. For my sister, this must have been a relief, even though it was also the ultimate insult.

Our visits with our father had become a series of multi-hour fights of a most personal nature. I had come to accept that it was never going to be any different. Still, as one grows up, one takes a second look at people and experiences that were once dismissed, and so when I was 12 or so I asked my father to take another shot at teaching me to play music. I thought that playing music would be a great thing to be able to do, and maybe I could use the experience to have some kind of connection with my father. He agreed to teach me, but within a few weeks told me that he wouldn’t teach me any more until I “started to say the right things in court.” I didn’t really know it at the time, but this was the last straw. I realized that compromise was impossible. I would never be able to have a relationship with my father unless I became completely subservient to him. I wasn’t going to do that, and so when the custody fight reached the trial stage, I told the psychologists, the lawyers, and the judge that I never wanted to see my father again. I was told that I couldn’t possibly mean that or even understand what that meant, but I did. Despite my age, I convinced them all that knew exactly what I was saying and that I meant
every word.

It was only as an adult that I became aware of the narcissism diagnosis, although I was certainly aware of the symptoms at the time. Psychological diagnosis is a tricky thing, to say the least. Once
someone is labeled with a particular disorder, their behavior is often filtered through the lens of that label. One of my college roommates described me to his mother, a psychologist, who decided that I must have a Napoleon complex. (I’m short, BTW.) While I have dreamed of world conquest
from time to time, I think that might have been a hasty diagnosis. Then again, maybe not . . .

Anyway, I describe my father as a narcissist now because all of his behavior fits that description and probably helps to communicate something of the experience. Not all narcissists are the same, but if you know something of the problem then you know something about my father.

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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.

Please “Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #20

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #20

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!!

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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.

Please “Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #18

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #18

Note from Tina: I normally feature one story per week but my book 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 story is a great example of a true Narcissist- I love you, I hate you, you are the most beautiful woman on Earth, you are the ugliest woman on Earth….all in one week.  What’s wrong?  You can’t keep up?  Is your head spinning?  They are all the same and I connected with this woman on many points.

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. 

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #18

Hi Tina.  I’ve started and deleted my ‘Many Faces’ submission, struggling to condense my story into something understandable and less than 900 words, when the reality is that I still don’t quite understand it myself, and can talk until I’m blue in the face and still have more to tell.

In a nutshell, my ex-husband financially ruined us while maintaining his lifestyle, but it’s my fault (if you ask him, that is).  I wasn’t aware of any financial difficulties until the day the bank came to repossess our house. I began digging through financial records in secret as he ‘fixed the bank’s mistake’ and discovered hidden credit cards, cashed out life insurance policies, empty retirement and savings funds, and after years of verbal abuse, the line in the sand finally happened: three emptied college savings plans.

That line in the sand, once crossed, unleashed a man that I had no idea existed.  I knew he lied, knew he struggled with maintaining an image, knew he would rather buy himself $900 glasses while our children wore too-small winter coats and I struggled to pay for Christmas, and knew that he had flashes of rage.  I didn’t know he would enlist the help of his CPA and office manager to hide money. That he would be caught lying after a year of Collaborative Divorce negotiations, forcing me to hire a new attorney and begin the (expensive and exhausting) process again.  I didn’t know he would, during the two and a half years it took to finalize the divorce, tell anyone that would listen that I cheated on him (forgetting the part that we were separated and in the divorce process when I began dating).  He would wave his ring at me and tell me that any dating that occurs before a divorce is finalized constitutes an affair.  He now tells people that the (wonderful) man I married and I cheated with one another.

I didn’t realize that he would vacillate between begging me to reconcile and how wonderful, beautiful, amazing I am if I would just give him another chance to what he would spout when I refused: I need plastic surgery, I have bad skin, bad fashion sense, am boring, uneducated, unmotivated, don’t work hard enough (or work TOO much), am a bad mother and an all-around awful person.  Our divorce has been final for two years, and as recently as last week he texted, unprompted, to let me know he finds me pathetic.  In the past six months he has suggested I kill myself, blamed our childrens’ ADHD and anxiety disorders on my ‘rushing’ into marriage, calls my husband names, then emails to suggest we work on getting along better ‘for the sake of the children’.

He texts our children and tells them to ask me for extra time though I have told him numerous times that we are following the decree. He encourages them to keep secrets and has been reprimanded multiple times by our parenting facilitator, yet continues.  He contacts my family, contacts our childrens’ friends parents, contacts my husband’s ex-wife to disparage us, then accuses me of ‘running a PR campaign’ when people stop listening.  He truly believes his own version of reality.  From one day to the next I don’t know if he’ll be saccharine and cooperative or bullying and manipulative. I try to not ride that roller coaster with him, though it has taken years of practice (but that’s another 900 words).

He stopped paying child support when I remarried, and in a few weeks we are going to court to enforce our decree and hold him accountable for the 62 violations that have occurred since finalization.  There is a very good chance he will wear an orange jumpsuit when leaving the courtroom.  I take no joy or pleasure in this, and have an inner mantra on repeat that reassures me this was caused by him, not me.  I am not the bad guy. I am protecting our children.  I did not make these choices.

My ex is a diagnosed narcissist who feels the diagnosis is wrong and that I am the narcissist.  He blames me for the dissolution of our marriage and the choices I ‘forced’ him to make financially (though I was completely unaware).  He blames me for our childrens’ mental health issues (though biology is uncontrollable, and he is diagnosed OCD and anxiety/depression). He blames me for our inability to effectively co-parent (though he name calls, disparages and belittles me).  He blames me for the financial hardships he now faces (though his extravagant lifestyle hasn’t changed).

I, on the other hand,  would like to thank myself (and my excellent therapist).  I was strong enough to realize what that line in the sand was when it happened, and despite the exhausting barrage I endured during the divorce process, clung to every moment of clarity like a lifeline, focusing on the reaffirming actions he would inevitably repeat that helped solidify my decision. My therapist encouraged me to realize that financial infidelity is just as destructive and deceitful as physical infidelity, which gave me the permission I needed to walk away.

The most difficult part, for me, has been guilt.  I feel guilty that I got out, but my kids still endure.  Only now I’m not there to protect and buffer them…they are on their own.  I hope that, in the end, what I gained by getting out and providing a home that they are in for the majority of their time overrules their exposure to a selfish and deceitful narcissist.

I hope they see what a functional marriage is supposed to look like, that my husband and I are best friends and truly love to spend time together. I hope they see that they are worthy of the same adoration, happiness and respect, and are not afraid to take the steps necessary to create a life like this for themselves, no matter what.

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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.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #17

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #17

Note from Tina: Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  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. 

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #17

Tina, I am so thankful for your blog. You are an inspiration to all of us going through similar situations.

I have been divorced since 2005 and in and out of family court since.  My ex is definitely a N probably combined with other disorders, but his is clouded with prescription drug abuse. The court system is so complicated and time consuming. I am bankrupt from paying attorneys and not receiving child support. I ran out of money when I hired an expensive attorney, who told me she would do whatever it took to protect my child, now 11. We were going to trial and the Judge said he would make me bring in doctors to prove my ex had mental health/ drug issues, and to plan on spending another $30,000. (even though I have proof he overdosed 2x in 2009, was hospitalized, and diagnosed with substance abuse disorder, and bipolar).

The Judge told us to find a parent coordinator because he felt even if he made a ruling on visitation, I would only be back again to change it. We have an agreement with a parent coordinator but the ex said he couldn’t afford to retain her services. I filed a contempt for him not contacting the parent coordinator, and have a court date in January. I am left with an agreement that gives him visits 2 weekdays and every other weekend (just days, 10-7).  This is more than visits than he had before I hired the expensive attorney.

My ex has our son craving his attention.  He loves it and thrives on it.  Most people in the ex’s life have cut him out so he only has my son.  Every visit is a problem.  He always asks for extended times, and has my son call to ask me to sleepover, even though its not allowed.  I let my son call just so he doesn’t have to say no to his father and get mentally abused for not wanting to stand up to me.  He encourages my son to stand up to me, and tells him he is proud of him for doing it.  When I don’t let him stay longer he punishes my son by telling him how much fun he is going to have with his girlfriends son, after he leaves.

The ex now has no job, his vehicle was repossessed, and he lives in his girlfriends basement.  He thinks he is going to be discovered as a musician.  He plays on the streets in the city, collecting money in his guitar case. Lately, the visits consist of my son video taping him playing guitar at the girlfriends house…so creepy.  He tortures our child by telling him how wonderful it was when we were married, all the fun things we did, and how much money we had.  He continuously breaks our son’s heart by not going to important events. Ex doesn’t do anything that isn’t going to benefit him. My son can’t enjoy himself because he’s so preoccupied with Dad not being there, as promised.

Ex is in jail right now for not paying child support. My son is very sad for him.  When he gets out he will tell him it was all my fault and how horrible I am. Ex’s girlfriend is not letting him go back so he will have no place to go.  I’m almost afraid of where he will be living, for my son.  I could go on and on. I look forward to reading your blog and for support. I really need it, and I know there are others out there in similar situations.  Most people cant possibly understand what we are dealing with. Thank you Tina!

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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.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #16

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #16

Note from Tina: Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  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. 

Some of the stories break my heart such as this one- a mother who is only able to communicate with her children by Skype.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #16

Tina- I came across your blog.  My story is so long, there is no way for me to tell it in 900 words.  I left a Domestic Violence situation in 2007, with two small children involved, one was unborn.

Not only did my ex deny he was the father, AFTER being court ordered to pay child support six months prior to his serving me with DNA testing on this child, and completely avoiding the son that was born three weeks before this serving of documents, he remarried a wealthy woman who then proceeded in October of 2007, to hire high dollar attorneys for my ex to get him out of trouble for the Domestic Violence and begin a process in the court system of paying attorneys to do what is called “changing the language of orders” in order to deceive not only future courts, by in the end legally steal two little boys from me.

I am going to skip through a lot of information  to get to today however, I will say that in April 2010, my ex had a hearing in a county we did NOT live in, without my knowledge, and obtained a pickup order without my knowledge. In these papers, not only did he use the orders where the language is changed, but he advised the Judge in his petition he came to pick up the children for his court ordered visitation (we were to meet at the Orlando Florida police department due to the Domestic Violence for the exchanges), and I was not there. This was one of his biggest lies, that led to my false arrest for parental kidnapping of children I had custody of.

We left the state of Florida in June 2010, going back to family in Tennessee, due to be financially ruined from not only the legal chaos, but he managed to con me out of $60,000, he denies to this day, even though I have the evidence to prove he received substantial amounts of money from me.  I was then in November 2010, falsely arrested, extradited to Florida, spending three weeks in jail on this pick up order he received without my knowledge. I was never charged for what I was accused of and I was released.

The children, are STILL in this man’s possession. When I go to court and tell the truth, I am abused further, being told I have a mental disorder (without evidence), no one cares that he has lied, cheated, stolen and committed acts of FRAUD.  Judges have been shown the police report where my ex admits to battery yet the children are still left in his care.

I also dealing with lawyers who are liars, slanderous, and make up stories themselves in order for their client, my narcissistic ex and his wife, to get their way.  Police detectives who failed to investigate the supposed numbers on the police records he gave, the detective who lied on the witness stand stating he had my phone number which IS on court record, and when I looked at the police report my number was written 999-999-9999. I am not told of hearings, I was told I am Pro Se and do not have to be told about hearings. I was told by a Magistrate at a hearing that is was common to have a hearing without the other person being notified, its no big deal.  The hypocrisy of this whole system goes on and on.

I refuse to give up because of the injustice towards my family due to the fact I cannot afford counsel.  I see my children two times a week for 30 minutes on Skype but only because I agreed to be recorded by my ex’s wife.  (btw I failed to mention, she cannot have children and has been involved in a custody battle before, divorcing this father when she met my ex, the children being teenagers).  When they picked up the children falsely, no one knew she was not the mother of my now 5 year old. I have obtained medical records where she pretends to be me (one of many lies), my sons teacher testified she had no clue I existed, the Magistrate STILL leaving the children in their care.

As I stated, I cannot summarize this case in 900 words.  There are serious issues happening in the  courts against women and children, far beyond what I ever imagined, and never would have known unless I had experienced in with my own eyes.  They have failed to protect my small boys who are suffering everyday underneath the hands of some very psychopathic people.

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #15

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #15

Note from Tina: Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  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. 

Some of these stories are difficult to read such as this one.  Only the victims of a Narcissist can comprehend the horrific nature of the existence this woman is currently living:

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: Here is Face #15

About 9 months ago I asked my husband for a trial separation because we were both miserable. We had an argument. He told me to get out and when I went to pack, he threw my clothes out the window into the mud below. I tried to return but he bought a gun and filed a false restraining order, thereby keeping me from the house and almost ALL of possessions.

He agreed once to let me get my belongings but I returned to find my things in piles all over the house– and he had urinated on them. The police gave me thirty minutes to get my belongings so I got what I could. I rented a small one bedroom apartment with only an air mattress and a coffee pot as possessions. He then violated his own restraining order by showing up at my apartment. He got my new address by using my social security number to access my cell phone account online.

Since that time he has called and emailed all my friends, family and acquaintances telling them that I am psychotic, delusional, a drug addict and on psychiatric medication. He has sent flyers to everyone in the neighborhood telling them I am a fornicator and included my picture and a photo of my car.

He mailed me a Mother’s Day card with a photo of my beloved dog of 16 years.  He knew that I was heartbroken over putting my dog down in January of this year.  On the card he wrote, “Mommy, why did you kill me?”

He used my friends wife’s obituary picture as his Facebook profile picture.  She passed away from cancer three years ago.

He keyed my brand new car.

He posted my cell number online and I currently received over 50 calls a day from sales people.

He super-glued my door lock and the entire door had to be removed and replaced.

He wrote a letter to my dead cousin’s wife telling her that I thought she had murdered him and I was trying to get her put in prison.

He still won’t agree to let me have my things and I am sure he has thrown away or destroyed my things induing my baby pictures, personal pictures and family heirlooms.

I fully expect him to post details of a sexual assault from a few years online because I only told a few people and he knows it would hurt me.

I asked my attorney how to deal with him. He said my best bet is to change my name and move far away.

He’s a narcissist, but how do I know? He’s the text book example of such a “perfect person” that he knows I definitely would have to be crazy or drug addicted to leave such a wonderful man as him.

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #14

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #14

A note from Tina: Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  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. 

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces–men and women.

Here is Face #14- a Very Wise Gentleman and his Wife

My wife’s X comes from a very affluent family, so much so that his parents created “Education Trusts” for each of their three children (my step-kids) as tax shelters, and the trust of the oldest now holds over $200K.  Our oldest, my stepson, worked very hard and was admitted to the CSU Los Angeles engineering program, and he was to leave for his freshman year the day before yesterday, Sunday, 9/16.  His father handled the financial aid paperwork, as he barely works and takes all three kids as tax deductions.  Since it was his family’s trust that would pay for the balance of education expenses we thought that was a reasonable approach.  We heard nothing for the entire year, figuring everything was in order. His father even took him to his freshman orientation event in August.

As the date for our son’s departure approached, he started telling us that his father was securing a commercial (high interest) education loan to pay for his schooling, and not giving him access to the education trust fund.  We were very confused about this, thinking it was odd that he would take out a loan to pay for school when huge money was available to pay any expenses.  On Saturday the 15th, 18 hours before we were to leave for CSULA, our son informed us that his father informed him that his mother and I would be required to cosign for the loan along with his father (who doesn’t make enough to cosign alone) for him to be permitted to go to college the next day.

It took us a while to figure out the game, but it soon became clear that this was the X’s trap to force us to pay half of all college expenses, saving the trust his family had created for the kids.  The plan? College ends, children default, we pay half, and the trust pays half.  On Saturday afternoon, we thought we faced a stark choice: Our son’s education vs. our meager retirement savings. I am 60 years old, so co-signing a long-term loan destined to default would ruin us, which was entirely the point, of course.  As of 3:00 PM Saturday afternoon, our son was looking at our community college website, facing the likelihood he would not be going to college until January, despite all his planning, applying, testing, studying, and working toward this day.

Meanwhile, our other two children who were at their father’s house on Saturday informed us that their brother, according to the X, had “failed to apply for financial aid for college so he won’t be going tomorrow.” His entire family, holders of millions in assets, had closed ranks around narc-dad’s (I use the term “dad” loosely) story, by the way, as his uncle and executor for the trust as well as our son’s grandmother supported this decision, ignoring our son’s direct pleas for help to them. We believe it was a plan developed by the family’s financial advisors, as the X and his family typically aren’t that smart.

My wife posted this event to Facebook in despair, and within minutes a distant relative of hers whom she has never met, a former financial aid counselor at a university, contacted us to assist. She advised us to take our son to college anyway, and work with the school to develop a plan.  She added that freak parents screw their kids over all the time, and that college financial aid counselors have tools they can pull out of their hats to help kids stay in school.  Also, by showing up for school, our son would take legal control of his paperwork, removing narc-dad from the picture entirely.

My wife’s relative was right. While we still have a good deal of paperwork to take care of, CSULA was able to get our son moved into his dorm and he will be in classes while the finances get straightened out.  It turned out that narc-dad had opted to not sign the online FAFSA form (the federal financial aid instrument), stalling the award of any financial aid, a circumstance he subsequently blamed on our son. Narc-dad is best in passive-aggressive mode, and not so good at telling his kids to go screw themselves to their faces. Once his failure to sign was discovered, our son told him to sign the FAFSA immediately. Narc-dad complied, and the federal financial aid wheels began turning. I spent an expensive day with our son not only helping him resolve the paper puzzle, but also helping him process his father’s betrayal. It’s a hard way to begin your college career.

So what’s the takeaway? It has been a HUGE eye-opener for all our kids. They all got to witness their father lie about their oldest brother, and they witnessed him utterly betray him on what was one of the most important days of his young life.  So why did narc-X do this? For one reason only: to punish their mother for leaving him along with the man she eventually married. He calculated that we would not join him in the betrayal of our oldest child still at home (my own child is older), which was exactly correct. However, he did not count on our being resourceful enough to solve the puzzle his family and their advisors had crafted. Surely we would not allow our child to miss his first year at college, nor could we possibly be smart enough to avoid signing for that commercial loan at the last minute. Not only is our entire support community that smart as we answer his cruelty together, we are also smart enough to help the remaining kids prepare for what lies ahead for them, too, as they approach their college years. Narc-dad nuked any remaining trust the kids had in him, and he helped them to understand which household will take care of them when bad things happen. They also got to see first hand, in crystal clear fashion, just who it is that makes bad things happen in the first place.

So we’re still in recovery… my wife is traumatized by these events.  It is breathtaking what morally bankrupt individuals can justify in the name of self-righteous anger.  But we learn, and we learn how to not trust this particular monster, one step at a time.

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #13

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #13

A note from Tina: It’s hard to believe that I ever felt alone in this battle.  Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  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. 

This week’s story gives hope to those who may be struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Cheers to new, healthy beginnings with good men.  They are out there, I promise!  -Tina     

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

Here is Face #12

Tina,

I cannot begin to express how much you have helped me. It is amazing how alone I felt until I found your blog. My struggle began when I entered into my relationship with my ex back in 1996. He was at first very annoying, and my gut told me to stay away from him. Somehow, though, I began to think that his persistence was cute. His charm was no match for my desperate inner child looking to heal the wounds of childhood. I fell in love with a man who met my every need and made me feel like I was the only woman in the world. Then, he convinced me that getting pregnant was what we both wanted. As soon as it was confirmed I was pregnant, my world changed. He became distant and belittling. I actually realized back then that I didn’t want to marry him, but thought that it was the only way to give my daughter a world that was different than what I grew up in. So I stayed. The day I brought her home, he went golfing. I remember him telling me that he needed a break because of all the hard work he had done and it was a way to celebrate. I look back on those days and want to kick myself.

Somehow, I thought it would be a good idea to have another baby with him, twice. He was so desperate to have a boy and our first child was not. Neither was our second. When I got pregnant with our third child, (still trying to please him), I remember being so excited finding out it was a boy, that I thought everything was going to be perfect. Unfortunately, a leopard cannot change his spots. I was sick of the love/hate relationship he always had for me. I began to get stronger, fighting back on the seesaw life. We had been on welfare for the majority of the six years we had been together up until the point I had decided to leave him. Unfortunately, I found out I was pregnant for the fourth time. I cried that entire pregnancy. I remember working out a plan with him that we would take a break after our fourth child was born, going to stay with my mom for the summer. Somehow, he was able to pull it together and do everything I asked him over those three months. He convinced me that I owed it to him to give it one more try.

We had a good couple of months. I actually was excited that maybe my leaving was enough to scare him. I was wrong. After he began an affair with his secretary, and I found out, I was actually relieved. Granted, he did try to convince me to stay (and he wanted keep us both). I have never looked back. I have been so thankful for that moment of clarity, much like a stream of sunlight peaking in between the clouds in the middle of a horrible storm.

My divorce process started out with us being friends. It rapidly deteriorated when he started to drive our kids without having enough seats for each of them, meaning they couldn’t be buckled safely. He also told our son that he was his favorite because he could carry on his last name, in front of the two older girls. The GAL actually imposed supervised visits at that point to protect the kids, but she was not convinced that I was not influencing their statements. My ex’s attorney actually was convinced that my X was so wonderful- she told the guardian ad litem that I needed a psychological evaluation. The court actually agreed with the GAL, but insisted that we BOTH get evaluated. The day that report came back, he was given a list of disorders and his supervised visits were reinstated. It was the best money I have ever had to spend, or will ever spend. It is the one recommendation I would give to anyone struggling through an ex with mental health issues. Granted, he fought the decision, and has continuously,(and will until the youngest is 18) fought that ruling. He, however, cannot hold it together long enough to do what the courts recommend. He would have to agree with them and get help which he will never admit.

I am happy now, remarried to a wonderful man that treats the kids like his own, and has even mortgaged his house just to help me pay for the endless battles. I thank God everyday and pray that the courts continue to see my ex for who he is, and recognize all the others who are in a similar battle.

Thanks again Tina for all you are doing to help others out there realize there is hope and they are not alone. -Anonymous

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #12

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #12

A note from Tina: It’s hard to believe that I ever felt alone in this battle.  Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  One Mom’s Battle has many faces and its my honor to share them with you.  My healing comes from journaling my story and from connecting with all of you.  There is power in numbers and our numbers are growing.   

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

Here is Face #12: Katie

Tina- I follow your blog religiously, and have read every entry. Thank you for sharing your story; you are helping women everywhere who often feel alone in their battles – connecting to a human being who is going through the same thing can be life changing.

My story in a nutshell:  I was with a narcissistic man for almost a year and a half, and although my journey was short lived and less complicated compared to others, it changed my life. When my counselor casually said the word “narcissistic” in the middle of a sentence during one of my sessions I made a mental note to “Google” that when I got home.  I had heard the word but didn’t know the real meaning – I thought it just meant “selfish”. That was just over a year ago and I’ve researched this, read many articles and blogs on the topic to help me understand why this happened to me, and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A little about me: I have two kids, my daughter is now 15 and my son 11. Thank GOD I didn’t have children with this man, although he kept trying to convince me to. I am 34, very nice (to a fault), and I am also very independent. I have a great job (been there 11 years), had my own home, and raised my kids. The ex and I get along great, and have never been to court. We still do holidays together for the kids. I left him after 8 years wanting “more” amongst other reasons. I wanted someone worldly, and passionate like you see in the movies.

Chuck: What an awful name right? Let’s call him Up-Chuck. He was so very charming, funny, intelligent, and “fell in love” very fast. He was manipulative and I was naive…our relationship moved faster than I would ever usually allow myself to surrender to. My whole world had to revolve around him, always putting him first. I actually found myself putting my children on the back burner just to please him and not fight. This is NOT who I am! Over the course of our relationship he moved in to my house, and I started uncovering the lies: about money, where his time was spent, where he had lived before me. He did not have a driver’s license due to too many DUI’s (but still drove). He lied about his court dates. Confronting him with any of this, I’d normally walk away from the fight admitting that I was the one in the wrong. How did he do that!?!

I started believing that I was crazy, that he was so wonderful and smart and everyone loved him and I was “no one” without him. I’m a pretty stubborn person and have always stood up for myself – I’m fairly normal, have never been depressed, suicidal, or “crazy.” But I actually secretly started cutting myself during my relationship with Up-Chuck. I cringe as I write this, because a couple years ago I would have rolled my eyes at someone who said these things. What a roller coaster this was.

My daughter hated him, and she didn’t want him to buy her things. Since she didn’t worship him, he eventually just pretended that she didn’t exist for the most part. It was awful. He kept telling me behind closed doors how spoiled she is, and disrespectful…just because she’d ask if she could change the channel. Arguing with him was like arguing with a team of skilled prosecutors! So I’d eventually do what it took to not argue.

Just a few of the red flags that I see now, and that I will look for in the future:

  • Calling numerous times (like 50?!?) in a row, leaving several voicemails…stopping by when I wouldn’t answer.
  • Wanting me to quit softball (I’ve played co-ed on the same team for years) and spend more time with him since “my kids took up most of my time.”
  • Doing things to purposely hurt me when I didn’t “obey” his needs (calling his ex-girlfriend when I refused to “talk things out” with him one night).
  • Lying (even about the stupidest things) – when caught, he’d turn it around on me.
  • He was condescending to his friends and co-workers.
  • Moved way too fast in a relationship, wanted to “possess” me.
  • My friends hated him, and he hated them.
  • Eventually I became isolated from my family, lying to them about how my life really was.

Those are just a few, as you know, I could go on forever. Up-Chuck and I worked at the same company and about 2 months after the relationship ended he was fired for harassing me. I was called in to Corporate Security and walked to my car that day by an officer. The funny thing is, I didn’t even tell on him, I was too scared! It was other people who went to HR regarding his behavior. Just a couple examples: 421 emails in 4 days’ time from him (over 2000 in a month), standing outside the building waiting for me, leaving things on my desk (I worked on a different floor). I couldn’t even do my job. I felt “frozen,” scared, and couldn’t think clearly. He’d email and say “you have a horse face, and no one will want you again.” Then he’d email and apologize, and say that I hurt him so bad and it made him lash out and say things he didn’t mean. GOSH!

You are 100% correct in keeping things business like. I’m so glad I did that at work since 6 months of emails were pulled. I would simply say “please stop emailing.” But he’d lure me back in with promises to pay me back all the money he stole, and for the jewelry of mine that he pawned. I lost my home because of him, lost my perfect credit. I rent now, and am happy as pie…but I will never put myself through that again.

I would do anything to help or support someone who is dealing with an N in their life. I’d love to scream from the top of buildings about this disorder! Everyone should know! I have taught my children about NPD, and hope that they stay clear of N’s in the future. -Katie

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.

 

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #11

One Mom’s Battle Has Many Faces: #11

A note from Tina: It’s hard to believe that I ever felt alone in this battle.  Each week I hear from more and more people who were once victims of a Narcissist, Sociopath or other Cluster B Personality Disorder.  One Mom’s Battle has many faces and its my honor to share them with you.  My healing comes from journaling my story and from connecting with all of you.  There is power in numbers and our numbers are growing.   

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

Here is Face #11

My X swept me off my feet. Treated me like a princess and wanted to only give me the best of everything. Red flags? Wow, looking back on it now there were too many to count. For the life of me I can’t figure out why I didn’t see these red flags, maybe it is part of the narcissistic charm and hypnotic trance they put us in. We married in 2006 and had our daughter in 2009. I knew that he took steroids and sold steroids, but told me he would stop because he never wanted our child to hear bad things about him.

About the time I became pregnant, I learned that my X was abusing prescription pain killers. As the pregnancy went on the drug problem worsened. The pregnancy and birth of our daughter was challenging… birth defect, premature delivery, weeks in the NICU and lung surgery. Maybe the escalated drug use was an escape for him? Regardless, it was the downfall of our marriage. The money that he was spending on drugs was getting out of control. I needed to pay the mortgage and there was $3,000 missing from our bank account. I begged, pleaded and cried for him to go to rehab. He promised he could quit on his own. Then when our daughter was 17 months old, he had an affair. Initially he denied it and thought he would/could get away with it. I was willing to stand by his side to help him into recovery for drug addiction, but the affair was too much. It was at this time that I learned he was also doing cocaine.

The things I went through were unreal. I thought I was living someone else’s life. The person who was doing crazy things and saying unbelievable things to me was NOT the man I fell in love with and married. I thought I was just dealing with drug addict behavior until my counselor talked to me about narcissism. The web of lies still makes my head spin. It’s been 1 ½ years since the divorce and I’m still learning things about him that I never knew. I just found out that he was having a long term affair with an ex-girlfriend before I got pregnant. My entire marriage was a lie. It’s hard not to feel like an idiot, but I find comfort in knowing he fooled everyone, not just me. I recently gave up expectations of him turning his life around and becoming a drug free, responsible father who has a part in supporting his daughter’s upbringing. As weird as it sounds, I feel better after giving up that hope. I know that he will likely lie to her and disappoint her, but I will be there to pick up the pieces every time.

I came from a broken family and this is the last thing I wanted for my child. He continually throws it in my face and claims I’m doing what my dad did to my mom, that I’m trying to keep him from seeing his daughter. This is very disrespectful considering  both my parents are deceased. He thinks he knows what happened in my childhood, but he has made up his own version in his head . The truth is I am doing opposite of what happened to me as a child. I want her to have a relationship with him and I will not say bad things to her about him. It will be for her to learn and decide on her own.

He is not allowed overnights with our daughter and only sees her a few hours at a time, 3 days a week. He hasn’t worked since February 2011. He doesn’t pay court ordered child support. He lives a very comfortable life, living for free in a house purchased by his mother, he sells drugs to make money. He threatens to take me to court for more custody and child support modification. Part of me thinks that he won’t because he knows his real lifestyle may come out and he would probably get all his rights taken away, but on the other hand he thinks he can get away with anything, because he has and does. He has no consequences to his actions, no responsibilities, and he thinks that he deserves all that he desires.

I know that court is in our future in order to protect my daughter. I’m concerned the ‘system’ will let us down. It already feels like the ‘system’ gives him more rights than me. I wish I could afford a private investigator and attorney. I worry every time he has her that he is doing a drug deal with her in the car, or that someone he has screwed over or owes money to will go after him while my daughter is with him, or worse yet hurt my daughter to get even with him. If I could do it all over again I would have pursued supervised visitations during the divorce.

Finding Tina and One Mom’s Battle has been the turning point for me in this entire ordeal. I found strength, confidence, and peace from listening and learning from all the warrior moms. I will never give up and I will always fight for my daughter’s safety and happiness. It’s nice to know I have many people by side during the battle who truly understand.

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Please submit your story (less than 900 words) to Tina@thePRdiva.com- I welcome all stories from Narcissistic survivors.

“Like” One Mom’s Battle on Facebook or Follow me on Twitter @onemomsbattle.com

To Purchase “Tina’s Tips”, click here.