Tag Archives: california

Damaging my Daughters

Damaging my Daughters

Today my 6 year old daughter asked me if the upcoming weekend was her visitation weekend.

“It is”, I replied.

She informed me that she didn’t want to go and asked if she had too.  I informed her that she did.

Do I want her to have to go?  Of course not.  Do I have a say in the matter– no.  Do I want her to want to go?  Of course I do.  If she wants to go then that means it is a good situation.  It means my daughter is happy and safe in his care.  I have let go of that hope.

I asked her why she didn’t want to go with her dad.  She was quiet and didn’t really respond.  I let it go and dropped the subject.  I want her to know that I am here for her yet I don’t want her to feel pressured.  I want her to talk to me when she is ready.  It pains me to know that this tiny six year old girl is feeling angst.  

  • I heard a voice from the backseat as I pulled my car into the driveway, “Dad calls you ‘T-Rex”, she said.
  • “What”, I asked…confused.
  • “T-Rex.  Dad says bad things about you to everyone and he calls you T-Rex so I won’t know who he’s talking about”, she explained.
  • “Who is everyone?”, I asked.
  • “To Popi, Uncle Brian and other people in the family.  He says really mean things and I don’t like going over there anymore.  I wish I could just stay home”.

Deep breath.  Another deep breath.  I wish that she could stay home also.  I hate that I am forced to put my children in the care of someone who doesn’t care.  Their own father.

What I wanted to say: “He says mean things because he is a mean, sick  person.  He is an evil, selfish man who couldn’t care less about the damage he does to his daughters”.

What I said instead, “I don’t understand why dad would do that.  That is hurtful to you and it’s hurtful to me.  It’s a poor choice and I will talk to him about it”.

I emailed him.

I won’t get a response.  It will be an excuse– an attack– a denial.

Tina Rex.  I’ll claim it.  I’ll claim it as my role in protecting my children.  Fierce and fearless against evil predators.

Focusing on the Angels

Focusing on the Angels

While writing this blog has been therapeutic, it has also been difficult on occasion.  The blog gives me a voice that was previously forced into submission.  I’ve been able to break free from the choke hold.  It’s empowering.  I don’t want to be seen as a victim– that’s not who I am.  There were times in this story that I felt like a victim but that’s not what I want to be known for.  I would go through everything again to be the strong, confident woman that I am today.  I would do it again to find the strong friendships with the people in my circle because I was previously lacking that.

One gift that I’ve been given is the ability to look at a situation and see the positives.  A very wise friend once told me that the story has already been written– it’s my job to walk it out.  I want to walk out my journey with a glass that remains half full at all times.

I’ve received a lot of feedback on my blog from random people and others who are very near and dear to my heart.  I’m listening to all of it and taking the comments to heart.  I appreciate the opinions– the good and the bad. 

I want to stay true to myself with the blog and staying true means remaining grateful for the angels who have appeared in my life.  When things look dim, I try to look for little bits of inspiration– a quote on a coffee cup, a song on the radio or someone who comes into my life at just the right moment.  It’s amazing how the simplest thing can stop a pity party dead in it’s tracks.

In 2010, I met with an attorney in Morro Bay, California who reviewed my case and actually offered to help me for free.  While he could not represent me– he offered his assistance in reviewing my paperwork and giving me advice.  At the time I was incredibly appreciative however, I had a difficult time accepting free help.  I went on my way– court date after court date and loads of paperwork to prepare for each.

In the beginning of 2011, I had reached a breaking point.  He wasn’t showing up for visits, he was violating all of the items in our parenting agreement and was ignoring my attempts to finalize the divorce.  I went back to the attorney and explained to him that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel however, I was out of steam.  I needed to prepare my trial brief which was overwhelming and I didn’t know where to begin.

The attorney and his wife (my two angels) offered to help me once again.  He met with me and reviewed my case.  He gave me pointers on my trial brief and then offered to review it and meet with me again before court to prepare me for trial.  His wife helped me to subpoena the records I needed and helped me with the proper forms.

I went home and I went to work.  I worked night and day on my trial brief— and then again the next day.  And the next.  My final trial brief was 47 typed pages.  FORTY-SEVEN typed pages.  I drank a lot of coffee and I got a few new wrinkles.  My bedroom floor looked like a paper factory exploded.  I didn’t sleep very much during those two weeks– I went to work during the day….I was “mom” in the evenings and after sunset, I became my own attorney.

I met with my “angels” a couple of times for further review and additional pointers and then…I went to trial.  With my 47 page document in hand and my game face back on…Pro se legal representation is defined as advocating on one’s own behalf before a court and that’s what I did.

Court- August 2011

Court- August 2011

 

August 10, 2011–I sat in court- again.  I remember how nervous I was before each court date.  There were times when friends would go with me and there were many times that I went alone.  I would cling to my little bottle of Bach Rescue Remedy which is a homeopathic stress relief concoction.  Four drops directly under your tongue– there were times when I wanted to drink the whole damn bottle.  Four drops should suffice for normal stress– this didn’t feel normal.

On this particular day, my rock (aka Significant Other) went with me.  I had never brought him into court prior to this but no one else could attend and I needed him there.  I needed someone to remind me to breathe.  It seems simple, right?  Inhale…exhale.  Repeat.  It isn’t always that simple.

The court ordered an attorney to represent my children– someone who could dig deep and get to the bottom of the issues.  I was beyond ecstatic.  I felt like the Family Court Services’ Parenting Evaluation had failed us for many reasons.  The evaluator was sold on his charm even with piles of evidence– she bought the story that everyone buys.  He is the ultimate salesman which has been my biggest obstacle through our divorce.

He didn’t adhere to the restrictions in the Parenting Agreement and there were zero ramifications.  Zero.  I was clinging to the hope that this was the final ticket.  I filed a plea with the court: please, please grant Minor’s Counsel to represent the girls.  I felt like it was my last hope.  I sat in the courtroom and listened to the judge approve my request.  I felt like jumping up and down right there in the courtroom.  This was a well-known attorney– the best money could buy if you were seeking a divorce attorney.

Our next court date was scheduled for August 31, 2011.   

I met with the attorney who was appointed to represent my daughters.  He listed to my concerns.  He asked all of the right questions.  I was hopeful.  I was organized– I had my 3″, pink binder and everything was labeled and in order.  I had been waiting for this moment for so long.  He asked me to email him additional information on several topics that we discussed.  I agreed.  His job was to call everyone who knows us: teachers, principals, nannies, babysitters, marital therapists and friends.

I went home that night and I stayed up until 1:30am compiling everything he asked for.  I emailed it along with contact information for all of the above-mentioned people.  Then…I waited.  I wondered.  I waited more.  I was getting anxious.  The court date was approaching and my daughter’s teachers still had not heard from his office.  Our former live-in nannies had not heard from him.  No one had been called.

One particular visitation before court, he (my ex) was refusing to tell me where the children were going to be residing in his care.  He was due to pick them up at 3:30pm.  I reached out to the attorney for assistance.  The attorney called me back at 3pm and expressed frustration with his lack of cooperation– I told him that he thrives on causing me to worry about my daughters.  He agreed that it seemed to be the case.  He didn’t understand why it was so difficult for him to simply tell me where my children were going to reside.

August 30, 2011— The day before court and still no one had heard a word from his office.  I couldn’t figure out what was happening.  I didn’t understand.  This was the person who was supposed to be working in the best interest of my daughters.  At 5pm, the night before court, I received a call.   He asked if it was okay to postpone the court date– to ask for a continuance.

I was relieved.  My greatest fear was the attorney going into the court with limited information.  I was confident that now he would contact all of the people who knew us– who could attest to my concerns.  People who could verify my claims.

Court was postponed until Wednesday, September 14th, 2011. 

Delusional

Delusional

“Delusional” – It’s one of those words that is thrown around and overused.  I am the first to admit that I am guilty of that.

The true definition of Delusion is as follows:  A delusion is a false belief held with absolute conviction despite superior evidence. He was convinced that I was sleeping with every male that I encountered.  Seth believed it.   It was the furthest thing from the truth.

It’s still ironic to me that he agreed to the divorce in the beginning but when he realized that I was moving on– he lost his mind.  In his mind, I was a possession.  He owned me.  How could I NOT be throwing myself at his feet and begging to work it out.  He felt rejected.  That was not a feeling that he could handle because in his mind, he is superior.

In April of 2009, and a local wedding coordinator had bought me a gift basket for being a part of the wedding party.  It contained lotions and body sprays.  At that time, we were co-existing on the weekends yet we were separated.  He made a snide comment about “men already buying (me) gifts” to which I explained the true story to no avail.  He believed the story that he created.  He was convinced that a man had bought me a gift and there was no way that I could change the story in his head.

In June of 2009, I started dating.  I didn’t go into it with the intention of dating– I was looking for new friendships outside of my circle.  This was the first “date” that I had been on in over nine years– it was an innocent cup of coffee at 9am.  It turned into another innocent cup of coffee again at 1pm that same day.  Two-plus years later– it is the most solid friendship that I’ve ever had.  There have been lots of cups of coffee since then– lots of love and mutual respect.  I was successful in my initial quest for friendships but there was a bonus– I gained the most healthy, loving relationship that I’ve ever had.  Since the day we separated, this the only person that I have been with.

In his mind— I have been with 190 men in 42 days or less.  The scary part– he really believes this.  He wanted the courts to believe that I was starting the equivalent of the Red Light District in my neighborhood.  On one occasion, I went to a concert with a girlfriend.  At that concert, we saw a male friend.  We posed for a photo with him.  The entire interaction was less than five minutes in length yet he was sure I was having an affair with this person.  He told everyone that would listen about this affair.

Another day, I was wine tasting with friends and there was a group photo taken.  According to him, I was having an affair with someone in the group yet we’ve never even shaken hands.  Months later, I was at another concert– another affair.  I’m sure that the male bank teller at my financial institution was on the same list…along with the man who I passed on the freeway at 70mph and the one who I bought broccoli from at the local Farmer’s Market.

There was an email that he blasted to people in the community titled, “Three men in three months“.  In this email, he played the victim– the man who’s wife had been having numerous affairs with three men over three months.  He put pictures of the men in the email and his aunt’s handwriting narrated a story that they had concocted.  It was surreal– like I was living a bad dream.  It was humiliating and I couldn’t stop it.  People would approach me and tell me that they encountered him drunk in a bar– rambling and crazy.  Everywhere I went– more stories.

It got so bad that I started hearing about these delusions from notable people in the community.  The attorney who offered to review my court paperwork personally received a phone message from my ex-husband stating that I was going to start throwing myself at him sexually in exchange for his free services.  The owner of a local car dealership who kindly helped me with a car purchase– he received a message from my ex stating the same thing.  He was actively trying to “ruin me” in the community and while truly believing the delusional stories in his head.

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Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections, tips and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.  You can also purchase “Tips by Tina” and receive them by email within 24 hours.

 

It’s starting to unravel…

It’s starting to unravel…

In July 2009, things really started to unravel.

I was increasingly concerned about leaving the girls in his care due to drinking.  “His” behavior was becoming worrisome.  He was shifting from announcing the marriage as “over” to writing long, bizarre and rambling emails begging for me to come back.  I was still couch surfing on the weekends and trying to stay distracted every second that I was away.  It was waves of different emotions for me– a sense of freedom that I had not felt in a very, very long time and then the ache of being away from my babies for the first time ever.

Our tenant who was living in the upstairs granny unit called me in a panic on a weekend morning.  She heard the girls crying downstairs and went to check on them (8am-ish) to find that they were completely alone.  They were so alone that my four-year old daughter was trying to change my two-year old daughter’s diaper because they couldn’t find their father.  My little girls had even wandered outside looking for him to no avail.

I was 30 minutes away and beside myself.  A million thoughts ran through my head– where in the hell was he?!  Why would he leave two little girls alone?  How long had he been gone?  What would have happened had our renter left the house for the weekend?

I repeatedly called his phone and after three calls, he answered.

What could the excuse possibly be?  I was waiting.  There was silence.  I was yelling. I could barely breathe.

He answered: “I left around five am to work at the coffee shop and lost track of time”.

Tears started to flow.  For starters, there are no local coffee shops open at 5am.  That’s another story…and another lie.

How is this possible?  How could a 36 year old, well-educated man think that it was ok to leave two little girls home alone?!  He seemed calm.  He eluded that I was overreacting– that it wasn’t a big deal.  “CALM DOWN…it was a few hours”….that was his response in a very condescending tone.

It was a few hours that my daughters were walking through the house and calling for him….walking outside alone and calling for him….their calls turned into tears because they were afraid and then my little girl had to change her baby sister’s diaper.

This was the day that I knew my daughters were no longer safe in “his” care.

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

Click the link to purchase Tina’s new book, “Divorcing a Narcissist- One Mom’s Battle.”  You will find insight, red flag reflections, tips and strategies on how to survive (and thrive!) while divorcing of co-parenting with a narcissist. Tired of panicking at the site of a new email from the narcissist in your inbox? Learn how to decode the emails and see them for what they are. You will learn to forgive yourself and you will begin to heal.  You can also purchase “Tips by Tina” and receive them by email within 24 hours.