names have been omitted or changed in this post
It was a crisp November day... pumpkins adorned porches, fall wreaths graced doors and I was excited about making homemade cornbread dressing in a few weeks for Thanksgiving. I sat at the red light waiting for it to turn green... traffic was clogged and every main thoroughfare seemed to be chronically backed up in this town. The influx of people moving here had caused a huge spurt of over-population and the roads weren't able to support it.
"When the light turns green this person better go..." I murmured referring to the burgundy four door sedan in front of me. The light turned to green and the person sat there not moving. I sighed. For the love of God.... I glanced in my side mirror for traffic to my right. I had to wait for two approaching cars and then it would be clear.
"Where is this person going?" My mother asked quizzically as we began to finally move at a snails pace.
"The funeral home if they don't move." I replied with a grimace. "We're all going to get rear ended if they don't move along. This is how wrecks happen." I added as I switched lanes and made my way around them. "I wonder if there have been any studies done on people who have been through trauma and have a heightened reflex reaction. Because there are a lot of folks who drive like they've never had a fuse ignited under them.They act like they have all day to go.." I pointed out. Efficiency was keeping it moving and getting as many people through the light as possible.
"Yeah, I go through it every day. The traffic has become almost unbearable here." She remarked resignedly.
I adjusted the volume on the radio lowering it and as we passed over the bridge that loomed over the railroad yard she spoke "So did she tell you what the latest is with him?" My mother asked referring to my daughter and her dad; my ex.
I eased on the brake and slowed to the next red light, coming to a stop behind a black SUV. "No." I told her. I didn't ask my daughter much anymore... instead keeping my questions to mostly just school and her friends. The family court was a such a barrage of contradictions and traps to deal with. If you told the court you never asked your child how things were at their other parents home you could be pegged as an issue by not being open to hearing about their other parent. Yet if you asked your child how things were going at the other parents home you could be pegged as nosy and seeking information and an issue. If your child tried to tell you something about their parent and you waved it away with "I don't want to hear about it" you could be pegged as alienating. If you simply told them to "go write it down" and journal whatever they were dealing with so as to seemingly keep you out of it (as I'd done previously) you could be pegged as coaching them when you weren't. Like maneuvering the traffic ; life post-divorce with a narc was a landmine of sorts to navigate and deal with. It really didn't matter what you did, what you said or didn't.... I could guarantee you the narc, others and the family court system would manage to find some way to make you out to be the problem. It was the way of backward people and the system.
"He and Georgina are going on a cruise for their honeymoon." She informed me referring to my ex and his new wife as of July of last year.
"Oh." I replied. Some people loved cruises. I'd never been on one and hadn't really felt like I'd missed anything. It was kinda like Disneyland or Disneyworld. It wasn't something on my must do list. If I was going to travel I wanted to go see something amazing like Norway or Spain.
"Guess when they are going." My mother replied with an odd tone to her voice.
I sat there waiting for the light sensing her odd tone "Let me guess... "I said "November sixth. What would have been our wedding anniversary." Ding, ding, ding... I had guessed accurately. Intuition-win once again.
"Yep. Can you believe that? I wonder if Georgina knows that." She surmised aloud.
I smiled with utter amusement "Is this for real? That's hilarious. Is this supposed to hurt me? I laughed "Because it doesn't. I mean, the date means nothing.... the marriage was a joke and a nightmare. He can have it. They got married in July of last year and are going on a belated honeymoon in November." I eased on the gas when the light turned green. Thankfully the person in front of me knew their colors and hit the gas. They'd paid attention in kindergarten.
"I know... I thought it was funny as well." My mother smiled "Jamaica is one of the stops.... I don't remember where else she said they are going." She replied.
"You should do a survey before you get married to check for travel destination compatibility." I giggled.
My mother laughed and spoke "Yeah, that would help. She also said that she had to get up and leave the house at four thirty one morning before school and ride along so they could take Georgina to the airport. "
I frowned at that as I made my way toward our destination "Why were they going to the airport so early?" I asked.
"Because apparently Georgina says all the hair salons in Dallas and Fort Worth are not good and she found out the hair salon that she goes to in the UK has a location in LA so she flew out there for a hair appointment." My mother told me.
"What? Are you kidding? Can we say entitled?" I remarked "She needs to come down to earth. This two horse town certainly doesn't require an LA hair salon trip. This is all so ridiculous." I shook my head. "I guess that's where the eight hundred dollars a month child support went I was getting for our daughter that the court did away with." I added.
"Yeah, I know. So they drive her to the airport for her to fly out there for her hair appointment and then later have to go get her... she ended up not going to bed until eleven thirty that night because of Georgina's hair." My mother added referring to my daughter. "Isn't that ridiculous? How is that in her best interest? It was on a school night. And then we wonder why she's so sleep deprived when she comes back over to your house. Then come to find out her school lunch that day was a banana, popcorn and cheese sticks."
I pulled into the parking lot at Central Market and began slowly making my way up and down aisles looking for a space. I loved getting something to eat and relaxing on the patio when they had a band playing. I especially loved their pizza. From afar it appeared they had a beautiful fall display of pumpkins outside the store for the fall season. I couldn't wait to decorate pumpkins with my daughter this year.
"That's not a proper school lunch. Where's the protein? Where's the sandwich? His home is not in her best interest at all.... it's not child friendly. That's the thing... it's all about the adults and what they want." I said.
It appeared that ever since our divorce (and before that) everything had been about what he wanted. Not what mattered in terms of children and family. During our marriage, during our divorce and even post divorce when most people would be concentrating on the well being of their children and self recovery he was dating. While he was screwing around and meeting women in bars, traveling with various women while pawning the children off on his mother to watch, I was busy tending to their feelings, their worries, their stresses that he caused them by having so many new women revolving in and out of their young lives. Someone had to be the stable one, the one who held a steady foundation for them... and I certainly didn't mind as I knew it was what was best for them.
Someone who is personality disordered is an inherently selfish individual. Ultimately they care about their own needs and not others... not even their own children's. A narcissistic wife may spend all the disposable income on herself versus the family's needs and wants. A narcissistic husband may make undesirable and even downright grotesque requests of his wife like ungodly sexual acts, berating her appearance and treating her as an object not a human being with feelings and emotional needs; to be loved and made to feel safe.
Whether you were married to a narcissistic man or woman the results are often the same in the aftermath... you are wrestling and grappling with the horrifying and undeniable reality of the fact that the person you thought you married is not capable of love nor did they ever love you. Navigating an emotional landmine may involve wading through the fallout of what we believed previously and now replacing those thoughts with new as we grow and gain perspective. For quite some time we may deal with rambling thoughts and questions that come from a place of uncertainty and lack of clear conciseness of who we really are. Meaning we think thoughts that are not grounded in reality but instead that pull thoughts from a place that leave us not rooted in truth... meaning that we may temporarily think because we weren't loved therefore we aren't lovable. We may think because we were seen as not worth being loyal to by them that were are not worthy of loyalty ever. We may begin to go down a dark and wretched path of thinking; doubting we can ever be appreciated for our good qualities again.
When in reality as you leave behind your old life and embark on your new one there will be so many good people who cross your path and remind you of that girl (or guy) you were before you ever met what's their name again(?) and yet now the real clincher to all of this is you are so much better than you ever were back then... because now in the moment of walking out of the storm and leaving the rain clouds behind with all the destruction you see a remarkably strong and resilient individual... someone who has lived and not only survived but even thrived despite the obstacle of a person hell bent on making your life miserable. You will go from questioning who on earth will ever want to commit to a lifetime of loving you to knowing it's possible; it's just a matter of finding the right person. You will go from believing everyone is a potential sociopath to seeing the genuine good in others and realizing that you attracted a monster to marry because there are so many beautiful qualities in you not due to something being wrong with you.
You will go from worrying about the what if's of finding the right person to enjoying the time you have left for yourself and embracing singleness... knowing the right person will show up when the time is right. You will go from holding all those doubts that anyone would ever sign up for much needed patience with you after what you've been through to knowing that someone who isn't is not the right person for you. You will go from believing that love once again isn't possible to knowing with all your heart it is... because with your eyes wide open now you realize love didn't ever hurt you. What hurt you wasn't love... it was someone with the inability to.