names have been omitted in this post
this post contains language
Wind swept through the open sunroof overhead but my bun atop my head was left unruffled, held together by bobby pins. Wearing oversized Jackie O style sunglasses, slim black slacks, a gray pullover and light leather jacket I marveled at how pretty the weather was. The day had started out cold but sunny and as it had progressed the sunshine had warmed everything up. I navigated traffic by the local high school that was vacant and quiet due to it being Thanksgiving weekend and students being out. Pulling into the hilly parking lot I made my way over to Cost Plus World Market. Being off work and enjoying the afternoon I didn't need a thing but planned to browse and if they had any purchase some extra skewers for toasting marshmallows in a fire pit. When I'd been married I had always wanted to spend fall and winter evenings toasting marshmallows and making smore's surrounded by loved ones, music playing and making memories. But that had never come to fruition.... my ex had always vetoed that and shut down the possibility of it happening.
After exiting Cost Plus World Market adorned with all the Christmas sparkle and shine I began my drive toward home... with one last stop to pick up some milk. As I drove with the stereo playing "It Ain't My Fault" by Brothers Osborne I vaguely heard my cell phone make a ping sound in the background. Slowing to a red light ahead I picked up the phone and looked at the screen. It had one sentence. One simple sentence that would deliver instant anger from me.
"You got a thick manila envelope." It stated.
My mother was letting me know that my ex had once again sent something. Some new sack of shit had arrived. I tossed the phone back into the cup holder and pressed the gas at green to go. Once home I walked in and set my shopping bags and Italian leather clutch down "Okay... where is it" I asked, "What the hell does he want now?"
My mother gestured to the dark kitchen bar countertop and I strode over to it taking a pair of scissors to slice one end of it open. Once I retrieved the stack of papers I headed to the couch to begin reading. I skimmed the pages quickly first and then began reading closer from front to back.
"So basically it's the new ruling by the judge that she drew up after trial.... outlining the reunification therapy for my son and I and some of our old decree regarding holiday and birthday child possession. Then a bunch of new crap thrown in as well. They are asking that my entire estate if I was to die while the children are minors go to him to manage if I’m reading this correctly... to cover child support. What does he think he’d get? You can’t squeeze anything out of a turnip." I told her. "And like that would ever happen if I had anything to do with it." I sneered. "It's also stating that he wants the right to leave Tarrant County if he so chooses. What’s he about to do? Have me knocked off and then leave town? I don’t trust him further than I could throw him.”
"What the heck?" She replied "It's not even worth the paper it's on." She retorted.
"I can't believe a tree was wasted for this." I said with astonishment and tossed the packet onto the coffee table like the smut it was. "I have to come up with my reasons I don't agree and send it in before the judge signs off on it. I have ten days. I'd like to put a big ‘F YOU’ on it in black marker and send it back." I snapped. "I'd like him to leave me the hell alone."
"Could he?!" My mother snapped back.
"It's so unbelievable to me... five years. We've been divorced FIVE years. And he never stops filing shit. He just keeps on doing this... for God's sake leave it alone. Go the hell away. " I told her. "It's like having a mosquito that keeps coming back at you... and you can't ever smash it."
"No... no that's not it. It's more like a pustule that's red, angry, painful and oozing...that you can't ignore." She replied with disgust.
"On your ass?" I asked.
"No, on your face... where everyone can see it and see what it's doing.... but you can't do anything to fix the freaking problem." She retorted.
"Yep. Yeah, that's it.” I replied
YOU CAN'T HIDE. YOU CAN'T RUN. YOU CAN'T GET AWAY. AND YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM STOP.
AND THE WORST THING ABOUT IT ALL IS EVERYTHING THEY DO TO TERRORIZE YOU IS COMPLETELY LEGAL; AIDED BY A FAMILY COURT SYSTEM THAT IS HAPPY TO ENABLE YOUR EX'S AGGRESSIVE AND OVER THE TOP TACTICS TO GAIN POWER OVER YOU. YOU CAN'T STOP THEM. YOU CAN'T HIDE IN A CLOSET LIKE A CHILD. YOU CAN'T DON A MASK AND BECOME INVISIBLE. YOU CAN'T WIGGLE YOUR NOSE OR CLICK YOUR HEELS TO FIX IT. YOU CAN'T CONTINUE TO HIRE ATTORNEYS BECAUSE THEY BLEED YOUR WALLET DRY AND MAKE IT ALL WORSE ANYWAY. YOU CAN'T JUST SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING. YOU COULD LEAVE AND GO TO A COUNTRY WITH NO EXTRADITION BUT THEY'D FIND YOU. YOU'D RISK ALL SORTS OF RAMIFICATIONS WITH THE LAW IF YOU WERE EVER CAUGHT BY DISAPPEARING BECAUSE YOU CAN'T HAVE PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR YOU WITHOUT COSTS INCURRED. AND THE TRUTH IS A SOCIOPATH WON'T JUST GIVE UP. THEY WILL TRACK YOU DOWN ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE THE FINANCIAL MEANS TO TERRORIZE YOU MORE. BASICALLY YOU'RE SCREWED AND FORCED TO PLAY THEIR SICK AND NEVERENDING GAME. YOU SIT THERE, A GOOD PERSON AND BLINK IN BEWILDERMENT THAT SOMEONE SO EVIL, SO RUTHLESS, SO HELL BENT ON CAUSING CONTINUAL CHAOS AND GRIEF CONTINUES TO GET AWAY WITH IT. THEY CONTINUE TO POUR SALT ON AN ALREADY OPEN WOUND AND YOU WONDER WHY THE HECK NOTHING EVER TOUCHES THEM. WHILE MONSTERS LIKE THIS ROAM FREE SOME INNOCENT KID ON A STREET CORNER GETS SHOT. YOU WONDER WHY SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING AND ASSHOLES LIKE THIS CONTINUE TO SKIP AND DANCE THEIR WAY EVER SO SLOWLY TO HELL. YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND SOMETHING SO MIND BOGGLING. THAT PEOPLE OUT THERE BEHAVE THIS WAY AND THINK IT'S PERFECTLY FINE AND CAN ACTUALLY SLEEP AT NIGHT WITHOUT A CARE IN THE WORLD. IT'S MERELY SPORT AND YOU'RE THE GAME THEY DON'T WANT TO QUIT.
You walk along chained to the heartless Tin Man and you, Dorothy are trying to find a Savior in a land of Oz. Someone who will help and yet no one can or will. I can tell you that a narcissistic sociopath will go to any lengths whatsoever they must go to in destroying you. They will spend any amount of money they can get their hands on, lie on the stand as my ex did at trial and become so obsessed with ruining you both emotionally and financially that it's unbelievable to most folks. They cannot fathom it and neither can you. As one of my friends recently said "He's a monster. I don't understand why he hates you and keeps trying to ruin your life."
A NARC DOES WHAT THEY WANT TO CAUSE CHAOS
AND IT'S NEVER THEIR FAULT.
THAT'S THEIR FAVORITE TUNE THEY LIVE TO.
She's as baffled as most are.... he has supporters and yet that's also what he counts on... people that automatically take what he twists and spins to make it appear as though I’m the issue and his bloody hands are clean.
“He couldn’t even wait to send something till after the holidays were over. It’s so unbelievable.” My mother shook her head.
People who continue to show who they are through their actions... don’t doubt what those actions show. They believe they are entitled to treat you poorly. They laugh while you run around stressed and panicked trying to figure it all out and what to do because it’s all fun to them. The next target has no idea she’s signed on with the devil himself. She needs to be in fear. She needs to be making an exit plan. She needs to be watching her back. Because her turn is coming. And who she thought was the greatest person ever will slowly surely turn on her and reveal who he really is.
When he’s leering at other women and she’s not taking it seriously. When he’s espousing frustration and hidden pent up rage and snapping “Will you just LET me?!!” at her because she just wants to voice an opinion or give a helping hand. When he’s driving like a bat out of hell because he’s mad and she sits there in pained silence afraid to address it. When they bicker and fight because he's cheating again and you know he is because you've caught him doing so. When she begins relying on her girlfriends as a sounding board about him because he’s being a jerk again... it will happen... little by little.
Along with the tiny bursts of good to make her fleetingly think it’s all wonderful again... until one day she will look up and realize she’s sitting, sinking in a dark dirty ugly pit of a mess... and when she looks up there he will be shoving her down further when she reaches out to him for help. She will learn that the one who she relies on in life will one day be very happy for her to lose everything ***HE***gave her... because in his mind it wasn’t for forever... it was merely temporary.
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.