names have been omitted or changed in this post
It was a Sunday night.... my daughter was with us for the weekend however brief the time seemed. Our time together never seemed long enough... usually it felt like I blinked and she was back on her dads turf and I went back to my usual routine. I've been robbed of being a fulltime mother... no one tells you when you divorce that narcs steal time away from you with your children. She likewise has been robbed of time with me. And both my son and I have been robbed of a relationship entirely.
My daughter waltzed into the kitchen with it's blonde cabinets, pops of stainless steel and black countertops with a head of wet beach-like waves from her shower. All of us wearing pajamas and lounge clothes, she, my mother and I were all preparing our individual dinners. The day before on Saturday we had gone out... enjoying a treat of pizza at Uno's so tonight it was "make it yourself night". I stood before the French door freezer peering into it half hoping something exciting would jump out. But every time I opened the door again it was the same assortment of frozen foods staring back at me. "Hmmmm... "I trailed off aloud and turned to my daughter "What are you having, sweetpea?" I asked her.
"Oatmeal." She replied cheerfully. I glanced over as she emptied a packet of instant maple and brown sugar oatmeal into a ceramic bowl and began slowly stirring water into it until it was ready to pop into the microwave for thirty seconds. I reopened the freezer and stared in it again.
My daughter spoke to my mother "Maw Maw... what are you having?' She asked her.
My mother was opening a container of yogurt "I had a big lunch so I'm not that hungry... I'm having yogurt with some raspberries mixed in it."
The microwave did it's thing; rotating and cooking the oatmeal. Soon the entire kitchen was bathed in the delightful scent of maple, brown sugar and cinnamon. I spoke "Oh my gosh that smells good."
The microwave dinged that it was ready and my daughter spoke "You know... Georgina and Daddy have been fighting again lately." She told us. I grimaced to myself as I began looking through the freezer... hmmmm, frozen okra, frozen black beans and corn with onions and peppers, frozen fish sticks, frozen raspberries, frozen broccoli. And a lone frozen meal of Lean Cuisine cheese ravioli. Yum. That would be what I'd eat.
My mother spoke as she carefully folded fresh raspberries into her plain greek yogurt "What are they fighting about?"
"Daddy had a meeting with some people that flew into town... some salespeople. And Georgina," She paused referring to her dad's new wife "showed up at the office telling him she wanted to go out to lunch. But he was ordering in Jason's Deli since he had that meeting. He offered to order her something but she didn't want that. She didn't understand why he couldn't just leave on a two hour lunch with her when he had people in town. So she left and drove off mad."
"How's he liking the new office space he's in?" I asked her. He had recently moved his office space from his larger spot he'd had to a smaller space in a building on the west side of town. And even odder he was now in the same building I used to work in back in my twenties for a law firm.... in fact he was in the exact same specific office space that Jeremy had worked in across the hall... where we had met over twenty years ago. I had good memories in that building though... my ex's office being there certainly wasn't going to mar those for me. The irony didn't bypass me though. No one can tell me life isn't weird... because it just continues to get weirder.
"He likes it. " She replied.
I popped an omeprazole for my acid reflux and followed it with a drink of ice water.
I said nothing and pulled the frozen dinner from the freezer and set it on the counter. I loved ravioli. I proceeded to fix a small side salad to go with my meal. My mother took her yogurt into the den and my daughter followed with her bowl of oatmeal. A show called Kid's Baking Championship was airing on the flat screen and there were kids hard at work making cupcakes in a competition. My daughter spoke "I like this better than cable." She told us, gesturing toward the tv. I had recently had the cable removed and instead opted for Netflix and Hulu.
Dealing with the cable company was about the equivalent of pulling teeth or an argumentative ex spouse. "I'm glad you like it better. I do too, " I told her "I'm glad to be rid of Charter. It was a pill trying to get the cable removed." I told her. "I called and the rep thought that was the time to discuss all my other options. She wasn't taking no for an answer so I finally told her 'Lady, I didn't call you up to have a discussion about it. I called you to remove the cable. If you can't do that get me someone who can.'"
I was about to change the subject and ask her about something related to school when she spoke "You know... Daddy and I went on a walk the other day..." She said and took a seat on the couch, curling up on one end of it. "And he said something interesting."
I cringed as I tore rinsed lettuce into smaller pieces, placing them on a plate. "Really?"
"Yeah, he wanted to know if I thought you would want to move... that he really wants to move to Florida. He and Georgina want to buy a second home there. She is always talking to him about it. I think he wants to ask you to move out there because he wants to but he won't ask you because of how bad he's acted toward you and figures you'll say no. I just told him I don't know. He also told me that he knows what he's done isn't right but that deep down somewhere in his heart my brother still loves mommy." She told us.
"Oh really?" My mother exclaimed "Well... did you ask him what exactly he's done? What he's referring to?" She knew the list was so long who knew where to even begin.
My daughter shook her head... "No... I didn't bother. Because he lies. I figure he will just make up something. Or he will change the subject and ignore me. He knows what he did." She replied.
I bit my tongue. I could say a lot yet I refrained.
When we go through this journey... namely a divorce and then recovery from narcissistic abuse and often more likely than not parental alienation or domestic abuse by proxy... whatever you want to call it or term it... we become worn down. Sometimes it's becoming worn down due to a lack of self care and sometimes it's due to a fading faith that God will do anything to help repair the situation... oftentimes it's a combination of both. We allow the lies of the devil to get to us... at first perhaps tiny doubts begin to creep in and before we know it maybe out of pure exhaustion from years of weary battle we succumb to finally throwing in the towel and giving up on God.
We don't feel strong anymore.... maybe we don't feel as strong as we did at the beginning of this journey. And maybe that's understandable. We're human after all. We aren't super hero's in capes and seemingly emotionally invincible against the attacks against us. But we do have God. We have Him and most of all His word. As humans we often tend to go by how we feel. We may become dangerously close to worshipping our feelings like an idol. But feelings are very fleeting... how we feel today may be quite different than how we feel tomorrow or even in the next hour. Comparable to the rollercoaster hormones of a teenager or menopausal woman we may fluctuate in how we believe our journey is going... one day we may feel with confidence that our situation is going to resolve soon and then when our ex rears his or her ugly head our feeling of confidence may also go sailing out the window.... then leaving us feeling shattered and dismayed.
Faith is taking God at His word despite whatever fluctuating feelings may come and go. Faith is rooted in what God has told us. Unlike what a narc has said... which is lie after continual lie we know God isn't a liar... He will be there throughout the process. Our circumstances may change and who we married may change by the masks he or she wears but one thing always remains the same... God's word. God's word is that "The word of the Lord abides forever." 1 Peter1:25
So when we face a mountain of problems that just seems to stack upon layer upon layer ahead of us... everything from the narc alienating us from our children to the narc taking our possessions, taking our home and attempting to ruin us financially... when we have lost all faith in men or women that they can be faithful and so we throw up sky high walls in the name of self protection ... we can still choose to walk by faith and believe God's word. Feelings aren't wrong... we are human and part of our being is being made to feel.... which at times may feel like both a curse and a blessing. But when we let our feelings of anger and disgust for the narc to override our faith in God's word... nothing good comes of it... and He sees our response to life's adversities... whether we are trusting ourselves and our own ways or trusting Him. Are we trying to control the situation and the outcome or are we trusting in God's higher plan? Usually it's the first one. What we can do in response is pray. We can run to Him and share our burdens we are dealing with.... upon crying out for help we can then deposit our troubles into His hands and leave them be... letting Him take them on and leaving our fixer mentality at the door.
It's all really hard to do... you know why? Because many times we want to call God up like the cable company, ask for what we need in the midst of our despair and then when the desired outcome doesn't appear there's no higher up or supervisor to be transferred to to complain. Yes, were angry. Yes, were frustrated. Yes, we might even cuss and cry. I've been really angry at God for not "fixing" my situation. I've given Him more talkings to than a teacher gives a child in detention. Has it done any good? Nope. He loves us and disciplines us (and maybe sighs and shakes his head) simultaneously. I feel like I've taken a respite from God lately... maybe I put Him in timeout. Some non believers out there would say that it was justified. But you can't be angry at someone who doesn't exist I suppose. And despite my feeling of frustration from my circumstance I can still thank Him for so many blessings. God is good. He cares for us each and everyday. He walks with us and wipes our tears and holds our hand... He is with us to the very end. I encourage you today to go to Him in the midst of your circumstance, in the midst of your feelings and tell Him how you feel. Be authentically honest and forthright... accept and admit your circumstances and feelings yet proclaim that they don't override His word and you trust in Him... and then do something radical... thank Him for being with you on this journey... trusting His word outshines any darkness the narc tries to throw your way.