Life’s been busy. I am five classes and five A’s :} into a MSW. However, since I also have to work full time to simply cover the bills, I am stuck at the point of the program where they require “field work” – i.e. to work with clients directly in a program or agency. The requirement for the second year of study is to do 14 hours per week. I am trying to figure out how to do that when I work 40+ hours per week (and have to do so), and my kids are in my care full time. Somehow, God will show me the way to accomplish this if that is what he intends. In the meantime, I sure have enjoyed the coursework and have learned a lot.
Oftentimes, I come across information (or thoughts) that I feel would be good here on this blog. I just found this tonight as I am trying to set up a new computer (mine decided to beg for permanent retirement a few months back). During the set up, it added in bookmarks – of which I have many items which I think I want to read further later.
The one I found is this: http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com/difficult-people/narcissist
It’s a CD that they are selling on how to deal with a narcissist, using hypnosis to help re-program the way you react to it. I’m curious if it would work, and in fact would bet it probably would. But… not enough to pay $15 for the CD. For me, I’ll stick with meditation.
I also found this one: http://phoenixsphere.com/category/healing-after-relationship-with-a-narcissist/
This is great in that this poor woman had to grow up with a narcissistic mother, and then played it out later when she married a narcissistic husband. She then, twenty years later, wound up back in a relationship with the guy after she didn’t see him for 18 years. It’s NOT great that she had to go through it. It is great that she worked on healing and was brave enough to post it for others to learn from it. It is a perfect example that we all have lessons to learn in this life, and situations become available in our life to learn them. If we learn it, then we can move on from it. If not, we continue to recreate that situation in our life so we can eventually master it.
I will look for ways to rekindle the posts on this site that I do. It is a challenging road to take with a narcissistic person, and anyone in one needs all the help, support and HOPE that they can get.
Lots of love to all.
I haven’t posted in a long time. A LONG time. I apologize for that. Life has changed for us, and I am oh-so-very thankful. Every day, I feel joyous thanks.
At the beginning of this year, my daughter decided she was done with the weekends with her dad, and protested loudly. My son went by himself for several more weekends, then he found his voice and said he wanted to remain at home. They played a dance with their dad for a long time, repeatedly telling him every other weekend how they felt. I actually tried to settle them in on seeing him for a Sunday afternoon, every other weekend, but they didn’t want that either. I realized that this was something I was doing out of guilt, feeling guilty and asking my kids to sacrifice for it and to act from a place of guilt rather than a place of love. I specifically, cognitively, released these feelings.
Now my kids are with me at home every night. They see their dad for dinner once a week, and honestly, my daughter still just wants him “out ofher life”, and when my son detects feelings of guilt on my part cropping up, he reassures me that he has no desire to see his dad or be around him. My son has an amazing demeanor at times of speaking to an all-knowing adult, where you have to shake your head, close your eyes, and focus on the fact that a little child just told you something so profound that you’re stunned. He does this all too often, and then reverts back to his playful innocense.
My ex actually sold his big house and moved into a one bedroom apartment – which I take as a wonderful sign that he has moved on as well. He took me to court at the beginning of the year to try to get child support reduced, and the judge told him he has a “fiduciary duty” to his children to maintain the type of income that he is clearly eligible to make. The judge then ordered my ex to pay my attorney fees too. Rejoice!! The judge put up the boundary between me and my ex in a wonderful way. My ex then filed for an appeal on having to pay that attorney fee (not an appeal on the decision itself, interestingly). The appeal court basically gaffawed over the request, and said that of course the lower court had the right to levy attorney fees. Whoo hoo! And to note.. I say this from a place of goodness and not a feeling of “I won over you”. It’s a feeling of thankfulness that the system, in this way, has stood up for what is right for the children involved.
I also started back to school for a second graduate degree in a totally new field: an MSW (Masters of Social Work). I am working full time as well, and as a result, see the sunrise every morning so I have enough hours in my day to accomplish this goal. Why an MSW? So I can pursue making systematic changes for children in abusive situations; children who are court ordered to spend time with a disordered, abusive parent and “at risk” because of it.
For the first time EVER… I had the BEST parent-teacher conference for my daughter. Can you believe the teacher actually said “she’s such a happy kid”. I almost cried !! (poor teacher). It wasn’t “well, she’s great with … but she needs to stop hiding under the desk…. “. It was so wonderful to hear that the way that things are going for them is working for them. Her grades are amazing, and she is completely taking ownership and responsibility.
My son… here’ s the real kicker…. he had regressive behaviors – at the age of six, he wanted to nurse and routinely said he wanted to be a baby again because being a baby was easier. He was sucking his thumb and always trying to put his hand in my shirt for comfort (I wouldn’t let him). He pooped in his pants a lot too – and much more when stressed. Within two months of routinely sleeping at home – that stopped. STOPPED. Nothing done to encourage it, nothing said about it, it just stopped. Amazing. Now, the poop in the pants only shows up if there’s an argument or stress coming from their dad, which I admit happens on occasion. Only now – when it does, I can confront my ex with what is going on for them. Again – this is from a loving perspective, and I usually get a cooperative response back.
Thankful. I am so incredibly thankful. I honestly can’t pinpoint one thing or another on what brought about the changes, there have been so many components – my kid’s strength (especially my daughter), my own personal healing internally, etc.
On this blog I posted a “virtual vision board” – a page, which describes my vision for my life. I haven’t looked at it in well over a year. I opened it today to see what it said. There’s much of it that is true – so so much.
I have to say that the point of this post is to inspire hope that change can happen. I believe in it, I truly do. The post isn’t intended to say that the way I handle it was the “right” way… not at all, as I think that every situation is different, and we have our own answers inside of it, if we listen. I practice that listening – mediation, quietening the mind, praying for God to help me make the best choices each day. I also pray for every one else, and every other child who needs peace in their life.
Lots of love to all –
I have been continuing down my path to find my own healing, and focusing on me, and what is within me that may attract a situation like this into my life. In other words – what life lesson do I need to learn? What beliefs do I have, conscious or unconscious, that are not serving me? (for e.g. – some people believe that they have to be poor, or will always be poor – and then they subconsciously play that out in their lives; only to say “see? I can never make any money even when I try.”) Read More…
Sometimes, things happen that make you wonder if someone (an angel, I hope!) is standing next to you using events in your daily life to send you message. I’ve had two moments like that lately, and I thought I would share.
One is actually some time back – about 2 months ago when my six year old son went from being afraid of speaking up for himself and feeling sorry for his dad – to all of a sudden and out of the blue telling his father he didn’t want to go with him for the weekend. I had both my kids with me that weekend, and it was such an amazing blessing to see that tide turn.
That evening… I looked in his backpack to find that he brought home a library book from school. The title was “This way home.” Read More…
It’s about time I did a new post. It’s been far too long without anything. Frankly – I don’t know how all you single parents do so much! I returned to working full time and it’s been quite an adventure in transition for me and my kids.
So here’s how things have been going for us… up until this weekend, it’s been wonderful. My daughter has only been to her father’s for a full weekend once since December of last year. She started telling him she didn’t want to go and refusing – strangely, he continues to show up at the after care place to pick them up and then proceed to drive away. On the one weekend she went, it was because her father’s family was in town (they are not emotionally healthy people but she loves her Aunt). Plus, her father had been in-the-hospital sick and the guilt factor was strong for her to see how he was doing. When she found out he was just fine and it was hype, she was a bit annoyed. Read More…
There is so much context to this phrase, and so many ways to look at it.
I want to speak about one part of letting go that is a very easy first step to do.
Let me ask you this… how much stuff do you still have in your life (physical) that is related to your past?
Do you still have your wedding band? Towels, linens or furniture from when you were married to your toxic ex? Do those items reflect who you are today?
To me, one of the first powerful steps to letting go is the step of letting go of those physical items in our life that are subconscious reminders of our past.
Over time, I have gone through my house and purged… physically, mentally and emotionally. I gleefully replaced the bed, mattress and linens from my marriage (even if you replace it with the cheapest IKEA furniture ever – isn’t that better than sleeping on something with toxic memories?). I’ve gotten rid of extra wedding invites that were sitting in a bin downstairs, old stuff left from the wedding itself. If there was decor that was reflective of my ex.. trashed. 🙂
It seems so simple. It is SO liberating. Try it 🙂
I have been reading a great book (via Kindle, I like having my books right on my phone wherever I am). It is by Debbie Ford: “The 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse”. Her point is to take you through 21 days of introspection – releasing emotions from the past, examining the present and building your future.
The directions for day four are really awesome, and very very applicable for anyone dealing with a personality disordered individual (or otherwise difficult person!). It is about “The Gift of Forgiveness”. There are some sections I want to share here, because they really radiate. First, she says that you have to release the toxicity that builds up from negative interactions in your past to be free to transcend the limitations of your past. She then says “Without forgiving all those you have harbored bad feelings toward, you continue to be imprisoned by your past. If you do not cut the cords of resentment, you will be held captive by the very people you are trying to get away from.” Read More…
Last week, my daughter was really focused on wanting to speak with her father and tell him how she felt about things. She wanted to tell him (again) how she wants to only see him on for dinner one night a week and be able to sleep at her mom’s home on the weekends (all weekends). She said she is willing to see him on the weekends, if she and her brother can return home for bed.
That said, I have this feeling that my ex has been in my life because he has been energetically connected in some way to me. This is a part of the healing work I have focused on – the belief that there is some reason he has been in my life, and when I’ve learned that lesson and healed – he would let go and move on.
So, knowing that my daughter wanted to speak with him – I made it a point to spend 30 minutes in meditation that evening when she was going to speak with him (during a weekday dinner). I looked for a meditation about letting go or releasing someone or something from your life. I found one on a site that’s a little unlike me (it has the words “pagan” and “witchcraft”… which is a bit scary to me!). Nonetheless, the concept of the meditation was the same as I had seen in other places, and so I set forth to do something generally like it.
The meditation consisted of focusing deep within (the bible says that God lives within us) and finding that place where God exists. I then imagined my ex standing in front of me. The meditation I found said that I should ask him permission to join me in the space where I was, so I did that as I mentally felt connected with him. I then “spoke” with him – explained how I felt about the things that have happened between us over the years – taking care not to place blame on either of us for it. I explained how I felt about it and connected to those emotions strongly. I told him I forgive him for all that has happened, and that I forgive him for not being who I thought he would be when we met. I then imagined that all that has happened between us was given over to him – to deal with if he should chose himself, but letting him know that I was done and moving forward.
At that point, I strongly “told” him that I was done, I forgive him and am letting him go – releasing him to God. I asked God to release him and me of any obligations, duties or responsibilities we have to one another. I then concluded our visit together and imagined him leaving – with both of us moving on to find a better life.
It sounds a little hokie – but it was so powerful. I felt so many emotions surface in my body and felt as though they were lifted up and sent to God’s love.
That next day, when I went to drop my children off for the weekend with their father, my daughter again addressed the issue with her father and for the first time, she heard him say “I’m done with you.” and “you don’t have to go if you don’t want to”.
It seems strange… she was elated that he said that (oddly so… who gets excited about hearing “I’m done with you” angrily from their parent? I guess one who has been abused by that same parent). It was risky, but in the end I wound up leaving with the kids for the weekend. Things aren’t completely solved yet, but I feel that there was a big shift in the relationships and the way things are playing out – and I’m interested to see where they head.
However, there have been some really awesome things that have happened, and I think it’s good to take stock in them. One of the themes in our lives is that those who have been difficult to our situation has faded away. In the self-healing that I have been focused on, there are many who repeatedly point to the fact that we have the power to create our own life, and that when we focus on ourself and heal ourself – that the difficult people in our lives will fade away. Given the trend that I’ve seen, I am becoming even more of a believer.
Great forward steps include:
1- When my daughter’s original therapist resigned. She was brought on by my ex’s first attorney (who is now a judge!). She believed that sex abuse isn’t sex abuse if the child is enjoying it – and according to my attorney, she testified to this affect in another case.
2- Our original parent coordinator stepped off our case. This guy was a flip-flopper. He supported me until the going was tough, then he supported dear old dad to be involved in his kids lives no matter what. It was impossible to tell where he would land, and he had no particular plan on how to get my ex and I working better together. It was a lot of money down the drain. Another positive… my ex and I had less interaction, which I believe helped a lot.
3- We’ve won the past several times my ex has had us into court. After the first time where he won even when he admitted hitting me, he felt even more empowered. It’s been so wonderful to have the court support me and my children and to see better outcomes.
4- Our original judge retired…. the judge that gave the original outcome noted in #3… we were basically stuck going back to him each time (although he did rule in my favor once! 🙂 He resigned this January… and I wish him the best in his new endeavors!
5- We’ve gotten more people noticing and supporting us – in school, at the doctor’s office, at CPS and my daughter’s therapist has been stronger in her support. Maybe it’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a wonderful start. I expect only good to come 🙂
6- The evaluation for my son is pending. My daughter’s therapist says the testing will pick up on the impact of trauma and stress and it should be very interesting. Yay! I am envisioning that we are able to find out specifically how he’s been impacted and make some changes that will help him.
7- My previously to scared to speak daughter has been really able to stand up and hold her own. She’s amazing and an inspiration to me, and I’m so proud of her to stand up for herself, even when she is scared of the reaction that she might get.
8- Last but not least… this blog has been a wonderful experience and all of you who are here with me are awesome support – who understand what the challenges are and the plight to live a great life despite those challenges.
Life is Good 🙂
A good friend of mine gave me a gift: 6 months of premium “Spotify”. I’m in heaven. Spotify is an app which streams music… any music you can imagine, it’s there to be played at the touch of a button. It’s so darn cool. But guess what? There’s also other unexpected goodies… presentations by Eckhart Tolle, Theta healing music, yoga recordings, etc. I came across one that is about “Chakra Healing”. Some 15 years ago when a rather eclectic friend said she had her “Chakras” read, I said .. “Your WHAT?”. Now.. well.. maybe I believe in them 😉 (it’s so cool, actually – if you hold a pendant over your body at certain places, it will spin in circles on it’s own… proof to me that we are made of energy).
So, back from my digression… there’s a “chakra healing mediation” by eLuv I found on spotify. Within it, she provides a few affirmations. Boy – whether you’re a believer of chakras, mediation and energy or if you think that good mojo comes from a Twinkie… it doesn’t matter. The affirmations here are good reminders! Here’s a couple of the ones that are there, which particularly resonated for me:
- I assimilate and digest all that comes to me, using both the positive and negative equally to nourish and nuture me. I integrate both equally, knowing that both are energy that I can utilize positively – it is my choice. I let go of my need to react negatively and allow the energy to dissolve gently, transforming it once again into positive. This brings me self confidence, knowing that I no longer need to react in the ways that I have in the past. I now take a moment with awareness to chose my reaction.
- I activate my personal power to attain positive solutions. I am balanced in my emotions, I am nurtured and safe. I can now release my fears, replacing them with understanding and creativity. It is okay to say no. When I say “no” to others, I am saying “yes” to myself.
My 8 year old daughter is having a tough time lately. She was crying fiercely about having to go with her father on friday for the weekend. He picked them up quite late (which was good, right?), but she rode away in his car with tears gushing down her face and her hand on the window reaching to me.
My ex even asked me to take them some the next day while he worked – so it was a short time gone with him before the kids and I reconnected. Again, my daughter was bawling and begging me not to leave her with him. She wouldn’t say more than being afraid of his raging anger. However, since CPS has been watching again, his anger has been at bay. This time, she was on the floor by the door of his store in a crumbled crying mess.
That evening, he said no to a bedtime call because he didn’t want them to be upset again. I responded that his withholding phone calls would likely make the way she feels worse. He let us speak, and I made sure it was no more than 1 minute and 7 seconds. I could hear the break in my daughter’s voice again and tried to help keep it at bay by moving her along.
I asked her the next day when they returned home what her dad did to help her when she was crying. She said he came over to speak with her and she told him “I’ve never wanted to go with you in the first place!”. He then walked away and left her be. She cried for another 20 minutes.
Anger is flowing out of her frequently these days. She screams at me how it’s all my fault for having married him in the first place.
It’s amazing to me that this is how it has been for 3.5 years, and yet my ex fails to care. She has cried so often, and he just gets mad at me and says it’s my fault. It isn’t surprising that he can’t see it or accept it, and it fits with his disorders and issues. It’s just truly unfortunate.
I pray for all the kids who are in this situation, and whose parents can’t hear them or acknowledge their voices and feelings – married or divorced.
One of the principals of the Law of Abundance says that we attract what we focus on. Those that believe in the power of personal energetic vibrations and how that impacts our lives believe in spending time focused on joy. Dance with your children, laugh out loud, relish all the wonderful things that life has to offer … even when your challenging coparent is doing what they do best (challenging you!). We can chose to let that permeate our lives, or we can visualize a bubble around us and let it bounce off that bubble and simply not let it impact us. We can center ourselves on what is best for our kids and stay focused on that.
So today, I will be focusing on joy and having fun as I go about my day. Even if all that law of abundance stuff is mumbo jumbo… it sure does feel better having fun!
The daily bible app on my phone today reminded me of how God sees us all, even those who deal with a personality disorder.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
This quote makes me think of two things:
(1) dealing with a narcissist is easier when I consider how he looks at the world and how the world feels to him. It doesn’t mean I have to give up myself or my boundaries, just that I can’t change him, but I can try to get to what my kids and I need faster if I consider how to work with or around his issues rather than butting up against the unchangable.
I’ve done a post in the past about how I am glad I am not my ex… life must feel so disorienting to him all the time, and such a challenge. He must have had a hard childhood and really cannot feel that true connection with others now as an adult. He struggles all the time to have any type of relationship with others and as a result has to force them (e.g…. telling our daughter how she has to do visitation with him when she says she doesn’t want to). He repeats the same failures in his life and cannot recognize why (we all do, but his are a bigger magnitude). Most of his actions are driven, ironically, but such a strong sense of insecurity and pain inside that he feels he has to lash out at the world and work hard to hide this pain inside by portraying a false exterior. Every day is a focus on himself because that’s really all he is capable of doing.
(2) That forgiveness is REALLY HARD when someone has really wronged you. My favorite quote for forgiveness is “I forgive you for not being what I wanted you to be” by Louise Hay. God Bless… isn’t that true with narcissism? They portray themselves to be whatever you want them to be, and then you find out that it was just a facade. So, her phrase of forgiveness feels just perfectly fit to the situation. Forgiveness doesn’t mean finding what they did acceptable, it means being able to move on from it and setting yourself free from the anger and resentment that are hurting you, and not them.
A few days ago, I received a couple of rather “trolling” blog comments. At first, I figured I would ignore or delete them. I’m glad I didn’t, as I have since decided to address it directly, as a blog post.
I think it’s very important, as there are some critical points to raising children who are as emotionally stable as possible in an abusive environment. Personally, as an advocate against domestic abuse and child abuse, I feel it is a responsibility to take a stand on this. Read More…
There has been much debate in the past month about what our visitation schedule would be for 2013. We don’t have clarity about the end of the year, and last year I did a switch so that I could manage to get memorial day, labor day and things would line up better for us with each holiday. He had those long weekends for the two prior years, so I forced through a change – which needless to say, he didn’t like.
This year, in order to have our holidays line up again, it would be best to have me have memorial day and labor day again. And hey, he had it for two years prior anyway, right? I tried to reason with him in an email, explaining that this was the most equitable way to handle things… he had two weekends in December, then I would have two weekends, and then we could alternate. He did his usual trick.. I’m not going to read it or acknowledge it, just plow through with what I think that life should be for me.
So I felt concerned that there is this outstanding dispute brewing about who should have the kids this weekend.
Here’s where things changed, and I feel I owe it to the healing work that I have done. I cornered my ex when he dropped off the kids, sent the kids inside my house, and spoke with him. I found that I was able to speak with him about it without a huge emotional effect. Yes, some feelings of resentment for having to deal with him at all and always making our lives miserable, but mostly a feeling of compassion and a recognition of just how limited he is in being able to deal with life. How did I not see that before?
He started our conversation saying that I must be a good actor, but he can’t do it.. he hates me with a passion, with every possible bone in his body and never, ever wants to see me again. I told him that “yes, the kids tell me how you feel”.
He admitted to not reading my email and just assuming I was trying to screw him over. No, I told him… I’m not. In the end, he revealed some of his flawed (always flawed, eh?) thinking about the schedule. He admitted that he doesn’t actually care what the schedule is, but that he has difficulty dealing with ambiquity and change (because narcissists orient based on the world around them).
He also admitted that he doesn’t care about the other three day weekends because he has to work anyway. Whoo hoo!
In our conversation, he even referenced that I was ridiculously stubborn for not conceding to our son riding a horse so that I could take him to a psychological evaluation. I actually did point out that it had to be that he got something for HIMSELF (he shook his head affirmatively to this, as he doesn’t see what’s wrong with it), and that it wasn’t about doing the right thing for his kid.. and didn’t he realize how laughable that was to everyone else? He stopped discussing that track rather quickly.
I felt myself watching him process the conversation from the perspective of someone who was studying human behavior. I also thought it was interesting that I have always had a knack at being able to negotiate with really grumpy @ss jerks.. and I wonder how much this has played into having been in a relationship with him.
I went into the conversation prepared to bargain various things… for e.g., he could have the kids on Sunday for some time, he could have some of those Monday’s on the long weekends, I could set a longer time period for repayment of child support arrears. I was even prepared to mention that I’ve read his performance reviews.
In the end, he wrote the condition to giving me what I wanted. Again, I found it interesting how he always needs that feeling of being in control.
So, ironically, I have the weekends that make sense for the kids, and for him I have to work out long term what the calendar will look like so he doesn’t have to deal with change, and he can avoid interacting with me. Joy!
When you have been dealing with a personality disordered individual, you’re likely to hear how you are completely off the mark about what you see, think or feel. I’ve heard that many times, and had been told repeatedly how my ex is “a catch”.
For the child support hearing, my attorney subpeoned my ex’s past employment records. Now, I have his from another prior company where he was dismissed so I know what his previous performance reviews look like. This company was his most recent, and while I suspected he was dismissed on performance, it wasn’t confirmed.
The reason I am posting this it is very validating. It is validating to know that others who are dealing with my ex have the same challenges, and that it isn’t ME who has issues, like my ex projects… or like your ex projects (female or male, both gender narcissists do the same).
I am going to outline a few of the phrases used in his performance reviews from various different managers or coworkers here, as I believe that they will resonate with many who have to deal with a narcissistic ex. If it resonates for you, affirm to yourself that you are reading the situations and interactions with your ex truthfully and correctly! And then watch out for people like this at your workplace… they are probably personality disordered.
- “Ex” has difficulty managing his calendar where he has missed meetings, etc. There have been several incidents where “ex” has missed emails to response.
- Sometimes his cell phone voice mail is full where people could not leave messages. (dear God, do I know that… but he doesn’t listen to the messages anyway!)
- “Ex’s” emails typically contain few words and sentences where people did not understand what his messages were.
- Lack of communicating important messages to the team.
- In many occasions, “ex” would report the project status with no issues on what he is doing, only many others would report differently. (Think: he does this with our kids… “they are doing just fine with me”, he says. They say otherwise and that dad doesn’t notice)
- “Ex” doesn’t have a sense of ownership/accountability and ability to drive tasks to completion.
- The client specifically asked another coworker not to bring “ex” to the meetings.
- “Ex’s” lack of participation was unacceptable.
- “Ex’s” non-collaboration and lack of communication resulted in duplication of efforts
- “Ex” hasn’t developed any meaningful relationships
- “Ex’ was asked to mentor junior team members, but he was not available, direction was unclear and wasn’t approachable for them to be comfortable with him.
It is great to feel validated and know that it’s not just me … he does this with others and I have that in black and white. 🙂
First, I want to apologize. Over the past month, I have been fairly quiet in posting as I took myself through a month of focusing on personal healing (there’s always more to do!), and the stress of the holidays. However, we all had stress through the holidays, and I could have offered more in that arena than staying quiet myself.
The good news is, our first day back to school and the normal grind, January 2nd, was spent in court for me. Well… that’s not the good news part, of course. However, it was an amazing four hours of debate. In my state, child support orders are supposed to stay as is for three years. If someone wants to modify it before then, there needs to be a change in circumstance to drive that modification. My ex filed a motion to do so, stating that he was (a) making much less than before, and (b) daycare/after school care costs have decreased. So the first order of action was to establish if there was an actual change of circumstance. There was based on (a), but not on (b). For our support calculations, my income is imputed even though I am not working. I did that because in order for me to have after school care, I have to be employed. In the metropolitan area in which I live, it can take years to get into a center for after school care – and my kids have been at the same center since they were babies. I didn’t want to pull them while looking for a job only to not be able to put them back.
My ex tried to not admit that he was fired from his previous job making a (excuse me) boat-load of money. My attorney had subpeoned the records but they didn’t return from the company on time. However, when he was asked on the stand if he was hired for performance, his body language was very telling and my attorney continued to emphasize it. It was amazing to watch her as she really played into his narcissism on the stand. She allowed him to declare himself an expert in the marketplace, but then when asked what the top 10 companies which would employ someone with his expertise were, he was unable to say and stated “It’s been a while since I’ve been in the marketplace.” My ex tried to say that he had sufficiently searched far and wide for a comparable job before focusing on his retail store where he makes 1/5 of his previous salary. However, he supplied only a couple of emails – and they themselves showed that he was looking for part time work which he could do remotely, and not for a comparable full time job.
My ex also tried to say that he was working at his store so he could spend more time with his children…. but at the same time he said he works 60-80 hours a week, including Saturdays. He also admitted to having me watch the kids while he worked. Good golly…
While the way I tell it here makes it seem like a clean case, it wasn’t, and there was much debate about precedent setting cases and what the outcome should be. However.. in the end… the judge said that it was my ex’s responsibility to pay child support. Judge said it was great and understandable for my ex to seek a new style of life by being a small business owner, but he needed to do so with his own financial risk. And… if he had financial obligations like child support, than maybe he had to chose not to do that dream of small business.
So, my kids have child support awarded at basically the same amount as before, and my ex has to pay arrears and my attorney fees.
It was, I have to say, a wonderful day, and a wonderful boundary drawn between us! For years, his financial issues have always drug me down and even after the divorce continued to do so. Now it was clearly stated that he had to do so.
WHOO HOO! We can have victory!!
I am going to jot down an update on things that have been happening for us, then also do another post that focuses more on the positive aspects. I would say, though, that although there are some frustrating things going on, there are a few really shining lights in it all. There’s a lot going on too… which I will try to condense.
1. CPS investigation for physical abuse: So, CPS came through at the end of October and opened an investigation for a bruise on my daughter’s leg which she reported to the school was from her dad. They suspended visitation for a weekend, but reinstated it quickly because (a) their dad denied the abuse, and (b) there’s a court order in place for visitation. The highlights are that CPS spoke to their dad and he denied ever raising his voice, denied any physical discipline and denied knowing anything about our son having issues with redness on his bottom after weekends with him. He also (this is a highlight) refused to sign a ‘contract’ that he would not yell or hit our kids, and refused to meet with me and CPS without his lawyer present. CPS calls him “not exactly forthcoming”. Read More…
As we are surrounded by holiday colors ‘everywhere we go’, I thought it might make sense to revisit a post I did last year in regards to the holidays. Personally, I know my children are very upset to spend christmas with their father, even if the aunt that they like from his side will be in town. I am following as much of my own suggestions as I can, and also trying to make sure that we keep Christmas “in perspective” in terms of trying to minimize disappointment from unachieveable expectations.
A wonderful person that I met last year and came across again this year reminded me of something I had heard long ago. “Acceptance does not mean approval”. We can accept that we are in a situation or dealing with something from someone, but not approve of what happened or is happening. It’s a good way to consider finding ‘acceptance’ of the situations in our lives and subsequently finding more peace.
I met someone today in his late teens/early 20’s. He spent his life growing up with his aunt, and later in foster homes where he was abused. 6 years of abuse with his aunt, and then two more years of abuse in foster care before he reached 18 and broke free. He reflected on the holiday and told me how he doesn’t have plans, but he’s also happy to just stay at home. He’s now in an apartment and home is safe, free from abuse and his life is his own to claim. He was inspirationally strong and amazing at how he has come to terms with the childhood, or lack of childhood, that he had. My prayers are with any child, and if they have one – with their non-abusive parent, as they go through this season and every day of every non-season.