From the time we separated until the day the paperwork was stamped and signed by the judge– it was approximately 2 years, 8 months, 12 days and 34 minutes. Who’s counting? I am. From the time he legally filed for divorce, it was 2 years and 2 months from start to finish. Regardless of which date you focus on…it’s a long time.
Our custody battle took that long.
It took that long for me to finally show his true colors to the courts.
We didn’t have things to fight over. We lost everything when our financial world collapsed. The things that we held onto were lost when he invaded my home ( Lying in Wait ) and stripped me of everything. In a way, it was a blessing. It was a cleansing and a chance to start over. I didn’t have “things” to remind me of the past. In some ways, he did me a favor. He got what was so important to him: things.
I got what was so important to me: the chance to walk away from a pretend world and reclaim my identity. The nice couches, furniture and art was all symbolic of a fake and empty existence. I am not fake and I am not empty.
I devoted yesterday to re-claiming my identity.
To sum it up: I spent all day at the DMV, the Social Security office and the bank. I’m not a fan of sitting around and waiting so it took a lot of personal motivation to walk in, take a number, sit and wait. And then wait more. And more.
I walked out of the DMV with a piece of paper that made me feel even more empowered then I could have imagined. I left the Social Security Office with my true identity back. I ordered shiny new checks from the bank with MY name on them. The name that I was born with and the name that I was meant to have for the rest of my life.
Last night, I went to sleep as “Tina Marie Swithin“.
Cheers to small victories that mean a lot to me personally.
One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.
History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.
Tina Swithin: Divorcing a narcissist? Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat. Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.