I’ve never “hated” anyone in my life. It’s a new feeling. It’s a feeling that I don’t like. It’s a feeling that I want to get rid of but I don’t know how. I believe that to forgive...I have to stop hating.
I also believe that time helps to heal wounds and in my case– there is no time to heal because every week, there is a new occurrence to hate. Last night he called…for the third time since last June. In six months, he has made only three attempts to call. Within 30 seconds of being on the phone, the narcissism took over– he talked about himself– his race tomorrow in San Francisco. He made sure to ask my six year old if she was the fastest runner in her class– that is what is important to him. She admitted that she wasn’t and he didn’t know how to handle it– he laughed…uncomfortably. It was painful to listen to. I hated it.
How do you not hate someone who hurts your children over…and over…and over? How do you not hate someone who has put you through living hell? Someone who causes you to live in constant fear for your life– for your safety. Someone who has told lies to win– and someone who’s entire goal is to “win”. A wise person once told me that you have to love your children more than you hate the person you are divorcing. I have that going for me. Unfortunately, he doesn’t.
“True forgiveness is not an action after the fact, it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.” David Ridge
I am now living in a safe environment. It’s the first time in over two years that I can sleep through the night. It’s the first time that a noise in the middle of the night doesn’t make me bolt upright, start praying…and cry. I lived with an industrial strength Mace as my bedmate for two years and a smaller bottle as my constant companion in the house. It’s not a fun way to live. I don’t recommend it.
Post traumatic stress- it isn’t just for veterans of war. It’s also for women who have been through divorce with a scary and unstable person. I am jumpy and I have anxiety on occasion– it’s getting better but it’s still there.
I want to learn how to forgive and I want to know how to stop hating. I am trying but I feel like I am failing.
Note from Tina:
This blog is therapeutic– it’s helping me to heal. It’s helping me to find my voice and share a story that I have kept bottled up. Normally, I am funny– I make people laugh and I like to laugh. Reliving this story is hard. I am trying to find balance in telling this hellish story but not losing myself back into the dark hole.
On that note, I must share a little bit of “me” and how dangerous it is for me to keep a bottle of Mace as my constant companion. I am blonde and anyone who knows me can attest to my blonde moments. I embrace these moments– they make me who I am. I had a funny blonde moment with my Mace about 6 months ago and I must share–
I was carrying my Mace through the house and read the bottle which said to “test periodically in a well ventilated area”. Brilliant idea, I thought! I’ve never actually “tested” it. The front yard of my condo was long and narrow– with a wall on each side. I walked outside and pulled the trigger – a huge burst of red spray shot forth and covered the wall. I panicked and grabbed the hose– quickly trying to clean the residue which was sure to stain the wall. In my haste, I ran straight into the cloud of Mace and essentially, maced myself.
You have never truly coughed unless you’ve been maced. You know that bad cold that turns to bronchitis? It has NOTHING on a mace cough. I gasped for air, I cried, I choked…I thought I was going to DIE. It lasted forever. and ever. Once I could breathe, I called my loved ones who proceeded to gasp for air…while laughing.
It get’s better– I also maced my neighbor. The poor guy next door was in his upstairs bedroom and heard me coughing and gasping. It walked to the open window to check on my well-being…only to inhale the red cloud as it drifted through the air.
Moral of the story: when they say, “use in a well-ventilated area”…they really mean that.
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.