Today I found an article that could have been written about my marriage and divorce. It was titled, “Help! I am Divorcing a Narcissist” . I actually researched the author on Twitter to learn more. I felt like there was someone out there who summed up the past ten years. It really hit me hard.
In 2008, when I was first considering leaving him…I went to a therapist. He refused to go at the time. She (the therapist) wasn’t a PHd and therefore, he was smarter than she was. I sat down with her for 1.5 hours and spilled my guts– I told her everything…about the triathlons, the lack of feelings/empathy, the manipulations and lies, how he used people and had no regard for anyone but himself. I told her about his shady business practices and the fraudulent things I was discovering about his business dealings. I told her about the demeaning nature in which he spoke to me and the control factor. I begged her to help me save my marriage. I was willing to do ANYTHING.
She calmly got up and walked across the room without saying a word. She came back carrying a book. She opened it and flipped through to the part she was looking for and handed it to me with a finger pointing at the words, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder“. I glanced over it- overwhelmed. I looked up at her and felt hopeful- after all, if we had a soft diagnosis…we could solve the problem. She then went on to say that if in fact this was the case, there was no cure. You either accept it and live with it or you leave.
I was angry. How DARE she imply this without even meeting him. I had never heard the term before and now I wanted to research everything related to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). In September of 2008, my aunt, who works in the mental health profession went to work to find a PHd who would work with us. By this point, he had agreed to go to therapy. We found a PHd who met with us weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) for about six months. The Psychologist suggested that he undergo testing for Bi-Polar Disorder and NPD– both of which he suspected. That was the end of our marriage therapy and our marriage.
He called the Doctor and stated that our marriage was beyond repair and ended counseling.
***Note: Obviously, “He” has never been diagnosed nor am I diagnosing him. This is a series of events which I lived and an article that I connected with on a deep level. I felt like it could have been written about my journey.
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.