He begged me to reconsider. He wanted to whisk me away to a resort — for couple’s counseling. He saw a “sign” while on a trail run– two doves at 2,000 feet. He said it was his sign that we needed to be together. That he had failed– lost everything and now he had lost his wife. He was sorry.
I’ve been in this position so many times with him. It used to work for me. Previously, I would fall for the emotional email…the charm…the apology…the manipulation. He would whisk me away to Hawaii, Jamaica, Canada, Oregon, Florida, New York, Chicago…and “fix it”. If we had a fight then I could almost count on finding plane tickets on my pillow within a day. After the vacation, things would return to normalcy and everything was lonely, sad and empty. Void of emotion and void of feelings. Void of affection and void of love. That was “Normal”.
This email was different. The charm didn’t work. The link he sent to a high-end couples retreat didn’t work either. I was dead inside when it came to my relationship him. Things had been “done” for six months by that point. I believe that reality began to set in. He knew I was dating. It hit him. It was too late. I read the email– no feelings stirred. No emotion. I was done.
Not only was I done but I finally saw the manipulation.
Doves have a lot of meaning to me and he knows that. Several years ago when my daughter had her first seizure, I was leaving my house to see a child neurologist and I was a mess. As I was pulling out of our gate at 6am, a dove flew straight up to my window and hovered there– it made eye contact with me and seemed to freeze in mid air. I had a sense of calm wash over me and I knew in my heart that everything was fine. I knew at that moment that my daughter was fine and that the test results were all normal– and they were.
Ever since that day, doves have been a symbol to me. I hear a cooing and it reminds me to stop. Breathe and be thankful.
I know him. I’ve seen the manipulation– personally and with so many other people. He uses people and he manipulates. That is what he does best. By sending me an email talking about doves and fuzzy bunnies…he thought he was tugging on my heartstrings.
He wanted one last dance.
I was the dove flying out of the cage of unhappiness.
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.