Everything in his world was for show. Had it been up to him, we would have had 2.5 children just to completely fit the mold of the perfect, all-American family. We arrived home from an errand in his car– all of us together. I had just warned him that our oldest daughter (almost four at the time) didn’t nap and was a bit cranky. I knew he was in a bad mood– I could tell it was the type of quiet anger that frightened me.
I started walking into the house (through the garage) ahead of him –carrying our youngest daughter. Our oldest daughter was upset about her jacket not being on properly and started to have a mini-meltdown. The meltdown wasn’t the problem– it was the fact that she wasn’t “acting perfect” and there were neighbors watching. He needed to “stop her” from throwing a fit– remove her from the eyes of onlookers before his image of perfection was tarnished. He picked her up and carried her quickly through the garage– arms wrapped around her chest and squeezing her tightly to make her stop.
Squeezing her and hurting her to make her stop being a tired, four year old little girl.
I heard the commotion– her cry– the garage door shutting to keep the world from seeing the imperfection. I turned to see him carrying her through the garage and into the house– the look on her face of shear terror. I grabbed her from his arms and told him to leave- to get out of our house. Our renter was in the kitchen making tea– she was also our former nanny and the girls’ Godmother. We placed her on the counter– she was in complete hysterics. She look liked a caged animal. I had never seen my baby look like this. We held her– she was gagging…she couldn’t catch her breath.
I started a bath to calm her down– we sat with her and soothed her. She continued to gag during the bath. My heart broke that day. My biggest regret and one of the few regrets in my life: not calling Child Protective Services.
Days later, I insisted on going to our marriage therapist to explain what happened and ask for advice. I notified him that I was going and it may be reported. He attended the session- he admitted what happened and apologized. The therapist told him to go back home and sit down with our daughter– admit to her that he did something very wrong and to apologize.
The therapist told him that he would assume this was a one-time occurrence but if it happened again…it would be reported.
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.