I am going through old emails to prepare my case for the upcoming parenting evaluation. In 2009, I had the password to my x’s emails because I often helped him to send out job resumes. During the summer of 2009, I was aware of email communications between his mother and his aunt. I had skimmed many of them back in 2009 but I actually took the time to start reading them this week and “disturbing” would be one way to describe them.
In many of these emails, his mother and Aunt would actually write emails for him to put their own spin (lies) on various situations (squeezing my daughter, alcohol abuse, etc). I came across one such email yesterday and thought I would share a few snippets from what she wrote to the x in an email– to clarify, she was helping him to draft an email to my family members:
(Dear Son)- Let’s try something like this instead. Your first draft is heartfelt and true, but it’s going to fall on deaf ears – and very likely be used against you (inebriated at a friend’s/your comment about Tina. And your admitting fault in too much detail will be used against you).
(What you wrote may be useful to hand to Tina at some point, but not by email because then she can just hit “Forward” and it goes to anyone she wants. A hard copy is a little more difficult to send along.) Think of this as a chess game; you have to outsmart her and if you react emotionally, you’ll be feeding right into her game plan, NOT yours.
You give them too much information, which they are not really entitled to. I know Tina has already bashed you to them, so you can’t really think they are going to believe your version more than hers. Therefore, keep it simple and true. It public speaking/presentations you: “Say what you’re going to tell them.” “Tell them.” And then, “Tell them what you’ve told them.” Try this or a version of:
There is only one purpose to this email: to briefly express my 100% focus and commitment to (the girl’s) emotional and physical well being while Tina and I engage in the divorce proceedings and subsequently, the changed reality of our lives after the divorce is final. It is my hope that despite the failure of our marriage, that the girls will be part of both our lives and all our lives. They need and deserve each of us equally, and they need a positive supportive extended family – from both sides. It is possible for divorced couples to remain friends and to – for the sake of the children involved – maintain a semblance of mutual respect and cooperation. I would like Tina and me to work toward this. Signed, Father/former husband
YOU COULD STOP RIGHT HERE AND JUST SIGN OFF. SEE WHAT KIND OF REACTION YOU GET. IF YOU DECIDE TO SEND ADDITIONAL STUFF PLEASE DO IT AS I’VE SUGGESTED BELOW.
JUST READ YOUR SECOND DRAFT – IT’S MUCH BETTER BUT STILL TOO MUCH INFO. MAYBE INTEGRATE MINE AND YOUR SECOND DRAFT
Some of Tina’s concerns from my perspective: My lack of emotion and affection: I have trouble showing emotion and being affectionate. I am not sure why – there is something genetic here. Relationship skills are not an area of strength for me. Maybe I spent so much time developing my scholastic achievements that I missed some key opportunities to grow interpersonally.
I wish Tina had been more willing to help me break out of my shell in this way. I needed her to show me how, to initiate more. Perhaps she did try, but never in 6 years did Tina greet me at the door with a hug and a kiss and warm greeting. She wanted me to provide this affection but I felt awkward doing so. She is the strong one on the emotional/ affectionate front. She could have nudged me out of my shell. This also would have been an excellent focus in our counseling sessions, which instead deteriorated into the list of what was wrong with me.
Success: (Our) pastor spoke about the difference between success and significance a couple of Sundays ago. I have to admit this was a useful distinction for me.
Success for me meant being at the top of the curve in everything. In college I strived to score in the top 10% of every class. I have always put a lot of pressure on myself. The materialism, the house, the cars have been my way to be on top of the curve in the real world. Clearly the past year has caused me to question whether I have been on the wrong path. However I still struggle with how can I provide less than the best possible for our girls? I am wiling to acknowledge that I overspent in trying to provide a beautiful home, new cars, furniture, the California dream lifestyle for my family.
Note from Tina: Not only is “Cleo” in denial but she is trying to shift the blame of her son’s complete inability to show emotions and affection onto ME? Life according to “Cleo” means that I should have run towards the front door and embraced the stressed out, angry man that I had lost all respect for based solely on his own actions. In my opinion, that would have made me the mini-queen of DeNial which is what was expected of me– and the reason that I obviously didn’t last in this family.
I hope that the emails that I am reading are equally disturbing and clear to the courts as they are to me.
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.