Silence is Not Always Golden.

I have sources that I am not willing to divulge now regarding some of the things that my X is doing. The reason that I cannot just “move on” regarding his life is because I am always looking for information to dispute the many lies that my X is attempting regarding our divorce.

One of the things that I have been hearing from one of my sources about is that my X has been disparaging the new girlfriend behind her back for a while now. They only moved in together the beginning of this year, at least, that is when they made it official.

Not soon after that, his complaints had already started.

I actually do feel kind of sorry for her, because I also know from other sources that she is completely oblivious to it. I feel that he makes sure of that by still playing the romantic game to her.

She moved to Hawaii in the beginning of October.  She is apparently under the impression that she is setting up the nest for the someday pending divorce.  I had gotten word through my attorney that my X wanted to settle quickly in September but neither my attorney nor I have heard anything since.

I have also heard that he is celebrating that the girlfriend is gone and his expression is “good riddance”.

But who knows how that will pan out. I know my X likes to keep all of his options open.

I was a very difficult and demanding girlfriend in the start. I did this on purpose. My intent was to show my worst. I even refused to move to Hawaii with him. Everybody thought I was crazy to miss out on such an exotic opportunity.  Lucky for me that I was not interested back then. I cannot even imagine how much more isolated I would have felt being on an island!  Somehow not conceding to his wishes seemed to keep our relationship running better than when I let all my defenses down and started to be nice and considerate.

So some people’s first impression of me was that I was the “undeserving girlfriend”

Our courtship lasted for a few years. It was first a long distance relationship and eventually we moved in together. Back then he was still on his very best behavior.

He always acted as though he was so proud of me and who I was. He would brag to anyone who would listen to him about me. I cannot tell you how many times his proud words about me came back to me.

Everyone who met him said that he could not stop talking about me. They all loved him and they thought I was so lucky to find someone who appreciated me so much.

Things did not start to change until after we were married and it was gradual. We had a few decent years in the beginning. Who knows how decent they actually were? After all, emotional abuse was a more familiar feeling to me than it was to most people. It was how I grew up. The basic red flags for a normal person would be considered normal behavior to me.

There were still lots of gifts, lots of time together going out, trips, flowers, romantic letters and gestures of love and passion. So it all looked good on the outside. Everyone was amazed at what a thoughtful and loving husband I had.

I was definitely swept up in the romance and trying to maintain that “special bond”.  At least that was what everyone was telling me that I had.  Now I understand that I have an abnormally high tolerance to chaotic relationships and I had very little sense of my own self.

Everybody thought he was such a great guy. What would I know? I was the person that could not even get along with my own mother.  So many years I endured the acceptance that I was the difficult person. That is what I was taught growing up.

My X was the talkative charismatic type and I was the quiet reserved type. I was never a believer of airing my dirty laundry to other people. I felt that it was something that I needed to deal with my husband.

My silence worked against me, because I thought I was keeping our matters private. I did not think it was right to disparage my husband to others. I realize now that my X thought otherwise and aired his version of our “dirty laundry” to anyone that listened. He was the victim that was being taken horrible advantage of. I was the nasty, undeserving, “never happy” wife.

I remembered that I had always felt that friends and acquaintances looked at me with suspicion. There was always a feeling gnawing in my gut that something was askew, but that feeling was always over-ridden by my feelings that I was “less than”.

I believed that I was unable to get along with anyone.  The only time that I remember when I was happy was when I lived on my own.

My self- image and propensity to keep to myself was the perfect storm for my X to play the victim to our mutual friends and family. I see now that my X probably garnered lots of sympathy from mutual friends and family that I was a difficult wife. So many people were more drawn to him.

I had always felt a distance to most of our mutual friends. But feeling distant to people was not an unfamiliar feeling to me. I still thought it was just me, I was different. Now I think I realize why many of those treated me with suspicion.

God only knows when his stories started. I look back now and I feel that this may have been going on for most of our relationship. I have come to this conclusion now, especially since I hear how he is treating the new girlfriend.

He always loved looking like the hero/ martyr.

Maybe this explains the indifference that I felt from many of our mutual friends. Some of them were outwardly cruel to me. There were times that some of their treatment of me brought me to tears. I was bullied.

I was also bullied as a child. I remember attempting to go to my mother for comfort. In her anger she had told me it was my fault.  She told me that I deserved it because of the kind of person I was and what I looked like. My mother was embarrassed of me and the negative attention that I garnered.

I had no one to turn to.

So during my entire childhood, I endured all the tauntings and bullying  on my own, in silence. I was too ashamed to tell anyone.  Eventually the bullying stopped and I started to make friends as I grew older. Looking back, I seem to remember that time that the bullying subsided, correlated with my rebellion against my mother.  Coincidence? IDK

So when the adult bullying came, I just thought that I deserved it. When I confided in my X about how hurt I was about specific incidences that occurred, he defended his friends instead of me. It was a familiar response to things that only hurt me. I just kept the pain to myself.

I am even crying now at this pain. At least now I am getting it out.

I am no longer silent.

Lost & Alone

My apologies for not posting sooner.

I had this blog all planned out and I even started a different post Family Secrets #2. But as life goes, my blog is also taking slight detour.

The last few weeks have been overwhelming with money issues, paperwork issues, and mostly family issues. And, sometimes when I get on overload the best way I know how to deal with it all is to just sit and stare out the window.  Not effective or efficient, but at times, can be my way.

In the last 2 weeks I have been scrambling for money just to survive, keep the lights on and put food on the table. My son just turned 18 so no child support. But I only have gotten a total of $1,000.00 for Child Support since MSTBX left in February 2011.

When MSTBX left, he left my son and I destitute. We both operated a business for the last 20 years and that was his and my only source of income. Somehow, MSTBX got away with taking all of the income of the business or at least temporarily (2 years temporarily) able to do so. All of that is still being fought out in the courts and who knows when that will end.

It has been interesting surviving since he left, but that is another long story. Luckily, I have always been a resourceful person.

My most devastating blows from the last few weeks came from my immediate family of narcissists. It is almost karmic that it happened

After posting Family Secrets 1, I felt so guilty even mentioning some of the few transgressions that I wrote regarding my immediate family.  I cannot understand why I would be so protective of those that perpetrated on me. I felt as though I was whining about nothing. As I have done for my entire life, I tried to reject my feelings for “the greater good” of protecting the family ways.

I try to dismiss their behavior to me because after all, compared to MSTBX, they are relatively harmless. At least that is what I try to tell myself, they are harmless.

Judgment is an odd thing. We should not judge because we may not understand, but then if we do not judge then bad behavior can proliferate without the restraints of judgment.

Then, I get even more confused. How do you judge bad behavior when it is compared to even worse behavior? After all nobody in my family is as bad as MSTBX, and he is not as bad as a serial killer. So are they all not that bad???

I sincerely struggle through this mess of narcissism and it’s effects on my son and me.

The solution that I have got from most books on Narcissism is to have “no contact”. That is easy if it is an X spouse or X relationship. Those ties are easier to sever.  If it is in your immediate family, what do you do? The interconnectivity of the blood and marriages of the entire family is so complex. Do you just walk away from everyone? And my son, what about him? Do I deny him access to the entire family because of the dysfunction of a few?

This new mess all started when my son returned from a 2 week vacation with his dad in Hawaii (probably why there was no $$$ for spousal support???). The suggestion of a vacation in itself was unbelievable since it was from a father who ignored his son for the last 2 years. Less than 10 days before they left for Hawaii, my son’s father called him and told him that he was taking him to Hawaii for 2 weeks. What 18 year old would not be excited?

I never got too many details about the trip, except that my son was ignored. My son is reluctant to share too much what goes on with his dad. I know he is trying to still figure it all out and he loves his dad. I try to keep him out of this mess as much as possible. My son still had a good time even though he was mostly on his own while dad golfed everyday. In spite of all the relatives that MSTBX has on the islands, they did not visit any. One can only speculate why.

After my son returned, it was about a week before he could no longer hold it in. Everything came out in a big screaming match between my son and I. He finally blurted out that his dad told him that it was my son’s fault as to why the marriage ended. MSTBX told my son that I had paid too much attention to my son and not enough to him!!!  I could feel all of the hurt and anguish coming from my son. I tried to alleviate it by telling him that his dad was married 2 times before and what his excuse for that??? I also mentioned that dad left because he thought he had something better. I may have eased some of the anguish but I knew he was still scarred.

I wish I could say that it ended there…

My son wanted to go visit his Grandma and an older cousin that lives near her. It is about a 7 hour car drive. That is an intentional geographic distance from her that I chose many years ago. I know some of you are wondering how I could send the lamb to the wolf in sheep’s clothing? Again my confusion as to where the boundaries of family need to be limited. My mother (Grandma) never played her manipulations on my son. I know she chooses her victims and I never thought he too would become one.

While visiting his Grandma, my son had to endure constant interrogation regarding his trip to Hawaii. Eventually my son confided in his Grandmother about how his dad said that he was responsible for the demise of the marriage. Can you imagine the devastation that my son felt when his own Grandmother, MY MOTHER, agreed with MSTBX that my son was responsible!!!!! This destroyed him and he was so broken about this when he came home and confided in me. How can I convince him now??? The wound just got deeper.

This whole divorce has really affected my son. This all started in Thanksgiving 2010, he was just starting his Junior year in High School. After his dad left, he went from a normal household to a welfare household in just a matter of 1 month.

My son lost all interest in attending school and he stayed home so much that he had to transfer to another school for a semester to catch up and then he could return to graduate with his class. That never happened. He even lost interest in the other school and just stayed home in his room and that is where he has spent 90% percent of his time for the last 2 years. Luckily he did sit for his GED and passed.

I was glad for him to at least go to Hawaii and I had hoped that it would help get him out of his room for a change. It did start to work and so I was glad he was going to see Grandma.

So it was 2 steps forward and then 3 steps back. My biggest motivation of getting through this mess is my son. That is the most difficult and devastating part of this journey. He is going through such a difficult time and I am the only one to guide him. No one else cares and he knows it. I want so much to protect him from the pain but I can’t.

My only hope is that this will make him stronger and he will learn from this horrible nightmare that we are living. He has watched all of his friends leave and go away to college and trade schools and he is so lost. I am lost too.

To complicate the issue further, I confided the incident about my mother to my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law one of the few voices of reason in the family, but she is married to my brother. My sister-in-law told the story to my brother and he decided to confront my mother.

Of course my mother denied everything and deflected everything on my son. She complained that my son slept in too late and she had to cook all the time for him (she told me she was worried about my son because he did not eat enough!).  .

My mother threw the bait for my brother and he took it. He called me and started to scold me about my son being so thoughtless. I was so shocked by his reaction that I did not tell him about the text I got from our nephew complementing my son on how attentive he was to his grandmother.

My brother also tried to tell me about how he was such a better person when he was my son’s age. At this point the only thing I could do was scream profanities on the phone to him. So many more family secrets about him, but as always, I just watched through the years and never uttered a word. It is as if he is oblivious to his own transgressions.

Right now, I feel so alone and I do not know where to turn. I only want to do right by my son. I chose to protect him from all of this. He does not know anything about his uncle. How could I ever tell him? How could I explain my brother, his uncle, to my son?

I know that things will get better, they always do. I just hope it happens soon.

In The Beginning…

When I first met my Someday to be X husband, he was vacationing from out of state with his mother and father. Back then; we were both in our late 30’s. I was so impressed with a man in this age bracket to be on a vacation with his parents instead of trolling with a bunch of yahoo guy friends.

I was guilty of consummating this relationship too early. He was leaving on a jet plane and I just chose to seize the moment. In the after glow of our consummation, he broke the news that he was separated from his wife!  I got angry and told him to leave. He begged forgiveness and said that it was only a matter of time before the divorce was final. I calmed down a bit and was angry with myself for being so impulsive. He left that day and I figured that was that. Sometime later, I got a call from him.  He wanted to know if he could write to me. Remember this was back in the days before email and texting.

So we started writing long letters to each other. That is how I thought I was getting to know him. He would sometimes call, but with the time change his working hours and my working hours, it did not happen except on my days off and sometimes then we would talk.

I thought these letters were bringing us closer. In the letters, he admitted to his failures in the marriage and that of course impressed me more. He was smart enough to NOT use the “she never understood me” line. At that time, I had no concept what leaving a marriage meant. I spent my time with single friends and rarely knew anyone in a functioning marriage. I initially never took a romantic tone in those letters, I just kept it friendly. But as the months progressed and we got to know each other more, he somehow knew exactly what I wanted to hear.

He lived in Hawaii and I was planning to move back to Southern California.  I had left there 2 years prior because I walked out of another disastrous relationship. My father had also just died. I decided to get out of town for a while and geographically relocate closer to my mother.

We decided that after my move back to So Cal, I would plan to visit him. So off to Hawaii I went.

I still remember one of the first of many red flags that I chose to ignore (I know the first red flag was that he was married!). It happened on my first visit. He told me we could not go somewhere because he was likely to run into some of his Soon To Be X wife’s friends. I promptly asked why that would be a problem? I thought all of this had been settled in the pending divorce. He tried to convince me that he did not want to go so I told him that I would continue on my vacation on another island without him. He profusely apologized and we went to that spot that night and after that. he took me anywhere I wanted to go on the island.

Back then he was so attentive, I demanded a lot and he indulged my every whim. After the vacation, I returned to So Cal to resume my life there. The letters and phone calls continued and the trips back and forth started.

He ultimately wanted me to move to Hawaii. I refused.  He asked if he could move to the mainland to be with me. I told him not to bother until his divorce was final. He eventually did move in with me in So Cal with his divorce papers in hand.

It wasn’t until now that I am going through all of this that I have contemplated on what his wife at the time was going through. Living on an island is like living in a small town. Everybody knows everything. So, can you imagine what she went through when her still husband at the time was parading his new girlfriend around? I cringe at my clueless insensitive behavior. No it was not intentional, I was so consumed by my own self-gratification that I chose not to pay attention to anything else. Now I wonder how separated were they? Was he maintaining a relationship with her in case things did not pan out with me? Was he even separated or was he still living as married when I first met him? Was I the one who inspired him to leave his marriage? These questions will never be answered. She died somewhere around the time we separated. I found that out when my Someday To Be X husband mentioned it in one of our “marriage counseling” sessions. I do not know the facts of her demise.

Some may say what is happening now to me is just Karma. That may be so. I believe that everything that he is doing to me now, he did to his second wife when he left her. Yes, that’s right I am #3. His excuse for ending the marriage to #1 was that he was just too young. (Yes, I know more red flags!). The big difference with me, #3 and her, #4, is that she knew he was completely married when she chose to be with him. Her best friend and I knew each other through our business.

Somehow, the knowledge that I am being punished for my earlier sins makes it easier to accept my struggles now. I get it. I now understand the meaning of marriage and separation. Sometimes in our loneliness, we are so starved for companionship we entitle ourselves to seize what we think we need. Yes, maybe I did her a favor, just as #4 is doing me a favor now. It was wrong then and it is still wrong now. One of those life experiences that I have lived and learned well.

Boiling A Frog

I remember reading once that if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out. On the other hand, if you put a frog in a pot of cool water and very gradually, turn up the heat the frog will not notice and will just stay there and boil to death.

The theory is that a frog will just continually try to acclimatize to the heat. Because it is only a gradual temperature increase, it will not perceive the danger and just allow itself to be cooked death.

I am not here to say that this is factual but I cannot think of a greater metaphor to what happened to me.

When I first met him, he was the sweetest and most sincere (or so he seemed) man you could ever imagine. All my friends loved him. I of course was on my guard. I never trusted men.

I spent my entire 20’s in short-term relationships.  Sometimes, I think that is what my allure was to men. I enjoyed life and saw no reason to pursue anything serious. From my own personal experiences, I never saw marriage and family in a positive light. I felt women never flourished in marriage. I chose to pursue other things in life, like travel, and that I did. However, after a while that got boring too. So somewhere, after I turned 30, I finally got serious. My first serious relationship was a disaster, but after a year of that dysfunction, I had enough sense to pack up and leave.

So when I met him, I was on my guard and boy did I test him. I was demanding and aloof and still he pursued me. The details of our meeting are too complex to go into now. I just want to state, I was not pursuing him. Eventually my barriers were broken down and we got engaged and then married. We lived together in those blissful days of a new relationship.

He always talked about me in such an admiring way. He put me on a pedestal and even my friends joked that he treated me like a goddess. Never in my life, had I been treated so well. He was too good to be true (!).

As our marriage progressed, and I got pregnant, things slowly changed and his attentiveness started to disappear. I kept thinking that I could fix this and I took responsibility for my faults. As the years passed and our son grew, the attentiveness eventually morphed into neglect and emotional abuse.

For whatever reason, I thought it was important to keep the family together. So everyday I just struggled to maintain harmony in our family. That simple feat consumed me so much for so many years that I evolved into a broken spirit. I was boiling to my death. I did not have enough sense or will to jump out of that boiling pot of water.

I never realized how much I missed his tone of admiration for me. That realization came to me when I finally heard him talking that way again. It dug up memories that I had buried so long ago. Only this time he was not using my name, he was using hers.

I knew then in my heart what was going on. But you have to understand that in spite of what I knew in my heart, I was deceived and played to an unconscionable degree by him. It was not until irrefutable proof was literally put before me, I got perfect clarity.

That clarity awoke my spirit and gave me the sense to jump out of that boiling pot of water, stand up, and fight.  I got an attorney.

Since then, it has been a long and arduous struggle. At least I did not die in that pot of water and I am alive now to fight another day.