Category Archives: My Story

My story from the beginning

#5- The Flea Market

We enjoyed going to a very large flea market that summer. They had everything from new socks to used junk to rabbits, chickens, etc. It was fun to see what they had. One day, we were preparing to go. We hadn’t set a time to go. We were just sitting around watching TV. It was a Saturday. He asked, “Are you ready to go?” and I said “Yes” and he walked out the door. Then I realized I had better use the bathroom before we left. The restrooms there were not very clean and I’d rather not have to use them. I was in the bathroom a minute or two, if that, then came straight out to him storming back in the door. “I thought you said you were ready!”

I said, “I just had to use the bathroom first”.

“Well, you SAID you were read!” He was mad. We didn’t go to the flea market and he pouted for days, maybe weeks. I was thrown off. I tried to apologize. I just wanted the fun man back that I had before. Where did he go? and why? It seemed such a minor infraction. As with many of our arguments, I was left wondering “what just happened?” I apologized until I was blue-in-the-face. Eventually, several days later, his anger started to slowly wear off, but I never got the same man back that I “had” to begin with. His mask had slipped. Perhaps he was just getting more comfortable with me and was letting his guard down, I don’t know.

#4-The Proposal Night-Coming Home

I said yes. Though I had some concerns, I was happy it was over with. I knew he wanted to be with me, he just had some mood problems. He was very insecure. I thought, I still have time to back out if it doesn’t work out. I thought I could help him feel better about himself and he’d calm down. I thought I could help him. I think I DID make a difference in his life. I think I did help. However, I couldn’t help enough and eventually, I wore down.

But I had said yes, and I was happy. Unsettled but happy. We had a glass of champagne with dinner to celebrate. Other than that, he got mad at me, something about the fake fireplace. I’m not sure what I did “wrong” there. Our engagement night was full of tension.

We came home from our trip to find our neighbor and friend Robbie walking down the road. Phil suddenly seemed happy about the engagement. That was the first time he seemed happy about it. His excitement waned quickly, I’m guessing, as soon as we drove away from Phil. At the time, I didn’t piece it together, that his excitement could be an act. It was a pattern that would repeat over the years. Why would he ask me if he didn’t want to marry me? (Also see “The Honeymoon”)

#3- The Proposal

We took a trip in August. We went a few hours away to a beautiful lake in the mountains. It was beautiful. We stayed at a German bed and breakfast and went for a boat-ride tour of the lake. I was pretty sure he was going to propose at some point on the trip but he was being so grouchy that I started to think that I was wrong. Because of his allergies, we couldn’t take the hike to the waterfall that he had planned. This seemed to make him angry. Something did anyway. I laid low and tried not to provoke him. I tried to make him feel better. He was quiet and seemed bothered. If he was going to propose, it didn’t seem like it. He didn’t seem happy with me, let alone anything else. He seemed frustrated.

We found a brochure on a wolf sanctuary that we wanted to go see but we couldn’t find it. We didn’t have very good directions and no one was answering the phone. On the way back from this little excursion, he was still grouchy. We stopped at a flower shop and he was in there for quite a long time. He wanted me to stay in the car. Finally, he came out with my favorite flowers. He didn’t hand them to me happily. He just gave them to me. I think there was something nice written on the card. It was a sweet gesture but seemed to have no feeling, almost as if it was a script he had to get through. I’m still puzzled by it.

Then we pulled off alongside the road at a shallow creek that ran close to the road. We sat there for a few minutes on a large rock in the creek. He proposed. I don’t even remember exactly what he said. Something like “I love you and I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?” He didn’t seem too into it. He showed no emotion. I didn’t now what to say. I don’t know why I said yes. I guess I felt sorry for  him. I justified his mood as being disappointed he couldn’t pull off his proposal as planned and his fear of an allergic reaction. I remember once thinking, “if I don’t love this man, who will?” I, to this day, have a lot of pity toward this man. It’s tragic. It’s hard to choose myself over him. He seems so pitiful, like a wounded animal that you must save, even though you know that it is likely to strike you if you get close. Still, you can’t stand to see it suffer and you try to help it and alleviate it’s pain… So, I said yes.

#2-School to The Proposal

So, eventually, Jason and I broke up. He moved away to a different school. I lost contact with Phil because he took some time off of school. I started dating another guy, Pete, who was very nice. We got along really well. We dated for three years in school and after school, I moved to where he was from. His brother had a business set up that he was expected to join. We had talked a lot about living somewhere in between where our parents lived. They were 8 hours drive apart. however, though we searched for a town that we liked to live in forever, we never found anything and it seemed his interest in compromising was waning. He started to value being near his family more, and so did I. We finally decided that it wasn’t going to work out. I was heartbroken. I had seen Phil once before we left for the town Pete lived in, and I sensed that he suddenly had “feelings” for me. (Looking back and from what Phil later said, his “feelings” started when he saw how some other guys at the restaurant we were at looked at me.) But, I was still with Pete, and Phil and I were just friends. I didn’t like how he was now looking at me like he was interested in me as more than a friend. I didn’t contact him until a year later, just after Pete and I broke up. I thought Phil would help me in my breakup with Pete. However, Phil had other ideas. He immediately assumed that I was interested in dating him. I had thought about it, but hadn’t made up my mind yet if I was interested. I had just gotten out of a long relationship and wasn’t really ready yet to date. I really just wanted a friend to talk to, and we had been friends before. However, when he said how glad he was that I had finally called, and that his heart skipped a beat when he read my letter (giving him my new contact info), I knew he was interested and he assumed I was too. While I tried to tell him that I wanted to take it slow (I wasn’t even sure I wanted to date him yet), he texted constantly and we talked on the phone for hours, often all night. While it was kind of nice having a distraction from Pete and having someone to talk to, I couldn’t help but feel just slightly violated by the lengthy calls. I felt as if he didn’t respect my time or the fact that I had to get up in the morning. We had very good conversations. There was never an awkward pause. It seemed the conversation just flowed. We started talking on the phone in January. By March, I was taking a beach trip with him. I drove 7 hours to where he lived and we drove the next 4 hours together the next day. On that trip to the beach, there was one occasion when I thought, “this is going to be a LONG trip” and “I wish I hadn’t come, but I’m stuck”.  I don’t even remember what the argument was about but I got the distinct impression that whatever my opinion was, it wasn’t okay that I had it because it wasn’t the same as his. However, we recovered quickly and we had a great time at the beach. We cuddled on the couch for hours watching movies. Then, when it was time to go home, I was sad to go. He was sad for me to go too, but we visited each other every other weekend, taking turns driving the 7 hours. By June, I decided to move down there. I always liked the area where I had gone to school for over 3 years. The weather was nice and I had nowhere else to go. I didn’t want to stay where I was and Phil said that we could move to wherever I wanted to after he finished school. It only seemed logical to go back down there. I was excited. It was great! He’d just gotten out of the military and I was starting a new business out of our house, so we ended up having a lot of time fixing up the house, cuddling watching seasons of my favorite sitcom, and enjoying each others company. He was confident that I was the love of his life, which was refreshing after Pete didn’t seem so sure. Phil moved fast and never wavered in his feeling for me. It felt good. Stable. By August, we were engaged, but by then, there were signs of trouble.

Beach Runaway Trip?- And Other “Everyday” Worries

Our daughter returned yesterday from her father’s house. She made many interesting comments in the 10-minute car-ride home. First of all, out of the blue, she stated,”Mommy, I don’t think Daddy loves you anymore.” She’s said this before.

I asked her, “Oh. Why do you think that?”

She said, “Because he isn’t very nice to you. He doesn’t think you and Grandma are very nice.”

I said, “Oh, what do you think about that?”

She said, “I think you’re nice.” Then she said, “It’s hard deciding who to live with all the time.”

I said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Daddy wants me to live with him all the time.” She’s also said that he cries when she leaves, most likely a manipulation. The reason I believe this is a manipulation is this: when I called my friend, who I wasn’t “supposed to” call, he was going to leave me. When he saw that I didn’t care that he left and wasn’t going to try to stop him, he decided to take our daughter, the “thing” I cared most about, with him. It was an afterthought for him, and he probably only thought of it because I had taken her when I left the first time. He used her then to get me back. From that point forward, he’s used her.

According to my daughter, he is telling her that she will be living with him full time in the near future. He says they are going to move to the beach together and she will never see me again. This obviously causes our daughter quite a bit of stress. She’s been having nightmares that she can’t find me. I’ve assured her that this won’t happen but I have also made sure she knows my name, grandparents’ names, where she lives, who to contact for help, and how to use the phone, (even though her father’s is different) if she ever gets separated from either of us. I try to make her feel empowered if something ever DID happen but I don’t want to imply by my actions that it is likely either. The truth is, of course it could happen and I wouldn’t be totally shocked if it did.

When she was talking about it one day, I asked her which beach Daddy was wanting to go to. She didn’t know. When she returned this time, she proudly stated that she’d found out which beach he wanted to move to: Florida. So, at least that may narrow it down a bit if I have to search. She says she tells Daddy that she wants to stay with him all the time, “so his feelings won’t be hurt.” She also tells me that she wants to stay with ME all the time. I tell her that she doesn’t need to pick between us. She can see us BOTH. It’s not a decision she can make anyway, so it will stay the same as it is now. For some reason, she is feeling a lot of pressure to decide who to stay with. It seems as if he is priming her to “want” to be with him, even though in our state, children cannot decide until they are at LEAST 13. She is 4. Why is he doing this? I think he’s trying to justify in his mind kidnapping her (or something anyway), or if nothing else, he’s using her to hurt me by her not wanting to be with me. He’s definitely up to something, as all of you who have N-ex’s know. My best friend has had issues with her husband’s ex. Their lawyer reassured her that the kidnapper would have to have nearly a million dollars cash to be able to pull it off, keeping a child hidden for that long, especially with all the new amber alerts that we now have. That reassures me a little, but when it’s your child, it’s still scary. My ex has always bragged about his military connections and when the child welfare services were called on us in our state, he was planning on going to hide out with family until he could get a military flight out of the country. I discussed that they weren’t going to take her away from me (I hadn’t done anything wrong), and wouldn’t he rather her continue a normal life and he could return to live with us as soon as we got it all straightened out? No. It was clearly about what was best for HIM, that he not be away from her. And, he’s always suspected that I turned him in with child welfare. I didn’t. He was most likely trying to get back at me even then, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

When our daughter was speaking of her trip, I asked her when her daddy plans to leave. She said, “tomorrow.” How does this make me feel as a parent? Pretty terrified, I’m gonna be honest. While I doubt he’ll really do it, it has occurred to me that maybe he’s just saying it to her to try to scare me- mind games- trying to “outlast” me. It frustrates me that there’s nothing I can do to prevent this for our daughter’s sake, I just have to let it all play out before I can do anything. Most likely, he’ll leave on the first day of his visitation and I’ll know nothing for days. Is this all part of his mental manipulation? He threatened before that he could outlast me. He doesn’t know the REAL love of a mother (or father). He only knows his version, a sick and twisted game of manipulation, with the only thing he can use his own daughter! Prayers please!

The Definition of Insanity

The Definition of Insanity
The Definition of Insanity

February 26th, 2014: The Definition of Insanity

I could use this headline for ALL my posts. Lol. As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Who’s been there?! I’m writing from the child psychologist’s office today. My 4-year-old daughter is currently in with the therapist. I wonder if this is doing ANY good at all. I HOPE talking to the counselor helps, but I know there’s no way I can stop my narcissistic ex from saying the things he says to her. It’s seems ridiculous to me to keep having to TRY to clean up all of is insanity toward a young innocent child when the problem is HIM. And I have no hope that it’ll stop! Lately some of the comments are: “Daddy said to tell Grandma she’s fat because she eats cheese”, “Daddy says we’re going to move to the beach, just me and him and I won’t get to see you.”, “Daddy says Mommies leave. They’re just there for a little while.” “Daddy said that you left me

Narcissists, Coparenting psychopath
So true!

(when I left him). I reassured her that I’d never leave without her and that she was in fact with me when I left. How could she know about these things if he hadn’t told her? She’s 4. She was 2 at the time. I’m SO frustrated! There’s more too, but I could write a book on what she’s come back saying. My boyfriend has offered to go kick his ass. He hates him and has never even met him. He hates him from his texts and from overhearing his conversation with my daughter over the phone. Every day, I’m closer and closer to agreeing with him about the ass-kicking. Lol. Seriously, I know it won’t help, and that’s still my daughter’s Dad. I wouldn’t want her to be upset because I’m SURE he’d tell her and he’d try even harder to turn her against me and my side of the family, including my boyfriend. I’m sure he’d use it as a pity party and she’d buy right into it, being the sensitive, wonderful girl that she is. She’d feel bad for Daddy and his stock would go way up, my boyfriend’s would go way down, score one for Daddy. Outcome: backfired! Still, it’s fun to think about sometimes.  😉

But seriously, does anyone have any suggestions for dealing with this? I’m going to post on some other blogs for some feedback as I’ve just started this one and don’t have many readers yet. I’d be thrilled to know what you’ve tried that work or didn’t work. Is ignoring the issue all that can be done when they walk the line of the law? What gets them to step over that line without causing our daughter more stress? How can I get him to direct his anger at me, NOT through her? I don’t think there IS a way, but there are some smart women out there. Maybe someone’s come up with something. Courts at least in our state won’t use child alienation or parental ability to reduce parenting time (unless deemed “unfit”, which is hard to do). I don’t see why not because the less time spent with someone like that the better! I know. I lived with him. It is very confusing and mind-numbing. I can’t imagine dealing with that as a child. I’m not saying that I want her to not know her daddy. That would be sad, for her daddy to be taken away from her, but if he can’t refrain from putting poison into her mind toward me and my family, it’s my opinion that he should have to have supervised visitation. If someone else is there, like our daughter’s old babysitter, whom he may or may not have been having an affair with, he won’t say anything in front of her so he won’t look bad. It is important that he appear to be “THE best father” at all times… well, when someone is watching. Isn’t that the definition of insanity?

In the Beginning

flowersOur relationship was always up and down. VERY “up and down”. When I first saw my ex, Phil, (all names have been changed for privacy) I was attracted to his dark eyes and hair, tall, athletic build, and his confident demeanor. However, within that same first impression, I could see that he was downright arrogant. He seemed completely unaware of others, other than how they might revere him. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the man.

It all began when his friend, Jason, seemed to take an interest in me. He would find ways to chat with me in the halls of our school. (We were in grad school at the time.) When our school’s big homecoming event came up, he invited me to a “big party at Phil’s”. It wasn’t a big party at all, just a group of maybe four older graduates that had come to visit for the homecoming weekend.

My relationship with Jason was normal, nothing out of the ordinary. He was a very kind man. We would sometime double date with Phil and his girlfriend, Melissa. She was a nice girl about my age, about 22 at the time. One instance in particular stands out in my mind. We were all going to meet at Phil’s and go out to dinner together. Jason, Melissa and I were there waiting for him. He always left the door open, so we waited inside. Hours later, still no Phil. Melissa and I chatted while Jason took a nap. Hours later, Melissa said that she was pretty angry at Phil for being so late and not calling. She asked if I would be angry if I was in her shoes. I agreed that I too would have been angry. Finally, Phil comes stumbling in about midnight, obviously drunk. He had been out drinking with a buddy from the military, obviously not concerned that we were sitting there waiting for him for hours. No trouble. He hadn’t forgotten. He apparently didn’t care.

When Melissa saw him, she asked where he had been, etc. and she said she was going to go home. Obviously, at this point, we were just waiting to be sure that he made it home and when she saw that he was safe, she got up to leave. They walked outside and I’m assuming had a rather heated argument about how he should have called, etc. When he came back in, he was furious. He yelled at me, “Thanks a lot! Why did you tell her that you would be mad too!” I left feeling guilty. This was my first experience of is projecting blame. Never did he apologize to us for being hours late and not calling. This was the second red flag that I missed. I blamed it on the alcohol. The first red flag was the obvious cocky attitude.

He, on several occasions, bragged that everyone at school knew who he was and he didn’t know anyone, implying that he had a good reputation for being so adept at martial arts and everyone else were just peons. He mentioned on several occasions his martial arts training and how grueling it was, and how people always underestimated his strength for his size. He was about 5’11, 145 pounds and self-reportedly, very strong. He was an extremist, which would show up again and again in his life with me… with his (supposed) martial arts training, his overzealousness for his chosen profession (which he didn’t end up finishing), and his child rearing over-protectiveness.