Child Support Arrears: $31,697.44

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This is a topic that I’ve personally struggled with because money was always held over my head by my X in a sick and twisted way.  If the business was doing well, he took the credit.  If the business was failing, it was my fault because I was the one who wanted to start the business in the first place.  Prior to having children, I worked between 60-110 hours per week at our business.  If you ask for his opinion, I was a couch potato who ate Doritos all day while keeping up to date on the latest episode of Days of Our Lives (Reality Check: I don’t like Doritos, sitting on the couch or soap operas).

When I found out last June that my X got fired from his job, I was sure that my world was going to crumble around me.  Everything that he ever held over my head was going to come true and he was going to gloat about it.  In actuality, the world didn’t end.  I was forced to make a few changes such as changing my youngest daughter to a different preschool, pulling back on their activities (ballet, gymnastics and other fun events) and a few other things.  He was able to keep his lifestyle of a luxury condo complete with 24-concierge and he bought a brand new car during this time.  He has also been able to keep up his nightlife commitments which involve a lot of alcohol.  This favorite past-time resulted in a recent DUI with a pretty hefty price tag and a very expensive defense attorney.

In a strange way, the past ten months of not receiving child support taught me that I can stand on my feet without his help.  It proved that he was wrong.  The worst part is that it affected my children and changed their lives.  In his distorted mind, he is withholding it from me and hurting me.  In reality, he is withholding it from them and hurting them.  The money that he is ordered to pay is for our daughters and therefore, it is up to me to fight that battle for them.  As someone on my blog recently said, “the courts can’t force him to be a great dad but they can force him to financially provide for his children”.

After not receiving a penny in March, I pulled up the account online last night and discovered that his new child support arrears is currently sitting at $31,697.44.  I notified him in writing that moving forward, I will be holding him accountable each month.  Today I am filling out an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt and will be filing with the court house tomorrow morning.  If it takes a court date each and every month to hold him accountable and enforce the consequences of not paying, that is what I will do.

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Such a Distorted Sense of Reality

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We (X and I) were both notified last week that the supervision company would not be open on Easter Sunday and therefore, there would be no visitation.  The court order reads that his visitations are the 1st, 3rd and 5th (if applicable) weekends of each month when/if the supervision company is available.  They told me that they were closed and I noted my calendar.  Done.  Easy, right?  Nope.

Last night, I sent him a message because our daughter was coming down with a flu/cold and I also notified the supervision company.  The basic consensus was that we would wait and see how she was in the morning and decide what to do from there.  By this morning, her fever had broke and the visitation went as planned.

In the meantime, he responds to me and asks, “Can we just plan to meet on Easter Sunday at church so that I can see the girls?”  I respond with a simple, “No”.  This morning, I woke up to the following message, “What about Easter Sunday? I want to see the girls for a while”.

*** These are the exact types of situations that previously made me question my sanity.  Did I miss something?  Weren’t you the one I’ve just spent three hellish years fighting in court?  Did you miss the part where you received supervised visits because they finally saw through you?  Do you really believe that after all we’ve (the girls and I) been through, I would just say, “Sure!  Let’s meet and hang out on Easter and violate court orders!  That will be great!  Can you pick me up a cup of coffee on your way to church — no sugar, extra cream?”.

Now I know what Alice felt like when visiting Wonderland.

My response: “The visitation service is closed on Easter and I know you have already been informed of that”.

On a positive note: Today’s visitation went well.  I didn’t see him at pick-up or drop-off.  Essentially, he followed orders.  For that, I am thankful.  

When Rules Don’t Seem to Apply

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At the young age of one, my daughters had rules to follow.  They were simple things like not throwing the plate on the floor or not sticking my car keys into an electrical outlet.  Regardless of how simple they were, they were rules.  More rules fell into place as they progressed in age and now, at the ages of 5 (almost) and 7 (almost), they know what is allowed and they follow instructions.

I find it hard to understand how small children can follow rules with ease (generally) yet a 38-year old man can’t.  I have to remind myself that he makes his own rules and is above other people’s rules.  Even though I have lived this for years and understand that he marches to the beat of his own drum, I still find myself dumbfounded when dealing with him.  This is a man who has a degree in physiology/cell biology and claims to have a genius IQ yet he never ceases to amaze me with the choices he makes.

Today was our first day of supervised visits and it went bad before it even began.  Prior to the visitation, we each met with the Director of the program individually and she established the rules and boundaries that are in place.  She notified us of the times for drop off, pick up, transitions, etc.  These rules are in place to keep the girls from being traumatized or upset by me coming/going.

We were both firmly told of the rules in person and by email:

  • 12:40pm: The girls and I were to arrive at the pizza place to allow them 15-20 minutes to become acquainted with the Director.
  • 1:00pm: I was to leave the restaurant.
  • 1:05pm: He was to arrive at the restaurant.
  • 3:00pm: His visitation ends/he departs the restaurant.
  • 3:05pm: I arrive to pick up the girls.

Pretty simple, right?

The girls and I arrived promptly at 12:40pm and as we walked into the restaurant, we saw him inside.  The Director wasn’t there yet.  I opened the door, poked my head in and said, “You aren’t supposed to be here yet”.  His response was something along the lines, ( with scowl on face), “It’s a public place” as he threw his hand up in the air to show that I was ridiculous.

The entrance to the restaurant had two doorways that you had to enter before going into the restaurant so the girls and I waited in the middle of the doorways until the Director arrived.  She politely asked the girls and I to head to the restroom and went back out to tell him to leave the premises and return at the proper time.

The worst part was seeing the girls so confused.  They saw their dad but were forced into a bathroom.  It was a bad situation that was so avoidable if only he could follow the very simple rules.  The rules are in place to prevent situations like today.  He is above rules and doesn’t care at all how he affected the girls today or any day for that matter.

He is that Narcissistic.

Supervised Visitation Is Upon Us

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The time is here. Tomorrow is the first day of supervised visitation. The paperwork process delayed things a bit but the time is upon us.  I should feel ecstatic but I feel like I need a pep talk instead.

I feel comfortable with the company who is supervising the visits.  The visit will take place in a pizza place and I will meet the Director of the company 20 minutes before the visit begins to let the girls become acquainted with her.

At 12:55pm, I will leave the pizza place and he will arrive at 1pm for his visit.  The visit will last two hours and she will never leave the girls’ side.  She will be with them the entire time- at the table, in the restroom, etc.  I will arrive at 3:05pm and the same cycle will repeat on Sunday.  Two hours total.

I have a lot of mixed emotions tonight– it’s been a while since we had to interact with him (February 19th) and the last incident was so traumatizing for both the girls and I.  We (the girls and I) have had a lot of conversations about the new arrangement– all prompted by the girls.  I’ve answered all of their questions with age-appropriate answers.  They know that they get to see their dad but that they will have a “buddy” with them.  They feel good about the situation as I’ve explained it to them.

This is what I have fought so hard for.  Regardless of how I feel about him, he is their father.  This gives them the ability to know their father in a safe environment.  I pray that this order stays permanent.

Divorcing a Narcissist

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This week, Narcissistic Personality Disorder has been in the spotlight when Christie Brinkley said a handful of simple words on the Today Show, “Google: Divorcing a Narcissist”.  While the interview itself still angers me to my very core, I am thankful that people across the world are learning about this topic and becoming educated on Narcissism.  I thank Christie Brinkley for bringing this issue forward with such class and strength.

This blog has given me so much healing and I am happy that it has begun to help other people.  In the words of my little brother, “It’s so amazing how God can turn such a crazy situation into such a blessing for others”.  I receive many emails from women around the world who find themselves in the midst of this battle (divorcing a narcissist).  I’ve had the privileged to meet with several from my own area and it is such an honor to be able to encourage them in their own journey.  Due to this topic receiving such great attention over the past week, I have even received emails from women in other countries.  Once such email came through this morning from the United Kingdom and was especially touching for me to read.  While I can’t share the email, I can share my response to the writer because it actually applies to anyone who is trying to stay sane while divorcing a narcissist.

Dear __(Fill in Your Name)___,

Originally, my blog was created as a way for me to heal.  The same type of healing and peace that “journaling” gives a person.  It has served its purpose ten-fold and has healed me more in four months than I received in two years of therapy.  I have been able to re-live the experiences and the emotions – and then let them go.  I have received insight into my own role and the confidence that I will never repeat this pattern. 

At this point, much of my own healing is done and I continue the blog because of emails just like yours.  Living with a Narcissist makes one question their own sanity and I know this from personal experience.  It took two therapists to say the word, “Narcissist” for me to actually research this disorder.  Being able to accept my reality and understand it rather than playing the constant victim was incredibly empowering.  It also allows me to stay ahead of him because I know what is right around the corner the majority of the time.  I can predict his emails, text messages and behavior in advance which helps tremendously.  My goal is to give other women hope and to let them know—you aren’t the problem; he is.   

It isn’t an easy journey and I encourage you to arm yourself with knowledge.  The more you know and understand, the easier it is to deal with.  Thank you SO much for reaching out to me!  

Praying for you and sending you love– Tina     

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My advice to you:

  • Arm yourself with knowledge.
  • Stay safe and cautious – you are in battle with a scary person.
  • Get help- for yourself and your children.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and family members who can be your support system.
  • Do NOT engage.  At all.  Keep all correspondence very business-like: zero emotions.

The Today Show: Narcissism has a Poster Child named Peter Cook

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Narcissism has a new poster child by the name of Peter Cook.  He has actually been diagnosed with NPD and admits that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Those of us who are familiar with the personality disorder or have been victims of this disorder already knew this.

A few things have stirred me while watching Peter’s  interview:

1. First and foremost, I hate that Peter Cook is receiving publicity because that is what he lives for and thrives on. This is feeding his sick mind.

2. A typical narcissistic ploy is to “Muddy the Waters”.  I have seen this played out in my own case and luckily, the courts saw through it.  He is a liar so he says she is a liar to muddy the water.  She just “wants peace” so ironically, he just wants peace also.  My favorite part, he is an absolute diagnosed narcissist so (being smarter than a psychologist in his own mind) has now taken it upon himself to diagnose her as a Narcissist.  My own X has diagnosed me with Lupus because he is smarter than my doctor who graduated from Harvard.  It’s almost unbelievable.

Three words: Muddying. The. Waters.  Three more words: Typical. Narcissistic. Strategy.

3. Crocodile tears.  A narcissist doesn’t understand emotions nor do they feel emotions.  Emotions are a sign of weakness and make a Narcissist extremely uncomfortable.  ANY tears are crocodile tears to someone with NPD.  I saw this in my ow marriage when my mother died.  My X didn’t understand why I was crying.  He literally said, “You weren’t even close with her– I don’t know why you are so upset”.  It was my mother.

  • Christie Brinkley agreed to talk about her divorce (briefly) for the first time in four years.  She has remained quiet.  If Christie was a Narcissist, she would have been on every talk show airing her story and defending herself against the Peter Cook Press Machine.  She didn’t do this.  She didn’t go on the show to discuss her divorce — she went on to discuss her new show on Broadway and agreed to talk briefly about her divorce.
  • Christie Brinkley handled herself with class– because that is just who she is and has always been.  Peter Cook sees her success as a threat to him and therefore, he must rain on her parade.  It is a sickness.
  • Christie Brinkley is a true hero to all of us who have been victimized by these men.

While Narcissism has a new poster child, bullying also has a new poster child by the name of Matt Lauer.  I encourage Matt to do a segment on Divorcing a Narcissist and do the research on his own.  If one positive thing can come from this interview, I hope that it brings awareness to the public, the courts and the media.

Click here to watch Christie Brinkley on the Today Show

Click here to watch Peter Cook on the Today Show

Today Show with Christie Brinkley : Narcissism and Divorce

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After watching the Today Show this morning, I have lost all respect for Matt Lauer.   His interview with Christie Brinkley was painful to watch.

There are millions of ignorant people- I understand that.

Someone in Matt Lauer’s position has an obligation to be informed about the topic at hand before he openly crucifies someone.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) should be the next topic of the Today Show and Matt Lauer should be forced to conduct the research for the show.  Please help me by “sharing” this post in an effort to bring awareness to NPD.

My heart goes out to Christie Brinkley as my own battle has been incredibly trying.  I can not imagine how difficult her journey has been given that she is in the public spotlight.  I hope that Christie is able to turn this experience into a positive by using her stardom to educate the public on Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

While I have not followed her career to date, I am cheering her (and her children) on from the sidelines.  I admire her courage and strength.

To watch Matt Lauer’s interview with Christie Brinkley, click here.